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BYOND and Within #23

Find multiple new releases as developers await the results of IainPeregrine's Game in a Day 2011.

Andre La Barre

October 9, 2011

8 Min Read

After my last column, IainPeregrine hosted Game in a Day 2011 with the themes For Science!, Mirage, Zodiac and Honey Badger.  Multiple developers participated.  Some even streamed themselves.  I've generally been wary of entries due to the priority of deadlines over quality. However, post-GiaD updates are already available and I've mentioned too many projects to complain.  Frankly, it's rather nice having so many new releases.

Wish good luck and a swift return to listings/featured games reviewer and Simple Developments guildmaster Yusuke13 as he tears down his outpost in Iraq without a working laptop.

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

CauTi0N has posted release notes for the latest version of Casual Quest.  They include the cooperative action game's bug fixes, balance tweaks and help file changes.  Ideas and icons for custom characters are no longer being accepted, but I'm guessing the umpteen classes will be enough for most players.  (My apologies for letting the link languish in my bookmarks for a week before remembering to put it on the Facebook page.)

Oasiscircle and Akto released and updated their GiaD entry Swarm with a couple videos along the way.  Players can join a team and choose a class of bee in a race to collect the most honey.  Oasiscircle is now posting videos of an unrelated sprite-based first person system.

Likewise, Calus CoRPS released and updated his GiaD entry Compound Dwellers.  It's a twin stick shooter where various elements float through space.  The player's job is to shoot the elements required to make specific compounds.  I find the text a bit hard to read, but I like the chemistry angle. =)

Chris Gayle released a GiaD entry called Quick Serum.  Using tank controls, players are tasked with finding their way through a maze filled with barriers of goo removed with a limited supply of serum.  Meanwhile, Zane444 has posted more art for their colonial creature-channeling RPG Spirit Age.  Players are invited to become fans of the Facebook page as Chris Gayle speaks of object graveyards.

SuperAntx entered Wish Maker as his GiaD entry.  Using two buttons, players steer the wish of a little girl.  Should one fail to collect enough stars then the wish won't come true.  I might have a bit more faith in game mechanics for story telling, but the minimalist style seems perfect for the time limit.

Makeii released a GiaD entry called Protowar.  It's an abstract sidescrolling shooter.  There are blocks which are invulnerable and must be dodged.  Then there are blocks you can shoot for points and weapon changes.  I tend to cry when I lose my spread shot, but I had fun.

Heyya46 entered a GiaD called The great escape of Carlos, the honey badger!  Players are tasked with helping said Carlos navigate puzzles and roaming hazards in order to leave a futuristic lab which uses his skin to make condoms.  Be warned that death means starting over.

Jp entered a roguelike called Mirage Arcana.  Players take the role of a wizard's apprentice who weaves signs of the Zodiac to escape the master's tower.  Determining what each sign does is important because it could change before the next playthrough.

Revealing that I missed flaming updates for League of Power, Taitz released a GiaD called Ba-boom!  It's a multiplayer action game where players use a variety of bombs.  Wish that Taitz avoids real ones during his Defense Forces training.

Lige and Branks released and twice updated their multiplayer action title Jail 'Em!  Criminals earn points by escaping prison while police officers earn points by catching them.  There's no download available, but servers have been spotted.

A. Ness released an early version of a multiplayer top-down shooter called Stick Wars.  Players choose their colors, roam the map and fire their lasers before submitting their scores to the hub.  Ammunition and powerups spawn over time.  A. Ness also released a shooting gallery called Target Practice.

Developous' LunarTowers is now available for download and beta testing.  Picture the commander and unit division of an RTS/action hybrid like S2 Games' Savage or Squeegy's Faith.  As I understand it, this is sort of like that except that all players are units of the host and all NPCs are waves of invading enemies.

In an attempt to win over fangame players with original IP, Stevenw9 has released and updated a game called Chi Online.  It's an MORPG with medieval martial arts.  Volunteers have been requested.

Inspired by multiple creature-raising RPGs, The Magic Man has released a demo for his own with no hub entry.  Players can train pets and hope they listen to commands as they fight to free villagers.

Falacy's base defense game Guardians: Celestial Chaos has been updated with interface and balance tweaks.  Release notes can be found inside the game.  As for his cooperative board game Dead of Night, I'm not sure where to view the latest changes.  Of course, it took me this long to realize the amount of source code he has been releasing over the past few months so I might just not be that observant. ;)

[Edit: Apparently I'm not observant enough to note Guardians' in-game editor for custom maps or updates to Dot Shot and Legend of the Princess either!]

Beyond BYOND

  • There's still a few days of The Humble Frozen Synapse Bundle.  Pay what you want for Frozen Synapse, Trauma and SpaceChem.  Those who pay more than the average will also get The Humble Frozenbyte Bundle with Trine, Shadowgrounds: Survivor, Shadowgrounds, Splot and Jack Claw.

  • The results of last month's "story game" Experimental Gameplay Project have been posted.  In preparation for Halloween, the theme for this month is "slicing".

  • The Ludum Dare October Challenge is back.  Finish a game.  Take it to market.  Earn at least a dollar...  For some reason, I immediately went to work on a tangible card game which, after printing, would ask a customer to pay 5 times as much as a BYOND game.  I'm very bad at this.

  • Indie City is still coming.  IndiePub just announced their own publishing platform.  Meanwhile, Indievania isn't taking a cut from developers and lets them offer pay-what-you-want sales.  I'm slightly addicted to Steam with a foot dipped in Desura, but that sounds nifty.

  • Comedian/writer Robert Florence is considering the revival of DowntimeTown as a forum for the logistics of local board game groups (old and new).  Those without fellow players should be able to find them.

  • The Dice Tower's Top 100 Games of All Time has begun again with three videos per segment.  The twist this year is the list made from community input.  Of course, Tom Vasel's opinions are there as well, but you know darn well you'd rather hear from Melody.

  • Discouraged by what winds up popular?  Read Leigh Alexander's profile of Ian Bogost, The Life-Changing $20 Rightward-Facing Cow.  You won't feel any better.  Just validated.

  • I don't use my middle name often...  Unless it helps me make a better looking spaceship.

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