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About this blog

Weekly updates on the development of this crazy pony RPG that I'm spending WAY too much free time on.

So what's Battle Gem Ponies about?

Command super-powered, shape-shifting ponies in this turn-based RPG Adventure! Embark on a journey to become the best pony trainer in the world and protect the magical creatures from those who want to use their power for evil. Master the elements and special move combos to gain the advantage in Rock/Paper/Scissors style shapeshifting combat!

Reblogged from: http://www.yotesgames.com/

Entries in this blog

BGP (September DevLog): Forming a TEAM!

This past month has been the most productive by a mile.        A nice new tradition I'm starting up is putting up 2 Patreon updates a month now. One at the beginning of the month and one at the end. These posts are getting super meaty and full of news now, so the separation gives some breathing room to the avalanche of content to talk about. This month's posts are about finally finding a programmer to help me exponentially speed up development. We got a lot done in just the past 30 days and now the prototype phase is at least 50% complete.    See the full Patreon Exclusive posts here!        Otherwise come back in a month for some big news. Because now that we have momentum going, a new demo you can play will be here before you know it.   Or for now, come checkout a quick summary of October's progress on the Yotes Blog.

Yotes Games

Yotes Games

BGP (August DevLog): Variables n' Messes!

Long story short, the 600+ variables required to make Battle Gem Ponies work have been put into a new usable form that'll make what's coming next possible. With all the ingredients finally here it's time to whip up a fresh and playable version of the game!   See the full Patreon Exclusive post here!
Otherwise come get a glimpse of the game's upcoming development tasks on the Yotes Blog.

Yotes Games

Yotes Games

Battle Gem Ponies (July DevLog): Aha! Now I see...

Still chipping away at this project one day at a time. Real life hurdles still slowing me down and demotivating me, but even just looking at the roster of pony sprites on my phone throughout the day inspires me to keep pushing forward to make this thing real. Another devlog went up and I want the world to know about it. See the full Patreon Exclusive post here! Otherwise come get a brief summary of the game's progress on the Yotes Games Blog.

Yotes Games

Yotes Games

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog (April: Align the Stars!)

The first Patreon exclusive Yotes Games post just went up for those curious about the game's progress this past month. It's got screenshot breakdowns, what roadblocks have been stumping me, and a look at what's to come over the next 30 days.      Chipping away at this project one day at a time. Looking forward to generating some YouTube hype as soon as the prototype build is done. Check out the full post here!

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog (March: Warmed Up & Eager)

The Unity project has been cracked open and filled with placeholders and tools for actually developing a playable build now. One screen at a time, one placeholder at a time, one feature at a time.

     There's a long road ahead and I can already see myself going mad trying to animate all these ponies and debug every feature, but that's what makes this work. It's the tedious price paid to get to where I wanna be. And where I wanna be is online sharing links to my finished game for folks to check out.       A lot of gamedev went on this past month. Hope to be dishing out some videos on the matter soon enough. See what's cooking so far on this super-wordy special edition devlog!

(And be on the lookout for video versions of these coming to the Yotes Games YouTube Channel by month's end.)

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog (February: Charted Out)

Off to a slow start but settled into a decent development routine at last. Plus, I've got heckling coworkers now to poke & prod me on a daily basis about getting this game done. Also, a new Pokemon game was announced, and it looks like its following the same formula I'm getting tired of, leading me to feel more fired up than ever to deliver my take on the elemental turn-based RPG system.

     If you want to know exactly what's on my dev plate going forward, then you'll like the production document cut & paste in this February blog.   See what's been up this past month on the DevLog!

BGP @MAGFest 2019! (Our 1st 4-Day Con Booth)

This past Magfest certainly was an adventure! Supplies were gathered, 2 friends volunteered to help, and we ran the biggest Battle Gem Ponies booth yet. And for 4 days straight! I thought some folks out there would like to see what that adventure was like so catch a write-up on this indie dev experience on the Yotes Blog...  -->

Yotes Games

Yotes Games

BGP DevLog (January: Foundation Framework)

Itching to kickoff the new year with great progress on Battle Gem Ponies! Gotta admit, I'm sorta stumbling out the gate in this race here, but I'm getting a rhythm down now.   See what I'm talking about on the main blog.

Yotes Games

Yotes Games

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #200 (Fresh Start)

At the end of 2018 I took some time to get my personal life sorted out so I can get back to focusing on making Battle Gem Ponies a reality. New year, new job, new home, fresh start! 

But maybe a little too fresh...

     You see, it seems like my Battle Gem Ponies project file in the Unity Engine got corrupted from an interrupted cloud backup process and by the looks of things I'm going to have to literally start from scratch on this project. The only things that survived were all the sprites and some old backup files from the 2017 pre-alpha project.

    It's been driving me crazy all month and trying to save it just wasted a month of energy. I'm ready to start completely over. Probably for the best, so I can look at the guts of the project one last time and use everything I learned to make this game as efficiently as possible.

    I'm here to bring you one last BGP devlog in the format I've done since 2013. From here on posts will be big development summaries once a month and any extras will go up when there's something important to talk about (usually on Wednesdays).

    So come get the latest BGP development news! It's been a while. (www.yotesgames.com)

Yotes Games

Yotes Games

 

BGP DevLog #198 (Thoughts in Order)

Nothing impressive to see here, kinda just another week of getting my ideas straight. Converting messy notes into legible text, then giving that text some context to make sense with the rest of the vision.

     I'm working on the design doc some more, basically. Combing through each and every detail of the game again to make sure nothing is boring, too derivative, tedious, or pointless. I want to charm the pants off of folks the whole way through. And I absolutely want to make sure to vaporize any accusations of this being an uninspired Pokemon clone.

More on yotesgames.com

Yotes Games

Yotes Games

 

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #196 (Showcase Dreams)

Can you picture it...? Yotes Games, out there among the other young hopefuls, trying to convince anybody walking by to give this little pony RPG a shot. By all means, it outta do as great as it did at Orlando Overdrive but with a much bigger crowd over the span of 3 days instead of 1.

    Serious planning has begun, so far it's only been preemptive measures and bookmarking things to come back to later. Now I'm getting down the fine details of everything I need to know, do, study, and purchase in order to make the most out of this Magfest trip.

More on yotesgames.com

Yotes Games

Yotes Games

 

BGP DevLog #195 (Inspiration Manifestation)

My entire past week revolved around a game that wasn't mine for once. I took the time to play the newly released followup to my favorite indie game of all-time (Undertale, in case you didn't know) and it was time well spent.

     I came out the other side of those credits re-energized, inspired to work harder, and pumped up on well-designed RPGs and quirky/interesting fantasy worlds. Overall, a nice reminder of why I love gaming so much.

See what notable new design elements are coming (without getting too specific) along with some Earth-Shaking indie dev news on the Yotes Blog.

Yotes Games

Yotes Games

 

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #194 (Speech Therapy)

Happy Halloween, Folks!        Only thing scarier than the monsters out tonight is the possibility of Battle Gem Ponies getting delayed again. Amirite? Harharrr!   But really.        You know how everybody hates the sound of their own voice in recordings? I've been tackling that uncomfortableness all week. The scripts may be written, but I swear saying all this stuff out loud is more difficult than I anticipated. So used to monologues with the voice in my head for decades, my poor mouth muscles can't keep up. 

     Tons of shoots and reshoots, capturing this narration while I adjust to pronouncing things clearly, using an audible voice, and not making any weird mouth noises. Ooohhh, it's a process alright. But at least they're coming along. Might be a week delay between each one until I get into the swing of things, but my YouTube channel is gonna be a lively place pretty soon. Keep an eye out.

It's been a while, so here's some gamedev goodness: yotesgames.com/blog!

Yotes Games

Yotes Games

 

DevLog #192 (Missed the Train, So Up the Standard)

Tiny bits of progress get done week-by-week and right now I'm one step closer to getting those YouTube videos ready to fill in the gaps. With scripts written, it's a matter of recording all of them and splicing a few videos together.nI can hope it takes a weekend, but I'll just take this one day at a time. You know how I am with deadlines.

Get this week's GameDev news and introspection on yotesgames.com

Yotes Games

Yotes Games

 

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #191 (Not a Single Thing Checked Off the List)

I am shocked at how quickly this Wednesday snuck up on me. Guess that's a good thing. Another week closer to my short term goals, but on the other hand there's still next to no progress being made on BGP. So caught up in the daily routine and so mentally drained after hours of office work, it's incredibly easy to understand how people fall into "the grind" trap you know? 

    Just wanna drag yourself home, flop down somewhere (preferably with pizza at hand) and just watch stuff, endlessly scroll social media, wish you were happier and doing awesome things, and fall asleep. But I gotta stay on track. Even if it's just 2-3 hours at a time. Even if these little tasks like"Just write 8 YouTube scripts already!" end up taking forever, just like every other small task self-assigned.

 Pretty sure I'm waist deep in burnout, but not in any particular situation to be able to aliviate that stress, so... Onward! Here's today's blog: https://www.yotesgames.com/2018/10/battle-gem-ponies-devlog-191-not-single.html

Yotes Games

Yotes Games

 

BGP DevLog #190 (Lackluster Progress)

Here's my attempt to associate with the moth meme. Just wanna make a public PSA, the Battle Gem Ponies project is NOT dead. It's just kinda on life support. It's hospitalized. Yeah. Progress is still going, but at a snail's pace. Which (believe it or not) is a lot worse than usual.

     Gotta throw that out there because dev time took a massive hit while I'm trying to get a work/life balance going while also living an hour away from the office and ALSO trying to get back in shape after months of little exercise and ALSO, also fussing over finances. It's a mess, and I'm trying to get back on track. Time really flies when there's two endless mountains of work to handle and spend a third of the day sleeping.

Come see what I managed to squeeze out of the last 7 days at yotesgames.com

Yotes Games

Yotes Games

 

BGP DevLog #184 (A Mad Scramble)

It's been one hectic week. Job searches, contract work researching, phone interviews, resume remakes, documents galore, and listing a whole lot of things that'll cost a whole lot of money over the next year. Current mission status? I'm looking for a publisher to finance the upcoming breakout hit of Yotes Games, LLC. That's right, Yotes Games just became a real-deal company! 

     It's as official as it gets. And it'll make contracts and legal protection a lot less risky for me and a lot more straightforward for anyone I strike a deal with. I made a list of compatible publisher options and I'm pitching the game to them one-by-one. Someone says no, too bad, next in line. I figure out of the 20 of em I narrowed the list down to, one will agree I'm a perfect fit and give Battle Gem Ponies the budget needed to carry on to Launch Day!

Get yourself a whole buncha hoopla and gamedev news now!

Yotes Games

Yotes Games

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!

Yotes Games

Yotes Games

 

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!

Yotes Games

Yotes Games

 

Brainstorming New Patreon Plans, Rewards, & 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!

Yotes Games

Yotes Games

 

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

Yotes Games

Yotes Games

 

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.

Yotes Games

Yotes Games

 

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

Yotes Games

Yotes Games

 

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?

Yotes Games

Yotes Games

 

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!

Yotes Games

Yotes Games

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