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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #75 (The Great Code Cleanup)

Tommy Refene, another hero of mine. Watching the indie game movie now feels so different from when
I saw it as a college sophomore. There's this new gravity, an intensity to it now...
I'm on the edge of adulthood with  a pit of unhappiness below and a platform of greatness that could be just out of reach.
     BGP is now under construction with a much more readable codebase. The difference clean code makes can't be stated enough. It's a big game changer in terms of understanding what's going on behind the scenes. Knowing how the code works makes debugging and creating complex battle mechanics a much smoother process.

Time to share some of the best bugs of the week!

BUGFEST 2016!!
The clone glitch gets out of hand real fast. Force escape from battle and
your extra avatar can appear anywhere and cause trouble.This one got to the inaccessible isle.
There is absolutely no reason for this to happen.
(Turns out, I had  "Don't Destroy" checked,  so the avatar never goes away.)
These were all captured by BGP musician Bluco.

  • Cleaned Up All Code for BGP (dramatic difference in readability)
  • Reduced Redundancies and Inefficiencies (should run smoother on slower devices)
  • Scrapped Idea for Shapeshifting "Ditto" Pony (replaced with simpler surprise idea)
  • Took Notes on How to Construct Pokemon "Cutscenes"
  • Contacted a Few More Let's Players
  • Fleshed Out More Story Details
  • More Notes Written for Unicorn Quest
  • New Normal Class Move "Quick Slice" Replaces "Shapeshift"
  • Written Drafts on Paragon, Their Members, and Their Motives
  • Organized the Yotes Games YouTube Channel
  • BGP Options Menu
  • Updated BGP Demo with Minor Bug Fixes
  • Text Types Out One Letter at a Time
  • Tap on Upper Battle Screen to See Stats and Party Info Again
  • Fixed Staircase Bug
  • Researched & Played EvoCreo (compared it to BGP 4.6 & took notes of good/bad)
  • Listed More Press Contacts (specifically ones covering Pokemon clones)
  • Watched Indie Game: The Movie (again)
  • Fully Explained Indie Dev to Parents
     Lessons Learned:
  • Writing neat code will be essential to this project and future games.
  • Comments do matter. For every minor group of lines. You may understand your code right now, but a month later all those variable shorthand names, clustered if/elses, and entire functions forced to fit on single lines will be really intimidating and confusing.
  • You spend a lot more time staring at confusing code than you spend trying new solutions.
A game under construction.
       Just working on the game feels so good after cleaning up the codebase. Things make sense to me so that I can focus on the logic behind getting things to work rather than spending half the time untangling cables. Actually, that's the best analogy for messy code. It's like untangling headphone wires. Maybe even yo-yo strings in some cases.

On a side note, I think its ridiculous how all these years later, Apple still doesn't let
you delete app versions you haven't submitted yet. Look at all these empty and expired builds!
I just want to delete them and it won't let me!


   I tried looking up Android pirating sites to see Unicorn training downloads, but there were way too many to keep track of. Most had inaccurate or vague numbers that were different from my app store listing's so I'm left to assume those numbers were for the sites themselves. Well over 50,000 people have at least tried something I made, and that feels good.


     It wasn't a news outlet, but I did get some recognition from my parents. I sat down and watched the Indie Game Movie on Netflix with them and spent an afternoon explaining indie game development to them and why I think I stand a chance in the marketplace. We looked at numbers on Steam Spy, watched a bunch of indie game trailers, and talked about running an indie company/sole proprietorship. At least they can finally stop asking me to apply to EA Sports now.

     It's nice knowing I have their full support, and now their full confidence. They see the same bright future I do, and that makes me more determined to run towards it!

I have a donation button on this blog, but PAtreon seems like
the place where people are most comfortable supporting creators.
     Out of curiosity, I checked back on the Patreon of another pony game on Steam Greenlight and they're making almost double the money months later! Ambient Prologue ha. Makes me think about when I considered making my own Patreon but ultimately decided against it due to it not feeling fair if I'm not releasing frequent free content.

     Still, I can't help but daydream about how far I could push my own business with an extra $775 a month. I'm scraping by with $30 here and attending just 2 conventions I've been planning for a year is cutting it close to the red. With any luck, when BGP finally releases, maybe my long-tail sales will jump from $30 to $775. A Yotes can dream...

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