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Sunday, May 2, 2021

Battle Gem Ponies (April DevLog): Bug Hunters 2021

This is it! The home stretch! We're basically in like, the Beta of our Pre-Alpha if that inception makes sense. The biggest mysteries and implementation challenges are behind us as far as the scope of this demo is concerned. All that's left is to fix an incredibly long list of minor & major bugs we've been taking note of this whole time and make sure 99% of this game works (and looks) exactly as intended.

Graphics. Pacing. Space-time Placing. All these things must be in near-perfect harmony before we put it out there to be judged enjoyed by the masses.

Check below the break for details on our bug hunting adventures!

The game is almost to a point where we can record screenshots and GIFs of any given screen and there will be no errors in sight!

State of the Game

It's finally in a playable state. We can set up VS Matches or dive right into a Randomly Generated battle and 80% of it works as expected. Now we're just dealing with the tiniest of flaws in the combat animations and mechanics that lead to huge game-breaking problems.

Feels good navigating the various interfaces and all of it just works. After it's been in such an iffy state for years. It's all coming together. Clearing out these bugs and making something the whole team is exciting to show everyone and see their reactions.


Mostly just the bugs. The list is hundreds of items long, each with detailed descriptions. It's real hardcore Quality Assurance work we're putting in lately, but hopefully after a couple more weeks of it we'll have a rock-solid combat demo for the record books!

One-by-one we've been knocking out as many bugs as it takes
to get to a point where all the obvious game-breakers are gone.

Things like, "Hail shouldn't be following players back
to the main menu when the match is over."

During the first week in, 3 Days worth of graphics update progress was lost due to a horrible bug (Unity glitch not saving Scriptable Object Data over GitHub). So another entire day was spent fixing sprite positioning bugs and recalculating how the animation math should work.

Other problems have been popping up on a mechanic-specific basis. Weather effects not going away when they're told. Projectiles not appearing on time. Cameras pointing at the wrong pony during an attack. Description text stretching way off the background it's printed on. Yadda, yadda.

Getting this stuff ironed out is essential. I imagine releasing at this point in development is the equivalent to a Cyberpunk 2077 situation. All our intended content is there, but none of it's running correctly until we spend time going over it. 

Imainge players finishing a match then returning to the Title Screen only to see this mess:

Now imagine hearing multiple overlapping pony cries on loop when this appears.
Because that's what currently happens.
Internally, we call this overlapping scene bug the "Title Scream"

So once we get all these bugs sorted out, we can promise an accurate demo release date. Until that time, who knows how long. Optimistically, we can only imagine the scope of this being 1 to 2 weeks from now.

Next Steps

     For submission for the Humble Games' Black Game Developers Fund we need to fill out a Powerpoint template for pitching our game to them. One of the requirements is a vertical poster style image for our game serve as a thumbnail. We don't really have one or even a digital artist on staff just yet, so a mockup was whipped up real quick using the T-Shirt design by Dawnfire.

Going with this for now. We'll probably commission something special for the real deal though.

The powerpoint can be found through here, if you're a curious dev and want to fill one out yourself. It's meant to quickly & concisely show off what your game is and see if it's worthy of their big bucks. 

And then this next piece of news came as a surprise which threw us into "we gotta prep for this!" mode. Brony Conventions are back on! (Or at least this one will try, and we're gonna bet big on it succeeding)

If you've been here since the before times you'll remember how we were planning to attend a series of conventions back-to-back and sell our wares alongside playable demos of the game just like our Magfest booth.

You might also remember how we paid for everything in advance and kissed thousands of dollars goodbye every single con got cancelled, leading to much sadness, but newfound resolve to get the merch site up and running to make that money back. 

Well now it's time to roll the dice again and start planning on getting 2 or 3 of us Florida boyz out to Seattle and get some attention on our project right in the middle of our Kickstarter (since the timelines match so perfectly).

So if YOU wanted to attend the first post-pandemic major Brony convention it'll cost about a thousand bucks to do it in style. But if you're going to try to sell something and bring a helper it could cost you three or four times more!

Here was our budget list from last year:

When you're going to spend this much you gotta analyze if it'll be worth it. The economy is all about monetizing attention these days, so figuring out how to be the talk of the town during a 2700 attendee convention could be a boost to our follower count which could lead to more games & merch sales to make this $4K back and then some. We just have to make a great impression.

And we will. Got 'til June to apply and have this all sorted out, so we can get back to focusing on debugging for the rest of this week. Detailed planning will begin after we get this demo out, so look out got more notes on all that in the Patreon Progress Report.

You can see the mid-month Patreon Progress Reports here!

This has been Tony Yotes, on behalf of the Yotes Games team.

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

The Global Bug is Disappearing alongside our Game's, Time to Get Back to Business!

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