Click to Play!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #163 (Interfaces In Your Faces)

     Menus, menus, menus... Looking fresh though. Still going through the process of making sure all the interfaces work and feel better than ever before. Cleaner sprites, dynamic sizing and positioning for every possible device, and helpful new tools like scrollviews and shaders to add some extra polish. Plus, it all runs 40 times smoother now since it gets compressed to one draw call at runtime, meaning no more horrendous lag just from opening a menu!

Dragging buttons around, making little edits here and there, and making sure every object
has what it needs in order for me to easily connect all the pieces this coming week.
It was supposed to be another easy task, but somehow making just one of these can eat up an entire hour.
I wonder if I'm sleepwalking through this or something, because this seems entirely too slow.

  • Remade All Menus (functionality untested)
  • Discovered Nicer Ways to Display/Edit Text
  • Continuing to Learn New Tricks and Details About Tools
  • Researched Taxes, Credit Cards, & Investing (prep for business ownership)
  • Purchased an Energy Bar System (to save time fixing my old one)
  • Bought Optimized ScrollView (slick dynamic lists for some menus)
  • Studied the Success of Summoners War (how on Earth do you get over 50 million players?)
  • Watched the Unity Press Conference at GDC (on YouTube)
  • Added Dynamic Scrollviews and Runtime Generated Lists for Certain Menus (Inventory, Ponipedia, & Moves List)
     Lessons Learned:
  • Creating menus takes so much longer than you'd think it does, every single time. Even if you're just resizing sprites to recreate an old one. An afternoon's task up up an entire weekend.
  • Sweep the big mess before going back for the little stuff. I tend to want to polish as I go and obsessing over why I can't get small details to work is keeping me from getting major tasks done.
  • Once I started saying "save that for polish" and got bigger objectives done quickly, morale went way high. I could see the game come together.
  • The Patreon budget is the best thing ever. Now whenever I bump into a problem or daunting task, I can look up a solution on the asset store and almost always find something even better than I was looking for. 
Here's a delightful example of the stupid things I worry too much about:

     I could spend 10 minutes going back and fourth over what the first New Game pop up should say. Do you pick between a "Girl" and "Boy" or a "Dude" and "Dudette"? Should I make a randomizer that says different things each game? Would this work well with localization? Should this be an English only feature or should I allow translators to get creative with wordplay? I get so caught up on this stuff I don't realize I should just make the options functional and move on to the next task on my novel-length To Do list.

     I can always come back to this stuff during the polish phase and put the cherries on top. 


     This Yotes Games flag was sent to me as a birthday present this past October by my friend from Teacher by Day - Gamer by Night and it fits in wonderfully. It's resting in the corner of my room just behind my monitor. I can always see it in the corner of my eye when I'm working and it just feels inspiring. A plush of my mascot on one side, a flag with my logo on the other. Feels good, like I'm making things people out there care about. Like someday, I won't be the only nerd with Yotes Games merch in his room.

Yep. You're looking at Yotes Games studios in its entirety right here. My own little corner of the world.
This gamedev desk is where I spend at least 70% of my waking life. 
  Nothing to do but carry on. Slowly, but surely, it'll get done. After I get the whole world mapped out and the mechanics working, setting up the moment to moment adventures will come easy and be super fun. A playable alpha is going to change everything.

     The game won't feel real to just me anymore...

No comments:

Post a Comment