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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #152 (BGP Awareness Month)

     Most of this week was spent arranging placeholders and detailing/editing maps on graph paper. I wanted all the planning and placeholder stuff done by New Year's Day, and it got done. I also wanted to dip my foot into every webpage that could be used to promote BGP in the coming new year, so that got done too. I've started being more active on Reddit and various forums, since I feel that'll play a great part in organically getting the word out about BGP in 2018.

     Next step is to get to work programming the last few features and have this game ready for an Alpha state by February! The crunch is on! Time is not on my side, and there's a pony RPG waiting to be born!

Facebook added story pages for businesses so I put this blurb up. Inspirational, or impactful, or something. I hope.
 Sometimes I worry that I'm the only one who cares this much about BGP.
Just seeing the sprites excites me like nothing else.
At least my devlogs have been getting lots of views on
It's also pretty popular on this MLP forum, second only to downloadable pony themes!
My blog even got noticed by Feedspot as the 15th most popular #indiedev blog on Earth!
See, it's things like this and all the encouraging comments and consistent follows/likes/shares that remind me that
I'm not the only one who sees potential in this. Battle Gem Ponies, or even Yotes Games as a whole,
stands a chance at becoming something great. I just need to nurture it, and get it out there.
Part of spreading awareness is getting used to Reddit. So I logged into my old
account from 2013 and made a list of subs I should pay attention to.
(and the list keeps growing)

  • Reviewed Bug List and Prioritized Essentials for Pre-Alpha 8.0
  • Reviewed List of Required Tiles
  • Detailed/Adjusted More TileMaps on Graph Paper
  • Featured on Top 20 IndieDev Blogs List
  • Added Awards Gadget to Bottom Right of Website
  • Based on a Friend's Suggestion, My Patreon Logo is Red Now
  • Way More Active on Reddit (went from 22 karma to 130 literally overnight)
  • Reviewed Post-Launch Blogs About Unicorn Training Sales
  • Uploaded All Old Game Trailers to Facebook (scheduled to be published weekly)
  • Updated Patrons on Current Budget Plans
  • Wrote a Lengthy Blog Post About How I Figured Out This Money Situation
     Lessons Learned:
  • After BGP Launches, I should writeup something concise about my app store numbers and what other devs should realistically expect when they release a game the way I do.
  • Posting about my games on Reddit is a bit tricky. Each subreddit has particular rules about how things should be presented. There's also a timer limiting how many reddit links I can post in a certain window of time. 
  • Posting things on Reddit needs to be individualized and carefully timed to make the most of the 15 seconds of fame sharing there could get me. Gotta do my best not to be spammy and inspire other people to do the word-of-mouth for me.
  • There is a very high risk of failure here. It's possible that this game could come out, and nobody will care. I may put the demo in people's hands, and they may just not feel like it's worth $5 to upgrade. I need to taper expectations and just be aware that this is an uphill battle. 
  • Even when the game is finished and is as polished as possible, I need to be a good salesman to make it a success. So I need to get better at convincing people that they LOVE and NEED this game.
  • I also need to know how to get this in front of as many bronies as possible without annoying everybody. 
  • Hopefully I can use Patreon funds to commission popular artists to draw some cool BGP stuff to get the fan art ball rolling!
  • People will take this game a lot more seriously if it's nearly bug-free. Next demo has to be super stable to make it worth getting in the hands of big name PokeTubers who could bring in a huge new audience.
Patreon growth slowed down after launch, but is still climbing for now. I know that a few patrons will be
one-timer's to get their OCs in the game though. So a drop is coming next month unless I do something about it.
     Right now, the number of original fan characters I'm willing to put into the game is limited. I'll keep it at 10 on the display for now to make it feel exclusive and urgent for newcomers, but if more people join in at $50 apiece, I'll raise the cap accordingly. I think the amount of money gained versus the amount of time it takes to design a character sprite on all sides and ask a patron what ponies they'd like on their team is a fair ratio that makes it all worthwhile. I'm really not expecting more than 10 though (but it never hurts to plan ahead).

    Gotta also keep in mind that everyone who gets their character in-game will want to show off the moment their OC appears with everyone they know, so it doubles as a crowdfunding technique and post-release word-of-mouth marketing. Super effective!



Check me out! I'm on a top indiedev blog list!
     According to some internet algorithms, Yotes Games is one of the top blogs on the web about indie game development! That's pretty neat, seeing my name next to the likes of Gamasutra, Tiny Build, IndieDB, and r/indiedev. The list also gave me a bunch of other blogs to look into and learn from. A very nice surprise to wake up and see this on Friday.

     Feedspot looks to be a blog that maintains a regularly scheduled list of top websites in various categories based on things like search results, upload frequency, and social media presence. So all the years of blogging and sharing it everywhere on a daily/weekly basis really is adding up to something. It's a pretty cool feeling and sort of validating the work I put in keeping this blog active.

    I know it's not the same as winning an award by a committee or having as many visitors as sites like those at the top, but it's nice to see that when it comes to numbers, I'm making a noticeable dot on the map for myself.

     Big thanks to all the readers out there making this possible! Just knowing people out there actually take the time to read these weekly blurbs makes me feel a little less crazy. 😅

I searched for Battle Gem Ponies videos from the past month and new stuff came up!
     I came across a bunch of new Let's Plays from Paradomix and just going from the titles and descriptions, I knew the old bugs would strike again! I still have to implement the new (and much more organized) battle system update so that what's written on screen matches what's written in code so the player always knows what's really going on. Without proper feedback, players can't strategize, and if they can't strategize, they can't get invested.

And speaking of invested players...

     YouTuber Cybermagus made some more Orscina fan art based on the new Ultra form sprite. Seeing this kindof confirms my theory that despite my gripes with some of the designs, fans still like them and they don't look half bad when interpreted in different art styles.

Indie Game Development Blogs

     Guess I should display this somewhere to add credibility, right? Even though it can't be worth much since it's an image anybody could download on slap on their stuff. But hey, there's blank space to the right of this web page, so why not? At least I know it's real, and it adds a bit of color to blog.

    I should put a bunch of other award images there too. I've been at this for years and I've accomplished a thing or two. I should be a little proud!

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