BGP DevLog #183 (Patron Palooza) I got an itchy twitch finger and put up the new Patreon ideas immediately. Still eager for feedback and willing to add any new ideas or mix things around, but I really felt like kicking off August with the new revamp and just having that ready to go as soon as my first couple YouTube videos go up. And new videos will be popping up twice a week at least for the next little while, just to build some momentum. It's all really exciting stuff and I can't wait to see how it grows. Now then... Onto to the devlog!
BGP DevLog #182 (Gotta Gain Marketing Chops) A key problem with Battle Gem Ponies right now is that nobody knows it exists. How do I let people who'd probably like it know it exists? Well, sitting here and talking about it on my website nobody's heard of isn't getting the job done. And an occasional mention here and there on high traffic blogs isn't working either. How about I take it to the hypest place on the information highway? The place people specifically go to look to see interesting things they'll probably like... YouTube. I'm talking about YouTube. I need to take my channel seriously and start pumping out videos that show what the game is all about, what I'm all about as a dev, and for the love of all things holy get my Patreon numbers up before my debts swallow me whole (this game is officially years too late and things I've been putting off won't stay at bay forever). See all the different ways I plan to save my butt financially by pushing Battle Gem Ponies under a much bigger spotlight in this week's development log!
Brainstorming New Patreon Plans, Rewards, n' Goals
I'm brainstorming some new plans for making the Yotes Games Patreon a much bigger deal. My general idea is that I need to put more effort into my YouTube channel due to the level of engagement that gets out of people.
But I'd like to hear some feedback from you! It'd be super great to hear someone else's take on where I should take this crazy train next. Or hear exactly why you personally wouldn't donate to my Patreon but would to another. What rewards would you like to see? Should the project be more polished? I wanna know how to get strangers completely HYPED about this game!
Trying to emulate the success of ALBDifferent, Exiled, & YandereDev here, and a solid YouTube effort is the key ingredient I'm neglecting. Even just read an article today about how Fighting is Magic might not've exploded if that demonstration trailer didn't get shared left and right earning 900,000 views. Nerds like me read development blogs, but everybody watches videos. I outta make some videos.
Check out the huge list of ideas about how I'ma to do just that on the official development blog!
BGP DevLog #180 (Coding, Cures, and Confidence) Hope rises as pieces of the overworld are coming together. Weighed down by post-delay sad vibes all week and only just now getting back into the swing of things as I write this at 3:30am on a Wednesday. This week was code fever and I wore a programmer cap tight while sprucing up BGP's bones. Lots of things are working better than ever, and lots more are sure to come. The real issue right now is seeing how much can get up and running before BronyCon. The panel is going to be a slideshow about game development in general, some Q&A between slides, how I came up with and created BGP, and what features I have left to create and how I plan to implement them. And all that will be sandwiched between a Trailer to show off the game and a gameplay demo of the battle system and overworld. Then I'd like to have some sort of teaser finale to send everyone off with and encourage them to download the demo to their phones on the way out so they can remember the game later. But how much I can show depends on how far I get in the next 6 days, so fingers crossed, I won't hit any more road blocks. Every precious minute counts right now, and I think I might just barely make it. So let's see what's been done in the past few days.Read More: yotesgames.com
BGP DevLog #179 (Summer Stalling)
Pretty slow work week if I'm being honest. Life got in the way and the game's delayed yet another week. You know, going in you always assume you can handle the workload but only expect it to be a certain amount of time. Then you get so far into it you can't justify changing course because the end just has to be near by now...
I really wonder exactly how long it'll take for this game to be completed and how long the people supporting me or waiting for me to finish will tolerate this crazy passion project of mine. You can imagine how many times I hear "get a real job" on a regular basis.
Feeling all kinds of negative things right now, but I need to carry on anyway. This game needs to be made, and I need to do it. If I can just make this super polished Alpha go even just a little viral, I'll finally know if it's all worth it. 25 thousand players is all I'm asking the cosmos for.
More of this week in gamedev here.
BGP DevLog #178 (Refocus on the Hook)
Starting to build out all the actual tile maps to be used in the beginning segment of the game, up to the first badge and a little beyond, just to get players hooked and hungry for more.
Now, while the completed Alpha won't be a thing until the entire game is playable start to finish, I do believe I can get the first part of the game out within the month of July. While everyone is enjoying the new story, learning the mechanics, interacting with the world, and getting that first badge, I'll be working on getting the demo in as many Let's Player's hands as possible by day and implementing the rest of the design notes by night.
Time to put everything I've got into a super-polished build that'll make people go nuts when they try it. Time to make sure every 30 seconds of the game gives players a Ben & Jerry's sized chunk of fun to chew on. Time to get Battle Gem Ponies on the map!
Read More: yotesgames.com
BGP 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 on the official blog?
Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #176 (Summer Makeover) Notice a bit of a facelift? I worked on some of the Ultra Pony designs this week, just filling in those gaps in design I was drawing a blank on for the longest while. Now I can say I'm satisfied with how everypony looks and can clearly see them animated in my head. Actually animating the sprites is a step to come much later in development, but I can roll with these for now. Come see the steps toward a new playable build featuring a new level editor and a few more motivating surprises in this week's gamedev update!
BGP DevLog #175 (E3 2018)
After such an amazing E3, I feel reinvigorated. Gotta admit to feeling pretty jaded/apathetic about AAA gaming lately, but leave it to the Sony & Nintendo press conferences to remind me of why I love gaming in the first place. The hype I felt over the past couple days is the same feeling I want people to have for the things I'm working on someday. Unprecedented levels of polish, earnest interviews and announcements by hardworking developers, shocking surprises, gameplay to analyze, and jaw-dropping tournament moments...
And at the heart of it all? Hours of fun promised by teams I know can deliver. I'm hype ya'll. Now I want to work hard to make sure starting next E3, I'll be there to show off something in person every year.
See more thoughts on this at yotesgames.com
BGP DevLog #174 (Where's The Game?)
Getting REAL tired of this game not being close to finished. I admit to dying inside just a bit each passing week as I fall behind on the schedule I laid out just because the very first bullet point is the hardest pill to force down.
Maybe I'm crazy and doing this wrong. Time to take a different route to the end. As for what exactly what that route is? You'll need to read the ending thoughts to this week's devlog to find out.
I am endlessly amused by the cubes. And also by how eerily similar the map is to my fan game's map. I know I'm on a weird little tangent here, but I find it super interesting how I subconsciously formed a world map super similar to the one they're using in Pokemon Quest. To the point where I'm wondering if I've been following some archetype this whole time since I envisioned it way back in high school.Starting off in the west in a light green meadow near a body of water where a boat could take you who knows where. Lead north into a forest connected to a rocky ridge featuring a river/waterfall and bright orange desert even further up north. A big shrine in the upper middle of the map and a mysterious purple island housing a legendary monster in the lower center of the map that you need to cross the ocean to reach.Then there's the dried out yellowish fields in the center of the map, connecting to a purple cave. A return to the meadow environment in the east but this time in an off green color with a few scattered islands below. A northern path from the 2nd meadow leads to grayish green spooky zone with a tall dark tower, leading you up a steep climb to the icy cold winter wonderland at the highest northern peak. The similarities are uncanny! There's gotta be something to this and it's not cuz one copied the other. (I wonder if it's an art principle or a reflection of real geography?)
BGP DevLog #173 (Let's Go Ponatina!)
Not much was done in terms of progress this week since I took about 5 days off to basically see all my friends one last time at the local convention MegaCon before swearing to lock myself away until BGP's completion.
In place of that there is tons of Pokemon news. A fan game was released and a bunch of new spinoffs were announced so there's lots of interesting things to reflect on and talk about on this week's blog.
Read up on it here!
BGP DevLog #172 (Map Mastery)
The Map System I've been subconsciously dreading has finally been implemented and the rest of the menus are coming together bit-by-bit as I program all the pieces separately and connect them together (instead of cramming everything I could into one giant, unreadable script like before). The results?
See the latest gamedev update to find out.
Constructive criticism sprinkled with compliments? Everyone defends their work like their baby so it can be a touchy subject sometimes. Those super serious about improvement are looking to be torn apart though as to never make the same mistakes going forward. You know, kinda sucks how one negative comment always overshadows a hundred good ones. But that's just human nature.