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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #165 (Game Engine Bone Structure)

     A lot of time has been spent remaking the components needed to make the game run smoother and look nicer. Way more time than I originally intended, but I feel too deep into the mess to turn back now. The results are showing, but it seriously delayed the game's progress and the makeover still isn't complete. 

    I'm hoping that with these menus out of the way and all the fancy scripting stuff simplified into usable tools, the post-alpha development will come easy. Much like a house, the game's gotta have good bones. A foundation to build an entire series of games on top of, actually. Each one more polished than the last.

Conjuring up a new Options screen.
  • Bought an Actual Mouse to Replace Macbook's Trackpad (almost like using a dear sweet PC again...)
  • New Format for Organizing Code (accounting for new organization methods)
  • Studied What Makes for Hosting a Good Panel
  • Brainstormed Ideas for Merch, Prizes, Panels, and Activities (to get the most out of my convention appearances)
  • Created More GUI Placeholder Sprites
  • Ideas for Badge Designs
  • Controls Display Screen
  • New Menu Animations
  • Simplified Menu Scripts (DoozyUI now controls the screenflow, scripts just do the variable heavy stuff)
  • New Functions for Animating Using PowerSprite
  • Reorganized Sprite & Animation Folders
  • Game Controls Pop-Up
  • Decided Not to Use Doozy UI Notifications (setup too complex for the simple yes/no pop-ups I need it for. Just using regular UI elements instead)
  • Simplified Pop Up System
  • Rewatched Unicorn Training Development Videos (for inspiration, a reminder that I CAN make a game if I just stick to it and add something every single week)
  • Wrote More Ideas for Unicorn Quest
  • Tried Organizing All Plugins Into Single Folder (may have just broken everything)
     Lessons Learned:
  • I've gotten so used to using laptop trackpads I almost forgot how much more comfortable a real mouse is. Scrolling around shouldn't be a chore, right clicks shouldn't have a 70% chance of working. My hand shouldn't feel cramped at rest. I have a small ergonomic problem and a means to fix it, so why not?
  • In the future, I'll have to prioritize attending conventions with the best opportunity for spreading my game, not just picking ones with the highest attendance.
  • After watching my friends' first BronyCon panel as well as a couple more hosted by Captain Disillusion (who I really got into recently) I feel the need to step up my game because I feel like I'm extremely awkward in the spotlight.
  • Come in with jokes prepared. No harm in having a script handy with big bold topics to eliminate awkward pauses. Interact with the crowd more. Engage them with info they came for, laughs, a surprise, and something to ponder, all on loop for the entire hour they've given to you.
  • They say public speaking is one of the most terrifying things a person can do, but like this article says, the bar is incredibly low. If I put these methods into practice I could become a rockstar on the convention scene.
  • Get good at hosting panels, be invited to more cons, become somewhat famous, that many more people will discover Battle Gem Ponies, more people buy Battle Gem Ponies and Yotes merch, more money goes into making the next one. That's the goal.
Rough draft of map screen with sample text.
     Making video games is such a crazy, but slow-moving ride. I'm praying every day that somehow it'll get big and all the years will be worth it. I just never wanna have to worry about working for someone else again. To be free to work on the hundreds of game ideas I cook up on a regular basis.


     Found this kinda funny ROM Hack website post about BGP that was poorly translated. Reminds me of when I'd try to read badly translated reviews on Google Play for Unicorn Training. Just a small thing I thought was interesting when I google image searched "Battle Gem Ponies" today.

     A bit more work to do to get all the basics up and running again but I really think all the major head-scratchers are behind me. I know how to put things on screen, do math, play sounds, open menus, manage input, load efficiently, control collision, alter objects, change text, swap images, and animate sprites. Getting into the groove of things now, and the rest is a matter of Find/Replace and Copy/Paste.

    I just can't wait to have a basic functioning world to explore.

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