The sad truth of Construct 2

  • Ashley I'm sorry but the issue here is not trying to write World of Warcraft in Construct 2 and exporting it to iOS, even very simple games get low framerates and this is a proven fact. It's not an issue of bottleneck, it's a problem of WebViews not being hardware accelerated, the problem is not yours, it's Apple's, but it reflects on you ultimately.

    Yes we have CocoonJS and the likes, but it's another cost to add, meanwhile I could buy a complete Game Engine for the same price and have native exporters. I already converted my main game in one of your competitors' product and I get such an improvement in fps that it's not even funny, I even added a waterfall of particles on top and I still didn't see any drop in framerates, meanwhile in C2 I struggle to get to 40fps and I've optimized for months. And again we are speaking of a very very simple game.

    Native games cannot be even remotely compared to HTML5 performance for mobile. Even CocoonJS (which is still a big improvement) has a long way to go before reaching the same performance of a native application. I think I've beaten this horse enough, so I'll stop, but it drives me mad this obsession with HTML5 and ultimately it's a commercial choice.

    Construct (the first) had "limited" success due to supporting the wrong technology (DirectX) and to be honest I'm fearing the same will happen here, HTML5 for games is shaping as a failure, proof is that I was posting the same stuff one year ago and NOTHING changed since then, yes we have a couple more wrappers, but WebGL is not even supported by ie10! HTML5 will be relegated into a niche of web games and that will be all, mobile and desktop are out of the equation and most of the developers and interested in those.

    Seeing that you are an exceptional programmer with an amazing set of skills I don't see why you couldn't rewrite everything in HAXE, most of your rivals ended up doing that. This in my humble opinion and I strongly feel it makes a lot of sense commercially.

  • I strongly disagree.

    HTML5 is definitely the future. It's not only much more portable than NME/Haxe will ever be*, it also evolves much faster.

    It took years until NME/Haxe finally secured a half decent 3D API and that one is pretty much outdated now (the new, integrated OpenGL ES API just isn't there yet). HTML5 got there a tad faster, with WebGL to OpenGL ES wrappers and proof of concepts already floating around the net.

    Lastly, I don't see the point of transferring to NME/Haxe.

    If there are already multiple easy to use tools in the vain of Construct2, then why even bother? Construct 2 is pretty much known to be the most afforadable, easy to use HTML5 framework. If it made the switch to NME/Haxe, it would be "just another construction kit". They could, perhaps, avoid this by implementing most of NME 3.5.5's HTML5 capabilities. But then again, why even bother?

    PS: Would you mind naming one of these "rivals" utilizing Haxe? I'm still a bit frustrated over the HTML5 incompatibilities within WebOS, so NME/Haxe might be the road I'm taking for that particular OS.

    *And that's coming from someone who was a proponent of an all-native approach, despising even .Net, before eventually having to recognize the power of a more portable approach (all thanks to HTML5).

  • I agree, HTML 5 is the future and javascript along with it.

    Scirra, from a business point of view have done the right thing to focus it now so they are in a prime spot in years to come - of which they are already for this corner of the market.

    A platform itself can still be abused, just like any coding language. There's still optimisation tricks to be had. As time goes by maybe we can have a knowledge base of optimisation tricks for common themes - or even a powerful reSharper (http://www.jetbrains.com/resharper/features/code_refactoring.html) type optimisation of javascript for gaming purposes.

    I'm still to test the speed on mobile and Android for certain things but I know there's so much you can do in the way you plan events and the mechanics of your game that will greatly improve performance.

    Believe in the browser, it is the only thing that interprets a common language across all devices. That's power.

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  • Ashley

    Keep up the AMAZING work that you have done with Construct 2. I'm soon to release 2 games to the Ouya made with Construct 2 using Phonegap 2.4.0. With Phonegap I have seen simple games get any where from 30 - 50 FPS which is good enough for me on the Ouya. I have recently hacked together a simple Javascript HTML5 game engine put together from various code found on the internet. This crazy attempt of mine makes me look back on Construct 2 with amazement. You have a great product here and everyday visit your website wondering if anything new gets released.

    I only wish that the Ouya Web Browser would support requestAnimFrame, because in my attempts it did not work.

    Thank You

  • I feel like there's just too much trust being put into too many hands.

    1. Scirra, obviously you trust in them to keep updating and fix any issue that arise... this *should* be the one and only group you need to worry about

    2. CocoonJS/AppMobi/3rd party exporting tools. If you need to get your games exported to specific platforms instead of HTML5, you'll need to trust in one of these companies to keep working on their exporter.

    3. Browser companies. You need to put faith in these companies to keep updating their browsers to improve HTML5 compatibility. If just one major browser decides to shun HTML5, that's a huge audience being lost for your game. At the current time, Safari and IE both either have the worst support for HTML5, or virtually no support at all. Two of the biggest browsers, no good.

    4. Mobile hardware improvements. You have to trust that mobile hardware will continue to improve each year. Well this one is pretty easy and Moore's Law would suggest that mobile hardware will be on par with current desktop performance in a matter of a couple years or less.

    Ashley also keeps defending not building exporters because they will cause issues with third party plugins... This is the absolute least of my concerns. First of all, this is a problem with EVERY game development tool that has third party plugins and multiple exporters. You just work with the third party plugins that work. As long as all default plugins inside of Construct 2 work across all exporters, then it's fine. I avoid using third party plugins as much as I can because I understand that if something goes wrong with them, I'm relying on yet another person/group to get my game completed.

    Another huge issue with all these third party exporters... I'm building Construct 2 games at my job, and I work for a pretty big company and they have lots of security concerns, etc... With most of these exporters, we have to upload our entire game to their servers for compiling/exporting... This means I have to get clearance to upload our project to foreign servers, and as of right now, I have yet to get clearance to do so... Meaning some exporters are already not even available for me to use.

    I would think if we pitched in money to hire outside help, then it wouldn't pull Ashley and team away from their current work as he keeps saying. "it will take 6-12 months" but I really feel like that's an exaggeration. Either way, it COULD be done, it just seems like Ashley has made his decision already. Which is the whole point of my thread. C2 is a fantastic game maker... it's just too bad Ashley has this mindset that native exporting won't be an improvement and isn't worth the time.

    Also I don't like the straw man arguments popping up about "oh you just need experience making games" or "you aren't designing the game well enough" or (insert "it's your fault somehow, and not the fault of HTML5 being poorly supported and underpowered")

    All of these arguments just pull away from the actual debate here. I'm debating that HTML5 games are not as great performance wise as native. Nobody here is proving me wrong about this, instead they tell me I should design better, etc. Yes, I realize CS2 is made for HTML5 games, but the potential is there for it to export natively, and it is just disappointing that it won't happen.

  • maybe a kickstarter campaign?? [<:o)]

  • maybe a kickstarter campaign?? [<:o)]

    I would totally be up for contributing to that.

  • Kickstarter would be possible, but would have to come from Scirra (correct me if I am wrong). I would totally back this up.

    I am thinking if it would be possible to make a bounty system, where people would pledge money to features, and developer who would create the plugin would take the money?

    Would others be interested in that type of crowdfunding?

  • maybe a kickstarter campaign?? [<:o)]

    Yes, i support this idea! Let's start a campaign on Scirra forum to donate for this cause!

  • Hey, someone should start a Kickstarter thread with a poll. This definitely sounds like something that can help C2 in the long run.

  • I'm glad Scirra saved us time a lot to use HTML5 games for moviles with CocoonJS using screencanvas which it improved performance A LOT, sometimes my games were 40 fps without screencanvas, otherwise all games run in 60 fps, as native performance, it was awesome and satisfied me! :D

  • No one is arguing that HTML5 is or will ever be exactly as fast as native, just like no one would argue that Java is as fast as native machine language code on a PC...

    However, advancement in the interpreter, the hardware and the developers for Java has allowed for the platform to perform so well that the consumer can't tell the difference between native compiled binary code and interpreted code. 60 fps in one is the same as 60 fps in the other. You claim HTML5 is a failure. Lots of people claimed Java was a failure as well. (there are plenty today who still hold to that...it's their opinion and they are entitled to it.) I disagree. I see it not only as the next Java, but as a superior platform to Java in almost every respect. And as hardware advances, vendors adopt and adhere to the standard better, and as the standard itself evolves, I believe it will be one of the best platforms to develop on as we move forward for the next decade or more.

    Is HTML5 there yet on your mobile platform of choice? Apparently not. That's a shame. I can understand your frustration and desire to be at the tip top in that market.

    But that isn't the only market served by the C2 IDE. I did not purchase my licence to develop mobile apps. I like the ability to export in a way that would let me move some of what I write to mobile, but that's not my primary use of C2. I live in a Nevada casino town, and I'd be happy to lay odds that I'm not in the minority there.

    This leads us into a conundrum: You want the IDE to operate in the best way for you. I want the IDE to operate in the best way for me.

    If Scirra decides to stop working on enhancing their game development tool that currently can be used across multiple platforms in it's current state and instead focus on making their IDE optimized for a one specific native language that means that only a percentage of people are getting benefit for the man hours they are putting into their product.

    The fact of the matter is that C2 has a "*" next to the mobile export on the website. It's not a native compiler. I bought the product with that in mind. I want them to develop the IDE to make it even better for making games. That's what I bought. It exports to HTML5, the platform that it's advertised to export to. That's what I bought.

    That is also what YOU bought. I'm sorry that you bought the product thinking it could do something that it's not billed as directly doing. Does it meet your performance goals right now? According to you, it doesn't. Does it export and run, through CocoonJs, on the platform you wish for it to run, regardless of the performance? Yes. It does.

    You have gotten what you paid for. Scirra could have every right to not even try to make ANY enhancements from there, but they choose to devote a proportionality equal amount of time on your desired platform while trying to work on EVERYONE ELSE'S desired platforms as well, fix bugs, and add new game making non-platform specific features to the IDE.

    Personally, I think they would best be suited on just working on IDE features to make the games in HTML5 the best they possibly can and leave any other exporting to 3rd parties. That would be spending their time to the benefit to the most people who have purchased their product, but that's my personal opinion and it is the path that would suit me the best, so I'll admit to being biased.

    Actually, I'd love to see a survey of license holders as to their primary development platform. If the majority use C2 to develop for iOS, then by all means, put the time into making the iOS export as powerful as possible. If the over whelming majority do so, then I'm all for dropping all other work on the IDE (except bug fixes) to make the HTML5 export work as flawless as possible with iOS.

    I do not support, however, 1st party native export. I didn't buy an iOS development tool. I bought a HTML5 development tool.

  • Personally the time saving advantages that C2 offers far outweigh the problems of HTML 5. I would just work around the problems.

  • purplelava

    Check your PMs.

  • Wow 8 pages of the same thing.

    Ok well perhaps not exactly the same thing, its going down hill apparently.

    How about if you don't like whats going on, just move on and make your own engine.

    C2 is pretty much just one guy doing the programing.

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