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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #155 (Placeholders in Their Place)

   The pieces are all lined up. Just a week or two of coding and another week of polish, and I'll be set to start shaping the world of Battle Gem Ponies! A playable version of the story mode at long last! I'm super eager to share all the recent progress (and there was a lot) on this week's devlog, so check it out! 🎮💎🐴

Here's me tryina get my name out there.
  • Discovered and Made an Account
  • Made a Plan for Blowing Up on Instagram
  • Fiddled with Instagram Business ID (took forever to figure out how to link to my FB Business Page)
  • Downloaded a Bunch of Free Pixel Art Assets
  • Listed People to Thank in BGP Credits
  • Finished Gathering Placeholder Tiles
  • New Tileset Effect For Water
  • New Tilemap Layouts for Dynamic Combinations & Variation
  • Took the Time to Learn some Shortcuts in Gimp to Make Sprites a bit Quicker
  • Sketched All Move Animations on Paper
  • Made Placeholder Animations for All Ponies and Attacks
  • Put All Placeholders in Unity for Later Use
  • Plans for Editor's Improved Battle Customization Features
  • Practiced Using a Mix of Playmaker and Custom Scripts (to simplify my dev pipeline)
  • Wrote Some Juicy Background Lore Nuggets for Players to Uncover
  • Wrote Ambitious Ideas to Save for Sequel
  • Wrote Some Mysteries to Tie Into Sequel
  • Wrote New Ideas for the Sequel's Nemesis System Too
  • Added in More and More Small Moments and Jokes to Make the Game Feel Special 
  • Reordered Some Story Chapters to Make More Sense with the World Map Layout
  • Wrote Improved Character Bios & Edited Speech to Better Convey Personalities
  • Updated Unicorn Training Descriptions
  • Using a New Font on Blogs (didja notice?)
     Lessons Learned:
  • Having an active Instagram account could greatly increase my discoverability, and I need as much of that as I can get, so let's give it a shot.
  • Setting up Instagram is anything but convenient.
  • Showers are a great place to come up with ideas because I wrote down a TON of marketing, interface, and online functionality for BGP2 after a particularly enlightening brainstorm bathing experience. 
  • Just keep iterating on a story, no matter how simple, and you could land on something with a lot of heart. Look at this video example.
  • I want an even more epic villain boss fight than Pokemon Ultra Sun/Moon had with Rainbow Rocket Giovanni.
       With all the crazy stuff I'm doing with the tile maps and code rewrites, I'm going to have to scrap all the prefabs and stuff I made for the Pre-alpha build and start over. So there won't be an 8.0 after all. I'll just be jumping straight into the alpha build after all this and put out a demo featuring the first couple towns and routes. Something to hopefully share with everyone throughout the second half of February.

Something I found pretty neat was Unicorn Training becoming suddenly popular on SlideDB!
     Popularity boost outta the blue! Wonder if it was even higher earlier and I missed it. Jumped from 100+ to 31! And all I did last week was write an article about how well it sold at launch. So to keep the fire burning, I submitted another article about Unicorn Training's scrapped character customization that's been popular on this blog for the longest time now. The very next day it rose to #6 in the ranks!

There it was Sunday night, at the very bottom of the Top Games page.
     I found that interesting so I checked out just how many new eyes were on me, and it turns out it doesn't take much to climb up SlideDB. It took about 20 visitors in a single day to boost me from #31 to #6. But hey, that's 20 people who probably never saw my stuff before. That's like a living room full of folks interested in something I made.

UT's popularity on SlideDB over time. Rank-wise, I'm proud. But the number's aren't too impressive. But hey, new eyes are new eyes. I'm all about becoming a big fish in small ponds.
     Now with all these extra eyes on it, I should try to sell. Need to make the app a little more appealing so people give it a try. I submitted it to in hopes of getting more exposure and feedback. Only time will tell if the submission goes through. It was actually denied the first time because they wanted a paragraph about the lore, not a features list and a mini devlog. So I updated the text and sent it in again.

      Looks like Unicorn Training could be a good ice breaker for me on SlideDB and other indie game sharing sites (if you know any I'm missing, let me know!) and I should get ready to do the same with BGP once the alpha's ready.

     I also updated the description of Unicorn Training on all the app stores to include a little paragraph about the story and a quick summary about it's development. Hopefully it shows a little more heart and makes it more compelling to buy. 


    I'm more fired up than ever to get this done. All the pieces are coming together! It's like the quality and clarity of the vision are on the rise exponentially! Let's just see how much can get done before Valentine's Day rolls around. I'd certainly LOVE to see an Alpha demo by then ~ 😍💕

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