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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #151 (Gotta Catch 'em All!)

     And by "catch 'em all", I mean all the players who would definitely love this game! I really need to figure out a way to get more eyeballs onto this project. The only way I can think of is to finish the pre-alpha, iron out the kinks, hand that to Let's Players who've played BGP before, then construct the alpha build, polish the beginning areas, and hand that to as many Let's Players as possible.

Check this week's devlog for more details on how that effort is coming along.

An example of me tweaking a sprite until it looks perfect to me.
I wanna do it with all the sprites, but that's why the game's been delayed.
It takes too long to stare at the sprite and try to figure out why it looks "off" to me.
Cleaned up my Cartrdge page a bit.
And even got staff picked again!
Yotes Games creepin' past 350 on Facebook

  • Launched a Patreon Page
  • Made More Promo Art & Blog Headers
  • Submitted BronyCon "Launch Party" Panel
  • Created a Hype Thread in the BronyCon Forums
  • Remaining Tileset Placeholders
  • All Pony Placeholder Animations
  • Equestria Daily Submission of DevLog #150
  • Organized Cartrge Profile
  • Rough Sketches of Map Interiors
  • Written Ideas for Logos for Each Specialty Shop
     Lessons Learned:
  • I should go around brony conventions making friends with everyone and showing them my game. Every time I do that at regular social gatherings I walk out with a handful of new fans.

       Parents surprised me with a Nintendo Switch for Christmas. Honestly thought I'd never get my hands on one until BGP was out and earned enough to live off of for a year. But here I am with the coolest console I've ever laid eyes on!

     I spent the last couple days playing it with my brothers & nieces, also finally got to try out Mario Odyssey which is a blast. A sneak-peek of the fun times to come once BGP is finished and I can sink hours into games like Mario and Zelda as a reward for a job well done.

     For now, I'll just stick to collecting a moon or two every once in a while. Before bed, after dinner, on car trips, on the toilet, whatever. Maybe it'll continue to inspire me. Mario & Sonic Mania are some really well designed masterpieces.


     So, going through Google Play every Friday morning to see what's up, I've noticed that all the top paid RPGs seem to tap out after 100K downloads while the free ones do about twice as many. Less popular ones average about 50 thousand. I think that's a good baseline for how far ahead I should be dreaming. If I do it right, this game could sell 100K copies and I'll have enough money to replace my collapsing car with something nice and reliable, I can move into a small place of my own, and have money stashed away so I can work on BGP2 without worrying about my own wellbeing.

     Those would be perfect conditions for developing BGP2 to the point of being able to crowdfund it's Alpha stage of development and really do everything I can to make it a smash hit!

     See, I'm playing the long game here and planning years ahead. BGP is going to set the stage, build an audience, make my brand recognizable, and make people care about the Battle Gem Ponies & trainer characters. Then the sequel is going to be every feature too ambitious for this go around. Things like multiplayer, a focus on endless replayability, a gigantic open world, the ability to do anything in any order, branching story paths, and hundreds of ponies instead of just 60.

     Hopefully a game like that would catch on... Because I know that's the game I really want to play.


     Sent DevLog #150 to EQD and Sethisto made a quick writeup about it. Going through the comments, there's still a bunch of people on Equestria Daily who've never even heard of this project before. That just means I still have a ton of reaching out to do.

     I made sure to reply to each comment as part of my way of showing that there's a person behind this project and not some anonymous collaboration. I also want to try facing criticism head-on to show anyone who's reading comments that there's a real person behind this game who is actually listening and trying to improve. Hoping that translates into more people caring about this game, or at least me as a developer, on a deeper level.

     Something to note, it's a big "No Go" to post links to your Patreon on things like Discord chats and fan game blogs. Things inter a whole new ballpark of eggshells when requesting money gets involved, so I can't go around reposting Patreon like I do with devlogs. I'll just make the links really easy to find on pages I control (this site, Twitter, Facebook, and so on). If someone is a big Yotes Games fan, they'll see it. And if they have the means and want to support the game before it's even released, they'll know how they can chip in.

     Also, big thanks to everyone who's pledged so far. We smashed through the first goal in a single day and the encouraging messages I've received from patrons this week have really been a great motivator for me. It really warms my heart and makes me want to deliver something worth all the fuss. Love you guys, and I won't let you down.

     Alright. End of December here. Christmas is behind me. Lots of family prodding about when this game should be done and places I should be applying to instead of chasing this crazy dream. Time to crank things up and get this game out in 2018. Or else.

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