has anyone actually used this seriously?

  • I keep finding so many oversights and problems (that I'm pretty sure could be fixed without too much stress) that it feels to me that construct hasn't actually been tested/pushed very much.

    A super simple example: update animations of a sprite - output from a third party art package (pro-motion)

    After you have created all your animations - stand, run, jump, walk, punch... etc all the image files are moved into separate folders, so back in my package of choice I have all my character's animations in one long animation (standard practice). In order to update the animation in Construct (using "reload files from disk") I have to individually save each frame from my source animation into each folder that has been created for each animation by the system. It takes far too much time to do this - and it should of been thought of from the beginning - and I can't believe it hasn't been brought up before and has not already been addressed.

    meta data should be saved that stores where these files were loaded from the very first time - so I only need to replace my original images - and a function needs to be added - "refresh files from original"... this is how it is done properly!! i.e Unity, unreal etc.

    The most frustrating thing is, a fundamental work flow issue like this should have been discovered during TESTING, never mind by the community after release.

    And on a lighter note: it's so bloody frustrating because Construct is so close to being brilliant. It needs more investment - more programmers and testers!

  • A lack of "ease of use" features doesn't really suggest no interest, however +1 for adding more programmers.

    On the other hand that could also mean an increase in the price.

    Also keep in mind that one of the key features is "ease of use" for people new to programming, and a higher price point could hinder that.

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  • Well actually I prefer the way Construct 2 does it, as that's close to how Construct Classic and the Clickteam products worked for me. Have you tried using the "import spritesheet" (might not be its actual name) feature in the animation editor?

    Also, nothing is stopping you from just overwriting the source files when you use the Save As Folder method of saving your project files. Then you just need a tool to automatically break apart the frames and name them in number order.

  • +1 for extra programmers

    First off, i in no way regret buying C2. Its an excellent tool.

    However the reason i agree with more programmers. Apart from your issue.

    There are a few others.

    C2 has room for improvement.

    Filtering objects, Undoing selections, object placement during level design.

    The overall feel of C2 is counter productive.

    Designing one level can take up to 3 hours. That's mostly of poor handling of parallax grids in the editor.

    Not to mention one miss click and your entire selection is gone and there is no undoing that.

  • I agree on how the images are handled. I think art should be in an asset directory. Your sprites reference teh file you drop into the folder. That way it's far more intuitive for artists to just jump into the folder, edit the image and boom it's done. No need to re-import. C2 image handling is counter intuive for team design and larger games. This design leads to working on the idea of finalized assets rather than itterative. This also include audio.

    Non C2 using developers should be able to just edit files in a project folders. sigh oh well. There are few work flow features and few community features that are always going to hold C2 back from being a defacto engine.

    With all this C2 more than any other tool should have an Asset store. Considering that this is focused to include non programmers an Asset store is critical to this.

  • jayderyu and others: absolutely, The current asset management makes it very tedious to iterate on any project. As an artist and designer, I've spent countless hour reimporting animations and assets, using tricks to maintain the image points and collision masks. Being able to just overwrite files from windows as in Unity would be a huge time saver to many persons here I believe. But then, I guess it must be somewhat of a planned feature on scirra's long todo list?

  • Thanks for your thoughts, glad to hear its not just me suffering when trying to update files..

    As far as this problem being on the "to do" list - it should of been discovered immediately, there should have been an artist along side Ashley, who after a few hours of trying to update his sprite would have turned around and told him how time consuming and tedious it is. That's what makes me think there was no artist/designer doing any testing.... and like all the game engines out there, the creators focus on putting new features in (like lights) to create headlines in the hope of finding new customers... while allowing fundamental issues untouched.

    Having said this, I know Ashley is really active with the community and does his best to fix bugs... but its becoming obvious its too big now for one person to code.

  • jayderyu

    @Valerian

    @stuatk

    Have you tried saving in folder format and directly overwriting the frames, and then inside the animation editor: right click in the "Animation frames" box and click "Reload files from disk"?

    It sounds like what you're all requesting, but from the original poster I can understand how it gets difficult doing that for each separate animation folder and singular frames within them. Is there other downfalls to that method though?

  • In terms of the product being too big for the team, perhaps that's true, but it's a very complete tool in my opinion. It's quite possible to make huge/complex games with it, but there are some minor issues... then again, there are issues with any coding tool right? I assume your initial question was whether or not anyone has completed any serious projects, to which the answer is yes, though it's true that most C2 games tend to be small and simple, because it's just so easy to make small games (with any tool) and it tends to attract newer programmers for obvious reasons.

  • Jayjay : yep, it's kind of nice but the main concern I have is re-importing many singular assets, or a character with a bunch of animations (for exemple in a top down game, the character is animated in multiple directions).

  • Actually I have brought up this issue several times on the forum and not really had any replies. To me asset management is by far the weakest aspect of C2. The amount of times I have wasted replacing animations and sounds has really driven me to the point where I have mostly moved onto other engines. If you are building even a medium sized game, art assets will need to be updated numerous times and you shouldn't have to jump through hoops!

    Currently in C2 my workflow to replace an animation is to create another animation with a slightly different name, delete the old one and then rename the new one to the old name. I can't even marquee select the animation to delete frames, so that I can then reimport into the same animation. The ideal way is to just be referencing a folder of my choosing, so that when I change the animation frames in the source folder it updates it C2. Or have the option to reference it in another location.

    Likewise changing audio is a nightmare. The game I am working on has some serious audio fx going on with 9 sfx variations for each effect (it is a musical game) so when I import these 9 wav files into C2 I get 27 files (including ogg and ,mp3). Now to replace these I need to delete them , reimport and then relink in the actions. Actually I have to be careful to import the new files first, relink and then delete the old, since if I delete audio it will delete the actions! Would be very easily resolved by having the files referenced by C2 and just swap them out at source. Also, why is the audio list cluttered up with the ogg and mp3 files ? Obviously these will be used, but the user doesn't need them to be seen. Scirra should look at how it works in Unity where the Assets window is basically a mirror of your actual project structure. Currently it is all dumbed down and out the users control which is maybe by design for the beginner, but will only frustrate a serious user.

    It is a pity, since C2 is so nice to use, but the combination of no asset management and the woeful export options has mostly driven me away from C2. I am finishing off a long term project with it, and will keep up with development and the community but I have mostly moved on. It really needs some big changes if it wants to keep up with the big guns of Unity, GMS, UE4. I will always keep it around for pure HTML5 output as that is its real strength....funnily enough

  • If you have a folder-based project, you can just copy-paste directly over the files in the animation folders. Is it really that much trouble? I'm not sure I'm clear on why this is so tedious. You can do the same for audio - just copy and paste files over the ones in the project folder to replace them.

    Also no matter what folder structure we choose, I'm sure there will always be other tools out there using different structures. I'm not sure what a good way to solve this in general is, other than making it easy to reimport a whole animation at a time, which should already be possible either by reloading from disk or importing spritesheets.

    The original post also references "many oversights and problems" without addressing any other than re-importing animations. If you actually listed them I could perhaps address them by adding new features, but without that there is nothing I can do about your complaint.

  • Thanks for joining in but kind of proves my point that you can't possibly have gone through a whole project with an artist working beside you... or he would tell you pretty quickly why it's so tedious and time wasting trying to update animations.

    I've worked in the industry for 25 years, from adventure games on the Amiga, Tomb Raider 1 and 2, pc, xbox, ios titles... I used to design our in house tools with the lead programmer on Tomb Raider.. the only reason I'm saying this is just to give you some perspective on how well I know how these things should work..

    Once the animations are stored in separate folders the artist has no choice but to perform an export from his art package for every single one of these folders... so if your character has 12 animations - 12 separate exports, 12 times double clicking on folders 12 times selecting yes - overwrite files... 12 times changing the frame range (say the jump anim is frame 6 to 12 ) then back again..... 12 times ... every time you tweak your sprite - you get the idea.

    where if all the files were in one folder, all the animations for the character were named hero01.png, hero02.png...//...hero32.png you can export the entire animation in one command, the entire range of frames for all the animations! Then construct just knows that the run animation is from hero12.png to hero20.png for example.

    Then pop back to construct (in your reply you say just overwrite the files, but then, officially are you not suppose to go and find the sprite and choose "reload from disk"?) and refresh your sprite. Job done.

    I've tried using sprite sheets, that's worse. There is no way of just updating the sheet the sprite refers to, because it too stores them as individual frames in individual folders, if I could just overwrite a single sprite sheet image I would. The only way you can update a sprite that uses a sheet is to reload the sheet for each animation and redefine the range for each animation.... very painful.

    You say just overwrite sound files... yes but what about generating the .ogg and m4a files? So I have to generate them myself then overwrite them manually. That would work. But the manual says nothing about updating your sounds... because really there is no way, just a bodge, overwrite and generate the other formats yourself. Maybe should mention that in the manual. Which by the way I think is excellent, well written and well laid out - I mean that.

    Construct is so nice and a joy to use in places... I just feel that it has not been tested thoroughly, it seems as though using a community for testing and improving is the way tool developers (and game developers) do it these days. But I'm not paid to test and debug it am I? Why should I take up my time testing and debugging something that I've bought? Wasn't that suppose to of been done already? - I understand there has to be a little flexibility with this... but it shouldn't be relied on as the main way of testing.

    And the other oversights and problems? - I've got to get on with some work, I've spend enough time on this already...

  • I agree that there is space for improvements on features already implemented, that's why we have that forum, by showing places for improvement we can make it better. Also other programmers behind C2 is a good idea to accelerate the job.

    As many here I'm very grateful and I'm sure I made a really good decision by buying this tool, it have a good potential and flexibility and it's always getting better, my only concern is that the developers should take a better look at some basic things on the program instead of only adding new features.

    for example, when you start selecting with your mouse in layout screen why not show how many objects are selected?

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