Click to Play!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #177 (Sculpting a World)

     It's finally happening! Converting the maps from graph paper notes and doodles into working sandboxes that I can actually roam around in the Unity engine! Every single map in Battle Gem Ponies is coming to life AS. 👏 WE.👏 SPEAK.👏

     Getting all the different tiles, placeholders, and animations setup took days longer than I expected, but I finally have the process down and can get to work! I'll be using mostly borrowed and temporary tile sprites to have a basic but functional version of the entire game world up and running. This is one of the Top 5 remaining extremely tedious tasks of the game's development I'll be glad to have off my back. (Read to the end to see the other 4.) 

      So I hope to emerge next week with another monumental task behind me. To see what hills have already been climbed in the last 7 days, why don't cha take a look below?

It's finally happening... The placeholders are being placed! Time to sculpt an entire world!
As of typing this, ?? pages down, 100 to go!
(Then there's the whole updating 7,000+ tile sprites thing... Oh boy... Me and my career choices.)
I'll also be more organized with how I name things this time to make editing easier.
And here's the graph paper version for comparison.
(Some changes made due to differences in some building sizes.)
Follow the detailed drawings as closely as possible...
Then it's just rinse & repeat a hundred times.
  • Shared Roster Image on Cartrdge (for some dev feedback & attention)
  • Ponatina Form Change Menu
  • More Ideas to Liven Up Overworld (an extra minigame and a character costume change)
  • Replied to a Bunch of Reddit Comments
  • Equestria Daily Reblog
  • Created Missing tiles
  • Prepared Tile Brushes
  • Practiced Tilemap Pipeline
  • Created First Couple Maps
     Lessons Learned:
  • Super underestimated just how long it takes to prepare all the tile prefabs and animations before even placing them. It's a one and done sorta thing but there are THOUSANDS of tile sprites and naming the animation for each one and assigning prefabs and going through the update pipeline every time I make a change to the images just ate up a few days instead of being an overnight task.
  • When I typed something up on a Reddit post to get BGP to appeal to someone who says they wouldn't play because ponies aren't their cup of tea, I surprised myself with a little saying:
  • "Hoping people will find it because of the ponies, then stay because of the gameplay, then share it because of both."

       I'm excited to get the game out there circulating and speaking for itself, but I also need to have a sentence or two ready to convince someone who'd notice the pony aspect and instantly think "Nooooo Thanks..." because that's the double-edged sword of appealing to specific niches and fandoms. Kinda lumps my project in with all things good and bad preconceived about said fandom. 

      I'll work on some quick pitch lines for that situation. It'll definitely come in handy.


     Well there's an interesting bit of Facebook data for ya, but it comes as not much of a surprise. People find sprite lineups interesting and will click to zoom in for a good look at them all. I'll keep this in mind once I'm working on a larger scale and compare the ratios then.

Slowly making a name for myself over on
It's actually the only website that triggers my Google Alerts for when someone mentions BGP.
(That someone is usually me, but still, that means the site is noteworthy to Google's algorithm.)
     Then when it comes to weekly traffic drawn by the devlogs, I'm getting a pretty consistent 1,000+ now. Grown from hundreds into the thousand range, so that's something to celebrate and smile about. Every time I type up one of these I get a little better at writing & presenting information too. Skills that'll hopefully show through the game itself.

     Also managed to get the last blog to EQD to let people over there know I'm still working on this game despite missing that Summer deadline I claimed at the start of the year. 😅

Admittedly, seeing this on Twitter reminded me that I haven't updated EQD on any progress since like, December basically.
(Or April if you count the Orlando Overdrive thing)
     I just need to get this Alpha up and running so I can focus on marketing for a little bit. I need to get the word out because I feel like I see fan projects blowing up way more than BGP does all across the board. One thing they've usually got over me is something playable (with a story to follow and characters to love). Pinto Island is kinda just a tech demo. 

     Other games are dealing with thousands or tens of thousands of fans, and while I'm super grateful anyone besides me cares about BGP at all, I can't meet my goal if I'm just dealing in hundreds. 25,000 is the magic number of "shut up and take my money" fans I need to salary match a "real job" and sustain an adult life for one year, so I gotta make that happen.

     I'm thinking once I have the game playable from start to the end of the tutorial plus a little extra, that could get people invested in the world and want to start sharing the game around. 

    There's  a bunch of tedious tasks remaining, and in case you're curious here's a nice list.
  1. Converting All Maps
  2. Drawing All Tile Sprites
  3. Animating All Ponies
  4. Animating All Moves
  5. Setting Up Data for Every Battle Encounter
    Then aside from those I still have to fix the menu code, remake the battle system using Playmaker, code a bunch of remaining features, implement a tutorial, and make sure everything works in Portrait mode before I release the alpha. My goal is to have it out by BronyCon so I at least have SOME impressive progress to show anyone who asks about it.

So until next week, back to the grindstone with me.

No comments:

Post a Comment