Issues with the suggestions website

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  • I've noticed that the bug reports get a lot of requests that technically aren't bugs.

    Perhaps the feature requests should be handled in a similar manner.

    Someone has an idea, submits it, then a "curator" evaluates it and either puts it in a todo list or in a todon't list. Similar requests get put together. The todo list gets voted on by necessity rather than popularity.

    The idea being that you can deal with the requests in a timely manor while not overloading the development.

  • newt And maybe add a template for submitting ideas, similar to the one for bug reports. This should make the job of reviewing and evaluating them much easier.

  • Yeah. And it doesn't have to be just one person curating it.

    Although whom ever does, would need to be very well versed in C3.

    At least someone with intimate knowledge of the sdk.

  • I can see the point of both sides of this with Ashley's explanations to his hesitation and also what everyone else is saying.

    It might be a good idea to try to meet halfway somehow, if possible. So that way Ashley doesn't get swamped spending all his time of the suggestions list rather than actually getting things done in working on C3. It is kind of frustrating that there are things like tiled backgrounds can't be animated at this time, and you'd think it'd be a given that jump throughs also have collision tags like solids, but I also understand Ashley is probably spreading himself too thin with all that he's doing currently.

    It's times like this I would look to hiring more people if possible, but I can't even pretend to know Scirra's financial situation or the laws of the country they're based which are likely totally different from the ones in mine.

  • If Scirra can't afford to triage the bulk of the ideas on the platform (which is understandable), then yes, please, it would be great to get some official response to the most popular ideas, even if that means shutting some of them down and giving people their votes back so other ideas can be elevated.

    Speaking of voting, a system that allows a single up or down vote per user per idea might be a good way to go, rather than a finite pool of votes per user. This is how Netflix, reddit, Steam reviews, etc. all work, and it seems like a good system. That way everyone can give a bump to any ideas they like without fear of running out of an arbitrary number of points. We wouldn't be able to add additional weight to our pet ideas with a system like that, but I don't get the feeling that having a couple extra points to throw at an idea makes much difference right now, and I personally tend not to spend more than a vote per idea anyway, since there are so many good ideas and so few votes to give away.

    In terms of managing the platform, I was wondering if the external team building the example projects might be able to help with triage of ideas, since they're actually building games with the software and have a working relationship with Scirra. One concern I have is that Scirra doesn't appear to use their own software to make real games. They don't "eat their own dogfood", so to speak, so they may not be feeling the pain points in the product the way some of us do. But since they now have a partner that's constantly using the tool, perhaps they could request some help from that team with prioritizing ideas on the platform?

  • I think the only reasonable solution for this, is not to jump around the issue but to find a way and invest time to fix the source of this problem.

    It does not matter how the issue or feature suggestion website changes, only outcome of it can be: few Y features would be implemented instead of X, if there is limited dev time.

    Only solution which I can see:

    Better guide, tutorial, manual for scripting or plugin making. Plugin and simple change automation for runtime and editor, which simplfies work enough, so users can do their own version of stuff. Case, which in overall should make scirra work easier too.

    Sometime like:

    *Plugin maker - with set of rules to avoid compatitibility problems. User should be able to modifie simple templates and add features to templates of official plugins. Allows users to do small changes to plugins to add some expression, condition or simple change.

    I don't know if something like that is feasable, but case where user could possible wait 10 years or more for some change, it should be reasonable to give user better tools/guide/features to allow him to do it himself. Scirra should invest time to win time, I don't see any other possible solution. Maybe if they get team of 40 ppl in few years, but even then same tools/guides should help them too.

  • Sometime like:

    *Plugin maker - with set of rules to avoid compatitibility problems. User should be able to modifie simple templates and add features to templates of official plugins. Allows users to do small changes to plugins to add some expression, condition or simple change.

    I have kinda wished for a while there was a way to edit the code of things like the platform behavior per project. Or if we could alter the plugins per project, I could just add collision tags to the jump-thru instead of having waited I think 3 years now.

  • Only solution which I can see:

    Better guide, tutorial, manual for scripting or plugin making. Plugin and simple change automation for runtime and editor, which simplfies work enough, so users can do their own version of stuff. Case, which in overall should make scirra work easier too.

    Sometime like:

    *Plugin maker - with set of rules to avoid compatitibility problems. User should be able to modifie simple templates and add features to templates of official plugins. Allows users to do small changes to plugins to add some expression, condition or simple change.

    Yes, I've found writing a plugin for C3 to be more difficult than writing portable components for Unity (using C#) or Unreal (using Blueprint - I don't mess with C++, haha), partly thanks to the somewhat bare-bones SDK documentation and lack of tutorials for writing C3 plugins. Of course, a simple, baseline C3 plugin is just more complicated than a simple, baseline component for other engines, so it's a bit of an apples/oranges comparison. But the bottom line is there's a lot of friction with getting started writing C3 plugins. Having some built-in software to help manage complexity in C3 and some plugin programming tutorials would be pretty great.

    In general, C3 logic isn't too easy to encapsulate and port between projects. It's actually somewhat dangerous to do - if you do your event sheet/object copying and pasting between projects wrong you can wind up with a corrupted project file that can no longer be opened. (I recommend Plastic SCM Cloud for an easy to use, binary-friendly version control system, for what it's worth!)

    Anyway, I digress... there are already suggestions on the ideas platform for ways to address all these issues, but sadly they're mostly buried.

  • Better guide, tutorial, manual for scripting or plugin making.

    I agree these things are important, but they should not be a substitute for a good suggestions platform. It's for ideas many people can benefit from. Besides, lots of Construct users are not very experienced programmers. Besides, many ideas are about the editor and UI.

  • I think anything that involves curation or triage of hundreds of suggestions is not going to work. We want to spend our time improving Construct 3, not researching the feasibility of things only one person wants. Only us developers know the codebase well enough to really evaluate that, and even then, as my past blog post describes, it's often impossible to know what the work will really entail once we start it. Small ideas can easily snowball in to lots of work, so even an initial evaluation that says "should be easy" could simply be wrong.

    For this reason I think it would be best to remove the "minor suggestions" category, so we stop pretending we know what is and isn't easy, because in truth we don't know. I think we should also aim to design something where we are not expected to reply to every single suggestion. It's just too much work, and often our conclusions about feasibility are completely wrong anyway. I think the things people are willing to actually commit their votes to is the best signal to rely on, in the context of the suggestions platform (as the guidelines stress, there are other things we take in to account too, outside of the suggestions platform).

    I quite like the idea of basically deleting everything and starting from scratch every 6 months. It sounds like it would solve a lot of the problems. Instead of accumulating a mountain of old suggestions and votes, it keeps things fresh. It would be focused on what people want now, rather than what lots of votes went to in previous years, perhaps even by users who are no longer active.

    I still think everyone should have a limited number of votes, probably just 10. Once you've voted on 10 things, chances are beyond that there is very little chance it'll really get done. What's the point in voting on 50 things if we only have time to do maybe 20 across everyone's suggestions? I think it's better if every six months you pick your top ten suggestions and that's it. You can always change your votes and vote on other things after the next reset. I also don't think there's any point in submitting suggestions with zero votes. If nobody is willing to put a single vote on it - not even the original author - it seems easy to conclude it's not a priority, given the vast amount of other work that could be done. In fact maybe we should even state our policy is to ignore suggestions with zero votes, to discourage anyone posting them. There's no point inundating us with hundreds of suggestions, so this seems like it would help mitigate that.

    So: how does it sound to have a complete reset of the suggestions platform every 6 months, and everyone gets 10 votes? Any particular objections to that? I'm inclined to move towards doing that in the next few weeks, unless anyone can persuade me of a better way to do it... (and note if your proposal involves us doing lots of regular work or users being able to inundate us with ideas, I probably won't be keen!)

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  • So: how does it sound to have a complete reset of the suggestions platform every 6 months, and everyone gets 10 votes?

    Ashley I don't think this will solve anything. People will simply start reposting their suggestions every 6 months. And 10 votes is absolutely not enough. It will make things even worse than now - people will spend all votes on own ideas. And if there are any votes left, they will likely be spent on big and "flashy" ideas like new 3D features, while most minor suggestions (like adding round cap to drawing canvas) will not get any votes at all.

    Why are you so against unlimited votes? Just add a restriction - one vote per idea. When people will be able to freely upvote and downvote each idea, this will give you a clear picture of what people want.

    There are so many small things that can be improved in Construct! And I want a platform that will give these small ideas equal exposure and chances to be noticed and implemented. Unfortunately, with 10 votes limit this will never going to happen.

  • People will simply start reposting their suggestions every 6 months.

    Well let them. If its a good idea then the votes would continue.

    Unless of course its someone engineering votes.

    That's why I think every three months would be better.

  • That's why I think every three months would be better.

    Why half measures? Lets automatically delete each idea immediately after posting. No ideas - no problem! And no votes will be needed. Everybody happy.

  • If your idea hasn't seen any traction in three months you can assume its probably not going to happen any time soon.

  • I have kinda wished for a while there was a way to edit the code of things like the platform behavior per project. Or if we could alter the plugins per project, I could just add collision tags to the jump-thru instead of having waited I think 3 years now.

    Yes, this is only possible solution for current case, with official guidelines for it.

    Not to mention waiting 3 years. Who in right mind will start to develop something, hoping maybe it gets added in 3 years, even 1 year would be to much in this case.

    Baseline C3 plugin is just more complicated than a simple, baseline component for other engines, so it's a bit of an apples/oranges comparison. But the bottom line is there's a lot of friction with getting started writing C3 plugins. Having some built-in software to help manage complexity in C3

    I always though their sdk manual is more for themselfs, place they can look up correct code.

    Besides, lots of Construct users are not very experienced programmers.

    Saying this is pretty much counterproductive to everything. In such case, you won't get it in 10 years or 20. As it goes, if idea is somewhat possible or it simplifies 3 step to 1 or helps a bit with performance, then in MOST cases such idea will never be developed. Only possibility is: you do it or someone else, but currently nobody can, past scirra.

    This is the case that makes your 'array noSave' never to come existance. Why would new, passing though or not very experienced devs want it? Only way this benefits someone, if they make or do some sort of community and then force feed ideas to be voted. Overall it still benefits 1-2 guys.

    This would also make C3 pretty much a 3-5 month toy. Problems that new users face are voted and developed, while users who been here longer, would never get their specific stuff, because nobody cares. Or when new users does very specific thing and sees engine flaw, noone else would vote for it.

    Example: if some old C2 plugins would never been developed by modifing official code, thous plugins or features would not even be in C3. Currently users only demand them, because they saw that case was good. Because based on just idea, nobody or 'passing though devs' would never vote for.

    reset of the suggestions platform every 6 months

    Suggestion platform also consists 'almost bugged behaviors' ie flaws in C3 that are labeled as ideas. They are not gonna change. This just would remove or hides them.

    Over the years, from forum to every other place, if user found or faced massive flaws/shortcoming, then user went to suggestion platform, as place to write them down. Thous flaws n shortcomings are still there. Most cases are even like 'I want to do X' -> Official statement 'do this' -> but 'do this' has massive problems -> post it on suggestion platform -> baam never get it.

    In C3 development cycle, the 6 month is very short. A much better idea in such extreme case would be: if idea does not get X votes, it will be removed in 2 weeks. This would least make forum more active with specific topics, on a daily basis.

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