Native Desktop Exporter for Construct 3

  • ...

    What if Ashley made Construct 3 as he intended, that is a Construct 2 extension.

    And made a Unity2D asset that mimics Construct 2's event system for those of us what need/want need to export natively to PC and to export at all to consoles.

    First off, we'd still be supporting Scirra by buying it, second, it would be great income since, imagine Unity's powerhouse with Construct 2's editor. Just holy sh*t you guys. Third, we'd have an improved Construct 3 for those of us who still want pure HTML5 fun, and those of us who need it could buy the Unity asset for consoles and native PC.

    ...

    I also thought of this, but for some reason I simply can't see it happened <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_sad.gif" alt=":(" title="Sad"> This would be the best of both worlds: Unity's performant engine (with native exporters for almost all platforms + HTML5/WebGL in the next version) and Construct's Event System.

    Nesteris I may be wrong, but I don't think you can apply the C2 logic to a 3D engine (even to export 2D games). It's very different.

    Also, it kind of already exists. If you really want an event system for Unity, did you ever tried Playmaker?

    http://www.hutonggames.com/

    It doesn't work like C2, but does a very good job for beginners wanting to jump in Unity + visual scripting : )

    ( should you need some games examples, it has been used in Hearthstone, The Forest, Dear Esther...)

    It shouldn't be that complex, instead of just X and Y, you now have Z (can be ignored in 2D or 2.5D games) and instead of sprites you have 3D objects. The stuff with collision box, player animation/model would be almost the same. The rest is up to developer to think of "clever" ways to use them.

    I've got my hands on a version of Playmaker and while is not as nice easy as Construct's Event System, it does good job ...

    I noticed that Hearthstone on iOS was made with Unity, but didn't know it also used Playmaker.

  • As for the engine we currently have that is "very powerful, what we need is a new editor" I dare you to say that to the devs of Airscape and The Next Penelope, who managed to do what very little Indie developers do a make a game that companies want on their company and are fully ready to pay yet are handicapped by Construct 2 not having the exporters. MMF might be a UI nightmare, but to be fair it is more powerful than Construct 2 and has all the exporters anybody should ever need. And using MMF is still easier than writing real code.

    And why, pray tell, didn't they use MMF to make their games then? Surely MMF has all the exporters one could possibly need, yes?

    I'll tell you why. It's because MMF is nowhere near as fully featured as C2, and that's what developers are looking for in an engine.

    Nowhere in scirra.com does it say C2 is able to export to XBONE or PS3. Flash doesn't export to barely anything, and yet there are many great developers who managed to profit off it. In fact, what keeps killing flash is that projects become spaghetti very fast, which is the same problem we have with construct. Look at The Binding of Isaac [mirror] (Who knows how the editor or runtime will behave once we start getting into the 500Mb range for projects!?).

    Like TiAm said, "sometimes the cutting edge makes you bleed". They bet that consoles would have support for HTML5 by the time they were done. They were wrong. But they wouldn't have chosen C2 if we had console exporters, because then we wouldn't have effects, the debugger, or many of the useful features that make C2 stand out.

    Release with the native exporters first and then work on the better editor

    But I don't want that. I don't want the native exporters at all. Even if scirra were to hire someone to work on them, because I'd rather have them hire QuaziGNRLnose, rexrainbow, R0J0hound, Pode or any of the other plugin developers (sorry if I forgot you!), or even Somebody to work on the interface (cool mockup btw).

    Don't just focus on Desktop users, you have no greats mobile games to show in the Home Page, Coz you have to give them an option.

    You're telling scirra to not focus on people like me. Why do people insist on mobiles and consoles? It's a shit market to work with! You complain ceaselessly about the "third parties", is there a worse third party than Nintendo, who makes you sign an NDA and prevents you from sharing knowledge? Or Apple, who pulls games out of the app store without explanation, and whose approval proccess is so black-boxed you never get to know the reason your game was denied? The list goes on, with Ouya, Android, XBone, flash, java, etc...

    But you got to understand C2 have two users, Mobile dev and desktop dev. You have to feed both of them.

    No. When C2 started, we didn't have mobile at all, and it was by standing firm and sticking to HTML5 that we eventually got into mobile anyway. If we ignore the people screaming for native, the same will happen, and eventually we'll be able to run C2 games on toasters, because HTML5 is moving far faster than any single company could ever hoper for with their "native" tech. If we do nothing at all, the problem will go away, and even the native people will eventually be happy.

    My only complaint. Is that Since Ashley doesn't make games, I'm not sure his value of what game developers want or need should the final decision

    I'm not sure about Tom, but Ashley used to be Tigerworks in the past. They made games, and pretty complex ones at that. I'm sure he knows what developers need, because (I'm assuming) he's partially creating C2 for his younger self.

    right now both sides equally feel like they're not getting what they wanted and thought they would when they read the adverts.

    Not really, I'm completely satisfied with the direction c2 is going. Heck, they keep surpassing my expectations every few months - I never dreamed I'd even be able to reach mobiles when I bought C2. If they stick to their plan, I'll keep being happy. I'm here to voice my dissent, because otherwise Scirra might feel pressured to make those blasted native exporters.

    A happy compromise I'd be willing to accept is an exporter SDK, for people who are willing to make one.

    Refeuh is exactly right. If you want to squeeze more performance out of your game, a native engine will help very little if there are still low-hanging fruits for you to exploit, and as Ashley said, most of the cases the games that run poorly are just badly coded.

    Besides it seems odd that on the one hand some people complain that we depend on third parties for browser technology, and then others suggest solutions that again involve depend on third parties (be it HAXE, Unity or some other intermediary technology). No technology is perfect, and we could be equally hosed by shortcomings in those.

    Cue complaints in the future about how we should ditch Unity/HAXE and just develop native exporters already. It's still bonkers, but at least haxe is open source.

  • Well to be honest, no matter what Scirra does I will still upgrade, because this engine is great for prototyping. And well a new editor will be nice..

    And lets face it, we are probably asking the impossible of Scirra when it comes to exporters.

    Back on topic:

    The OP has been muddied by all this talk about performance, but that is not the issue. As stated numerous times already the OP is about reliable export.

    A PC that can run the latest blockbuster title at full screen with all settings at max, surely should be able to play a Flappy game smoothly - but not if that Flappy baby is made with C2.

    Top devs have already stated they will not, in fact cannot, use C2 (or C3) for future serious games, why? exporters..

    The jank bug was a wake up call, it showed clearly the reason why the OP was started in the first place. Google will introduce bugs, but it may take months for them to fix it - why? - because they don't care. Sad but true.

    Of course, even if the jank bug ever gets completely fixed ( everybody bug google - maybe they will fix their bugs. Tis ok.., just wait..) what about the next bug that gets introduced.

    But fixing this is of course not possible when you are reliant on third parties - and that is not likely to change.

    In this post I made this statement:

    [quote:2v2l6xuq]At the moment history could well be written something like:

    Construct2 was a brilliant product that became nothing more than a prototype tool for developers, due to its reliance on third party tools that never produced reliable export options. After many years of waiting/hoping for real solutions, even C2's most dedicated adherents finally had to jump ship. Que sera sera....

    We would like history to be written something like this:

    After many years of dissapointing results due to reliance on third party tools, Scirra decided that the answer was in-house. Developing their own export options has resulted in their flagship product - Construct2 - being one of the most robust HTML 5 game development tools around today.

    It seams that this prediction (although a little tongue-in-cheek at the time) is likely to be true on the first option. But man I wish it would come true on the second one!

    Enter C3 - What will you be? Prediction 1, or prediction 2.......

    Nesteris, yeah did read your Unity suggestion - while that would be great, it still involves third parties.

    Here's a better one: Maybe we could import Ashley into a game, and create a few hundred instances of him - then there would be no competition out there at all for Scirra!

    Lets Be Realistic

    All in all, I think as much as we would love to have complete control, we have to realize that there are limits to every thing. Scirra is not a huge organisation like others - but I guess that's why they treat their customers like real people after all.

  • Fimbul: I am 100 % with you! C2 is what it is and i am more than happy if the guys at Scirra keep up with their good work and the way they do. I have some problems with the editor sometimes (which i believe now is a steam api problem), but i am in good hope that also this will be resolved. C2 was always a HTML5 engine, this was clear from the beginning for everybody. And i hope not that Scirra will invest their time and energy in native exporters, because this will fuck up Construct. They should concentrate in improving the editor and engine and nothing more.

    If anybody needs more power, he can choose from dozens of native engines.

    And btw. i think most people on this forum screaming for a native exporter don't even touch the limits of C2 in their projects or tried to optimize the flow of their game.

  • C2 was always a HTML5 engine, this was clear from the beginning for everybody.

    ...

    If anybody needs more power, he can choose from dozens of native engines.

    ...

    And btw. i think most people on this forum screaming for a native exporter don't even touch the limits of C2 in their projects or tried to optimize the flow of their game.

    1. Actually when C2 began it was going to have support for multiple non-HTML5 exporters (including 3rd party ones?). That's why the "html5" exporter is in "exporters" folder. Everybody expected native Windows as a given, including Ashley, which is why they all proceeded to vote for HTML5 as an additional exporter ( )

    2. Like Construct Classic? The reason we use Construct 2 is because we love it editor-side, and we just want something that works for desktop EXE export (I wouldn't mind Node-Webkit if it worked better with each update instead of worse)

    3. Yes, we did do a lot of work to optimize the flow of our game, but you can only optimize the performance after the Node-Webkit takes a hit, which means there will always be a base level of jank/jitter/latency/slow-down/and so on.

  • Blame whoever... Node is the culprit. But hey, keep thinking no one here knows how to make a game correctly. So sick of hearing this! NODE sucks. Period - And Ashley is catching fleck about performance due to node issues. So It's funny why one would rely on it.

    Great it's HTML5 we all know and knew this. But it does say DESKTOP exporting. If Node worked... no one would be screaming about it. That's the problem.

    Why is this so difficult to grasp.

    This thread was muddied up with performance issues, cause many correlate jank issue in node to C2 performance. Which is not the case.

    Is it an exporter problem? Yes.

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  • The OP has been muddied by all this talk about performance, but that is not the issue. As stated numerous times already the OP is about reliable export.

    Sure, but the idea that native exporters will bring more reliability is too insane to contemplate. It's not going to be reliable, it's going to be riddled with edge cases, bugs, incompatibilities and missing features. People will rage until the cows come home for Scirra to port all plugins, templates and features to all platforms and devices in the same way. It's never going to be a turnkey solution, no matter how many dev-hours you pour into exporter development. For starters, don't forget that there's no such thing as "Android". There are many different versions of the OS, every device has a checklist of features supported and unsupported (not even the high end ones support everything), the manufacturers sometimes lie about the specs and refuse to update, sometimes introducing bugs of their own... Apple used to refuse to allow JIT compiling until a few months ago, can you imagine the headaches that would give to a native exporter developer?

    Enter C3 - What will you be? Prediction 1, or prediction 2.......

    I can think of some predictions as well. What about "Scirra begins development on native technology, but the barebones state of the exporters and the lack of updates to the core engine (besides bugfixing) drains the community and scares customers away, and the company fails before the exporters see feature parity". Or how about "the native exporters are developed and published, and when released are quite impressive in terms of performance and intercompatibility, but by then both gamemaker and fusion 3 surpass construct in capabilities, stealing huge portions of the userbase".

    Much more likely is this other scenario "scirra sticks to the plan and follows the industry, developing an HTML5-based editor, allowing unprecedented customization of the engine, attracting even hardcore javascript coders due to the extensibility and modularity of the engine. The decision proves wise, as the platform matures, eventually delivering on it's promise of universal compatibility".

    Top devs have already stated they will not, in fact cannot, use C2 (or C3) for future serious games, why? exporters..

    But making exporters is sure to scare top developers away. It's shooting yourself in the foot. How do I know? Because that's what Clickteam did. Their latest releases for the past 5 years have all been bugfix-only, because they are buried to their necks in exporter code. And the result? Top devs running off to competitors due to unfixed, long-standing issues with the software itself (not third parties) that never got fixed due to all the attention exporters are getting and problems with the exporters themselves

  • I have an idea: how about Scirra try make a deal with MS (win and XO ) and Sony, that they would make exporters and in return they would have a cut from games develloped by us and sold on their devices. How about that? Win for everyone it would be.

  • And why, pray tell, didn't they use MMF to make their games then?

    Because it's old and it's UI is horrible, it still looks like a Windows XP program. People don't want to work with something visually revolting.

    Aside from that, Construct 2 is easy to look at and work with.

    Nesteris I may be wrong, but I don't think you can apply the C2 logic to a 3D engine (even to export 2D games). It's very different.

    Also, it kind of already exists. If you really want an event system for Unity, did you ever try Playmaker?

    http://www.hutonggames.com/

    It doesn't work like C2, but does a very good job for beginners wanting to jump in Unity + visual scripting : )

    ( should you need some games examples, it has been used in Hearthstone, The Forest, Dear Esther...)

    Unity actually has full 2D support now, it's called Unity2D now. It's still the same engine, it just had features that are 2D specific. I actually tried making my game in Unity first but I couldn't get anywhere because I was reliant on youtube tutorials and couldn't code myself, so I ended up stuck while endlessly searching for videos on how to do things.

    As for playmaker, I have tried it, I couldn't get literally anything to work. I could not for the life of me make heads or tails of it.

    It's also pretty ugly to work this, I found this today while looking for Construct 2 alternatives.

    Behaviour Machine Pro looks fairly promising, there's a cheaper Indie version for 25 USD right now (normally 50 USD), the only difference is that with the Indie version you can edit the full source code or something, and I think you don't get future updates but I have no idea.

    As for doing anything involving Unity I think that is completely bonkers. Besides it seems odd that on the one hand some people complain that we depend on third parties for browser technology, and then others suggest solutions that again involve depend on third parties (be it HAXE, Unity or some other intermediary technology). No technology is perfect, and we could be equally hosed by shortcomings in those. Browsers on the other hand are written by billion-dollar companies with thousands of expert engineers, so if we are to depend on any third party, that seems like a better bet.

    The only thing you'd be doing Ashley, would be making a editor extension for Unity which you could SELL. Checking the asset store, they seem to be between 6mb and 20mb in size.

    > The OP has been muddied by all this talk about performance, but that is not the issue. As stated numerous times already the OP is about reliable export.

    >

    Sure, but the idea that native exporters will bring more reliability is too insane to contemplate. It's not going to be reliable, it's going to be riddled with edge cases, bugs, incompatibilities and missing features. People will rage until the cows come home for Scirra to port all plugins, templates and features to all platforms and devices in the same way. It's never going to be a turnkey solution, no matter how many dev-hours you pour into exporter development. For starters, don't forget that there's no such thing as "Android". There are many different versions of the OS, every device has a checklist of features supported and unsupported (not even the high end ones support everything), the manufacturers sometimes lie about the specs and refuse to update, sometimes introducing bugs of their own... Apple used to refuse to allow JIT compiling until a few months ago, can you imagine the headaches that would give to a native exporter developer?

    > Enter C3 - What will you be? Prediction 1, or prediction 2.......

    >

    I can think of some predictions as well. What about "Scirra begins development on native technology, but the barebones state of the exporters and the lack of updates to the core engine (besides bugfixing) drains the community and scares customers away, and the company fails before the exporters see feature parity". Or how about "the native exporters are developed and published, and when released are quite impressive in terms of performance and intercompatibility, but by then both gamemaker and fusion 3 surpass construct in capabilities, stealing huge portions of the userbase".

    Much more likely is this other scenario "scirra sticks to the plan and follows the industry, developing an HTML5-based editor, allowing unprecedented customization of the engine, attracting even hardcore javascript coders due to the extensibility and modularity of the engine. The decision proves wise, as the platform matures, eventually delivering on it's promise of universal compatibility".

    > Top devs have already stated they will not, in fact cannot, use C2 (or C3) for future serious games, why? exporters..

    >

    But making exporters is sure to scare top developers away. It's shooting yourself in the foot. How do I know? Because that's what Clickteam did. Their latest releases for the past 5 years have all been bugfix-only, because they are buried to their necks in exporter code. And the result? Top devs running off to competitors due to unfixed, long-standing issues with the software itself (not third parties) that never got fixed due to all the attention exporters are getting and problems with the exporters themselves

    Obviously you haven't been paying attention to any of the posts in the 1st-3rd pages. This thread is about DESKTOP COMPUTER EXPORTERS. NOT MOBILE EXPORTERS. NO BODY CARES ABOUT PHONES.

    As for "Scaring away top developers", isn't Construct 2 already bloody doing that? Aurel and Squiddster essentially announced they leave of Construct 2 and Scirra forever. And you fail to notice just how many exporters MMF2 has, we're only asking for 1. For Desktop. For Windows. Mac and Linux can use Node-Webkit for all I care.

  • I found this today while looking for Construct 2 alternatives

    Yes! That's exactly what we want to be able to do inside construct! But we need a better editor, because the current one is crap and will never support those kinds of things. When we say we want an "editor SDK", this is exactly what we want to do with it. If you are excited for those things (I sure am), you should be excited about an HTML5 editor as well!

    The only thing you'd be doing Ashley, would be making a editor extension for Unity which you could SELL. Checking the asset store, they seem to be between 6mb and 20mb in size.

    Then scirra would be competing with all those other visual editors out there, and it appears the market is already pretty crowded over there.

    This thread is about DESKTOP COMPUTER EXPORTERS. NOT MOBILE EXPORTERS. NO BODY CARES ABOUT PHONES.

    ...snip...

    you fail to notice just how many exporters MMF2 has, we're only asking for 1. For Desktop. For Windows. Mac and Linux can use Node-Webkit for all I care

    Maybe you Nesteris specifically don't care about mobile/mac/linux, but other people do, and they're asking for exporters.

    Jayjay just linked to this thread and I don't think he realises how much it weakens his position. Look at the things people are saying in there:

    1. There's no way to make it compliant for every browser.

    2. Probably no hardware acceleration.

    3. Multi-player is impractical.

    4. Not everybody wants to make "casual" games. In other words you cant just message somebody online with "Hey wanna check out my new game, *link to game playable in browser*", btw that will be fitty bucks.

    5. Java, need I say more?

    [...] XNA technology will no doubt be utilised in the next version of the XBox [...]

    While tools like Stencyl and App Inventor will no doubt get better [...]

    Web browser is a bad idea in my opinion, since that'd basically mean Flash or nothing, and that's stupid.

    [...]

    I think mobile platforms should be left out of Construct completely

    I can't speak on PS3, but in regards to the XBOX 360 I can say that XNA and C# are going to be around for a long, long time. It's not going away. Its base is already huge, and lots of people would like to make games for its formats but aren't language coders. With XNA you can make games for 4 different platforms (Zune, 360, PC, Windows Phone). If there was an export for this, it would be huge.

    There is an event-based program that exports to XNA called the Express Game Maker (In closed beta), and there is the Indie Game Maker which I've heard a lot of complaints about and has little to no instructional help available.

    See? People kept asking for exporters for platforms that eventually became obsolete or died outright. Have you even heard of "Express Game Maker", "Indie Game Maker" or "App Inventor"?

    Look at the complaints people had: "multiplayer will never work", "hardware acceleration in the browser is impossible"... and look where we are now.

  • facecjf: it says publish to desktop and NOT that it exports native code.

    If anybody could write an exporter that takes html5/javascript to let's

    say c++ or c# and integrates magically all needed libraries for every desktop

    platform he would be rich. Let's face it, you get more than enough for

    the price that Scirra took from you. Nobody holds you back too hire some

    programmers for some thousands of dollars that make you the exporter you need.

    I also didn't say nobody can code correct, don't quote me wrong! But i think a lot of

    things can be optimized already in C2 and more with the SDK that is open for everybody.

    And for Unity, if you really want make good games with it you have to code anyway and

    don't think that the Unity export works magically perfect on every device! The people that

    make serious projects also need to optimize their games for the platforms they target.

  • Fimbul Those discussions were made by people who were basically told "Don't worry, native desktop will be there too!". There were many people who were just worried that desktop wouldn't have export (more than the results you've cherry picked). Also, they were told to pick "any optional/extra" platforms, so they were discussing things that would already feel less important than desktop.

    Games That's true that we get a great product, but equally, they choose the price. If they sell the program for $2 instead of $100 while the program is worth $1000 that's their choice (although I think some competition laws come into play). But when they sell you something that is supposed to do X, Y, and Z for $100 and you get only X and Y then it doesn't matter how much the program is valued, they didn't sell you/deliver what they promised.

    Also, it doesn't really "publish to desktop" if your game doesn't run properly!

  • We're going over the same old points (20 page thread)... but I must point out again that the node-webkit jank issue is just one bug and will be fixed, it's not some fundamental limitation (IE11 proves that), and the 0.12 alpha is already out and available at http://www.scirra.com/nwjs and should be improved. I can't believe anyone would claim Google doesn't care, because their investment in HTML5 has been colossal.

    Regarding reliability with native exporters, it is not necessarily any better. Browsers use software renderers and a long list of workarounds with ANGLE to work around a bunch of problems with graphics drivers. We have experienced this first hand with the C2 editor itself. So one of the disadvantages of native exporters is bugs like "game crashes on startup on any AMD Radeon 6xxx cards", or "mysterious rendering glitch on nVidia drivers older than v301.35". Debugging these issues can be brutally hard, companies like AMD are utterly useless at providing assistance (we've tried to get help for the C2 editor in the past), and driver update cycles are closer to "never" than the 6-weekly update cycle of modern browsers, which have generally solved all of this type of problem already thanks to their engineering resources and extensive hardware labs which they can test against. I am 100% certain this will be a big problem with any native exporters, on both desktop and mobile, and I don't think many people here recognise that.

    Four and a half years ago I was talking about native exporters. That was before any browser had WebGL, Internet Explorer 8 was in its prime (with no HTML5 support at all), and I think even before any browsers had optimised JIT compilation for Javascript, so they were all stuck in some form of interpreter mode. At that time it was far from clear that HTML5 could work well. The situation has changed radically. Also sometimes I wonder where all the people who strongly demanded (in threads not unlike this) that we make a Flash exporter have gone. I'm really glad we didn't! But at the time it was sometimes difficult to convey the direction things were going in, and how promising the future was. I guess that's still difficult to convey now as well.

  • Amen to this! Things will get better for sure. The industry big players believe in HTML5 and so should we. It can come very fast and html5 games can be published on consoles, who knows...

    And the most important thing is: It's not the tools that make a great game (or piece of art or whatever).

  • Games exactly... I never said Native Exporting.

    The general consensus seems to be that C2 users just aren't optimizing enough (or doing things correctly). I have brought this up plenty. Regardless.. if a game is optimized to the teeth. Node can still break it.

    You are absolutely right I could go hire a developer to make exporters for me. Though, I paid for software that says it does that already (I don't even care about the price $1 or $1000), and when it works it works great - But when it doesn't, than what? Force players to go play in a browser and use IE11? Plus there are countless other engines that offer this, so it is possible. (hard, but possible) The point is, no one wants to jump from C2 to another engine. I never felt like I haven't gotten my monies worth with C2 - It is in fact awesome, I use it daily. That's why people are wanting solid exporters.

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