An all-inclusive tutorial?

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  • I can easily see this turning into a no win back and forth war that isn't going anywhere so I'll try to keep this objective as possible.

    First, everybody has a good point that the documentation needs much improvement. It is severely lacking. No more discussion needed there.

    Second, let's not compare Construct with MMF or any language or tool where there are PAID developers and tech writers in the project.

    Third, we can compare and contrast Construct all day to other open source products but its not really going to get us anywhere. There are many open source projects that have far better documentation than Construct. There are many open source projects that have worse. There are many that have far more contributors which leads to my next point.

    Fourth, many times people in this thread have mentioned the Construct "community". Well, how do you have a "community" when everybody puts all of the coding and documentation back on essentially the sole developer??? It's not a least not a functional one.

    Fifth, everybody has their own skill set and capabilities. There is an old saying that "hard work" beats "skill" when skill doesn't work hard. I have no delusion when it comes my skill set versus others on the forum. I'm a lot more skilled than some and a lot less skilled than others (like Quasi or Davioware). That doesn't change the fact that I've put probably over 500 hours of working with Construct, writing tutorials, etc.. That length of time is going to build skill.

    Sixth, Construct has a TON of bugs. The developers are not that active on the project to begin with. All the documentation in the world is not going to help if the things being documented are buggy as hell.

    I'm in the same boat as you that I'd love it if the developer wrote all the documentation and did all the work himself and we could not have to struggle to figure out certain features. So let's just all turn on the developer and demand that he provide us good documentation and fix all the bugs in his spare time because we somehow feel entitled to have a perfect project with complete documentation. <--- Fantasy world

    -----> Real world .... Nick, you say you have used Construct for a year now and think you have a strong grasp on it. Then why haven't you added documentation to the wiki? Is it because you have more fun stuff to do in your spare time? Or you refuse to do the developer's job? You are not the only one that I'm picking on though anybody that has used Construct for more than a year should be contributing to the Wiki. That includes all of us "nerds".

    We can debate all we want. The bottom-line is that many people here CAN write the documentation. The developer is the "ideal" person to write the documentation. The documentation is not being written. We can either whine about how it is the developer's responsibility to write the documentation, help write it ourselves (as this is supposed to be a community effort), or find some other tool that we feel has better documentation.

  • Construct is not well documented. Yes, that's true. We don't have a reference of every object's ACE, we don't have a reference for how they are meant to be used, syntax limitations, etc.

    On the other hand, it is so hard to contribute.

    Just a few weeks after registering on the forum, I wanted to help with an angle problem. I proposed something I used in other languages, assuming that an angle as a value in degrees would always be in the range 0-360, what in Construct is not always the case (But even with the angle being something like -170 or 412, I still not quite understand why I'm not allowed to use math like abs(abs(angle % 360 ) - 180) to test for certain directions or a range of angles etc). I quickly learned then about "anglediff" and comparisons like "is clockwise". The point is, I knew they were there, but it was nowhere explained why they are there. Ashleys answers were very helpful but they are not on the wiki although they are essential (especially because they come from one of the developers)

    I wanted to do a beginner's guide of creating effects. Soon after starting I ran into wierd behavior. HLSL intrinsic functions that are supposed to work with profile ps_2_0 do not. "noise" just does nothing, whereas "trunc" at least gives an error message (although it shouldn't), etc. So I gave up.

    I wanted to do a in-depth tutorial about using particles. Guess what, I ran into bugs like setting the rate by code not working when in unlimited frame mode and a bunch of others. So I gave up.

    I wanted to document the binary object - running into bugs (like Get Cursor Position not working).

    I submitted bugs to the tracker, asked in the forum, but: How am I supposed to document something that doesn't work or we are not sure about why exactly it exists?

    That is why I reduced my efforts to reading the help forum, answering as much as I can. And probably some dozens of other people too.

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  • I submitted bugs to the tracker, asked in the forum, but: How am I supposed to document something that doesn't work or we are not sure about why exactly it exists?

    That is why I reduced my efforts to reading the help forum, answering as much as I can. And probably some dozens of other people too.

    You have a really good point there. I strongly believe as well that if the developers want the users to help out with the documentation then they need to fix bugs and explain features that aren't intuitive.

    For example, I gave up on documenting the Layout object because I just couldn't find a good reason for using it.

    If the developer doesn't show dedication to the project then the users won't either. For example, Python. I've made numerous requests to the developers on the state of Python or how it works in relation to Construct that were mostly ignored (Ashley did answer sometimes, but David never did). These were questions that were easy to answer and only the developer could answer. I actually was really close to just quitting with Construct all together over that. As of right now Construct is just too buggy for me to use seriously.

    I still stick to the idea that users should be helping with the large majority of the documentation. There is a very large body of knowledge on the forum that could be moved into proper form on the wiki. It is a boring and thankless task which is why I suspect no one has done it. Don't I give good motivation for helping!

    Your post just highlights the fact that Construct is so buggy that sometimes there is no point to documenting certain features. This just points to the developer's needing to do more developing (and yes sometimes answering questions only they can help with).

    I know exactly what you are talking about though...

  • While its true that the documentation is lacking, its also true that the whole thing is still in beta testing. I also would say that the fact users are now demanding more information shows how successful it is and will be.

  • *opens up Google Docs and starts writing a Vertical Shooter Tutorial*

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