Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #27 (Back in the Crunch, Unicorn Training on iOS)


     With BronyCon fast approaching some extra cuts need to be made. The demo is going to have a few less things than I wanted, but the core battle experience and overworld wandering are must haves that will be present. I need to have a proof of concept to show that this game is a real thing that's actually coming. Way too much is at stake here to have a lousy first impression.

     Unicorn Training is now out in the world and I'm checking sales every day to see if it can boom in popularity just once. If this results in little to no increase from the usual $30 a month, it could take me exactly a year to become Yotes Games LLC (just barely in time for BGP's release).


Here's an idea I tossed out that might just end up completely ignored.
Got sick of searching for a quick way to get to my release list on the app store.
   Completed:
  • Battle Text Pony Name Corrections
  • Updated Move Chart (Special Move Effects & More Code-Friendly)
  • Fixed Broken GP Depletion
  • Removed Some Features Planned BronyCon Demo (They'll Come Later)
  • Release Unicorn Training on iOS
  • Patched Unicorn Training on iOS (Removed Quit Button While at Home)
  • Pony Special Move Framework Coded
  • Featured on Equestria Daily 
     Lessons Learned:
  • I wanted to upload a minor patch to remove the quit button while you were at home in the full version, but if I tried to submit the patch before launch day, the app would be delayed by a week. To get around that nightmare I decided to upload the patch the day the game was live since nothing about the version 1.9 release was game breaking.
  • Unicorn Training still feels good. I actually made something I can smile at. I read some reviews on the Amazon versions and started beaming because people are having fun with a small thing I made.
      In BGP a pony has to resort to a simple Tackle attack when out of Gem Power. Gem Power depletes when a move is used and each move only has a certain amount of GP. If all of a pony's moves hit zero, all move options disappear and the first move slot is replaced with Tackle.

     I tried to implement Tackle last week but it led to a ton of bugs. Too many bugs to deal with for a feature players shouldn't even encounter in the early demos. I decided to hold off on Tackle until after BronyCon. The more cuts the better when it comes to being ready with something on time.

     I enjoyed the soft launch of Unicorn Training last week and now I simply wait & see if it's the kind of game people want to try. No reason for a big marketing push since it can't compete with the more professional works I've seen lately. Battle Gem Ponies may stand a chance at the top, but Unicorn Training was just my first shot at this game development thing on a big and serious scale.

The big milestone this week was getting Unicorn Training out.
     The iOS version seems to be the definitive version of the game (and the platform I play it on). Although the iOS pay schedule is 2 months behind (from what I've heard) instead of one month like Android, I won't reap any rewards for the development headache in time for BronyCon. But there's really no rush. I don't have to become Yotes Games LLC on August 25th (this blog's anniversary), but it would be pretty cool to line those up.
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   Downloads:

Passed 1000 downloads on an Amazon app!
Unicorn Training might overtake Feed The Plant soon.

   No kaboom? That's a pretty quiet launch day. The Equestria Daily feature just happened today though so spikes might not be visible until next week. Maybe things will even trickle as people try out other games of mine when looking for this one.

     All my games and all the links to places they can be downloaded are available in the Games Tab.

    Featured:


   Just as I was preparing to write about how I never got back on EQD despite 3 emails throughout the week, a Google search for the old article led to a new one instead. I saw the "11 hours ago" time stamp and jumped a bit in my seat. This will give me that much needed launch week attention spike.

   Things have been bumpy with the game and I've gotten quite a few comments about the game's shortcomings that need to be addressed. I hope to win over the likes of Equestria Gaming and Equestria Daily with Battle Gem Ponies next year, then make the game this one was supposed to be immediately after.


     Some friends of mine helped spread the word on launch day. I got goosebumps when I saw that picture as soon as I opened Facebook on Thursday. Feels great to have people excited for something I made that they can enjoy right away.

Also doing great on YouTube.
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     Totally missing that June release window for the first playable BGP demo. I should still be on track to have 2 released before August though. This needs to happen or else.

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