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Construct 2 - Realistic State after 1 gazilion downloads

  • I started making small games with construct 2 one year ago, but only recently i got serious into it, and while i got into some bumps on the performance (web) the community helped with tips and i struggled on.

    So far i released 1 game on google play, amazon and on web and i was thinking at how much issues i encountered to publish a semi-polished game.

    1) I love how its promoted as an easy solution, but in reality if u don't learn all optimization and workaround tips, you wont be able to release any game, anywhere in a semi polish state. Performance, crashes and audio problems will haunt you to death.

    2) The lack of native exporters makes this even worse. Cocoon js is the only alternative at the moment, even tho Ashley sends us to XDK which is months away from a stable compiler, but we get ignored and sent to knock on doors. Its ludei problem, its intel problem, its Scirra problem, go bother them.

    Here is even more sad, that after Construct 2 sold very well, Scirra simply didn't bother to make a few c2 exporters, they just send us to third party sites, which most of the time don't care much about C2. Man power you say? Well look at yoyo games, they made their exporters and each costs money and let me tell you, their HTML 5 mobile games have more options and flexibility, and overall better performance.

    3) I really hate this HTML 5 trip, i only use this engine because of the even sheet workflow. Why i hate it? Because even after 2 years listening to Ashley about promoting the so called HTML 5 rush, the reality is completely different. Imagine if instead of riding this hipster trip, they would've built on Construct Classic, make it as simple as C2 and but with tons of native exporters. That wouldve simply destroy GM and other competition.

    What you can realistically make at the moment:

    a) Small html 5 web games, they work ok, but they need a lot optimization on large games. Construct 2 its easy but in reality if you want to make a deeper game, well you need a lot of experience with it. "lets everyone create amazing games." right, lets everyone create simple games with mediocre performance at best. In the end its possible to publish a decent game, but dont expect to make any money out of it, unless u put some ads on it, and that's about it, making a few dollars at best per month. Licenses are very rare for html 5 web games, but not uncommon. There are few networks you can share to, but its very hard, HTML 5 is simply inferior to flash, but a interesting game with attractive graphics can score a deal.

    b) use cocoon js and publish small games on android and ios. The performance its ok with optimization, but lots, lots of problems there. The loading times are huge, audio music crashes your phone on sleep, but at least the performance is good. Post on scirra forums for support and watch Ashely sending you to Intel to use a incomplete, alpha sdk.

    c) make non games, 3-7 days cash grabs and publish your income reports for the world to see. These html 5 web games that publishers buy(tho now the bubble its over, so its harder to sell them than last year), require VERY SIMPLE gameplay, and a lot of optimization to even work on mobile. Not Scirra fault here, is just this stupid technology. When i hear that Flash will die because of HTML 5 i laugh my ass off. Did u even saw the quality of the flash games? Maybe in 3-5 years we will get to have possibility to create something similar to flash at that performance, but i doubt it. HTML 5 mobile games are worse than those "free to play" mobile cash grabs.

    So you can create something, but you are sent to knock on doors, and hope that you experience will help on the way. I am afraid to even make a deeper game with nodeweb kit and see that the performance is horrible on laptops.

    I am very disappointed after 2 years, the engine improved in performance, but the ability to actually release a polished game, well its there, somewhere, but to be honest ill thinking on moving away from this engine. Ill create 2-4 more small games, see whats going on the exporter subject, if still goes on this ignorance trip, ill just move to Unity and call it a day.

    So what you guys think?

    /frustration off

  • I feel that everytime I use C2 to make a game, it get´s closer to my dream tool, but then I hit a big stone wall and have to rethink all my game. After multiplayer I really hope the focus to be on monetization(some of us want to make a living) and feature completion. More system expressions, more control over the insides of the product and much less use of 3rd party wrappers, that have been quite unreliable in those past 2 years.

    Also, I´ve seen many times the "We´re a 2 man team" answer, but after 2 years and 1 bajillion downloads, isn´t it time to get more investiment/people on the team? You can´t be a serious contender for Unity/Game Maker with two guys for too long. o_o

  • I use C2 from the r051, and I must say it went very further and improved along the way, from what I have tested, HTML5 is nice, I tried something on mobile, no problem it seems for now for the different project I have tested, I still think I'll encounter problems maybe when graphics will come (and even then, I know how to deal with that), but I know how to deal with that, the audio will be the pain

    I'd love to see one day C2 having a native exporter, but HTML5 is good (for me at least)

    As for optimisation, I didn't do a lot, but what I consider not a lot can be considered as "OMG how clean your code is" by others, C2 does need to be understood, and you still need to work hard, but in all honesty, I have never had any problem to organize myself, start by learning the engine, then begin to build a way of work, I might translate the article I am writting about this, it could help people going to the good way.

    I have never feel cheated by C2, It does teach well programming by itself in my experience, however, I must admit that the lack of native support can be troublesome for some people.

    Ludei and their cocoonjs thingy on the other hand.. I have never trusted it, I have much more facility into getting things to work inside chrome for android for now (and my phone is really not that great).

    As for a CC based C2, the problem was the stability of CC.

    I love C2, I love how it handle HTML5, I wouldn't even be the shadow of a bad programmer without it, now I am much more organised, I know how to deal with big project, I know also how a game works and should work behing the scenes, and the performances problems (not a lot I must say on PC) forced me to learn to program in a good way, which is truly great, and it seems on mobile that works.

    I'll keep using it for now, and for a good time I think. And if not, well, I know the way video game programming works so that should be not as hard as it might have been.

    My 2 cents (looks much more like a dollar but whatever)

  • Well, nobody is making you use C2, perhaps you should try some other software.

    I can say I am somewhat angry with Scirra, because now that I know this process, I am completely spoiled on using anything to do with code.

  • Well, nobody is making you use C2, perhaps you should try some other software.

    This reply is completely unnecessary considering that the OP owns a license and Scirra doesn't refund them. This isn't the old days of free CC. Actually I find his post very relevant and much more accurate state of C2 than what Scirra puts out. Many people in the forum seem to complain about these same things, but I don't see these complaints at this frequency on any of the other game making engines I own.

  • Why should they refund it? Its not like you can't try it out before you buy it.

    Just saying he should compare the other options, which coincidentally usually must be purchased before use.

  • Why should they refund it? Its not like you can't try it out before you buy it.

    Just saying he should compare the other options, which coincidentally usually must be purchased before use.

    You can't. Not the mobile stuff. He may not be able to try other options because he used his engine budget on C2. And the other options are not relevant anyway. What's relevant is whether or not Scirra delivered what they promised when he paid. He clearly feels they haven't.

  • Sorry, but flash???

    Flash is the bi-word of cheap small 2 minute games. Personally, if it says flash, I won't even bother playing it, because I know it's just a 2 minute cheap boredom occupier.

    Saying this, C2 could potentially benefit from having more than just one person working on it. C2 looks as if it's struggling with the concept of advancing from a hobby, to becoming a significant product in the marketplace. Simply put, C2 does need to make this step, else all it'd take is for something to come along that more friendly than YoYo, and it'll be dream over.

  • Here we go with the weekly native thread disguised as something else.

  • "Export your game to desktop PC, Mac and Linux apps by using the Node-Webkit wrapper... You can also reach the popular iOS and Android app stores using wrappers like CocoonJS, appMobi and PhoneGap — all three with built-in support."

    This is pasted from https://www.scirra.com/construct2

    Every information needed about C2 is provided. You only need to spend few minutes to read what exactly you are buying.

  • "Export your game to desktop PC, Mac and Linux apps by using the Node-Webkit wrapper... You can also reach the popular iOS and Android app stores using wrappers like CocoonJS, appMobi and PhoneGap — all three with built-in support."

    This is pasted from https://www.scirra.com/construct2

    Every information needed about C2 is provided. You only need to spend few minutes to read what exactly you are buying.

    The part that's missing is that Scirra is helpless against CocoonJS and Crosswalk bugs, that these products don't actually produce satisfactory results for many users, and that these products don't have C2 exports as a main priority so fixes may come slow or never. Don't kid yourself, if this was not a problem you would not be seeing threads about this stuff 'every week'.

    E.g. quoting from that same page

    [quote:25a60fin]With extensive platform support you can rest assured that players will have access to your game no matter where they are*.

    *but probably will have sound, performance, and ad issues in an overwhelmingly large number of cases and games so even though they can access your game they may not be able to actually play it.

  • To be honest, I'm starting to get a bit disillusioned with html5 myself. I wasn't happy with the idea of html5 only initially, but was eventually convinced that it was a good idea since the whole industry was moving to support it, but after years of waiting I'm still frustrated and disappointed by several things.

    • Html5 has no manual memory management. You cannot dump anything from ram, you have to wait for the browser to do it for you, and you have no idea when it will do so, and garbage collection can cause stutters. Layout by layout loading only handles what textures are sent to the video card, so does not help with this. This problem makes large mobile games pointless to bother with because since they don't free up memory they just crash. I wanted to put loot pursuit on mobile, but it's just not an option, and I only found that out after months of work, which was quite upsetting. I've been using construct for about 7 years and consider myself pretty knowledgeable about it, so it's quite likely less experienced users won't realize this limitation without first putting in wasted work too. C2 loading everything at the start also causes long loading times, but hopefully something can be done about that while still using html5.
    • Javascript's poor performance. On desktop it's not as much of an issue, but on mobile it's obvious, and is made worse by the fact that iOS doesn't allow compiling JavaScript in apps, making things like cocoonjs like 2/5ths of the speed of safari in my tests, and safari was already behind native. It's also disappointing that on all platforms, C2 will always be steps behind native exporters in speed (this segment is again about the speed of the code, not the rendering - C2's rendering is written in webgl, which as I understand, IS basically running natively and in one of my older tests was faster than CC's rendering). That said, on desktop I very rarely encounter speed problems on an amd 4400+, which is old enough that it can't even decode 1080p video smoothly, so that says good things about the speed there, but we're still always behind what we could have, and what the competition has.
    • Reliance on third parties for export, which despite all their efforts, which are appreciated, have proven to be still not ready for prime time, years later. Relying on third parties means scirra cannot control the quality of their own product, which is disappointing as scirra has a terrific editor.

    This also means we're beholden to their whims, like chrome, and therefore node webkit, disabling hardware acceleration on all XP and vista systems. I mean, seriously, wtf.

    The truth of the matter is C2's competition - almost all the competition - has native exporters, and what we're experiencing is why. Clickteam has it. Game maker has it. Unity has it. The list goes on and on.

    Ashley - if you read this, when you respond to the idea of native exporters (I could be wrong about this, I apologize if so but it's the impression I get), it seems like you think we're talking about you making your own complete browser engine, because you talk about how you couldn't compete with google or such's team of engineers. We're not. What we want is just native games, no web tech that games don't need. Yes it would make a lot of third party plugins obsolete, but I just don't care as I don't use them that often. i really think html5 is holding C2 back.

    I don't believe that it's impossible to create native exporters that work better than chrome. There's thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of games out there that do exactly that. Chrome is trying to support everything a web browser can do. Games need only a fraction of that. We don't need CSS or whatever web tech. Trying to support them all is not an achievable task for a small team, but supporting all of the functions needed just for games has been achieved by many, many small teams out there, including you guys with the native exporter in construct classic.

    Yes, it might take a while to code. I understand that C2 is solidly on the html5 train, and it's not good to try to get off a train while it's in motion. However, if someone could be hired to work on it concurrently, then work on the current to do list would be able to continue at the same time and no delay in updates to c2 would occur.

    However, even if you can't find someone to help, then even working by yourself I think when most or all of the stuff on the to do list is done, then a switch to native should happen. I don't know if 3d could be considered at that point as well, but I also think it should be incorporated, and that might be a good place to do so, or to at least lay the framework for it to be implemented later on.

    C2 has the best editor out there that I've tried, hands down. It shouldn't be held back by its exporters. Exporting to native would make it a powerhouse would dominate the competition. As it is, and this is really painful to say considering how much I love this program - I'm finding it harder and harder to recommend c2 to people unless they fall into very specific categories and don't mind the caveats.

    Well, nobody is making you use C2, perhaps you should try some other software.

    Here we go with the weekly native thread disguised as something else.

    That's really not the right position to take. Scirra's event editor isn't available anywhere else, and without it I wouldn't be making games at all as I am terrible at traditional code. Also, it just drives away people who would otherwise become paying customers.

    Scirra's got a great product, but it is not without its flaws, and we shouldn't discourage discussion of them, as discussing them constructively can result in a better product. If a lot of people are complaining about something, then it's likely a real problem.

  • E.g. quoting from that same page

    [quote:3fgh4vgt]With extensive platform support you can rest assured that players will have access to your game no matter where they are*.

    *but probably will have sound, performance, and ad issues in an overwhelmingly large number of cases and games so even though they can access your game they may not be able to actually play it.

    What can scirra do about that? Exported games from C2 are perfectly ready to be used with third-party wrappers. If one of this wrappers is not working correctly then it's up to developers of that wrappers to deal with issues. Ashley can only send them email explaining what's wrong, but he can't tell them what to do.

  • Ashley - if you read this, when you respond to the idea of native exporters (I could be wrong about this, I apologize if so but it's the impression I get), it seems like you think we're talking about you making your own complete browser engine, because you talk about how you couldn't compete with google or such's team of engineers. We're not. What we want is just native games, no web tech that games don't need. Yes it would make a lot of third party plugins obsolete, but I just don't care as I don't use them that often. i really think html5 is holding C2 back.

    I don't believe that it's impossible to create native exporters that work better than chrome. There's thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of games out there that do exactly that. Chrome is trying to support everything a web browser can do. Games need only a fraction of that. We don't need CSS or PHP or SQL or whatever web tech. Trying to support them all is not an achievable task for a small team, but supporting all of the functions needed just for games has been achieved by many, many small teams out there, including you guys with the native exporter in construct classic.

    Yes, it might take a while to code. I understand that C2 is solidly on the html5 train, and it's not good to try to get off a train while it's in motion. However, if someone could be hired to work on it concurrently, then work on the current to do list would be able to continue at the same time and no delay in updates to c2 would occur.

    However, even if you can't find someone to help, then even working by yourself I think when most or all of the stuff on the to do list is done, then a switch to native should happen. I don't know if 3d could be considered at that point as well, but I also think it should be incorporated, and that might be a good place to do so, or to at least lay the framework for it to be implemented later on.

    This could be nicely done same way like official SpriteFont plugin was made.

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  • >

    > E.g. quoting from that same page

    >

    > [quote:1k292pak]With extensive platform support you can rest assured that players will have access to your game no matter where they are*.

    >

    *but probably will have sound, performance, and ad issues in an overwhelmingly large number of cases and games so even though they can access your game they may not be able to actually play it.

    What can scirra do about that? Exported games from C2 are perfectly ready to be used with third-party wrappers. If one of this wrappers is not working correctly then it's up to developers of that wrappers to deal with issues. Ashley can only send them email explaining what's wrong, but he can't tell them what to do.

    I'm not sure what they can do, I can't run their company for them since I don't have their operational details. From my perspective as a customer, I would be far less disappointed if the addition I put there with the asterisk to their marketing was present when I bought the product. That way I would know that these issues come up all the time, would set my sights lower, and probably still decide I want to buy C2 (it's cheap enough to be worth it for its ability to make JUST simple games). But obviously if they did that they would lose a lot of customers. If this were my company I would portray my product's capabilities more accurately if I could not improve them, and take the hit on customers. I would not lead anyone to believe that they can actually reliably make mobile games of any complexity given the state of wrappers and in fact would make it clear that they can't. I said it before but mobile export is very much a beta or even alpha product right now. I would label it as such.

    I actually find that Ashely does oversell a lot of stuff. I jsut recently read his article on how C2 solves the 'view source' issue with obfuscation. It doesn't. That's barely a measure for anyone who would bother to steal the source, especially getting information to manipulate gameplay rather than just trying to reproduce your game. Yet, Ashley confidently says some (correct) things about how the obfuscation helps, then follows it up with the definitive and misleading statement of "View-Source Issue is solved!" I guess he's better at marketing products than I

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