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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #171 (Cleaning Up & Keeping Up)

     Feels like every day now I'm discovering some new and better way of doing things. The project is crawling towards a point where all systems exist and are easy to tweak. So good news is I can both feel and see myself becoming a better game developer. Bad news: I'm already a week behind schedule. Again. That won't fly. Time to crunch up and catch up. 

Finally figured out this window, cleaned it up, and
made my game project that much easier to understand.
Found a nifty pathfinding tool. Too bad I don't think it'll mesh well with the grid framework I've got going on.
I can totally use it to make attack animations though.
Just draw lines instead of coming up with trajectory formulas.
  • MLGD Forums Restored! (I added a bunch of missed devlogs to the BGP thread)
  • Icons for Travel Moves Cut, Rock, and Surf
  • Written Tons of Ideas for Polish
  • Revamped Energy Bar Code
  • Finally Figured Out How UIElement Database Works
  • Reorganized GameObjects in Unity Hierarchy
  • Renamed Scripts to Be More Clear
  • Deleted Redundant/Useless Scripts
  • Separated Repeated Code Into Their Own Scripts
  • More Overambitious Ideas Pushed to Sequel Notes
  • Bookmarked Simple Waypoint System (using it to animate moves instead of hardcoding various projectile patterns)
     Lessons Learned:
  • Programming Tasks can really get out of control. Whenever I want to make a quick script for a menu or something, I end up spending hours coding little side scripts and tools to make the main script as streamlined as I want it to be.
  • Sometimes thinking up the perfect algorithm to most efficiently do something once is way more time consuming than hardcoding it. I should just get it done the long way instead of stopping in my tracks. 
  • But when hardcoding it still needs to be super neat/readable/organized/clear so I can make adjustments to it later if needed.
I really gotta step up my game. This project's FAQ page and Twitter look amazing.
       This fan game called Pokemon: Phoenix Rising is coming out with its first demo this month. It's one of the games that inspired Battle Gem Ponies years back. It's looking SUPER polished and chances are, it's gonna be the next Pokemon Uranium viral hit. I'm super excited to check it out myself (if the Mac version follows soon) and I know there's a lot I can learn from it in terms of design, polish, and pixel art. 

     I just hope it doesn't overshadow BGP later on. Like, this is a fan project, out for free, made by a competent team over many years, and BGP is made by one guy over 4 years, isn't even really about Pokemon, and is charging $5.

     If I do somehow get my project in front of millions of eyes it'd suck pretty hard to be considered some inferior ripoff right out the gate. That's why I need to keep polishing and adding that special Yotes sauce to the mix. Battle Gem Ponies needs to stand out because I made it. It needs to have graphics that can at least keep up with this fan game to get attention, then have genuine heart, clever writing, and attention to detail that only my mind could come up with. That's what'll make it stick.

Keeping my chin up. The bar rises, I rise with it. 💪🏾__________________________________________________________

You can check out my short-lived existential crisis from tonight on Twitter.
     Every time I look at this game I just see so much potential. I want this out there more than I ever wanted anything in my whole life. This could be a smash hit on the app store if I just finish it within a decent timeframe...

     I have to make the BronyCon deadline. This game needs to be out Summer 2018 or risk being drowned out by news of Pokemon coming to Nintendo Switch. Or fan games like Phoenix Rising catching on like Pokemon Uranium (that game's demo comes out this month). But maybe all 3 of these things converging is a good thing and BGP will get dragged into conversations about how indie efforts compare to big budget releases they're based on...

     All I know is, I want this game to exist and be able to speak for itself. I just know folks will love it and I might just end up passing on those feelings I got from playing Pokemon as a kid onto the next generation who's only known endless grindfests, mindless filler, heartless cash grabs, and other scam apps the mobile platform is notorious for.

     An actual game that cares more about fun than monetization.

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