Crunch Time: The end of the Learning BYOND series

So ends my ‘Learning BYOND” series (though I’ll probably go back and edit those entries – for brevity, if nothing else). Ten days of “Learning BYOND” is probably enough to say that I’m past learning it, and am now simply using it.

What does use of BYOND produce? If the title is to believed, it allows you to Build Your Own Net Dream. Does BYOND live up to its name? Well, it definitely cuts down the toil of creating an online game tremendously, and I’m very much in debt to Dantom for providing it: it made building my online game accessible. Yet, I’m finding that a game is only as good as you’re willing to put the effort into.

In the end, BYOND is a canvas and brush to wield with whatever skill you’re capable – not a spigot that need only be twist to realize your dream game. (This hardly surprises the realists among us.)

Two weeks after starting, I’m staring down the barrel of a school semester 3 days from now without a completed game to show for it. That’s fine – I can continue using BYOND to further refine my Own Net Dream during the school semester — I’ve only a half-time schedule. I’ve little doubt that I’ll be able to produce something playable within a month soon.

Besides… I’ve always thought it interesting when I read a game credit (such as at the end of Quest for Glory 3) that says, “we hope you had as much fun playing our game as we had making it.” Sure enough, right now, it seems that making games is more fun for me than playing them. Thanks, continuous crappy quality of games leading to burnout. (Or is that a chicken and the egg scenario where burnout makes good games seem crappy?) If nothing else, when I’m building my own game and feel the balance is off, I’m able to fix it myself: that kind of freedom is awesome.

As for details on the particular game I’m making now, I’m hesitant to show my cards early. It’s not that I’m worried people are going to steal my idea — if you could do this and do it better than me, that’d save me a lot of work! It’s just that if I start talking about my game before people play it my words become hype. Hype kills games: I’d rather players judge it for themselves.

In future entries, I might drop a few hints by writing a few pieces of fiction that take place within the game universe. This would handily double as good background material.

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