The astute among you may have noticed a small change in the footer on this website: "BYOND" is now "BYOND Software". This is an admission of defeat for me, because my goal all along was to turn BYOND into a global behemoth like Apple or Amazon. We would have had subdivisions like "BYOND Donuts" and "BYOND Toilet Repair" and so forth. Alas, the Software division took up all of our time so it was not to be.
In seriousness, what has happened here is simply a change in ownership. As of earlier this month, I have officially transferred over the entirety of this business to long-time user, developer, and friend Lummox JR (whose name is actually Lee). We've been working to transfer the knowledge base and IT infrastructure (that is what predicated the server move), and I will be available for as long as he needs to help out.
This has been a long time coming; I first floated the idea with Lee a few years ago. As I recall, the conversation went something like this:
Me: So would you be interested in taking over BYOND?
Lee: Well, I'm not much of a businessman.
Me: No worries, it's not much of a business!
Ahahahaha. We revisited this act a few times but not much came of it, because, I suppose, of Newton's first law: Lee was content with the small, but regular income from the project and I had invested so much time and energy into this that I was hesitant to let it go.
With the latest webclient developments-- our most ambitious project yet-- I realized that this project has a lot of life yet. But for it to succeed, it needs to have a passionate person at the helm, not one treating it more or less like an investment (even if it is the kind of investment that takes a lot of work and makes no money :) ) And Lee is the perfect person for this job, because not only is he a brilliant developer, he is legitimately excited about BYOND and its future. When I first decided to turn BYOND into a business, I made the decision only to hire from within the community, because I knew that they cared about the product. And this "Lummox JR" guy cared enough to harass us nonstop with obscure feature requests and abuses of the engine. Look where it has gotten him now!
For you, beloved user of BYOND, this is great news. Lee is a developer's developer: he pays less heed to the business than he does to the features he (and others) want. If you are an ambitious developer willing to put in the work, he will work with you personally to make your game a success. Already we've gone over some exciting things for the future software releases, and, this webclient is going to make a big "summer splash" with the upcoming games that are utilizing it. Once people see the potential for BYOND to become a generic platform for multiplayer games on desktop, mobile, and the web, all of the work over the years should finally come to fruition.
But understand that this is more than just a "job" for Lee now. The Fund-o-Meter has been a bit sad in the last few months, and although the regular pleas may be annoying, I hope you realize that it is necessary to keep the project going. If BYOND has brought any joy to your life, or you just want to support a worthwhile project, I ask you to contribute, even if it's only a few dollars. Understand that this project, under Dan's ownership, under my ownership, and now under Lee's ownership, has never been about greed-- this is why everything has always been, and will always be, basically free. It has survived almost 20 years now out of a labor of love and on the contributions of the community.
To those of you who have been a part of BYOND for so long, I thank you. Although this project was not financially successful for me, personally, I take great pride in knowing that so many have toyed with our humble developments throughout the years, and I hope that this continues long into the future. And should BYOND (er BYOND Software) make it bigtime one day, I hope Lee hires me to run the Donut division!
May 23 2015, 4:02 pm