A Construct for programmers

Discussion and feedback on Construct 2

Post » Sun Jun 09, 2013 8:44 am

Hello!

After a long search for several game engines these days, I came across Construct 2, which seemed very promising. This impression is a sum of a lot of features: easy interface, built-in functionalities common to games, export option for new technologies and platforms, great focus on the Web, as so many things.

It's easy to see that Construct was meant for everyone - if you have an idea for a game, just get and make it! It will be simple without pressure for technical concerns. Then I really wanted to use Construct 2, but there is this one thing that get me frustrated all the time: the event system.

I'm a programmer, and want to make games and get experienced in this field. Other game-making software may be easy to make with programming or give me a huge range of publishing options, but never all of them at the same time like Construct has done.

The point is: I really, really want to use it. But I also would like to program some scripts, behaviors and personalize it using pieces of code, just like Game Maker and Unity.

And my question is: why? Why keep with the event system only? Why not give this wonderful option for us who like to type more and more? I know that it has the Javascript SDK, but it would just extend the Event System, which I don't want to use, because the latter is slower and unpractical for me.
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Post » Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:26 am

Plugins are powerful. They could change the structure of events.
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Post » Sun Jun 09, 2013 10:48 am

@Epiplon
You mean you want access to all that yummy, nummy api that's hidden in a series of plugins. I know what you mean there is a lot of features running on C2 that makes it a very robust game api. But it's all hidden in the plugins :D


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Post » Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:24 pm

There are lots of tools out there to help programmers - just look up a list of how many HTML5 game engines or SDKs people have made. My impression was that if you wanted to code, you could just do it yourself in Chrome with notepad or the like. However I guess I'm underestimating the utility of the WebGL renderer, animations system, layout view and so on. Those are great, but also easy to code around (although much more time consuming). Basically, we're a small team and we wanted to make a different tool that helps ordinary people get in to game development, rather than yet-another-programmer-IDE.
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Post » Sun Jun 09, 2013 5:40 pm

First of all, really thanks for all the answers!

Yes, SDK and HTML game engines aren't lacking. What is lacking is what Construct 2 made - a graphical game making system, where you can drag elements along a Canvas and make them interact which others. And messing with a text editor can take a long time, just to re-implement things that are already done! Because Construct2 is not just an IDE - is a box of game making tools that, in another situations, you have to use it separately.

I found it great that you made all of this as a small startup and that concern about being a tool that makes the difference. That's why I'm constantly repeating about the fact that I can't find another tool like it.

So I have a final question about it, about these plugins system. Can I really use it to write specific behaviors in my objects? And one thing that may be great is the possibility to write these plugins inside Construct, since it may be more attractive for people like me or more experienced.Epiplon2013-06-09 17:47:02
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Post » Sun Jun 09, 2013 6:43 pm

Yeah, look at what Rex has done with his plugins.

The SDK manual would have more information, but everything C2 does is via the same plugin system (sprites, arrays, texts, behaviors). This modularity should allow you a lot of flexibility.
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Post » Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:09 pm

[QUOTE=Epiplon]... So I have a final question about it, about these plugins system. Can I really use it to write specific behaviors in my objects? ...[/QUOTE]Absolutely. Have a look at my plugin tutorial to see how easy (and how much fun!) it is for someone with JavaScript experience.
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Post » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:46 pm

Compared to "regular coding languages" C2 has its own worflow/system you need to get the hang of before really judging it.

The event system is robust and allows you to do so much without even requiring you to expand it with plugins/behaviors.

Often coders come and want to "go further" without even being aware of the depth than can already go into simply with events.

Take the time to read through the manual and check out some of the tutorials available (you can also check out the advanced event features), perhaps you'll start to see what I mean.

Some "keyboard users" already stated they were more at ease this way, and so shortcuts were implemented to allow them to find back their mark/workflow.

Maybe the system is not right for you anyway, but as a beginner, don't just go and judge it without having at least tried it for a bit.
Your experience as a coder will definitely help you get the hang of it faster than a complete beginner, I can assure you but you still have to put a bit of "discovery effort" into it first. Kyatric2013-06-09 23:48:27
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Post » Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:48 am

Whenever this topic gets brought up it is always interesting to read. I personally share the same view point as Epiplon.

Besides the obvious issues with GM that most of us have (lets not discuss it here) the main thing going for it is the GML. GM does not help ordinary people get in to game development as well as construct, but it does help ordinary people learn the basics of game programming much better.

Take it how you will, all opinions are different and people want different things.

The one thing I DO know is that the next game making software that comes out that combines the functionality of both construct and GM will be huge. Having an event system for non-programmers and a scripting language of some sort for those that do enjoy programming but want more rapid development will be amazing.

After construct 1 with the python scripting I thought for sure that C2 would end up implementing something. the JDK is .. well if you are really going to get that deep in to the JDK why not simply make the jump to libgdx or something similar?

I understand completely where the people with a programmers background are coming from and it is simply this:

We were hoping we had found an IDE that allowed us the freedom to program our games while promoting rapid game development by giving us the options of using pre-written or defined functions such as behaviors as an example. But having these pre-written functions presented the way construct does. Built in GUI that allows using behaviors on objects quickly and easily. Imagine being able to write your own behavior script within construct and saving it with the other behaviors.

EDIT: I understand the opinion from others that we know what were buying when we bought it and that it is not a programming/scripting tool. To be fair, what else comes close to what so many of us actually want? It is only natural to follow something that almost makes it with hopes that it will evolve. Also while the opinions of programmers may differ from those that do not program or have no desire to with construct, many of us have financially supported the program and our opinions are just as important as those that oppose it. We are just expressing ideas, hopes, and dreams.

The truth is scirra is a small team. They are very talented and have made wonderful software which I am proud to have supported.Twinsonian2013-06-10 01:53:20
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Post » Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:49 am

The normal program is wrote by some instructions which call some functions
- instructions + function definition

The construct 2 program is wrote by some events which call some plugins
- events + plugins

They are the same for me. Plugins just another kind of function definition.rexrainbow2013-06-10 04:52:20
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