Let's Build a Game! #1 - Getting started with BYOND
BYOND (Build Your Own Net Dream) has been around for a long time...
Like, 22 years long. In a nutshell, BYOND is an all-in-one development kit for online games and utilities, but it is so much more than that. Very much like Steem, BYOND is a community of gamers and game developers who are passionate about the platform.
I first discovered BYOND when I was but 12 years old, and it changed my life forever. The active and helpful community allowed me to learn how to use the engine to program my own games, and host them live for the world to play. After more than a decade without coding, I want to start building something for YOU, the community I've come to love more than any I've ever been a part of.
I want to build a game. A real game. One where players can come together and interact with one another, and the world around them. A game that uses our beloved cryptocurrency as a means of transfer between denizens of aforementioned world. This is not a task I'll be able to take on alone, so if you or someone you know has any interest in collaborating on a project that could see something like this become a reality, by all means, let me know.
So, What is BYOND, exactly?
BYOND is a software suite for Windows and Linux that allows users to play, create, and publish online games. It uses a robust, but easy to learn, object-oriented programming language based on C++, and a built-in network structure, so all you have to do is code your game, and you're able to host it live at any time! The engine has the ability to create stand-alone (provided the user has installed the BYOND suite) applications, with the flexibility to embed those applications within a website or other web element.
BYOND is amazing for creating RPG style games, which is what I intend to create, but it can also produce card games, board games, and other types of applications. A free BYOND account will allow you to login to any game built on the platform, save your progress, earn achievements, and compete with players around the world for the top spot on leaderboards.
Downloading BYOND is simple, and it's very small. It comes equipped with a syntax highlighting code environment, sprite editor, map editor, debugging tools, full reference guide, and UI editor. Just missing a kitchen sink... The programming language is based on C++, and is quite easy to learn. I did so at 12 years old using basic tutorials from the forums and community developer resources.
The next post in this series will cover the very first tutorial I ever walked through step by step, which will show how easy it can be to get a game up and running using this incredible engine. From there, we'll build upon what we learn, and flesh out a full-scale game that talks to the blockchain!
Byond.com is where the real magic happens!
Play tons of free games that have been published to the website!
Anyone is free to publish a game they've created. The engine is powerful enough to create 3d environments, but it's best suited to building 2d games. The community has contributed a vast array of genres, creating numerous original works, as well as fan-based games based on popular tv series' or movies. Many games have fallen in and out of grace within the community over the years, and new games continue to be published all the time. Currently, the most popular game is a Sci-fi action rpg called Space Station 13.
At the time of writing, SS13 has nearly 800 players logged into over 30 servers, and was published 15 years ago! In it, players take the role of a crewmember aboard a space station, each with a task aimed at keeping the station operating smoothly. This is just one of many testaments to the power of the tools provided, and the community that has come together around them. From massive RPGs, dungeon-crawls, and collectible card games, to chat interfaces and virtual file sharing environments, BYOND has seen a vast array of applications.
I intend to add a new category to the list above... 'Cryptocurrency'!
The developer section of the website contains a hoard of resources, from official guides and tutorials, to libraries and code snippets provided by the community!
If you need to know something about the editor, or how to tackle a particular task, there is almost assuredly documentation on the subject. If you're already an experienced programmer, the DM Reference will explain every feature of the engine, including examples and explanations.
For more advanced queries, members of the community are able to upload libraries, resources, and tutorials, just like games! This provides an environment where everyone can learn together, and help each other create the best games possible.
If you're really stumped, or you're looking to get more involved in the community itself, the Forums are still as active as ever. You can find answers to most questions, find developers to collaborate with, find the latest updates for community favorites, or just chat about whatever's on your mind.
This is a call to all coders, designers, writers, and artists!
As stated above, I intend to build a multiplayer game using this engine that will use a token of some sort as an in-game currency. If you are interested in participating in any way, comment below or message me on Discord at 'thatsweeneyguy#7660'.
Something like this has never been attempted on BYOND, but the idea of incorporating cryptos into online games is something that is certainly gaining traction, and our most beloved of blockchains deserves a piece of that pie. Let's make it happen!
Keep an eye out for the next post in this series!
The next post will see us building a fully working, bare-bones environment that one can walk around in, and interact with. From there, I will begin to integrate work from those willing to help out, and build that "tutorial world" into a fully functional online world with endless adventure, and loads of crypto!
One point I feel is pertinent to bring up is that while I have a lot of experience with BYOND, I am not a professional anything. I am self-educated in almost everything, but applied almost all of my teenage years to developing games using this platform. My code will not be perfect, but I hope that by being open and honest with everyone involved, we can work off each other's strengths, and create something truly amazing.
This also does not mean I will be spending "less" time working on @thesteemhouse. I'm still working diligently building funding to open the physical space, and this project could potentially help fund that endeavor. I'm a man of many hats, and will continue to provide value to the blockchain in as many ways as possible.