Concerns from a "Serious" developer

Post » Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:02 pm

signaljacker wrote:People aren't attracted to Construct because it's html 5 based - it's the great workflow.


I might be in the minority, but I was (and still am) attracted to Construct 2/3 because it is HTML5-based.

My target audience prefers browser-based interactives (education). I do see the point for those who are trying to make money strictly off of games, however. It is hard enough to make a living off of games, and to choose a tool that restricts you to only a small fraction of your potential market is financial suicide.

That being said, I would love to see a great 3D game built in Construct 3 that showcases HTML5's capabilities. The key is that enough people would need to play it and become inspired by it to encourage more developers to shift over to the platform so that more great games would be built using the tool. A lot of stars would need to align for this to happen.

In the end, I love HTML5 because pretty much every kid in school is carrying around a device with a browser, which makes the web such an awesome way to democratize the art form of games. I think Construct 3 has the potential to get there, but am worried about the financial risk to developers.
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Post » Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:35 pm

@signaljacker

So actually, Scirra would probably do way better by doing an event sheet plugin for other editors, since they can't cater for the other needs by many of the developers here?

The event sheet is the only reason I chose C2 and still sticking with it. I don't have time, energy, and willpower to learn any coding language. So I kind of have to live with the limited export options in favor doing any game at all... lol.
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Post » Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:42 pm

cjbruce wrote:
signaljacker wrote:People aren't attracted to Construct because it's html 5 based - it's the great workflow.


I might be in the minority, but I was (and still am) attracted to Construct 2/3 because it is HTML5-based.

My target audience prefers browser-based interactives (education). I do see the point for those who are trying to make money strictly off of games, however. It is hard enough to make a living off of games, and to choose a tool that restricts you to only a small fraction of your potential market is financial suicide.

That being said, I would love to see a great 3D game built in Construct 3 that showcases HTML5's capabilities. The key is that enough people would need to play it and become inspired by it to encourage more developers to shift over to the platform so that more great games would be built using the tool. A lot of stars would need to align for this to happen.

In the end, I love HTML5 because pretty much every kid in school is carrying around a device with a browser, which makes the web such an awesome way to democratize the art form of games. I think Construct 3 has the potential to get there, but am worried about the financial risk to developers.


HTML5 is the reason why I'm interested in Construct as well. Especially now when new platforms like Facebook Messenger are starting to embrace HTML5 games. I think this could possible be a new opportunity for smaller casual games almost like app store was a decade ago. :D
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Post » Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:51 pm

In an ideal world, Construct would be an IDE for another engine.

I don't think it's a stretch to say that the majority of Construct developers use the software for it's event sheet system rather than HTML5.

Scirra is unmatched with regards to visual coding. It baffles me that none of the bigger players haven't produce anything even close to this; even similar tier future products like GMS2 and Fusion 3 are laughably behind Scirra in this regard.

Construct is miles ahead of the competition with regards to input, but the output simply doesn't scale and despite technologies being cross-device friendly , quickly falls apart in the real world.

I trust Scirra, you don't make software this good without knowing what you're doing. HTML5 is the future, AWP and instant apps are proof of the ever shifting progress away from native. I'll stick around for this ride, but I'd love Scirra's thoughts on what's been brought up so far.
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Post » Sun Apr 02, 2017 1:09 pm

tunepunk wrote:@signaljacker

So actually, Scirra would probably do way better by doing an event sheet plugin for other editors, since they can't cater for the other needs by many of the developers here?

The event sheet is the only reason I chose C2 and still sticking with it. I don't have time, energy, and willpower to learn any coding language. So I kind of have to live with the limited export options in favor doing any game at all... lol.


They would probably do very well I'm sure, but they've built up a nice empire here and are obviously very ambitious and talented. I would like for them to succeed with their own product, but I also think that to do so listening to the community is very valuable. I'm in the same boat as you, without the time or inclination to properly learn to code. I'm comfortable with the event sheet and would love to continue to use it. I can forgive Construct a lot, even having to jump through the many hoops because of its quirks. But to see the dev team so out of touch with its core community really worries me.
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Post » Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:01 pm

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.

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.

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.

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.
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Post » Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:22 pm

Elliott wrote:In an ideal world, Construct would be an IDE for another engine.

I don't think it's a stretch to say that the majority of Construct developers use the software for it's event sheet system rather than HTML5.

Scirra is unmatched with regards to visual coding. It baffles me that none of the bigger players haven't produce anything even close to this; even similar tier future products like GMS2 and Fusion 3 are laughably behind Scirra in this regard.

Construct is miles ahead of the competition with regards to input, but the output simply doesn't scale and despite technologies being cross-device friendly , quickly falls apart in the real world.

I trust Scirra, you don't make software this good without knowing what you're doing. HTML5 is the future, AWP and instant apps are proof of the ever shifting progress away from native. I'll stick around for this ride, but I'd love Scirra's thoughts on what's been brought up so far.


I think you put the nail on the head there, or how they say....

Input - super easy to create games - output, a nightmare sometimes depending on what platform you target. They have nailed the input, so now they need to nail the output, everything in-between, like plugins and behaviors can pretty much be handled by the community until they sort the output out. So they need to focus on the editor capabilities and export options in my opinion, so you don't end up there with a finished game, but nowhere to publish it.

Put in regards to plugins etc. Community supplies a lot here.
I like the way BrashMonkey and Photon Cloud does it for example. They provide their own plugin, and they do it well with great support. Pushing different plugin support over to Scirra's table is not the right way to go, then blaming scirra for not listening to customers. Chase down the ad network instead because they probably have way more money time and developer resources to provide plugins than Scirra has.

As I'm also mostly interested in mobile, I'm very curious about the build service. If it's hassle free working great, it's a big big step for scirra, and the mobile dev crowd here. But monetization plugins for different kind of ad networks and platforms.... meh.... I don't think that's what scirra should focus on right now. It would be better if the ad networks provided their own plugins.... and we still have the option to make our own if we really want to, with SDK's and a bit of know how, willpower, brute force or cash.

If you need a specific plugin for you project, why not hire a dev to do it? Or get together a couple of people in need of the same plugin and crowd fund it together?
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Post » Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:32 pm

Here's a non rhetorical question.
Would an exporter sdk still be doable? This was one of the promises of C2 as part of its "modularity" if they ever finished the html5 framework.
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Post » Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:32 pm

@Ashley
I think (personally) the point that is making me move from Construct is that I feel that C3 is offering a lot of features that for some people might be gold (like the graphics editor) but personally I would see more of an interaction with software like lets say Aseprite. I know in the past the SDK allowed developers to add new plugins, but personally I think it would've been great to work with some devs to have a few plugins whether they would be free or paid available.

When C2 came out, I remember it was far from perfect, but kept improving at a steady pace for several features. But C3 should be the continuity of C2 and not a total radical change and almost start from scratch.

Personally the browser idea is not my cup of tea. And I think a lot agree it would've been better as a stand alone.

I think another problem is indeed HTML5. Although I agree with you that Native is not always the solution, but HTML5 is a big limitation for consoles. Also dependency on NW was a mess. I remember struggling for months because of the lag on a small demo.

I was recently using Haxe, and I liked how it was (not that easy but feasible) to do builds in HTML5 and also for Desktop. Couldn't C3 be at least more open for devs so we can actually have more accessibility?

I would've been totally open to the idea to pay much more for a solution that its more accessible or contain features exclusive for console, etc. HTML5 is great but a bit limiting as well if you are targeting consoles as well?

Anyhow, one thing that I always loved about Construct is the event system. Its quite elegant and can be easily compared to programming. Using Haxe felt almost like the same. Except Construct in overall is faster to work with. And when you need time to work on projects, its the ideal solution so far.

But I would say that its still missing those extra features that would make it be amazing.
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Post » Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:47 pm

newt wrote:Here's a non rhetorical question.
Would an exporter sdk still be doable? This was one of the promises of C2 as part of its "modularity" if they ever finished the html5 framework.


I love an update on the state of modularity - I'm taking it as a nice idea, and definitely one that has the userbase backing, but one that Scirra was never quite engaged with due to the underlying architecture change it would present.

Given that the editor SDK won't be around until after the full C3 launch (September?) I think we can cross off any other SDKs
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