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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!

My proud feat of the week:
I made a small game!
I went to Times Square and had all kinds of fun this weekend.
It really makes me want to do something that impacts the world.
If I could see my influence reach stores and billboards in New York...

  • Uploaded Game Jam Game, Bored to Death
  • Looked Into Playmaker to Fix Battle System (Weighed PROs and CONs)
  • Planning to use CryptoPlayerPrefs to Prevent Cheating
  • Kinect Missile Dodging Game (School Project)
  • Placed Ad Labels on Old Google Play Apps
  • Learned About Google Plays Quest Service (Useful for a BGP Feature)
  • Fixed Download Links for Yotes PC Games 
    • why didn't anyone tell me they were broken? :'( 
  • Researched Visual Studio vs Monodevelop Based on Recommendations
  • Changed Blog Videos Link, Edited the About Me Page, & Updated Contact Info
  • Wrote Ideas for New Project After BGP
  • Wrote Ideas For Unicorn Quest's Battle System and Story
  • Overwhelmed With Creative Ambition After visiting New York
  • Researched Game Developer Crowdfunding
  • Moved Donation Button to Top of Blog Side Panel

Playmaker seems like it could really simplify some game logic, but I'm also hearing it can set you up for confusion.
A $65 investment isn't something I can shrug off at the moment.
     Lessons Learned:
  • I'm going to try organizing my code even better to tackle problems I'm having with debugging. If I get it as clean as possible and still find things too hard to follow, I'll seriously consider sacrificing three months pay to Playmaker. But that's only after making sure it works the way it sounds like it does for complex projects like this.
  • Cutting up coding tasks into even tinier bits and testing each of those as soon as they're written should shorten debug time.
  • Post game jam, ideas are coming to me at random. Always good to write them down.
  • Playmaker may be just what I need to get my battle system sorted out. It may the the only way to get it working properly at all.
  • I should randomly browse Unity's Asset Store more often. There are some must-have tools and tutorials in there.
  • Having a Patreon could help me cover costs like assets while allowing me to host more convention panels.
  • Considering making BGP free, then having one in-app purchase of $5 to get the full game. This may be more difficult than having a demo and full version though.
  • I wonder if Battle Gem Ponies would sell better if it had a January 1st 2017 release...
That school trip to New York was very inspiring
and has me all pumped up for game development.
      Deadlines I'm considering for the release of Battle Gem Ponies include 12/23/16, 1/1/17, and 1/6/17. I'd like to release on a Thursday so the app can reliably show up on Friday which is when lots of eyes will be on screen. Making it by Christmas would be a nice boost, but if it's crowded by some really hype apps, I could hold back until the quiet of January, where every other game is on break.

     If I keep BGP quiet from mainstream games press like IGN until release, they may not even notice me until January, which will be a perfect time to tell my story and get some articles out there with direct links to the game. I'll have to see if I can make it to beta by September.


   I really can't wait to see these numbers skyrocket when BGP hits. This is a game that can really catch attention. The same way Summoners War made me double-take.


Good God. Nearly $400 just like that? Maybe I should start a Patreon.
I'll look into it once the next BGP demo is ready.
     It's not me being featured, but seeing how other commercial pony games like Ambient and Path of Light do on Steam can be a useful gauge on how many bronies I can round up on day one. Studying these also lets me see where they fall short so I can sidestep those issues. We share an audience that can get a project on the front page of things, but it's up to the game's quality to impress the skeptics from there.

    Things should get more streamlined now that my project-based classes are over. Next semester I'll face a course where I have to deeply research Pokemon's competitive scene, but that's useful to me anyway. As long as teachers are reasonable, homework shouldn't take up too much of my time. I want to get another playable demo out there for you guys as soon as possible.

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