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Developing Pokémon Roll

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  #1    
Old June 11th, 2016 (10:21 PM). Edited 2 Weeks Ago by G-Master.
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G-Master G-Master is offline
Lead of Pokémon Roll
     
    Join Date: Dec 2013
    Location: AZ
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    Nature: Docile
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    Hello everyone,

    It's been a few years since I've patrolled these forums, and I've since graduated college with Game Programming degree A buddy of mine (also a programmer) and myself have been working on a game that uses the Pokémon IP for awhile now, and we finally decided to polish it so I'll post all of the details here to generate some hype!

    Pokémon Roll
    Platform: PC, Mac, Linux
    Engine: Unity2D, MongoDB
    Languages: C#, NoSQL
    Genre: High-Speed Platformer
    Sub-Genre: Arcade

    Introduction:
    Unlike the Pokémon platformers I've seen around the forums before, in Pokemon Roll you assume the role (pun intended) of a Pokéball. You control the Pokéball, rolling and jumping around levels in order to capture Pokémon, although I'm betting you guessed that based on the title In terms of gameplay, think of Pokémon Roll as Sonic-style platforming with Pokémon capture mechanics!

    General Gameplay:
    Players will roll around using WASD (with possible arrow key support depending on how many other keys we end up using), with jump being W. You damage Pokémon by running into them, so capturing them involves pressing the Spacebar with good timing (right before you hit them). It will then function like a classic Pokemon capture, with some numbers being crunched and there being a percent chance to capture the Pokémon. To help you out, you will be able to equip and use up to 3 regular items (that are consumed after use), 1 key item (that is not consumed after use), and also what we're calling a PokéAssist. More details on that later
    The objective of Pokémon Roll is to capture Pokémon and get the highest score you can on levels based on locales in the handheld Pokémon games. Score directly translates into in-game currency that you can use to buy items in the shop, and there will be leaderboards to challenge other players!

    Features:
    There are a number of things that we hope will entice you to play Pokémon Roll:

    Player Accounts - Since we plan on hooking up Pokémon Roll to a MongoDB database, you'll be able to create an account and access your progress on any computer you play at! Don't worry, all you'll need to make an account is a desired username and a password, so no worries about spam mail or identity issues

    Stats and Leaderboards - Having a database is also great since we can create leaderboards and foster some competition to be the best! If competition isn't your thing, don't worry, it's still worth making an account since we plan on storing a lot of statistics so you can see how you play and make improvements without competition

    Unlocks - Remember how some older GameFreak games such as Kirby Air Ride had a grid checklist system that gave you an interesting way to unlock content? We're bringing it back! For those who have never heard of this system, there's a big grid of checkboxes, each one corresponding to an ingame reward. If you complete the condition to get that reward (say complete 10 levels), the box checks, and you can see the conditions of all nearby boxes (so you know what you can strive for next)! It's a great system that let's you see what you can do to unlock new content without downright spoiling all of the rewards :D

    Pokéball Upgrades - Don't think we haven't thought of implementing different Pokéball types with different effects! I'm not at liberty to say how you go about unlocking new Pokéball types, but expect a good number of them each with unique effects

    Items - We're translating a bunch of the items from the Pokémon universe to work in Pokémon Roll. Some examples are throwing evolutionary stones to evolve Pokemon they hit, using items to cure status effects that a Pokémon inflicted on you, or even some key items (such as the PokéRadar which will give some additional functionality for finding rarer Pokémon)! I'll be revealing more and more items and their functionality over time in the progress updates.

    Pokémon AI & Attacks - The game would be rather boring if the Pokémon just sat there while you attempted to capture them, so we plan on implementing some different attacks and movement patterns! We haven't decided if the attacks will do "damage" or if the Pokéball will just get knocked back, but we do know that some Pokémon will inflict some nasty status effects that you'd rather not deal with!

    PokéAssists - Since Pokémon Roll is all about capturing Pokémon (and we keep track of what you have and haven't caught) we decided why not use some of the Pokémon you've captured! You can equip any Pokémon you've captured as a PokéAssist, and using that assist will help you out! Each of your captured Pokemon can level up and learn new moves as well!

    Diverse Levels - We're designing Roll's levels to be super interactive. Different kinds of hazards will make the levels more challenging than just plain platforming, and Pokemon attacks will interact with the environment! While we currently don't have any plans to do procedurally-generated levels, our level system is expandable and can definitely handle it!


    Scope:
    As with any Pokemon game made from scratch, there's quite a bit of work to be done. our main project is nearing completion, so hopefully Pokemon Roll will be getting more attention. We would like Roll to be in beta sometime in 2018, but we're bad with scope creep so it'll probably end up getting pushed back.
    Also, a lot of our scope will be defined by how much sprite work we have to do. We currently plan on using the animated sprites from B2 & W2, but we'll have to see where we end up with as far as movement and attacks go. We may need to edit the animated sprites to look like movement or an attack, so our scope may increase depending on what each Pokémon's animation needs. When we get to implementing Pokémon, we plan on doing it one at a time, reusing where we can.

    Completed Milestones/Tasks:
    Menu Design
    Feature List
    Item List
    Added item dictionary to the game
    Added Kanto Pokemon sprites and metadata
    Added and formatted item sprites
    Finished Credits screen (how exciting)
    Finished Tutorial menu (aside from tweaks)
    Finished Shop screen
    Finished Inventory screen
    Add level dictionary to game (contains level information)
    Finished Pokedex
    Adding animated Pokemon sprites (idle)
    Associating unlockable content to the conditions needs to unlock them
    Added evolution data to the game
    Added shiny Pokemon sprites
    Added Options Screen
    Implementing player movement

    Currently Working On:
    Improving level system
    Swapping to new GUI design
    Adding unlockables to the game

    Next up:
    Design Pokémon spawning
    Design Pokémon AI

    Credits:
    • G-Master: Lead designer, UI programming/Design, Audio, Particle systems/Move animations, Level generation
    • A-Slyfox: Gameplay programming
    • Level Designer - TBD
    • Additional Spriting - TBD

    We haven't decided if we want our actual names on the project due to potential copyright concerns, but as of now it is just the two of us designing, coding, and spriting whatever we need. We have someone else who is interested in some GUI spriting down the line. I doubt many people here have the time or Unity experience to help us out, but here's what we could use in case someone is interested:

    Mappers - Pokemon Roll is made in Unity, so it doesn't need overworld maps like a Pokemon game made in Essentials. What we need are outside maps of the 5 Pokemon regions (Kanto-Unova), created using a 2D tileset and exported as a large image. It is a decent amount of work, but we would NOT need interiors or events on these maps, just the maps as images (including the areas between the routes). Our GUI artist has expressed interest in doing this, but if someone else feels the desire to we can discuss.

    Spriters - Since the Pokemon in Pokemon Roll move around and don't just stand still, one of our post-release goals is to animate them to look as though they are moving/attacking. It's going to be a case-by-case basis, some Pokemon sprites may need edited, others may look passable just be reordering the frames. Again, this is in Unity, so you'll have to be fairly proficient with Unity's animation system and a sprite editing program.

    Testers - When we do get to the point of releasing betas, we're likely going to be releasing them en masse (so we can playtest as many levels as possible). Obviously getting outside opinions during these betas would be super helpful!

    Testers - We can always use testers! I'll put more information about beta testing in this post sometime soon, but for now check out the replies below for beta information.

    Screenshots/Gifs/Videos:
    In-progress Title Screen
    Spoiler:

    Animated Icons on Title Screen:
    Spoiler:

    Tutorial Menu:
    Spoiler:

    Shop (sorry for low res, better pic eventually):
    Spoiler:

    Inventory (Tumblr does not care for 16:9 resolution apparently :/):
    Spoiler:

    Testing Level:
    Spoiler:


    Links:
    Tumblr

    Projected Beta Date:
    TBD (hopefully 2018 now that the levels are nearly playable)

    Projected Content:
    Tutorials, player movement, Credits screen, Options screen

    Cheers,
    G
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      #2    
    Old June 17th, 2016 (3:56 PM).
    G-Master's Avatar
    G-Master G-Master is offline
    Lead of Pokémon Roll
       
      Join Date: Dec 2013
      Location: AZ
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      Hey everyone, I added a gif of some animated icons and would love some input on them since I'm not an artist. To give some context, they're the icons at the bottom of the menu that take the user to different screens:
      Level Select, Pokedex, Shop, Unlocks, Tutorial, Stats, Leaderboards, Options, Credits, Quit




      Thanks!
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        #3    
      Old July 7th, 2016 (7:52 PM). Edited July 7th, 2016 by G-Master.
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      G-Master G-Master is offline
      Lead of Pokémon Roll
         
        Join Date: Dec 2013
        Location: AZ
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        Being a new game, we don’t really have much of a following. Now that could be attributed to the fact that we can’t really do marketing for an IP that isn’t our’s, but all the same we’d like to push out text updates every so often so people can know where we’re at. Since we don’t have a following (and thus no gauge of popularity) we can’t really decide how frequent these updates should be, so now we have these so-called Daily-Weekly-Monthly-Yearly updates

        During each of these updates I’d like to cover a few things:

        1. Discuss the major features and milestones that have been added since the last update.
        2. Reveal a new item in the game, and describe how it works.
        3. Bring up any glaring issues we’re facing that might be slowing us down.
        4. Pose a question for our fanbase to hopefully one day answer.

        So let’s begin!

        Completed Stuff:
        A portion of our options screen has been added, so you can now change basic settings like volume and date/time formats. The options screen also has a Feedback section that will let people send feedback directly in-game! The Tutorial menu is also done, although it hasn’t been hooked up to any actual tutorials yet. But, once it has, we can release our first demo! It will be very bare bones with nothing but some tutorials on how to play, but it’s better than nothing!

        New Item:
        The item I’d like to reveal today is the Amulet Coin!

        Since points are synonymous with money in this game, the Amulet Coin awards you more points whenever it’s used! It lasts for a little while before you need to use another one, but on the bright side you can carry around 10 of them into a level with you!

        Gripes:
        We have a few issues ahead of us, but currently what’s perplexing us is Pokemon evolution. There are so many different ways for Pokemon to evolve, and representing that behind the scenes is proving challenging (since all of the evolutions have to be pre-programmed into the game). Hopefully we’ll find a method that’s as easy for the game to use as it is for us to understand and code.

        Question:
        There's a poll asking what web browser you like most, but I'll add a second question of "Have you ever played a WebGL game before?"
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          #4    
        Old August 15th, 2016 (8:03 PM). Edited August 17th, 2016 by G-Master.
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        G-Master G-Master is offline
        Lead of Pokémon Roll
           
          Join Date: Dec 2013
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          Hey guys,

          So after some thought, both from the dev team and some community members, Pokémon Roll's menus are going to be switching to mouse controls! This is exciting because it means I can give you a better GUI in less time.

          Expect a DWMY update soon!
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            #5    
          Old August 21st, 2016 (1:56 PM).
          G-Master's Avatar
          G-Master G-Master is offline
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            Join Date: Dec 2013
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            Hello! It’s about time for another progress update!

            Completed Stuff:
            After some recent discussion the dev team decided to change the menus to use mouse controls instead of the keyboard, and it’s panning out really well! The shop and inventory screens are now fully functional! Expect some screenshots or gifs of them soon.

            Next on the list is updating the previous menus to use mouse controls.

            New Item:
            The item I’d like to reveal today is the Float Stone!

            The Float Stone is an item that temporarily boosts your jump height. While we haven’t gotten around to designing levels yet, I’m looking forward to putting some areas that can only be reached using the float stone, or at least some shortcuts to reach the stronger Pokes faster!

            Gripes:
            We still haven’t quite hammered out Pokemon evolution, but we’ve had a few solid ideas about it (one of which shows some good promise). Development is going rather smoothly since we transitioned to mouse controls for the menus, so I guess my only gripe now is how few people know about the game! I’d love to get some interest in it so we can be excited for a demo release

            Question:
            What is your favorite platforming game? Does it have any unique features that you liked?
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              #6    
            Old August 25th, 2016 (5:22 PM).
            G-Master's Avatar
            G-Master G-Master is offline
            Lead of Pokémon Roll
               
              Join Date: Dec 2013
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              Completed Stuff:
              All of the previous menus (Title, Options, Credits, Tutorial) now all use mouse controls! In addition, I also formatted all of the Gen 1 Pokemon sprites into sprite sheets ( I had animated gifs from BW2), and added all of the metadata for those Pokemon! It’s not quite enough to implement combat yet (still need Pokemon stats and movesets), but it is enough to implement the Pokedex screen Oh, and we’ve decided on how to represent evolution behind the scenes, so that’s no longer a worry.

              New Item:
              The item I’d like to reveal today is the Cleanse Tag!

              The Cleanse Tag is a bit more important in Pokemon Roll than in the standard Pokemon games. “Cursed” is a nasty status effect that some Pokemon can inflict on you that lowers your capture rate! This is one of the status effects that doesn’t clear up on its own, so stock up on Cleanse Tags so you can fix the problem right away!

              Gripes:
              Converting those gifs to sprite sheets took a LONG time, and honestly, a lot of the animations weren’t quite what I expected. Some Pokemon that fly, swim, or hop will be easy to animate, but a lot of the other ground Pokemon don’t have much to work with frame-wise. So, Pokemon animations are on the backburner. Our builds will start with static, non-animated Pokemon sprites, and we’ll animate them one at a time as we go.

              Question:
              Do you think Pokemon Roll should stick strictly to official items, or should it have some unique items of its own?
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                #7    
              Old August 27th, 2016 (8:56 AM).
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              juliorain juliorain is offline
                 
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                Shouldn't there be gifs already somewhere on these forums you could use?
                __________________
                Developer for Pokemon Fission and Fusion Version -- an all new adventure in the new, post-apocalyptic region of Westorn.

                http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=375757
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                  #8    
                Old August 27th, 2016 (2:24 PM).
                G-Master's Avatar
                G-Master G-Master is offline
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                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by juliorain View Post
                  Shouldn't there be gifs already somewhere on these forums you could use?
                  Yes, and I downloaded them. But the Pokémon in this game do more than stand around. I needed to convert them to spritesheets so I could reorder the frames to make believable walking or attacking animations
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                    #9    
                  Old August 29th, 2016 (4:49 PM).
                  G-Master's Avatar
                  G-Master G-Master is offline
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                    Join Date: Dec 2013
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                    So unfortunately I have bad news to report today. After I started using the sprite sheets I had made, it seems like (for some reason) they were really low quality. There were some pixels that didn't scale properly when they were sized up and they were rather blurry in editor (despite not having the slightest amount of blur in my image program). So, sprites are gone again, back to square one with Pokemon images. I suppose I'll keep doing metadata since that seems to not have any problems :/
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                      #10    
                    Old September 12th, 2016 (5:37 PM).
                    G-Master's Avatar
                    G-Master G-Master is offline
                    Lead of Pokémon Roll
                       
                      Join Date: Dec 2013
                      Location: AZ
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                      Completed Stuff:
                      The Pokedex screen loads all basic info of the Pokemon, including an awesome curved scroll list! All of the level metadata for Kanto has been added to the game, complete with unlock conditions. I also started working on one of the secret features of the game. All I’ll say is that it unlocks after you play 100 levels!

                      New Item:
                      The item I’d like to reveal today is the Air Balloon!

                      The Air Balloon is a nifty item that make you float upwards for a few seconds! Useful for reaching secret areas without jumping or platforming. Be careful though, as Pokemon attacks will pop it.

                      Gripes:
                      The Pokemon sprites had to be removed. They were too small by default, so I attempted to size them up using the same method as the item sprites. They didn’t work for some reason, so I had to cut them for now. They’ll obviously be back since they’re kinda essential, but this whole ordeal is reminding me why I chose programming over art

                      Question:
                      If a game dev asks the community a question, and no one is there to answer it, does the design choice really matter?
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                        #11    
                      Old September 24th, 2016 (10:16 PM).
                      G-Master's Avatar
                      G-Master G-Master is offline
                      Lead of Pokémon Roll
                         
                        Join Date: Dec 2013
                        Location: AZ
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                        Nature: Docile
                        Posts: 58
                        Completed Stuff:
                        Pokemon sprites are back in the game, animated and all! I also implemented a scaling feature that scales the sprites to approximately realistic sizes. Some huge Pokemon (like Onix) obviously can’t be as big as they really are, but at least they’ll be bigger than say a Paras

                        To celebrate these sprites making it in, I updated the title screen! I tried linking the Youtube video in the spoiler tag in the OP, but it kept getting playback errors. So, either click on the regular link there or check out the Tumblr blog if you want to see it in action :D

                        New Item:
                        The items I’d like to reveal today are the Shards!




                        The colored shards have had various uses throughout Pokemon history, but in Pokemon Roll they serve an entirely different purpose! You’ll encounter fossils as you play Pokemon Roll, and you’ll need to revive these fossils in order to catch the Pokemon trapped inside. Each fossil takes a certain color and number of shards to revive, so make sure to look for them in levels if you’re looking to bring back some prehistoric Pokemon!

                        Gripes:
                        As of now, none. Give me a few days. I’ll find something.

                        Question:
                        Do you like older games that have tons of hidden content?
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                          #12    
                        Old October 4th, 2016 (9:18 PM).
                        G-Master's Avatar
                        G-Master G-Master is offline
                        Lead of Pokémon Roll
                           
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                          Hello all,

                          I have some news concerning the project that is somewhat troubling, but not really that surprising.

                          ***TL/DR: We may be switching to a desktop game instead of a browser-game, and potentially adding in offline saving of game progress.***

                          We may have to consider switching from a WebGL (browser-based) game, to a more traditional desktop game. There are a multitude of reasons that we are considering this:

                          1. Threading (parallel processing) is not possible in Unity WebGL, so we can't do anything while levels and what not are loading.
                          2. Memory restrictions are much higher than we originally thought, so we may have problems with loading hundreds of animated Pokémon sprites or large game levels.
                          3. Hosting the build is proving difficult. GitHub seemed like the best free option but we still can't be sure it would meet our performance needs.
                          4. There isn't much info out there about hooking Unity games to MongoDB databases. I've done this for a desktop Unity game before, but there could be a lot of unforeseen problems if the game was run from a browser.

                          The reason we wanted to stick with the web build was because we wanted to be able to update the game without making players re-download anything. This is important because the game connects to a database, so everyone needs to be on the same version. Our new solution would be to include a script/program with the desktop build that does version checks and auto-downloads the new game files.

                          But this brings up a topic we haven't talked much about, offline play. We have always had every intention of players being able to play Pokémon Roll without connecting to the database, but we had planned on storing all player progress in the database.

                          Cool and all, but there wasn't any options to save your progress without the database.

                          Now that we're contemplating a desktop build, we could add this feature back in, but there's the issue of having your save file potentially deleted whenever the game is updated using that script. It all depends on what offline storage options we use, where that info is stored in relation to the game files, and how that script ends up updating the game.
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                            #13    
                          Old October 26th, 2016 (6:03 PM).
                          G-Master's Avatar
                          G-Master G-Master is offline
                          Lead of Pokémon Roll
                             
                            Join Date: Dec 2013
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                            Just a quick update to let everyone know that I haven't been able to do much work to Pokemon Roll in the past few weeks due to being busy with another project, but I have completed a rough level select screen! After I polish it up a bit maybe I'll post a full progress update.

                            In the meantime, I do have a question related to visuals. We have level select screens in Roll that are basically the overworld of the various regions, and all of the levels are represented by little blips on the map. What kind of visual style do you think we should use for the overworld maps given these restraints?:
                            1. The overworld images have to be huge (like 7000x7000)
                            2. All of the regions have to have a consistent style
                            3. We "zoom" in on a level when you select it, so having low-level detail would be nice

                            Currently, we're using a version of the Kanto overworld below:

                            but we aren't too sure about it being the final design choice since we'd have to fill in the areas in between the routes and not all of the regions would be in this style.

                            Any ideas? We're drawing a blank on overworld map style aside from using something like this and having to make all of the other regions in this same style (which wouldn't be terrible since we don't do interiors or events) but is there even a tool to export RMXP maps as images?
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                              #14    
                            Old November 11th, 2016 (10:49 AM). Edited November 11th, 2016 by G-Master.
                            G-Master's Avatar
                            G-Master G-Master is offline
                            Lead of Pokémon Roll
                               
                              Join Date: Dec 2013
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                              Nature: Docile
                              Posts: 58
                              Completed Stuff:
                              Work on Pokemon Roll had been halted for a little while, but we recently started working on it again, so hopefully there’s a lot of good news in this update!
                              Shiny sprites for Kanto made it in the build. Shiny Pokemon are pretty similar to those in the official games (being rather rare), but in Pokemon Roll they are worth SIGNIFICANTLY more points than their non-shiny counterparts. So capture a shiny to boost your score on a level!
                              A profile screen was also recently added. The profile screen is what will be publicly displayed to your friends and other Pokemon Roll users (if you made an account that is). There are several things you can customize to make your profile stand out:
                              • Change what Pokeball - pick from one of the many Pokeball types in the game to show off your style
                              • Change your player title - player titles are special distinctions earned by completing objectives
                              • Show off your best catches - choose 6 of the best Pokemon you’ve caught and show them off Hall of Fame style!
                              • Collect gold stars - Earn stars by completing objectives and participating in ingame events

                              This may have been mentioned before, but work on the Level Select Screen has also progressed. It’s currently being tweaked (so no video/gif right now), but I personally think the screen is very pleasing to use. In addition, a screen to change your loadout before you start the level was also added.
                              Our game play programmer has also started to work on our player movement. We’re taking extra special care to make sure the movement is very fluid and easy to control!

                              New Item:
                              Today I’d like to reveal a different type of item, one of the Pokeball types in the game, the Luxury Ball!

                              When you play a level with the Luxury Ball, you earn more points per capture! Use this ball to help you get 10 stars on levels and reach the top of the leaderboards!

                              Gripes:
                              Some of our screens are having issues involving low frame rates. Current theory is that the game is trying to animate 100+ Pokemon at a time (which would reasonably lower the frame rate), but we haven’t confirmed this yet. Hopefully there are some optimizations we can do to keep our game running smoothly on all modern machines.

                              Beta Testing Info:
                              Instead of the question, I’d like to share some info about the Pokemon Roll beta, and how testing is going to go down.

                              Originally, Pokemon Roll was not going to have a beta. Between the database functionality and the huge amount of unlocks, it didn’t seem possible to do a beta test without completing most of the game. But now, we think we’ve come up with a model that should let you guys test the game, without spoiling all of the hidden content or screwing up the database.

                              Pokemon Roll will be releasing multiple betas, each with several items and levels to test. The next builds will contain different items and levels, so this way we don’t have to worry about storing player progress (and mucking up the database) but can still give players the chance to test drive different parts of the game. There will be more info on exactly how we plan on doing testing in a post sometime next week.

                              We also plan on giving beta testers special in-game rewards once the game is completed, which may include a unique player title, some gold stars, and a starter pack with some points/money and items. We also plan on letting beta testers reserve usernames, so this could be a great opportunity to snag the name you want!

                              The earliest a beta build may be ready is next month, but if you’re interested please feel free to send me a message, email, or reply.

                              Cheers,
                              G
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                                #15    
                              Old December 6th, 2016 (7:36 AM).
                              G-Master's Avatar
                              G-Master G-Master is offline
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                                Hey guys, apologies for not posting the beta info awhile back like I said I would. I recently secured a job in the industry so I've been preparing for a big move. This has pushed back our expected beta by a month or two, so expect it in January or February.

                                Anyways, as I mentioned before, we plan on doing betas with a few levels and items to test, rotating them each build. What we would expect our beta testers to do is to answer a few questions about each build, and report any bugs they find. This will all be done through Google Docs, with there being a universal bug spreadsheet and each player copying the questionnaire and answering the questions in their own document. So if you're interested in being a beta tester, make sure you have a working Google account.

                                To reiterate the rewards you will get as a beta tester:
                                • Reserve a specific username (we'll create it before release and send you the credentials so you can change your password)
                                • Earn a unique player title that won't be available elsewhere
                                • Earn some starting cash and items to help you in the final release
                                • Earn some gold stars (a special currency used to unlock more game content like levels and items)

                                Some of the rewards might stack for those that test multiple builds, and we're planning an extra special reward for those who give good feedback on all of the builds.

                                If you're interested, feel free to post your info here or send me a PM.
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                                  #16    
                                Old January 29th, 2017 (9:22 PM). Edited March 9th, 2017 by G-Master.
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                                G-Master G-Master is offline
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                                  Nature: Docile
                                  Posts: 58
                                  Hey guys,

                                  Just an update to say that this project is not dead, and will still be continuing. Granted, it's been extremely slow since I now have a full time job and the unlock system is proving to be a logistical nightmare, but progress is being made nonetheless. The beta will likely have to be pushed back, but I never received any interest in that anyways so I'm sure no one is concerned about that.

                                  I'll try to post progress updates more often, but it's not really top of my priority list.

                                  Peace,
                                  G
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                                    #17    
                                  Old March 27th, 2017 (9:35 AM). Edited March 29th, 2017 by G-Master.
                                  G-Master's Avatar
                                  G-Master G-Master is offline
                                  Lead of Pokémon Roll
                                     
                                    Join Date: Dec 2013
                                    Location: AZ
                                    Gender: Male
                                    Nature: Docile
                                    Posts: 58
                                    Project is still continuing for those interested. The unlock system that was giving me trouble seems to be working on paper, but I haven't had the chance to test it fully yet. Additionally, we've done extensive design on both the Pokemon AI and the level format, so hopefully we'll be able to start coding those out soon.

                                    Additionally, we now have a third person on the project. He's still deciding if he wants to focus primarily on design or coding, but regardless it's less work I have to do which will speed up the project.

                                    To prevent this from being a boring bump post, here's some info for post-launch events:

                                    For those not aware, one of the advantages of hooking the game up to a database is that we can do post-launch events to give you a reason to keep playing after you've completed the main game (or a reason to come back if you got bored). Currently, we're taking a lot of cues from mobile games that do events well (such as Pokemon Shuffle and DBZ: Dokkan Battle). Here are some ideas we've tossed around for post-launch events:
                                    - Tournaments (not direct competition because this isn't a multiplayer game, but based on your ranking at the end of the event)
                                    - Special levels, possibly with unique items to earn or rewards to unlock
                                    - Discounts on certain items in the shop (remember, this is in-game currency, not real money :) )

                                    Among other things. I realize not many people are excited for this game (at least not verbally), primarily because it's a platformer and not a traditional Pokemon experience. But, between a boatload of content, an extensive amount of unlocks, post-launch events, and a couple secret features, we're hoping the people who do end up giving our game a try will end up devoting weeks or months to it :)

                                    Thanks for reading.
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                                      #18    
                                    Old June 1st, 2017 (7:44 AM).
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                                    G-Master G-Master is offline
                                    Lead of Pokémon Roll
                                       
                                      Join Date: Dec 2013
                                      Location: AZ
                                      Gender: Male
                                      Nature: Docile
                                      Posts: 58
                                      Hello everyone, just letting you know that the project will be going on hiatus until the next version of Unity comes out. We are currently experiencing a crippling editor crash bug with no workaround and submitted a report to Unity. They stated they'll fix it in the next major release, but until then, work has halted.
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                                        #19    
                                      Old June 21st, 2017 (11:08 AM).
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                                      G-Master G-Master is offline
                                      Lead of Pokémon Roll
                                         
                                        Join Date: Dec 2013
                                        Location: AZ
                                        Gender: Male
                                        Nature: Docile
                                        Posts: 58
                                        Unity has fixed our bug and it's due out in the next patch/version. In the meantime, we've been juggling some ideas with Pokemon levels and want your input before making a final decision.

                                        The problem we had was that Pokemon's 1-100 level scaling was very RPG-esque, meaning your ability to play the game was largely determined by your level and strategy. Platformers are a bit different, requiring mostly skill with a bit of strategy. So, we want to adapt Pokemon leveling to better fit within our platformer.

                                        Each Pokemon will be between levels 1 and 10, earning EXP by coming along when you play a level (as your PokeAssist). Evolution will still require a minimum level, but it will also require "type orbs" that function much like Pokemon Go candy, the difference being they are universal for each type, not each species. Orbs are earned by capturing Pokemon, much like Pokemon Go. When you capture duplicate Pokemon of the same species, you can either transfer them for some extra orbs, or you can "combine" them with an existing Pokemon of the same species to increase their move effectiveness. That way, catching duplicates is never a waste of time.

                                        I'd love to hear your feedback on the new leveling system, as it's a departure from the core Pokemon series and more like the recent Pokemon mobile games. Feel free to either reach out here or on the Discord (@G-Master).
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                                          #20    
                                        Old August 22nd, 2017 (3:11 PM).
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                                        G-Master G-Master is offline
                                        Lead of Pokémon Roll
                                           
                                          Join Date: Dec 2013
                                          Location: AZ
                                          Gender: Male
                                          Nature: Docile
                                          Posts: 58
                                          Hey all,

                                          I'm here not for a progress update, but rather a question to the community. I know the community hasn't historically given any opinions of this game, but I'd like to share this question regardless since it's relevant to a lot of modern games.

                                          How do you feel about games that track usage data?

                                          Since we are planning on hooking Roll up to a database, we have the opportunity to collect usage data. We could potentially collect things like where Pokemon are being captured in levels, what items are most popular, and some other things. While this information is just fluff for the player, devs can use it for improving the game over time. Level design benefits immensely, as we could use it to analyze how people play the level, and improve any areas that people are actively avoiding.

                                          Obviously Roll can't collect any personal data since it's not connected to anything else, the one exception being IP addresses. I can't think of any use for IPs other than maybe an unlock for playing the game in different locations, but honestly I doubt it would be worth the effort.

                                          As far as legality is concerned, I believe any software that gathers information requires the developer to draft a Privacy Policy that details what information is gathered and how it is used, but I'm under the impression that isn't required if the only information tracked is in-game information. So long as we don't store any information that isn't generated inside of the game, I don't see why we'd need a Privacy Policy or a Terms of Service. Another reason to leave out IPs entirely.

                                          Nonetheless, I wanted to get the community's opinion on the topic. My immediate guess is that most will prefer games that have no potential to track information at all, but the database is here to stay since we want to run post-launch events. So what do you think? Would you play a game knowing it tracks how you play it? Would you be more interested if the information was presented back to you, so you could use it to improve? What about if the game itself used it, like altering spawns to better match the areas of the level you visit, or offering discounts on items you use more often?

                                          Thanks.
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                                            #21    
                                          Old 2 Weeks Ago (11:41 AM).
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                                          G-Master G-Master is offline
                                          Lead of Pokémon Roll
                                             
                                            Join Date: Dec 2013
                                            Location: AZ
                                            Gender: Male
                                            Nature: Docile
                                            Posts: 58
                                            Happy new year!

                                            As with a lot of fan projects, our development team can sometimes struggle to find time to work on Pokemon Roll (hence the reason there hasn't been an update since August). But fortunately, winter break gave us lots of free time!

                                            Today I can present something a little more exciting ... a first look at our levels!



                                            There's obviously a lot more work to be done (especially on the water), but the isometric sprites are working a lot better than I thought they would.

                                            Moving forward, here is what I'm going to be focusing on when it comes to the environment:
                                            • Improving the water - the water obviously looks rough, but my hope is to make it smooth and responsive
                                            • Adding more tiles - different types of trees and such, as well as making more types of ground
                                            • Making outer generation nicer looking - invisible barriers are fine, but I'd rather the outside of the map look smooth
                                            • Add dynamic interactions - one of the cool things we're staged to do is have attacks alter the environment (fire attacks burn foliage, etc), but some work needs to be done as far as visuals go
                                            • Improving the lighting - the background is a bit dark right now, but when I include the day/night system it will improve significantly

                                            While I'm doing all that, my partner will be focusing on refining the Pokeball movement so it's as smooth as possible, and ensuring that it works properly underwater.

                                            We've also animated 10 or so of the moves, which is a good start despite there being like 600 or so total.

                                            Winter break is now over, so I can't guarantee that we'll make a lot of progress. We're going to continue working regardless, but simply commenting. liking this post, or showing us you're interested is a good motivator

                                            Thanks,
                                            G
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