Leaving C2 for awhile. My opinions and thoughts.

  • Edit: I started typing before Tulamide's post. XD So this is a little redundant, but still fits the point I was trying to make, heh.

    ---

    If you don't mind, I'll break down your response. :)

    DatapawWolf - And I rebuke! ;) So far multiplayer requires coding to some degree. The fact that 'not everyone can do it' is against the mission statement of Scirra and excludes the bulk of their users.True, but what I'm trying to say is that right now multiplayer is adequate to satisfy those serious enough in pursuing multiplayer games.

    I think part of the opposing sides in this are that there is both a little bit of modularity and a little bit of multiplayer, and both are important facets of Construct 2 and most other game development tools.

    So I can't speak for others, but I myself would find more use for modularity than any more multiplayer features.

    If you don't mind dealing with websockets you won't mind using Unity, so why use Construct?onestly Unity is many more times complicated than Construct 2. Every version update they make breaks things, including any of the tutorias and examples my Game Design Club leader had put together a year or two back, and even Unity's own tutorials, as we discovered a ton of them disappeared from their website. It's also not designed for 2D games, which is a personal desire of mine, and isn't really cross-browser. So, I'd much rather I can spend about 2 minutes setting up the client to connect and send a message to a server, and using Construct 2.

    Maybe the server is a pain to make, but creating a multiplayer client is a breeze.

    There is no argument that modularity would be awesome, but as long as a massive feature like multiplayer is still absent from events, it needs to take second place.assive, hence developing it will take away from all that time that could be spent developing and building the community around a modular system, and slowly accomodating multiplayer, rather than vice-versa.

  • lennaert - Yeah I see your points and they are valid, but considering small team size of Scirra they are better off making additional programs more accepted when they are easy to use (heh, funny how we talk about how lots of people on Scirra don't collaborate much when it's actually kinda the same as the Scirra team themselves ^^). And client is just download > new folder > create checkout.

    And I am also really liking the group system, just for 'not having to remember' reasons.

    DatapawWolf - Yeah dissect away! To answer:

    I think the whole idea of C2 is to not have to be 'serious enough', and infact it is on the verge of revolutionising the way games are built. This is a lofty thing to say, and is a whole other thread to go into, and who knows what Scirra think, but it's clear at the very least their market is people who want to make things happen without being time invested. I for one very much want multiplayer and have no idea how to go about it even though I'm very comfortable with C2.

    And yeah Unity is more complex then a multiplayer, but not by so much. I have jumped on unity and done some tutorials and got stuff working, but I can't say the same for C2 multiplayer. What I should say is if you are willing to get into multiplayer, you are more than likely willing to keep going and learn unity (especially after reading so many threads about experienced C2 users doing exactly that). And unity does have (or will soon have) 2D.

    And lastly huge so will attract and maintain more community (albeit of lower to mid-range users) than modules. I don't think modules are really going to attract new users, as you don't even know why they're good until you start using C2. Also if they develop modules then release multiplayer, there is a greater risk of huge, time consuming breaks occurring (well I would speculate that at least).

    And still no-one for LD? C'mooooon! ;D

  • A few things...

    Modularity would be great, but the big thing standing in the way is you can't introduce completely new objects at run time. In other words you need to be able to reference things that may, or may not exist.

    More assets sounds like a good idea, but that can lead to some bad things you find in all asset stores. Usually they wind up being the front end for someones portfolio, in that they will add cheap graphics, but they will be largely incomplete in order to get some more work.

    Secondly, art is not reusable, in other words, a Pacman platformer is not a good idea.

    Lastly, multiplayer really must be server based. You can't do reasonable security in p2p, and a database is necessary for a ton of basic features.

    However, a server based game is a different animal, and you have to do several things differently, the foremost being actual code.

    Im not even going to address svn, as that would have to be a layer added on after all those other things are taken care of first.

    Edit:

    I will say I absolutely hate working on other peoples event sheets.

    There's usually a few unneeded "for each", and I hate it when people put multiple conditions at the top level

  • Collaborating on projects should work well using SVN - see the how to collaborate on projects with SVN tutorial. SVN is one of my favourite pieces of technology and I think it does what it does extremely well. In fact, IMO it's almost unbeatable. So I really don't want to reinvent the wheel and try to duplicate anything it does in C2 itself. SVN is also an industry standard technology, so you're learning a useful tool that can be used in many other places in the industry. The same tool can be used to collaborate on documents, animations, Spriter projects, javascript code (e.g. using the SDK), and so on. If we built anything like that in to C2 itself, you wouldn't be able to use it elsewhere in that way. So I think it's actually better to leave the job to SVN.

    You can attach a .capx file to tutorials in the tutorial system, and I think that works better than having a forum: the presentation is better, it's categorised and more searchable, has ratings and rankings, translations, and more. So I think if you're looking for guides and examples, the tutorials section does that already. If you think it could be improved, we're happy to take suggestions - perhaps we could add an 'Examples' category dedicated for basically attaching .capx files?

    As the future plans blog post stated, the main reason it's not already in the works is it's a very complicated feature and will probably take some time as we rearchitect different parts of the engine. This also entails engineering risk: there could be significant delays while we work out problems with the rearchitecting, or if something goes wrong, we may need to backtrack. We have a few other projects on the go in the mean time which are hopefully going to produce great results with much less time investment/engineering risk. I think that is the best order to do things in; engineering risk is an important thing to take in to account, but I can imagine from the outside it might be easy to disregard. Anyway, we know modularity is important and we will get to it eventually, it's only a question of when. (I'd point out we've also run feature request polls in the past where other features have topped modularity in votes.)

    An asset store is something we've discussed internally before. There are some complications, particularly with legality/accounting when allowing effectively anyone to become a seller via us. I can also see quality assurance also being an issue (we should prevent anyone drawing some scribbles and trying to sell them for $10 - if we end up full of that type of thing it drags down the utility of the whole store). However if we did add modularity features, a place on Scirra.com to at least find pre-built modules is something we'd be very keen to add.

    Unity is a radically different tool to Construct 2. Just for starters, it's heavily coding based, and at the moment doesn't really do much in the way of HTML5. If you decide Unity is the appropriate tool for the job, then you must be after something significantly different, so go for it! Hopefully Construct 2 will still serve nicely when you have something you want to develop quickly, or web-based, or without coding, or using tilemaps, or whatever else - don't forget C2 has its own strong points too :)

  • Unity3d is overkill if you are by your lonesome, taking on the gaming world in your pj's from the confines of your garage.

    You can achieve a lot with it, but to build a fully fledged, working, salable product, it is going to need a team, or you better understand you are up against a team or a series of teams.

    Starting out, C2 is perfect to gain experience, build a portfolio. No reason you can't use both, because expect 2 plus years for game development with Unity3d at least.

    Html5 games is gaining traction. It is invading pc's, mobiles, tablets, readers, and is already in your living rooms.

  • Ashley - in regards to the tutorials, I think the plain 'examples' section is right-on. For one, full tutorials are a bit daunting to make. I made a very simple one on experience systems and it still took hours. So my thought is something more like Kyatric's 'how do I' FAQ. A large, clean list of certain things you might want to do under labels specific to plugin and/or mechanic. Then, to make it very obvious. A well known go-to.

    Then just have the capx there, you can add descriptions and instructions into comments inside the projects. A lot of the threads pertaining to certain mechanics end in obscurity after reading through a whole lot of text. I reckon this would just make things so much cleaner, and more people would be willing to make examples and also just go around checking out cool mechanics without having to stick their nose in a book.

    Also for things like the SVN, functions, screen resolutions and similar repeat questions that seem to get asked by everyone (or questions that don't get asked enough!), they should have a pride-of-place in this section that is very succinct. That is then linked to more detailed tutorials. This just makes every user aware of the fundamentals, helps unclog the 'how do I...?' forum a little and - what I think is rather important - helps develop some standards. By increasing the standards of beginners, the sooner they can become skilled and start contributing and the cycle marches on.

    And while I'm talking, any chance of having the ability to have several different colours for comments? So I can make red ones to comment bugs, green ones to highlight completion etc.?

    That's my thoughts anyway! :)

  • We just opened a 'Capx examples' category in the tutorials section:

    https://www.scirra.com/tutorials/top/page-1?cat=639&lang=1&dmode=detailed

    You can attach a .capx to tutorials already, so this should make a good place to host your examples.

    Note the minimum word limit (100 words IIRC) still applies. We want to keep this because a bunch of .capx attachments with no descriptions are not really useful to anyone, so at least a short description of what the .capx is and does should be included. Hopefully this will be a place to share smaller examples!

  • Ashley

    I think that is the best way until a website/forum redesign can be accomplished some day. (No easy task in itself.) I think with some different pieces of software running the web front ends, Scirra.com could become a very powerful place. Something like that could even create an personal web store front end for people to sell their own assets in one place without involving Scirra or your accounting. That's a very reasonable argument (quality control, accounting, etc...) to not have such things currently.

    I know redesigning the entire site, especially after having just done it apparently not long ago, seems like a huge undertaking. I think using prebuilt software and infrastructures and redesigning a bit could go a long way. Of course, migrating databases of information is never fun either...

    whoever replied to me (sorry, a couple pages back now and I'm a different reply screen.) I didn't mean to say that the low entry level and price point is a bad thing. I personally love it. It's a reason I choose playing with C2 as a hobby rather than GM or Unity. The interface is also a thing of beauty. But I think it's because of that price point that people without any industry knowledge start using the program and become confused. Understanding how each of these event systems work, and how the logic works, is taken for granted by users that have experience with programming language. The C2 interface is a natural fit and transitions perfectly. It will create confusion to those that don't have experience with designing the logic for such things though. Instead of laying down syntax, your putting together some visual blocks. The same principles still apply though.

    Again, please don't take me as saying I'm against the low price point or new users coming to the community. I'm just saying that C2 is deceptively way to easy to use. I spent a 30 minutes fiddling with C2 and understood how it works and had a cheap game built (with very simple designs and place holder graphics) made a few minutes later. I also have a good foundation of programming principles. I introduced two friends to C2 whom are mechanics and have never needed to delve into the computer sciences. They are smart guys, but they don't completely understand C2. They have not needed to work with and construct that kind of logic before.

    I think it's taken for granted by engineers and programmers the kind of thought process that goes into using apps like this, or the computer sciences and such. It comes natural because of exposure. The normal world is used to ambiguity though and deciphering it. The thought process is very different.

  • Here are my last comments on multiplayer.

    1. The MP needs to server is LIE.

    Servers offer community based features and opportunity for server side cheat checks. However Scirra is going to use P2P, Google Play is P2P. it's not uncommon and still used regularly. Get over it.

    2. REXRAIBOW ALREADY CREATED A SERVER AND PLUGIN github.com/rexrainbow/C2_plugins/tree/master/plugins

    But it's NOT used because of a lack convient access. Stop the that. Drop it. MP doesn't need to be bumped in priority :D

    Ashley right on the effort part. modularity would be architecture changes. This is pretty heafty and can end up causing some serious changes. Even so. I suspect it's the big one that needs to be tackled.

    I suspect the reason why Modularity was voted lower was for this reason. People's behaviour are based on our subject views desires. Tilemaps and multiplayer are voted higher due to the fact of immidiate rewards. Modules offer the greater long term reward, but not in regards to an immidiate fix.

    As a simple example of the difference

    1. Multiplayer P2P comes out.

    2. everyone fragmented works on MP stuff on there own.

    3. people offer suggestions and help

    4. go to 2

    Where as in modularity is first(with asset store)

    1. Modularity comes out

    2. people share

    3. modules improve

    4. people make games from modules

    5. release new feature(MP)

    6. go to 2

    this results that the cycle means a consistent improvement overall and modules that make everyones lives easier :)

    anyways at this point I've expressed my view point from different factets. At this point I don't think I can share anymore :)

    But it's been a great thread :) you all have been very insightful :)

  • I'm a bit late to the party but I'll add in my 2c anyway:

    SVN terrifies me, it seems clunky and awkward. If it's the industry standard then that's fine, but C2 (and its users) is hardly reflective of the industry as a whole. We're a different sort and we use this software because of that. Something like SVN is way out of the league of most C2 users (myself for sure, and a few others I've spoken to on the topic, at least).

    Construct has a reputation for rapid updates, which is great, but by that reputation those updates focus on "cool new stuff" instead of improving the core of the software. I love getting new toys to play with almost every beta update, but I'd much rather go for months if I knew that something as substantially important as modularity would be on the other side of that wait - or longer, whatever.

    The voting for new features is always going to be skewed because new users want sexy new features and veterans want improvements to the core application, solid exporters and general stability.

    It cannot be stated enough how important modularity (and an asset store) is to the future of Construct.

  • 1) The original poster made well thought out and valid comments. Composable modularity is extremely import and leads to many other side benefits... for example Scirra would do well looking into a company called Propellerhead that makes music software called Reason and the Rack Extensions store they made about a year and a half ago... it really helped them make a lot more money because it encouraged REAL developers to get involved (to make money themselves) and it greatly expanded the power of the entire system.

    2) The Scirra people have done a really good job building this development environment. Companies such as Microsoft (and many others) have been trying to reduce the cost to develop software for decades and I have never seen anyone come as close as C2.

    3) I have been coding for over 30 years (Basic, Assembly, C++, VB, C#, SQL, JavaScript, others)

    I took a few weeks vacation during December 2013 and bought C2 so I could take another shot at my childhood dream (making games) that I gave up once I became a young father many years ago. I have been sitting here everyday as if I was going to work (seven days a week and 9AM-11PM)during this vacation.

    So I do not have near the experience with it most of you have, but I have crammed in quite a bit and it is fresh on my mind.

    I will say that I can certainly do just about everything that would be expected from a logic perspective in software without having to resort to JavaScript plugins. That was my #1 concern with C2. I figured they had dumbed it down so much to make it easy enough for beginners that advanced developers would be hindered.

    Even though I can code in my sleep I still bought C2 because I wanted to get something real done without having to dedicate years to it. By time I get home from work my mind is already tired. After these three weeks I can hardly believe how much of a complete "game" I have done as far as functionality goes.

    I spent almost all of my time figuring out how to make my functions and events generic so they are reusable. 99% of this code now can be used for making many different types of games. I am making extensive use of the Family feature and Functions. I also have several arrays for storing all the metadata driving this code (this allows me to customize the code into a specific type of game just by changing the data in the arrays).

    What C2 does NOT give you and neither does Unity or anything else is a replacement for experience in abstract thinking and problem solving.

    I have read several posts in the forums where people were asking questions that made it seem like they did not even try to figure out how to use the tools at hand to solve a problem. It was as if they thought they could click, click, click, click ,drag drop, click, click, click, and then have Metroid or Castlevania.

    The original poster sounded like a pretty smart guy to me, but I bet he just does not have the coding experience to see how Families can be used like Class inheritance and Interfaces. How to abstract out all the logic into data driven functions... and is hoping that using Unity will somehow make his efforts pay off since it is paying off for so many others... and in a sense it will because doing REAL coding will teach him abstract thinking and problem solving... how to effectively use data driven systems instead of hard coding logic... how to use Families to create libraries of reusable Functions.

    Everyone using C2 would do themselves a favor learning how to code JavaScript not INSTEAD Of using C2, but to give themselves better insight into what C2 actually is doing for them and how to use it more effectively... and to see how much time C2 is really saving them.

    Ultimately C2 might not be the right tool for all situations (3D and maybe publishing to XBOX One for example)... however from my meager experience so far the limiting factor seems to be more on the users end (expecting magic and very little effort instead of a tool and hard work).

  • ,

    perhaps sir, not well received by all, but nonetheless...well said.

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  • Yep well said :) Keep up the input :) everyone can learn from everynoe else :)

  • Hi ggibson1

    Thank you for what you said. IMHO it is not often that people with very solid programming experience share on this forum their detailed opinions in such depth, and I was so glad to read about your approach to "code" everything in C2 in a reusable way.

    I am not a programmer by education, but I have 15+ years experience of coding - on and off: Delphi,Python,JS,PHP etc - enough to appreciate and exploit OOP. During that time, I worked with many "real" programmers, and discovered that compared to most of them, I hate to reinvent the wheel from scratch, if it can be avoided. Hardcore programmers often seem to have this approach - if it can be coded, I'll code it - who cares it will take me 10x longer than if I found an opensource block/module that does the job ;-)

    I love C2 exactly because it does just that: has got all the standard building blocks already prepared, while staying flexible enough to enable pseudo-OO work - as you said, with families and functions, one can do a very reusable "code".

    The only thing that I wish C2 could allow for is creation of an object by name (or at least by UID). This is the same reason why I never use booleans - they require "pick-me-by-mouse-click" approach - so it's much easier for me to code something like "boolvar=1-boolvar" to flip it.

    Now I will come with a suggestion that might put me in flames by other forum users, but nevertheless I will say it, as I can see it in my (and possibly others) interest:

    Can we get Ashley to determine how much, in terms of the cost of the software, would it be for Scirra to employ one more programmer, to speed up the (already extremely fast) development of C2?

    I mean, if Ashley told the paid license holders "you need to pay a yearly fee of �20 or �30 for the personal license upgrades", but this would allow Scirra to employ additional programmer (s) - how many of you would say "we'll be more than happy to do it"? I would.

    I wonder how others see it?

    Greg

    P.S. Forums session timeout would be a nice fix indeed ;-)

  • mean, if Ashley told the paid license holders "you need to pay a yearly fee of ?20 or ?30 for the personal license upgrades", but this would allow Scirra to employ additional programmer (s) - how many of you would say "we'll be more than happy to do it"? I would.

    I might. But overall I think it would hurt revenue more than it would help. Just a gut feeling. Lots of hobbyists that are attracted to C2 as-is would run away.

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