C2 gui enhancement ideas (@Ashley)

Discussion and feedback on Construct 2

Post » Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:22 pm

Really? Like what? There have been dozens of requests by many people to improve the way layers, tilemaps, default instances, layout properties, etc. work and none of it has been addressed. I'm just tired of seeing the same things over and over while all that gets worked on is broken exporters and broken features for them. The editor itself needs more attention.
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Post » Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:52 pm

Tokinsom wrote:Really? Like what? There have been dozens of requests by many people to improve the way layers, tilemaps, default instances, layout properties, etc. work and none of it has been addressed. I'm just tired of seeing the same things over and over while all that gets worked on is broken exporters and broken features for them. The editor itself needs more attention.

TBH I'm glad that multiplayer plugin rolled out first than the editor environment improvement (I once requested same thing like a you are before). I'm sure you are here long before me, but then what Ashley prioritized to be developed/improved first are for reasons, the software itself is still young, give it a break, first thing first.

I can relate this in game development as well, I always try to get mechanics/gameplay to be perfect first, then polish, I think this should be the same for C2, which I think editor improvement is similar to game polishing stage. Just my 2 cent.
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Post » Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:54 pm

@Tokinsom : Look at the beta releases, their are lots of tweaks and improvements that have been made in many areas, including usability. The animation importing workflow has been improved recently for example, with the "reimport all animations from disk" feature.
With a team of 2 devs, you can't expect them to content everyone. I'd love to see existing tools and workflows being polished up just as you do. But other users would rather want new and exciting features, right? It must be a tough balancing act for the devs.
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Post » Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:16 pm

The problem is that many components of the editor were designed as 'minimum viable product' just to get things rolling early on, but were never really polished / finalized. Instead we got more and more new stuff, lots of which is hardly used afaic, and they were forgotten about. I get that Ashley is more or less the sole developer..what I don't get is why that's the case when C2 has a much larger user base than many other engines. C2 should have a decent staff by now. I suppose thats another topic though. Anyway...yes, we finally got proper re-importing for sounds, shader toggle in layout, and animation paths, so hopefully we'll see the rest soon enough.
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Post » Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:32 pm

To be honest there has not been much work on making the IDE easier to use. e.g., Why is it still not possible to search for keywords throughout the project? At the moment I use an external program to search the event XML sheets. It would improve productivity significantly if c2 had a decent search function that highlighted the search result - at the moment you have to hunt through large sections of code to find a single item.

While C2 has received a great deal of new features I believe the actual working environment is pretty primitive. As a developer myself I know how easy it is to concentrate on the exciting new functions and forget about usability and the user . However, a great IDE is what will make more of a difference than being able to export to squiglybox or whatever the new toy on the block is.
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Post » Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:08 pm

@Tokinsom - what is it specifically you are after? We have done lots of updates this year, and I am sorry if they are not what you are after, but if you just complain then I don't know what you want. I know you've probably mentioned it before (and it's likely already on our todo list) but I do keep tabs on the forums and I do use the regularity which specific features are mentioned as a very rough kind of voting system in my head. So far though there's not much useful to gain from your feedback.

The editor is C++ and doing new UI features in C++ is generally a big pain in the ass, to the extent that a beta update can generally contain a basic implementation of a single new UI feature which is subsequently refined over the next few releases, or several engine updates in one beta update (which are comparatively easy and quick to implement, even for relatively significant new features). So usually it weighs up in favour of the engine updates. I think we are reaching a point where the engine is largely in good shape so perhaps now is a good time to return to editor UI features, but they are slow and difficult to produce. (I'd point out that had we done it the other way round we would end up with a slightly better UI and a seriously less advanced engine, so I think we did it the right way round.)

In the long term we are thinking about where to take the editor in future, and how to solve this problem to make it really easy to add UI features - and how to allow third party addons to extend the UI usefully as well which helps take the pressure off us much like third party plugins already cover lots of niche/specific use/alternative features in the engine. This will be no small job though. I hope everyone can be patient, because to make a "dream" UI is going to take a lot of work... but it's in our sights!
Scirra Founder
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Post » Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:16 pm

@Ashley

I would it not help to have some sort of visible roadmap so people know what is and isnt on the list. Also maybe the odd vote or question in the forum from the Scirra team regarding such features. I know users post these from time to time but i think it means more if the team ask.
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Post » Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:22 pm

agreed - would love to see more transparency about future direction.
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Post » Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:28 pm

Whilst the transparency might be appreciated it dulls Scirra's competitive edge as a game engine - we have vague ideas of where certain things are going (i.e. modularity) which I feel is enough information.

...That and the beta releases are like a mini-Christmas for me...
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Post » Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:16 pm

Ashley wrote:The editor is C++ and doing new UI features in C++ is generally a big pain in the ass, to the extent that a beta update can generally contain a basic implementation of a single new UI feature which is subsequently refined over the next few releases, or several engine updates in one beta update (which are comparatively easy and quick to implement, even for relatively significant new features). So usually it weighs up in favour of the engine updates. I think we are reaching a point where the engine is largely in good shape so perhaps now is a good time to return to editor UI features, but they are slow and difficult to produce. (I'd point out that had we done it the other way round we would end up with a slightly better UI and a seriously less advanced engine, so I think we did it the right way round.)


You could probably rebuild the whole UI and get extensibility features for free by redoing it in C#. For example the PropertyGrid control you use in the current UI already exists in .Net as well as the toolbars, dockable windows, etc.

At my day job most of my time is spent building server software, but after that work is done I get a little bit of time to build admin tools for those servers and I can whip them out pretty quick (and still very advanced) with VS / C#.

For example get extensibility for free:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd460648(v=vs.110).aspx
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