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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #3 (Writing Moves & Starting School)

     I made it safe & sound to school and my first Mobile Game Design class was yesterday! I'm crazy excited to show my classmates and teachers what I've been dreaming up all winter. I'm even more excited to finally be allowed to open Unity and experiment. I'm still not ready to code stuff just yet (I still have ponies to design) but having that freedom feels nice.

Get the usual sales data and week of progress below.

I started making a list of moves. These are
the first 50 of the 200 I've written down so far.
An idea for the title logo popped up in my head.
I decided to draw drafts and leave it for later.

  • Detailed Move List (66% Complete)
  • Gave Up On Samsung Development (For Now)
  • Spread BGP Announcement To Equestria Daily
  • Back At School (Mobile Game Design Class Begins!)
     Lessons Learned:
  • I Feel Like A Confident GameDev Now That I Have Projects To Be Proud Of.
       The first day of class is happening and according to my teacher I'm allowed to start coding my project. Now I can work on the game without feeling like a cheater, which is justified because I'm entering this game in a competition for money and I'm also the host of said competition. Throw in me getting a head start and the contest just feels rigged.

      The contest will be held at my school's BYOC party in March and I'll be dividing $400 into prizes for the school's best gamedevs (as voted by BYOC attendees and Gaming & Simulation professors). I'll be taking submissions in a next month once the student games are underway.


   Numbers look steady and I'm still doing 1-5 sales a day on Unicorn Training. Reviews are popping up on occasion and are understandably negative. There are a lot of complaints about the controls and collision boxes, both of which will be fixed from this project forward.

    I tried again (in vain) this week to get the Samsung SDK working in Unity so I can put Unicorn Training on Samsung Apps and get featured like I did with Feed The Plant. An extra $100 could take me closer to my Macbook goal. Unfortunately this lead t one headache after another and a wasted day of progress. It's just not worth all the hoops. Samsung may own 30% of the Android device market share, but all those devices also have Google Play pre-installed.

    There is a plugin on the Unity Asset store that claims to be the solution, but it's $20 with no reviews and made by foreigners. I've bought a couple plugins like this before and they didn't work. It's  like a 50-50 chance that could either take away from my hard-earned Mac savings or push me a bit closer. With no guarantee that it works I'm not really up to wasting that much. Every penny counts right now. I know for sure I'll make my money back if BGP gets on iOS, but who knows how much Samsung could help boost me today.

    Samsung's developer site is always busted (I have to refresh and sign in twice every time) and getting their SDK to work is a nightmare. Their support is an endless loop of telling you its your fault for not staying updated on their latest policies and forced features that they won't help you with. It's just not worth the trouble so I'm dropping Samsung plans entirely. It looks like I'll just be on every other platform I can reach. I'm sure I'll get emails from them suggesting to port to their platform a year from now. Hopefully they'll simplify the process by then.


     I wanted to get on Equestria Daily so that people could see that my game exists and is on its way. This is the chance to see an idea go from nothing to a tangible product. Having people watch me grow inspires me to grow faster into something stronger. I can see that about 250 people are checking this blog on any given day and when I sit down to type something up, I imagine a room with 250 people in it, and presenting what I've made so far to them. It gets me pumped every time because its not just me who cares about this or believes in it.

     At this point I have to include Bulbapedia in my game credits for the immense help it's been in getting me to understand how the Pokemon games work behind the scenes. Reverse engineering the complex web of interactions is only possible because of all the detailed information on that site. Changing that complex web to suit my game is safer because if I break something I can look at the original and figure out why.

     If you haven't been doing it already, following me on Twitter and Facebook is how you'll get to see bite-sized updates on my progress throughout the week. I always get excited and post images of my work as soon as something is finished. Those are also hotspots for feedback because I respond to everyone who messages me.

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