In response to Zaltron (#11)

> I usually see at least 6000+ people on at any given time.

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/507/screenshotod.png/
Yeah sure, over 6000 people at 5:14 P.M (UK)...
In response to Forum_account (#17)
Forum_account wrote:
I've played and enjoyed action games made with BYOND that use framerates above 10 fps, so what you're saying can't be entirely correct. That's what makes this a gray area - there are some multiplayer action games that would work on BYOND and some that wouldn't.

I'm not even talking about entire games here, even something as simple as two mobs moving around a flat area with pixel movement and nothing else. You could have high speed internet and it would still be choppy and unresponsive at times. It might work at 2am when everyone in your neighborhood is offline, but most of the time, and for most of your players, the latency issues will ruin the game.

Building something awesome only to have it fall apart because of something you can't control is much more devastating than you might think. Many promising projects have most definitely been abandoned because of these problems.
Neblim wrote:
Bandock wrote:

One thing I do like about BYOND is the ability to easily release multiplayer games without having to deal with packets themselves (as that can take quite a bit of work to get it working properly).

In HTML5, you don't mess with packets themselves, websockets (and even socket.io) takes care of this for you. It's hardly much more work than DM IMO. DM isn't the only kid in town who can make things easy. The only pitfall is understanding actual game development that is server/client specific. If you cannot understand these fundamentals, I don't see the likelihood in a decently marketed game, as your game will obviously be more obtuse one way or another (IE: doing more server specific tasks when you should be making the client handle such things).

But yes, from a C++ background, this can be difficult (but everything is as a novice to certain areas) but not impossible. Using a library isn't overkill.

So I'm not really understanding your DM praises if you're more than just a seasonal C++ programmer like you say you are. The only praises I am understanding is for the first few years you weren't really a programmer and helped you avoid learning solutions to problems, something a programmer has to do. I think the mindset for most Byond developer wannabies is that they think they can avoid learning solutions, which gives them even more confusion, since they don't know what the heck they're doing in the first place. Like Forum_account mentioned, most people come here thinking Byond is the next RPGmaker/Gamemaker, drag and drop solution. I can't say I blame them though, as the documentation feels too convoluted compared to many other languages. At this point, you just rather find a better tool that is professionally documented and not home-brew. Or do what the rest of most Byonders do, 1) give up, 2) rip a game

and god knows there are some fundamental things that I'd love to change about the system-- a rewrite is just not in the plans for now, with no funding, limited manpower, and, heck I'll say it, motivation.

Wow, I wonder what could solve that solution.

Ah yes, I forgot about HTML5. When I first joined of course, HTML5 wasn't even around yet. In terms of C++, I actually did start messing with it for real since 2004. Rarely (if at all) have I ever created a game in C++, since more time was spent on creating other things. Most of the C++ programs I have created were not publicly downloadable (even though, I have distributed them through other means).

I have once experimented with packets very similar to what Audeuro is doing right now, though I haven't really done much in that regard. Here's a list of C++ projects/experiments I have done:

- Text City Simulator Version 1 (Unreleased and vanished)

- DMB String Extractor (My version) (Was distributed through
chat programs on BYOND)

- RSC Extractor (My version, had some major controversies. Probably know that story Neblim)

- DMB File Analyzer (Unreleased, designed for research purposes)

- Procverb DM List Extractor (Unreleased, though might've been released to a few)

- DMB Object Path Extractor (Unreleased, though might've been released to a few)

- Nameless DMB Program (This is not the real title, but I have reason to conceal it)

- Speech Recognition Demo DLL (Designed for use with DM back in 2008)

- CleanWin32 Wrapper (Currently unreleased, though is getting closer to being ready. A Win32 API Wrapper.)
DMB String Extractor Win32 Edition (Uses the CleanWin32 wrapper, unreleased)

That's some of the projects/experiments I have listed developed in C++. Now, I praise the DM language for continuing to evolve. That's just my opinion though. Just because I deal with C++ programming does not mean I'm abandoning the BYOND community. In fact, I'm actually still working on mixing C++ and DM together through an unreleased project. I might've encountered some suggestions to use Winsock (which the Win32 version uses) through the DLL. Of course, one must remember that it is currently server-side (which might actually work for certain projects). Currently working on a client-side solution that is still unreleased yet. :P

Now, admittedly, I haven't developed many games lately. I just recently got back into game development since I'm working on a library that utilizes v455 or greater capabilities (actually came about after messing with a prototype). I also been planning to create a game in C++ for years. Might also build a game in HTML5 (heck, proper HTML5 support would be nice even for BYOND).
In response to SuperAntx (#21)
SuperAntx wrote:
You could have high speed internet and it would still be choppy and unresponsive at times.

The internet is full of lucrative businesses - online gaming, web sites, media, etc. All of these online services have one thing in common - they are choppy and unresponsive at times. This problem isn't specific to BYOND, it's something that all online games have to deal with.

Online games, even ones made with BYOND, have found ways to deal with networking issues. As I said in my last post, some games are more sensitive to these issues than others. It's your job to find ways to design games that work in an online format. A degraded gameplay experience is something you have to count on and it's something that many game developers (even BYOND game developers) have found ways to work around.

Building something awesome only to have it fall apart because of something you can't control is much more devastating than you might think. Many promising projects have most definitely been abandoned because of these problems.

What games had these problems?

I've never seen a BYOND game get built and then fall apart because of these problems. I've only seen people use these problems as excuses to explain why they never bothered even trying to make a game.
In response to Forum_account (#23)
Forum_account wrote:
As I said in my last post, some games are more sensitive to these issues than others. It's your job to find ways to design games that work in an online format. A degraded gameplay experience is something you have to count on and it's something that many game developers (even BYOND game developers) have found ways to work around.

Thank you, this is almost exactly what I was saying in my earlier posts as well. It's up to developers to make their games for BYOND, taking its strengths and weaknesses into account. Unfortunately, this means not using pixel movement or a lowered tick_lag in multiplayer games.

What games had these problems?

Many games! Hang out in The Saloon for any period of time and you're bound to come across someone asking for help testing their game. 90% of the time the first thing you'll notice is how slow and choppy the game is due to relying on pixel movement. As I said, this is even with barebone games with hardly any content added yet. It's a huge blow to morale to work on something, show it off, then have everyone almost completely unable to play. Even well-made games like Casual Quest and your very own A Miner Adventure suffer because of their reliance on pixel movement.
In response to SuperAntx (#24)
SuperAntx wrote:
It's up to developers to make their games for BYOND, taking its strengths and weaknesses into account. Unfortunately, this means not using pixel movement or a lowered tick_lag in multiplayer games.

This isn't a weakness of BYOND because networks problems affect all online multiplayer games.

You shouldn't avoid making multiplayer games, you should avoid making multiplayer-only games. Online multiplayer performance will always be worse than solo play, so having a way that people can experience the game when running it locally will always give them the best impression. If people can play a game offline and enjoy it before trying it online with their friends, they're more likely to tolerate performance problems in the multiplayer mode.
In response to Forum_account (#25)
Forum_account wrote:
This isn't a weakness of BYOND because networks problems affect all online multiplayer games.

Nope, it's a weakness of BYOND. Other games/engines are able to employ several techniques to hide lag and make it less of an issue.

You shouldn't avoid making multiplayer games, you should avoid making multiplayer-only games.

I never said avoid making multiplayer games, I said avoid using pixel movement and advanced icon procedures in multiplayer games.
In response to Forum_account (#18)
Forum_account wrote:
The problem is that BYOND is a game playing site first and a game development site second. It should be the other way around. The website should make it incredibly clear that BYOND is for game development and only show games as a way of saying "here are examples of what it can do".

Well, that's where we differ. IMO BYOND is a game playing site first, and the majority of our users are game players. This is also important business wise, because, given that BYOND is (and always will be) free, the primary way we make money is through players (ads, game commissions, and membership, where only the first two are really scalable).

Torque2D is catered towards game developers and this is clear from the $128 price tag for developers. We could have gone a different route and simply charged for DreamMaker, but we didn't. Realize there is a fundamental difference between what they are-- a game engine-- and we are-- a game community. BYOND is used to make multiplayer games, and multiplayer games need exposure to even function; ergo, we've done as much as we can to provide developers not only with the tools to make their games, but the tools to broadcast it.

I'm really not sure if pages of documentation will help, but, like I said, I'm willing to display & advertise more material.
In response to Zaltron (#11)
Zaltron wrote:
2DExtremeProductions wrote:
...I still don't know where BYOND is headed. What its goal's are. Who is developing it. How big the team is.

If you were around more or even read the forums you would know who is developing it.

Who is? Where is the information? Where is the roadmap? If you check the Updates they are all posted by Tom, is he the only one? Is he also in charge of web development? Is he the Only moderator here? Looking around, gives you an idea, not a specific answer.



I have been here on and off for seven years, Dan and Tom created BYOND. Dan left or something. Tom stayed. Other than that, everything is just not there. Not much information. No Roadmaps at all. For a technology and game service company, its easy to see why it has not grown by much.

There have been several changes, you need to pay attention to the updates section of the forum.

There has been alot, ofcourse. But where can you see them in action? Where are the changes for the masses? Instead of saying "Here is the tech, its easy trust me.", show me. Yes, this is a game playing site but its also a tech company.



The community is still around the 2,000-4,000 "People Online" at any one time. Its not bad but...Been like this since I got here.

I usually see at least 6000+ people on at any given time.

Just looked, its below 3,000 again. Depends on the times but it still has not changed by much for about 4 years.


If you're not going to read the forums or stay caught up with what's going on don't ask these questions and don't make BYOND look like it's not going anywhere. I've been around here for a long time and it has changed a lot. I like what they have done with it. BYOND needs developers that are more dedicated to making a decent game rather than a lot making mediocre games. There are some great games out there on BYOND and many good developers.

Where is BYOND going? What is a mediocre game? What is a decent game? What are great games? (Ignore the last three questions as I am being sarcastic)

In response to Tom (#27)
Tom wrote:
Forum_account wrote:
The problem is that BYOND is a game playing site first and a game development site second. It should be the other way around. The website should make it incredibly clear that BYOND is for game development and only show games as a way of saying "here are examples of what it can do".

Well, that's where we differ. IMO BYOND is a game playing site first, and the majority of our users are game players. This is also important business wise, because, given that BYOND is (and always will be) free, the primary way we make money is through players (ads, game commissions, and membership, where only the first two are really scalable).

Damn, Tom. Really!?

The ONLY reason you are a "game playing site" is because of your "game development tool".

Better tool = More games = More people = More money


Torque2D is catered towards game developers and this is clear from the $128 price tag for developers. We could have gone a different route and simply charged for DreamMaker, but we didn't.

Considering the great amount of competition...Game Maker, AGK, Monkey, BlitzMax, Torque, Unity, Dark Basic Pro, Flash Engines, HTML5/Javascript Engines, etc...How much would you ask for BYOND?

And How many paying members do you have as of today, Tom?


Realize there is a fundamental difference between what they are-- a game engine-- and we are-- a game community.

*facepalm* A game community dependent on games made with your game "making" technology.


BYOND is used to make multiplayer games, and multiplayer games need exposure to even function; ergo, we've done as much as we can to provide developers not only with the tools to make their games, but the tools to broadcast it.

BYOND is used to make limited multiplayer games, im basing this off of what SuperAntx or Forum_account(?) were commenting earlier.


I'm really not sure if pages of documentation will help, but, like I said, I'm willing to display & advertise more material.

It should! If BYOND is great for x type of games, let it be known, show it with videos and examples, the least you can do is write about it. When you add features to BYOND, show them. Don't BS with people.--> "Does things no other game maker can" = WTF? Be upfront with the tech. If BYOND is multiplayer mainly, focus on that, not single player. Don't try to be a jack of all trades and end up failing at it all. And if something is not going to work good, why run it at all? Focus on what makes BYOND, BYOND.

Im thinking about using BYOND for a small project, it should work with it. The reasons for BYOND:

1- Built in Multiplayer
2- Very simple concept
3- Don't need per-pixel movement

But coming here is so uninspiring. What if I wanted a smoother game? Per pixel movement? Physics?
I could live without reason 1, cause I don't need that many people at once. Then with number 2, I look at the other product and choices, Im sure I can do it with Game Maker even faster. And if I needed per pixel movement, id get it. So I ask myself, why BYOND? And the only reason I could seriously come up with was, Product Alignment or Fanboyism or whatever. After all this time, I still think BYOND should be better, much better, more known and more used.
And it isn't, simply because it is not.

But why is it not, Tom?

Do you really want to blame your users?(Like you did on your earlier post)

BYOND is as niche as Game Maker and Torque and Unity and everything else. BYOND even had an upper hand against Game Maker by also having the games on the site.

Is "BYOND" not growing because of us or because of you, Tom?



(Maybe im being harsh but this is the only way to get some answers or even have a conversation with Tom, plus I haven't smoked for three days and im cranky =P)

In response to Tom (#27)
Tom wrote:
Well, that's where we differ. IMO BYOND is a game playing site first, and the majority of our users are game players. This is also important business wise, because, given that BYOND is (and always will be) free, the primary way we make money is through players (ads, game commissions, and membership, where only the first two are really scalable).

Game players are likely to find BYOND through a game. By the time they come to byond.com they'll already know it's a gaming community - that's how they found it. Game developers aren't likely to find BYOND through a game (at least not the kind of developers you'd like to attract), they're more likely to come directly to byond.com from a google search or something. If BYOND looks like a gaming site it won't be obvious to these potential BYOND developers that it's actually for game development too.

I'm really not sure if pages of documentation will help, but, like I said, I'm willing to display & advertise more material.

I'd rather not make this material myself. I'd prefer if you made it because that'd mean that you have come to see the need for it. I don't see it going well if other people try to market a product when its creator can barely market it half-heartedly. Isn't BYOND your passion project? I'm not sure why trying to help improve BYOND always feels like pulling teeth, I'd expect you'd be excited and motivated about improving BYOND.

Edit: I mentioned the Torque website to show what similar products do. Their site is focused on their game development tools but also mentioned games made with Torque. They also have "genre kits" (or something like that) which users can buy to help with making games of specific genres. I'm not saying that BYOND should charge for anything, but the Torque website is just a good example of what a game development tool's website should provide and how it should be portrayed.
In response to 2DExtremeProductions (#29)
I understand where you're coming from. I agree that it's frustrating to see the BYOND staff fiddle around with BYOND instead of making big advancements, but I don't think the kind of posts you're making will accomplish much.

Imagine if a .dmb file could be executed more efficiently and had less CPU usage. Imagine if network handling was improved or could be customized by the game developer to cut bandwidth usage by BYOND game servers. Imagine if some support for client-side processing was added so you could use less bandwidth and create more complex graphical effects. The potential benefits are huge, which makes it frustrating to have the BYOND staff post a couple of times per year to let you know what they're working on, then not hear about those features for another eight months.

Having DM developers working on serious projects makes the contrast even worse. BYOND users have put together better, more effective teams and have created more significant projects in less time than most BYOND updates. One or two people have spent over a year working on the Flash client and have ~1000 lines of code to show for it, while groups of people work on icons, code, and audio to create decent games.

The bright side is that BYOND doesn't need major updates. It's already quite capable but people fail to use it effectively. After 15 years it seems unlikely that BYOND has so few decent games solely because of user error - it seems like there must be something wrong with BYOND itself. Because so few people have managed to use BYOND effectively to create games, people have begun to conclude that BYOND just isn't capable of making decent games. There's no way that this many users are defective, BYOND must be defective.

This is partially true. BYOND is defective but it's defect has nothing to do with its ability to support the creation of games. BYOND's problem is in the kind of users it has attracted. BYOND is perfectly capable as a game development tool, it's just attracted an unbelievable number of people who can't figure out how to use it effectively. That seems to be exactly what happened - the number of people who can't use BYOND effectively is unbelievable, so people choose not to believe it and they blame BYOND instead.
In response to Forum_account (#31)
Forum_account wrote:
Imagine if a .dmb file could be executed more efficiently and had less CPU usage. Imagine if network handling was improved or could be customized by the game developer to cut bandwidth usage by BYOND game servers. Imagine if some support for client-side processing was added so you could use less bandwidth and create more complex graphical effects.

BYOND is defective but it's defect has nothing to do with its ability to support the creation of games. BYOND's problem is in the kind of users it has attracted. BYOND is perfectly capable as a game development tool...

I'm not sure what to make of these two paragraphs since you pretty much insinuate one thing and state the other.

At any rate, I agree with the second paragraph (BYOND has limitations but it's good at making games). I think some good games have been made. You have made good games. Now go promote them. This is why I put it on the users. BYOND does more as a game community to internally promote games than Torque2D or other game-creation toolkits. The game successes those toolkits are having is due to outside exposure & marketing. Why is no one besides SilkWizard even attempting this? Why aren't you?

In response to Forum_account (#31)
Forum_account wrote:
Having DM developers working on serious projects makes the contrast even worse. BYOND users have put together better, more effective teams and have created more significant projects in less time than most BYOND updates. One or two people have spent over a year working on the Flash client and have ~1000 lines of code to show for it, while groups of people work on icons, code, and audio to create decent games.

This is rather a misstatement. Just because the Flash client only uses about 1000 lines of code doesn't mean that's a non-achievement. Much of the Flash development has involved testing, making changes to that thin client where it wasn't quite operating as it should, and examining libraries that would help us with some of our needs like sound. But that's just the client. A great deal of work has also gone into the server end of things, since it is the workhorse for Flash, and quite a lot of work has been spent on communications and deciding what info the client needs and how best to deliver it.

And during this time we've also been working on other items, like that big pixel movement update, which was rather a radical upgrade. At the moment I'm focused solely on a big site upgrade that should help bring the development community back into focus and help users communicate better.
In response to Tom (#32)
Tom wrote:
You have made good games. Now go promote them. This is why I put it on the users. BYOND does more as a game community to internally promote games than Torque2D or other game-creation toolkits.

The key word here is "internally." BYOND's distribution system is quite antiquated, it's very hard to make a game rather than a BYOND game.

I've posted about this numerous times and I'll do so again until it's addressed. The "Make EXE" feature is simply broken and nearly useless. You can't actually compile your game to a stand-alone executable, the EXE Dream Maker creates is just a web installer. Even if you make your own NSIS installer you still have to deal with things like the pager opening unexpectedly or attempting to get through Window's firewall even if it's a single player game. That kind of thing just makes BYOND, and by relation the game it's supposed to be running, look like adware.

You would probably see a lot more single player games made if it weren't for these issues. All those networking problems I talked about earlier don't even apply to single player games, BYOND is quite capable of making 2D platformers and the like. The thing is, what's the point? Steam doesn't accept dmb's.
In response to Tom (#32)
Tom wrote:
Forum_account wrote:
Imagine if a .dmb file could be executed more efficiently and had less CPU usage. Imagine if network handling was improved or could be customized by the game developer to cut bandwidth usage by BYOND game servers. Imagine if some support for client-side processing was added so you could use less bandwidth and create more complex graphical effects.

BYOND is defective but it's defect has nothing to do with its ability to support the creation of games. BYOND's problem is in the kind of users it has attracted. BYOND is perfectly capable as a game development tool...

I'm not sure what to make of these two paragraphs since you pretty much insinuate one thing and state the other.

The first paragraph explains that there are things that could be added to BYOND, but I later explain that these aren't the dealbreaker people often view them as. They're still features I'd like to see addressed, but they're not necessarily features that must be addressed.

At any rate, I agree with the second paragraph (BYOND has limitations but it's good at making games). I think some good games have been made. You have made good games. Now go promote them. This is why I put it on the users. BYOND does more as a game community to internally promote games than Torque2D or other game-creation toolkits.

It sounds like a good plan to push the responsibility to the users and I'd like to see it work, but it's been 10-15 years and it hasn't worked. If you had a better group of users it might work.

The game successes those toolkits are having is due to outside exposure & marketing. Why is no one besides SilkWizard even attempting this? Why aren't you?

I guess we're both just better at telling each other to market things than we are at marketing our own things =)
In response to SuperAntx (#34)
SuperAntx wrote:
I've posted about this numerous times and I'll do so again until it's addressed. The "Make EXE" feature is simply broken and nearly useless. You can't actually compile your game to a stand-alone executable, the EXE Dream Maker creates is just a web installer. Even if you make your own NSIS installer you still have to deal with things like the pager opening unexpectedly or attempting to get through Window's firewall even if it's a single player game. That kind of thing just makes BYOND, and by relation the game it's supposed to be running, look like adware.

It sounds like you are talking about the old system; the newer (well as of a few years ago) Make EXE allows you to make a file that can be opened to immediately play the game (the only minor issue is that the package has to include BYOND, but the user doesn't have to go through any installation). Combining this with ##guest logins allows you to skip the pager too. I agree the system isn't ideal, but I think it's better than people realize, especially for single-player game distribution. If there are still quirks in the system, go ahead and report and we'll take a look.

From our POV, the problem with "Make EXE" is that it really does nothing to help BYOND (outside of being a perk for developers), since it isn't self-promoting. I hope that the Flash stuff works for this purpose, since it'll have the same ability to off-site promote a game (by linking to a webpage, no installer) while also directing traffic to our site.
In response to Tom (#36)
Do you think it would be possible at some point, to allow members to embed their games onto their games hub ? I don't know much about flash or how it works, but I think it would be rather interesting to be able to just link players directly to the hub and allow them to play the games on it. It would also increase traffic on the BYOND website, and would make for a really nice members perk.
In response to Moussiffer (#37)
Moussiffer wrote:
Do you think it would be possible at some point, to allow members to embed their games onto their games hub ? I don't know much about flash or how it works, but I think it would be rather interesting to be able to just link players directly to the hub and allow them to play the games on it. It would also increase traffic on the BYOND website, and would make for a really nice members perk.

Yes, that is the main purpose of the flash update (although for the first few releases at least, the flash versions will have a very limited UI). Hosted games will appear on the respective website hub pages when the flash-support is enabled.
In response to Tom (#36)
Ehhh, it does have a benefit, actually. It's just perhaps not an altogether obvious one. It's mostly a market penetration thing, as a successful single-player BYOND game has the Iji effect.

Iji did the rounds in BYOND circles actually, when it came out. For many of the people playing Iji, they probably don't know it's made in Game Maker. But for anyone who fancies a bit more information (this applies to would be developers, especially), a quick google reveals it's underlying engine. Quite neat for me for example, as I hadn't looked at the Game Maker engine prior to that, and now had an idea of what it could be used to do. Iji certainly isn't an amazing showcase of the platform's capability either I suspect, but it didn't have to be. It had to be a compelling game, and easy to install. The rest, marketing-wise, is viral, both for Iji and it's engine, Game Maker.

You see the name more, and in connection to things you enjoy, you view the name more favourably. This is viral in a way that BYOND would really benefit from (assuming the games, the games, and the games promotion etc etc), is organic, and isn't really too try-hard check out twitterbook stuff.
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