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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #100

     Battle Gem Ponies! Two years and over a hundred weeks of development... All to will this Pokémon-inspired brony fan game into existence. A clear vision is finally in place and all that's left to do is chip away at building this thing piece-by-piece.

     I have never worked on a game for this long before (Unicorn Training only made it to 64 Status Reports) and I'm really feeling the effects of being overambitious. The hardest hump has yet to be crossed as the game's pre-alpha is still under construction. I'm coming out of Thanksgiving weekend on a tight schedule to make the January Steam Greenlight deadline!

Stepping back a bit and looking at this, the game looks really good.
At least compared to other app store offerings.
Just imagining this climbing the ranks in the app store gets me super excited.
You can talk to your pony now!
Giving your partner a little more personality.
  • Talking to Your Partner Pony
  • Undertale Inspired In-Battle Flavor Text
  • Redesigned Travel Moves Concept
  • Reorganized Plans for Greenlight Campaign
  • New Story & Gameplay Ideas for BGP's Adventure Mode
  • Overworld Pony Interaction
  • BronyCon 2016 Panel Video
  • Self-Deleting Object Script
  • Event Trigger Tiles
  • Many Small Bug Fixes
  • Deep Into Pokémon Sun & Moon (with lots of notes!)
     Lessons Learned:
  • I need to be less reactionary. Think design decisions through from the ground up before looking for things to emulate. 
  • If I did that, I would've realized that my Travel Moves idea was only a half-step above HMs and came up with something more like Ride Pokémon.
  • Was reminded this week that the brony game NIA passed through Greenlight, so I'm sure I can too! A few thousand bronies all voting "yes" on the same day will put me miles ahead of the other games on Greenlight.
  • Just like Ambient, NIA is on Patreon too. It's interesting to watch the numbers, but I would feel super scummy if I tried to charge people money for this incomplete version of my game. It just feels predatory towards the people who don't fully understand the dev process but still feel super excited for the game.
  • I'm my own harshest critic for sure. I can't watch my panel videos or even Let's Plays of my work without cringing. Even if the reactions are positive I feel like I could be producing something better.
  • After forcing myself to watch my whole panel, I see it wasn't as cringy as I thought. It's just those first 5 minutes and 30 seconds that felt like an embarrassing eternity. The rest of it was handled fine but internally my head was spinning while my mouth was on autopilot.

       I shifted plans around quite a bit to adjust my Greenlight campaign to the delays caused by a chaotic second half of 2016. But you'll see a whole post about that on Friday.


     One day BGP will be the most popular title on this list. That's an exciting thought.


Watch the Battle Gem Ponies Panel!
Or don't. It's kind of embarrassing with all the glitches and fumbling.
     The full panel from BronyCon 2016 has been uploaded to YouTube! You might remember my thoughts on the whole thing from Post 1 and Post 2 a while back. To summarize, every possible technical issue that could happen, did happen. I spent the whole panel winging it as everything I rehearsed for about a year dissolved on the spot. Despite it all, I still had a captivated and understanding audience.
     Development continues... For at least another 6 months at that. There's still so much to do, but the fact that I know in my bones that it can be done pulls me forward. I cannot wait to share this game with you all. Finally giving something back to the creative world that inspired me to chase crazy dreams like becoming an independent game developer.

    Also, I'd like to give a big shoutout for the musical masters behind the game Eric Eom (orchestral) and Justin Heng (chiptune) who have been providing the emotional backbone to all of the game's visuals. When you all finally get to hear it, I know you'll fall in love with the Battle Gem Ponies Soundtrack.

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