Mipey - I thought that's what construct currently does.
I'm not entirely sure about all the different definitions of "streaming" and although I could discuss the wording of it, I'd rather not take the time.
No real discussion needed - streaming means the application doesn't pause when loading data, but you don't get all of the data immediately. Like streaming music.
Construct can't do texture streaming and it has to spawn the objects, it can't just keep the objects "there" without textures.
I'm not quite sure - are you saying you want construct to keep the objects there without their textures?
I assume you mean you would want to be able to place the objects in the layout and not load the textures until they're needed, but you'd still have to tell construct when to load them. Otherwise, simply having them load when they needed to be rendered would result in tons of little pauses as you play. That's why texture streaming in some situations would be awesome.
Even then, though, texture streaming only works when you can predict what you're going to need, and I'm not sure there's any way to do that automatically. What if you switch to a different animation? How would the game know you were going to do that? How would you know the player was going to do that? You might be able to tell if the player was going to teleport somewhere, but you'd have to program it manually, which would be a similar hassle as the way it works now.
Otherwise, there are three options - one, keep the game playing but without the textures. That would make the game rather hard to play when the hero turns invisible because he can't be rendered! Two, wait for the textures to render the screen. Causes constant pauses. Three, load all of the textures for all of the animations the object has the same time, resulting in one pause and no rendering issues. I like option three best.
I'd really like to see loading that doesn't pause the game for one thing.
The real issue is this is a hardware limitation. Getting a texture from RAM to VRAM isn't as fast a process as it seems like it should be. You could buy the most powerful gaming PC on the market and still get these pauses. While some games are able to mask this, as I understand it it's by cleverly streaming textures as the player goes from one area to the other and requires a lot of manual programming to do so.
When you load textures from RAM to VRAM, the computer has to send the compressed texture from RAM to the processor, decompress it, and then send it to the VRAM on the graphics card. That process isn't actually all that fast, and that's what causes pauses when loading textures.
The only thing that could be done about it in some cases is implementing texture streaming, but again, it still would have to be more of a manual process than you'd like. If the game suddenly needs those textures, there's no way around it - the game has to wait for the textures to get from RAM to VRAM, and the only solution for that its better hardware.
With spawning objects, it is entirely cumbersome and not at all dynamic.
I guess I'm not sure of any better way to do it. Construct loads graphics for sprites as they're needed - how else would you want to work?
Edit: What do you mean "unload them when leaving a layout"?
When you leave a layout in construct, as long as it's set to 'per layout' construct dumps all the textures of the current layout and then loads all the textures of the next layout. This can be annoying because if you want to jump back and forth between two layouts, there's no way to get construct to leave the textures for both in memory at the same time. You can eliminate the pause going from layout a to layout b by loading the textures for layout b at the beginning of layout a when layout a is loading its textures, but as soon as you go to layout b, it dumps the textures for layout a. Going back to layout a will result in a pause. The only thing that can be done about that is to make everything global and manually create and delete everything.