Happiest of holidays to you, BYONDers! 515 officially entered Beta and has already received a few rounds of fixes. Now that the weather's turned to be a fair bit colder, you all seem to have been quite busy lately! As for me, I've recently got a little kitten (cat tax, plus Christmas tree picture). Her name is Maeve, and she's a very playful, sometimes viciously so, addition to the family. I've also been dealing with a loooot of family-related scheduling and drama, which until now has kept me from you lovely developers.
I hope the holidays find you all well, and that the cold doesn't nip too hard where you're at. I also sincerely hope you'll appreciate my rundown of recent BYOND events! Let's dive in!
Where we last left our beloved Lummox JR, he was busy weathering medical drama and 515 work, mixed with a healthy amount of ?. and ?: parsing issues. After toying with a new :: operator, falling ill, checking all of 515's boxes, then having to box all of the checks, BYOND version 515 finally released to Beta! Immediately, ancient bugs reared their head, most prominently in the garbage collection code. Sickness threatened to take our dear Lummy out, significantly hindering typical progress, but he's recently back in peak form, facing down the bulk of incoming SendMaps() threading work that's been spread out over the course of these past three-to-four months.
Speaking of which, if you're a Space Station 13 head-coder and you're interested in testing out some alpha SendMaps() threading builds, please reach out to Lummox on his most recent Dev News thread. If you're more interested in the deep web that Lummox JR is untangling with all this SendMaps() mumbo-jumbo, check out "Taming of the threads", which details the proof-of-concept, and "The state of the threads", which more properly explains the thread model and its lifecycle.
Soma Ryudo has been revising quite a few systems in Tales of Mana! The stun changes now offer enemies being chain-CC'd a better opportunity to escape, magic super armor has been adjusted to properly account for Evasion and and incoming attack Accuracy, and more impressively, the UI has received a bunch of updates. Overlimit casts now feature Player Character voicelines, and regular mobs will now guaranteed drop 1 Core Point, discarding the previously overly-complicated system designed to determine whether one was worthy of a Core Point. Looking good!
New Age Online is back as an original IP! While it's inspired by Pokemon, the game has divorced itself from existing copyrighted material and seeks to become its own living, breathing monster-catching, training, and battling environment! New Age Online opts for a real-time battle system as opposed to turn-based, features an absolutely massive map (including weather and day/night cycles), and much much more! The game is currently in open Alpha testing, so if your itch for adventure isn't scratched, give New Age Online a try!
Xooxer's decided to unveil an unmoderated chat listing called GigaChat. Unburdened by the tiresome moderation tools many other chat games featured, GigaChat strives to be your next stop to chat about whatever your little heart desires. GigaChat currently features the ability to invite others to rooms you've created, ignore users whom you can no longer handle, private messaging, and a full emoji panel. A /showcode option allows users to paste DM code to display for others in an easily-visible format, including syntax highlighting. GigaChat can be hosted by anyone, so feel free to host your own server and start up something special!
Quarantine 2 has gotten some Magicbeast20 love, featuring a redesigned experience and scoring system! The amount of experience you gain by killing zombies, completing tasks, etc. will directly add to how many lives you have. Levelling up your character will also allow you to unlock new perks! Player Scores now also factor in difficulty and in-round difficulty. As an example, completing an A to B game quickly will reward players with a bigger bonus than if they did so much more slowly. Overall, I find the system is quite rewarding and I encourage you to give it a try!
- F0lak has made all of his Patreon deep-dives public, which should be of interest to any of you who want to create a game as vibrant and visually-impressive as he has! I personally suggest giving shadows a read!