BYOND and Within #15

New games and updates to squash mid-June bugs in a niche community.

Multiple people made donations when my LCD monitor died last year.  I'd like to thank them again.  Reliability has since led me to use two free CRTs, but I've dedicated the money to keeping me online.  Recently, the last of it came in handy as scary grinding sounds revealed the need for regular use of a duster.  (I figure it's cheaper than canned air in the long run and better for the environment...  At least the small space I have to breath in.)

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

Among other things, Forum_account has been rambling about his platforming MORPG, Tiny Heroes.  Details of the combat and quest systems have been provided.  Progress on that game's AI was presented in video form alongside a minor update for his featured digging platformer, A Miner Adventure.  Meanwhile, BYOND developers might be interested in reading his library companion piece How to Optimize a Pixel Movement Enabled Game...  He's been busy. =)

Silk Games have posted two more podcast episodes for their featured MORPG NEStalgia.  Citing the difficulty of communicating with large groups of people, the team wishes to dispel rumors.  As for actual changes, two updates were released with graphical improvements, dye/mask previews, inventory divisions and more.  Players are again advised to use the latest BYOND version and possibly clear their cache.

Yut Put has released a party game called Dojo, a Pong variant called Lob and an undead invasion called Treehouse Zombies.  All the while, he has been "dumping" visual and mechanical details of a class-based RPG called Devotion.

Slic3y has been updating a previously unlisted project from 2010 called Paintball Party.  It's billed as "just Fast paced multi-player Paint balling Action with an aim to be the last man/woman standing". [sic]

Magicsofa has released an 8-level demo for Beryl.  It's a puzzle game where players assume the role of a trapped alien.  Magicsofa has expressed concern over getting the game in the BYOND listing, but I can find no hub entry to submit...  Psst, creating one is free! ;)

Gooseheaded has thrice updated his multiplayer roguelike Deep Dungeon.  Dead players respawn with new characters and the titular dungeon now resets when cleared of monsters.  Icon and interface improvements continue to be added.

Robertbanks2 has twice updated the alpha for his tactical RPG Imperatorum.  Maps have been split with the single-player portion acting as a tutorial.  The HUD has been introduced.  The sprite work is on hold. We could be visited by a bear-wrestling chicken.

Constantly iterating, Acebloke has released another update for his military/economic sim, Wargames.  Wood is consumed by towns, space race progress is displayed and bugs have been fixed.  Subscribers can now choose a third alliance in Cold War mode.  The results of the last Cold War server are linked to in his post.

Magicbeast20 has updated his wave-based zombie shooter, Quarantine.  Bugs were fixed and the interface was improved.  Unfortunately, NPC bait guards have been removed.  However, a faint button in the shop makes me think they'll be back.

While posting a screenshot, Ill Im announced that he is looking for players to help test his tactical RPG Tinsdalia.  While listing content, the reward was upgraded to a lifetime subscription for those who are active.  Final Fantasy-inspired combat and 3+ towns of small, sequential stories are expected to be released within weeks.

Oasiscircle has been adding enemy AI to Delve.  A new video of the action adventure is available.  He's interested in working with an artist to create the larger sprites.  I suggest settling on a palette size first. ;)

IainPeregrine has posted the official results of Get Something Done 2011.  Entries from Camdev, DarkCampainger, KetchupKid, Ss4gogeta0 and some hack "journalist" were listed.  IainPeregrine's own short story is expected in mid-July.

PopLava's first challenge officially began last week with the constraint that hexagons must be part of the core gameplay.  This corresponded with a free hex-based map example offered through Resource Center.  However, some expected the theme to have less to do with implementation.  The challenge has been rephrased and reposted with more prizes.

I updated my combative scavenger hunt/motivation tool, MeanderGall.  AI projectiles no longer do graze damage and diagonal movement buttons have been tweaked.  The GSD 2011 results stated that combat felt frustrating and impossible to control.  Feel free to describe how in my forum. =)

I've also been researching puzzles in the hopes of finding some to procedurally generate.  Jaap's Puzzle Page has been particularly helpful.  I don't know how far I'll get into determining difficulty, but I think I'll have something good enough for short segments of action adventure games.

Beyond BYOND

  • The results of May's Experimental Gameplay Project have been posted.  The theme was "ZOOM".  June's theme is "MASHUP"...  My apologies for not linking to these in the last column.
  • Back to puzzles, Dev.Mag has concluded its How Are Puzzle Games Designed series.  Interviews were held with Dave Hall (Q.U.B.E.), Rob Jagnow (Cogs), Ted Lauterbach (suteF). Teddy Lee (My First Quantum Translocator) and Guy Lima (Continuity).
  • It's about communication.  Chris Crawford thinks it's easier for artists to learn how to program than for programmers to have a heart, Richard Fine believes it's easier for programmers to present tools in design language than for designers to understand implementations and Ernest Adams just wants a decent tutorial.
  • Scott Nicholson made good on his auction with the release of a new boardgame video.  Proceeds went to the loving memory of Jack Vasel, son of The Dice Tower's Tom Vasel.
  • There's still a few hours left to buy Steam's Indie Variety Pack with A.R.E.S: Extinction Agenda, Atom Zombie Smasher, Capsized, Machinarium and Swords and Soldiers HD.  The same goes for the Indie Action Pack with AaAaAA!!! - A Reckless Disregard For Gravity, GridRunner Revolution, Metal Drift, Starscape and Zombie Driver...  Apparently, we have as long as the Earth exists to purchase Pixeljam's Mega Bundle with Dino Run SE and Space Rubbish.
  • Frelling fleshies.  I cease avenging my defeat on Facebook and then this happens.  Do poor running gags mean nothing to people anymore?


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