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.

Having trouble deciding new colors for the Poni-Bot
Niko has evolved. I'll miss the spiky hair, but let's see if I get used to it.

I looked at the GBA art I have the world scaled to and compared it
to the much taller sprites found in games like EvoCreo and Mother 3.
This is how I tested their size and how well they fit in with the current tile size.
Nobody can be wider than 16 pixels or else things will overlap in weird ways.
Did a size comparison with the girl avatar too.
Also had to figure out a way to make female sprites look different. It's all in the legs.
I settled on this design. Wanted to keep the 3-spike hair so bad,
but I know I'll make a better impression with the left one.
Have to remake ALL these guys and more in the new art style.
(These are first drafts anyway. I already changed many of them since last year.)
   Completed:
  • Tweaked Pony Abilities
  • Planned Unique Encounters for Each Wild Pony in Story
  • Planned Which Wild Ponies Appear on Each Route
  • Drew New Pony Sprites
  • Edited Existing Pony Sprites
  • New Human Sprite Template
  • New human Sprites
  • Edited Environment Tiles
  • Featured in a Video by UltraMag64Encapsulating the Gripes Vocalized on Steam Greenlight
  • Another Video Like the One Above, but this time... In RUSSIAN!
     Lessons Learned:
  • Doesn't really matter if something is unique if you can't tell the difference at a glance. Best bet for not making your game look cheap is to give a distinct look to everything. 
  • When creating, you can't just combine aspects of other things that are cool. Or if you do, at least combine more than 2 sources of inspiration and always add some subconscious unique twist on top.
My vision of a black trainer/protagonist has come a long way since high school.
Same with the counterpart.
       Getting the first few sprites done is the hard part. But with a template, I can start making all kinds of NPCs easily and populate the game with tons of characters. Part of me even wants to dare go full Undertale and have every single NPC be unique (palette swaps and interchangeable parts).

      But I may save that challenge for later. I just want to make a solid game that releases before September for now.
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   Downloads:


     Steadily climbing. BGP hype is catching on. Starting to notice more activity on Unicorn Training and the 6.0 demo could pass Feed The Plant numbers soon. Combining YouTube views across Russia and the US, I'd estimate over 30,000 people know about Battle Gem Ponies.

     If I can convince 25,000 of them to buy the game, I've won. Goal achieved. The proud Legit Developer status will be mine, I won't need to get a "real" job. And that's when I'll get started on a BGP sequel with every idea that was too big to fit into this one.

    Featured:


     Another 12,000 hits came in from this video (now at 16K views!) and it brought BGP's Steam Greenlight campaign from the #88 spot back into the top 50 overnight. That led to me getting a message from a Valve employee about having the rights to My Little Pony.

     I had to explain as neatly and concisely as possible that I'm avoiding all official trademarks, characters, etc. and even taking steps to insure my designs aren't confusingly similar to MLPs (like Vinerva compared to Mane-iac).
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The finalized designs. 
     Once all the new sprites are done and bugs are fixed, I'll need to remake the trailer. I'll call it the Steam Greenlight Trailer and do another big push. And hopefully actually get greenlit! This time I'll be emailing YouTubers with higher subscriber counts too (gotta approach them eventually).

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