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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #53 (Demo 3 Christmas Release)

     Another demo is out, improvements are on the way, and the project schedule was redone to more accurately reflect just how long this game is going to take. Current plans extend to the BronyCon 2016 demo. Battle Gem Ponies is aiming for a November 2016 release and the crunch is on.

Check out this week's gamedev progress below.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Download Battle Gem Ponies Pre-Alpha V3 (Merry Christmas!!)

     Yotes Games is here to deliver a special Christmas present to the world. The latest Battle Gem Ponies demo is finally available to download! This demo includes a lot of bugs and placeholder art, so you can expect a lot of things to improve in the next version.

     Play in the new overworld and explore Pinto Island, battle wild ponies, fight other trainers, and talk to the friendly townsfolk of this vibrant world! You can even simply play endless random battles against the computer from the glimmering title screen.

     It's a simple game with a ton of features on the way. Feel free to leave your feedback in the comments and let me know if you like what you see so far. Getting to each milestone like this does wonders for morale and I really want to know what you all think so I can steer the project in the right direction. I aim to release the next demo in early March.

This demo contains some placeholder assets from Pokemon as well as fan sprites by Wesley FG (

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #52 (A Solid World)

     Development so far has led up to a stable build of the game I can release to the public and continue to expand upon. I just want a basic overworld and a fixed combat system. Multiplayer, advanced AI, and all that other stuff can come after the foundation exists.

Friday, December 18, 2015

BGP Collectible Items

Wind Waker HD  Mock-up Screen
     These here are the basic items of Battle Gem Ponies. Not potions, capture gems, or anything equipable. Just some ideas for random stuff the player can pickup. The ones listed below all do something, but if the story requires it, I can toss in some extras for fetch quest and delivery type stuff. Get an eyeful of items below.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #51 (Bug Squashin')

School's out and I'm free to code my head off. 
     I'm spending winter break with my Dad, older brothers, and nieces so instead of the usual 3 hour drive home to Mom and little bro, I got to fly to Florida and not shovel snow all December. Too bad I missed the flight and had to pay an extra $75 for another. The very same week my bookkeeping service needs to be renewed and school tuition is due.

     Basically, money is tighter than ever and I really wish Battle Gem Ponies was complete right now. Despite the setbacks and crippling debt my family has complete confidence in me. I promised them 45,000 copies sold before I move out and I'm going to live up to that!

Friday, December 11, 2015

1st Senior Semester Complete (Winter Break Crunch)

     School is finally over... For now. I survived these finals, but they were easy compared to what's next. One last semester with 6 more classes to tackle, then I'm home free. No more of this school stuff slowing me down. I'll be starting my full-time development schedule and keep it going until I return to school in January.

Look out for some cool stuff on the Yotes Games Twitter and Facebook as I ramp up development throughout December.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #50 (Halfway There!)

I just got Clover the Cloaked in plush form!
Yotes Team Mascot ftw!
     As of tomorrow night, I'm done with the semester and putting the first half of my senior year behind. So super close to finally being full-time dev! Also, I got my very own plush of Clover from Unicorn Training! Thought I'd never see this until Adventures in Equica became a modestly popular series. A super great surprise gift.

    Get an eyeful of this plush masterpiece and see what games I've tried to port to Windows Phones this week below the page break! This gamedev week has been a good one.

Friday, December 4, 2015

BGP Battle Items (Part 3/3)

RPG Maker
     All 75 equipable items are finally out there for the world to see. I'm keeping things pretty simple for this first game, but will definitely try to come up with much crazier (riskier) stuff to load up ponies with. Possibly even items designed for specific team match-ups.

     This will be the final Battle Items post (unless more are added way later in development). Check out the remaining 25 below the page break. (Part 1, Part 2)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #49 (Happy Thanksgiving / DoorBuster Day)

     Hello December. It's funny how a year ago I thought Battle Gem Ponies would be out by now. Release dates are one of the most nebulous things ever. Nobody ever really knows exactly how long a piece of art will take. Get a feel for what's going on so far below the break.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Should I Make a Patreon?

     Looking at Ambient Prologue's Patreon and Path of Light's Greenlight got me thinking about setting up a tip jar for people to help me along too. Patreon allows people who are really excited and supportive to donate money to creators they like. This could make saving for things like an LLC certification much easier for me.

     There's also alternatives like IndieGoGo, GoFundMe, and the current Paypal donation button sitting atop the right side of my website. With Patreon there's a looming obligation to keep paying while with other services it feels like just a one time thing.

     If I go through with it, my tip jar push will go up the same day Pre-alpha V3 of Battle Gem Ponies does. Read on to see current thoughts and perk ideas for all this.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #48 (Playmaker vs Coding Better)

     Approaching the end of November and most of my time is being eaten by schoolwork! It's nice to have something new added to my portfolio and I'm glad to have so many ideas in my head post-game jam that I can flesh out over time and develop after BGP. I'm also facing finals after Thanksgiving, but that should be easy now that I finished all of my semester long projects. It's so weird to think that I'll be an adult making video games full time at this point by next year.

Get some #gamedev below the break!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Bored to DEATH ( @PCTGameJam Fall 2015 )

The theme was "Uninteresting Jobs"
So I made a game about watching paint dry.
Play It Here!
     Bored to DEATH is a two-button game about goofing off while your boss isn't looking. It was made in Unity for my school's 12 Hour Game Jam where the theme was "Uninteresting Jobs". The iconic boring office job came to mind. I even replaced the computer with a wet painting you have to watch dry out just to drive the point home.

     You can use Left and Right mouse clicks to alternate between goofing off and working. If you work too much you will literally die of boredom and if your boss catches you dancing around, you'll be fired and die on the spot. A happiness meter displays how close you are to dying and you can see when your boss is approaching your cubicle. This is all done using crude animations and random art assets from across Google Images.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #47 (Game Jam & RoShamBo Complete!)

The Game Jam theme was "Uninteresting Jobs"
So I made one about watching paint dry.
     The big game jam I was looking forward to all week finally happened! It was nice to put my energy into a cute little project since Battle Gem Ponies can get pretty overwhelming sometimes. The theme was "Uninteresting Jobs" so after a lot of doodles and pitching to myself I came up with a two button game about goofing off at work.

Get some details on that and other happenings below the break.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies: Surge Class Moves

     I've always thought mastery over electricity was one of the coolest powers anyone could have. InFamous played a big part in confirming that. How can I translate the many, many ways there are to visually represent electric class moves? I've got a few ideas to jot down.

Check out some electrically-charged Surge Attacks below!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #46 (Finishing RoShamBo)

     It's coming along now but still not done! My senior capstone demonstration got pushed back by a week so I need a build by next Monday instead of yesterday. A simplified overworld with battle encounters, game analytics, and online play. All feasible stuff. Polishing it all up for a real BGP demo release... I'm thinking it won't be done until Christmas. Everyone will be playing Fallout 4 anyway. Heck, I'd be surprised if anyone's taking time to read this when that game is out today.

Get more gamedev below.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies Panel (BronyCon 2015)

     The Battle Gem Ponies BronyCon Panel is finally on YouTube for those of you who wanted to see it. Really looking forward to doing it again for 2016 with a more finalized build to demonstrate. I was really flying by the seat of my pants here and hoping I'd get enough interest to make the Q&A last for 30 minutes. You can see me go from shakingly nervous/awkward to relaxed and confident over the course of the hour. It was my first time representing Yotes Games in front of a sitting crowd. I even spilled my water 3 times before starting. With no idea how to sit or form sentences it's a miracle that the panel left such a good impression.

     I can't fairly judge how well it went since watching myself on camera like this for the first time makes me cringe and wish I did certain things better. Things like repeating myself less, having lower volume for the gameplay demo, telling more jokes, having more audience interaction, explaining things more clearly, and more presentation stuff like that. From what I heard though, the panel was awesome and went incredibly smoothly. Take a look for yourself and leave a comment!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #45 (Tile Layers, Fan Art, & Panel Footage)

     Battle Gem Ponies exposure is happening! Getting lots of activity on social networks and the BronyCon panel footage even hit the web. Time to kick things into overdrive since I just found out that a playable demo for my class is due next Monday!

Take a glance at some Yotes Games love and some close-ups of the demo's maps below!

Friday, October 30, 2015

BGP Battle Items (Part 2/3)

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
     Here's the next 25 Battle Items for Battle Gem Ponies, making this the second third of all 75 of them. Take a look at how each one affects your pony in battle! (Part 1, Part 3)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #44 (Tile Maps Tested!)

     Battle Gem Ponies now has levels that you can travel between. Full maps you can walk around! Judging by what's happened so far, I won't be making that Birthday deadline I wanted for tomorrow. The game is looking good, but the road ahead is still a long one. I cut of an extra 30 mins of sleep time just to get a little bit more work time before I eat breakfast and head to class.

Get some details on this busy week below.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Confirmed BGP Healing Items

     Today I'm showing some of the consumable items in BGP. Not be be confused with pony-equipable battle items, these are things like potions and poison cures that keep your pony conscious. Check below the break for item descriptions and details.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #43 (BronyCon in the Future)

     Progress is steady but big changes are coming on my end. I'm shifting focus from art to programming and design but I'm also shifting my pipeline from PC to Mac because my poor old Dell computer is literally falling apart. Pieces come off, the display glitches out unless plugged in via HDMI, there's a 40% chance to freeze crash whenever I shut down, and the fan barely works no matter how much I clean it out.

     I've successfully pushed the laptop to the limit, but I've got this $1600 machine over here (a rip-off, I know) that could become my new gamedev hub. Get more on that, BronyCon 2016 hype, and some details on what ideas I've been drafting in today's Yotes DevLog.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies: Aqua Class Moves

     Water is everywhere. The Pinto region even rests along the Sapphire Sea. In that very sea you'll find plenty of seaponies that are masters of the moves being listed today.

Check out some killer Aqua Attacks below!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #42 (Donations & Swapping Hats)

     Sprite season is over and it's time to make some more tangible progress. I'm planning to wake up earlier and work faster to get closer to the next public build. Time to put on my coding hat and get my capstone project wrapped up. Once I do I can fix up the BGP battle calculations and release another demo by my birthday, October 28th.

Time is ticking away! Let's go!

Friday, October 9, 2015

BGP Battle Items (Part 1/3)

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
(I have no relevant pictures for this post)
     BGP features 75 different Battle Items that you can equip to your equine and get a competitive edge in battle. They compensate weaknesses, boost strength, and can even throw wildcards at your opponent's face. Going in alphabetical order, I'll be listing off the combat items you can use in Battle Gem Ponies over the weeks 25 at a time. The game is still in development, so like everything else, things are subject to change. Especially when time comes to start balancing. (Part 2, Part 3)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #41 (Human Sprites & RoShambo Updates)

     As we enter into October game development time becomes clearer. At a steady work pace I should have 2 demos out by Christmas. Nearly all my NPC sprites exist and 8 of them are fully animated. That means I can get to work on the overworld this weekend and animate the other sprites later. This game is coming together piece-by-piece.

I'm all hyped up on gamedev lately! Find out what's been fueling my personal hype below!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies: Fire Class Moves

     Battle Gem Ponies would be a snorefest if it weren't for the awesome moves your pony can learn! Whenever there isn't any new feature to report, expect to see blog posts like this that show off all the cool stuff in the game. Whether it be a set of items, attacks, or information about a town.

     Hopefully these will keep things interesting for you guys while I chip away at the game behind the scenes. To kick things off, we'll be covering Fire class moves. There's quite a few moves for some classes, so I'll be splitting larger posts into 2 equal parts.

Check out some killer Fire Attacks below!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #40 (NPCs, LinkedIn, & Crowdfunding My Heroes)

A lot of catch-up gaming happened this week.
It's been a while since I just sat down and enjoyed playing a game.
     I admit to some serious slacking this week, but on the technical side, I was researching a lot of games I've been curious about. thanks to my friends I've now tried out Catherine, Metal Gear Rising, Alice: Madness Returns, Hyrule Warriors, Mario Kart 8UnderTale, and InFamous 2. It's been refreshing honestly, and my creative batteries feel recharged.

You can still see some of this week's accomplishments below.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Confirmed Capture Gems

     In Battle Gem Ponies you capture the magical essence of a wild pony and keep it inside of something called a Command Gem. You use this Command Gem to transform your pony into whatever pony/stat/moveset combination you want. You have a pony trainer device that holds up to 3 of these Command Gems. The device takes the unique signature of the gem and transfers it to your pony, allowing you to swap through forms as if the device were a TV remote.

     To claim a wild pony's signature for your own pony you'll need to use that same device to scan, copy, then print the signature onto empty Command Gems called Capture Gems. Once a Capture Gem holds a pony's signature, it becomes a Command Gem.

     Capture Gems come in a number of different forms and using the right kind under the right circumstances makes the capture process much easier. Get a list of all the different ones below.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #39 (NPC Templates, Personal Finance, & Project Planning)

WIP from making a background character template.
     Time to work on the overworld now! I've spent enough time in idea world for now, I think. Time to make an island I can walk around and do stuff on. First step is getting a bunch of sprites and tilesets ready. Next I'll be putting things into place and coding how they interact with each other. As always, the vision becomes more clear every week.

Check out this week in gamedev below the break.

Friday, September 18, 2015

BGP Roster Info #4 (Shyshock, Furum, & Joyance)

     Time for even more pony introductions! Rounding off the naughty/nice balance of last week's post comes this week's cutie pies. Battle Gem Ponies is about mixing the cute with the awesome for spectacular effect. Hopefully the contrast of these guys with ponies like Xenoir and Malduin makes for a balanced cast so all types of people can find a few favorites. 

     All three of the ponies showcased today should be familiar to MLP fans, who can bring their love for those personalities to BGP and see what those types of characters would do in an RPG.

Get info on the new Shyshock, Joyance, and Furum ponies below.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #38 (Pony Abilities & Spreadsheets)

     A lot more time was spent in spreadsheets this week. Trying to find out what makes each of the 60 ponies special and how they can all compete with each other in tier-free combat. I also fleshed out the items list for the game and got to pick out some finalized names and mechanics.

Doing all this stuff gets me in a warm and fuzzy gamedev mood. Check out what got done this week!

Friday, September 11, 2015

BGP Roster Info #3 (Rainbryte, Malduin, & Frufang)

     Time to introduce some awesome new ponies! Remember those secret sprites I keep mentioning in DevLogs? These are the finished versions of those. Sure, they'd look better animated, but that won't be for another few months. Right now these guys mostly just exist in text form. I figure that having at least a primary sprite done for each pony will help out tons with seeing the final vision of the game and coming up with info to fill in the blanks on my BGP spreadsheets.

Get some info on the Rainbryte, Frubat, and Malduin ponies below.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #37 (Names, Names, & Card Games)

     Spent lots of time in Word and Excel this week, getting a ton of design ideas straight. One of the biggest accomplishments this week was finally deciding on names for all the ponies. With the names finalized, I can finally start making spreadsheets to organize them by name, class, ability, moveset, and so on. The vision is becoming clearer each day.

Get a look at what's been done down below.

Friday, September 4, 2015

BGP Ultra Forms

     Ultra Forms in Battle Gem Ponies seems to need more attention on this blog. Kinda surprised I haven't clearly explained how it currently works on the site yet. I've stated before that it's a temporary effect that works a lot like mega evolution does in Pokemon. You can get some details on how it works below the break.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #36 (RoShamBo & Top Secret Sprites)

     So things are settling down now as an idea has been chosen and pitched for my senior capstone class. I'm going with a simple Rock, Paper, Scissors RPG that will require me to make all the overworld assets needed for Battle Gem Ponies in order to get 2 things done at once.

Shifting into high gear this week in gamedev. Check out the details below.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Will Battle Gem Ponies Have Day/Night Cycles?

       I'm still trying to think of ways to justify having a day/night cycle in Battle Gem Ponies. There just aren't enough nocturnal ponies to make it interesting in that regard, so I need to come up with something else. My current idea is to sometimes have different trainers roaming at night, but even that doesn't make much sense lore wise.

     The only solid thing I can think of is some puzzle segments dedicated to the day and night alicorns. And as for how time passes, it would have to be Ocarina of Time style, where it's there but not emphasized like in Majora's Mask. Maybe I can have ghost and bat ponies roaming at night in addition to whoever's normally out there.  Things are just up in the air right now, but I am trying to make it work.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #35 (Capstone Chaos)

     Time to focus on the overworld for a bit. I still plan to add the necessary updates to the battle system, but I'll need to get a decent start on the overworld portion of the game to satisfy my school requirements. After testing out my schedule last week I found that there's plenty of time for me to develop the game during the week. I can squeeze in a solid 4 hours a day and all of Sunday.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Revised Senior Capstone Plans

     I won't be able to continue working on Battle Gem Ponies as my Senior Capstone project. At least, not in a straightforward way. All non-design document development up to this point has been for the battle system that was shown at my BronyCon panel a couple weeks ago. The capstone is a school supervised project that needs to be a significantly unique product. I can't just take my battle system and add more depth to it. It needs to be distinct from the thing I've been showing everyone.

     When I met with the professor in charge of this project on Tuesday, I couldn't even start my pitch before hearing a definite "No" (talk about a shutdown).  We aren't allowed to start working on anything pertaining to our chosen project until our formal project plan has been approved by the professor. Since I already started BGP, I can't continue to develop it in-class.

     If I did continue my summer's work as school work, higher-ups would question how I accomplished so much in such a short amount of time, or look into my digital past more to discover I actually started making this RPG way back in December. That's academic dishonesty and an unfair advantage against my graduating class for this piece of portfolio work.

     To do this right I need to piece this off into it's own thing for this semester. That means I'll have to work on the overworld separately then combine it with the combat later.

      I can continue developing the battle system for a different class focused on researching an advanced development skill (i.e. online play, analytics, achievements, etc.). By balancing things this way, I can stay on track with my task list while passing these major classes that I need to graduate on time.

     My capstone will be a short overworld-based adventure where I can test out all the mechanics I'll need for BGP. Day/Night cycles, pathfinding, collision maps, and so on. Basically just make a BGP demo without battles, then add battles and release it as a pre-alpha adventure demo.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #34 (Final Year of School)

The V2 build exists on my iPod now. Looks nice lined up with the others.
     I'm back at school now and my very first class was Gaming & Simulation Capstone. I'll be talking with my professor later to see if I can work on BGP as my capstone. If not, I'll have to make up an unrelated game with pieces I can place back into the BGP game when the class comes to an end.

     Go get a full game development status report below!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Yotes Games @BronyCon2015

     Where do I even begin with this? My first convention was an incredible experience that I completely underestimated. Both for indie dev marketing reasons and personal ones. I tried to limit my BronyCon experience summary to just a handful of paragraphs and some carefully selected pictures you can find below the break.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #33 (BronyCon 2015)

     Battle Gem Ponies is officially a topical thing for bronies! Sorry about posting a devlog almost a day late. Still playing catch-up on the internet after having what was possibly the greatest weekend of my life so far. There is SO much BronyCon stuff to talk about, you'll have to catch some details of my first convention adventure after the page break.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies Pre-Alpha V2 Videos

     Battle Gem Ponies finally has a new presence on YouTube. For the longest time only the BYOC demo existed in video form. Now you can see what the game looks like as of last week. Check out the selection of new gameplay footage below.

Detailed First Thoughts Video

Guess I'll be seeing a lot of you this Sunday.
Can't wait to hear your thoughts on the project in person.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #32 (Pre-Alpha V2 Release)

     Battle Gem Ponies is finally in a playable form. There's animations, randomly assigned teams, and a win/lose condition. I even made a gameplay video to show it off. You can download the PC Demo and look below the break for more news on the project's development.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies Pre-Alpha V2 Demo [Download]

      It's finally here. A version of Battle Gem Ponies.exe you can play! Have a blast with the 6 available ponies in simple randomized battles against the computer. This is the game at its earliest possible form so expect quality to skyrocket with each preview release over the next year.

     In the next update you can expect improved mechanics, bug fixes, special move functionality, customizable attacks, an overworld to explore, local multiplayer, and gamepad support. This version is PC exclusive but future demos may come to mobile, Linux, and Mac platforms.

     If you're new to BGP and plan on attending BronyCon 2015, be sure to check out the Battle Gem Ponies panel in the Hall of the Moon Sunday, August 9th from 1:45pm to 2:45pm.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #31 (Battle Animations & Corrected Facts)

Battle Animations are done! Just have to fix some annoying bugs and release!
     Missed that mid-July demo date by a mile. It's going to be a literal end of July release now. Getting the animations to work right just ended up eating an entire week instead of the 2 days I set aside for it. But that's not the only miscalculation I've made lately. Starting an LLC turned out to cost more than I expected too. I should have enough for it by March though. It'll be the last business expense I need before focusing on finally moving out.

Get a bunch of actual completed things below.

Friday, July 24, 2015

BGP's 1st Demo On the Way!

     One week from today you'll be able to play an early build of Battle Gem Ponies! It's the same build I'll be showing off at BronyCon. The Pre-Alpha V2 demo will be the first playable version since my school's BYOC three months back.

     I know I said it'd be done by this date at the latest, but that just goes to show how unpredictable this game development stuff can be. It's no wonder so many games get delayed multiple times. So many things can go wrong out of the blue.

     But judging by how close I am to finishing now (and how much I did last week) I'm guessing I'll have a demo ready by Tuesday night. I'll even have extra time to polish and make a gameplay video of it before release on Friday!

Just need to put finishing touches on! 5 more days tops!