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Sunday, August 30, 2020

Battle Gem Ponies (August DevLog): Gettin' Stuff DONE!!

Been quite the busy month over here at Yotes Games. A whole feast of features to show to you about this fine August of progress. Talkin' about overworld animations, palette swaps, engine setup fixes, team collaboration improvements, new menus, and new mechanics. 

So let's get right to it!

State of the Game 

Got a whole laundry list of things done this month. Check it out!

VS Match Screen

Our new programmer has completed his training and is ready to start tackling tasks on his own, which is already greatly speeding things up. He's been working on this menu over the past couple weeks. Just a few pieces left to be coded and players will be able to pick out their teams to take into battle.

There's also little pop-ups like the one above that need to be made for item selection or choosing which of Ponatina's forms to take into battle.

Overworld Pony Emotes

In the adventure mode there's gonna be lots of cutscenes and interactions between the player and ponies, so to give them a bit more lifelike energy each one has a range of facial expressions just like the human characters will. 

This process had to be done for all the variations as well. Took about two weeks of repetitive, tedious work since PowerSprite doesn't seem to play nice with automation, but it's fine and done with. Now whenever the sprites are drawn, the animation is already set to go for all 180 different kinds of ponies, chromas, and ultras.

Chroma Ponies

Oh yeah, by the way, the Chroma ponies are in. Every pony (90 total) has an alternate color version now and the 14 animated ponies in the demo have fully animated chromas too! (Made quickly thanks to the new palette recoloring pipeline.)

More Details (SubMenu)

Added a new panel of information to the Move Details page so players can see more specifics about what a move can do. It's a work in progress, but we'll be implementing it later.


We've moved our Backup/FileSharing/Collab process from Unity Collab over to GitHub!
(Because Unity Collaborate has been the biggest pain in the butt eating up precious time and morale in our weekly game jam meetings.)

And we'll soon be upgrading to a newer version of Unity to fix some engine related bugs. It was something we always dreaded doing due to how long it takes for Collaborate to get situated, especially when you have to re-download the entire project whenever the file location moves or one of us tries setting up a new computer (basically bricks slower ones like laptops for a long while and you just have to let it run overnight).

This update is certainly one of the more nerdy behind the scenes sort of things, so in layman's terms, 3 people working on BGP at the same time just got a whole lot faster.

Now that we're using Git, major project changes will now take minutes instead of hours.

Battle Effects

It's been tricky figuring out how to get those pesky special equation moves to work, but we're implementing them one-by-one. About 120 of the demo's 180 moves are working now and each special case we solve makes the next 5 or 10 easily fixed up in just minutes.

We're really firing on all cylinders now. Yotes on Art & Creative Direction, Royal on Battle Effects and Technical Direction, and Psyaryu on User Interfaces & Testing.

I mean, just look at all that. Busy month, right? And there's still so much to go!


Regarding Chroma Ponies

Won't be doing the polls on chromas anymore. Aside from the first few, there's just not enough color combinations that look good enough to be hard to choose from. Or at least finding some that do would be too time consuming when we've got such a strict 2021 deadline looming. 

Some palette choices can be hard to choose from, but most have a clear winner.
As both the lead artist and producer here, I gotta reach a compromise and stay on schedule.
The chroma lineup is implemented, and here to stay.

Some of these ideas will just have to wait for future games. Maybe having multiple chroma options down the line. But for now, the roster is set and the sprites are in the game. 

We'll be revealing them all slowly over time to keep things interesting. You'll be able to play with a few of the chroma ponies in an upcoming demo though.

Next Steps 

Got the next couple menus to work on laid out already.

It's been crazy productive over here and we're only getting faster. Sights set on November to have a fully-functional battle system with all the bells & whistles for everyone to check out.

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

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

Completely unrelated to gamedev news, but I looked up to the guy. Another great example of leaving a lasting impact on the world. RIP 
Chadwick Boseman...

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