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Author Topic: Battle Gem Ponies - (Game Development Updates!)  (Read 504 times)

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November 29, 2016, 10:30:57 PM
Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #100



Battle Gem Ponies!
Two years and over a hundred weeks of development... All to will this Pokémon-inspired brony fan game into existence. A clear vision is finally in place and all that's left to do is chip away at building this thing piece-by-piece.

I have never worked on a game for this long before (Unicorn Training only made it to 64 Status Reports) and I'm really feeling the effects of being overambitious. The hardest hump has yet to be crossed as the game's pre-alpha is still under construction. I'm coming out of Thanksgiving weekend on a tight schedule to make the January Steam Greenlight deadline!

Read the rest here: http://www.yotesgames.com/2016/11/battle-gem-ponies-devlog-100.html

December 03, 2016, 02:51:29 PM
Reply #1

With the game's delayed development in mind (from one hell of a Summer to a very distracting Fall) I'm currently thinking of ways to still keep my "Coming to Greenlight in January" promise. The one I made for myself as well as anyone who'd listen. I wanted January because I heard that the early Mondays of that month were the perfect time to get press attention.

So the plan was to blitz a bunch of press sites and forums the Monday after Magfest and get as many people to check out the latest build of BGP as possible. By the looks of things though, that build may be Demo 8.0 (the Pinto Island demo) and not the beginning segment of the game with tons of polish like I had wanted.


With that, I may still be Greenlit with the help of the brony community, and could even catch the eye of gaming sites looking for Pokemon fan game related scoops just as Sun/Moon hype is on the decline and Pokemon GO winter updates are either released or proven to be rumors.


Should things go swimmingly, I'd still like to have that big story update come out piece-by-piece. I'd like to release 3 different segments (one month at a time) showing off how great the final game will be. From the beginning to the end of the first forest, then a batpony hunt in a cave further along in the story, then a level where you confront the game's villains in a way that leaves you wanting to see what the rest of the game could be like.


I'm hoping this course of action succeeds in drawing attention to the project. A launch that gets tens of thousands of people onboard in that first month is ideal. That's why I want the Greenlight campaign to rally up as many folks as possible. When BGP comes out, I want everyone to know it! By giving people a good demo and showing the game's improvement over time, I'm hoping people recognize this as a project from a developer who really cares.

I am promising to make a game that is worth the average Pokemon fan's time as well as anyone else patient enough to give this unknown game from an unknown developer a quick look.

December 11, 2016, 06:28:53 PM
Reply #2

     Remember a couple weeks ago when I wanted a cool reason for surfing with your pony to make sense? I think I came up with something pretty good here. You get on a little surfboard and your pony tugs you across the sea! This way your clothes don't get wet, your pony has an excuse for being in the water, your avatar only occupies 2 tiles of space, and you can move very quickly over water.

     You can either go at a nice, cruising pace, or dash like crazy to cover some serious distance. As simple as toggling the run button.

     It has a flaw in that it means you need an Aqua pony, or at least something that swims well, whenever you want to cross water. On one hand, this is people's natural inclination going by the Let's Plays of the BGP demo. On the other, I wonder if it'll annoy players like HMs did by having them need to go back to the nearest town to put an Aqua pony on their team in order to explore the Sapphire Sea or Spinel Ridge waterfalls.


     This way seems to be a bit neater than the miniboat idea (No idea how to make that look good. Both in overworld and as a battle background.) and brings some cool imagery to the game. I can already picture the pony surfing fan art in my head.

     Also, while I was at it, I added teleportation so you can get to Town Hall more quickly and customize your pony. These things together should make navigating Pinto much more fun. And you'll get to try them both in Demo 6!

December 13, 2016, 03:29:53 AM
Reply #3
​Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #102 (Pony Surfing in the USA)​


I can't get over how cool this is.

The pony surfing mechanic is so fun and feels so good that I feel like doing even more with it. All I had in mind before was quickly traveling across water, diving into a secret dungeon, and navigating whirlpool puzzles. Now I feel like adding some simple minigames and speed challenges to make the Sapphire Sea segment of the game even more fun.

It'd be so great to have it be the opposite of the Hoenn ocean segment and be one of this game's highlight moments instead of a boring grind like ocean exploration parts feel like in Wind Waker and Pokemon Emerald. Plus, this gives players a way to bond with their pony. Can't help but love your little buddy a bit after speeding around like this.

Get a few GameDev Updates below!
http://www.yotesgames.com/2016/12/battle-gem-ponies-devlog-102-pony.html

December 20, 2016, 12:57:33 AM
Reply #4

     Feels good having this functional. The moves are the juicy flavor centers in this metaphorical meal of a game. Scrolling through what your pony can learn and seeing what they can do delivers on that RPG feel really well. Now I just have to animate a bunch of them for the demo!

Read More: http://www.yotesgames.com/2016/12/battle-gem-ponies-devlog-103-your-moves.html

January 31, 2017, 12:23:53 AM
Reply #5

Lots of spritework was done this week and it's not even close to over yet. It may end up delaying the next build by a week, but it should be worth it with all the improvements being made.

Read More: http://www.yotesgames.com/2017/01/battle-gem-ponies-devlog-107-new.html

February 10, 2017, 11:08:08 AM
Reply #6

Instead of delaying the update I promised Steam Greenlight towards the end of February (with the risk of missing the month entirely), a midway update is coming.

One with the graphics changes I need to make this game distinct from Pokemon fan games and the ponies distinct from the MLP canon and fanon characters. Also, with much needed bug fixes and a few new fully animated moves.

This will allow me to keep my advertised monthly playable demo schedule and not stress so much about getting a build out that I skip a thorough playtesting session before release. Demo 7 will be a code complete version of the game released in March. All battle mechanics and overworld functions will be in working order, even if the graphics will be placeholders. The playable release will simply be one last Pinto Island demo but with complex battle moves, complete animations, proper leveling mechanics, and in-game cutscenes.

The April demo, will then be the first story release. A playable version of what I have planned for the beginning segment of the game, featuring the first 3 towns and the routes between them. The builds that follow will be separate pieces of the final game's adventure mode that show demonstrate my vision for the game while getting people hyped to see more.

Game development is a messy process that always, always, ALWAYS, takes more work than you were expecting, even for the simplest of things. Here's to hoping that by giving myself even more breathing room, I can get something solid out there people can enjoy.​

February 17, 2017, 08:33:36 PM
Reply #7

Despite the cold I've had all week, I managed to make progress on the February BGP update! Finally finished importing all the new sprites and tiles for the overworld! All that's left now is some bug fixes and a way to toggle the touch interface.

I'm also still not sure about which color scheme to settle on for Poni-Bot and I still want to try to animate all the current Move Tutor attacks. For now though, things are coming together nicely and definitely call all the graphical changes improvements.

We're on track for releasing the February Greenlight update by Friday, so hang tight! I wanna thoroughly playtest this time and make sure all the bugs really are fixed.​

April 11, 2017, 01:26:54 AM
Reply #8

     The latest version of Battle Gem Ponies has arrived! This update features randomized wild encounters, 6 new ponies, and the ability to ride on some of them. Other features have been tinkered with but are incomplete for the most part. Update 7.0 will have to be the feature-complete tech-demo of the game, bug-checked and released by the end of April.

Get it here: http://www.yotesgames.com/2017/04/battle-gem-ponies-demo-update-ver-68.html

(And check back for more monthly updates!)
« Last Edit: April 11, 2017, 01:27:48 AM by Yotes »