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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #54 (2016 Holds a New Horizon)

     I'm headed back to my Pennsylvania home to prepare for school. One last semester before finally being a full-time educated indie dev. If I can finish BGP, all the pieces will come together. If it does really well I can start forming a team.

Get a load of Battle Gem Ponies progress below!

Experiments with pony designs took place this week.
Some resulted in cool ideas for ultra forms.

Joyance has a gypsy/jester vibe now. She looked too plain before.
I think the rest of the cast looks fine for now. Animations bring out a lot of personality.

  • Demo V3.1 for Mac
  • Demo V3.1 for Windows
  • BGP Demo 3 Trailer
  • Tweaked Pony Designs (Joyance & Rainbryte)
  • Updated the BGP Demo to Version 3.1
  • Removed Glitchy Door From Demo (until fixed)
  • Keyboard Controls (Randomly buggy, so it remains a hidden feature)
  • Fixed Enemy Move Select Error
  • Updated Games Tab & About Me
  • Installed Android SDK on Mac
  • Android Phone Tested Demo 3
  • Route Name Card
     Lessons Learned:
  • I was told my brother passed away on New Years Eve. He was the one who played video games with me the most growing up and I picked up a lot of my passion for it from him.
  • After some thought, I decided against using the royal "We" to act like Yotes Games is more than just one guy trying to figure out this game dev business. I'll use "we" when talking about audio and other places where I'm getting outside help though. No use in acting like I'm bigger than I really am. IT's more inspirational anyway.
  • I want people to know that it's possible to get this far on your own and that help can come later. It took 6 years, but I'm starting to get practice with communicating by talking with musicians about the BGP soundtrack drafts. It's different from working with other students because out here nobody has an obligation to work but me.
  • One of the musicians (blucario) offered to make the pony cries and some sound effects and that should save me at least a few weeks of effort. Another example of how much more effective a dev team can be over working yourself to death.
  • From what I've seen on Gamasutra, Steam is growing and the users are happily spending. A much nicer economy than the coin collecting race to the bottom on mobile. I wonder if my dream of seeing the appstore become more like Steam is still possible.
       I got another android tablet for late Christmas. It's basically laptop sized with an attachable keyboard and everything. I can test out multiplayer features between that and my new Samsung Galaxy S6. Feels high-tech up here at Yotes Games. No more off brand tablets and phones that barely work. 512MB of RAM is now a joke from the past.

     Some of these bugs are a real pain in the butt. One task that should take an hour eats up an entire day because one tiny invisible thing is in the way. Debugging is the absolute worst part of development. I try to sidestep them before the end of the day and move on to an unrelated task so I still feel like I made some progress before bed.


   I actually got a tiny Christmas spike. Unicorn Training even got in the Top 100 a couple times throughout the month for Action & Adventure and Family Role Playing. Some spikes were actually in the middle of December, leading me to think Christmas isn't the only holiday to gear up for.


     Looks like people took a liking to my BGP battle interface screenshot. Pretty proud of it myself. Tells you what the game is all about upfront. You can find the post here.

This got me 1000 views overnight. Now more people know this game exists!
     Also made it onto EQD again and people seem to like the trailer. It's my favorite one next to Unicorn Training. You can see what Equestria Daily thinks of Battle Gem Ponies on their blog.

     I have 5 months worth of tasks written down. Once it's all done, I'll have a game with complete base mechanics and I can begin animating everything, adjusting tiles, writing a unique story, and crafting an engaging world. I just hope school doesn't slow me down too much.

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