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Battle Gem Ponies! The fully-animated action-packed RPG adventure! An evolved version of the Ponymon ROM-Hack, and now its own indie project.

Rotation battles, specialized move slots, new types, gym leaders specializing in strategies instead of types, EVs & IVs that can be altered with a slider instead of breeding, a balanced roster without intentional tiers, and a version of Eevee that can switch between any of the types at will. All ideas that went into this project's conception.

Sound good? Then come along for the ride!
 
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Developed by Tony Yotes in Unity3D with 2d Toolkit
 

 
INTRODUCTION:
 
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Welcome to the official Battle Gem Ponies Pre-Alpha thread!
 
BGP has been an idea swimming in my head for years before finally starting development in December of 2014. It was inspired by a Fire Red version ROM Hack called Ponymon where the Pokemon were replaced with My Little Pony characters. The hack went unfinished for years and the story didn’t seem to do much more than name swap and make friendship references. I wondered how cool it would be to see that MLPxPokemon idea taken all the way and fleshed out into a completely new adventure.
 
Fan games like Pokemon Uranium and Fighting is Magic inspired me to take up programming in high school so I could make fan games of my own. Specifically, I always wanted to make my own Pokemon game that did away with all the parts that annoyed me in the main series. Things like grinding, HMs, boring/easy fights, and evolution lines with stats too low for competitive viability would be no more! The first attempt at making such a game didn’t go too well, being just a kid with one java class and a C++ tutorial under his belt. So I spent the next 7 years practicing game development (even getting a degree in Gaming & Simulation) to build the skill necessary to craft a full-blown RPG like this.
 
Over the years the game has gone from overambitious Pokemon fan game to legally safe overambitious Pokemon clone with its own characters, world, logos, assets, and so on. Measures have been taken to make sure this is a Cease & Desist-proof original property inspired by Pokemon that's made from scratch.
 
Lots of blood, sweat, and tears are going into making this game a success. I hope Battle Gem Ponies is turns out as good as the game I saw in my head all those years ago. I can’t be the only one who would like to play a game like this, right?
 
Thanks for checking out the project and enjoy the demo!
 
-- Tony Yotes --
 
 
 

 
CONCEPT:
 

Command super-powered, shape-shifting ponies in strategic turn-based RPG combat. The battle system is a variation of Pokemon's Rotation Battle in that matches are 3 vs 3 and either player can swap out their current fighter at the beginning of the turn (but at the cost of attacking last). Your pony will shapeshift between these 3 forms until each one's individual HP reaches zero.
 
To catch wild ponies you have to weaken them and use capture gems that "download" the opposing pony's data and allows your pony to transform into it. In order to complete the capture process though, the wild pony needs to be defeated.

 
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There are 18 elemental classes each with their own strengths and weaknesses. In place of the "Normal type" there is a neutral class with no special advantage or disadvantage, thus being able to cause a regular amount of damage on anypony. The classes are Fire, Aqua, Surge, Plant, Ice, Ki, Toxic, Earth, Air, Esper, Bug, Ghost, Draco, Steel, Light, Dark, Chaos, and Magic.
 

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A major aspect of battle is the Ultra transformations. Like with mega evolution, finding special objects in the overworld will allow you to transform any one of your party members into a powered up version of themselves (sometimes with alternate elemental types too).

 
 

 
FEATURES:
 

Fully Animated Battle RPG!
     Every single pony and attack is uniquely animated to bring these pixel art battles to life!
 
 
Explore a Vast World!
     An enormous, vibrant region awaits! Travel through deserts, mountains, forests, graveyards, and underwater temples on your quest through the Pinto region.
 
Power Up Your Pony!
     Form a powerful bond with your shapeshifting pony companion and watch it grow stronger, learn awesome new moves, and take on the toughest of enemies.
 
Travel with Your Pony!
     Surf across oceans and lakes with any swift-swimming ponies. Teleport to the nearest Health Center whenever you like with a simple phone call. Even have whatever pony is with you smash any boulders in your path, just because they all can!
 
Customize Your Team!
     Choose who you take into battle from a selection of 60 Ponies and their Ultra Forms. You can alter their moves, stats, and equipment to become an unbeatable trainer!
 
Hundreds of Different Moves!
     Using attacks grouped into Light, Heavy, Status, and Tutor slots that make you think more carefully about which moves to take into battle.
 
Discover the Secrets of the Legendary Alicorns!
     Powerful, winged unicorns that embody the Sun and Moon are said to be the strongest ponies to ever live. People have wanted to harness their power for personal gain since ancient times. With recent advancements in technology, however, it might be easier than ever for their power to fall into the wrong hands...
 
Collect Badges and Save The World!
     You’ll have your skills tested by expert Mavens and fight for your life against the evil Paragon Cartel. Simple story objectives that fans of Monster RPGs will be familiar with, but perhaps with a few surprises along the way...

 
 
 

THE PINTO REGION:
 
Just one corner of a brand new world…
 
H - Rest House
G - City Gate
C - Celestial Shrine
P - Paragon Cartel Secret Base
(start in Honey Dew and venture around)
 
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A colorful and varied region with a gemstone motif and mysteries scattered across the map. It's meant to be an adventure lasting at least 6 hours on average. Preferably longer, and extended indefinitely with post-game content. The environments should be visually varied and filled with enough story content to keep the player interested in progressing. Every single section has at least a handful of notable experiences within.
 
The scope has been thought out and written in a 200+ page long game design document along with every other aspect of the game.
 
 

 
SCREENSHOTS:
 
 
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SOCIAL MEDIA:
 
Follow the game on your favorite social media sites to get the latest news and have your burning questions answered! Interact with Yotes Games on any of the sites below.
 
Find Yotes On:
Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Google+ | Patreon |
| IndieDB Gamasutra | DeviantArt | Reddit MyIGN |
 
Alternatively, you can just email yotesmail@gmail.com

 

 


 
DOWNLOAD LINKS:
 
The latest current build is version 7.0, now available on Itch.io!
Available for Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms.
 
Demo V7 contains 3 areas, 12 ponies, and a Random Battle Now mode.
(Combat calculations may exhibit bugs.)
 

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Pre-Alpha V7.0  (11/17/17)

Download: https://yotesgames.itch.io/battle-gem-ponies

 
 

 
CREDITS:
 
Engine, Development Tools, & Plugins provided by Unity3D and its Asset Store
 
Orchestral Composition & Soundtrack
Eric Eom (E^2)
 
Chiptune Composition, Soundtrack, & Sound Effects
Justin Heng (blucario)
 
Game Design, Production, Marketing, Pixel Art, Animation, Writing, Programming
Tony Yotes (Yotes Games)
 
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     Time for round two! Battle Gem Ponies is back and better than ever thanks to feedback from the Steam Greenlight community! The turn-based pony RPG now features much more original looking characters, various new environment sprites, and some renamed moves and characters. 
 
     If you want to check out the newest build for yourself, just click the link below. If you'd like to see this game on Steam someday, be sure to give a thumbs up on the Greenlight page!

Vote for Battle Gem Ponies on Steam Greenlight!

(And check back for more monthly updates!)

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Ponatina's Elemental Forms
 

  Here it is! This game's Eevee equivalent and starter pony Ponatina and all 18 of her various specialized forms. Which is your favorite? Which looks the worst? I'd love to read your thoughts on them in the comments. Game development has been slow, but it's still coming, no matter what. New excitement is bubbling as the game approaches it's alpha state where everything in the game exists as a placeholder and all that will remain on the task list is polish.

 
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Some of the bigger WIP battle sprites.
(the Ultra forms are a lot less pony-like)


     The Ponatina post last week made a lot of impressions and it's refreshing to see so many pony fans excited for this game. It's lit a fire under the Yotes Games balloon and now we're soaring straight to our destination!

     Every pony has a second draft design and is now in the final nebulous zone of "what color combination looks best" or "maybe this should be the Ultra form and the base form should be toned down a little". It annoys me as a developer because it's taking so long, but this is arguably the most important part.

     These ponies are what players will attach themselves to. If they look awesome enough, and have enough personality, it'll spawn fan art, discussion, attention, and thus sales. All very important if I want Yotes Games to be a viable career choice.

Get the rest of this week in gamedev on the Yotes Blog.

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14203248_565512606965876_4001024610398371319_n.jpg
 

     Been taking on the task of translating rough map sketches into detailed exact maps on graph paper.  It's a matter of putting every detail from the design document down and marking out exactly how many steps it takes to get anywhere, roughly how many screens a zone will be, where items will be hidden, which buildings and NPCs I'll have to draw, and all the minor visual details.

 

     All this fuss so I only have to lay down tiles in the editor like I'm following a blueprint. And these definitely help make the game feel more real. Actually seeing the game world has me super pumped to make it happen in full colorful pixelated glory!

 

     It's a tedious process though and will probably take another day or two, especially when I double check to make sure the cutscenes can play out how I want them to. Also, still working on the last few Ultra form sprites to show off next week.

Read More: Battle Gem Ponies Blog

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Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #149 (Stuck on Alicorns)

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(Art by Jowybean)
An example of epic looking MLP alicorns in action.
 
     Progress has been stalled this week as the final few pony designs are being turned into pixel art. The sprites just didn't seem to fit the idea of "The Epic Legendary Alicorns" in a way that made me picture players saying "I want that one!" so I keep drafting new ways to make these ponies look a little cooler than the other ones.


     For the love of me I just can't figure it out. Spent way too much time staring at the sprites and starting over.  Not to mention their alternate forms related to their special capture mechanics. Those have to look feeble in comparison, yet still cool and capable of combat.

     This is tricky, and it may take another couple days to get everything all cleaned up, but I want the placeholders and base sprites done in time to start programming after devlog #150. But for the time being, get DevLog #149 below...

Read the rest here: yotesgames.com

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Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #150 (Roster Complete)
 
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     Finally finished everypony and their ultra forms! They're in need of cleanup, but sometimes you just gotta move onto the next step or the bigger picture will never be framed. Can't believe I've been on this for over 150 weeks now... Time to kick things into even higher gear to get this game out on time for a Spring 2018 release!

     This week is filled with tons of exciting news, updates on Yotes Games as a business, retrospection on previous games, plans for the future, and tons of inspiration for getting through the rest of the development of Battle Gem Ponies.

Get a MAJOR gamedev update to make up for the weeks of silence on this Holiday 2017 Devlog!

 

Also, check out the game's new Patreon page if you'd like to support its development: patreon.com/YotesGames

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BGP DevLog #151 (Gotta Catch 'em All!)
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     And by "catch 'em all", I mean all the players who would definitely love this game! I really need to figure out a way to get more eyeballs onto this project. The only way I can think of is to finish the pre-alpha, iron out the kinks, hand that to Let's Players who've played BGP before, then construct the alpha build, polish the beginning areas, and hand that to as many Let's Players as possible.

Check this week's devlog for more details on how that effort is coming along. (BGP DevLog #151)

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DevLog #152 (BGP Awareness Month)

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     Most of this week was spent arranging placeholders and detailing/editing maps on graph paper. I wanted all the planning and placeholder stuff done by New Year's Day, and it got done. I also wanted to dip my foot into every webpage that could be used to promote BGP in the coming new year, so that got done too. I've started being more active on Reddit and various forums, since I feel that'll play a great part in organically getting the word out about BGP in 2018.

     Next step is to get to work programming the last few features and have this game ready for an Alpha state by February! The crunch is on! Time is not on my side, and there's a pony RPG waiting to be born! Check it out here: http://www.yotesgames.com/2018/01/battle-gem-ponies-devlog-152-bgp.html 

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DevLog #153 (New Year, New Beginnings)

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     Wow, 2018 is off to a great start already. Doing much better this January than the last with that whole Steam Greenlight fumble. Patreon keeps development afloat, I feel a million times wiser, the soundtrack is nearly complete, and the full game scope has never been clearer in my mind.

     The early part of this new year is just a matter of cranking it out already! Time to wrap up development on this 3-4 year project and launch it with a BANG!

Get this week in gamedev on the Yotes Games Blog.

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DevLog #154 (Story Beats & Maps Aplenty)

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     A whole week of wicked coughing and drawing maps on graph paper. It's been a drag-myself-through-the-mud kinda week but I finally got there. The maps are done, detailed, and ready to be tiled in-game soon as I line up all the placeholders.

     Also handled some story details and progression design. The game's design document has been updated with new overworld interactions, cutscenes, object placement, and more to make for a more fun/smooth/professional experience. I want people playing this game to be blown away by it's quality and looking at the overall vision now, I think this'll be a pretty great attempt.

Read More: yotesgames.com

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Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #155 (Placeholders in Their Place)

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   The pieces are all lined up. Just a week or two of coding and another week of polish, and I'll be set to start shaping the world of Battle Gem Ponies! A playable version of the story mode at long last! 

I'm super eager to share all the recent progress (and there was a lot) on this week's devlog, so check it out!
yotesgames.com/battle-gem-ponies-devlog-155.html

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Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #157 (Study the Competition)

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     Another week flew by and somehow I spent most of it in planning/prepping mode instead of programming crunch. One link led to another and I ended up researching marketing techniques, storytelling tips, Lets Plays of competitor's games, game design breakdowns, and tons of RPG reviews. All while comparing what I saw with the notes, documents, and files I have open for Battle Gem Ponies. 

     Every part of me so badly wants this game to be perfect. Seems like I've become addicted to double checking my work before it's even finished. Time to fix that. This next week has to be ALL gamedev. One by one I have to knock out bugs and add in features.

     But thanks to this past week of knowledge binging, I can go in knowing exactly how high the bar is. Take a look at this week's blog to see how I intend to counter BGP's potential shortcomings and how I think it'll manage to stand next to some pretty established RPGs.

Full Blog: yotesgames.com

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Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #158 (Major Restructuring)

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New Texture Packer tool is making my sprite file sizes 75% smaller!
 
     Time to clean things up. Look, I made a big mess of files and code while figuring out how to put this game together. But now with years of experience and new tools at my disposal, I know I can do better. So I'm basically recreating Battle Gem Ponies using everything I have, but this time it'll be much more organized, run smoother on all devices, and have some neat features I couldn't pull off before.
 
     This change up won't affect the release date that much since I planned to do all this for the alpha build anyway (but to a lesser extent before Patreon boosted the budget). So basically, just expect a prettier Battle Gem Ponies to come out this Summer.
 
Get an idea of what I mean in the devblog here!

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Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #159 (Prep-Work)

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     Still setting up the new BGP workflow. Gotta convert the spritesheets to super-efficient packed-textures, recreate all the prefabs using the new Unity systems, and start painting all the tilemaps that will make up the region of Pinto... 

     Exciting things are coming, and if you're curious about the steps towards this glory, then check out this week's devlog!

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DevLog #160 (Big Changes Worth the Wait)

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     Improvements to Battle Gem Ponies workflow are showing some promising results and I'm looking forward to showing off a very impressive demo in March. For now I'm slowly getting used to the new tools I'm using and figuring out the most efficient ways to bring all these ponies (and everything they can do) to life.

     Each passing day I want to see the alpha build exist more and MORE but new things just keep slowing progress down. Game development really does take forever and the small things are always big things in disguise.

Take a look at the full devlog and see for yourself! www.yotesgames.com/BattleGemPonies

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DevLog #161 (Wednesday Milestones)

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     Release feels so close. It's like the pieces are all in my lap and I just have to follow the instructions to put them together. The final version of Battle Gem Ponies is so clear in my head now that I'm fanboying over it sometimes.

     In the last 7 days I charted out exactly how all 360 battle moves will look, I recreated every menu, rebalanced the battle system, came up with catchier names for things, sorted out details for a DLC & multiplatform launch plan, and closely studied just about everything that makes the games that inspired this one so great.

     To keep track of things I made a week-by-week breakdown of the rest of BGP's development. Counting down what's left to do to get the game to a launchable state. If you wanna find out what the Yotes Games Wednesday Milestones are, look at the list on the new devblog!

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DevLog #165 (Game Engine Bone Structure)

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     Guess I'm not doing too good on meeting those Wednesday Milestones, huh? I'm 3 weeks in and still on step one.

     A lot of time has been spent remaking the components needed to make the game run smoother and look nicer. Way more time than I originally intended, but I feel too deep into the mess to turn back now. The results are showing, but it seriously delayed the game's progress and the makeover still isn't complete. 

    I'm hoping that with these menus out of the way and all the fancy scripting stuff simplified into usable tools, the post-alpha development will come easy. Much like a house, the game's gotta have good bones. A foundation to build an entire series of games on top of, actually. Each one more polished than the last.

Read more on the blog.

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DevLog #166 (Demo Ready?)

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Just powering through and coding my heart out. Nothing to show yet, but things are progressing behind the scenes.


     Working towards that Minimum Viable Product with a few days to go til showtime! Pretty much every feature from the last demo needs to be remade and bug free using the new development tools I have. The next demo has to be ready by Saturday morning, or I'm going to have to introduce countless strangers and fellow devs to my buggy pre-alpha from December! 

     Can't let that happen. It's crunch time. Check out the devlog.

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DevLog #167 (Orlando Overdrive 2018)

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     Showcasing the game to new folks, meeting other developers, learning from their experiences, making friends, and dancing my legs off. That's the TL;DR of my Orlando Overdrive experience this past weekend. 

     Battle Gem Ponies had a booth right in the middle of the indie game hallway leading to the bar & dance floor of The Geek Easy. Turns out the whole brony thing wasn't a passing fad, and lots of people still smile when they see marshmallow horses with super powers. 

     Check out this week's devlog to see how the indie showcase went.  - www.yotesgames.com

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BGP DevLog #170 (Re-Coding)

 

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     Once again, starting from scratch. But this time it's in regard to how I code things. Going forward I'll be using new organization tricks to make sure I understand how the entire game works inside and out. No more endless bug hunts because I'll know exactly where they are and what that line of code interacts with, all to better help me deduce the cause of any problems. 

     Also took a stab at rearranging the development schedule to aim for a July 25th release. The path is laid out, but the main factor determining if I can make it is getting to that Alpha build I've been yapping about for years now.

     All this reorganization stuff should help with that, because things will be more efficient than ever. No more hardcoding, no more just copy/pasting from solution forums, and no more being stingy with line spacing, name lengths, or comments.

Read More: Yotes Games Blog

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I am endlessly amused by the cubes. And also by how eerily similar the map is to my fan game's map. 
 

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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.
 

Screen%2BShot%2B2018-05-30%2Bat%2B2.53.5
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?)

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Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #176 (Summer Makeover)

 

Ultra%2BImprovements.png
 

     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!

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BGP DevLog #177 (Sculpting a World)

 

Screen%2BShot%2B2018-06-27%2Bat%2B1.19.19%2BAM.png
 

     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?

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