1. What were you looking for when you came to BYOND?
I was looking for a utility to help me learn how to create multiplayer games.

2. What were your first frustrations?
Well, the users on those DBZ fangames and IC rips weren't exactly friendly, and I guess channel organization (though when I came, a good deal of DBZ fangames were in the fangame section.)

3. How did you learn how to program (or to use the Dream Seeker)?
I first started programming by use of the Icon Chatterz coding available on the hub. I did this four about two years and then I found the developer forum where I started learning all sorts of practices.

Moving into the present...

7. What new documentation do you think would be useful, if any?
I'd like to know about some of the undocumented procedures, I've found some to be pretty useful, like client.Command(). Also, I think examples should be provided for all documented procedures and operators and documentation should really just be updated.

8. What do YOU think about the layout of the website, both the "play" and "develop" sides? What would you change to make it easier and more useful for players and developers, new and old?
Well, it took me two years to find the develop side of BYOND. I think there should be a tab on the front BYOND page for it; if there is, I'm sorry, I usually just go directly to http://developer.byond.com . I think that orange gradient bar needs to be removed.
Well, I've finally gotten around to examining all the responses... thank you all for contributing! The most interesting thing to me was to see how many people came to BYOND through a particular game they wanted to play.

I ought to think about this stuff myself...

1. What were you looking for when you came to BYOND?

I was looking for a tool that'd allow me to make my own text MUD. I didn't want a game that looked like all the other free MUDs out there, but I didn't want to have to create absolutely everything from scratch either.

2. What were your first frustrations?

I couldn't find any documentation on how to make rooms without using the map.

3. How did you learn how to program (or to use the Dream Seeker)?

I'm not sure, maybe the DM guide was around then. I never looked much at demos.

Moving into the present...

4. What advice would you give to someone who was new to BYOND today? (This advice could be about anything.)

I'd want to let them know that this is a growing, dynamic enterprise... that BYOND gets improved every month, and that the limitations they see now may only be temporary.

5. Have you had friends who tried BYOND, but didn't continue with it? Why did they drop out?

Oh yes... I've enticed a number of gaming friends to come play my games, which they seemed to enjoy very much, but only 1 of them ever stuck around--he got interested in Seika. I think for my other friends, the social aspect was more important than anything. They wanted to play a game they knew they could find their friends in.

6. Have you had friends you tried to introduce to BYOND, but they decided not to download/use it? Why not?

I've had scads of people download the software and not be able to figure out how to run a game with it. And I don't know why, because as non-geeks they weren't very good at explaining what was going wrong on their end.

7. What new documentation do you think would be useful, if any?

I'm more interested in organizing the existing documentation... I think it covers a fair amount of ground.

8. What do YOU think about the layout of the website, both the "play" and "develop" sides? What would you change to make it easier and more useful for players and developers, new and old?

I definitely want it to be blatantly obvious to new users where to go and what to do first.

9. Anything else?

No, thank you all!
Here's more! I came here as Lord of Water in 2001.

1. What were you looking for when you came to BYOND?

I wanted to make games. I was making websites and Logo games, and I wanted something scriptable like Logo but networked like the web.

2. What were your first frustrations?

Mine were all related to creating games. I had no sense of how to write programs, or how to learn. I just kept getting frustrated and asking questions on the forums.

3. How did you learn how to program (or to use the Dream Seeker)?

Learning Dream Seeker was easy, and I learned to program through trial and error and documentation. I have never really read any of the tutorials or anything.

Moving into the present...

4. What advice would you give to someone who was new to BYOND today? (This advice could be about anything.)

I would tell them about a few quality games. I think that's really the most important thing -- a few really entertaining games.

5. Have you had friends who tried BYOND, but didn't continue with it? Why did they drop out?

They had a distinct sense that there were not enough good games or enough gamers to make it worth their time. They enjoy Xbox Live, where there are tons of people to play with all the time, and World of Warcraft, where there are thousands of players, etc.

6. Have you had friends you tried to introduce to BYOND, but they decided not to download/use it? Why not?

Yes, for the same reasons as above. They just weren't impressed.

7. What new documentation do you think would be useful, if any?

I want a few really neat games with source code provided. This would aid new developers in seeing how things are put together. The current generation of games with source code provided are mostly "rips", and their code is usually not instructive or even of good quality.

8. What do YOU think about the layout of the website, both the "play" and "develop" sides? What would you change to make it easier and more useful for players and developers, new and old?

I don't really like the website. The forum is nice, but I never spend time with anything else because it isn't interesting or helpful.

9. Anything else?

BYOND should focus on community and sharing. Those are its strengths, because developers can get up and running quickly and players have many games to share with their BYOND friends. Currently, I would say BYOND is very cliquish and game developers are always very possessive of their creations. This is evidenced by their grief over ripped graphics, etc. If more developers were releasing their graphics under Creative Commons licenses in the first place, it would improve the community rather than singling out certain developers as "rippers" and thieves.

Thanks for putting your time into this, Zilal.
PirateHead wrote:
I want a few really neat games with source code provided. This would aid new developers in seeing how things are put together. The current generation of games with source code provided are mostly "rips", and their code is usually not instructive or even of good quality.

This is a great idea.
But there is one out there, by Dan (or is it Tom?) but it seems a lot of the "help" and "good demos" on BYOND are not clearly visible to newbies.
What were you looking for when you came to BYOND?

I had previously found a game called "Final Fantasy Online" for Pueblo MUD, but it went down permanently a few months after I joined. Thereafter I was looking for a similar free online game. I found BYOND in late 2001 by following a pseudo-ad for DWO from a Dragon Warrior sprite comic. It wasn't until after playing DWO for a couple of months that I realized I could make games of my own.

2. What were your first frustrations?

I didn't have any before I started learning how to program in DM. Trying to piece together a game using trial and error (since I didn't fully understand the system) was quite frustrating. With each aspect that I mastered, however, subsequent issues became easier to resolve on my own.

3. How did you learn how to program (or to use the Dream Seeker)?

I read through and "did" all of the examples in the Guide. After that, I learned as I went along. I looked through the DM reference for procs that I thought might be useful and then tried them in trial-and-error sorts of ways until I figured out what they did and how to use them. The single most helpful thing for me was probably the Newbie help forum.

4. What advice would you give to someone who was new to BYOND today? (This advice could be about anything.)

Don't make a "rip" of another game as your first project. In the end, you won't learn a thing and aren't contributing in any way.

5. Have you had friends who tried BYOND, but didn't continue with it? Why did they drop out?

I got Abra into BYOND a few years ago. =P He still messes around with his Space Castle project periodically, but now that he's programming professionally, he doesn't have as much time to spend on BYOND (or desire?). I only had one other friend stick with it for any length of time. He played FFO for a while, then decided to play FFXI instead.

6. Have you had friends you tried to introduce to BYOND, but they decided not to download/use it? Why not?

Most see it as a novelty. They download the client, try a few games, and then never come back. "Why play tile-based games made by amateurs when you can play graphically stunning games made by professionals?"

7. What new documentation do you think would be useful, if any?

I'm not sure; I've been here too long to answer this in a meaningful way.

8. What do YOU think about the layout of the website, both the "play" and "develop" sides? What would you change to make it easier and more useful for players and developers, new and old?

Marginalize the Member's section and replace it with guilds.

9. Anything else?

can't wait for 4.0
Thanks for the latest responses. You're welcome to add more; I'll check again in the future.

After talking it over with Tom, we decided that since we at least had basic documentation and tutorials already set up (even if they could stand to be rewritten), I'd focus on something new first. What I'm working on right now is a bit like an expanded ZBT, walking the user through making more complex games.
Sweet, be sure to make the "newbie" tutorials actually VISABLE though, I hate having to dig around for stuff.
1. What were you looking for when you came to BYOND?

I saw EbonShadow's DBEO on mudconnector.com, and that's when I started looking into BYOND. I stumbled across DUNG a couple years prior when just searching for something that would let me make an online RPG.

2. What were your first frustrations?

1) I couldn't play DBEO (dumb closed testing)
2) Had absolutely no clue what to do when I opened up Dream Maker. Nothing saying "start with this tutorial" or whatever. Just a big empty world of nothing.

3. How did you learn how to program (or to use the Dream Seeker)?

ZBT (The original) and from Deadron, ShadowDarke, AbyssDragon, LexyBitch, AirMapster, Spuzzum, and Tom. They were the main people that put up with all my newbie questions and answered my forum questions (I love you all!)

4. What advice would you give to someone who was new to BYOND today?

Don't be intimidated by rude developers, don't hesitate to ask questions, be patient.

5. Have you had friends who tried BYOND, but didn't continue with it? Why did they drop out?

BobJr left because the overall maturity level of the community dropped to that of a bunch of middle school kids.

Dreq left because he felt he could do better things with a game engine of his own creation in C++ (which he still hasn't finished)

6. Have you had friends you tried to introduce to BYOND, but they decided not to download/use it? Why not?

A couple downloaded it just to check out one of my game projects and never returned. Mostly because they're not into that kinda thing.

7. What new documentation do you think would be useful, if any?
Can't think of any external documentation that hasn't already been provided, but I'd like to see something that comes with Dream Maker and displays the first time you run it with an extremely basic tutorial (or maybe even ZBT1!), and references on where to go to access tutorials on this website.

Ohh, and more Dream Tutor posts on BYONDscape! :)


8. What do YOU think about the layout of the website, both the "play" and "develop" sides? What would you change to make it easier and more useful for players and developers, new and old?
It's really hard for me to go to www.byond.com and find a way "inside" the website for some reason. But I just have developers bookmarked now. If I would change one thing, I would have quick links on www.byond.com that lead to games and developers so returning people don't have to go through all that "what is byond?" stuff.

9. Anything else?
Did I mention I love you guys?
7. What new documentation do you think would be useful, if any?
Can't think of any external documentation that hasn't already been provided, but I'd like to see something that comes with Dream Maker and displays the first time you run it with an extremely basic tutorial (or maybe even ZBT1!), and references on where to go to access tutorials on this website.


Very good suggestion.
1. Games and a more flexible game making engine
2. How the DM guide didn't help me on 95% of what I needed
3. 8% DM guide, 82% Trial and error with libraries and demos and 10% DM reference
4. Rips suck
5. I had a friend called Runeguyko (Yeah, he plays Runescape) and he left because on his first game he played, he didn't know what to do (including how to speak) and the host kicked (or banned) him
6. None
7. More DM guides, though for today's common coding
8. I'm no web designer, but I personally don't like the Play side like most of us.
1. Game-making engine.

2. Some of the official channel libraries/demos were not properly documented, commented, didn't teach well, etc. This includes some even from Dan (his MUD engine, specifically)

3. Mostly referencing the DM guide for syntax, and looking over libraries that made sense. And of course, plenty of trial and error.

Moving into the present...

4. Visit the developer forums, ask for help politely. Even if you can't find source that will help you on your way, if you're polite on the forums, you can receive it.

5. Appearance and ease of entry. It takes a solid 10-15 minutes just to get started with a game (as you're trying to talk them through it on AIM) and once you're in it's entirely unimpressive visually. Much more control over the appearance of dream seeker and the improved graphics support of OpenGL is vastly needed.

6. I haven't had anyone not try it, but as I said before, after they wade through getting setup they're unimpressed.

7. I think more official tutorials and examples should be included in the guide. I'd even go so far as to seperate them by genre and make quite a few example games as part of the documentation - after all, GameMaker does it. They include the images, sounds, and everything. In fact, including some sample source projects might not be a bad idea.

8. I'll stay away from this one.

9. I definitely think ease of entry should be a top priority. Download the game -> Choose between making a key or a big explicit button that says Login as a Guest, which throws you right in. If you're logged in as a Guest, you
1. Game-making engine.

2. Some of the official channel libraries/demos were not properly documented, commented, didn't teach well, etc. This includes some even from Dan (his MUD engine, specifically)

3. Mostly referencing the DM guide for syntax, and looking over libraries that made sense. And of course, plenty of trial and error.

Moving into the present...

4. Visit the developer forums, ask for help politely. Even if you can't find source that will help you on your way, if you're polite on the forums, you can receive it.

5. Appearance and ease of entry. It takes a solid 10-15 minutes just to get started with a game (as you're trying to talk them through it on AIM) and once you're in it's entirely unimpressive visually. Much more control over the appearance of dream seeker and the improved graphics support of OpenGL is vastly needed.

6. I haven't had anyone not try it, but as I said before, after they wade through getting setup they're unimpressed.

7. I think more official tutorials and examples should be included in the guide. I'd even go so far as to seperate them by genre and make quite a few example games as part of the documentation - after all, GameMaker does it. They include the images, sounds, and everything. In fact, including some sample source projects might not be a bad idea.

8. I'll stay away from this one.

9. I definitely think ease of entry should be a top priority. Download the game -> Choose between making a key or a big explicit button that says Login as a Guest, which throws you right in. If you're logged in as a Guest, you could have a button in the corner of Dream Seeker that reminds you to get registered as a key.
1. A way to make online games.

2. The guides were great, but they did not allow for much expansion past what they showed you.

3. By persisting through the initial stages of confusion, and by having a goal on what I wanted to accomplish.

Moving into the present...

4. The best way to learn would be to learn at the same time as a friend so you can bounce ideas off each other.

5. Yes I have. They became constantly drunk and stopped having time to use their computer.

6. Yes, it seemed too simple to them. These kids with their 3d games?

7. A wiki or other method of connecting all the information that is out there together.

8. I like the new ?play? website, however, I think it would also be nice just to see a list of all the games.

9. Not really.
7. A few things:

More tutorials on the very fundamentals of Programming (and indeed, Software Engineering)! I personally picked up DM quite quickly, as I've programmed before. However, for a lot of people using DM, it's their first go at Programming. For instance, what's a variable, how can I relate that to real life? How could I go about making a model for a Garden environment?

There are a number of things Programmers often do; usually related to design and logic, almost without thinking. These came with practice, however the process can be accelerated (and thus the learning curve reduced) with suitable tutorials and demonstrations.

I would love to see more tutorials for visual and kinesthetic learners. It's all words words words currently, even analogies often lack good descriptive narrative.

A little more discussion on factors people may wish to bear in mind, or are of interest to keen learners. For instance, how does the compiler work (in layman's terms)? How can I improve my coding style? What is efficient, and why?

All round, more 'why' would help. If you like these suggestions, or I guess would like help, feel free to contact me. I'm currently going into my 3rd Year of University doing Software Engineering (with a module focus toward E-Learning), so a project of this nature would interest me. My Key should have an up-to-date email address on it.
i am new and i am looking for a GOOD tutorial that covers a lot and actually works!! i have found a lot of nice tutorials but the examples dont work and they dont teach you what is actually being done
1. What were you looking for when you came to BYOND?
Free ORPGs

2. What were your first frustrations?
Learning to save, spawn objects with a verb/proc, stopping sound

3. How did you learn how to program (or to use the Dream Seeker)?
developer.byond.com and reading the help files, the blue book and a Tutorial by this blogs owner

Moving into the present...

4. What advice would you give to someone who was new to BYOND today? (This advice could be about anything.)
Stay away from BYOND Anime, read the blue book and help documents.

5. Have you had friends who tried BYOND, but didn't continue with it? Why did they drop out?
Yeah, they caimed DM was too hard and they didn't understand it.
But then again, the kid is lazy. He still plays Castle now and again

6. Have you had friends you tried to introduce to BYOND, but they decided not to download/use it? Why not?
Yeah, they thought it was a virus, wasn't free(?), or didn't have the time. My other friend can't play BYOND because his dad thinks it is a spyware/trojan downloader :\

7. What new documentation do you think would be useful, if any?
Yes, some things need updated. Seperate the tutorials(IE, these are tutorials to get you on your way to make a RPG, these are tutorials to teach you how to make a basic board/card game, etc etc)

8. What do YOU think about the layout of the website, both the "play" and "develop" sides? What would you change to make it easier and more useful for players and developers, new and old?
None

9. Anything else?
It'd be nice if in the Dream Maker IDE, it had some sort of auto-complete feature, such as Visual Basic has
Page: 1 2