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BYOND loosened its ties to the grid-based movement it was built on, some games were released, others were updated and I offered unsolicited advice.

Andre La Barre, Blogger

September 11, 2011

7 Min Read

Recently, the Journalism guild resumed its writing, DMBlog began its own and the DMcast posted another episode.  If each can continue to provide content, then kudos to them.  If not then they'll join the pile of other projects dead or on indefinite hiatus.  Informative articles exist, but I've been the only consistent source of BYOND writing in the suite's history.  Pretending my OCD means something, I've suggested that they cease forking their efforts in order to pace themselves while others maintain their readers.

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, the BYOND staff released a beta version of the suite with native support for pixel movement.  I have yet to take the plunge, but new releases like Falacy's Dot Shot might offer some hints.  Meanwhile, Mega fart cannon has posted videos of his experiments with bullet hell shooters.  Keep track of beta updates in the Announcements forum.

Silk Games have posted a preview of upcoming changes to the Soldier class in their MORPG NEStalgia.  The harsh penalties of the Soldier's random moves will be balanced with a stamina resource meter which resets between battles.  Offensive and defensive skill trees will also be added.

After their recent demo, Kyle_ZX and Zaoshi have released and updated an alpha version of their text-based RPG Myth: The Rising.  Combat, saving and high scores are expected soon.  Screenshots previewing the city of Halkirk were provided, but may have to be recreated after data loss.

GreatFisher has been hosting beta test sessions of a PvP free-for-all called simply Arena GameMultiple updates have been released with the aid of XxLucifersJesterxX as the project turns towards what was originally intended.  Players can earn ranks and purchase weapons.

Kumorii has twice updated his shooter Zombies! with new enemies, weapons and more.  A spinoff multiplayer survival game called Feed is now being developed with the help of Upda4t3 and Brettpenzer.  The latter has displayed screenshots of an inventory combination system.

Acebloke is celebrating the sixth anniversary of his military/economic sim Wargames with a half price sale bundled with a free year of his zombie project Survive This!  The birthday game was recently updated with interface changes, rebalanced combat and the loss of United Nations protection when joining/creating alliances.

Inspired by a recent petition, Acebloke has also resumed work on his tactical quest Joshtan1...  I miss character battles as well, EmpirezTeam.  Even if that dragon had to cheat with magic to beat my Wrangler. ;)

Eksadus, Ceojac and F0lak have announced the Harbringer of Darkness event for their MORPG Hazordhu II.  It began September 2nd, but there are four weekly chapters.  Each will offer content changes.  Some will be permanent.  Others will be unique to the event.  The final chapter will offer a one-of-a-kind item to a random player.

Bravo1 updated his vehicular shooter Tanx.  The mouse control appears more responsive, but hosts and players may wish to lower the quantity of AI as it seems dependent on one's CPU.  A spectator mode, kill-cam and (thankfully) a toggle for the AI chatter have also been included.

Still developing his platforming MORPG Tiny Heroes, Forum_account has been pondering the merits of less frequent save points and replenishable health.  He also released a new Mouse Position library while updating Pixel Movement with bug fixes, camera options and toggles for BYOND's new native support.  A Sidescroller update is coming soon.

Aaiko of Iccusion Entertainment has provided a status update for the MORPG Teridal.  Along with interface changes, the game now has 13 classes with plans for 2 more on the way.  Aaiko also announced a sidescrolling fighter in the Feval universe with a variety of animal opponents for nature's ninja.

I've been overthinking the plot creation for my procedurally generated action adventure.  I've settled on a simple lock and key method of quest generation which forces exploration of the map and develops a chain of events leading back where they began.  I'm hoping players will dream across the sequential gaps enough to create a semi-cohesive story.

Beyond BYOND

  • As noted by Chris "Breakdance McFunkypants" Kaitila, this week is packed with game jams!

  • The course "Introduction to Artificial Intelligence" taught by Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig will be offered online for free worldwide from October 10th to December 18th.  If you're not willing to sign up, you can at least spy on their YouTube channel.

  • The Game Crafter is holding a Mashup Game Design contest with entries due by November 1st.  Prizes consist of "crafter points" which can be used for both discounts and promotion of games used with the service.

  • Senior game designer Xander Davis has been hosting a YouTube show.  Much of the focus seems to be on consoles.  At least so far.

  • Farewell to The Digital Cowboys.  Alex Shaw and Tony Atkins will have other podcasts, but the final episode of the show they've hosted for four and a half years should be up soon.  I've loved their work.

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