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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #139 (Make It Well Thought Out)

     Most of the week has been all about planning every small detail to come in the full game. Where each item is placed and why. A believable reason for every character's decision, interaction, and motive. Logical consistency throughout the game world. Something interesting to do in every room, an emotional roller coaster, a varied color palette, and a sense of discovery and fun that'll keep players invested even beyond the credits.

     This week is all about taking a microscope to the game design document and shaping Battle Gem Ponies up to be one of the greatest games the app store has ever seen. Get some details on how below the break.

  • Carefully Placed Items Around the Map
  • Reviewed, Edited, Improved Game Flow/Event Progression
  • Changed Definition of Some Moves & Items
  • Edited Map Sketches
  • BGP Release Date Pushed Back to Early 2018
     Lessons Learned:
  • As a dev, if you don't critically review every minor detail, someone else will, and that someone may deter people from checking out your game if they're hearing about it for the first time. Minimize the number of bad things to say by taking care of them before it's too late to go back.
  • Every step along every branching path needs to be reviewed on paper before committing the idea to the game.
  • Gotta make sure every bit of text is interesting and I need to make them concise so they never waste the player's time. I want to reward explorative players with interesting NPCs, bits of lore, and jokes.
  • Battle Gem Ponies is looking more and more like a super satisfying adventure.
       Something related to the release date rush for this game came up. Last week I received a final notice warning me to start making payments on my government issued student loans. About $32,000 due at my earliest convenience...

      I did some research and managed to put it under something called forbearance,  which basically means I don't have to pay it until I start making money (hopefully BGP sales) but until then it'll sit around costing an extra $109 for every month that passes. My aim is to spend the very first $30,000 I make from BGP on getting this bounty off my head.

     Basically, being able to push back the loan repayment til whenever I'm ready takes the pressure off a bit because that was the main scare making me force BGP into a holiday 2018 release. As things are now, I can see myself having much more time for playtesting, animation, and marketing. I can still aim to have a decent alpha out by December, but now I can take however long I need after to make sure the game is worthy of a Top 5 spot in the RPG section of the app store for years to come.

     I'll try to pull a Stardew Valley and come out sometime in the spring when there's not much else going on. I'll also spend January and February waving the alpha and beta around and giving out review copies to every journalist and YouTuber who gives me the time of day.

Gotta make this a polished, engaging, and popular piece of art.



Steady as she goes...

     Battle Gem Ponies is looking better and better on paper. Everything has a place, a meaning, and a connection to the sense of adventure players will want to keep coming back to. I just hope I'm not the only one who loves it once release day comes around.

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