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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Battle Gem Ponies (December DevLog): Prototype Detailed

Battle Gem Ponies is shaping up nicely. The fun little details are being added in now and we're seeing how far we can run with the little things being implemented in this prototype.

We've got villain concept art, working data, cutscene scripts, character animations, working menus like the Ponipedia, and calculations for the battle system all done over the holiday break!

State of the Game

The main accomplishment over the winter break was fleshing out down to the tiniest detail what all is going into the prototype demo from a player's perspective. The moment-to-moment action that'll immerse people into the BGP world while testing out all the mechanics we want proven to be solid with this sort of grand re-opening event.

Each interaction, mechanic, cutscene, and unlockable was planned out in a way that tells a (simple) story, provides an engaging (hopefully comedic & sometimes epic) experience, and demonstrates what makes BGP different from other RPGs in the collectible monster genre.

I also decided to make the overworld characters a lot more expressive. Taking advantage of their huge heads and eyes and visible arms to make more poses for cutscenes so that the emote bubbles don't have to carry the entire conveyance of emotion.

This stuff is meant to all come together to make the moment-to-moment experience of playing this more interesting than mashing A to get information and proceeding the aim here is to entertain. As well as show off the look, sound, and feel of the major character types like Mavens and the Paragon Cartel.

All the base ideas will be in this time, really giving a sense of the final vision this time. And I'm excited to see people's reactions to the nuggets of personality injected into everything to make this world feel much more polished and alive than last time around.

Behind the scenes we've got data structures mostly figured out and a plan for tackling the challenges of the combat system. We've figured out formulas and formats to get everything to work as intended, Royal has found miraculous ways to speed up compiling time and streamline the code, and we're overall getting much better at communicating and tracking schedules.

Those weekly meetups do wonders. We chat in detail about everything we're working on or have done, computers in hand, at my place or his to clarify things that just don't get across clearly over text or in whispers at work.

Additionally, Royal's been implementing the menus one-by-one at an incredible pace. We go back and fourth over Discord about exactly how certain mechanics work or what systems interact with each other, and which spreadsheets control which variables.

It really feels like something important is accomplished every day and the excitement keeps building toward that prototype launch day.


Having a whole week off from work is the exact opposite of a setback. Unfortunately in the grand scheme of things we're a month behind where I thought we'd be back in October. Winter Break was going to be battle system implementation time but team meetings were had and we came to conclude that polishing the overworld, redesigning menus, confirming how we manage data, and providing a detailed scope were more vital in these super early stages, so January & February could be spent 100% focused on battles.

Next Steps

Really looking forward to the coming months, the buildup to Spring is gonna be intense, but it really feels like we're on the verge of something amazing. Can't thank you patrons enough for your endless patience while this small team figures out game development.

It's because the trust you've put in Yotes Games that we want to deliver not something that's just okay or as good as expected, but something that blows expectations out the water and has the quality of a timeless classic.

It was nice showing the fine folks at EQD what we've been up to, but that's just a reminder that we're still out here making this game happen. 2020 is the Year of the Yotes! We're gonna come outta the gates swingin' so I hope the internet's ready!

Big thanks to everyone who stuck around during the last couple years of chaos that could've killed the project and my career if the fact that so many people are still following this game closely and still donating to make sure financial burdens can't halt it...

Really means everything. Thank you, for following the development of Battle Gem Ponies.

Happy New Years, Everypony

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