ID:106885
 
Keywords: anime, website
So as of late, it seems a lot of people have been up-in-arms about the recent changes to the main BYOND website. Mostly those who create anime games are worried their player counts and whatnot will drop because they wont be receiving much endorsement from the powers that be.

I can understand their complaints, but I can also see many, many things they could be doing NOW instead of complaining, to ready themselves for these radical new (and in my opinion, fantastic) changes.

For starters, people, if you're a serious developer (which means you're willing to spend time, money and effort on your projects) you should by now realise that hosting your own website for your game is important, and relying on BYOND to shoulder that entire burden on it's own is only losing you potential.

Wouldn't you rather have people clicking on your own Google Ads rather than BYONDs? If you're looking to be profitable, sticking with just the BYOND website wont get you as far as your delusions of grandeur.

I mean, after all, all you need is a hub page. From then on, everything else is handed to you on a silver platter. All the information you put on your hub page (and all the info BYOND puts on it for that matter) is perfectly accessible in a decrypted BYOND Savefile format. Which can then be read by... well anything.

Take PHP for example. I wrote this script in July last year. It's perfectly capable of getting information from BYOND member pages, BYOND hubs and anything else that has a text format on this site:

It's a total of 48 lines of code including whitespace. One loop, five if() statements and four uses of the ? operator.

Anyone familiar with PHP knows that everything in there is in a delightful little array, and to access any of that information is ungodly easy. So all you really have to do is write a page and fill it with information from an array. Not exactly rocket science at this stage.

I was initially writing that script to read decrypted BYOND savefiles, as I was initially planning on storing them on a website, and allowing users to access them on the game webpage. But I later since decided to stick with MySQL, meaning this script was going to waste. So I set it up to make sure it would read the website and left it alone.

Writing a script like this one wouldn't be difficult for any knowledgeable PHP programmer. And the time you guys spent arguing with everyone trying to get them to feature anime games (come on, it was a losing battle, and you knew that from the start) would have been much better spent being proactive, knuckling down and preparing yourself for what's to come. BYOND has given you all infinite potential over the years, and a lot of you have used, abused, wasted and left it for dead. Now the thought of it being taken away scares you, regardless of the fact you still have these kinds of features available to you.

If you want a free anime game listing. Ask someone in BYOND Anime if they're willing to make it, there's plenty of talented people running that place, and all of them could pull a simple trick like the above off. If they all say no, take it upon yourself to try. PHP isn't a hard language to move onto if you've got the core concepts of DM down. Give it a shot, it's better to do something instead of complaining.
I agree with everything you've written. Also agreed on PHP being rather easy to learn with a background of DM - not that they are in any way similar, but I've just noticed DM has assisted in the learning of logic...

In any case, I'm still definitely learning PHP, and was wondering how you went about grabbing information from an outside source? What functions should I look at to do this? I could definitely use these techniques for the game I'm currently working on, and am eager to learn as much as I can.
PHP has wonderfully deceptive function names.

file_get_contents() with a URL for the parameter will grab the front-end source of any page. If it's just text (like the text format BYOND has), all you have to do is parse it. Otherwise you can break down the HTML and gather what you need.

If you want a copy of my hub reading script for revision, throw your email in my direction and I'll give you a copy.

Just for effects sake, here's the opening few lines of my parse_hub() function:
    function parse_hub($hub, $member=FALSE, $additional = null) {
$url = "http://www.byond.com/" . ($member ? "members" : "hub") . "/" . $hub . ";format=text" . ($additional ? ";" . $additional : null);

$page = get_headers($url, TRUE);
if(strpos($page["Content-Type"], "text/plain") === false) return false;

$return_array = array(); // Array returned. Duh.
$page = file_get_contents($url);
Hello Tiberath,

My email is johnnykalevin@gmail.com

I would love the script moreso for a learning source if you don't mind! And I'm thinking I'm starting to understand more. Thanks!
Hey Tibby... anyway I really gotta start learning PHP... and re study HTML...