Basic Noob Scirra Question

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  • I'm a noob 2D game developer considering Construct...

    I've spent a few months learning Game Maker and I love it, but it has zero console support and that's just dumb. So as my game project gets more serious I realize I don't want to limit my audience nor design the game twice. Unity 2D support is introduced, so I move on.

    I spent a month learning Unity. I hate it. Even with the 2D tools it sucks for a tilebased game. C# is kicking my butt. Progress is ridiculously slow. I miss actually making my game. I go back and play what I built in GM. I was doing so good and having so much fun and Unity has sucked that out of me.

    I consider going back to GM. Still no console support. Zero. That's so dumb. WiiU can play HTML5 games. GM can export HTML5 games. Yet GM cannot export WiiU games. That's so dumb.

    Ok, Construct looks cool. No Xbox or PS but it exports to WiiU. I can live with only one console. Hell I'd be thrilled to get a game on one console. People say GM can do more but I'm making a fairly simple 2D tilebased game (though a little graphics heavy).

    Construct cannot export a windows executable. You have to play your game in a web browser. What????????????

    For real? No executables? The windows and mac icons are just for show?

  • C2 can export executables via node webkit.

  • First, If you want Game Maker info, ask the Game Maker community not the C2 community. If you want C2 info ask the C2 community not the Game Maker community. Wich you are. Good for you. Regardless of what information you hear remember to temper it with a healthy dose of logic.

    So saying that.

    C2 can export to NodeWebkit. NodeWebkit is a self exucutable app only browser. So in that respect it offer C2 to export to .exe... as a script game. In user world you might as well consider it compiled to native platform.

    C2 can export to WiiU. Unfortunatly unless your an Authroized Nintendo developer detailed information is out of our hands.

    PS4 and XBoxOne do support HTML5/JS game apps, but we haven't heard much detail. Sony and MS don't seem to be offering an outward hand where as Notion Games helped Scirra work with Nintendo. So these platforms may be supported in the near future.

    GM can do more?... ummm. Not really. But GM is a head in some of the plugins. GM does have a 3D tools where as C2 does not have any official 3D plugins. In the end it's not that Tool XY can do more. It's what you can do with the Tool.

    I find it interesting that you find Unity to be slow. To the programming world Unity has spend up gamed development. Mostly by integrating live game development with coding. However if you make games using Game Kits like GM/C2 then clearly Unity is faster is onerous and highly subjective.

    I thought Game Maker was getting console support?

  • Unity is only slow if you have no development knowledge. GML is actually a bit archaic compared to C#. GML is more similar to classic C from what I have been able to tell. C# is the way to go. In the end it is as jayderyu says, one tool is not always better than the other, you have to pick the tools based on what you want to do with them. C2 has a much more user friendly quick to build system for visually creating games without code knowledge. GM has better support for exporting to mobile platforms as a native app. Unity has a much wider reach and support across more platforms but a higher barrier for entry. It just depends on what you want to do with the tools and how much effort you are willing to put in to attain the fruits of your labors.

  • Thanks for the replies!

    Unity is going for slow for me because A) I can't seem to get my brain full around C#. Even when I get it to do what I wanted, the very next piece stumps me again. It's me and C#, not Unity's fault, but regardless it's sucking the life out of me when I WAS doing something that I was very much enjoying with GM. B) Tilebased level design is not supported in Unity as is, without addons, I don't feel like investing time into learning a 3-rd party add-on when I'm barely accomplishing anything with the main program.

    The GM staff says they will announce something on consoles when they have something to announce. That seems to be what they have been saying for years and as recently as this week when I emailed them and asked myself. As to what's potentially coming, there are plainly contradicting messages coming from the GM staff. So who knows. My luck as soon as I get a few months into another program they'll announce something.

    This is why I'm looking at Construct. Glad to hear you CAN make a standalone PC game. From examples I've seen it can make a game like mine very well. The lack of a programming language scares me a little as I was building a "fairly" complicated AI and cover system as well as scripting a lot of little detailed animations and random movements in particles, falling leaves, etc. So I'm hoping to not be too limited.

    So I'll probably start messing around with Construct this weekend!

    Performance-wise, I'm curious how HTML5 games work. Do they draw from the GUI? I was barely holding 60 FPS in GM, will I be able to do it in Construct? Aren't there severe limitations on image size for backgrounds, etc? I was sometimes working with 4000px by 900px backgrounds. Is that going to fly?

  • I don't believe you will have and limits under the your listed concerns.

    As for performance wise. Well two things.

    Gettings 60fps on desktop is easy. However i wanted to point out your background.

    Most Graphics cards can only handle a size limit of 2048x2048. Any image larger than that is going to put a strain on performance. This isn't a GameKit or software limit. This is a hardware design restriction. Just as a piece of advice. Don't do any image larger than 2048x2048. Your GPU won't like you for that.

  • I was sometimes working with 4000px by 900px backgrounds. Is that going to fly?

    Nope, gonna crash and burn. Not because it's slow, but because you'll run out of memory guaranteed. Even my pc will run out of memory (Custom built beast of a machine). Its the way pc's are designed.

    Suggest you read this Remember not to waste your memory

    Edit: C2 beats GM hands down on the html5 performance wise. And I think C2 shines with desktop applications. The other exporters, as with all other competition, is pretty ugly and clanky.

  • Best answer ever...

    Performance, as in the framerate, is largely unrelated to the filesize/memory use and depends on other factors such as quality of the Javascript engine, CPU speed and memory bandwidth.

    Whether or not the game will run out of memory depends on the system. Mobile devices use a different memory architecture to some PCs: they share RAM between the CPU and GPU. So textures are stored in the same memory as everything else. However and old desktop machine, or a system with a low-end dedicated chip, might have 128mb of dedicated video memory (VRAM). In that case textures are stored in VRAM for better performance. Sometimes images can also be stored in RAM as well, but I'm not sure about the specifics - I think some systems don't support that. So if you have 2GB of RAM and 128mb of VRAM on your graphics card, you might only have 128mb of memory to use for images. Compare that to a tablet with 1GB of shared memory, 256mb of which is free - you can use all 256mb for images.

    So in some cases a low-end desktop might have less image memory available than a mobile device, because it has limited discrete VRAM for textures. I think most modern desktop systems either share RAM with the GPU like mobiles do, or have ridiculous amounts of VRAM (2GB+). So in practice you'll probably be fine, but it's best practice to keep image memory down to ensure old systems don't run out of VRAM, and to improve performance (since any images spilling over to RAM will render slower than those in the faster VRAM).

  • First, you have to know "there is no engine in the market" allowing export App ready to use and publish on all platforms.

    Always need specific resources in each market to create apps in their stores.

    You can export in C2 for Windows 8 - 8.1. The result is a project almost pre- configured and pre-ready to go up to the store.

    You can also export the project in HTML5 format. With XCode you create a project using the webkit and include your export created with C2. With some work you can uploading an App to Mac App Store.

    Obviously you need to be registered as a developer of Microsoft and Apple and have minimum knowledge to access these markets.

    You must consider that the main advantage C2 offers is not the final production in each of the markets. The main advantages ( for me) is the composition, WYSIWYG, scheduled routines and YOU SAVING TIME . If you value the total development time , C2 is your tool.

    Again , once completed development will need certain knowledge and tools to carry on certain platforms , however it is available to everyone and not expensive .

    Now you must consider:

    • Platforms you want to port the game

    (some examples)

    • Windows 8 Market : Need PC with windows 8 - 8.1. Register as a developer
    • Mac App Store: Need Mac . Register as a developer
    • App Store: Need Mac or access PhoneGap or similar. Register as a developer.
    • Nintendo Wii U: Register as developer and advisable WiiU Dev Hardware Kit.

    Think that 98 % of the work to be applied to create an app for each market is in internet tutorials ( many in Scirra ).

    About the Speed ??and 60fps, you can get them without problems (

    if the platform supports) as long as you respect certain rules. That happens in all engines.

  • I've skimmed over the entire manual and nothing in there scares me other than the whole HTML5 thing. As someone who learned HTML a long time ago and then watched half the code become obsolete and browser makers taking their own liberties with what the will and won't support, I just don't trust it.

    A question or two about what I didn't find in the manual...

    Using node-webkit, I would plan on creating a full-screen game up to 1920x1080. The game should scale down for smaller screens (not just crop). Possible? Is this automatic or do I need to have a set of low-res graphics for small screens? (1024x768). Can the user access graphics options to disable v-sync for instance?

    ... I'm not even interested in mobile device support BTW.

    I didn't find the word skew in the manual. Can I take sprites and distort the heck out of them (pseudo rotation, waving, etc)

    Is there a way to mirror the screen to do a false water reflection?

    Didn't get into the AI very much. Here's an example of what I done in GM. Dude walks back and forth, turning around when near a solid, unclimbable object. Scans around randomly with his flashlight and head as if looking. Comes into line of sight of player. Checks to see if player is "concealed." If player is visible, kills flashlight, pulls a weapon and chases firing until player dead or becomes concealed. If player is lost, fires flare, alerts air support to the area, scans agressively. Repeat. Was simple enough in GM doubt that's very complicated compared to the AI in a lot of games.

  • I think I've come to find that Construct cannot do a water reflection like I had done before (mirror the screen upside down) unless there is a trick I'm missing.

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  • Oh, that's easy with shaders, however these require WebGL-enabled platform.

  • obScene,You will need a construct 2 licence to be able to export via node-webkit

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