BYOND Members have file space that they can use to upload their games, demos, and libraries. But until recently, this was an involved process: The member had to go to their file management page and upload the file, then edit the hub entry to give it a download URL pointing to the file they had uploaded. This worked, but it was not necessarily convenient. Earlier in BYOND's history, though, we used to allow direct uploads of .zip files, which was very convenient. We're now pleased to announce that this feature has been merged into BYOND Member file space, so members can upload their games' .zip package files directly from the hub entry editing page.
If you are a Member, when you go to edit any of your hub entries you will see the new option "BYOND Member File Upload", where you can choose a file. Browse to find the .zip package for your entry, and that's it. You don't need to fill in the download URL since that will be done automatically. Files that are uploaded this way go right into your file space as a hidden file.
That brings up another important change. In the past, hidden files meant only you or those who had file management permission on your site (such as if you were running a guild) could download them. But if a file corresponds to one of your hub entries, anyone who has permission to download the hub entry can download that file. That is, if you set up subscription-only downloads then only subscribers will be able to download. If the entry is downloadable by everyone, then anyone can download that file. You can also make the .zip package downloadable by anyone just by making it Visible or Listed in your file manager. This new way of handling downloads works because if a hidden file is named something like Author.Game.zip (in my case, maybe something like LummoxJR.Incursion.zip), it's easy to look up the hub entry and figure out who's allowed to download it. If the filename is changed to something else, this method will not work.
People who have legacy hub entries, who had uploaded .zip files to our server before that was no longer allowed, will note that they now have those files in their personal file space whether they are Members or not. Non-Members can't upload new files, but legacy files were moved for them as a courtesy so the files wouldn't just disappear. Should any user in that position activate a new membership or renew an old one, they will regain the ability to upload changes to that file.
There's one other thing authors should know. If you have uploaded a file this way and you change the path of your hub entry, the filename will change for you too. Changing a hub path is usually not recommended, but if you need to this will keep things consistent. As I mentioned above, the filename has to correspond with the hub path in order for download permissions to work right.
Another feature we've added, or perhaps more accurately brought back, is the ability to track gameplay for your hub entries. Our new tracking shows the number of times people joined a live session, the number of downloads, and the number of times it was hosted. This feature is open to all authors, not just BYOND Members, so you can keep an eye on how your game is doing.
These are just some of the big things we've been working on lately. As you may have noticed, the BYOND software has been going through some interesting updates as well, with the addition of the new feature to allow secondary HUDs and some improvements in caching behavior that will benefit resource-heavy games. As always, thanks for being part of our great community, and especially we thank our Members for making these ongoing improvements possible.
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