Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #123 (Step-By-Step)


     Development is crawling along. Coding each attack move by using special keywords seems so simple in theory, but in practice, so many tiny things go wrong and break the battle system in a variety of brain-melting ways.

Get a peek at what was done this week below!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #122 (Get on Google Play Early Access)


     The Battle Gem Ponies beta has a new destination in mind... I want it on Google Play's Early Access to take advantage of some publicity and get it noticed by the Google Play editorial team. I think it could boost sales of the game significantly. Just gotta get a demo out to them months before the Christmas lockdown.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #121 (2 Week Delay)


     It looks like this is going to take a bit longer than originally planned. Debugging attacks and figuring out how to code the trickier ones took well into Friday afternoon to do, and I still have so many other features to do before demo 7 is ready! There's the cutscene system I'm working on right now, a simple version of the Ponipedia I want in, overworld interactions that need to be programmed, animation tweaks to draw, and a whole lot of bugs to fix.

     So maybe the next update should come out on Tuesday with DevLog #122. Then I can start that week fresh by finally getting on with constructing the alpha version of Battle Gem Ponies!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #120 (Battling Works!)


     Playtesting this game is suddenly a lot more fun. Instead of rushing things out just to meet a self-imposed deadline, I'm going to finish what I promised and release a code-complete demo with a fully functional battle system. That'll probably take until at least this upcoming Friday, so look forward to that.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #119 (Functional, but Not Fully)


     At this rate looks like it'll take maybe a couple weeks longer than expected to reach code completion. But getting the major hurdles out of the way has been the primary goal of this month and I'm wrapping those things up as this blog is being written.

Take a look at the rest of this week's progress in the DevLog below!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #118 (Placing Placeholders)


     How's the game coming along? So far, so good. Grinding away at getting this game to work. I truly believe I'll feel incredible relief once I know the hard part is done and over with. Super eager to put the pieces together and get started on the fun stuff.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #117 (Rough March)


     Approaching the future step-by-step. Refusing to sleep until each day's task is done. Not letting a single day get by where I don't open Unity and change at least something. Slowly, but surely, this game will be complete by the end of the year. And while last month was a bunch of setbacks and headaches, this month is set to be where I get the most overwhelming part of development out of the way. Making all the things work. Once and for all.

There will be one last Pinto Island demo, then the real fun begins...

Friday, April 7, 2017

Battle Gem Ponies Demo Update! (Ver. 6.8)

Watch the BGP Trailer!
     The latest version of Battle Gem Ponies has arrived! This update features randomized wild encounters, 6 new ponies, and the ability to ride on some of them. Other features have been tinkered with but are incomplete for the most part. Update 7.0 will have to be the feature-complete tech-demo of the game, bug-checked and released by the end of April.

     Looks like Steam Greenlight will be shutting down permanently any day now, so this may be the last chance for the game to get through. So, if you'd like to see this game on Steam someday, be sure to give a thumbs up on the Greenlight page!


(And check back here for more monthly updates!)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #116 (April Release Part 1)


     Working hard to iron out the bugs in the current version of BGP by Friday. After that, I have a lot of behind the scenes restructuring to do in order to make the game ready for code-completeness. Goal is to just get everything in there and working, no matter how simple/ugly the sprites are, and finally get the hardest parts about developing this finished once and for all.

     That way I can spend the next few months doing the fun stuff. Making maps, drawing prettier sprites, and testing what's fun to play. The polish can come later, but right now, I really want this game to have a solid foundation. So here's part 1 of that. The Penultimate Pinto Island Demo!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

BGP Update Delay (on April Fools, no less!)


     On what was supposed to be a demo launch day, life and bugs got in the way. As of this moment, on April Fools Day of 2017, I just finished getting the ridable pony code to work. But it's untested. I could rush the update out just to have it done, but that benefits no one if the pony riding causes game-breaking bugs in various scenarios.

     Also, the new levitation effect I added for the flying ponies is messing up animations in some funky ways making the whole thing feel super buggy. So instead of forcing out an unstable build, I'm gonna take some time to polish it up and test things out. 

     April will have 2 game updates now. One on the first Friday, and one on the last. I want the game to leave a good taste in people's mouths with each update, not showcase a mountain of bugs on top of tiny bits of progress. So come back next week to get your hands on a shiny new build of BGP!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #115 (Miss one Mark, Make Another)


     The Battle Gem Ponies Steam Greenlight Campaign is still ongoing, but the service is rumored to be shutting down some time next month. I can still update the game and hope for a miracle before Greenlight closes it's doors for good, but at this point I'm not expecting to make it. BGP will be pushed as a mobile game,  but will still have PC/Mac/Linux versions available through Itch.io.

     It doesn't spell DOOM for the project or anything, it's just a demonstration that people need something more polished than what I launched with to make it at this point in Steam Greenlight's troubled lifespan. I'll try again via Steam Direct once the game is actually complete and see if I can get a different reaction on that platform. Just hoping that it doesn't end up costing an arm and a leg.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #114 (Plugging Away)


     Progress for this week has mostly just been behind the scenes stuff. Editing entires in spreadsheets, fixing bugs, altering animations, positioning sprites, making textbox options more dynamic, and stuff like that. This upcoming week is where I'll be putting in notable features like pony riding, new moves, and nicknaming.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #113 (Roster of 12)


     The new ponies have been implemented, the animations play, and I even dealt with sprite distortion bugs. Altogether, adding these new ponies to the game has pretty much eaten up this entire month and I need to find a new way to do all this. Efficiency is a must if this game is set to come out in time.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #112 (Animating Demo Ponies)

So, this is a thing that can happen now.
Ridable ponies coming soon!
     There's really not a lot going on this week besides pony pixel art. Just finished making sprites to animate 6 new ponies that will finally give the demo some much needed variety. Now I have to import them into the game and make sure they look right in action.

Friday, March 3, 2017

So, About BGP's New Look and Copyright...


     This is a post about clearing the air of any C&D worries. I wanted to break down just how legally safe this all is once and for all since the majority of comments I see for this game revolve around conversations of "this will be taken down because X looks like Y".

     Hopefully some explanation combined with the game's recent graphical update on Steam Greenlight will put those Cease & Desist concerns to rest.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #111 (Aiming for Code Complete)


     Another milestone down, another 5 months to go. Showing the game to new people irl and emailing folks left n' right to get this game out there! With the graphical update in place conversation seems to be shifting towards worries about the gameplay being too similar Pokémon. But I have confidence that the final version will make it very clear that the gameplay of Battle Gem Ponies, at it's core, is Pokémon with more challenge and less filler.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Battle Gem Ponies Greenlight Demo Update!

Watch the New Trailer!
     Time for round two! Battle Gem Ponies is back and better than ever thanks to feedback from the Steam Greenlight community! The turn-based pony RPG now features much more original looking characters, various new environment sprites, and some renamed moves and characters. 

     If you want to check out the newest build for yourself, just click the link below. If you'd like to see this game on Steam someday, be sure to give a thumbs up on the Greenlight page!


(And check back here for more monthly updates!)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #110 (The Redesigns)


     The long-promised February update is coming this Friday and one last week of bug crunching is underway to make sure it plays perfectly. This way, future builds will be off to a fresh start and development can be focused on new features.

     Namely, getting at least 3 more playable ponies in the game! Check out how the game is coming along below the break.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Battle Gem Ponies: New Look Implemented!


     Despite the cold I've had all week, I managed to make progress on the February BGP update! Finally finished importing all the new sprites and tiles for the overworld! All that's left now is some bug fixes and a way to toggle the touch interface. 

      I'm also still not sure about which color scheme to settle on for Poni-Bot and I still want to try to animate all the current Move Tutor attacks. For now though, things are coming together nicely and definitely call all the graphical changes improvements.

     We're on track for releasing the February Greenlight update by Friday, so hang tight! I wanna thoroughly playtest this time and make sure all the bugs really are fixed.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #109 (Valentines Day)


     Been drawing lots of pretty pixel people. Bigger versions of the NPCs used before. Regarding the overworld's art direction, I think of it as a mix between Gen 3 Pokémon & Wind Waker styles while the battle scenes are a sort of Final Fantasy 6 & My Little Pony art style with a Pokémon interface.

     Hoping to get some more tiles redone and fix all the bugs from the previous version by Friday so I can try to get a new update out before the 25th. I still have a bunch of moves that need to be animated and lord knows fixing the controller input bug is going to take a while.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Plans for Demo 6.5 & Beyond


     Instead of delaying the update I promised Steam Greenlight towards the end of February (with the risk of missing the month entirely), a midway update is coming.

     One with the graphics changes I need to make this game distinct from Pokemon fan games and the ponies distinct from the MLP canon and fanon characters. Also, with much needed bug fixes and a few new fully animated moves.

     This will allow me to keep my advertised monthly playable demo schedule and not stress so much about getting a build out that I skip a thorough playtesting session before release. Demo 7 will be a code complete version of the game released in March. All battle mechanics and overworld functions will be in working order, even if the graphics will be placeholders. The playable release will simply be one last Pinto Island demo but with complex battle moves, complete animations, proper leveling mechanics, and in-game cutscenes.

     The April demo, will then be the first story release. A playable version of what I have planned for the beginning segment of the game, featuring the first 3 towns and the routes between them. The builds that follow will be separate pieces of the final game's adventure mode that show demonstrate my vision for the game while getting people hyped to see more.

     Game development is a messy process that always, always, ALWAYS, takes more work than you were expecting, even for the simplest of things. Here's to hoping that by giving myself even more breathing room, I can get something solid out there people can enjoy.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #108 (More Spriting)


     Making a video game about ponies over here. Drawing lots of new sprites and it's taking a while to get 'em all looking just right from 4 angles and in motion alongside 16x16 pixel tiles. By Friday they should all be in-game and I'll be waist-deep in bug fixing.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Remaking BGP's NPCs As We Speak


     Nothin' to see here. Working on human sprites at this very moment. When they're all done I can make a post showing them off next Friday. Every character should be all done and in-game by tomorrow. Then its on to fixing all the bugs in the last demo, followed by adding some new features and fixing the inevitable bugs those will cause.

As is the ever-busy life of a game developer.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #107 (New Drawings, Bug Fixes)


     Lots of spritework was done this week and it's not even close to over yet. It may end up delaying the next build by a week, but it should be worth it with all the improvements being made.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Pony Sprites (Work in Progress)


     Here's what I've got so far. The main problem was Vinerva looking way too much like MLP's The Maneiac. I touched up a bunch of other ponies too while I was at it. When I get all 60 of them finished, I'll be remaking all the promotional art and make sure the new designs pop up on Google Images first. Open up the full post to see a bunch of WIP pictures.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #106 (Back in Action)

Sorry for the silence! Been away from the computer for a while.
     Yotes Games is back after vanishing for a few weeks to take care of some personal business, study feedback from the Greenlight campaign, email a lot of people, and set sights on a more defined finish line. The next steps of development are clear, and now it's just a matter of getting it done in a timely manner. Aiming for a major update release mid-February.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Scrapped: Portrait Mode

Prying my eyes off the Greenlight campaign for a bit to look a couple years back at old plans for BGP.
     The decision isn't set in stone just yet, but I am considering saving one-handed vertical play for the next game. As a time saving measure, this could wipe a month of debugging clear. That's because implementing a portrait mode would mean having 2 versions of every single menu and HUD and giving the player the ability to swap between them at any moment which could break the game in all kinds of ways (I shiver at just the thought).

Take a peek into my head over the matter in the wordy blog post below.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #105 (Thoughts on Greenlight Launch)


     This... has been one hectic week, and it's only Tuesday.

     Let's talk about what I've learned from releasing the BGP Pre-Alpha on Steam Greenlight.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Battle Gem Ponies Hits Steam Greenlight!


     To kickoff the new year, Battle Gem Ponies is going to make some noise on Steam Greenlight! The turn-based pony RPG is back with some highly requested features like pony-surfing, capture mechanics, and a few new customizable moves. 

     If you want to check out the newest build for yourself, just click the link below. If you'd like to see this game on Steam someday, be sure to give a thumbs up on the Greenlight page!


(And check back here for monthly updates!)