Recently, the Journalism guild resumed its writing, DMBlog began its own and the DMcast posted another episode.  (Check out the Casual Quest event scheduled this weekend!)  If each can continue to provide content, then kudos to them.  If not then they'll join the pile of other projects dead or on indefinite hiatus.

I ask you to consider the following:

  • While others have indeed offered informative articles, you're reading the words of the only consistent source of BYOND writing in the site's history.
  • My digests have had an audience because they cut down on the number of blogs to watch.

This might sound strange coming from a developer who has created all of his games on his own, but I actually like collaboration for web content.  It allows writers to pace themselves and shoulder the burden of filling a site without butting into each others' articles.  If one person needs to take a break or just plain quit, another can pick up the slack.  Perhaps individual columns will be missing, but the site can keep active enough to attract an audience until they return.

Honestly, it takes a certain kind of OCD to write on these topics without pay and I don't wish it on anyone.  When a BYOND writer does inevitably burn out, it would be nice if they left a backlog on an active blog.  My years of Along The Tech Tree are tucked far away.  That's not a complaint.  I chose to move here for promotion through the pager.  However, what happens to the work of a less stubborn victim martyr volunteer?

In short: While you don't have to work with everyone, there might be a limit to how often efforts can be forked whilst remaining relevant.  Please consider joining an existing effort if it's possible. =)

Within BYOND

Last week, the BYOND staff released a beta version of the suite with native support for pixel movement.  I have yet to take the plunge, but new releases like Falacy's Dot Shot might offer some hints.  Meanwhile, Mega fart cannon has posted videos of his experiments with bullet hell shooters.  Keep track of beta updates in the Announcements forum.

Silk Games have posted a preview of upcoming changes to the Soldier class in their MORPG NEStalgia.  The harsh penalties of the Soldier's random moves will be balanced with a stamina resource meter which resets between battles.  Offensive and defensive skill trees will also be added.

After their recent demo, Kyle_ZX and Zaoshi have released and updated an alpha version of their text-based RPG Myth: The Rising.  Combat, saving and high scores are expected soon.  Screenshots previewing the city of Halkirk were provided, but may have to be recreated after data loss.

GreatFisher has been hosting beta test sessions of a PvP free-for-all called simply Arena GameMultiple updates have been released with the aid of XxLucifersJesterxX as the project turns towards what was originally intended.  Players can earn ranks and purchase weapons.  Offhand, the implied cross-session persistence makes me worry about balance, but I suppose RPGs infect everything nowadays. ;)

Kumorii has twice updated his shooter Zombies! with new enemies, weapons and more.  A spinoff multiplayer survival game called Feed is now being developed with the help of Upda4t3 and Brettpenzer.  The latter has displayed screenshots of an inventory combination system.

Acebloke is celebrating the sixth anniversary of his military/economic sim Wargames with a half price sale bundled with a free year of his zombie project Survive This!  The birthday game was recently updated with interface changes, rebalanced combat and the loss of United Nations protection when joining/creating alliances.

Inspired by a recent petition, Acebloke has also resumed work on his tactical quest Joshtan1...  I miss character battles as well, EmpirezTeam.  Even if that dragon had to cheat with magic to beat my Wrangler. ;)

Eksadus, Ceojac and F0lak have announced the Harbringer of Darkness event for their MORPG Hazordhu II.  The event began September 2nd, but there are four weekly chapters.  Each will offer content changes.  Some will be permanent and some will be unique to the event.  The final chapter will offer a one-of-a-kind item to a random player.

Bravo1 updated his vehicular shooter Tanx.  The mouse control appears more responsive, but hosts and players may wish to lower the quantity of AI as it seems dependent on one's CPU.  A spectator mode, kill-cam and (thankfully) a toggle for the AI chatter have also been included.

Makeii updated the demo for Magus Aura: Edreoll.  It's simply two screens with some wandering enemies to smack around for what I imagine is a test of the rewritten map system.  It's been a year since the hub entry was created so I hope a more complete game is on the way. =)

Still developing his platforming MORPG Tiny Heroes, Forum_account has been pondering the merits of less frequent save points and replenishable health.  He also released a new Mouse Position library while updating Pixel Movement with bug fixes, camera options and toggles for BYOND's new native support.  A Sidescroller update is coming soon.  (Game and tangent, Zaltron. ;))

Aaiko of Iccusion Entertainment has provided a status update for the MORPG Teridal.  Along with interface changes, the game now has 13 classes with plans for 2 more on the way.  Aaiko also announced a sidescrolling fighter in the Feval universe with a variety of animal opponents for nature's ninja.

Chris Gayle and Zane444 have been displaying pictures of a new project called Spirit Age.  Set in a colonial period with flintlock guns and swords, characters will play hosts to creatures whose power can be channeled.  The pair has been focusing on the speed and responsiveness of the weapon-based combat with an emphasis on tactics over stats.

Shadow813 has shared screenshots and a background story for a hack and slash fantasy MORPG currently called Mythic Quest.  Classless with a focus on equipment, it's player versus player unless testing dictates otherwise.

Awaiting the final touches on a zombie game created with VcentG called Trap Em!, Branks has been developing a cops and robbers action game with Lige called Jail Em!  The team expects to release a version soon, but they're looking for voice actors.

After ages with just Tsfreaks, PopLava now consists of multiple project teams thanks to *GASP* paid positions on for-profit endeavors.  One includes Albro1 for a game called SnipeFest.  The other seeks to test and flesh out the turn-based strategy HexGame.  More projects are on the way and they're looking for recruits.

IainPeregrine is preparing for Game in a Day 2011 with a poll to determine the date.  I suggest one of the later options for reasons which should be apparent below.  Theme suggestions are welcome in the comments of IainPeregrine's post.

I've been overthinking the plot creation for my procedurally generated action adventure.  I've settled on a simple lock and key method of quest generation which forces exploration of the map and develops a chain of events leading back where they began.  I'm hoping players with dream across the sequential gaps enough to create a semi-cohesive story.

Beyond BYOND

  • As noted by Chris "Breakdance McFunkypants" Kaitila, next week is packed with game jams!
  • The course "Introduction to Artificial Intelligence" taught by Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig will be offered online for free worldwide from October 10th to December 18th.  If you're not willing to sign up, you can at least spy on their YouTube channel.
  • The Game Crafter is holding a Mashup Game Design contest with entries due by November 1st.  Again, I mention this because I'm a friendless loser who thinks online prototypes with BYOND would make testing easier.  (Oh look, a tool!)
  • Farewell to The Digital Cowboys.  Alex Shaw and Tony Atkins will have other podcasts, but the final episode of the show they've hosted for four and a half years should be up shortly after this column is posted.  I've loved their work.
  • Senior game designer Xander Davis has been been hosting a YouTube show.  Much of the focus seems to be on consoles.  At least so far.
  • Fes Works' revamped Jenny Everywhere site gives me a chance to mention The Shifter to developers desiring a free and legal character with a possible fanbase.  (Speaking of the Webcast Beacon member, artists might be interested in taking a shot at Becky Beacon.)
  • There's been some debate over clones and games that just plain share genres.  Desktop Dungeons?  Radical Fishing?  Steambirds?  Super Puzzle Platformer?  (Mmmm, yum yum yum Super Puzzle Platformer.)  NEStalgia may face its own doppelganger with an 8-bit version of Dragon Quest X! ;)

YouTube was just a temporary stop before Extra Credits was picked up by Penny Arcade.  So much for embedding videos.  On the bright side, they announced the EC Indie Fund first. =)

Don't settle for a brief mention of activity.  Get games featured!  (Want to review?)

omg first so cooooll
*sigh* I hate when I edit tenses and plurals while forgetting to adjust the rest of the sentence. Why am I acting like I can offer writing advice again?
Because we love you and you love us.
Minor typo:
Senior game designer Xander Davis has been been...

Good stuff happening, I guess.
... and yet no mention of my progress with biohaze... im very dissapointed...
ok well im banned from the front page so there will be no more byond comics until tom realises that they were good and diddnt desrve to be banned.

i posted this here cause its like news and this is news
Ss4gogeta0 wrote:
... and yet no mention of my progress with biohaze... im very dissapointed...

Or on Halloween Terror 3... I made a big post about it too.
@Ss4gogeta0 & Ganing:
Gentlemen, I can stomach your disappointment. I can excuse a lack of blog posts. I can excuse mislabeled hub versions which make changes indistinguishable. I can excuse the belief that vaporware without details is somehow news.

However, there is one thing I won't tolerate.

For frell's sake, remember your impulse links, people! If you believe your work should get noticed then make sure it's easily accessible!
Halloween Terror III
With the new system preventing rips, the awesome new projects in development and the new BYONDcast group, I'd say the community is headed in the right direction.

.... good point .... Well played sir!
Why do I get random updates saying this is new? -__-

Somewhat Agreed.... yet mine isnt Vapor ware... its Downloadable and has news posted every time I update it... Hub Version is correct, I had a Blog Post but it wasnt listed for some reason... and I have posted Links to it... not to mention that its Readily Searchable on Byond..
@Ss4gogeta0: I wasn't referencing you with the vaporware.

As for your hub version, I was speaking of how the list of changes at the time of this column displayed a different version than the download. You have currently removed the version from the notes entirely, but that's not going to help either because I won't recognize whether you remembered to update them. Without the connection, there aren't any details for the column. I suggest making more use of your blog. =)
alright... too bad I cant connect my Facebook group with my blog (A majority of my announcements are on my Facebook group called GDoA *Game Designers Of America* which has a Few Byonders on it)

anyway I will try doing the blog every now and then...
I really like Byond and Within, perhaps even more than the good old along the tech tree.

You deserve more credit for doing this.

+1 credit.
and I miss the Old Byond Pre 4.0 ...
I do believe I am allegedly old enough to think.
so do I
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