Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #69 (Lookin' Good)


     Getting pretty excited about graduating so soon, but with that comes the pressure of finishing these last few exams with top grades to make sure nothing goes wrong. Nightmare scenario would be the surprise failure of a class and having to take a summer course. To make sure I get out of here alive, I'll need to cut out some dev time to "study" (memorize answers to questions in the short-term so I can regurgitate them in a couple weeks, like a good little student).

     After all this madness... Freedom is so close. Check out this week's madness below the break.


   Completed:
  • Implemented Rewired Input Control Scheme
  • Rearranged Task List to Get 4.5 Build Out Sooner
  • Replaced Stolen Graduation Tickets
  • Touched Up LinkedIn Profile
  • Dressed Up the Yotes Games Itch.io Page
  • Got Invited to the GameDev World Championship (will  enter in future years)
  • Wrote a Ton of Ideas for Unicorn Quest
  • Fleshed Out Ideas for Political Game
  • Wrote Ideas for a Friendship Themed Platformer
  • Practiced On-Paper Drawing Skills (for the first time in a long while)
     Lessons Learned:
  • Lots of cool colorful stuff comes up if you type "Battle Gem Ponies" into Google Images.
  • Itch.io is a small, but growing marketplace that could be extremely helpful to me in the future. Especially if it takes a bite out of Steam and focuses on the little guys.
  • Leitmotifs in music help turn soundtracks into characters.
  • Getting bored out of my mind in class and while doing homework led to me thinking up a ton of ideas for Unicorn Quest (which is still two games away from even being started).
  • There's really no need for me to worry about doing everything for every game or forcing myself to upscale. I could always collaborate, contract, and commission as needed on a per-project basis. All the chaos around payroll and employees might be too much for me.
  • My ultimate career fantasy is to be the next Scott Cawthon/Toby Fox/Eric Barone. Complete independence and no worries. Just the freedom to work at my own pace on whatever I want to create next. Or maybe take a couple years off to enjoy being rich or starting a family with nothing holding me to a schedule.
  • I might stay a sole proprietorship instead of becoming an LLC. Some things I read up on seem to say I could still get sued personally if I'm a protected LLC anyways, so getting a single member LLC or making a family member a partner may not have the kind of legal protection I wanted anyway. The legendary solo indies seem just fine with their sole proprietorship status, so maybe I just need to be smart with my money.
  • Found some reinforcement that selling my game in spring is a good idea.
  • I need to work with Danimal Cannon and InversePhase eventually on something. Their new albums are WILD and I actually met Inverse in person before.
     I fantasize about living on my own daily now. I imagine Battle Gem Ponies being successful enough to let me survive for over 2 years, then releasing my political game to get noticed by sites like Polygon, Kotaku, and IGN, then releasing a masterpiece like Unicorn Quest, having it sell over 100K units its first month, and finally becoming one of the cool indie guys I idolize.


       I felt awful silly dropping over a month's worth of pay on a Unity plugin to replace the awkward current system when they announce a day later they're making theirs more like the plugin I just bought, but for free. I just really had a stream of bad luck on Tuesday that really got me down.
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   Downloads:


    Passed 1200 downloads on Itch.io, which makes me feel good about how many people are interested with this website's small outreach. My goal is to have that number soar once demo 5 is out there and in the hands of some YouTubers. Itch is going to be helpful for measuring how big of a lunch I can expect. My minimum goal is 25K downloads within a few months of the final release, so if I can come close to that number on a single platform before the game even hits beta, I'm golden.

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   Every morning I wake up and stare at my gamedev task list for the day, then scroll through the week, and imagine how great it'll feel to have made what the game will look like the next Monday night. Then I start imagining the release of the next build and how people will react to the improvements. It fills me with determination. All these little milestones I set up for myself make this mountain seem more like a series of crests with little visitor resorts in-between.

Finishing this game will be one of the proudest accomplishments of my life forever.

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