In response to Tom (#38)
Ahhh, See I was just under the impression that we would need to embed the game else where like Facebook or something in order to get use out of it. Well that changes a lot of my previous opinions on this topic. Lol.
In response to Tom (#36)
Tom wrote:
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.

Using file://game.dmb##guest will fail to boot the game if the user already has the pager running. Using the same command, if BYOND is already installed and "Login to games as Guest if pager is not running" is not enabled the pager will still open and stall the game from booting until they log in. When packaging a game along with the BYOND folder the pager (even when supposedly bypassed) still seems to poke at the Windows firewall even if the game is played completely offline.

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.

Forgive me for sounding a bit crass, but if you weren't so focused on promoting BYOND using our games BYOND wouldn't seem so much like adware. If you want to draw in more developers you should really shift your priorities towards making developers happy campers.
In response to SuperAntx (#41)
SuperAntx wrote:
Using file://game.dmb##guest will fail to boot the game if the user already has the pager running. Using the same command, if BYOND is already installed and "Login to games as Guest if pager is not running" is not enabled the pager will still open and stall the game from booting until they log in. When packaging a game along with the BYOND folder the pager (even when supposedly bypassed) still seems to poke at the Windows firewall even if the game is played completely offline.

Ok, these are things that can be fixed. The last one in particular seems odd and definitely something we should address. Please make bug reports if you haven't already.

I do think that the point stands, though, that a game can be seamlessly distributed. Most of the complaints here are issues when the user has BYOND installed already (in which case they probably know what to do)-- the vast majority of potential clients do not.

Forgive me for sounding a bit crass, but if you weren't so focused on promoting BYOND using our games BYOND wouldn't seem so much like adware. If you want to draw in more developers you should really shift your priorities towards making developers happy campers.

I don't intend BYOND to come across as adware, so I apologize for that (I'd like to understand why you may feel this way as well, since I consider adware to be one of the worst forms of software). We do need to promote the site because that is really the only thing that makes us any money, and money, unfortunately, is necessary to keep the project alive. There is some potential in game-commissions sharing, which would in theory allow us to make money without having to really mention BYOND, but there are all sorts of issues with that as well (not the least of which is relying on games directly for income when the income-system is easily detachable). We really have tried to cater to developers-- the whole concept of the hub, while beneficial to us, is really supposed to be a big boost to developers to allow them to get traffic. In this next site update, hubs will be expanded to allow better discussion / bug reporting etc. I don't think there's any other system with comparable tools.
In response to SuperAntx (#41)
"World creation tools that will blow your mind"

http://www.dantom.com/

"Dantom is a fast-paced, technology-oriented company. Its primary vision is to do for computer gaming what the web has done for desktop publishing: make it accessible and personalizable, even to the computer novice."
In response to Tom (#42)
Tom wrote:
I'd like to understand why you may feel this way as well, since I consider adware to be one of the worst forms of software.

It's a whole bunch of little things which on their own seem innocent enough, but when combined together give off a real adware-like "buy our stuff" vibe. I'll try to list off what immediately comes to mind.

1) BYOND opens a browser window without permission when installing/updating.
2) BYOND adds start menu entries without permission when installing/updating.
3) The BYOND banner in the pager, which doesn't appear to be a button, opens a browser window.
4) In-game browser links open in IE rather than the user's default browser.
5) When failing to connect to a game closing the splash screen (sometimes?) opens a browser window.
6) Players get spammed with security warnings over simple things like save files.
7) Issue I listed above regarding single player games trying to poke through firewalls.
8) No clear indication of how Membership effects hub listings, making BYOND appear to have hidden fees.
In response to SuperAntx (#44)
SuperAntx wrote:
It's a whole bunch of little things which on their own seem innocent enough, but when combined together give off a real adware-like "buy our stuff" vibe. I'll try to list off what immediately comes to mind.

Thanks. While we can't really switch the default browser, we can suppress popping open the browser, and, of course, clarify Membership stuff (which will change in this next site iteration). If BYOND becomes more of a web-based system, a lot of this will change, too, since your complaints really revolve around popping up browsers and the pager.

We intentionally made the installer not query the user to make it more of a one-click-install, but we could revert to a more traditional mode. Also, we should just run an installer for hub-based BYOND updates because the current system has permission problems when the person running BYOND isn't an admin.
In response to Forum_account (#30)
BIG differences between Torque3D and BYOND though, they can afford one of these, and a nice large group of employees.
In response to A.T.H.K (#43)
"Copyright © 1998-2000 Dantom"
In response to ExPixel (#47)
An online compiler would be nice if you are never going to make a GUI for linux... Some developers do not use Windows or Mac.

http://compilr.com/

[EDIT]

This can also be a plus for BYOND as the developer would not have to download the software.
In response to Tom (#45)
I always liked my version of the installer. It really disappointed me when the current version of it was introduced. Installers are supposed to have options, not be annoying.
In response to A.T.H.K (#48)
I actually made an online version of Dream Maker, but I just never got the drive to complete it. It was a project management system that revolved around the ability to compile DM code. You could have team projects and all that jazz. I even thought about writing a Java applet for icon and map editors.
In response to Nadrew (#50)
Nadrew wrote:
I actually made an online version of Dream Maker, but I just never got the drive to complete it.

This makes me sad.

It was a project management system that revolved around the ability to compile DM code.

Excellent!

You could have team projects and all that jazz.

Added bonus.

I even thought about writing a Java applet for icon and map editors.

You sir make me cry.


Why hasn't BYOND/Tom (not Nadrew) even thought about this?

The above along with HTML5 and/or flash, would completely change BYOND IMO
In response to A.T.H.K (#51)
If I knew it wasn't a waste of my time and could potentially help my situation I'd probably devote some effort into it after the messenger project goes into testing phases. It's actually a fairly straight-forward undertaking.
In response to Nadrew (#52)
Nadrew wrote:
If I knew it wasn't a waste of my time and could potentially help my situation I'd probably devote some effort into it after the messenger project goes into testing phases. It's actually a fairly straight-forward undertaking.

Nothing is a waste of time, this in the long run could of made BYOND and possible forced Tom into FLASH when it was hot.
In response to Lummox JR (#33)
Lummox JR wrote:
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.

Those things are achievements, they just don't compare to what some BYOND users are achieving and how effectively they're doing it. Some BYOND users make excellent use of their blogs to showcase their work and get the community involved. Because community members can form groups, get things done, and blog about their progress, it emphasizes the staff's limited ability to do those things. It doesn't make your accomplishments any less significant, it just makes them seem less significant.
In response to Forum_account (#54)
Just putting my 2cents in on this thread.

Marketing the site as primarily a game hub is going to create the kind of community that is only interested in playing games.
That's how we got to such a point where there are no longer very many developers and fewer pixel artists.

In turn, the games dry up. It's a catch-22.

By marketing this site to developers, once the person is in the hub section, they're not going to be looking at this stuff regardless.

I honestly think moving to a full Flash client only (then eventually upgrading to an HTML5 client; due to Flash no longer being supported on Android!) would be the best thing at this point, and turning focus back to us developers.

The more tools we can get integrated within the site (including a web-basedDM and integrated the pager within the site which never really seemed to happen!) the more people will stay on the site visiting.

And yes, I do agree with some of the UI concerns that were brought up before. Ads everywhere!

TL;DR If you cater to 'gamers', you get a bunch of 12 year olds, and the serious developers will eventually leave, leaving your 'gamers' with nothing to play.

Things like this have been getting a lot more popular, because Tom's attempt to cater to gamers. http://www.byond.com/developer/forum?id=794757#794757
In response to Tom (#32)
Tom wrote:
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 know for sure Space Station 13 is getting a lot of publicity outside BYOND if you know where to look.

Also, the problem I came across when trying to get people from a site I regularly visit to play my BYOND game (this was without me realizing Make EXE was present, however it only works for singe player stuff? It'd be nice if someone could fill me in here) was simply that they didn't want to download BYOND for just testing a game.

In another site someone tried advertising space station 13, same thing there.

Perhaps this flash client you're talking about may be the solution. Looking forward to it.
In response to Tom (#16)
I'm going to have to agree with Tom on every aspect here.

BYOND back then was DUNG. Take a product like older automobiles. Back then, you had a car and it drove and that was it. Take a look at today's modern marvel of automobiles and you'll find that years and years of work was placed into progressing these machines to better fit the peoples demands. Air conditioning, air bags, independent suspension, stereos, and so on. Did they ever just stop and started from scratch? No, not really. One can debate with vehicles like Smart Cars that run on pure electricity, but you still have a huge majority of the previous base vehicle. Some vehicles can go up to 200mph now'a'days without the computer interfering with it. Cars have a limit. So does the BYOND software. That's that.

You can't expect something that someone is essentially doing for free and volunteer to compete with XBOX360s and PlayStation3s and even other game-making tools that cost a bundle.

If a developer(s)'s game is not getting enough publicity, it's not Tom's fault nor any of the BYOND's community fault at all. It's the game developer. BYOND gets your game out there into the world, but that's all it's meant to do. It's not meant to slap an ad on Google or Machinema or YouTube or FaceBook. That's your job.

NEStalgia was publicly hyped and promoted pretty well. To this day people still play NEStalgia. But why is it that the hype has decreased? Because people played NEStalgia, and they've played NEStalgia, and played even more NEStalgia. Some outsiders came into and joined BYOND from NEStalgia, and then there really wasn't anything else they saw. Maybe if they took the time, they could find something but this world isn't about hard work and research anymore. It's about fast-paced, instantaneous events that go TO the person. I rarely see anything when I visit other gaming websites like www.addictinggames.com, www.miniclip.com, www.newgrounds.com, and so on. I don't see why BYOND game's can't be on these websites, and if not listed I don't see why there can't be chit-chat about BYOND games on other websites. But that's the problem I see... I don't see chit-chat about BYOND because not many people from BYOND open the world to BYOND.

Flash is a huge progress in this step, but that still won't push BYOND games out there. BYOND can't simply hack into every website (automatically mind you) and post things about BYOND games. People post comments. People post blogs. People post videos, and share links. BYOND doesn't. That's the key difference. The tools aren't to blame, the people are.

Yes, BYOND years ago wasn't really that impressive looking to promote. We'd kinda just IM people and discuss about, "Oh hey, whatcha doin?" - "Oh, I'm just playing this BYOND game." - "What's BYOND?" - "It's this website where you can make and play games."
And then that really just ends that topic. No, you don't have to do anything to promote BYOND. But, you don't have any ground to complain that BYOND is going nowhere when you're not promoting it to begin with (not directed at Tom. Directed at developers and gamers).

I think BYOND's website is pretty downright ridiculous and does need an overhaul graphically and functionally.
It looks more business-formal and less Wow-Bang-Pow-Shazam! that people are looking for.

Take http://www.ijji.com/ for example. You first see this huge graphical sliding thing that gives you updates on their most featured games (they don't have as many as BYOND but you get the point). BYOND, however, just throws random games out there based on whoever clicked a link or downloaded a game or not. This goes more toward an indie feel I suppose, but BYOND is nearly indie, so why not promote it as such, since indie is the "new black" for the past few years.
Another note, is a lot of clutter and blocky feel of the website. Too many old-fashion looking link buttons and styles.

"Play these games and more with BYOND!
100% free, no spyware ever. [Learn more] "

I think that needs improved a bit. Maybe go back to the B. Y. O. N. D. feel.

Build Your Own Net Dream.
100% Free! Play Games! Build Games! [Learn More!]

I would invest some time into combining what AC Wraith does with BYOND and within, and fuse that into the main-page and remove the "Featured Games" box. We can see a featured game once and twice and get excited... but after 500 times or so it kind of makes me feel like that's all there is in BYOND, whereas there are many and many of games, not just the featured ones. Which either brings me to either build up the motivation to go spend time (another thing an outsider is less interested in doing) digging up games in the list and browsing them hoping to find screen-shots or reviews before I go and download a game, wait the time, join the game, and find out it's not really worth that 10 minutes whereas I could've gone to a different site and only spent 2 minutes finding a game that will keep my attention x2 as long as said BYOND game did.

A great thing that happened was Reviews were put in their own blog-spot. The garbage advertisement of 100/100 reviews on games that don't even deserve a pitty 1/100 were getting more attention than the 100/100 games.

I do understand though, however, that balancing game info and development info and (on top of all of that) there's the whole "community" concept as well. BYOND has become more social-network now, and that's all fine and dandy but doesn't really tie up anything into the website itself. Just the pager, considering Pager alerts us of comments/posts, and Pager tells us what our friends play, and Pager tells us what's In and what's Out (viewing friends list to see if X amount of friend are playing Game Y or not).

I can't really think of a good way to give more of a "Living Real-time Feel" compared to the "Tick-Tock Turn-Based Feel" of the website/pager combination, but maybe something more of merging the pager into the website itself. Visiting the http://www.byond.com/members/?command=home page helps, but we need something that's more stuck-on to every page we visit rather than one single page. I would've suggested merging the website more into the pager, but the pager is already overloaded with it's networking (as it may seem anyways) to handle such a bandwidth demanding thing.



All in all and whatnot, Tom is doing a marvelous job for what he has and what he's done. Developers are doing decent, but not as much as the amount they complain and cry about. It's more of a 20-work/80-complain scale, where it would be more enjoyable at a 50-work/50-complain or even a great 70-work/30-complain scale.

I don't see BYOND dying anytime soon. I see people who need growing up sometime soon. BYOND is a Build-Your-Own-Net-Dream solution. Not the solution of getting something done without working for it.
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