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Friday, July 29, 2016

Scrapped: BGP Online Multiplayer (for now...)

     After juggling the options around in my head for a couple months I've decided to scrap online battles in Battle Gem Ponies. At least for the first game in the series. I'm shrinking the scope to avoid further delays and putting the focus on local PvP for now.

     Get more details on why this is going down and how much cooler it'll be with more time to bake by taking a look below.

     I gave this topic a lot of thought and settled on withholding online play. The idea is to do everything I can to get the game out before next August and also avoid splitting the playerbase when the followup comes out a year later.

     You see, I have the next two game projects lined up in my head and I'm really eager to get to the 3rd, but know I can't do it without a lot of funding/attention. Same goes for the second in regards to implementing online multiplayer for the first time.

     The costs of maintaining servers or purchasing P2P plugins is likely much higher than my Ramen level budget can handle and if coding just the base game is this hard, I can't imagine how long the game would be delayed due to connection or synchronization errors.

It'd be cool to be one of the only truly free, non-predatory Facebook games.
One gamers can genuinely enjoy without the common Free-to-Play annoyances.
     Online play will be a selling point for the potential spinoff project BGP Arena (free Facebook battle simulator with random shuffled teams and progression systems) and big feature of BGP 2 (project I'll start planning after launching BGP).

     If BGP Arena actually happens, I'll look into Facebook integration with BGP1 so people who bought the full version can bring their teams online. But again, BGPA is a big if since a lot of gamers are anti-Facebook and I'm not sure there's another portal popular enough to host the game and connect people the way I want it to. There's also the issue of being way too late to the party and having Facebook no longer support the web gaming space.

     In the end, it's all for the best. Besides, 60 ponies isn't enough for competitive gaming anyway. Waiting to implement matchmaking gives me more time to balance things out and get people used to the BGP gameplay in a story heavy adventure. The sequel's larger pony roster will allow me to implement the category matches that were mentioned before and give me a larger pool of BGP fans to test the game with.

     So I hope you'll bear with me as I try to get this crazy train going and wait just a bit longer before jumping online to kick butt and become the best there ever was. It's my first time doing something this big and almost completely by myself, so I'm flying by the seat of my pants most of the time. This needs to be done right to make an online community that lasts for years and this is how I think that goal can be achieved.

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