An all-inclusive tutorial?

New releases and general discussions.

Post » Sun May 09, 2010 1:12 am

I've seen some Construct game challenges that challenged users to do this, but what about this as a tutorial tool?:

Are there any plans to create a tutorial in written or .cap form that takes a new user through every object, event, behavior, action, condition (and example expressions) Construct has with example code for each, also explaining when and why to use each? I just notice that a number of things have no documentation or example code, but someone figured it out and posted how they did it. The problem is, in order for a new user to search and find it they'd have to either get lucky or know the specific search terms to find it... or sift through hundreds or thousands of search pages to find it... or ask for help which may not yield a result.
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Post » Sun May 09, 2010 1:46 am

[quote="MrMiller":1qifwycu]The problem is, in order for a new user to search and find it they'd have to either get lucky or know the specific search terms to find it...[/quote:1qifwycu]
Better documentation is sorely needed for Construct. However, as someone who has written tutorials and Wiki pages it is a long sometimes boring process to write simple documentation. It would take several weeks of full-time work to make an all-inclusive tutorial and I doubt either the developers or any users are up to that.

There are definite holes in the documentation and many answers to the missing information is on the forum. What we REALLY need people to start doing is to write a short wiki when they make an example. Also, don't answer someone's question with information that is not on the wiki! (Just about all of us are guilty of this) For example, the timeline object has several good examples on the forum but no wiki article. Instead of posting an example and explanation on the forum people need to put it on the wiki instead.

One thing that is clear is the info on the forum is hard to find and not the best place for knowledge.

SO I think the two big things we need to get the documentation better:
1. More people need to sign up and start adding to the wiki.
2. People need to stop answering questions on the forum unless they have added that info to the wiki.

Edit: I wonder if having a Construct game contest where part of the requirement is to submit documentation on a behavior, action, or object used in the game would be of interest. The focus would be on info not currently on wiki. Problem is people love to make games, but dislike writing docs so some incentive would be needed. :(
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Post » Sun May 09, 2010 1:54 am

Scidave is absolutely right.

The Ghost Shooter tutorial is the most basic and comprehensive tutorial I think - it explains everything every step of the way - but doesn't cover all parts of Construct. There's actually a lot to Construct so I'm not sure such a tutorial would be feasible or useful.
Scirra Founder
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Post » Sun May 09, 2010 3:39 am

I agree with MrMiller, the forum has HUGE amount of knowledge but sadly most of it is been missing from the Wiki for example on the Object List page-
http://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/c ... bject_List
Information on many types of objects is missing and they are the things I am most interested in like imageManip, timeline, ZIP , Audio Converter etc. I'm sure the information may be hidden somewhere in the forum but I'll have to dig really deep. :(

@Ashley:
I don't know how you'll take this suggestion but when you release Construct v1, then maybe you could spend a month or two improving the Wiki asking help from users instead of developing construct
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Post » Mon May 10, 2010 9:20 am

One good place to start would be to make the forum search suck less. It's not really fun when you try to search for something just to get this:

Search found 922 matches: create object python
ignored: create object

(search.php?keywords=create+object+python)
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Post » Mon May 10, 2010 9:43 am

Put your keyword(s) into the Google search like so.
create object python site:scirra.com
[url:2m1gx0oc]http://www.google.com/#hl=en&source=hp&q=create+object+python+site%3Ascirra.com&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=&fp=a87ce02045dcbf37[/url:2m1gx0oc]
Google its your friend.
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Post » Mon May 10, 2010 8:24 pm

That's what I ended up doing, but it'd be nice if we didn't have to use such roundabout ways to achieve something that should work properly in the first place.
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Post » Wed May 19, 2010 6:25 pm

I'd say that this single thing is needed more than Construct hitting 1, 2 and beyond. It's more important than any thing being done with this great program right now.

While I find many of the things understandable, I think the amount of questions that get asked makes it evident that the lack of documentation is an issue in need of great attention. In reality, without making it a major focus, you'll only be bringing along the people who already know how to use it, which is no good if new people can't understand even the basics without asking a question on the forum, or searching through the forum... the forum itself is a great resource, but it's become too large for the average new user to wade through to find something minor or specific to a function of the most basic part of the typical platform game. I seen questions for things that you would find in most 2D games, those things should have clear and easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions.

I couldn't imagine learning some of the programs I've used over the years let alone learning C# as I have without comprehensive step-by-step guides. I mean, even if you do manage to learn without, you'll always be missing some part of the discipline and it sets you up for future issues.

I think more wiki additions would be nice provided that there are code examples that tell the user how it should look in order for it to run. I see that when people give advice on the forum, a lot of it is explaining what you need to do but not exactly how to do it, that's why you see a lot of follow-up questions asking "Yeah, but how do I write it?", and then when there is no response to it it's all a waste and no one benefits; the asker doesn't benefit because he still has no answer, and the new user searching doesn't benefit because when he gets to the thread to find the answer there is still no answer because the responder never gave example code. So now the new user has to make a new thread asking a question thats already been asked, this time hoping he'll get an actual example code of how it should look.
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Post » Wed May 19, 2010 6:30 pm

I agree that we need more wiki entries.. I would do some myself but I don't find my english good enough for large wiki entries about complex game mechanics and terms (so many strange words after all). But someone should try to get PixelRebirth to add info as he mah god in Construct at the moment. :P
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Post » Wed May 19, 2010 6:37 pm

And to continue, I think the first step in addition to updating the wiki with more fleshed out info, would be to break down the basics of the basic types of games one would make with Construct and then start writing visual step-by-steps. This was done with XNA and I'd say that it helped the community for that program grow exponentially from where it would be without it.

I'd start by doing something like break it all down into innovations and basics. The Innovations category would take things like faking Mode 7 and other 3D concepts, and posting a step-by-step with an included cap.

The basics category would be the same with such things as step-by-steps for creating hit-damage, collision, frame animation setup and control, time-keeping, score-keeping and the marriage of all of those things. And along with all of that, take all of the available operations and write example code for each and explain what each does and why and when to use them... without the "why and when" it's not a tutorial that a new user can learn from.
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