Concerns from a "Serious" developer

Post » Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:41 pm

Now I'll be honest. I don't really feel entitled to ask for anything other than C2 bug fixes however after reading this:
https://www.scirra.com/blog/203/some-bo ... onstruct-3

I have to agree with @andreyin with this to a degree.

Speaking as a guy who will stick to C2 until I've made enough to be able to afford a C3 license, why are some simple fixes being kept C3 exclusives? I understand why you might want to keep the 'Bullet behavior stepping' a C3 exclusive as you pointed out the amount of work that went into it might not be something you'd want to give away for free but the 'SpriteFont spacing' fix and 'Array Editor' i've been hearing about seems like they should be mandatory for both editors.
Last edited by MPPlantOfficial on Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post » Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:21 pm

Isn't the Spritefont spacing available in Spritefont plus plugin?

External addon, funny is that I remember that we wished it to be added then but they said nope why add tiny changes, and now lo and behold it is here for C3!
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Post » Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:23 pm

NotionGames wrote:Well, I have said all that I have to say.
I really enjoyed learning about game development with Construct 2 but as a developer wanting to make commercial games, I guess it's time to move on.
I had a good time being apart of the community and made good friends with various devs. I wish the best for Scirra and hopefully there's something that makes me come back to subscribe to Construct 3.


Yeah something like this will make me go "shut up and take my money". :)
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Post » Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:25 pm

helena wrote:Isn't the Spritefont spacing available in Spritefont plus plugin?

Spritefont Plus?
Guess I should give external addons a try then. Thanks for the tip! ;)
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Post » Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:37 pm

I will also stick with C2 until the major plugins I'm using has a C3 version. But I will still subscribe to C3 because I find multi platform neat, and to be able to take part during this early stage of development and hopefully get some requests improvements through. Once C3 has matured and most bugs are fixed, I'm pretty sure they will weigh the voices in and add new stuff....

Ironically,...One thing Scirra has been pretty bad at is Monetizing their product. After so many years, so many customers willing to pay for features they want it boggles me that they are still such a small staff. They need to start working on their shop and stop giving away features for free. They should have one department or at least a few devs dedicated to providing much needed add-ons.... not for free, not included..... but for SALE. C2/C3 is already dirt cheap, compared to other tools, and that's why I think scirra is a bit slow when it comes to feature requests. They seem a bit afraid to charge for stuff, so they can't staff up. I think they underestimate what the user base is willing to pay for certain features. Some might want exporters, platform specific stuff, ray casters, effects, you name it. Like this thread and many others we all want different things, and they are struggling to provide it, and I would say mostly because team size/time.

My tip to the scirra staff, don't be afraid to charge for your hard work. You'd be amazed how many serious people here willing to pay for features/plugins/behaviours they require. Some of us wants different things but many if us are willing to pay....
Follow my progress on Twitter
or in this thread Archer Devlog
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Post » Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:29 pm

Zebbi wrote:
newt wrote:It's a question of greed really.
A few more "serious" developers for Scirra, versus hundreds of exploitable indie games for the consoles.

A Serious Dev is worth a thousand shovels.

Look what FNAF did.

FNAF was made in Clickteam fusion
http://indiegames.clickteam.com/
which btw has native exporters AND whose event sheet inspired construct's
:D

I have to join everyone here and say that unless scirra comes up with the greatest html5 wrapper in the world, its engine will never have many commercial games and people will always complain about the lack of native exporters.
This subscription fee license is putting nails in the coffin here, rather than solving that request.
MOST other game engines do have native exporters. Even the free open source ones!
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Post » Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:27 am

Ashley wrote:It's hard to adequately respond to a 6-page forum thread that springs up over the weekend, but I'll do my best. Also these threads often turn in to everyone throwing in their own different concerns and it's pretty exhausting to even try to address everything - often I reply to the OP and then everyone piles in afterwards with "what about X? Y? Z?", and this happens a lot even when I do try to address everything... so anyway, here we go, focused on the OP:

HTML5 on Wii U: the main problem here is Nintendo's weak support of HTML5. Technically we're under NDA so I don't think I can go in to too much detail on this, but I think by now it's common knowledge that the NWF doesn't support WebGL, and that's really just one of several aspects. It's possible to publish smaller scale games on the Wii U, but larger scale stuff will run in to these limitations. There are similarly-specced mobile devices that can far outperform the Wii U due to having better browser tech. Things like this are really frustrating because they unnecessarily make HTML5 look bad. If Nintendo used modern web support, it'd have been far better. Yes, this is a shortcoming of HTML5 that we get stuck with browser engines like that sometimes. Yes, users don't care whose fault it is and just want it to work. But I honestly think it would have been impossible for us to write a native engine with the size of team we are within the timeframe of the Wii U being replaced by the Switch. In other words, it was that or nothing, really.
The Wii U did have some pretty good HTML5 support at launch so I can see why there was hope it'd be pretty easy to have it work.

If you want a Native VS HTML5 example of the Wii U the YouTube app was garbage and ran slow, but using the Wii U Browser the website YouTube ran a lot smoother and faster.
I'm not sure about later on but I do know the Wii U browser didn't see too many updates/optimizations and custom wrappers always seem to end badly

Native isn't always faster than HTML5, but HTML5 isn't always fully supported or maintained once added.
Hopefully the Switch will get a good wrapper sometime, but time will tell.

Ashley wrote:Wider console support: it's an interesting time to complain about console support, because the only reason we don't already have Xbox One publishing (which does use a modern browser engine!) is we've been busy with the C3 launch. See this Microsoft announcement which specifically mentions Construct 2 from early March.
Do we know if it'll have similar support for features as Edge/using Edge itself?
Edge is a bit behind even though Microsoft is at least attempting to support HTML5 with updates here and there.

Ashley wrote:Wider HTML5 reliance: I would actually credit Scirra's entire success to our reliance on HTML5. Sure, it has some downsides, but no technology is perfect. We've seen other competitors with native tech fade in to irrelevance with limited features and dragged down by difficult bugs and development inefficiencies. I'm actually really glad we went this way. Also HTML5 was laughably bad when we started in 2011 (and some people literally laughed at us for choosing it over Flash). Originally, we never even expected to support mobile at all. Things have come a long way and it's still going strong, so I think HTML5 still has a bright feature.

I also have to wearily point out again that graphics drivers are a concern everywhere, and we have direct experience of that given we've worked on native tech in CC and the C2 editor. It's actually worse in native than it is in HTML5. It's so bad, it has actually ruined AAA game launches in the past. Most indie game developer's post-mortems I read, when they used native tech, almost always involves some kind of section excoriating the woeful situation with graphics drivers, to the extent they say things like "I wish I just had never even tried to release on Mac because the OpenGL support is so bad". Big companies can usually (even then not always) muscle through it by putting several engineers permanently on the problem, but when you're small, HTML5 probably actually makes this better than it would be otherwise.
I've seen HTML5 gotten a lot better and more optimized, but it does have the problem on relying on a notoriously unoptimized rendering platform (a web browser).
There are some desktop wrappers that work without a lot of the extra browser crap, but they are unintuitive to setup, or have some obscure issues. Thankfully those kinds of issues are getting rarer but they apparently still do happen.

I've heard fears of "What if my browser updates and breaks something" for the editor in HTML5, but one thing I do recommend for testing things is Chrome Portable but many might not think about this solution right off. I also use different Chrome Portable versions to test my projects as well.

Ashley wrote:Not listening to customers: this is pretty hard to take, as the original company founder with over 23,000 posts on this forum, as high as a constant 10 posts a day on average in some cases. How many companies can you go on the forum and talk about something directly with the original founder of the company? We try to make ourselves available to customers, and I do my best to read all the posts and feedback on the forum, but it's pretty tough to respond to everything with hundreds of posts a day. I do in fact hear everyone's concerns loud and clear. There's a lot of reasons why we can't always immediately do something, ranging from the technology to overall direction of the company, but I am here, and I do listen, even when that involves quite a lot of criticism. Sometimes even when I explain the case, it doesn't stop the criticism. For example some users hit graphics driver related issues and then say they wished we had native engines; these people would be in for a very nasty surprise if we actually did that! But it's never stopped the criticism, so I think to some extent I've just come to accept that some users are going to be unhappy and won't understand some things we do or the reasons behind it, and that's part of the nature of running a company.

While I don't think it's entirely the issue in terms of the 'not listening' issue, I believe there is some of a communication problem in regards to the engine's performance expectations and that there should be more published communication on the subjects for improvements and performance. Not just blog posts stating how good it's running now as many people are not gonna scroll through every blog post to see that kind of information.

For major projects like trying to push for a console export a status page listing the exporter and it's supported level (unsupported, in-progress, NDA, working) and a link to the project page would work wonders. It seems that from marketing it works great on many export options but they're not all viable for many projects so easy to access Construct relevant feature support lists and performance details would be very beneficial.

A page with Scirra tested benchmarks for each platform(PC/Mac/Linux with PC specs, Android/iOS with model, wrapper vs browser) with a Construct 2/3 version of the exported test file would work wonders in giving people an idea of how relative their current devices are to the test devices. If the benchmark demos even had an option to "submit your results to Scirra!" on it that would help aggregate consumer side data for a wider range of devices than the ones you can afford (but I do recommend having an official list of test devices that you can have physically)

I will say that the debug mode added into Construct 2 years ago was a godsend in providing this kind of data for my projects, but having a standard repo of test projects with their performance ratings would provide a good guide on how fast something should run, and for the more advanced demos how fast the type of game should run (since I assume all Construct templates and demos are optimized for best performance ;) )



Now I understand why if you consider marketing it wouldn't be good to advertise sub-quality numbers, but from a developer point of view you would want all the resources you can get to judge each engine and to omit that can be a disservice to the community (even though the community could make a resource, it'd be more beneficial if there was an official resource.). Plus with HTML5 tech being a lot better now than when you initially started the technical details will be more flattering than years ago as many of your recent blog posts have been showing :)
Last edited by Thndr on Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:40 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Post » Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:29 am

I must say the outlook for gaming in general must be pretty bad when the market example is Fnaf.
I say that as my latest update to a mobile project no longer shows ads.

So yeah, I'm quite disgusted with the whole thing in general.
But I'll go change my underwear, and pray that that fixes something, since that's just about my only recourse, then try again.

Then again I don't see anyone asking how well the Xbox export works.
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Post » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:01 am

Thndr wrote:
Ashley wrote:
Ashley wrote:Not listening to customers: this is pretty hard to take, as the original company founder with over 23,000 posts on this forum, as high as a constant 10 posts a day on average in some cases. How many companies can you go on the forum and talk about something directly with the original founder of the company? We try to make ourselves available to customers, and I do my best to read all the posts and feedback on the forum, but it's pretty tough to respond to everything with hundreds of posts a day. I do in fact hear everyone's concerns loud and clear. There's a lot of reasons why we can't always immediately do something, ranging from the technology to overall direction of the company, but I am here, and I do listen, even when that involves quite a lot of criticism. Sometimes even when I explain the case, it doesn't stop the criticism. For example some users hit graphics driver related issues and then say they wished we had native engines; these people would be in for a very nasty surprise if we actually did that! But it's never stopped the criticism, so I think to some extent I've just come to accept that some users are going to be unhappy and won't understand some things we do or the reasons behind it, and that's part of the nature of running a company.


Pretty much misses the point completely!

If Scirra is listening you would have heard most of the C2 users do not want a browser based subscription engine.

We paid for a C2 license based on the expectation those exporters worked and they don't and you have been making promises to fix bugs and exporters for how many years now?

Instead you spend lots of time and get a new team to develop features and fix the bugs and make exporters for a subscription engine that very few C2 users even seem to want.

That is why I say you are not listening @Ashley

We are asking for you to honor our license agreements based on the expectations you promoted for C2 and either create a C2 standalone with the features and exporters working or an addon package with those features and exporters and I believe most C2 users would be willing to pay for a package of working features and exporters as long as it is reasonable and not a subscription.

So can you put that team of yours to work on that and keep your C2 users happy?

I only speak for myself but reading through the many comments on this thread and my thread it looks like most people feel the same way!
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Post » Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:12 am

lamar wrote:Pretty much misses the point completely!

If Scirra is listening you would have heard most of the C2 users do not want a browser based subscription engine.
Some of us like that the direction they chose is HTML5.

"Some don't like a browser based engine" is not a problem on the developer listening, but more of what you the consumer wants and is demanding they go towards. Scirra has made it clear for many many years that HTML5 is the direction they're going.

From your further complaints you even admit that you don't care what kind of engine it uses, only that you want specific features:
lamar wrote:We paid for a C2 license based on the expectation those exporters worked and they don't and you have been making promises to fix bugs and exporters for how many years now?

Instead you spend lots of time and get a new team to develop features and fix the bugs and make exporters for a subscription engine that very few C2 users even seem to want.

Your complaint is really that the options provided did not meet a standard you wish that they would have. This is independent of the engine itself and more about the ecosystem.

Yes, there is an ecosystem problem with HTML5 games in regards of compatibility/accessibility as it's a new ecosystem compared to Windows/Mac/Linux native libraries that link to already existing solutions/dependencies. Back when Construct 2 was first started it was seen as a fools errand, just like before Valve put into the effort to support Vulkan and Linux making a cross platform game for linux was also a fool's errand. (and Linux is a native platform)

If you look at the state of HTML5 technology now as well as their offer of cloud-packaging C3 apps for mobile export what can be done now it has vastly improved. Games run faster on the same PC using more recent versions of Chrome. I'm on a Phenom II X4 925 which isn't the greatest CPU but I've had little issue outside of browser/driver support, which thanks to Vulkan we have better Open/WebGL support now than ever. (kinda like linux!)


I do agree that with the confusion surrounding the best way to export for a platform and the issues that the Construct 2 side of things should've been a simple process, but I don't agree that Scirra should be ultimately responsible for optimizing every platform wrapper. They should provide a flow that allows a simple export process, even if it involves just shoving an exported zip file into a third party compiler/wrapper program. They seem to have an automated flow setup on their end for C3 projects, so documentation on that could be adequate.
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