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BYOND and Within #20

The PopLava Challenge concluded, multiple games were released/updated and I'm spending too much time on Google+.

I drank the Kool-Aid.  I only check my Facebook when updating BYOND's page and, last week, I had no idea why I would want to use Google+.  This week, I've grown used to stalking circling people who, if they follow me back, can filter me out should I get too annoying.  If you want in on the sickness, here I am and here's an invite. ;)

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

Taking over for IainPeregrine, CauTi0N has responded to community feedback with an update for the cooperative action title Casual Quest.  In addition to bug fixes, skill costs are now attributed to classes, skill descriptions now include potency and balance has been tweaked.  Become a fan on Facebook!

Silk Games have provided another update preview for their MORPG NEStalgia.  Expect new spell animations, the ability to remove individual stat seeds, rebalanced burst damage and skills for elemental enchantments.  Plans for soldiers and merchants will be announced soon.

Ill Im released a customizable robot shooter called War Bots.  No download is available, but servers have been hosted.  Meanwhile, Ill Im's RPG Tinsdalia is being reprogrammed from scratch to decrease compile times which have made small fixes a pain.

Kumorii uploaded a shooter called Zombies.  Thus far it only offers one map and an Endless mode with an increasing rate of enemies.  Ammo conservation, item drops, new weapons and more enemies are on the way.

Kyle_ZX released demos for what appear to be two different RPGs.  Dungeon Runner is "really UGLY, but packed with mechanics".  Myth is a "unique" take with ASCII graphics.

When FUNimation decided to assert more control over their IP, Axerob took the opportunity to form his own out of his Naruto fangame.  If all goes well, the MORPG Shinobi Online should see be released around the time you read this.

Bravo1 repeatedly updated his vehicular shooter Tanx.  There are new modes, new parts, AI improvements, a new map and a variety of interface changes.  Unfortunately, a bug revealed itself with a frame rate increase and the mouse control is no longer fluid.  The keyboard may offer an alternative twin stick feel soon.

Preparing the internals for future combat changes, Acebloke provided an update for his military/economic sim Wargames.  Units have been rebalanced, gained more regional distinctions and can be bought in larger bulks.

Alexandra Erin has been reporting enough progress on her MORPG RetroQuest to make me think this digest might actually be useful.  Encounter combat, learn magic, view graphical changes, tame BYOND tools... or just wait for the wiki.  Fearing success, I shall now use an outdated picture just because it contains little creatures.  (As usual, click to enlarge.)

Enduring a storm, Calus CoRPS has posted videos of a new building game called Clunky Ships.  There is no defined goal, but players will be allowed to create and launch space vessels.

Complex Robot has been working on some form of exploratory simulation currently called Open Planet.  Light shines and fire burns.  Water spreads and causes items to sink or float.  Tunnels can be dug and items can be crafted.

Fugsnarf has been developing a PvP turn-based fighter called Dawn of Battle.  In addition to standard attacks and elemental alignments, there will be moves which require minigames to perform.  Players will earn in-game money, characters and fame.

The Simple Development Guilds held a contest where developers were given 10 days to make a board game with BYOND.  The entries were posted and a poll was held to determine who won the $10 prize.  (Check the comments for game links.)  Megablaze came in first with what appears to be a Snakes and Ladders variant called Tubes N Cannons.

After two and a half months, the first PopLava Challenge is now over.  Developers were tasked with creating multiplayer games.  Ill Im's War Bots placed second to earn $25 and 25000 Resource Center silver.  Bravo1's Tanx earned $150 and 25000 silver for first place and then another 25000 silver for the BYOND Member Choice Award.  Congratulations to both!

Two more podcast episodes and an event have been provided by what is now the DMcast team.  They've separated to become an affiliate of the Journalism guild.  Hopefully both sites will offer a consistent amount of content. =)

Beyond BYOND

  • Registration is now open for TIGJam 4 which will be held October 20th-23rd in Mountain View, California.  The $50 fee includes a t-shirt, snacks, and a wrap up dinner.  With no theme or competition, developers are invited to create "something rad".
  • Those who enjoy developer lectures and are unable to attend may wish to donate to this Kickstarter fund to document the IndieCade 2011 Conference held October 6th-9th in Culver City, California.
  • Ludum Dare 21 concluded with roughly 600 entries following the theme "escape".  Players have a couple weeks to sign in and vote for the winner.
  • Troy Goodfellow's National Characters has concluded.  The series examined how various nations have been portrayed in historical strategy games.  The epilogue gives a decent summary of what readers can learn.  Podcast listeners may wish to try Three Moves Ahead #130.
  • When Bytejacker's Anthony Carboni announced a new project without a focus on indie titles, I was a little dismayed.  However, a show about calling him out on reviews sounds kind of nifty.  Check out New Challenger.
  • Congratulations to IGN/G4 personality Jessica Chobot and her new fiance!  (I read about it on her Google+. ;))

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