BYOND Version 480BYOND version 480 is fairly stable and worth downloading if you haven't already. It is a bug-fix release, focusing on dozens of issues that were reported during the website hiatus. Consult the release notes for more information. We haven't yet released it on the hub ("you've got updates!") because we want to be absolutely sure it doesn't break anything. We'll likely do one more intermediate release prior to our next "official" version.
Featured GamesOne thing you may have noticed today is the emphasis on "featured" games front and center of the main Games pages.
While this is certainly a visible site change, it is more of a philosophical one. We are trying to promote the "best of BYOND" via well-defined gaming standards. While these games may overlap the popular ones (as rated by the community and displayed directly below), they often will not: and that is where the value lies, in encouraging people to try quality games that, for whatever reason, may be neglected. If you would like to promote a game (whether it be your own or something you've had fun playing), read the aforementioned standards and apply to the forum. If you'd like to help review games, this site is a good place to start.
Site OptimizationLast week we began what will be a long-term optimization on the servers hosting our site. We started with the basic question: "Our machines our pretty powerful, our traffic isn't enormous... why isn't our site loading more quickly?" This is not so important now as it is for the future, when we migrate the pager and many of the games (via Flash) over to the website. So far we've made some pretty significant optimizations; while they seem to pass the "eyeball" test for speed, we'll have a better idea in a few weeks once our numbers really come in. The reason to mention it here-- aside from justifying the many hours spent on the project :) -- is to inform you of the change so that if anything seems funky with the site, you'll know to report it. Hopefully also things will be a lot faster down the road.
Flash TestingWe got back to work on the Flash project by resuming testing with existing games. The exciting news here is that we're working with Silk Games to see how well NEStalgia runs in our current Flash stuff. So far: Houston, we have a problem! But that's to be expected, as it is early, yet.
Aside from its sudden spike in popularity, NEStalgia is an excellent test subject for the Flash because it is primarily map-based, and the GUI is the part that is least fleshed-out thus far. Should this work out-- and I am very optimistic that it will-- we will have the option of individually porting the GUIs of other popular games before finishing the more ambitious project of a full BYOND 4.0 Flash client.