Hello BYONDers, and welcome to another edition of Within BYOND! It's becoming a bit of a trend that these get posted late, so let's just agree to not talk about that. Sound good? Heyyy, glad we could agree.
Things are getting warm outside, the sun's out, and the flowers are beginning to bloom. Not necessarily the best time to stay cooped up working tirelessly on a game, but if you do find yourself in your basement at your computer, be sure to post your work somewhere on the forums, one of our Discord servers, or to your hub's forums so that I can show off your efforts! Speaking of, let's get this show on the road, shall we?
Lummox JR's exploration of noise hashes turned a bit sour when he realized just how much he wished he could revamp the rendering pipeline. After toying with the idea of map saving, Lummox JR later switched to general savefile improvements, figuring that map saving's intricacies aren't going to allow it to see the light of day anytime soon. That said, savefiles can now save appearances much more cleanly, and they now feature a unique format for matrices. Back on stable release, Lummox JR implemented a fairly ingenous optimization to istype() and typesof() lists, which use O(1) lookup time instead of O(depth), which is explained far better by this conversation than I ever could here. After ironing out a bug that emerged as a result, Lummox JR started exploring how best to optimize how associative lists work, in theory improving performance by a bunch, and diving into particularly annoying bugs involving Unicode, which continued to rear their ugly heads even very recently.
In short, Lummox JR is working hard to support your ability to build your own dreams, so why not show him some <3 via a Membership, a direction donation, becoming a Patron, or starting a Subscribestar subscription? The Patreon and Subscribestar-only Discord server is a very relaxed place to have a personal chat with Lummox JR about what you're working on and receive dedicated assistance from some of BYOND's finest!
Crazah has been breathing more and more life into trace/ALTER! A bunch of new pieces of equipment, abilities, and effects have received very impressive particle effects, giving a whole lot of oomph to everything you can do and wear. Crazah also made a host of other improvements to general play, such as giving the AI's pathfinding algorithm a much-needed boost. On the roadmap are boss enemies, which will be very unique, operating entirely differently from ordinary encounters. These boss type enemies will break the flow of combat from what players are used to, and will force you to adopt new strategies to take them down. Oh, and they'll have their own wonderfully composed boss music, because Crazah and his team don't stop at "cool", they elevate it to "masterful". Go check out trace/ALTER's Discord server to stay up-to-date on the latest developments!
Magicbeast20 made some more updates to CryptHead, adding walkie talkies that allow friendlies to chat with each other from across the map, as well as fancy kill animations for each monster, allowing them to more satisfyingly eviscerate you. Cars and boats now display an overlay that indicates how many of the seats are currently occupied, and the HUD for those playing as the monster has been updated to look much more modern. Magicbeast20 also decided to remove a bit of safety by removing players' ability to repair doors and windows. In all, the game should feel a bit more immersive, so you should grab a friend and give CryptHead a shot!
Soma Ryudo has been putting in work on Tales of Mana! Artes' graphics have received a number of improvements for clarity and overall quality, which has the gameplay effects of having more realistic hitboxes. Also added were some new spells for the Conjuress and Sorceress, including flame tornadoes and lances made of holy light! The Gunman received their Mystic Arte, Devil's Gamble, which rains multiple bullets, lasers, and a massive explosion down onto their enemies from above. As you play the latest version, you might also hear character voices during battle, which sounds wonderful and adds yet another layer to the game. I recommend checking Tales of Mana out whenever it's available!