Just a thought I want to convey to everybody waiting for a game to be developed and developing a game of their own, try not to fall into the mindset that the most important element of a BYOND game is the graphics. I dont say this with a particular game in mind, it springs up as a general comment that comes from pretty much all of the current games in development. I never see much talk these days about what these new projects will consist of, but instead I see demo screenshots, which are interesting surely, but dont give any indication of what the game is or will be. Certainly graphics are important, graphic artists with talent are rare and their contributions can really make a game stand out. Improving the GUI can make a game more user friendly, constructing good turfs can make a game more engaging (and conversely, having really poor turfs can make a game confusing and distract from the actual gameplay a great deal.), and having good character graphics and effect graphics can really make the game look sharp and seem polished.
A beautiful game with poor programming will not scale well, will crash often, will have awkward lag which causes animations to look choppy and the gameplay to be obnoxious. Lacking programming will result in intrusive prompt windows during combat or exploits which leave the game unbalanced and boring. Poor gameplay mechanics will cause a game to be lacklustre and have no long term value. Poor project management will cause the game to never actually be released, to spend half a decade in limbo before being cancelled, or result in administrative corruption which undermines the balance and fun of the game.
I know that everybody on BYOND values strong pixel art, and you should. I spent a great deal of time finding talented people to help me with every project I've been a part of, and I have spent considerable amounts of time learning to do an adequate job myself. Still, I see a growing mindset on byond that gives a great deal of attention to projects based on the release of preliminary graphics, but very few blog posts about what gameplay mechanics a prospective game will have. I would hope that the people of BYOND would care more about what a game will be instead of what a game will look like, not because appearance doesn’t matter, but.. if you are a member of the BYOND community you should be here for gameplay. I say this because the BYOND engine's strengths dont lie in graphics and animation; it lies in the creativity of a large community. Large game companies have no problem having amazing graphics but they do have a problem taking risks on interesting game premises and gameplay mechanics. If you want to do something truly outstanding on BYOND I would encourage more of a discussion on gameplay design and less of an obsession on which game has the best graphics.
Just an opinion, I know lots of people are big fans of the pixel art community and that is absolutely fine. This is just a reminder that a game is only as strong as its weakest link, whether that be graphics, programming, gameplay or project management.
PS: Avatar was an awesome movie, dont miss it in theaters. The 3D was actually very entertaining and the entire movie while not the greatest movie ever made was certainly the best movie I've seen in the past year.
Jan 18 2010, 10:51 am (Edited on Jan 18 2010, 11:01 am)