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Battle Gem Ponies
 
 
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Genre: RPG
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Languages: English
Players: Single-player
Posted
Updated
Jan 1 @ 5:00pm
Jan 3 @ 11:10pm

Would you buy this game if it were available in Steam?

Yes
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Not interested
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again later
Recent Announcements View All (3)
Redesigned Sprites on the Way
FAQ! (Addressing Commonly Stated Issues)
FAQ

Steam doesn’t exactly let me reply to every comment individually, so I have to address concerns with the project and how stupid/illegal/cringy it is in an announcement post like this one.

I’m Yotes, by the way. The sole developer of Battle Gem Ponies. Well, aside from the music. I have a couple friends lending their skills for that since I’m about as musically gifted as a goose with a kazoo in its throat.

But simply put, everything wrong with the game is my fault. But I’d like to at least try to explain my reasoning behind some of these things. Maybe once you see where I’m coming from I can convert your downvote, ease your worries, or even get advice from some of you and point this project in the right direction.


Why bring this Mobile Trash to my House?

You caught me.

BGP was originally designed for iOS and Android on paper, but once development began in Unity, and I got used to playtesting with keyboard controls and mouse clicks, I realized that this could be as fun on a computer as any GBA emulator I use. So I figured ‘why not release on both PC & smartphones at the same competitive premium mobile price?’ (Because in-app purchases and Free to Play nonsense is NOT an option.)

I genuinely believe the game can be fun in both the realm of the Master Race and the slums of our Pocket Rectangles. It’s a matter of toggling the Touch Controls in the options menu.

No matter what size rectangle you play it on, it still has the same content and simple inputs. Hours and hours of overworld exploration and rainbow horse battles consisting of what’s basically rock/paper/scissors with extra steps.


Ponies... Really?

Hey, I like the aesthetic. Cute things doing cool/violent things has fascinated me since the original Powerpuffs were on TV. Search for “Twilight vs Tirek” on YouTube and you’ll see what I’m talking about here.

Also yeah. Guess I’m a brony. It was the brony indie developers over at Mane6 that got me interested programming in the first place. It was teams like them that got me to look into the fan works outside of the show. Stuff that made creating awesome things with limited resources and experience seem a little less impossible.

In fact, I’m making this exact game because of a project, called Fighting is Magic (which has now evolved into Them’s Fighting’ Herds), and another project, called Pokémon Uranium, both inspired me back in high school to make the kind of game I’d like to play.

So while Fighting is Magic combined ponies and Street Fighter, I wanted to combine Ponies and Pokémon getting both creative urges out of my system at once.


Uh… C&D? Heard of Those?

I saw both the projects that inspired me to chase my crazy dreams go down the same way. So of course I took notes.

Main problem was using official trademarks like the title “Pokémon” and the actual character of “Applejack” being featured in a game about kicking her friends in the face. Even when the companies also think the projects are cool, they have to defend their properties because laws say so.

But if you call it something else, generate your own characters, settings, lore, and so on, it becomes it’s own thing. Everything was inspired by something else and I challenge anyone to think of some truly original character that isn’t just an alternate version of something else or mashup of multiple characters. And that goes for both personality and appearance.

The difference between my game’s Vinerva and MLP’s Maneiac is like the difference between Solid Snake and Snake Plissken, or Marvel’s Wasp and DC’s Bumblebee, or even Chris from Thomas Was Alone and the Hero square from Adventure on Atari.

Blatantly obvious similarities, but enough differences in execution to warrant separate identities. Similar aesthetic and archetype, but you can do different things with them. Inject a personality that better suits the story you want to tell, or in my case, the gameplay I want to execute.

I know that when taking inspiration from another character you have to break their elements down and try to understand what you liked so much about them instead of just copying what you’ve seen on a superficial level. I want these ponies to mean something to the player by the end. The creative reasoning behind every character in BGP will always go deeper than “I like character X. Character X is popular so I’m putting a clone of them in my game.”


Why are you Trying to Sell a Game with Stolen Sprites?

I made the conscious decision to make my game resemble the art style of the GBA Pokémon games. The cool spiky haired protagonist (even though as an adult I found out it was just a hat) and that slick running animation from R/S/E I loved so much as a kid mixed with the vibrant colors, smaller sprites, and slightly more overhead perspective of Fire Red.

Aiming for a perfect blend of Hoenn shapes, Kanto perspective, and whatever colors MS Paint (yeah I know, all my friends hate that I use it too) had to offer all in that 22x22 sprite box. Because 16x16 couldn't fit the hair.

I spent a couple days getting the male idle sprite just right before I made a template out of his body for everyone else. A similar process went on for the ponies, basing them off the Desktop Ponies but with longer limbs/necks, more shading & detail, and a perspective angled toward the camera to better show off their gems.

Here's a zoomed-in example of PKMN vs BGP:

If you look at videos of older versions of BGP, you'll notice I was using Pokémon assets as placeholders but they've changed over time as I try to get the art style defined. The final game won't even include most of the tilesets from the Pinto Island pre-alpha demo because I was getting the basic feel/colors/corner shapes down so I can make a ton more and make the entire world map feel varied and colorful.

In short, I'm not actually using recolors of Pokémon sprites. I'm intentionally mimicking the 16-Bit Pokémon style because I love it and it's easier to make low-res sprites look professional since there's limitations.


Can you Even Finish this Thing?

August 2017… (I hope.)

If there’s anything I’ve learned from developing games over the last 7 years, it’s that release dates are guesstimation incarnate. Looking at my schedule (separated by what I think could be done in 2 day chunks) I should be done by June. But then you have to account for private beta testing, surprise bugs, slow days, life events, etc. so I just threw a couple months on top of that.

August 7th is BronyCon and I already submitted a panel application promising to showcase a finalized version of the game. It’s my dumb way of lighting a fire under my butt to squeeze more productivity out of every day. So I think Fall 2017 is a safe bet. I’ve been pushing myself to get things done for this long, what’s another 8 months on top of that?

How Much will you Charge for this Anyway?

I’m thinking no higher than $5. It’s a meaty RPG adventure that’s already eaten up 2 years of my life, so I can’t just give it away for free. And I feel like it’s gotta to be worth more than an order of small fries.


——————————————————————————————
If you Think that’s All the Questions There Are, You’ve got Another Thing Coming!

Well as I go through the comments and find more common topics (that aren’t just bashing on the pony theme) or criticisms, I’ll address them here as a means to show that I’m listening and taking it all into consideration.

Description
Release date: Late 2017

    Meet your very own super-powered, shape-shifting pony and embark on a journey to become the Pinto region’s next Prime Champion! This is a turn-based RPG adventure featuring cute companions, captivating action, strategic combat, virtually no grinding, and surprisingly few horse puns.

    This is a project still in the early stages of development and currently functions more like a tech demo than a carefully crafted adventure. Each and every bit of feedback is going to help shape the game's design, how characters look, and how the story develops as new updates are released month-by-month to showcase the game's progress.

    Being developed by just one Tony Yotes puts a harsh limit on the scope of things, but any additions and alterations within a recent graduate's ability can be placed on the development schedule. The goal here is to make the best pony collecting RPG there is, after all. Having a few bad ideas thrown out or redesigned will only benefit the game in the end. So regarding the dev schedule, the features listed below explain what's currently planned for the final release.



    • Fully Animated Battle RPG! -
      Every single pony and attack is uniquely animated to bring these pixel art battles to life!
    • Explore a Vast World! -
      An enormous, vibrant region awaits! Travel through deserts, mountains, forests, graveyards, and underwater temples on your quest through the Pinto region.
    • Power Up Your Pony! -
      Form a powerful bond with your shapeshifting pony companion and watch it grow stronger, learn awesome new moves, and take on the toughest of enemies.
    • Travel with Your Pony! -
      Surf across oceans and lakes with swift-swimming ponies. Teleport to the nearest Health Center whenever you like with a simple phone call. You can even relax for a few seconds and see how your pony friend is feeling about your current location and situation.
    • Customize Your Team! -
      Choose who you take into battle from a selection of 60 Ponies and their Ultra Forms. You can alter their moves, stats, and equipment to become an unbeatable trainer!
    • Hundreds of Different Moves! -
      Using attacks assigned to your pony's Light, Heavy, Status, and Tutor slots makes you think more carefully about which moves to take into battle.
    • Discover the Secrets of the Legendary Alicorns! -
      Powerful, winged unicorns that draw their power from the heavens are said to be the strongest ponies to ever live. People have wanted to harness their power for personal gain since ancient times. With recent advancements in technology, however, it might be easier than ever for their power to fall into the wrong hands...
    • Hunt Down the Wild Alphas! -
      Special versions of wild ponies roam the map, and these alpha ponies are far stronger than the ones that lurk in the grass. Each one will have a special interaction with you before your one and only chance to capture their powers for yourself!
    • Crank Up the Difficulty! -
      Can't expect everyone you fight to be a pushover. You’ll have your skills tested by expert Mavens and fight for your life against the evil Paragon Cartel. And if you find those too easy, you can always try the much more challenging Oatmeal Mode where your fallen ponies don't come back.



      Available on PC, Mac, Linux, & Android on Itch.io:
      Expect Weekly DevLogs and Monthly Updates as the project comes together. Aiming to release to mobile and PC platforms by August 2017.











      Popular Discussions View All (2)
      26
      Jan 19 @ 9:40am
      It may be time to talk to a lawyer
      GIMME DEM FECKIN' CANDY CANES
      0
      Jan 20 @ 4:16am
      Few Things I Noticed In Beta
      gamerhoofster-pony
      < >
      197 Comments
      Kenfi Feb 18 @ 10:51am 
      Сыграл бы
      Lori Loud ITA Feb 13 @ 3:50am 
      I like this great pony match 3.




      Basil's Creed Feb 12 @ 1:38am 
      Great one.
      l'Mêrotal Feb 10 @ 12:36pm 
      cool
      Олежа Поленски Feb 7 @ 11:24pm 
      this look very cool, but for appstore or google play
      PhilBit Feb 6 @ 12:36pm 
      Achivments please
      Lori Loud ITA Feb 4 @ 5:04am 
      Great game and good work.
      ℰƈℓⅈƥꜱ℮ Feb 2 @ 2:45pm 
      this looks awesome
      Fede :v Jan 31 @ 8:53pm 
      MLP RPG MAKER XDDD
      Cryz3r Jan 31 @ 7:43am 
      haha, lol
      voted :D