You might remember another article by one cunning young programmer entitled: "Get a hold of your target audience". Since that covered methods of gaining interest in your game within the BYOND site, lets discuss ways of getting people outside of BYOND to be interested.
As of BYOND 461, we've been able to distribute BYOND without the installation of the program, but undoubtedly, a lot of people have been asking how to do that. So let's discuss this now.
First and foremost, the release notes say if we place a folder named "byond" in our distribution, the program will default to that. So lets set up out folder. Go to your desktop and make a new folder with the same name as your game. Then download and unzip the latest BYOND zip. Cut the "byond" folder from the zip location, and paste it into your new folder. Now we have the game folder ready.
Back in Dream Maker, we need to prepare our game. First, we need to go to "Build" then "Make EXE". By default the executable will be the same name as your .DME file, so there's no need to change that. The Hub/Command ID is what we need to focus on.
Seeing as we're distributing outside of BYOND, chances are, none (or very, very few) of the people we hand the game out too will have a BYOND Key. With this in mind, first we need to set the Hub/Command ID to the name of our .DMB file. In my case, I'll link it to "file://MyGame.dmb". Then, we need to append ##guest. This will deliberately bypass the BYOND Pager, and automatically log the user in as a guest. If you want to add a touch of professionalism to it, you can add an Icon file to the executable. (The icon files are limited to .ICO. If you don't have a converter or don't wish to look for one, you can use this handy tool to convert from PNG to ICO via a web interface, neat yeah?)
Once you've received the message confirming your .EXE was built, we need to copy the necessary files out of our game folder (.exe, .dmb and .rsc). We'll paste these in the new folder we made on our desktop.
There, now we have everything we need to freely distribute our game to users who don't have BYOND installed. All you have to do is Zip the folder, and send it in the direction of people who might be interested.
For the fun of it, I've released the zipped version of my test project. Try it on a computer that doesn't have BYOND installed and see how you fair. =)
Make EXE also has a few other tricks up it's sleeve. You're not limited to just distributing the DMB and RSC of your game for the user to play locally. The user is also able to play on your 24/7 server (if you have one). Provided of course your game allows the use of guest keys.
To do this, just change "file://MyGame.dmb##guest" to "byond://server_ip:port##guest". This also removes the need for you to distribute the DMB and RSC with your executable (you'll still need the byond folder, however). There's no sense in including the host files if the user isn't going to need them, right?
For other tips and tricks concerning Make EXE, you can review the article A Beginners' Guide to Publishing BYOND Games. Which contains a list and description of all possible appendices to the command URL. (##local, ##host, ##hub, ##remote, ##live, ##info, ##guest and ##version=X).