I have taken a month hiatus from BYOND; I've been pretty busy lately.

However, I've still been following kickstarter and steam greenlight and some of the indie-gaming scene, and I've made a couple of really interesting observations.

First I'm going to ask that you look at a couple of recent indie games that I see as successful:


Hyper Light Drifter

Legend of Dungeon

Now, I'm not asking that you watch the entirety of each of these videos. I just want you to have a good idea of what each of these games play like, what they look like, what they feel like.

Ignore the fact that these three games are from a similar genre, because the point I'm looking to make is not genre specific.

These three games have each been fairly successful. HammerWatch has been Steam Greenlit and sells for $10 a copy. Hyper Light Drifter raised more than half a million dollars ($645,158 specifically) on Kickstarter, and is Steam Greenlit. Legend of Dungeon raised $33000 on Kickstarter and sells for $10 on Steam.

When I look at these games, and I look at their kickstarter pages and their Steam pages, I can't help but think to myself: "This could have been developed on BYOND."

HammerWatch is a multiplayer dungeon crawl that pretty much plays like IainPeregrine's Casual Quest. It's fancy effects and lighting are possible using the alpha channel on icons, and the new features with atom.blend_mode can make even better looking effects. And yet it sells for $10 on steam, and has been covered by many youtube stars like Yogscast (with nearly 1 million views), so it's probably not too far-fetched to say that it has sold well.

Legend of Dungeon is actually a fairly slow-paced dungeon crawl that does not even have online multiplayer. It only features singleplayer or local-machine multiplayer. I'm going to go so far as to say that its gameplay was poorly designed and is not very fun. But it still raised $33000 on Kickstarter, and it was covered by Yogscast (66k views). You might say "Well that 3d lighting is not doable on BYOND", and I'm just going to say that it IS doable on BYOND, but I'll get into how or why some other time. Just know that the latest features with atom.blend_mode just made that sort of lighting feasible. It also sells for $10 on Steam. This game was developed by 2-person team.

Hyper Light Drifter is kind of similar to Legend of Dungeon. It features singleplayer and local-machine multiplayer, and its gorgeous art is simple and doesn't rely on overly fancy effects. I'm not trying to downplay the game's magnificent art design in the least, but everything in that gameplay video for Hyper Light Drifter is possible in BYOND, regardless of singleplayer or online-multiplayer. This game is developed by a single person.

The thing is, the lack of online-multiplayer coop have turned off a huge number of potential buyers/backers. Discussion forums about Hyper Light Drifter AND Legend of Dungeon is riddled with questions about "Is there online-multiplayer?" and the subsequent disappointment upon hearing "No. Singleplayer or Local-machine multiplayer only". There's kind of a universal desire to be able to play these indie games online, in coop with friends. It's not hard to imagine that these games would be even more successful if they featured online multplayer.

I think BYOND right now fits a very good niche and does its job well. BYOND is perfectly capable of running these games, Legend of Dungeon and Hammerwatch and Hyper Light Drifter, in online multiplayer. Notice that the big emphasis is on coop and online multiplayer, and that these games are not silly MMORPGs, which BYOND is notorious for not handling so well. So pretty much, less than 10 players. Each of these games are being developed by either a solo developer, or a VERY small team.

BYOND doesn't need a big dream-team of developers to put out a good game, and it doesn't need some holy features of 3d graphics or client-side processing to make good and fun games.
So why hasn't BYOND's Hyper Light Drifter happened yet?
I think one thing that holds byond back is the player base. Look at Steam you have an average of 2 million people signed in at one time. However, with BYOND the average is more around 2.5k.

It all comes down to numbers. You offer a game at 99cents to a player base of 5million, and you are guaranteed to make more money selling a game for 15 dollars to 100k playerbase.

In my personal opinion I think that byond needs an "Advertisement" push such as developers releasing full games, non anime games, and then pushing byond hard as hell to bring in a player base.
In response to Akando5959
I don't think any of this is true. It doesn't take a player base to put anything on Kickstarter or Steam Greenlight. It doesn't take a player base to send out emails to Kotaku, like Silkwizard did. It doesn't take a player base to advertise on Reddit or Digg or It doesn't take a player base to have TotalBiscuit/CynicalBrit or Yogscast make a youtube video about your game.

I think it's really naive to think that making a game means that it will automatically draw in players by itself. As a developer, it's a part of your responsibilities to hustle and get word out.
In response to Akando5959
It wouldn't matter. You could advertize outside of BYOND and get just as many people, steam included.
As far as gameplay goes for hammerwatch, it's really simple, you have this basic hacknslash roguelike game with skill progression, 4 classes, nothing too complicated there. Hyper Light Drifter has an unique style, thematic and great animations, regardless all that the pixel art is still simple.

The difference on these games is that they are extremely polished, particles effects and dynamic lighting really boost the graphical presentation. It may sound easy but it's worth noting although those games can probably be made on Byond, it requires a lot of work and resources to get there.

I agree on the marketing part, it is not Byond's work to advertise for the dev, i believe that if the game is good enough and you do a good job advertising, it'll attract players regardless the engine you use.
D4RK it does not take a player base for any of those things. However, it does matter to how much exposure your game gets.

My point was that if your game is only show/exposed/displayed/whatever to 100k people it will be less likely to expand than if you were to then take the same game and do the same with 2mil people.

I agree. More BYONDers should have jumped on Steam Greenlight when it first started.

We have no idea how much money NEStalgia is going to make on Steam now that it's been green lit. But even the lowest quality GreenLight games are making tens of thousands on there, so we're all pretty excited.

I think that a lot of people here have the capabilities to make a pretty decent single player game that could generate a bit of interest and a load of cash. I hope somebody else will eventually be able to find that kind of success since it would do nothing but good for BYOND as a whole.
For me, I don't want to put something on the market unless I know it's been polished and developed at the best of my ability. I know I could put something up there and call it a day, but for me, the money earned should be from hard work. If I wanna push out a product, I would want to know in my heart that the project has matured and become a pristine piece of software. I would want to be proud of what I've done.

That being said, I would feel guilty to slap some half-assed project on Kickstarter and watch it accrue profits. It wouldn't feel right. I'd be scamming people out of money in my mind.
See Nestalgia is a prime example of the ooncept I am pointing at.

On byond they have maybe had at most a few thousand players who happened to specifically look for and locate something that linked to Nestalgia

Because Steam markets to such a huge market this allows the game to find it's target Market.

(I am taking marketing this semester so giving me some ideas of what is going)

The concept is that BYOND requires the person to know what they are looking for and to hunt it down, where as Steam is a passive advertiser and makes the buyer go on impulse buys.

Such as when they do a free weekend, or 75% off weekend on a game you have never heard of, but you buy It anyways because it is just such a great deal.

Another example is Epic: Legend, Yut Put is trying hard with making youtube videos and such to try and draw attention to the game, but the last time I check the subscriptions count they had around 25 subs set up.

Epic:legends, graphic and game wise, look very similar to legend of dungeon. However, why is Epic:Legend not doing as well?

The reason being is because of the player base, maybe I am using an incorrect terms. Let me call it the exposure base or the Market Area seeing as it is very difficult to market anything for free unless you pay for ads.

Now this brings me to Makeii's point, it is very hard for people to complete a game unless it is polished or just the way the developer wants it. However, if there is no interest, money, glory, etc... in making the game there is carrot at the end of the stick to help draw the developer along to finish the game.

I think that most Byond games fall within this category of failure. I theorize this is the average good game has around 30 fans, this is not including anime games as only the anime games have higher numbers.
Why doesn't BYOND have games like this yet?

Because no one on BYOND is skilled enough to make games of this quality.
In response to The Magic Man
That isn't true. There are plenty who are skilled enough but they chose not to. Everyone has their own dream of what they want. All you need is a different approach on how you market your game.
In response to MDC
But none of this is relevant to what I said.

I said there is no one on BYOND skilled enough to make games of this quality. What sort of game it is is entirely irrelevant. It could be a platform game, adventure game, RPG, board game and so on.
The fact of the matter is, the people around here just do not possess the skill to make games this good. (Though I am not saying people suck, it takes more than being a good coder to make a great game)

Also, how you market the game has nothing to do with it's quality.

If we had people skilled enough to make games of this quality, we'd already have games of this quality. Yet I don't see them.
In response to The Magic Man
It's not that we don't have the people to make makes of that quality, but that we don't have the people that choose to make those games. Sad to say there are plenty of developers who could make said games and even better but they aren't interested in it.
BYOND can surely make games like this. We need better developers though. Those that are here are, for the majority, hobbyists. I'll be surprised if I finish any of my projects within the next year -- mainly because I'm not dedicated enough.

The advent of custom interfaces, pixel movement, larger and smaller icon sizes/bounding boxes, and the v500 features has really brought BYOND to a point where it is extremely presentable to the outside world.

And I disagree with Magic Man. Not only I, but many other developers on BYOND that are more skilled than I could make games of the same quality as those kickstarters. It just takes time, commitment, effort, and money. And, as I already addressed, most developers here are lacking in those areas.
Every time I go on Kongregate or other online game sites I can easily find what I call BYONDable games, i.e. games relatively easy to make with BYOND (not 3D, for example). I never actually try to make them though for a number of reasons that I tend to create solely to get out of work (professional procrastinator here).
1. I don't want to blatantly copy games, and I'm not creative enough to add my own spin to a design, like my own theme or storyline.
2. I don't have time or motivation.
3. Etc.
There are plenty of games that are on byond that are of the "quality" needed to be larger.
In response to Akando5959
Akando5959 wrote:
There are plenty of games that are on byond that are of the "quality" needed to be larger.

No, there aren't. There's barely three.
I think that an issue with development here is that people want to add too many layers of complexity or too much content to their games, and when they realize the enormous amount of work involved with implementation they get frustrated and end up abandoning their efforts. We had that problem with Acheron's Awakening back in the day, and even NEStalgia probably would have ended up in development limbo forever if Greenlight hadn't worked out.

Instead of babying a project for an eternity, there should be clear end goals in place, and for the most part they should be stuck to. I think that's why a lot of the time these "game in a week/day/whatever" projects end up being examples of the more playable games on BYOND. Developers are forced into a corner and have to make a simple game or no game at all.
Let's make a specially devised Dev team with divisions! *never happens*
In response to The Magic Man
The Magic Man wrote:
If we had people skilled enough to make games of this quality, we'd already have games of this quality. Yet I don't see them.

But we do have people with the skill. They're just not using

Hell, with the proper combination of libraries on this site, plus some clever code snippets found throughout the forum history, and a bit of decent graphics, a game on par with those three examples could be made right now.

It's just that no one is bothering, for various reasons.

The skill is here (if not within single individuals, then within the community's resource pool), the drive is not.
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