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BYOND and Within #13

Hundreds of posts. Thousands of Facebook fans. Can't compete with free pizza.

Is anyone else tired of Chuck getting decent series finales and then being renewed?  I was worried Supernatural would offer the same, but it left everything in the air and was kind of a dud.

Oh, right.  Games.

This edited version of BYOND and Within comes to you from an unpaid volunteer using a game/development portal and software engine called BYOND.  Rather than play suggestions, the column focuses on recent developer activity.

Within BYOND

Last week, Silk Games posted a series of previews for upcoming versions of their retro MORPG NEStalgiaThe basics include new visuals, stat changes and lag reduction.  They were followed with the announcement of changes to the battle system and the addition of NPC companions.  The series finished with screenshots from the next big content patch and news that it will raise the level cap.

This week, Silk Games opened of a forum where graphics and music can be contributed in return for money and/or subscriptions.

IainPeregrine released minor updates for both his single-player RPG Regressia and his cooperative action title Casual Quest.  Fixes were applied to both bugs and balance.  Claiming that entertainment has a limited shelf life, IainPeregrine is looking to hand off Casual Quest's code base for use in another game.

I've been waiting to mention how there are currently 2100+ people following the Facebook page.  I'd like to use the news as a bribe for feature game submissions.  However, Stephen001 decided to reward SuperAntx' work on the team-based shooter Decadence with crowdfunded beer and pizza.  I don't know if I can compete with that.  Stephen001 plans to infiltrate BYOND Journalism with a short interview regarding the results.

Deciding not to focus on a remake, Acebloke updated his economic/military simulation Wargames.  Along with the usual lengthy list of changes, there is a new building, a new unit and a way to decrease infamy through trade.  There was a bit of a snafu with the official server, but the download is still available for others to host.  Acebloke is now polishing the game to attain feature status.

Bravo1 released multiple updates for the demo of his top-down zombie shooter, Darkness.  It's still just one level, but a variety of grenades, balance tweaks, interface changes and enemy waves have been added.  Inspired by S.T.A.L.K.E.R., a related game titled Lands of Darkness could become an open project depending on player interest.

The Magic Man uploaded a demo for his untitled single-player RPG.  It's lacking sound and attack animations, but it may give a feel for the conversation system and battles.  The demo is also short on documentation so read his blog post for details.

Oasiscircle has begun releasing videos of an action adventure project titled Delve.  Pressure plate and light reflecting puzzles are displayed.  A request for classes has been issued.  Each should have three abilities.

Duelmaster409 has stated that dynamic quests are now available in the MORPG Fantasie.  While announcing a new kind of NPC, the team also declared that the game is being considered as their entry into IainPeregrine's Get Something Done challenge.

Geldonyetich may have stumbled out of the gate due to hardware issues, but he has decided to finish last year's project for GSD 2011.  Inspired by Lode Wars, Battletech MUX and Autoduel, it's a vehicular combat game with digging mechanics.  His goals are to have a round-based game with procedurally generated maps, allow players to purchase custom upgrades with mined income, include NPC opposition and create fully enabled sound/help systems.  His progress report questions how much code he should be rewriting and he's being distracted by new releases.  However, Geldonyetich remains confident that he can finish what little is left.

Chris Gayle and Zane444 have announced their GSD entry, Armored Units.  It's a PvP game with multiple modes and customizable vehicles.  Release conditions have been listed and most appear to be checked off.

Offering an alternative to BYOND's native tile-based movement, Forum_account has been working hard on his Pixel Movement library.  A request for feedback led to two updates with improvements in accessibility, controls, demos and more.  An introduction and a tutorial have been posted.

I've been making progress on my combative scavenger hunt, MeanderGall.  The Pall received some graphical changes and weak (excessively random) AI to spam attacks at players.  Players can return the favor by wielding their hearts as mauls.  I still need to add a timer and some server commands, but I should have something uploaded by the June 1st end of GSD.

Beyond BYOND

  • Gaming Angels and National Computer Camp are looking to offer a female student a one-week scholarship for NCC's June/July 2011 enrollment.  A 500-600 word essay must be submitted before July 8th.
  • Standard submissions are currently open for IndieCade 2011.  The processing fee is $45.  Late submissions begin on June 1st for $70.
  • The Experimental Gameplay Project has released the 18 results of its double length challenge.  Developers were tasked with creating cheap clones... and were doused with faux shame when a portion managed to offer something unique.
  • Here on Gamasutra, Stephen Dick offers 10 Tips For Raising Funds With Kickstarter For Indie Game Developers and R. Hunter Gough offers help Making Your Choice between multiple crowdfunding services.  Go pay your bills.
  • Portal begot Portal 2, but Narbacular Drop begot Portal.  A lecture from Kim Swift on the team's transition to Valve can now be found in the free section of GDC Vault.
  • On Lost Garden, Danc offers a blunt critique of game criticism.  I tend to agree...  I also tend to watch movie reviews from Beyond The Trailer.  Hopefully it's not insulting to admire Grace Randolph's work and knowledge rather than her show's philosophy.
  • Congratulations to Film Riot on their 100th episode!  I have not made any movies myself, but I find their work both educational and just plain fun.

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