About the Newgrounds.com Construct 2 Gamejam

Discussion and feedback on Construct 2

Post » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:13 am

I made this thread because i was interested in other people's thoughts on the "Construct 2 Gamejam" taking place on Newgrounds.

So, if you feel like sharing your opinion of what is about to happen (TONNES of Angry Birds clones, anyone?), give some advice about how the games for touch screen devices should function and what is to be taken into consideration (or even some tips about level/sound/art asset design), or even to share some ideas/show some screens, then please do so here.


Why i intend to participate: I, personally, am a long time forum lurker and a defendant of Construct Classic (since i am 16 years old and cannot afford to buy the "full" version of C2), however i would like to acquire C2 because of its multi-platform support (and possibly develop things for Android), which is why i aspire to participate in the Gamejam.

My Concerns: I am quite concerned about 2 things - performance and the limitations for free version of C2. Developing games for touch screens means, that people on mobile platforms will play them, therefore, performance can be a real concern (you shouldn't concentrate just on the high end devices) - thinking of ways how to limit objects game has to process, such as "despawning", performing calculations every x milliseconds instead of every tick, and even managing the amount of collisions going on becomes quite important.
As for the limitations - i have never been someone, for whom simple ideas would suffice, as i desire to make games with lots of features, such as health bars, inventory systems, even game mechanics have to be fleshed out (such as friction in racing games being based on speed, angle of force applied, car stats etc.), and while intending for the games to be well made, i would quickly go over the limitations. Also, short and linear games cannot really compete very well, since people lose interest after a couple of minutes of playing (except for, perhaps, some of the more "artsier games").

My Predictions: I predict that there will be lots of unfinished games (since a lot of people would like to participate, yet few will think the features through before attempting to make them) because of the strict limits imposed by C2 free version, there will probably lots of demakes of popular games (such as Angry Birds), yet competition will be fierce, since there are a lot of skilled people who use C2.

My Ideas/Games: Currently in concept stage only (day #2), so far i've come up with a couple of ideas on how to manage to get into the top 8:
>Make many games (up to 4 or 5) in different genres: No single person likes every game genre, so i will attempt to make games of multiple genres. This would also be a wise move, since you simply cannot spend all of the time perfecting your 100-event masterpiece (people won't notice small changes, such as rescaling the collision-box to fit the sprite pixel-by-pixel).
>Keep it short and keep it simple: this should be done because every event counts, therefore even a health-bar can cost you feature in your game.

So far, i intend to make games of following genres: angry birds clone (a genre itself :D), a side scrolling puzzle/platformer game, a side scrolling beat-em-up, a side scrolling shooter, a game where you go bowling with Roman...

What about you guys? What's your opinion? How much progress have you made?


Edit #2
Resources:
A table with common screen resolutions for android phones
>> dl.dropbox.com\u\80437109\Screen%20sizes.docx
You can use this to choose the right layout size for your game.
A compilation of free level/game design guides
>> dl.dropbox.com\u\80437109\Downloads.7z
A couple of .pdf files that describe different game/level design aspects.Stiivais2013-03-23 13:03:32
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Post » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:41 am

You raise an interesting issue - people will mostly play these games through their mobile browsers - possibly the worst-performing version of any Construct 2 game.

I'm currently also on day 2, I spent yesterday prototyping the basic mechanisms and I'm pretty happy with what I've got (a puzzle-type casual game), but after reading your post I decided to test it through Android Chrome and the performance is okay, but not great. Even at this early stage, with barebones graphics and no animations or effects, the frame rate in-browser is about half of what it was as a native app through CocoonJS.

I guess I'll just have to go in with blinkers on and basically pretend that the issue doesn't exist. Or at least hope that the judges will test it on a Windows 8 touch device or something more powerful than a regular phone or tab. If it runs like crap then I won't win, but at least I have some incentive to complete a game and publish it to native apps, where I know it'll run properly.
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Post » Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:23 am

Judges? That's interesting (haven't read the rules very carefully).
I thought that it would be community rated...
Can anyone give me a tl;dr for the way submissions will be rated?
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Post » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:52 pm

Don't worry , as long as I'm not participating , you have a chance
( I'm sure you'll be able to do it , man , Good luck ... If you are stuck , just call me , @Whiteclaws )
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Post » Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:59 pm

This is an issue I have because I am participating in it as well.

It seems like the game jam is designed to greater emphasize mobile (touch) games being made with C2 in order to spur that side of C2 game development, but the problem is that performance on mobile is really lacking.

If we could post some benchmarks here, that would be great. For example, my game right now has an estimated memory usage of 25mb. I haven't tested it on mobile yet, but it would be nice to know how my memory usage might impact performance, and what a better memory usage amount would be for a smoother experience.
Project Lead of Zems Online Card Game

Producer at Impulse Limited
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Post » Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:58 pm

I don't know that most people will be playing the games on mobile devices. Newgrounds is a flash website, which means people play it on a real computer (or maybe old Android that had flash). I don't think that just because these games are HTML5, they will suddenly use the site in a different way.

Anyways, the design philosophy for my game is single-touch, so that it can be played with a mouse as well as a touch screen. Beyond that, any typical flash game ideologies should help - quick, responsive gameplay, pick-up-and-play, replayability, aesthetically pleasing.
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Post » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:15 am

@stiivais

I like your plan to make as many 100 event maximum games as you can - using the free version restriction as an asset rather than an obstacle.   The small size will mean your less likely to Feature Creep, and will no doubt stick to the essentials (a good example of what you can achieve in under 100 events is Kyatics asteroid game).

I'm fortunate enough to have purchased the personal edition (hurrah for Xmas money!) so I have a lot more events to play with, and will therefore just be trying to create one nicely polished game (Board Horde, for which the W.I.P can be examined here: http://www.scirra.com/forum/topic65322.html)

As its my first game, I'm gradually discovering the pitfalls of designing for mobile devices as I go (avoid effects, check sound works in all browsers, and expect massive frame rate variations between types of devices) but its certainly a fun challenge and its good to have a deadline to work towards.

Anyway, keep sharing any obstacles that you come across whilst making your game and I'll be sure to do the same.
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Post » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:00 am

[QUOTE=foolmoron] I don't know that most people will be playing the games on mobile devices. Newgrounds is a flash website, which means people play it on a real computer (or maybe old Android that had flash). I don't think that just because these games are HTML5, they will suddenly use the site in a different way.[/QUOTE]
But the theme is "touch". HTML 5 has nothing to do with my point.

If people know that these games are designed for a touch interface (and, sure, most of them will work with a mouse as well) then they will make a particular effort to try out the games with the only touched-based devices the have: their mobile phones and tablets.
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