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Yotes Games

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

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Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #157 (Study the Competition)

  

     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

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #156 (End of January...)

     Tiles, tiles, tiles galore! Wanna see some tiles? I'll show you some tiles anyway. Because that's what I spent most of this week staring at, touching up, reorganizing, and reconstructing. Right now this is the step I'm tackling to make sure I have all the pieces I need to build the BGP world that currently exists on 100 sheets of graph paper. The gamedev grind never seems to end, but my confidence in the project increases by the day!

Here is where we stand with Battle Gem Ponies at the end of the first month of 2018!
http://www.yotesgames.com/2018/01/battle-gem-ponies-devlog-156-end-of.html

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

   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! ๐ŸŽฎ๐Ÿ’Ž๐Ÿด
yotesgames.com/battle-gem-ponies-devlog-155.html

DevLog #154 (Story Beats & Maps Aplenty)

     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

DevLog #153 (New Year, New Beginnings)

     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.

 

DevLog #152 (BGP Awareness Month)

     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 

BGP DevLog #151 (Gotta Catch 'em All!)

     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)

Posted in Hype Thread

Would You Support Yotes Games on Patreon?

Screen%2BShot%2B2017-12-20%2Bat%2B2.37.40%2BAM.png

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!

Screen%2BShot%2B2017-12-20%2Bat%2B2.37.40%2BAM.png 

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!

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #150 (Roster Complete)

     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!

Posted in Hype Thread

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #150 (Roster Complete)

     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 new Yotes Games Patreon and consider pledging if you want to help the game reach new heights! 

Donate at: patreon.com/YotesGames

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #149 (Stuck on Alicorns)


(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

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #148 (Paper Maps)

     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

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #146 (Impressionable Ponies)


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 on the Yotes Blog.

DevLog #145 (A Full & Colorful Roster)


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!

DevLog #139 (Make It Well Thought Out)

     Most of the week has been all about planning every small detail to come in the full game. Where each item is placed and why. A believable reason for every character's decision, interaction, and motive. Logical consistency throughout the game world. Something interesting to do in every room, an emotional roller coaster, a varied color palette, and a sense of discovery and fun that'll keep players invested even beyond the credits.

Read More: http://www.yotesgames.com/2017/09/battle-gem-ponies-devlog-139-make-it.html

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #137 (Sprite Week)

     Once again, drawing these sprites takes forever. But the first frame is always the hardest because I want it to look just right before I take apart all its pieces and animate them. These battle sprites are what the players will be staring at for the longest time and it's through these battle animations and flavor texts that I get folks to fall in love with my characters.

     I have to get this right. I have to convey personality out of each of these ponies. I want players to say "Wow!" or "Ooo..." or "Aww!" or "Holy CRAP!!" when they see these things for the first time.

Blog Here: yotesgames.com

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #136 (Road to Alpha)

     The race to the finish starts here. Gotta whip up a game in a matter of months, no time to waste! Details on the official site, yotesgames.com!

Weird biz... It's working on my devices and my friends' various phones. Try completely uninstalling the app on your device then re-downloading them from here. Maybe there's some carryover bugs going on. Gotta erase the old buggy version like it never happened

Posted in Galaxy 7 issue

I just uploaded fixed versions of the game. Should be smooth sailing now. 

Let me know if it still doesn't work for you!

Cool. I love seeing Itch.io improving over time. This'll come in handy since I post devlogs every week.

Posted in Galaxy 7 issue

I'm working on the issue right now. Seems to only be the android version doing this. I'll try messing around with settings and updating my Android software to see if the problem comes from some random setting in Unity that changed since the last Demo upload.


But for now, the other versions seem to work just fine. Hope you can play one of those in the meantime!

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #133 (About That New Battle System)

     Still hard at work getting a stable, polished BronyCon build ready. I wanna put on a good show, and that's gonna require a couple more late nights of work and a lot of afternoons spent testing. But it'll all be worth it if we can get that crowd to cheer...

Take a look at this week in gamedev below!

Official Yotes Blog

(Edited 1 time)
 

WAS planning on celebrating Independence Day with the sweet, freeing release of BGP Pre-Alpha 7.0, but then I checked my emails and something came up... Turns out I'll be hosting the Battle Gem Ponies panel at BronyCon 2017 after all! Now pressure's on because I have exactly one month to build an impressive Alpha to showcase in front of the biggest crowd yet.

Come get a big, juicy gamedev update on the official Battle Gem Ponies blog.

(Edited 1 time)

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #124 (Stuck on Specials)


     Still working on making moves work properly, mostly struggling with making the changes display correctly. I have all the variables reacting how I want, but when animating them during the attack turn, things go haywire. The game is officially behind schedule, and I'm feeling the heat.

On top of all that, I'm feeling sick as all heck with a wicked cough.



Wrote a few drafts of how the panel description should go.
I find the Pokemon song reference (Alt 2) extremely cheesy, 
but I think it will connect more with people than name-dropping 
things from the Battle Gem Ponies story that nobody's ever heard of.

I'll also have my friend Robyn helping me out at the panel.
Maybe you've seen her around, cosplaying Doctor Whooves before.
  
 Completed:

  • Console Debug Logs for Every Tiny Calculation in Battle
  • Sketched Ultra Pony Ideas
  • More Random NPC Dialogue
  • New Panel Descriptions
  • BronyCon Panel Info Submissions

     
Lessons Learned:

  • My god. I should've planned an entire month for the combat system. This is messier than I thought it'd be.

       Got sick this weekend and am currently spending a few day bed-ridden and coughing up rocks. I really wanna leap out of this mess and get closer to the map building part of BGP's development.
__________________________________________________________

   Downloads:

    Featured:



Oh...

     Got some bad news in the mail... Looks like Battle Gem Ponies won't be at BronyCon in panel form. I'll still be there, but unless someone drops out, the game won't be onstage again. It's a blow to my marketing campaign, but not one I can't recover from. I'll still find some way to get the game in front of a million bronies by Christmas!

     But, in "things going well news", a senior editor at Engadget spotted me on Twitter and offered me a seat at an E3 indie discussion. But once again, my limited funding kills an opportunity because I have no way of attending E3. Flying over there, reserving a place to stay, and buying tickets to the show are all just way too expensive for someone dealing with double digit monthly income.

It's nice to be noticed though. Kinda validates time spent writing these blogs every week, ya know?
__________________________________________________________

     I've still got so much work to do, but I'm almost at the fun part. Just gotta sweat through this last bit of hard coding...

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #123 (Step-By-Step)

     Development is crawling along. Coding each attack move by using special keywords seems so simple in theory, but in practice, so many tiny things go wrong and break the battle system in a variety of brain-melting ways.

Get a peek at what was done this week! --> Battle Gem Ponies Development Blog

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #119 (Functional, but Not Fully)

At this rate looks like it'll take maybe a couple weeks longer than expected to reach code completion. But getting the major hurdles out of the way has been the primary goal of this month and I'm wrapping those things up as this blog is being written.


Take a look at the rest of this week's progress in the Yotes Games DevLog!

Battle Gem Ponies Demo Update! (Ver. 6.8)

Watch the BGP Trailer!
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.

Looks like Steam Greenlight will be shutting down permanently any day now, so this may be the last chance for the game to get through. So, if you'd like to see this game on Steam someday, be sure to give a thumbs up on the Greenlight page!

Find the Battle Gem Ponies
Download Link on Steam Greenlight!

(And check back here for more monthly updates!)

I probably just need to update Unity and build the APK with 7.0 compatibility checked. Last time I uploaded, the game was made for the 6.0 family.

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #115 (Miss one Mark, Make Another)

The Battle Gem Ponies Steam Greenlight Campaign is still ongoing, but the service is rumored to be shutting down some time next month. I can still update the game and hope for a miracle before Greenlight closes it's doors for good, but at this point I'm not expecting to make it. BGP will be pushed as a mobile game, but will still have PC/Mac/Linux versions available through Itch.io.


It doesn't spell DOOM for the project or anything, it's just a demonstration that people need something more polished than what I launched with to make it at this point in Steam Greenlight's troubled lifespan. I'll try again via Steam Direct once the game is actually complete and see if I can get a different reaction on that platform. Just hoping that it doesn't end up costing an arm and a leg.

Read More: http://www.yotesgames.com/2017/03/battle-gem-ponies-devlog-115-miss-one.html

So, About BGP's New Look and Copyright...

This is a post about clearing the air of any C&D worries. Written to break down just how legally safe this is once and for all since the majority of comments I see for this game revolve around conversations of "this will be taken down because X looks like Y".


Hopefully some explanation combined with the game's recent graphical update on Steam Greenlight will put those Cease & Desist concerns to rest.

Get the full blog post here: http://www.yotesgames.com/2017/03/so-about-bgps-new-look-and-copyright.html

Watch the New Trailer!

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! You can download the demo itself right here on Itch.io!

Vote for Battle Gem Ponies on Steam Greenlight!

(And check back for more monthly updates!)

Posted in Hype Thread

The February update is on its way, just a few more bugs to fix before I upload it. I'd rather be a day late with a perfect build than on time with game-breaking bugs intact. Should be done before midnight, but look for it tomorrow.

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #110 (The Redesigns)

The long-promised February update is coming this Friday and one last week of bug crunching is underway to make sure it plays perfectly. This way, future builds will be off to a fresh start and development can be focused on new features.

Check out this week's progress on the dev blog: http://www.yotesgames.com/2017/02/battle-gem-ponies-devlog-110-redesigns.html

Battle Gem Ponies: New Look Implemented!

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.

DevLog #109 (Valentines Day)

Been drawing lots of pretty pixel people. Bigger versions of the NPCs used before. Regarding the overworld's art direction, I think of it as a mix between Gen 3 Pokรฉmon & Wind Waker styles while the battle scenes are a sort of Final Fantasy 6 & My Little Pony art with a Pokรฉmon interface.


Hoping to get some more tiles redone and fix all the bugs from the previous version by Friday so I can try to get a new update out before the 25th. I still have a bunch of moves that need to be animated and lord knows fixing the controller input bug is going to take a while.

Read On: http://www.yotesgames.com/2017/02/battle-gem-ponies-devlog-109-valentines.html

Plans for Demo 6.5 & Beyond

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.

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #108 (More Spriting)

Making a video game about ponies over here. Drawing lots of new sprites and it's taking a while to get 'em all looking just right from 4 angles and in motion alongside 16x16 pixel tiles. By Friday they should all be in-game and I'll be waist-deep in bug fixing.


Read the Full DevLog Here: http://www.yotesgames.com/2017/02/battle-gem-ponies-devlog-108-more.html

I did consider having a bunch of key items, but ended up simplifying it because it should feel like your pony can help you overcome obstacles.

Battle Gem Ponies DevLog #107 (New Drawings, Bug Fixes)

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