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A member registered Feb 01, 2016 · View creator page โ†’

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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...  -->

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.

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.

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)

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

     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

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.

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!

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

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 fin.

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

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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!

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!

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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 ALBDifferentExiled, & 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. ๐Ÿ‘ WE.๐Ÿ‘ SPEAK.๐Ÿ‘

     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. 

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.

BGP DevLog #171 (Cleaning Up n' Keeping Up)

     Feels like every day now I'm discovering some new and better way of doing things. The project is crawling towards a point where all systems exist and are easy to tweak. So good news is I can both feel and see myself becoming a better game developer. Bad news: I'm already a week behind schedule. Again. That won't fly. Time to crunch up and catch up. 

For this week in gamedev featuring my thoughts on a rather impressive Pokemon fan game coming out soon, check out the Main Yotes Blog

BGP DevLog #170 (Re-Coding)

     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

BGP DevLog #169 (May 2018...)

Can't believe I'm still working on recreating these dang #BattleGemPonies menus! I feel horrible for taking so much longer than I keep promising out loud, but I can feel in my bones that delaying is the right thing to do... 

See #GameDev Log #169: www.yotesgames.com

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #168 (HUD Crafting)


Ignore the garbled text. That is a bug for another day.

     Been taking my time making these menus and such, and glad to see that stage of development is finally coming to an end. Chewed hard to figure out some bugs and the most efficient way to make things flow, but I think I've got it now and just need to rinse and repeat to get the rest of the menus done.

     See my latest (mis)adventures in game development on the Yotes Games Blog.

BGP DevLog #167 (Orlando Overdrive 2018)

     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. ๐Ÿ‘พ - www.yotesgames.com

BGP DevLog #166 (Demo Ready?)


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.

BGP DevLog #165 (Game Engine Bone Structure)

     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.

BGP DevLog #164 (Still with the Menus? Come ON!!)

     Another week in and the game's revamped menu systems still aren't done! Feels like I'm running in place sometimes, but week after week new things are being added and I'm feeling more and more capable as a developer. I just want the alpha build done already!

     Take a look at what I managed to do this past week. (The Yotes Games Blog

BGP DevLog #163 (Interfaces In Your Faces)

     Menus, menus, menus... Looking fresh though. Still going through the process of making sure all the interfaces work and feel better than ever before. Cleaner sprites, dynamic sizing and positioning for every possible device, and helpful new tools like scrollviews and shaders to add some extra polish. Plus, it all runs 40 times smoother now since it gets compressed to one draw call at runtime, meaning no more horrendous lag just from opening a menu!

Read More: yotesgames.com

BGP DevLog #162 (Getting It Together)

     Finally coming to grips with the new tools and having something to show for it! There's been a real headache and a half over this, but hopefully it pays off with a bunch of dropped jaws and people saying "Oh, that's cool." when they first open the game..

     I need to settle into a groove! Time to crank out some content!

Heh. This stumped me too. There outta be a tool tip for that somewhere. Using the documentation didn't tell me why this was happening at all. (Or maybe it's kinda there in the patch notes,  but not clear enough.)

DevLog #161 (Wednesday Milestones)

     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!

DevLog #160 (Big Changes Worth the Wait)

     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

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #159 (Prep-Work)

     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!

DevLog #158 (Major Restructuring)


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!