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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #86 (Little by Little)

     Taking steps towards greatness. That's what it's all about. Feeling overwhelmed with just how huge this game is. Seeing smaller ideas being implemented makes me very envious. It's the "why can't I just poof this into existence" problem. If I could at least not have to deal with the debugging problems this would be insanely easy and fun.

The road looks long ahead, but aiming for the milestones makes the journey feel more manageable. So it's onto the next. See you below the break.

Chopped together some music to show musician E^2 what I wanted
the graveyard level music to sound like.
  • Fixed 5.0 Bugs
  • Doubled Average Health Bar Size
  • Minimum Damage of 1 HP
  • Random 1-6 Additional Damage Points (to add some unpredictability)
  • Released Build 5.1
  • Activity on Various Forums
  • Featured on EQD
  • Reached Out to YouTubers
  • Studied Pokemon Fan Games
  • Revised Plans for Version 6.0
  • Contacted YouTubers
  • Created BGP Forum Threads on Relic Castle, Itch, FiG, & MLGD
     Lessons Learned:
  • My inner confidence seems to be directly linked to the status of my game. When it's buggy, I feel like a broken imposter. When it's stable and being enjoyed, I feel stable and enjoyed. It's kinda weird. But I think all artists feel connected to their work like that.
  • Fan game developers are more welcoming than I expected. I was worried about elitism in regards to true fan projects being free, directly tied to Pokemon, and more respectable than just a clone of the Pokemon gameplay loop. I was relieved to get the same amount of feedback and praise as anyone else on the Relic Castle Forums.
       For about a month I've just been debugging build 5... I'm so, so, SO very sick of coding. I'm going to focus on the fun parts again for a bit. Making pony sprites, writing the story, drawing out maps, and planning battle AI. It's about time I made this game exist on paper in a more complete form. I need to know exactly what the game is going to look like so I can spend the next year crunching away.


     Making every cent count. The march towards final release will be a financially straining one that's for sure. But if this steady rate keeps, I'll make it.

     Regarding BGP, I have a decent 25% conversion ratio going on with trailer views turning into demo downloads. I would have loved to see at least 2000 downloads, but this just shows how far I have left to go to actually impress more critical eyes.

     It'd be a nightmare to spend 2.5 years slaving away at this project only for it to have lackluster sales and not get me off the ground at all. This has to do better than Unicorn Training. Much better if I have any hope of making a career out of this.


Being on Equestria Daily brought views of the trailer from 400 to 1,800 overnight.
A pretty good start to getting the word out.
     Found some more Let's Plays like this one. Feels good when no horrible bug rears its head. I feel like getting a board up and running on the Relic Castle site is a good step towards exposure since that's where avid Pokemon fans look for unofficial up and coming projects like mine.

      By the time this post goes up, the view count on the Demo 5 Trailer should just barely have passed 3000, a new record for BGP trailers. Actually, that'd be my second most viewed video ever with #1 being the almost 60K views on Unicorn Training's Trailer.

     This development has been tough and I know there's still more frustrations ahead. The trials are painful but the reward is too beautiful to pass up. It needs to be finished. It needs to be a real game out there for people to play. I need to see this through.

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