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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Battle Gem Ponies (March DevLog): Corona Con Cancellation Craze

Some crazy new decade we're having, huh? Should come as no surprise now that delays and scrapped plans are happening left and right, even here at little ol' Yotes Games, thanks to ya homeboy COVID-19.

Get some details on how we're handling the situation below.
Look how cute! Ponies that can't swim can float
on a little raft behind you when you're surfing.
It's been fun playing with particle effects lately.

State of the Game
Went ahead and got the super tedious task of setting up every pony overworld animation in a way that'll make dropping in all the pony sprites super quick once they're drawn.

And that means every possible expression, action, and combination of the two for all ponies, their ultra forms, their alt color Chroma forms, AND their Chroma Ultra Forms. About 37,000 files individually named and keyframed with placeholders. 

All for the sake of making these little ponies that much more endearing and the game's overworld presentation that much more engaging and beautiful to look at. 

Also as seen in the header image, the Move Slot customization screen has been touched up to be more easily understood. Current selection turns white within the scroll list, there's more labels in general explaining what's being shown, and related elements on the screen are more aligned with each other. Basically tells more within the same space. Clears up confusion. Nice little touch up.

Also took care of some legal paperwork. Crazy to believe 6 years are up since trademarking Yotes Games as a word and logo. Had to get those renewed for a one-time hefty sum of $700+ altogether. But hopefully now that's secure and we don't need to worry about it again.

Man, March has just been a money sink, huh?

Now the most interesting stuff lately has to be the breakthrough with the pony attack animations. Introducing, the Pixelation Camera!

Original on Left, Pixel Version on Right (2nd explosion).

Figured out how to turn any particle effects possible with Unity's built-in systems and downloadable assets into something pixelated that can be combined with custom sprites and each other to make up a majority of the move animations very quickly.

It was beginning to become a serious daunting task so I set out to see a way we could make a bunch of things work smoothly with the attack systems we developed last month.

Making quick placeholders for all 360 moves.
Functional first. Worry about beauty later.
I'm sure you can see a lot of borrowed art and placeholders in here while stuff is quickly whipped up to represent the things we're going for. Gonna need tons of sprites like these to animate all the moves going on.
And I mean TONS.

But now we can use a bunch of free effects as templates!
Anything made with Unity will work now if we line it up right.

Once all the animations are finished on paper we can begin hunting down asset store effects we can legally use to get some decent placeholders in for everything, then go over them in the Alpha stage with a fine brush.

There's also emote sprites for every situation.

Then there's animations for every travel move and intractable thing too!


Day job's keeping our programmer Royal out in Japan doing some serious overtime and basically cutting a couple weeks of code-side progress out of the equation.

I myself am working from home for the foreseeable future. An environment I much prefer, and personally is doing wonders for my daily morale. (There's just something depressing about the office environment that can really drag you down and it compounds day after day.)

Government says I gotta stay home? Fine with me. No commute, no meetings, and hours tuned to my sleep schedule means more time for BGP and a decent amount of exercise since I can stand up and do a few reps with weights every hour to keep from becoming a desk potato! 

(Its be weird to stand up, stretch, and do curls at work. But in the safety & privacy of home sweet home, no one can judge 😌) 

Can only speak for my situation, but I'm all stocked up here and ready to tide out this practice apocalypse. Only lost about a thousand bucks in cancelled travel plans, but I prepared for that outcome anyway. I'll come out of this just fine, so no worries. 

Next Steps 

Plans were made for attending future cons and we hope to still be able to attend them once this corona madness subsides.

- SeaquestriaFest, May 29th
- Indy PopCon, July 9th
- Everfree NW, August 9th

So we're crossin' fingers to see how that goes. 

Also, as stated in the previous post, we'll finally be letting loose this version of BGP come May 20th, 2020. Giving us more than enough time to bring something truly impressive out after all this hype. (Can't thank you enough for the incredible patience it take sto follow this indie project.)

I wish good luck to everyone worldwide going through this global crisis. Stay quarantined and safe, preferably on your Animal Crossing Island or a friend's, and we'll see you in April with some previews to show off. 

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

You can see the mid-month Patreon Exclusive progress posts here!

And stay strong fam.

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