Concerns from a "Serious" developer

Post » Sat Apr 01, 2017 5:43 pm

Hi @Tom and @Ashley.

I have been a supporter of Construct 2 since the early adoption phase. I love the event system and how easy it is to pick up and start creating games with this engine. Over the last 5 or so years of using C2, I've created various projects (some "big" and some small).

Now that Construct 3 is here, I've been really starting to lose faith. I'll explain why:

Subscription Model

I was a supporter of the model until I realized how much we'd be spending and with the lack of ways to deploy to console, unreliable mobile exporting, the implementation (or lack of) monetization options, and more.
As a developer who intends to create serious projects for consoles, steam, etc. I simply cannot see the point value in subscribing when after spending months and months of time on a game, I cannot deploy to where I'd like so the studio can bring in more profits.

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Super Ubie Island Remix is a good example of what I mean. The project was catching traction and was being included in Nintendo fan magazines and more. I was even asked by Nintendo to publish the game on their console. I was given a free Wii U dev kit and everything. They really worked with me and tried to see the project release on their console... Needless to say, it didn't run because of the state of HTML5 running on Wii U.

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And now that I'm working on the sequel, I don't want to put in the many many many hours just to have a product that I can't put out the way I'd like.

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Pure Nintendo magazine dedicated 4 pages EACH issue to cover the development of my next game, Team Notion. Mind you, Team Notion is being developed in C2 as well.

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This is showing that Construct CAN be used as a serious development tool. But there are things that do need to be fixed/added which brings me to my next point...

Not Listening to Customers

I usually keep quiet for the most part on the forums and just read through other's posts. But what I have noticed over the years is that whenever your customers are requesting particular features and overall explaining what they'd like to see happen with Construct, they're a lot of times being told they're wrong in some form. Exporting and monetization are HUGE factors for developers and for some reason, it's never being addressed (at least for the entirety of Construct 2's life cycle).

Reliance on HTML5

I like HTML5, I think it's pretty versatile. But it seems like it's not being supported the way Scirra thought it'd be. You can scour the forums and find many posts from years about where you guys felt HTML5 will pick up and be adopted properly. Years have passed and we STILL see that HTML5 just isn't there. We are developing games for now and the near future. We're not trying to invest and hope that our engine will be able to one day export to our desired platforms.

I've created various games for mobile

Up Up Ubie Remix
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Astro Vault
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Sheep Herder Nay
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Sushizoo
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I'm posting these games to show that I have used the engine a lot. I have a ton of experience with Construct 2. I put in thousands of hours and really tried to push projects as much as I can. It's really hard to when you don't have the exporting and monetization tools you need.

It's almost as if Construct is built for what Scirra wants and not necessarily built for what the customers want/need. We are the ones who will be buying/subscribing. Why can't we get the features we need to sustain our studios?

Construct is hands down my favorite 2d game engine. The event system is second to none. But what's the point if developers can't publish and generate income? Who would use Photoshop if it couldn't export jpgs, PNGs, etc? I know you guys have heard these issues/complaints for years now... But don't you see that as a huge concern in itself? It doesn't make sense that people are STILL complaining about the same thing(s). I've spoken to a handful of "serious" C2 devs and for the most part, they seem to all be going towards other engines and all bring up exporting as one of the main reasons.

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And with the history of not being able to deploy our projects and struggling to make money from them, why would we would be willing to pay a subscription? Why at subscription at all? There have been plenty of alternatives mentioned, so I won't dive into that. But honestly, Scirra, who is this engine for???
I really wish Scirra the best and I am grateful for what you guys have achieved thus far.
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Post » Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:40 pm

This post is quite interesting, in fact it's something I wanted to know about. I teach games design at college in UK (high school US) and my students learn with Construct 2. Although at this stage they aren't ready to export beyond the arcade on the site they want to know the worth of learning construct over game maker with its vast amount of exports and one off fee.

I will often show them Andrews games to say that a great game can be made in construct just like game maker and I have many of my students that have left and gone on to university (college US) to study games further, will often come back and explain how great a tool construct is but always reply when asked do you still use it with "only to prototype" I asked recently why and they stated " the engine is great and powerful and does everything I need to make a great 2D game and only limited by my creativity" the biggest issue they all state is your game can't be published to wide enough market, Steam and web are great but a serious dev wants console support as an export.

I guess my real question is....

is construct more of a hobbyist and early teaching tool than a full development platform?

Im interested in anyone's thoughts, thank you Andrew for giving me a place to ask
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Post » Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:53 pm

If we're not going to address advanced problems like these then at least address the little ones:

* Create a proper Set Physics.Gravity_Angle action instead of using workarounds
* Delete the "Music" Folder so people will no longer have problems with their music not playing on a real device
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Post » Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:04 pm

A more proactive approach might be to start challenging the consoles to add html5 support.
That might work, if it's done as a community.
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Post » Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:20 pm

@NotionGames, I tip my hat to you and your artwork - it's amazing!! I share your reservations - IMO, c2 is being relegated as a hobby engine..... and c3 is an editor that is aimed only at game editor devs. It's clear that the scirra 'customers' are not the priority in this relationship.

For the record, I think that the c2 editor is second to none and that the event system is outstanding. But to export only to Google Chrome and its derivatives... That's a fail and why I will never make a game in c2/c3 again; even though, for prototyping and level editing, c2 is amazing....
A big fan of JavaScript.
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Post » Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:38 pm

Barzoukasj wrote:is construct more of a hobbyist and early teaching tool than a full development platform?

Im interested in anyone's thoughts, thank you Andrew for giving me a place to ask


For us as well (devs of Insanity's Blade, and our next game which was prototyped with C2 but ported to Unity and is currently over 250% funded on Kickstarter for desktop + console) the engine has proven to be "great for prototyping / hobbyist / teaching" more so than actually publishing commercial games.

Even on just Steam/Windows PC, we have had a slew of bugs hit our Insanity's Blade customers that were "Node Webkit/NW.js" or "Chromium" or "AMD graphics card" or "Intel graphics card" issues. Mac OSX and Linux export broke for us after the game went over 500MB in size. Then there's the performance concerns (especially when customer GPUs were not supported), which is considered pretty unacceptable in Steam reviews from customers running anything less than a modern-ish 3D gaming PC ("arcade machines in the 80's didn't have a problem rendering sprites and scrolling the screen, why does this?" being a common line of argument). Also +1 for WiiU comments, without WebGL an action game becomes a major no-no.

Of course, none of these were fixable by Scirra, so they would be talked down as "go talk to Google" or put it into "closed bugs" sections, which feels like the wrong way to approach your paying customers (we're not beta testers when we're using a Stable build of C2, and it doesn't say "Early Access" on Steam or the Scirra website). That simply can't happen when it comes to C3 subscriptions!

If Scirra came out and said "Yes, Construct 2/3 is intended to be web-only for computers, small-scale commercial or otherwise hobbyist game dev, with a few other platforms possible for some apps as a bonus", I think a lot of serious developers would still keep using C2 for prototyping and be much happier with the product.

I know it's not as easy as it sounds, but if Scirra made a "ConstructLite" editor for Unity (C2 editor + Unity export) that'd be pretty amazing. But, after spending a year porting to Unity / C# anyway, it's really not that much harder aside from the time costs of switching engine (a one-time cost), as most of the code is copy + paste + edit once you've written it once. Logic is logic and once you learn the syntax of a language you're good to go.

All that said, I love Construct, I have since Construct Classic early betas. I switched to it (and away from Clickteam products) from the very first moment I saw it, and back when I was a hobbyist the bugs were OK, I understood it was freeware open source software made by a group of awesome students. When Construct 2 was in beta (before native export was thrown off the table in discussions) I figured the issues there were fine too for a small two-brothers company.

But as a commercial developer, it's about what makes the best product for *my customers*, and that means looking elsewhere. Even though Construct is still a lot better to me than some other engines used by indies, it doesn't mean they can't improve in the same way Construct will, so keeping an open eye is important.

Construct 3 is a bit upsetting to me personally, but that's because when I wanted better runtime/exports, Scirra gave us a (better? can't really tell yet, but I do realize it's still in beta) editor yet again. That's entirely their call, and I seriously admire that they were able to pull it off in HTML5. The tech will probably be there someday, and maybe I will be using it again at that point.
"Construct 4 lets YOU make advanced games! (but not play them)" Construct Classic - Examples Kit Dropbox is a pile of trash and if you need my old files PM me! :)
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Post » Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:39 pm

My choice was to move towards Unity.

There's a series of reasons why C3 wont be able to properly export to consoles. I waited for 2 years I believe? the release of C3, thinking that they might actually going towards another direction. At the end I simply decide to move to another engine.

There's a lot of factors that went into consideration. My choice stopped to Unity for so many reasons that I wont name here so I dont do advertisement. Obviously Unity is not the only choice but I believe for people with a moderate or even almost no coding knowledge its a much better choice.

I don't think Scirra is going into the same direction as Indie developers, although they claim they do.

At the end of the day, working with an easier game engine made me waste more time. I came to realize that having a better notion of coding and also using better tools was the solution.

That's my humble two cents
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Post » Sat Apr 01, 2017 8:06 pm

@jayjay it's awesome to see what you guys have achieved!

I'd hate for these concerns to be pushed off once again. The community has been around for years supporting Construct and I tried for the longest to have faith and listen to @Ashley and @Tom but at this point, it's just seeming foolish to hope that HTML5 will be adopted.

@newt I see what you mean about being proactive, but why should us developers have to worry about those things? We're paying good money to use these engines. I should be concerned with creating the games that my customers want and the engine devs should be concerned with creating game engines that suit their customers needs.

At this point, I don't see what it is that I'd be subscribing to... We're being told to wait for new feature announcements, wait for HTML5 adoption, wait for this, wait for that. That's all we've been doing for years. And now we're expected to pay yearly to continue waiting? I don't understand. I simply want to make games that work and can generate income. I'm a professional, I'm willing to pay the costs as long as I know my needs are being met.

Wii U exporter ended up being not worth the months i put into trying to get the game working. I'm not confident about the Xbox exporter. When I released Ubie Island on Steam, I have recieved a ton of complaints regarding issues with NwJs (or whatever it's called). And frankly, I'm tired of it. These aren't things we should be burdened with.
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Post » Sat Apr 01, 2017 8:15 pm

It's a question of greed really.
A few more "serious" developers for Scirra, versus hundreds of exploitable indie games for the consoles.
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Post » Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:23 pm

From experience as Indie developer (not only as after work projects) but also as day job. I've been working several years in the Montreal Indie scene in different companies. Also did freelancing. I've been Senior character artist, Lead Artist, and now more of a Lead Artist/Game Designer where I work now. I've seen changes. Companies switching from Unity to Unreal at the end of a project simply because the engine no longer suited the next project.

That's how it works. I don't think is Scirra's plans to change their modus operandi for a few users because after all a percentage of your income is not necessarily going in their pockets after every quarter. They don't do the same as Unity or Unreal therefore a few users that got some projects working wont make big of a difference, after all there's thousands of users trying to make the next hit in the world of mobile.
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