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Author Topic: Battle Gem Ponies - (Game Development Updates!)  (Read 3613 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 »

November 14, 2017, 12:53:44 PM
Reply #9

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.

Get the rest of this week in gamedev on the main blog!
Blog Link: http://www.yotesgames.com/2017/11/battle-gem-ponies-devlog-146.html

November 14, 2017, 12:55:23 PM
Reply #10


Some of the bigger 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 here: http://www.yotesgames.com/2017/11/battle-gem-ponies-devlog-146.html

December 05, 2017, 10:11:57 PM
Reply #11

     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

December 05, 2017, 10:54:54 PM
Reply #12

(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: http://www.yotesgames.com/2017/12/battle-gem-ponies-devlog-149-stuck-on.html

December 21, 2017, 01:27:09 AM
Reply #13


     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!
http://www.yotesgames.com/2017/12/battle-gem-ponies-devlog-150-roster.html

December 21, 2017, 01:29:00 AM
Reply #14

It's official! Yotes Games now has a Patreon dedicated to the improvement and outreach of Battle Gem Ponies. If you're interested in helping the game get into more hands and support its development, consider pledging whatever you easily can.

Become a Patron to Yotes Games!
https://www.patreon.com/YotesGames

December 26, 2017, 10:30:19 AM
Reply #15

     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.

http://www.yotesgames.com/2017/12/battle-gem-ponies-devlog-151-gotta.html

December 26, 2017, 03:46:50 PM
Reply #16
This is looking really good, dude. I hope your project sees nothing but success.
PLEASE check out my fanfic Elements Change the Dark Hearts and give me feedback. I need any and ALL criticisms!

January 02, 2018, 05:45:22 PM
Reply #17

     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

January 09, 2018, 06:07:40 PM
Reply #18

     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: http://www.yotesgames.com/2018/01/battle-gem-ponies-devlog-153-new-year.html

January 16, 2018, 02:27:26 PM
Reply #19

     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: http://www.yotesgames.com/2018/01/battle-gem-ponies-devlog-154-story.html

Today at 03:23:40 AM
Reply #20

   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! 🎮💎🐴
http://www.yotesgames.com/2018/01/battle-gem-ponies-devlog-155.html