Construct 2 NOT iPad Book Apps!

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  • Hi folks.

    After reading forum replies over these last months, i see that C2 was and is specifically made for 2D games. As an illustrator / Designer i was hoping to use it to create a 20 - 32 page illustrated book app for iPad, with animated sprites and other interactivity.

    I now know this is an impossibility because it's clear from many forum answers that tiled backgrounds are the way to go with backgrounds. There is little mention of large static backgrounds in particular, ones that would be appropriate for iPad retina display. And yet such apps have been created for iOS and Adroid for iPhones, iPads Tablets etc weighing in at well over 200mb. But i guess they have been developed with something like Cocos 2D or other native SDK. I am disappointed because C2 is so easy for a non developer like me. I have also looked at Stencyl and again, forum replies are mixed and vague - some saying it's doable and others saying it could be achieved.

    I appreciate 99.9% of C2 users are here for 2D Games, and so it seems i have to look at Corona SDK or Gideros Mobile.

    Before i make a final farewell to Scirra, i'd appreciate any feedback that might change my mind, but only if my above usage is doable.

    Thanks and have a great weekend!

    <img src="smileys/smiley1.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

  • People recommend using tiled backgrounds for games because in most case it's appropriated and more optimized than having a larger custom sprite.

    But while that's true for scrolling background in platformers or for floors in top views, it does not mean it has to always be like that. And for the case you are describing, an interactive book, I don't see the problem of using full screen sprite as background, it seems appropriate. In fact that's what I'm doing for my game, which is an old school point and click. Each screen uses at least one image as big as the game resolution to cover the whole background, or even bigger for scrolling rooms. Sure it uses more memory that repeating a small 64*64 image, and I'm aware of that, but that's the artistic direction I made and if my game ends up being 200mb, so be it.

    But if you do that, I recommend loading your image dynamically for each layout (pages in your case) otherwise the game pre-loads everything at the beginning, which can be a problem if it is played online (even if it's stored locally, loading a bunch of HD images can take a while), and also a bit wasteful, you don't want to load all the arts, from beginning to end, if the user is only going to read 4 pages at a time.

    But you'll have that same problem whatever program you decide to use anyway.

    So anyway, yes Construct is totally capable of doing what you want, at least in my opinion. Is it the best program for that? maybe not, since it's more game oriented, you'd ended up using only a tenth of it's possibilities. But if you like it, give it a go.

  • OlivierC

    I don't have iPad experience, however in case on Android, when big images took 70-80mb (I mean real psychics memory, not filesize) I got black screen and saw only sprites. So I get feeling that even 15 full hd images can kill app.

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  • Thanks for your replies guys.

    I really want to use C2 and support Scirra as they're from my home town of London. <img src="smileys/smiley17.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

  • I wonder if "Load image from URL" would clear after each was destroyed, I've never experimented with that.

    It would mean each large sprite would download to the app when called, and the game would have to hold for the download though. (could be loading the next while looking at the previous maybe.)


    edit: fixed typo

  • Thanks again folks! maybe i should take a closer look at C2 before giving up. I am hoping to create an interactive app with similar behaviours to this one as seen on youtube demo video

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    I'd love to know if you think Construct could create such interactivity.

  • I'm not a SCIRRA expert, but I think C2 should be easily capable of doing what I saw in that youtube. much of what I've done as testcases maps to what your functionality is. I'm not sure whether C2 is optimal but imho it's definitely doable.

  • I would think this is very doable, and have seen others on the forum are also attempting books with C2. The large background vs tiled background thing is a performance issue. In a book there is not alot going on, and if the toy bounces around a little slower than planned it will not be a huge issue.

    Thought to consider, is perhaps stay away from the dt frame rate independence, so that if your frame rate does drop, it will affect the speed, but your movements will still be smooth.

    Although C2 is designed as a 2D gaming platform, it really can be anything you want it to be, just depends where you want to take it.

    Good luck

  • I suggest to make simple test: if book will use i.e. 50 images, then put all on 50 layouts, on each layout add one button "next page" linking to next layout; then compile and check if get "disappearing" images on i.e. 20nd layout (and next). Because i.e. 50 FHD images working on Chrome/FF does not mean that it will work on mobile/tablet too :)

  • Thank you everyone for your feedback.

    I am hoping that soon, someone will be able to showcase their interactive book app and therefore set a benchmark for future projects of a similar nature. I might need a developer partner until i can master C2. Been looking at Stencyl too, bit it also hasn't got anything to showcase either other than 2D games. C2 definitely seems the easier user-friendly option and being HTML5, it's definitely the future as devices become more powerful and memory isn't such an issue.

    <img src="smileys/smiley3.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

  • This should be really easy in Construct 2. What is making you say it's impossible?

    Just make a layout per page, and put a new Sprite object on each layout with that page's image. Done!

    I don't know why people are talking about tiled backgrounds - there's no particular technical difference, other than that in some cases they can display with reduced quality in WebGL mode if they are not a power of two size, which is a pretty good reason to use Sprites instead.

    Providing you use separate Sprite objects, and not animation frames all in a single object, Construct 2 will manage the memory of each page's image for you. In WebGL mode, changing page will deallocate the previous page's image then allocate the next page, keeping memory use down. In canvas2d the browser should at least do something vaguely reasonable, such as start deallocating old images when memory use is getting high. CocoonJS is currently unsuitable for this though since it has no memory management, and I keep trying to get them to support it, but they're not answering my emails right now.

    So, have you tried this? It should work fine in a browser.

  • This example from Ize HERE shows what is possible. It even has a good page turn effect.

  • I agree with many of the comments here. I think the issue you are experiencing is with image management and not with Construct 2.

    To build off what Ashley said, if you want to animate something like a character blinking, you can animate only the eyes and pin them to an image of the character instead of animating the entire character blinking. 1 large image + 5 small images is significantly smaller in size than using 5 large images in an animation.

    You can also use tiled background sprites of maybe 8x8 pixels for large areas of flat color and so on. Maybe learn more about the power of 2 images as well, because in some cases, chopping up a large image can save you a lot. For example, an image that is barely over 1024x1024 will use the size of an image that is 2048x2048. That's a lot of wasted space.

    I think the more you learn about C2 and image management, the more you will realize that C2 is perfect for something as simple as an interactive book. Also, I don't think you'll find a more friendly and helpful community, should you run into some difficulties along the way.

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