An all-inclusive tutorial?

This forum is currently in read-only mode.
  • I've seen some Construct game challenges that challenged users to do this, but what about this as a tutorial tool?:

    Are there any plans to create a tutorial in written or .cap form that takes a new user through every object, event, behavior, action, condition (and example expressions) Construct has with example code for each, also explaining when and why to use each? I just notice that a number of things have no documentation or example code, but someone figured it out and posted how they did it. The problem is, in order for a new user to search and find it they'd have to either get lucky or know the specific search terms to find it... or sift through hundreds or thousands of search pages to find it... or ask for help which may not yield a result.

  • The problem is, in order for a new user to search and find it they'd have to either get lucky or know the specific search terms to find it...

    Better documentation is sorely needed for Construct. However, as someone who has written tutorials and Wiki pages it is a long sometimes boring process to write simple documentation. It would take several weeks of full-time work to make an all-inclusive tutorial and I doubt either the developers or any users are up to that.

    There are definite holes in the documentation and many answers to the missing information is on the forum. What we REALLY need people to start doing is to write a short wiki when they make an example. Also, don't answer someone's question with information that is not on the wiki! (Just about all of us are guilty of this) For example, the timeline object has several good examples on the forum but no wiki article. Instead of posting an example and explanation on the forum people need to put it on the wiki instead.

    One thing that is clear is the info on the forum is hard to find and not the best place for knowledge.

    SO I think the two big things we need to get the documentation better:

    1. More people need to sign up and start adding to the wiki.

    2. People need to stop answering questions on the forum unless they have added that info to the wiki.

    Edit: I wonder if having a Construct game contest where part of the requirement is to submit documentation on a behavior, action, or object used in the game would be of interest. The focus would be on info not currently on wiki. Problem is people love to make games, but dislike writing docs so some incentive would be needed.

  • Try Construct 3

    Develop games in your browser. Powerful, performant & highly capable.

    Try Now Construct 3 users don't see these ads
  • Scidave is absolutely right.

    The Ghost Shooter tutorial is the most basic and comprehensive tutorial I think - it explains everything every step of the way - but doesn't cover all parts of Construct. There's actually a lot to Construct so I'm not sure such a tutorial would be feasible or useful.

  • I agree with MrMiller, the forum has HUGE amount of knowledge but sadly most of it is been missing from the Wiki for example on the Object List page-

    http://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/c ... bject_List

    Information on many types of objects is missing and they are the things I am most interested in like imageManip, timeline, ZIP , Audio Converter etc. I'm sure the information may be hidden somewhere in the forum but I'll have to dig really deep.

    @Ashley:

    I don't know how you'll take this suggestion but when you release Construct v1, then maybe you could spend a month or two improving the Wiki asking help from users instead of developing construct

  • One good place to start would be to make the forum search suck less. It's not really fun when you try to search for something just to get this:

    Search found 922 matches: create object python

    ignored: create object

    ()

  • Put your keyword(s) into the Google search like so.

    create object python site:scirra.com

    http://www.google.com/#hl=en&source=hp&q=create+object+python+site%3Ascirra.com&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=&fp=a87ce02045dcbf37

    Google its your friend.

  • That's what I ended up doing, but it'd be nice if we didn't have to use such roundabout ways to achieve something that should work properly in the first place.

  • I'd say that this single thing is needed more than Construct hitting 1, 2 and beyond. It's more important than any thing being done with this great program right now.

    While I find many of the things understandable, I think the amount of questions that get asked makes it evident that the lack of documentation is an issue in need of great attention. In reality, without making it a major focus, you'll only be bringing along the people who already know how to use it, which is no good if new people can't understand even the basics without asking a question on the forum, or searching through the forum... the forum itself is a great resource, but it's become too large for the average new user to wade through to find something minor or specific to a function of the most basic part of the typical platform game. I seen questions for things that you would find in most 2D games, those things should have clear and easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions.

    I couldn't imagine learning some of the programs I've used over the years let alone learning C# as I have without comprehensive step-by-step guides. I mean, even if you do manage to learn without, you'll always be missing some part of the discipline and it sets you up for future issues.

    I think more wiki additions would be nice provided that there are code examples that tell the user how it should look in order for it to run. I see that when people give advice on the forum, a lot of it is explaining what you need to do but not exactly how to do it, that's why you see a lot of follow-up questions asking "Yeah, but how do I write it?", and then when there is no response to it it's all a waste and no one benefits; the asker doesn't benefit because he still has no answer, and the new user searching doesn't benefit because when he gets to the thread to find the answer there is still no answer because the responder never gave example code. So now the new user has to make a new thread asking a question thats already been asked, this time hoping he'll get an actual example code of how it should look.

  • I agree that we need more wiki entries.. I would do some myself but I don't find my english good enough for large wiki entries about complex game mechanics and terms (so many strange words after all). But someone should try to get PixelRebirth to add info as he mah god in Construct at the moment.

  • And to continue, I think the first step in addition to updating the wiki with more fleshed out info, would be to break down the basics of the basic types of games one would make with Construct and then start writing visual step-by-steps. This was done with XNA and I'd say that it helped the community for that program grow exponentially from where it would be without it.

    I'd start by doing something like break it all down into innovations and basics. The Innovations category would take things like faking Mode 7 and other 3D concepts, and posting a step-by-step with an included cap.

    The basics category would be the same with such things as step-by-steps for creating hit-damage, collision, frame animation setup and control, time-keeping, score-keeping and the marriage of all of those things. And along with all of that, take all of the available operations and write example code for each and explain what each does and why and when to use them... without the "why and when" it's not a tutorial that a new user can learn from.

  • Ashley:

    I don't know how you'll take this suggestion but when you release Construct v1, then maybe you could spend a month or two improving the Wiki asking help from users instead of developing construct

    I think Ashley's time is much too valuable to be making wiki entires. He has already devoted so much free time for a free product. I expect it is really up to the community to pull the weight of the wiki.

    Beside after relaxing with his family and work, I would much rather see his continued efforts on C2

  • I would much rather see his continued efforts on C2

    Of course, because you already know how to use the program and probably quite well if not expertly. New users would (and should) have a different view.

    All that's going to happen is that you're going to keep putting out new versions that new users don't have adequate documentation to learn from, thus continuing to ask the same questions over and over again making the forum even more filled with repeated questions, only adding to the issue of searching through a huge archive that keep getting larger.

  • Of course, because you already know how to use the program and probably quite well if not expertly.

    First, this doesn't have really anything to do with whether Guyon is an expert not. He is a newer user of Construct so you could argue that he is not an expert (no offense to Guyon meant .

    New users would (and should) have a different view.

    Were we not all new users at some point? How do you think Guyon gained his experience? He didn't magically become skilled in Construct one day and he didn't have somebody spoon feed him all the answers. He worked hard and learned how to use the tool.

    We can all agree that more wiki documentation needs to be added. Since you seem passionate about this issue why don't you then do something to contribute? It doesn't take an expert to document a behavior, object, expression, etc.. I have added several wiki entries (within two months of finding Construct) not even knowing about how the object worked before I first started out. I scanned the forums, tried out examples, built my own examples, and just experimented with what the object did. I then added an entry and even examples in many cases.

    You and any other Construct user could do the same.

    I think Ashley's time is much too valuable to be making wiki entires. He has already devoted so much free time for a free product. I expect it is really up to the community to pull the weight of the wiki.

    This is a simple situation. How many of us here can fix bugs and write improvements to Construct code? Maybe 1-3. Ok, how many can add wiki entries? At least 100 - 200 users. So why have one of the only guys who can improve Construct waste time writing documentation when a couple hundred would do that job instead?

    Construct is not C#. C# is a language standard that has had millions of dollars and hundreds of people working behind. You can't even begin to compare Construct (a free and community project) to a large language. We could hire a technical writer and solve all the documentation problems if that were so.

    I'd say that this single thing is needed more than Construct hitting 1, 2 and beyond. It's more important than any thing being done with this great program right now.

    These don't have to be serial efforts. The community (you!) can do the documentation at the same time the developers move to 1 and 2.

  • First, this doesn't have really anything to do with whether Guyon is an expert not. He is a newer user of Construct so you could argue that he is not an expert (no offense to Guyon meant .

    I didn't isolate that to him being an expert. I said that he already knows how to use the product and maybe at an expert level, and that would be a big reason as to why a person in that position wouldn't be much concerned with comprehensive tutorials and instructional manuals. If you already know what you're doing, you're not spending any time reading manuals.

    Were we not all new users at some point? How do you think Guyon gained his experience? He didn't magically become skilled in Construct one day and he didn't have somebody spoon feed him all the answers. He worked hard and learned how to use the tool.

    Yes that's true, but that's beside the main issue which is lack of adequate instruction. It's very commonplace for these types of things to have better documentation that can be learned from. The reason for it is pretty simple really... it's just not the best idea to expect people to learn without it. A lot of the people here are smarter than they probably give themselves credit for, so they think the rest of the world can do what they're doing with the same amount of effort (I get that feeling from your post as well), but this is not the case at all. I know some very good C coders who gave up on MMF back when it didn't have much instruction, and have given up on trying to learn Construct for the same reason. So if those types would give up, consider what the average guy who has never made a game or has no programming discipline is doing when they keep getting stuck in Construct?

    I code in C myself, mostly C# (had to learn through instruction), but in order for me to learn MMF I had to get the resources and learn through instruction just the same. For MMF, they have books and guides and instructions. I read those, I learned it. Then when moving over to Construct the concept of event-based programming made sense because of what I learned in MMF. But, if it weren't for what I learned through MMF's instructional resources, it would've taken me much, MUCH longer to pick it up and I probably wouldn't have started using Construct.

    The best resource for Construct right now is the search function, but that at the same time also creates its own issue as I've pointed out in a previous post.

    We can all agree that more wiki documentation needs to be added. Since you seem passionate about this issue why don't you then do something to contribute? It doesn't take an expert to document a behavior, object, expression, etc.. I have added several wiki entries (within two months of finding Construct) not even knowing about how the object worked before I first started out. I scanned the forums, tried out examples, built my own examples, and just experimented with what the object did. I then added an entry and even examples in many cases. You and any other Construct user could do the same.

    I may do that, but it's not my responsibility or any end-users responsibility. It's something done out of courtesy from an end-user standpoint. But if the same courtesy approach is used from those who actually create a program, it really doesn't make logical sense. Good instructions are just something that should never be looked at as totally separate from the development of development software, because you can never assume how well end-users will pick up on what you've developed. The search engine gives definitive evidence of there being an issue, so I don't think there is a valid argument against that. At this point you have 2 situations:

    1. Wait for end users to contribute enough to the resource to eliminate the issue, which is more than likely not going to happen.

    Or

    2. Write it as a first-party, which would be the most realistic step to eliminating the issue.

    This is a simple situation. How many of us here can fix bugs and write improvements to Construct code? Maybe 1-3. Ok, how many can add wiki entries? At least 100 - 200 users. So why have one of the only guys who can improve Construct waste time writing documentation when a couple hundred would do that job instead?

    We'll have to agree to disagree that it would be "wasting time". Having comprehensive instructions--something that should never be separate from the scheme anyway--is never a waste of time. It's necessary, very much so. And it can be tackled by the same people if it's broken up in pieces and done over a long period time. No one is asking for them to drop everything and just write a manual only, as there are certainly more rational ways to go about it. I should also point out that the people who created MMF also wrote books and resources on it in their spare time. It just comes down to how a developer views this aspect and how they're willing to allot time to tackling it. If a developer chooses not to make instruction an important priority, that doesn't in any way negate the importance or necessity of instruction... it just means the developer hasn't made instruction an imporant priority... nothing more than that, really.

    Construct is not C#. C# is a language standard that has had millions of dollars and hundreds of people working behind. You can't even begin to compare Construct (a free and community project) to a large language. We could hire a technical writer and

    solve all the documentation problems if that were so.

    See my previous response.

  • Here is my take:

    I've been using this software for over a year now it seems. I think I have a strong grasp on it. One of the reasons I decided not to post for help as I learned was that the answers given in the help section sometimes just aren't good explanations, or at least not good enough for a new user to get. The wiki's? I got nothing from those. A lot of the help section answers I've read are written basically with the assumption that the person asking for help can decipher without the answer being given in steps. Just saying "use the <insert name>" object is not enough and I see that a lot in the help section.

    Just posting a .cap is not always enough either, because without an explanation of why you wrote something the way you wrote it, you're still leaving the person asking's ability to understand up to an assumption.

    See, I think the real opposition to something that to me is such a big need that it's even silly if not completely ridiculous to fight against, is coming from the long-time users and/or the knowledgeable, the nerds if you will (I say nerd affectionately, because I'm a nerd myself, pocket protector and all). But you have to step outside of yourself and realize that not everyone will pick things up the same way as you.

    Finally, making the fact of it being free a reason for not having stronger instructions is a cop out. That really has nothing to do with anything, and above that there have been plenty of free programs with far better instructions made by the guy or guys who made those programs.

    If you're going to make a program with the intent for other humans beside yourself to use it, the real question is why wouldn't you have stronger instructions included? Someone sat down and decided to create a wonderful program but didn't make good instructions along the way. Use whatever excuse you like, but that was a bad idea. However, it's one that can be fixed and it wouldn't be some herculean effort as some are making it out to be. Construct only has so many objects and there could easily be examples made for each, and who better to do that than the people who created it? The search is a mess of pages now, I don't even bother with it. If I can't figure it out on my own I just find a work-around, but I shouldn't have to take that approach. There should be better documents. The issue is not a new guy not understanding what to do, that's like blaming the new guy, that's absurd. No, the problem is that there isn't enough organized learning resource for him to learn how to get over the misunderstanding and I think part of the problem is the community's opposition to that reality and you can see the opposition in posts from seasoned users actually trying to reason that this doesn't even matter. That's just baffling.

Jump to:
Active Users
There are 1 visitors browsing this topic (0 users and 1 guests)