Monday, March 07, 2011

Into the great BYOND

The rant of Brenda Brathwaite concerning the current state of new blood in the game industry hit particularly close to home. I completely fit the mold of the student sent out into the world with design docs and meager skills, without having anything solid to contribute to a game development team. Due to the structure of my undergraduate program, those of us without a programming or heavy art background were forced into support position.

Personally, this meant positions like 'project manager' or 'sound engineer' - two things I wasn't intending to focus on at all when I decided to go into game development. For the good of the many, though I did what I could - to the extent of a floundering undergrad's capabilities at least.

Fast forward a few years, and I am still not a published game dev. Even despite the frantic designer mind and incessant idea brain.

A few posts ago (which translates to about a year and a half) I was working on a game in Inform 7 - a natural language programming language for Interactive Fiction. It was an attempt to Make Something No Matter What, and it failed. The laptop that the game was being written on is out of order, and some very pressing things happened in my life around the same time. I suppose it is a good thing, however, since I'm not sure I quite have it in me to make that particular game work in that medium.

Since I don't have any formal training with a programming language, Inform 7's grammatical syntax made it very easy for me to leap into creating a game all on my own.

Which is probably why I'm having such difficulty with BYOND - or Build Your Own Net Dream. Kotaku recently shared NEStalgia, which is like the MMOG baby of Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy. I've played for awhile on the Zenithia server and rather like it. The program itself allows you to create your own worlds as well - for free - and seemed rather straightforward.

I'm stuck, but I know that it has a lot of potential for rapid prototyping of single- and multi-player games, so I'm going to do my darnedest to make it work. More to come later. In the meantime, I made this in Byond's icon editor in no time. Which gives me hope.

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