The BYOND site is being redesigned. Games will soon be sorted with tags and moderators will be able to assign statuses to blog posts. I approve of those changes. However, I believe they make my strategy guild work pretty much obsolete. I have therefore decided to end Along The Tech Tree.
If a reemerging BYOND Weekly doesn't pound me into the ground, I'm planning to expand into other genres with a site-wide column. I'm hoping for more solid news or at least a larger variety. I'm tempted to start including the non-BYOND links that I list in the on-site version as well. However, GameSetWatch and IndieGames tend to have most of them anyway.
Again, feel free to tell me if this isn't welcome here. My column generally isn't the most educational or thought-provoking stuff. I started posting on Gamasutra when the Member Blogs were less active. The fact that no other niche community link digests have popped up has not gone unnoticed. However, I'm used to little or no feedback. I'm likely to keep posting unless told otherwise.
...On an unrelated note, congratulations to Starcraft commentator/analyst Sean "Day" Plott! He was awarded PC Gamer UK's Gamer of the Year. Check out at least the Funday Monday episodes of the Day Daily. They're the only times I laugh anymore. I recommend them even to those who, like myself, don't even play Starcraft. I'm enthralled by the exploration. Plus they're, you know, fun.
Out with a whimper. News was slow and I'm blaming it on the holidays. Enjoy. =)
This edited version of Along The Tech Tree comes to you from BYOND Strategy, a guild run by unpaid volunteers on a game/development portal and software engine called BYOND. Tech Tree focuses on recent developer activity. For play suggestions, visit the guild.
Acebloke was planning on releasing a bunch of updates before the end of the year. The next version of his featured abstract board game, Exploder, should have been available last Saturday. The next version of his military/economic sim, Wargames, should have been out Thursday. And there's five more... Unfortunately, Acebloke fell ill.
What has been released is news of the prizes for this year's AceMedalTable. The top three will gain short subscriptions to Acebloke's projects. Pre-release access to the Spore-inspired graphical MUD Dreamland is also on the menu. Along with the prizes, a poll is being held to help determine whether to allow players to purchase access early.
Tsfreaks has posted his year in review for 2010. His small RTS, MRTS, remains less than half finished and is unlikely to be continued due to the amount of moving parts and lack of a perceived audience. Fortunately, his turn-based Hexwar could still see a release. Of course, he has some current success stories as well, but this is a strategy-biased column. ;)
The BYOND Cartridge Classic II ends on February 1st. Entrants are tasked with creating a game with an emphasis on replayability within 8,192 bytes of source code. Small monetary prizes will be awarded.
I've announced The Gift Me Games Deal for lifetime Fooldom Come subscriptions. Fooldom Come is my passport for benefits in my current and future BYOND projects. A lifetime subscription currently costs $20, but those interested can now get one for the BYOND username of their choice just by gifting me a game from my Steam wishlist. The offer ends on my birthday, February 2nd... By which time I still expect to be stuffed from the Thanksgiving sales.
The most recent addition to Fooldom Come is my award-winning (watch me run that into the ground) rhythm action game with procedurally generated music. As of version 4, Fused Finale has added level selection and score records for subscribers. There have also been a plethora of tweaks to improve the pacing. Songs begin with shorter durations and the durations of later songs increase much more slowly. Meanwhile, those who are good enough to keep earning extra life bars can trade them for score multipliers.
I'll be back to developing my racing combat board game, StarScurrier, soon. The game was just about playable when I last left it. I've been thinking of adding sound effects first just to tempt myself into activity with ear candy.