Should I use C2 for a large game?

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  • What's really holding back C2 from big games isn't the tools. it's that there are no development teams that can dedicate the time and resources. Even the kickstarter C2 projects are usually only 1 or 2 people and the goal isn't that much.

    I mainly agree: as I mentioned in my post above, responding to Arima, there have been some remarkable games from just one or two-person studios (Braid had phenomenal gameplay, artwork, and music, even if the storyline was questionable and the writing hacky at best), and I think Ubi, AirScape, and a couple others are great ambassadors for C2. I thought extremely hard myself before choosing C2 for my current project, and for someone of my resources and skill level, and given the type of game I'm making, I absolutely made the right choice.

    Since all I've got right now is a mouth and vaporware, I'm not in too much of a position to start talking about being the one to create the breakout C2 game, but if I can make the relatively simple one I'm working on now, then I'm going to want to have some serious discussions with Yann, Telles, Ashley/Tom about what we can really get C2 to pull off. You'll know I'm getting close when my "How Do I?" requests get progressively less sophomoric.

    C2 definitely needs someone to make that standout, flagship game which puts the brand on every game blog and inspires future development. Somehow, we're going to have to cultivate that person or team who can put in the time or resources.

    And as for your note about 3D, that was my point--C2 may be phenomenal for certain games, but it's not a tool for *every* game

  • I was thinking down the lines of, can C2 be used for truly high-quality, large-scale projects? Right now, C2 has no flagship game which really highlights its full capabilities, so as someone who's still quite a newbie when it comes to development, I probably have a decent idea what might theoretically be done with C2, but on the other hand, without that shining example I might be underestimating it.

    I feel that you are, as you state, underestimating it. It seems you're basing your opinion of what C2 can do upon what has already been done with it. Having been using CC/C2 for five years for many experiments as well as my own games, I feel strongly that C2 can be used for virtually any 2D game you can imagine short of hardware limitations and requiring stuff like sprite distortion, which Ashley has said will probably get implemented at some point. Seriously, almost every 2D game that has ever been made could be made in C2. If C2 had sprite distortion even vanillaware level stuff would be possible.

    No one's yet made an RPG with C2 that anyone would consider buying

    Well, no one's completed one yet, but that's because they're quite complex and take a long time to make. There are some that are in the works. :)

    T:ToN and PE both use pre-rendered backgrounds with true 3-D characters and creatures, which C2 might be able to duplicate some of, but I'd just have to see a playable demo (or have Ashley or Tom promise it's so) to believe it's possible or practical to make a game on par with even Planescape: Torment, Fallout 1&2, or Neverwinter Nights. C2 doesn't have to be the perfect tool for all games, just the best one for some.

    I'm still not sure why you keep mentioning 3d games like NWN. C2 is 2D. I'm hoping for 3D at some point, but comparing what C2 can do to 3D games is an inaccurate comparison. And there's no reason why C2 can't be the best tool for all types of 2D games. That's one of the best things about it, it's not limited in the types of games it can make (again, aside from 3D).

  • I'm still not sure why you keep mentioning 3d games like NWN.

    Well, if it helps, you can ignore NWN, although based on what you were saying, 2D pre-rendered backgrounds, the right collision masking, and artful use of lighting could in theory largely replicate it, albeit without "free-look" features. Fallout 1&2, Planescape, etc., though ... ?

    I think it would be great if C2 were the best 2D tool for all types of games, but for certain genres it would take much more support for certain elements specific to it. (Right now you can make a platform in seconds, but there's no "inventory" type which is fundamental to an RPG, for example.)

  • I think it would be great if C2 were the best 2D tool for all types of games, but for certain genres it would take much more support for certain elements specific to it. (Right now you can make a platform in seconds, but there's no "inventory" type which is fundamental to an RPG, for example.)

    You will never find perfect tool for doing everything everybody wants.

    C2 is a perfect tool for any 2d game genre (not 2.5d, not 3d). It's more like a game engine or framework and it's only up to You how You want to use it.

    Inventory? I've made full inventory system with options like examine items/logs, read logs, combine items, use items.. in one day using arrays and families - with only simple knowledge about arrays.

    There is no game making software which allows you to do everything with one mouse click. You have to do some work manually.

  • I can't think of a reason why C2 couldn't be used for hugely successful games like SpaceChem or Braid, but the truth of our current state of affairs is that virtually all of even C2's best games would fall into the above-average hobbyist range

    RandomExile: Braid took Jonathan Blow 3 years to make on his own, as a full time job.

    C2 is 2 years old, and some of the features (like Functions) are less than 6 months old.

    Do the maths from there.

    On a personal note, I found myself realizing I have much troubles working on the very same project for long extended period of times.

    After a month or two, I have troubles keeping motivated in the project and find myself toying with new prototypes/ideas.

    For games in that scope, C2 is just excellent.

  • Kyatric, I think we actually agree, except you and Arima have a more concrete understanding of C2's full capabilities. It seems like AirScape might represent the best of the last "generation" of C2, and like I said, AirScape is fun and commercial.

    But based on that, and the number of failed or perpetually delayed or truly bad RPGs we've seen, C2 of the past hasn't been the right tool for that genre. You point out, which one of my own observations, that C2 has drawn mainly small-project short-timeframe devs.

    We need to find/cultivate devs like Jonathan who will make high quality long-term projects . If I were Scirra, I'd consider encouraging or in some way sponsoring a team capable of delivering a commercial game perhaps ultimately funded via Kickstarter.   You'd want at least one programmer like Yann or Rojo, one of the crazy talented artists I've seen here, and a writer/designer. Putting out one remarkable indie game would do the whole community/brand a truly transformative amount of good.

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  • I agree with Kyatric, C2 has only bloomed in the last six months, so there has simply not been time for a large complicated game to be developed and released, however a successful game, irrespective of "size" would fly the C2 flag just as well, and we don't have that yet either..."Quantity, has a quality of it's own"...

    I guess much of this is due to C2 being aimed at "beginners" who have grand ideas but little skill and knowledge of fundamental, game structure to bring them to fruition.

    I'm vouching for Loot pursuit to be the "Big hitter" as it's been in development for a few years, on Classic, so basically, has a head start...

  • RandomExile

    We just released Happiness! this past March.

    Happiness! at Blue Key Games

    It's about as long as your average Mega Man game. It was done in the course of less than a year, mostly by myself. It's actually pretty deceptively complex for a platformer. It's because you hug things rather than kill them.

    I've got a small team together now. We're working on an SNES style action RPG. It's coming out pretty awesome. Should have something to show off soon, which is bound to get a whole ton of "how did you do that?!" types of questions. Should be fun!

    C2 is fully capable of any 2D game project you can think of. It's just a matter of patience, logic, and skill. But mostly patience.

  • Kyatric, I think we actually agree, except you and Arima have a more concrete understanding of C2's full capabilities. It seems like AirScape might represent the best of the last "generation" of C2, and like I said, AirScape is fun and commercial.

    But based on that, and the number of failed or perpetually delayed or truly bad RPGs we've seen, C2 of the past hasn't been the right tool for that genre. You point out, which one of my own observations, that C2 has drawn mainly small-project short-timeframe devs.

    It's true that having large projects that at a glance prove C2's capabilities to people, rather than having people need to use the program and see the potential, will bring in more 'power users/teams' but I don't think it's much of a problem. Showcase games will come with time.

    I agree with Kyatric that C2 hasn't really been 'ready' for a large game for that long - certainly for less time than it would take to make a large game - which is a very major part of the reason why what C2 has had made with it are smaller games.

    I wouldn't worry about either the subjective quality of some of the games that have been attempted or the failed attempts at such. Game making is hard, much harder than it seems to be from the outside, surprising new developers often even when using tools to make it easier like C2. On top of that, RPGs are crazy complicated to make. Even a simple one like mine still has an utter ton of systems that have to all work smoothly together, which requires proper code design, which most people starting game dev don't have knowledge of how to do.

    I also hope you're not judging the quality of C2 based on how long it's taking me to make loot pursuit - I don't want to get into some of the details, but some of the reasons it isn't done are it's sort of my first game (made a small unreleased unfinished shmup before it), and as mentioned a complex one at that and I had no idea what I was doing when I started, and tackling an rpg was something I wasn't as ready for as I thought, resulting in a mess I eventually couldn't deal with anymore (remember what I was saying in the previous paragraph? ^^;) on top of CC's bugs, prompting me to restart it from scratch in C2 a few months ago, and throughout it's development I haven't been able to work on it nearly as much as I'd like, which is the biggest reason it's not done.

    We need to find/cultivate devs like Jonathan who will make high quality long-term projects . If I were Scirra, I'd consider encouraging or in some way sponsoring a team capable of delivering a commercial game perhaps ultimately funded via Kickstarter.   You'd want at least one programmer like Yann or Rojo, one of the crazy talented artists I've seen here, and a writer/designer. Putting out one remarkable indie game would do the whole community/brand a truly transformative amount of good.

    Even then, it would still take quite a while for that dev to finish the game. C2 might have a standout game on it's own by then. I know there's at least one person trying to make one. :)

    I'm vouching for Loot pursuit to be the "Big hitter" as it's been in development for a few years, on Classic, so basically, has a head start...

    Thanks! I'm hoping it manages to impress. Though, as mentioned, I restarted it recently in C2, so it's a ways off (a vague guess is it's about 2/5 done).

  • You will never find perfect tool for doing everything everybody wants. C2 is a perfect tool for any 2d game genre (not 2.5d, not 3d). It's more like a game engine or framework and it's only up to You how You want to use it.

    Right, and I think that's an important part of the conversation. Is C2 right for every game, and the answer's clearly not. It *is* however, marvelously suited for certain types of game, and I think we're exploring that here.

    Inventory? I've made full inventory system with options like examine items/logs, read logs, combine items, use items.. in one day using arrays and families - with only simple knowledge about arrays.

    Exactly, it could be done, but it's not naturally built in to the engine. With your experience, and knowledge of arrays, you were able to create that capability, but someone with no knowledge of collision physics can make a couple clicks and have a functioning platform, because that is built into the game. On a fundamental level, C2 supports platformers, and similarly does not have that same support for fundamental components of RPGs, as you illustrated.

  • Awww! TL22, you actually implemented a "hug" action! That was sweet. I felt bad I couldn't hug the Dad good night, though. =P

  • Making inventories and UI can be tricky, but if you practice doing it you'll learn a lot and become awesome.

  • > You will never find perfect tool for doing everything everybody wants. C2 is a perfect tool for any 2d game genre (not 2.5d, not 3d). It's more like a game engine or framework and it's only up to You how You want to use it.

    Right, and I think that's an important part of the conversation. Is C2 right for every game, and the answer's clearly not. It *is* however, marvelously suited for certain types of game, and I think we're exploring that here.

    > Inventory? I've made full inventory system with options like examine items/logs, read logs, combine items, use items.. in one day using arrays and families - with only simple knowledge about arrays.

    Exactly, it could be done, but it's not naturally built in to the engine. With your experience, and knowledge of arrays, you were able to create that capability, but someone with no knowledge of collision physics can make a couple clicks and have a functioning platform, because that is built into the game. On a fundamental level, C2 supports platformers, and similarly does not have that same support for fundamental components of RPGs, as you illustrated.

    I'm thinking like Arima that you can do any kind of 2D games with C2.

    The fact that "there isn't an inventory plugin" doesn't prevent from being able to build such a system.

    I believe that's actually one of the major strength of C2 that it doesn't restrict you to only a certain specific type of system and actually allows you to make the system you want, that will be adapted to the game you're making.

    Sure you can have a platformer prototype in matter of seconds. Though in my experience, I've always had to build on/around that behavior or even make my own platformer behavior/system in events to really get what I was looking for.

    The platformer behavior, like the sprite plugin, is a brick, a tool.

    And the platformer behavior REQUIRES the sprite plugin.

    Are you asking for some kind of inventory plugin ?

    The issue there is about what you would expect from such a plugin actually, and if one that brings enough "general" features could really be made.

    IMO, it's "easier" to propose a "mainstream" platform behavior that offers "common" features. I'm not sure the same could be done with an inventory. Apparently it also appears platformers are a kind of game that appeals to a lot of aspiring game makers.

    The very way the inventory works depends on your game mechanics.

    Then, the way to make an inventory HUD is pretty different considering if your project/inventory accepts mouse inputs, keyboard inputs or/and touch inputs. Are you making an adventure game, a JRPG, a platformer, ... ?

    I believe those games don't expect the same kind on inventory, and what this system does totally depends on how you're designing it.

    Anyway, it could be an interesting challenge to propose to the third-part plugin makers, if one isn't already around.

    What should a basic plugin do ? I'm interested in the opinions of everybody on that point.

    And once again, I believe it's not because you can't throw a "all-made" plugin in your project that it means that C2 isn't (or is less) appropriate for it or the type of games it's used for. You have access to data structure objects like arrays or dictionary that are the fundamental components of an inventory system.

    The only thing it means is that it will take a bit longer to make and requires a bit more knowledge on your part. A little more design too, but it's also part of the fun of game making imo.

  • Showcase games will come with time.

    I do hope you're right about showcase games coming with time. I think that's the number one thing we need for C2 to really take off. Prospective designers need to be able to see what they're shooting for, and what their devkit is truly capably of.

    I agree with Kyatric that C2 hasn't really been 'ready' for a large game for that long - certainly for less time than it would take to make a large game - which is a very major part of the reason why what C2 has had made with it are smaller games.

    You guys are probably right, then. Typical development time for top-tier, full-sized games written in another platform I've been heavily involved with is about six months to a year, depending. So, I guess it depends on when we think a major project using C2 should have begun, and Kyatric's saying it's been fully up and running for about six months. Plus, you can't rush genius. =P

    Re: Loot Pursuit, I think the take-away is that you are more important than any project, even one as beautiful as LP. LP, as envisioned, could indeed be that standout game you referenced ;)

  • I'm gonna get a lot of flack for this but..

    It's not that those in this community don't have talent, skills, good ideas etc. or never made a large-scale game before. It's that C2 isn't designed for large-scale game development by any means. It's designed with the single hobby developer in mind.

    Everything about C2 is internal. The level editor, the event editor, the objects, the animations, the textures, the sounds. It's practically impossible to use C2 in a team and you know what teams offer? Large-scale games.

    We don't have massive areas and entire worlds or even (good) tile-based games because you can't use external level editors.

    We don't have heavy dialogue,inventories,world-maps,customizable characters, etc. because you can't really use external files. Project files are a temporary workaround at best.

    We don't have lots of sound effects and music because you can only import .wav PCM which must then be converted into an unorganized project-bloating super folder of sounds.

    We don't have solid, bug-free, ready-to-distribute games because all of that relies on 3rd party software seemingly shoehorned into C2 and forgotten about.

    "Oh, well just use a project folder instead!"

    Nope. You still have to add everything to your game inside the C2 editor else it's not recognized. So if you're in a team of 5, all building levels - each member will need a C2 license - all of the project's plugins - and the latest build, just to put his or her levels into the game. That applies to *everything*. There's SVN but that sounds like even more of a nightmare and I still don't see how C2 will pick up anything if it is added outside of the editor.

    That's not to say it isn't currently possible to make a large-scale game in C2 - I'm working on 2 right now - but it's a dreadful process and I'm not sure we're going to get much farther without a number of changes and additions to C2. I've already had to cancel two others.

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