Advice on how to become a better Construct user?

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Post » Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:12 am

Well, maybe "better" isn't the right word.

I only have a very basic grasp of how to use Construct. I first started using the RPG Maker series and later Gamemaker, but I didn't get very far into learning it since I discovered Construct shortly after.

The game I'm working on isn't particularly advanced in any way, so after some very welcome help from other Construct users I've gotten to the point that I can make most of the things that I want. I'm almost certain that I'm doing it the tedious and resource-heavy way, though.

I've learned some things by asking questions and other things by poking through .caps, but at least as far as I'm concerned I can mostly only tell HOW people did things and not WHY they did them that way.

Soooo what I'm asking is, to all of the advanced and semi-advanced users... how did you reach this level? Were you already experienced with other similar programs and you applied what you learned from them to Construct?

If that's true, then is there a particular book or books that you read that you could suggest? Or did you take actual courses in game design and programming? I suppose its too much to hope that any of you learned from websites...

Well, any advice that you could give on becoming a more advanced user would be greatly appreciated. Its not so much that I don't want to bother people with questions, because everyone here has been very helpful whenever I have asked. Its more that I don't want to have to ask them in the first place. It would also be kind of nice if I could help someone else out for a change. :oops:

-thank you!
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Post » Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:51 am

I was able to transfer most of my MMF knowledge over here, but I was never really good at MMF in the first place. Most of my skills came after I found Construct.

Basically, the best advice I can offer is this: if you don't know how to do something, experiment. I've learned a lot of things from creating simple experimental projects. I've never really been able to learn anything from books(although it might be different for other people), so I've just played around with things and learned to do them myself. I hope this helps. :)
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Post » Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:03 am

I've *kind of* been doing this so far, but its good advice nonetheless. I think part of my problem might be that I'm still thinking like an RPG Maker user. I'm so used to its event system that I find myself trying to do things the same way.
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Post » Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:25 am

Just be patient and hopeful. Start with what you are comfortable with and slowly experiment with new features. It doesn't even have to be a game, it could be an demostration for yourself.

I sometimes feel discouraged by these awesome 3d box whatever examples random people post here, with crazy math and whatnot. But really, just do what you know, and perfect it. Starting with small projects is key to getting your foundations. I mainly stick to platform games because 1. I find them easy and 2. I enjoy them! So don't feel like you have to have some complex mammoth game to make everyone go "OOh and Ahh!" It's usually the more simple games that are more enjoyable!

Hope this helps Caspis! Peace! :mrgreen:
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Post » Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:32 am

[quote="midnight":yr0cuxt1]I sometimes feel discouraged by these awesome 3d box whatever examples random people post here, with crazy math and whatnot.[/quote:yr0cuxt1]

Good to know I'm not alone. Sometimes I feel like everybody on Scirra has a bigger Math than me. :mrgreen:
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Post » Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:37 am

These math formulas looks scary only because variable names are so long ^^.
I'm NOT an expert, TGF knowledge has for me very little use in Construct. Since Cons provides full support for making events like "if-else" and "binary AND and OR", you can consider writing project in programming language to make "pseudocode" before working with events.
In Construct I haven't been able to put events exactly in the place where mouse pointer is (they always show at the very end). Someone knows any trick to put them in right place with "insert event"? Adding events and then moving them from bottom to top is VERY annoying.
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Post » Fri Nov 21, 2008 9:26 am

[quote="midnight":3v16bnbr]Just be patient and hopeful. Start with what you are comfortable with and slowly experiment with new features. It doesn't even have to be a game, it could be an demostration for yourself. [/quote:3v16bnbr]

Yeah, I recommend this to. In the year that I've been using Construct I've amassed a huge folder full of little example .caps that I've made that are just simple experiments, mockups, tests, whatever. Just make a quick experiment whenever you get an idea. You might not even ever have a need to use it, but it's good practice.

I came over from MMF too, which I had been using about a year. MMF games can get bloated and sluggish pretty quickly, so when you're making larger games that you still want to run well you learn pretty quickly to streamline your code and simplify your events. So I guess one piece of advice I'd give is to always try to shrink your code if at all possible. Look for ways to squeeze two events into one, or if you have a bunch of similar events that do the same thing, try to find a way to get them to work in conjunction.

And above all, organize, organize, organize. Use groups and external event sheets to your advantage. And comment everything. You will thank yourself later. Even if nobody but you will ever see your events, make comments. I've made the mistake of making huge event sheets with no comments and, at the time, I had everything well organized in my head... but then I put the project away for a while. When I came back to it after a couple of weeks, I was totally lost.

Organization will also help when it comes to my previous piece of advice... when you get into the habit of organizing it naturally follows that your events will become more optimized. You not only see where things go, but how they fit. It's kind of like retraining your brain in a way. If you practice at being more logical, methodical, and deliberate in your coding it can only benefit you.

Of course, this doesn't apply just to Construct, but to all things. If you want to get better at Construct specifically, I'd suggest hanging out in Help and trying to answer as many questions as you can. That's what I did to teach myself. Half of the questions asked there I don't know the answers to before hand. I treat them like puzzles that need to be solved. I fire up Construct and run some tests and try to figure out what's going on. It's helped me a bunch.
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Post » Fri Nov 21, 2008 2:33 pm

[code:30dh9se9]And above all, organize, organize, organize[/code:30dh9se9]
+1
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Post » Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:27 pm

Good advice so far, but one more important one: devour as much as you can of the wiki. It's nowhere near a complete documentation yet, but there are some good articles on there that you can learn a lot from - lots to learn there. Namely Application structure, Expressions, the System Object reference, TimeDelta, Effects, the Function object, Optimisation tips, Containers and Conditions. In fact, for anybody who's serious about making stuff in Construct, I'd recommend those as essential reading!
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Post » Fri Nov 21, 2008 8:11 pm

well, this advice is all good!

my advice is make little tests, look at games you like (2d games), little programs you like ect. and think about how they did something, then try to replicate it on your own, this is what i do! if u see something you like on the forums and its open source, dont look at the source, first try to make it yourself, and if you get stuck then look at the source. this will help you look at problems in a different way than you normally would. there are no tell all good tuts, its just practice, and develloping your own techniques.

dont try to optimise things too much at first. what i do is make a "rough draft" then look at what can be optimised and make a new draft with more optimisation.

learn what SIN and COS can do (if you dont know), it will help you enormously! learn how to make beziers also, they are pretty useful, even in their simplest form! ive only been using construct since (Aug 02, 2008 2:26 am lol) and i can already say my computer is clogged with cap files i made all over the place.

also, im just curious to know? how old r u? i think i may be the youngest at 14 but i was always curious how old some other members are?

dont worry about not being able to do things at first, you will always get the hang of them sooner of later!
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