Why HTML5, and the future of exporters

  • Despite using other tools and engines, i still love C2 for ease of use, however im really impressed for how HTML5 fast with C2 compared to other similar tools, focusing to provide a best HTML5 game engine is wise for the mean while.

    as I already read somewhere, Ashley wont drop out the idea to export to other OS, in fact i believe he will do this when HTML5 features for C2 reach its own limit, just we need to wait and also to support the C2 :)

    giving away EXE wrapper , phonegap & AppMobi etc.. i consider them as a salads before the big meal that worth to wait.

    even Ashley or Scirra Team will take too long or unable to make new exporters, when they Release EDK, may be someone else are genius enough to release other exporters for C2.

  • Well, I've said it before and I'll say it again, right now other exporters are not even an option! We're a tiny 2-man team and the HTML5 exporter + runtime has been in development for over a year, and we're still tweaking and adding stuff to it. It's just impossible for us to take on such a large project. Other companies either have more resources, or less features and no third-party plugin system which makes it much easier to write ports since there's a great deal less technical complexity. We're also still too small to safely throw money at the problem and just hire a bunch of people to do it. On top of that, we genuinely think it's only a matter of time before HTML5 is really fast and great for mobile games. We're a little ahead of time, really. And I cannot think of anything worse than spending time we don't have developing iOS/Android native runtimes, then by the time we're done, HTML5 is fast anyway so all that time was wasted. Not only am I happy to wait it out, it's our only option really.

  • it may be a stupid question, but in current state of construct's sdk, can someone else make an exe exporter for construct?

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  • I'd say, use the basis of CC's builder and go from there.

    Can't be that hard. Just incorporate CC in C2. If only my programming knowledge could take me that far. I'd do it for free.

  • ut in current state of construct's sdk, can someone else make an exe exporter for construct?

    I think so. Capx projects are xml so all the info is readily accessible. You just need to re-create the runtime and plugins. All the EDK will do as far as I can see is make the exporter built-in to C2.

    Using CC's runtime could be tricky since it's tailored for CC and many features of C2 don't have a one to one correspondence to CC.

  • lucid made some kind of "proof of concept" of an exe exporter, he might have more informations about this.

  • And I cannot think of anything worse than spending time we don't have developing iOS/Android native runtimes, then by the time we're done, HTML5 is fast anyway so all that time was wasted. Not only am I happy to wait it out, it's our only option really.

    It will be always hackish, for native stuff like OpenFeint/Gamecenter, access to the camera and all hardware level operation you'll always have to rely on external API that may or may not work.. And for this reason you have to test it. And testing it (since you don't have access to the code) means exporting->importing into the API (phonegap/appmobi/whatever)->testing->repeat until it works.

    I can't really see myself doing this.. The only way to go for mobile app is native unless apple decide to open its hardware to js (which is like hoping it will snow in the desert).

    I think you should really consider at least giving us the option to add custom code, not using plugins but coding directly into c2 (like Stencyl) to open a little our options..

  • I think you should really consider at least giving us the option to add custom code, not using plugins but coding directly into c2 (like Stencyl) to open a little our options..

    0plus1

    It's not easy under current C2 architecture,I thought.

  • I think it's perfectly feasible to make a c2 project converter to an alternate engine, on a piece by piece basis. Once I can establish some type of stability with my business situation and get some free-time back, it's a project I'd like to try my hand at.

    To make a full runtime for c2 would take a very very long time, but making something piece by piece - starting of course with sprite object, some system ACE's, text object, and then mouse/touch object - you'd have something useful to play with as you developed it further.

    The proof of concept kyat mentioned is in this thread.

    It doesn't do much, but it shows that it's very simple to throw together something that converts C2 xml to some target language code. Depending on the platform, you usually won't even need a full plugin system. You can include the modules manually, or have the conversion application add the code needed to include the additional files.

  • 0plus1: at least for device access, it's in the HTML5 spec. For some browser, you can already use getUserMedia() to access Webcam/microphone. With WebRTC, you can already do p2p in the browser.

    With WebGL already available in UIWebView, and doing great, Apple is going to allow webapp to use them, with the release of the new iPad (because 2048x1536 is too huge to manipulate realtime with JS only). They are slowing allwoing pieces of the HTML5 spec in Safari, because everything that can be done with webapp lighten the financial burden of validating apps over the AppStore.

    And since Apple is eating alive the tablet market, the other vendors (Windows Mobile/Bada/QNX/Android...) are forced to integrate those features, to remain competitive...

  • I think the main trouble with new exporters which people aren't really thinking of is third party plugins and behaviors. There are already over 100 topics in the Plugins forum, and think about a few years down the line, especially if C2 increases in popularity. Imagine there being 1000 third party plugins. It's great that C2's extensibility makes it more useful to a lot of people, but on the other hand it causes a disadvantage with new exporters.

    Take a new C++/EXE exporter: after a lot of work it may be possible to have an official runtime working. However, what do we do about the 1000 third party plugins? That's years more work if we try to do it ourselves. Then, the Javascript SDK is designed to have an extremely low barrier to entry: you can just pop open Notepad and type some javascript you remember from web page development, and you've got a new plugin. For a C++ exporter, plugins would likely also have to be written in C++. The tools are much more complex for this (e.g. Visual Studio is a lot more complicated than Notepad, especially if you get build errors), and the C++ language is *much* harder than javascript, you need to worry about memory and pointers and such and a great deal of things javascript takes care of for you. Not only that but if you're porting a javascript plugin to C++ double care has to be taken to ensure it's *exactly* compatible, to ensure ported projects actually work the same (otherwise there will be subtle and frustrating differences when you port your game). The question is how many javascript developers are up to this, especially if they're just hammering out a plugin in notepad in their spare time? I anticipate the majority of plugins would not be ported. Then, the majority of existing projects cannot be ported anyway due to their dependence on third party plugins. You can design a project from scratch using just the right set of plugins but one of the strengths of keeping the HTML5-only approach is all plugins automatically work on all platforms without any worry whatsoever.

  • Ashley

    You can't be expected to convert 3rd party plugins for people, and I don't think people would expect you to, so I'm not sure that would be that much of an issue, because if C2 had all of CC's base functionality, it would be plenty to make entire games with. For example, loot pursuit doesn't use a single third party plug-in, and it's quite complex.

  • A lot of the stuff these 3rd party plugins do can be done with just events; the plugins are just more convenient. Yes there are important plugins you'll want for each platform but not having them for each one is kind of expected.

  • What a cool program this little bugger is man. I use to play around with Click Team Game Factory, MMF1.5, 2, and dev. When they release the flash export it was like super cool and when they said they were going to have an IOS Export I was like heck yeah... time to make games for Apple and make some money. I was sadden when I read their tutorial on how to export to IOS.

    "Simply Click and create with our drag and drop visual interface and amazing event editor. Then a touch of button MMF will build you your xCode project, Move it to your mac and compile it to your iDevice and test it. Once you happy with your app simply submit it to Apple. MMF2 will build everything you need to submit to them, It's that easy."

    "Then a touch of button MMF will build you your xCode project, Move it to your mac and compile it to your iDevice and test it."

    What!, this is not like the Flash Export where it compile everything for you. NOOOOOO!!!!

    Reason is I don't own a Mac but do understand how to use one and will get one some day.

    So in the end this what it came down too,

    MMF2 Dev :$369.00 USD

    IOS Export: $129.00 USD

    Mac Mini : $599.00 USD (Cheapest Mac Computer on Apple website, no upgrade. stander stock hardware)

    Apple Dev : $99.00 USD

    Total: $1196.00 USD

    That's a lot of money spent just trying to make a game for the IOS device.

    Come on, really really, but yeah no heart feeling for them. Don't get me wrong I do still love their product and still use their product to make windows and Java games tho. Not like I am bashing them or anything, but that's just a lot of money spent making game for side hobby.

    Until I stumble upon scirra.com while Googleing

    Free CS2 : $0 USD

    HTML5: $0 USD

    On IOS Device : Free

    On Android Device : Free

    Windows Phone : Free

    Total With Mac Mini: $599.00 USD

    Total Without Mac Mini: $0.00 USD

    CS2 Standard: $35 USD then now $79 USD

    Apple Market : $99.00 USD

    HTML5: $0 USD

    Android Market $25 USD

    Mac Mini : $599.00 USD

    Little Googleing And SDK Help : FREE

    Total: with both market and Mac Mini $802 USD

    Total: without both market and Mac Mini $35 USD

    SC2 Business: $365 USD

    Apple Market : $99.00 USD

    HTML5: $0 USD

    Android Market $25 USD

    Mac Mini : $599.00 USD

    Little Googleing And SDK Help : FREE

    Total: with both market and Mac Mini $1088 USD

    Total: without both market and Mac Mini $365 USD

    So in the end Scirra Construct 2 is by far the best program for me in a long shot for a hobbyist.

    No coding like in Game Maker, Ummm you got the Javascript SDK and the Call Javascript plugin by Joe7, and the Ajax plugin. So code away

    O and in my thoughts and opinion coming from a web developer it is easy for me to pick up.

    Thanks Ashley for such a great program.

  • Ashley

    That's the reason why you should move to an agnostic solution, like lua.

    Lua has proved to be the perfect language for scripting, it's easy to use but powerful and it has been used for everything gamewise: Corona, Love, ps3 and tons of other modding tools.

    I'm sorry but another dx exporter won't do any real good, as even in desktop field cross compatibility has become a must, indie games sales increase tenfold if they offer cross platform compatibility.

    Just look at this list: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Lua-scripted_video_games

    If you can convert construct to lua the exporting part is way easier as there are already solutions. Just my 2cents.

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