Event sheet editing through text

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  • I think it would be really useful to develop a text-based format in which you can type out event sheets instead of clicking through a ton of GUI menus. This is just an editor type feature that wouldn't add any functionality (scripting is separate) but would make editing event sheets much quicker for people who become more and more experienced with Construct.

  • agree with that. clicking dozen times per sec is a bit anoing... only a bit, but still

  • I've always thought this would be much less useful than people think. Consider typing "On collision between SpriteA and SpriteB". If you typo'd and wrote "On collisiion between SpriteA and SpriteB" Construct wouldn't be able to recognise the condition and would point to it as an error. And it'd take so long to type out you probably could have picked it out from the menu by then, if you're experienced. Plus the text format could never be as clear as the event sheet: to prevent ambiguities in which part of a condition or action are parameters, you'd have to differentiate it somehow. So instead of "Sprite value 'X' less than 5" you'd have to type something like "Sprite: value param('x') param('less than') param(5)" which has already destroyed the readability.

    Are you sure it would make it quicker and easier considering that? I think an experienced user can click through the menus very quickly so typing out a long event could actually take a lot longer IMO, especially if you make some typos.

  • How about something in between, a dummy object that would allow typing out conditions, and actions?

    Kinda like Python?

  • Ashley, thanks for the reply. I'm a bit new so maybe I'm wrong about this but it seems to me typing out the text that's in the events themselves would be faster than going through a menu for people who are used to it. I find myself much more productive not having to move around a mouse. I don't really have to look around and scroll through a list to click on a specific spot. It requires far less coordination and attention than performing a visual search and clicking precisely (or, at least, the coordination required is already well-trained for most people these days). Using the GUI, every time an object is added the place you have to click for many objects changes, for example. So I'm not sure if it would be faster, but I think it would surely require less attentional resources. Why couldn't you do something like Sprite.X < 5, or Sprite.Variable (whatever variable) < 5, and just use the stuff after the final period as variables and the stuff prior to it as objects?

    You could reserve a character to separate parts of a condition, e.g. Sprite.X | less than | Sprite2.Y . It's actually hard for me to make suggestions on the actual implementation since I don't really know how the events work behind the scenes. But yeah, is till do think it would be easier for me to type something like Sprite: value param('x') param('less than') param(5). Even if it's slower or about the same speed-wise, it is just so much simpler to type than to click on GUI stuff

    I also think it would help with sharing systems since you could export event sheets that way in a simple way instead of having to scroll through an image event by event and duplicate those in your own game.

  • There are pros and cons to both clicking and typing. As you mentioned, sharing bits of code would be much easier with a typing style of interface. And for people who type fast, yes it would be a lot faster.

    But... with a typing interface you would be required to learn syntax, and as Ash mentioned typos would be a problem. With the current clicking system, you don't need to learn coding syntax at all... everything that Construct can do is plainly shown in a list that you select from. It's much more noob friendly. You don't need to memorize commands or structure. You don't need to wonder if such-and-such function is available or not, because they're all right there in plain sight.

    And while it may be possible to create a hybrid system that parses what you type into normal events, that's kind of a tall order to lay on the devs, especially this late in the game .

    Anyway, if you're more comfortable typing and you don't mind learning programming syntax, then I might suggest using a program that has an actual coding environment, like XNA or Flash or something. After all, Construct is supposed to be for people who want to make games without coding. That's the whole purpose behind it .

    At any rate, I'd suggest keeping at it for now. The clicking might seem cumbersome at first, but once you become more familiar with where to find things in the list it'll get a lot faster. I promise

  • Actually I did mean a hybrid. I really like the event system as is, and would prefer this system over a typing system if I had to choose one, especially for the early stages of learning, mainly because it's sort of self-documenting (I can click on things instead of looking through docs). And yeah I was just posting random ideas in the forum since it's here, I won't be bummed if the devs don't do it. I just thought I'd offer up the idea and if they liked it they could do it. I do know how to code at an intermediate to advanced (but not expert) level as I code artificial neural networks for a living

    So yeah just to say, I do appreciate what has been done with this game engine and I find it quite amazing. The stuff that can be done with it without any coding is outright amazing.

  • tl;dr.

    I like the idea of typing through dialogs. quicksearching objects, tabbing through fields, accepting with enter.

    I do this whenever possible.

    sys [enter] star [enter] --> On Layout Start event

    Now, if I could highlight an insertion point and add conditions/events with the keyboard, I wouldn't even touch the mouse!

  • I hope no one minds a bump.

    I think a text-editor would be a great thing.

    While it would be closer to coding, it should still be far enough removed therefrom - we would already be familiar with the "language" after the event editor, leaving only a minimal amount of syntax to learn. And it would still serve as an ideal concept prototyping platform.

    If such a thing were added, it's not as if it would harm anyone - those who don't want to deal with text just wouldn't have use for the "Import text file" button or whatever.

    [quote:10033szo]like XNA or Flash or something. After all, Construct is supposed to be for people who want to make games without coding. That's the whole purpose behind it

    Construct is still easier to use than both, and, re: Flash, unfortunately, not all of us have the money to throw down on it. Also, I would like to point out that there are Python plug-ins for Construct. Apparently, typing can't be so bad, and programming doesn't entirely replace Construct.

    I've rewritten this post several times, as I can't seem to keep it from stretching uncomfortably long, but I would like finish with that, as a Starcraft mapper and modder, having dealt with a system remarkably similar to Events with their "Triggers'" Conditions and Actions and with animation script editing, I've moved from GUI to text twice, and like many score if not hundreds of others in that community, have never looked back (or in my case, only now, and only with great reluctance).

    That last sentence probably seems a tad dramatic, but eh, it's how I write. And I do believe it's entirely true.

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  • Now, if I could highlight an insertion point and add conditions/events with the keyboard, I wouldn't even touch the mouse!


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