I believe that, in the absence of superior technology and market penetration, BYOND's best way to lure in new developers is to provide a system that rewards projects for meeting certain standards. I believe this because BYOND's former channel system is part of what attracted me a decade ago.
Unfortunately, I don't know how much support the idea has. The channel system fell and I found that few were willing to shoot for feature status by the time the guild system was running. I began adding more benefits to act as bribes. I don't know how much they are valued, but I was given the chance to continue my efforts with the current system.
If I alone am the provider of these benefits then I am in fact advertising myself rather than BYOND. While I have strong opinions on how I wish to work, my goal is actually to make myself obsolete. Should my implementation of featured games fail, I hope to at least leave behind some tools for others.
The following feature benefits are automated:
- Banners have been rotating on the site for the past decade.
- The staff recently added a "scroller panel" on the front page.
- CSS is used to highlight entries in the main game list. The staff endured my nagging for this one. ;)
The following feature benefits could be automated:
- I've been posting updates from featured games on BYOND's Facebook page. I've made a feature request to have the posts filtered by public blog moderators referenced for automatic updates.
- I've also been posting a gallery on Facebook. I know there are ways to upload automatically. If selecting pictures turns out to be a problem, perhaps the process can be eliminated by giving each game its own gallery.
- With Along The Tech Tree, I learned to put the featured games on the right of every post so that my weekly efforts served as advertising. However, doing that with BYOND and Within requires more access to BYOND Central. Someone would have to maintain the blog's favorites list and the staff would have to be bothered every time someone new takes over. Instead, I've requested that a vertical version of the scroller panel be added.
The following feature benefits can't be automated:
- Without a writer to add some personality and external influences, a regular column to keep people looking at the desired BYOND Central ads would likely lose what limited charm it has. On the bright side, the random staff announcements could still display the ads whether the column runs or not. If there are no ads then it probably doesn't matter and the column can simply end.
The following feature benefits can't be automated and are frelling necessary:
- Reviews require sentient beings. I've made the feature standards public and tried to be specific. It is an attempt to provide integrity, remove unreasonable arguments and reduce the bulk of the work to a checklist. If I'm not doing the work then my "strong opinions" don't matter and the standards can be updated without me.