And yet it moves
I guess, not many of wannabe indies think about motivation. You are on fire with your wild ideas and dreams, what could be possibly wrong? But then… you know it. The passion fades, the inner deadlines are broken, and turns out the project is far from being a piece of cake. It’s getting harder and harder to just put yourself to the project and start working. And the work itself happens rarely (and if it happens, it starts usually from “ok, where we were…ohh, shiii, I can’t even remember!”). You already know the end of stories like this, right? The bad one.
The most efficient way to fight against this horrible stuff is simple (like, literally): your project must be simple. VERY simple. Yes, it sounds not so sexy, but hey: you either chasing your dream and probably ending up with abandoned project, or you can make a small but steady steps toward your dream, one small game at a time. I know, I know, you read about this a hundred times. And yet there are plenty of us who repeats this mistake. Like ourselves, for example.
BYTE is already being developed for 2 years. And at least 1 more year is required to finish the game. For the spare-time project, it’s almost an eternity. And yes, we suffer from this “out-of-the-flow” debuff. But we try to handle it in a couple of ways.
The first one is, actually, you. The feedbacks and “likes” from the players is a neat thing: when I see that someone actually CARE about what we do, or even like it… Hell yeah, I feel alive again and ready to set sail for the next milestone! The only problem here is that we need to give something to the community on the first hand. Like, obviously.
And the second way are ourselves. From time to time, we handle a weekend jam – rally together in one room and start the engine of game making. Works like a charm, with a single drawback – it’s hard to find time for this and sync our plans.
So, slow but steady, we are moving forward. Have faith in us, and we won’t let you down.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone! And may the power of Release bless us in the next year…
First 100 followers for BYTE!
…and just in case, here are the most convenient ways to check BYTE alpha demo right now:
BYTE alpha demo results and progress so far
Firstly, I would like to thank everyone who tried the alpha demo. When you are building a long-running game in your spare time only, the feedbacks (especially, positive ones ) from the community are your natural fuel, that helps you keep pushing forward.
The results themselves are pretty neat – it turns out that we are making something meaningful and even enjoyable, which is very cool. The most complaints were about chat system and mistakes in level design (already fixed in build 0.5.7). So in future major public releases the chat system will be redesigned to be more intuitive, less annoying, and without stopping the gameplay. We plan some changes in scan system as well, because the current implementation is almost useless on levels with many elements.
Now, about the current progress.
As you can see, we remade an antivirus, so it looks more aggressive now. But most importantly, the work on the multiplayer side has been started! I really can’t tell you much about it, because right now we have a veeeery blurry vision of it. But as soon as we test and clarify anything, I will let you guys know in an instant.
And yes, we plan to go open beta with multiplayer! So soon you will be able to hack your friends or being hacked!… Well, not very soon, actually, but cheer up! We have some interesting meta-stuff in our pockets to show you in the near future, so stay tuned
BYTE goes public
Socialization on the move!
Next, we have just released a standalone build of the demo (no more crappy web-browser stuff!). As promised, it supports Windows, macOS and Linux. You can grab the latest version here.
And last but definitely not least – we got our very first “let’s play” video!
You can watch it below:
A big thanks to Fellow Player for his time and funny comments!
BYTE update 0.5.7: stuck-detecting and more
Aaand new version is out!
We added a couple of “user-friendly” improvements to…well, improve “friendliness” of the game:
- Firstly, the stuck-detecting system. From now on, your cyberdeck will show a warning message each time worm gets locked.
- On-screen controls reminder. Just in case you got amnesia or simply tired of reading tutorial chit-chat.
- Small fixes in level design for smoother experience (including the annoying one on Level 11 “9s Bit News Blog”)
- Lastly, many typos have been ruthlessly eliminated. For great justice!
As always, you can play up-to-date BYTE alpha demo here: dividebyzer0.com/byte
A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine gave me a nice hint – major media company looking for game journalists for one of its franchise. I instantly thought about it like a good side-job opportunity. A nice match to my skills and interests. I was working as a reviewer for a small news site in high school days and my last full-time job was in scenario department. What could go wrong?
But then something happened. Turning pages from one review to another, researching a place: FarCry, Call of Duty, Just Cause… I catch myself thinking, that I DO NOT want to play these games. Moreover, if I do, I won’t be able to rate them properly. Not anymore.
You know, when you are writing review for some media portal, no one really cares about what you think about that particular game. You are judging a project not by your standards, but by standards of the industry. What’s interesting, and what’s not; what’s addicting and cool, and what’s dull and boring – by means of the industry, not by yours.
Here’s an example. I’ve just played Overwatch – found it pretty boring. Nothing interesting or new. And what if I will have to review this? I understand, that the game fits the industry. A perfect match (probably). It’s not even out yet, but you can already spot tons of crazy fans. So what, where it would leads us to? DNK vs the World? Very funny.
By the way, do you even realize how private, how intimate is relationship between a game and a player? There is a gazillion of factors that could affect your game experience. So how can we possibly talk about “standards” and “scores” here? Feeling like a deadend to me.
When muse strikes me, I write short reviews to lovely games and post them in social networks. Yeah, I don’t get paid for that. But I share my opinion and my experience to the others without looking back at the industry and its “nothing personal” rules. So let it be this way.
P.S. No offence to game journalists and/or their hard job. All above is just a humble opinion of a man, who does not fit for this line of work anymore.
New firmware for your cyberdeck
Ding! BYTE 0.5.5 version is live! What’s inside:
Bug fixes. Bug fixes everywhere!
Minor level design tweaks
New sounds added
As always, you can play up-to-date BYTE alpha demo here: dividebyzer0.com/byte
P.S. Electronic music, anyone? Roller just released a couple of his tracks for BYTE on soundcloud. Enjoy!
New project, new teammates, new horizons
Surprise! Still alive we are. And this time, we got some major news.
WARNING! A wall of text incoming, so for those who want to catch up quickly, here’s TL;DR
- We have redesigned BYTE game mechanics from scratch. A playable alpha demo available here in the web.
- New teammates! Nik, Sergey, Sasha – guys you rock!
- …and thanks to them, we are happy to announce our new project – SpaceCat! SpaceCat is a VR endless runner for iOS and Android about cats, cosmos, and high-speed velocities.
- ..and yes, pre-alpha demo of SpaceCat is also available. Note: demo for Android phones with gyro only, you will also need a cardboard-like device.
Da tools for BYTE
Hello everyone! It’s status report time!
Okaaaayy… aha… hm… well, it looks like there is not much to show right now. But everything in motion, slow but steady: artists working on game objects, our code wizard experimenting with shaders and particles for backgrounds, and me struggling to find god damn time for level planning.
So, we’ll update prototype with some new art and features next month.
Right now, I want to tell you folks a bit about our game/level design tools. Maybe you will find something useful for your own projects.
As a game engine, we chose Construct 2 – HTML5-based tool for 2D games. Extremely easy to use, yet powerful enough for small-to-mid projects, supporting all major platforms (mobile, web, PC, OS X, Linux). But even if you are using Unity (or anything else) for your 2D game, me can recommend C2 as a super fast prototyping tool, thanks to sets of game objects behaviors, drag’n’drop canvas and visual programming through event lists.
Cons: rough version control systems support (problems with parallel commits), lack of HTML5 native support on mobile, and finally C2 is windows-only.
And the next game isss…
Well yeah, dat news probably tells us two things. First – we are not dead, yet. And second – we were REALLY trying to work on something for last couple of months.
So… As you may guess, we call our new project BYTE – it’s a 2D top-down stealth-puzzle game, where player controls a sneaky cyber-worm performing some malicious deeds in the network of the near future.
Main gameplay may kinda remind of “Snake” from your old Nokia phone, but who cares: every time you steal valuable data, your cyber-worm is getting longer, which makes it harder to control and evade anti-viruses.
Throughout the game you will be able to upgrade your worm in both passive (+% to moving speed, downloading, etc.) and active (adding jaws, that help you break ICE, for example) ways.
The game itself is not just a sequence of levels, by the way – there is a web map, where you can choose your next run, examine stolen stuff, read newsfeed and more.
The plot is revolving about mysterious and powerful web virus, capable to down modern, heavy internet-dependent world, on its knees. Player acts as an anonymous hacker, making his own way through the non-linear story.
Ah, almost forgot – the game will be playable on Windows, OS X and Linux somewhere in early 2016.
Next. We start BYTE devlog on TIGsource. Hope to update it regularly, as well as post news here.
And the last, but not least – there is something for you to see! Right here hides little playable prototype, showing off the very basics of gameplay in our upcoming game. Feel free to drop-off your thoughts over the project thread on TIGsource or in our trollum.
Phew… Okay folks, I guess that’s enough for a humble announcement. Stay tuned.