As I approach the halfway point in my senior year in college, the question of "Where am I going to work?" is something that has been plaguing my mind lately. After long deliberation, I've decided to leave C2 and start learning Unity. Before I go, I would like to share my honest thoughts on C2, the community, and areas I think it can be improved upon.
C2 is very easy to use and understand. But when it comes to collaboration, there isn't much that allows groups to work together easily. Sure, you can copy objects and events from one project to another, but what C2 could really use is something that bridges the gap between writing custom plugins to import and copying events from project to project.
The C2 blog recently mentioned "Modules" as a long-term prospect. If I'm not mistaken, this means Scirra will eventually address this gap and have a "codebase" on their website that allows for sharing of events that handle certain tasks. This is something Unity is quite notorious for - a community built upon tons and tons of shared code so nobody has to tackle every problem from scratch.
C2 has made the process of starting simpler by providing built-in behaviors that address issues for a lot of game genres, but it fails to encourage collaboration and sharing of events (no Modules system) that Unity does. There's no question that C2 has a definite community of developers here, but the lack of collaboration support means the community is not fueled by expanding and sharing code but instead by solving "How do I?" problems that more or less contain mostly basic questions from users starting out in C2. In other words, it seems like the extent of this community's "general codebase" is stuck at the beginner level, whereas a codebase of some kind with events handling (and comments explaining) how to accomplish certain tasks would not only reduce the number of basic questions asked in the forums, but it would also lead to an increase in the number of complex games created and showcased in the Arcade.
tl;dr - Just like the debugger became top priority because it decreased development time and helps us fix our problems faster (giving us faster transition from game feature to game feature), pushing the Modules concept from long-term to short-term would also decrease development time and push the C2 community in a better direction.
There's hardly anything there right now. I think if you let users sell their content in the asset store (sprites, example game .capx files, etc.), then Scirra would not only earn more money off of asset store royalties, but the artists in the community would also have a place to publish their works (and subsequently more artists would likely come here and pick up C2).
One of the biggest issues I think C2 has right now is that there aren't many "serious good-looking games" being made with C2. There are plenty of exceptions, but when you compare the amount of good-looking games in development in Unity (which is far more complex than C2 and is also a 3D engine so the users are dealing with 3 dimensions and not 2) to the games being made with C2, there is a stark difference in art quality.
I realize C2 is amazingly easy to use, but the community base still seems to be scratching the surface. As I mentioned in the collaboration section, Unity has a large public codebase and assets in their store that let you start on a project and not have to work from the ground up. This is HUGE, because the community as a whole right now seems to be stuck in one place.
GameMaker, in the eyes of the public, has the issue of "nothing serious has ever been made with GameMaker." I hope this doesn't happen to C2.
tl;dr - The asset store should be more open to community input. By allowing users here to sell things on the asset store, Scirra would increase its income through sales royalties while also allowing artists and hobbyists to share their work for potential revenue.
Just my two cents. Feel free to discuss!