Here's an idea for Construct

  • I would like an export function for comments. Where Construct saves all the comments in a text file as documentation. A documentation of what has been done in the event sheet where I can look at the order of events and the flow in an easier way.

    What do you guys think, will this be useful for anyone else besides me? Do you feel you're missing this feature?

  • This isn't difficult, as the event sheets are XML, so all you need to do is parse those files and read them in. A small Python script could do it.

  • Only the comments? Would that even make sense if they are taken out of the context of what they are describing?

  • The initial idea I had is that I want the events/the game to be documented. What is happening, and when etc. Would it make more sense if you extended the idea and export a flowchart of what's happening in the events together with the comments?

    So, an idea of documentation and a good overview, some kind of visual feature showing the logics and flow. I don't know maybe you could just think about it?

  • this i a great example of documentation generated straight from the sourcecode, and everything interlinks, some of these concepts would be amazing in construct

    http://docs.openttd.org/functions_vars_0x65.html#index_e

  • Very good example. That's one way to do it.

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  • Ashley, one can comment a few events, or actually make some proper documentation, within the event sheet.

    Lots of product requirement specifications and such work with documentation directly derived from commented code.

    It is not such a bad idea, as it could add a bit of extra professionalism to those indies wanting to take being a developer another step further. by means of decent documentation and manuals.

    The idea of extending it with a flow chart would be bad ass too though.

    -If the concept of the written code is too tough for someone to understand, having it represented in a flow chart would definitely help understanding. Teacher and student aspects alike.

    -Or representing your creation in a presentation with a team or stakeholders.

    -Perhaps the flow chart could also be used as sort of a manual image/pdf export for parts of the event sheets.

    For instance:

    using a gamepad in the events

    You comment several triggers with what that event for the gamepad does,

    Then, perhaps have an option in the toolbar to export an event sheet or group.

    An image with the game pad is exported with the comments next to the button.

    this image/file could be perhaps be called in game run time too, as an layered image, identifying the buttons. (transparent background, controller in the middles, little texts next to the button)

    This same file and other comments could perhaps be exported in total too to a pdf with images, which in turn can be used as documentation and or parts of it used in game descriptions, controller information, creation and workings description.

    sorry if I rattled on a bit

  • Thanks for confirming the need of such features from a user perspective. Keep the ideas coming.

  • Thanks for confirming the need of such features from a user perspective. Keep the ideas coming.

    Whilst I agree it would be useful, I would hardly say it's 'needed'.

  • I do also believe it's a nice idea but not something needed.

    And to be fair, paulscottrobson already said it, the eventsheet files are xml, with clear <comment> tags and attributes, what is actually needed is a parser for those at the moment, not really another exporter.

    Doxygen is an old documentation tool that does such a parsing job out of C++ source files. It reads them and due to C++ nature, it spits all the commented lines, with function names according to a specific syntax.

    The same kind of tool could be written and parsing current XML files out of the "Event sheets" folder of any C2 project. And I think it would be best to make it a third-part tool rather than asking Ash to spend some time on it.

    Flow charts sound badass, but I'm not sure it is absolutely doable. There could be great issues between the required syntax/event placement for it to be documented and the actual event placement for the game's logic to work as intended. This I could understand Ashley spending some time on. Although it's not a critically required feature.

  • Kyatric I would imagine scirra applying similar tools for their documentation and creation of the online manual and such.

    I was close to imagining the flow charts working the other way around too <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile"> draw up chart, import ....

    Hmm ... there is always UML <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_mrgreen.gif" alt=":mrgreen:" title="Mr. Green">

    http://www.uml.org/

  • Converting UML to events...

    Could be pretty tricky.

  • Why I even started to think about this whole thing about documentation, flow chart etc is because I find myself after getting back to a project I've worked on that, after a while that I've lost track of what I've done and what's really going on. And it's not because I've commented badly, because I do it thoroughly. The events sheet needs to be redesigned or something, I don't know. It's just becomes too messy and hard to read very quickly, to spit it out loud.

    I can only imagine coming back to my project after months... What a nightmare.

    So. I'm still calling for an improvement in the overall overview. Thanks.

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