ID:2429000
 
Creating a new title on BYOND is an uphill battle. I attribute this to a dead community, exceptionally useless and outdated website, and the hassle of actually playing a BYOND game as a new user.

The majority of people playing games on BYOND these days are not browsing the website or even the pager for new titles (Barring maybe players who only play anime games, but that's another topic). They discover games like SS13 or Spires elsewhere on the net and generally almost exclusively play those titles, they are not checking out new games. At best most people use the website to download/update the client and then never touch it again.

It's not really viable to generate a userbase internally from BYOND users any more- this is a huge problem. It means in order to create a playerbase you need to convince people your game is worth creating a BYOND account and downloading this clunky and archaic games client, sitting through a 30 second advertisement every time you launch the game, and ultimately having a kinda laggy experience in the game itself. It's hard enough to get people to play your game even when it's more presentable and built on a better engine and has its own standalone launcher...

I know there's a standalone EXE launcher, but it is hard to get and from what I've heard it doesn't actually function properly. I don't even wanna factor in the janky web client which makes an already awkward/clunky gaming experience much worse.

I don't expect BYOND To ever have thrilling action titles on it, but these days even creating sandbox games and RPG's that people will actually play seems like a herculean task that ultimately outweighs the benefits of its innate netcode and quick/easy game development.

Not sure what sort of solution to propose here but I would like to bring this topic up, acknowledge these problems and get a discussion going. There are too many barriers and hurdles infront of creating a new game with a real playerbase. Even if your game looks good to outsiders, one glance at a tiny playercount is enough to dissuade anyone from actually going through the effort to play it.

Regardless of BYOND's numerous shortcomings as an engine, the inability to realistically generate a playerbase is a way bigger issue. If we're being realistic, the people who are joining games with low player counts these days are probably nostalgia hunters who used to be active on BYOND many moons ago and not actual players looking to try out new games...
Compile To Exe #513
Generating a player base is difficult no matter what platform you used to create your game. I don't think there's a platform out there that can guarantee such a thing.

The fact that you said it's not viable "internally from BYOND" is problematic. Nobody should be restricting themselves from the outside world! I see this site as more of a place for developers to hang out, not so much for players.

If you really want people to be interested, I'd say you have to put in the effort to make not just a great game, but also a nice website/forum separate from byond.com. You should also be advertising on places like indieDB and elsewhere. You can also take care of lag with good programming practices and paying for a real host. You can also take care of ads by paying for membership.

Yes, you have to pay for these things. And it's not just BYOND - if you want "free" hosting you'll always have ads.

You say there are too many barriers to creating a game with a player base. You can't just create a player base! You make the game first, then get people to play. And considering you can fully use the software to make a game without paying a dime, I'd say there's no barrier other than your own motivation and a few bucks for a decent server.
I don't think you're necessarily wrong. BYOND makes distributing a game to the masses very difficult, and while the webclient seemed like a game changer there, the performance issues and other quirks make it a dead project. The main alternative is Steam, but you can't even upload your game as F2P without violating their ToS since the engine lacks support for DLCs.

Ultimately though you're beating a dead horse, since this kind of thread pops up every month. Either stick with it and endure the quirks, or move on. This is a 20 year old game engine maintained by just one developer and if it isn't good enough for you right now, it probably isn't going to be a few years down the line.

Also, while the standalone launcher has its problems, it's perfectly functional. The software it uses alerts most anti-viruses of malware (I've had well over ~30 new users tell me this), and customizing the appearance isn't very newbie friendly, but it gets the job done if you're willing to build a community the old fashioned way. And as long as your game isn't illegal (using copyrighted materials) then it's super easy to get your hands on.
In response to Magicsofa
Magicsofa wrote:
The fact that you said it's not viable "internally from BYOND" is problematic. Nobody should be restricting themselves from the outside world! I see this site as more of a place for developers to hang out, not so much for players.

If you really want people to be interested, I'd say you have to put in the effort to make not just a great game, but also a nice website/forum separate from byond.com. You should also be advertising on places like indieDB and elsewhere. You can also take care of lag with good programming practices and paying for a real host. You can also take care of ads by paying for membership.

Even if you do all this- you make a great and presentable game, with its own polished website, and advertise it heavily, new people still have to go to the BYOND website, create an account and download the BYOND client.

It's important to not downplay how ridiculous this is, and how much of a hurdle it is to get people to actually do all this just to play your game.

Pixel Realms wrote:
Ultimately though you're beating a dead horse, since this kind of thread pops up every month. Either stick with it and endure the quirks, or move on. This is a 20 year old game engine maintained by just one developer and if it isn't good enough for you right now, it probably isn't going to be a few years down the line.

I've come to terms with the limits of BYOND as a game engine. It's perfectly usable for some types of games- most often those tend to be multiplayer sandboxes and RPGs. Generating a playerbase for them is the problem.

BYOND can exist just fine as a lackluster and quirky engine, but it can't exist like that if it also has a dead community and an abysmal website. The platform sorely needs some sort of website overhaul. It's not like this is unattainable- reasonably talented users have come forward offering to work on the website before only to be turned down by Lummox, who apparently thinks the website is fine as it is. (It's not)

It's way too easy to handwave this as "Just make a good game lol", which people have been doing for years even though it's been repeatedly shown that making a good game isn't enough, in order to get players you basically need to capture lightning in a bottle. If you disagree I'd love an explanation on why absolutely nobody actually plays Feed, a good game that people hyped up and praised for ages. That's just one example of many, many reasonably well made games that nobody touches.
In response to Pixel Realms
Pixel Realms wrote:
And as long as your game isn't illegal (using copyrighted materials) then it's super easy to get your hands on.

There aren't instructions anywhere explaining how we get our hands on it. Are we supposed to search for Lummox on one of the toxic discords? Or keep posting here like we have been until he responds? Or use the disabled customer contact form.

I remember Tom saying we could've coughed up 100 dollars for it, good ol Tom. Whatever happened to that non bias fair deal?
At the minute you email BYOND Support or page Lummox directly.