Construct 2 - Realistic State after 1 gazilion downloads

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Post » Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:17 pm

spy84 wrote:@teacherpeter "a new computer with better OS"?
@Arima teacherpeter probably talks about Ubuntu.

Ubuntu is absolutely better than XP. So is Windows 7... Windows 8? Not so much.
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Post » Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:36 pm

I suspect a lot of this OS controversy is related to personal experience. I have been running Windows 7 at home, and Windows 8/8.1 at work, since they were released, and have never had any performance, application, or accessibility issues with either one. I use a large variety of applications, including older and newer games (only at home, of course :D).

That being said, I have a friend who has never not had an issue with any release of Windows. I can't pinpoint the differences in our environments that would give us such widely different experiences with the same OSes, but something is causing him to have such a bad experience.

I have also worked in large corporate IT environments for most of my career, and have seem the same range of experiences with users, where some have no issues at all, and some have horrible experiences, and this is in an extremely homogeneous environment where everyone is running the same base hardware and application set.

Arguing about which OS is better or worse based on personal experience has to be tempered with the fact that we all run in different environments, and no one's experience will ever be the same as someone else's, no matter what OS you're running.

I would use Linux for everything, if i could, but Linux isn't perfect. Neither is Windows (XP, 7, 8) or OSX. CPM was perfect though. No viruses!

The fact is that people do still run on XP, and if you want to make as much money as possible, you need to be able to offer games to those users. These arguments shouldn't be about who runs what OS and which one is best. It should be about how we can best support the user base that's out there.
Don't see the fnords and they won't eat you!
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Post » Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:42 pm

Ugh... I'm sorry guys, I was lurking around watching this discussion but I have to chime in - Ashley is a veteran of the industry, he was already a veteran back when I started, and I have 14 years of experience with this sort of dev tool, so I like to think my opinion carries some weight.
Windows XP is too old to even be considered! Why don't you go ahead and ash Ashley to support internet explorer 6 as well?
Windows XP is 13 years old! When XP was launched, not even windows 3.1 was that old! That would be equivalent to you booting up your XP machine for the first time and hearing someone extol the virtues of windows 2.0! I'm sorry, windows XP isn't even a factor anymore. And that's not even counting the woes of it's 64 bit version, since the 32 bit one can only address up to 2 Gb RAM.
Arima wrote:... we don't need an entire browser engine - we just need what games need...
A gutted version of node-webkit would be great - there are tons of things we don't care about that could be removed in order to reduce the overhead.
Arima wrote:As for the issue about third party plugins - as much as I appreciate all the work put into them, even with C2 as it is now, the vast majority of games could be made without them. If C2 was feature complete, then even more so.
I think that the fact that third party plugins aren't necessary for the vast majority of projects says more about the lack of power in the SDK than it does about the power of construct. Many of the advanced plugins, such as spriter, tilemap or the upcoming multiplayer have advanced hooks to the IDE that we normal developers just can't access, which means plugins that require advanced or intensive configuration are right out, unless you're willing to edit XML files (thank Ashley for having the foresight of having c2 use an open format, or even that would be impossible).
Arima wrote:By hiring someone to work on native exporters concurrently, it would reduce the impact the extra work would have on C2 itself. Tomsstudio is showing that it's possible.
Tomsstudio is showing nothing. I don't say this because I hate him or anything - if he manages to pull it off, power to him! However, making an exporter is a gigantic overtaking even WITH support from developers and a proper exporter SDK - just ask the creator of the anaconda exporter at clickteam (and that exporter is based off a much less feature-complete product).
Working on native exporters is a trap, just look at the state of multimedia fusion 2.5 - practically a joke, after all those years they release a meager update with either nothing new (support for skinning), features it should have had from the start (utf-8) or, at best, features the competition had for nearly a decade (zooming/rotating the layout).
Arima wrote:The point of asking for native exporters wasn't just about solving performance problems, though that was a big part of it - it was also about other things like the issue of no memory management on iOS and about you being able to directly control the quality of C2's own exports.
iOS is, as well as everything else apple makes, overpriced hype. They should be the ones fixing their memory management and enabling webGL/javascript compiling for third parties - we moan at ludei for not fixing cocoonJS but who's knocking on apple's door telling them to get their act together?
Arima wrote:What it really boils down to is too much is based on hope. I'm just tired of relying on hope for the quality of exporters to improve, and worse, once we get them, having to hope that a quality exporter isn't later screwed up in some way.
[...]
I'm afraid I'm still in the native bandwagon.
[...]
I think it is more important for your long term benefit to make native exporters
And what's the alternative? Making native exporters? Well let me tell you a story about a similar company that went this route, and that's an established game-making company with many employees:
  • First, they release a java/j2me runtime. It is broken and many features are missing or are inconsistent. They continue working on said exporter, but nearly no one uses it. The java/j2me forum section stands nearly empty. A few years later, smartphones arrive on the scene and j2me quietly dies. The java runtime is useless for windows because the traditional exporter is way better, and it's also useless for mac/linux because it supports so few features, and the JVM is so bloated that the speed is minimal. No hardware acceleration either. The SDK for making third party plugins arrives so late it's not even worth considering.
  • Then, they begin work on a XNA exporter. A few months after the launch, Microsoft announces XNA is being discontinued. Almost no games are made for the XBOX using this exporter, though some prototypes are attempted. The SDK for making third party plugins for this exporter is never released.
  • So they work on a flash exporter. Well this one actually works, except flash is dying as we all know. Also, it has poor support and all third party plugins have to be remade.
  • iOS is here, so better make an iPhone exporter, right? Cue years going by, and the final exporter performs poorly and offers little support. SDK arrives late as usual.
  • What's this Android thing? You would think that since a java exporter was already available, an Android exporter would be a piece of cake, and you would be wrong. The Android version arrives many many many years after the big Android boom. As usual, poor compatibility and no SDK.
  • Now they're working on an HTML5 exporter. Want to bet where that will take them?
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Post » Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:13 pm

@Fimbul : I read your post, so you are suggesting that scirra actually stick to HTML5 since it is what they does best, right? Because I agree if it is that, It seems I'm the only one here to not complain about mobile performance, I did think it would be far worse than that, yes I have little experience in mobile, but really C2 does the best HTML5 output out there, and for a price that is really cheap, "you still have to know how to program to be able to pull out good perfs" I don't call that programing but game design decisions personnally.

however, @tomsstudio is doing a good job, and I encourage him to continue because this is really showing how really great C2 is, and also could prove that a native output could be unessecary or could be great, but I don't encourage people to use his work to say that scirra does a bad job or takes bad decisions!
Game design is all about decomposing the core of your game so it becomes simple instructions.
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Post » Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:29 pm

@Aphrodite: yes, I'm suggesting scirra sticks to their currently business plan - which means to stick to HTML5. The entire tech industry has been moving the way of the web for quite some time now, and with HTML5 this has just accelerated.

Most people working with computers either use the browser as their only software or could do so if desired - the exceptions are people like 3D modelers, VFX artists, graphic designers and other specialized functions like database admins and the sort. Even programmers are switching to javascript based IDEs like brackets. We already have quasi-html5 based OSs (chromeOS), html5 smartphones (Firefox OS) and most of the software industry is investing almost exclusively on web tech for new apps.

In my opinion, the only thing @Ashley needs to change is:
  1. Develop a command-line exporter
  2. Create a new editor using web tech - this is not a website or a "cloud editor", but a normal software just like the one we use except instead of C++ it's made on javascript. The current editor is quite simple so it's not like it would be difficult to port. It even makes development faster, since you can share code between the runtime and the IDE.
  3. Open it up for developers to create IDE plugins (say, and IDE SDK) - stuff like dialogue tree editors, AI editors, finite state machine creators all would suddenly become possible with ease. Currently those kinds of tools can exist, but they'd rely on modifying the XML, which could cause corruptions. Examples of the kinds of things possible are the spriter and tilemap plugins, which only exist because scirra supports them officially.
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Post » Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:34 pm

Fimbul wrote:Ashley is a veteran of the industry, he was already a veteran back when I started, and I have 14 years of experience with this sort of dev tool, so I like to think my opinion carries some weight.
Windows XP is too old to even be considered! Why don't you go ahead and ash Ashley to support internet explorer 6 as well?
Windows XP is 13 years old! When XP was launched, not even windows 3.1 was that old! That would be equivalent to you booting up your XP machine for the first time and hearing someone extol the virtues of windows 2.0! I'm sorry, windows XP isn't even a factor anymore.

Except, XP is on almost 30% of all computers which use the internet daily. 30% is a massive factor, regardless of how old the system is. And I suspect it'll continue to be a massive factor until either Microsoft replaces its village idiot, or Chromebooks is upgraded to become truly PC (instead of PC lite).

And as far as your 'opinion' carrying 'weight', if you've so keen to belittle such as large demographic, then no, your opinion doesn't carry any weight when it comes to commerciality.
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Post » Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:50 pm

Fimbul wrote:In my opinion, the only thing @Ashley needs to change is:
  1. Develop a command-line exporter
  2. Create a new editor using web tech - this is not a website or a "cloud editor", but a normal software just like the one we use except instead of C++ it's made on javascript. The current editor is quite simple so it's not like it would be difficult to port. It even makes development faster, since you can share code between the runtime and the IDE.
  3. Open it up for developers to create IDE plugins (say, and IDE SDK) - stuff like dialogue tree editors, AI editors, finite state machine creators all would suddenly become possible with ease. Currently those kinds of tools can exist, but they'd rely on modifying the XML, which could cause corruptions. Examples of the kinds of things possible are the spriter and tilemap plugins, which only exist because scirra supports them officially.



For the javascript editor, I think they though about it a long time ago, and it wasn't possible at the time
Game design is all about decomposing the core of your game so it becomes simple instructions.
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Post » Fri Mar 14, 2014 5:37 pm

Fimbul wrote:Windows XP is too old to even be considered! Why don't you go ahead and ash Ashley to support internet explorer 6 as well?


Because Internet explorer 6 doesn't have the features necessary to run HTML5 games. XP does, and until recently, chrome supported hardware acceleration on it by default. That's more users that can purchase your game. It's that simple. Besides, Ashley already said he's going to make node webkit have hardware acceleration all the time.

Fimbul wrote:I think that the fact that third party plugins aren't necessary for the vast majority of projects says more about the lack of power in the SDK than it does about the power of construct.


I disagree. My point was that the built in plugins cover the majority of what games need. IDE plugins would be cool to have at some point, though.

Fimbul wrote:Working on native exporters is a trap, just look at the state of multimedia fusion 2.5 - practically a joke, after all those years they release a meager update with either nothing new (support for skinning), features it should have had from the start (utf-8) or, at best, features the competition had for nearly a decade (zooming/rotating the layout).


Again, I disagree. The state of MMF should not be used to assume what the state of C2 would be if they made native exporters. C2 already is vastly better than MMF, is updated way, way faster, works better and has most features that games need, and scirra working on native exporters would not send C2 back to MMF levels of problems, nor would it entirely stop progress on the IDE if they hired someone to work on them concurrently.

Fimbul wrote:iOS is, as well as everything else apple makes, overpriced hype.


You can't just call a platform with over 700 million devices sold overpriced hype. Even if not all of them are currently in use, a quick google search implies more than half still are. that means the number of iOS devices in use is rivaling the total number of playstations ever sold (somewhere north of 400 million including psp and vita). Even if you personally don't like it, lots of other people do and it has been a huge moneymaker for some.

Fimbul wrote:They should be the ones fixing their memory management and enabling webGL/javascript compiling for third parties - we moan at ludei for not fixing cocoonJS but who's knocking on apple's door telling them to get their act together?


Lots of people, actually, and have been for quite a while, but apple doesn't want to for some reason that they apparently don't want to disclose (or at least in my search for answers I don't recall finding an official reason). Also, memory management is ludei's problem, not apple's.

Fimbul wrote:And what's the alternative? Making native exporters? Well let me tell you a story about a similar company that went this route, and that's an established game-making company with many employees:


Which company was that? Regardless, one company's failure does not mean another company will not succeed. There are quite a few frameworks that export native just fine.

Fimbul wrote:The current editor is quite simple


It's really not. It's the result of years of work and quite a lot of code.

Fimbul wrote:so it's not like it would be difficult to port.


Unless there's some tool like emscripten that could do most of it automatically, I think you're vastly underestimating the task.
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Post » Fri Mar 14, 2014 6:43 pm

Aurora Australis wrote:Except, XP is on almost 30% of all computers which use the internet daily. 30% is a massive factor, regardless of how old the system is. And I suspect it'll continue to be a massive factor until either Microsoft replaces its village idiot, or Chromebooks is upgraded to become truly PC (instead of PC lite).
30% is the same share IE6 had of the browser's market until march 2008. Steam stats say XP usage is around 10%, and steam's demographic is the same as the one you're probably aiming for. XP usage stats are also massively inflated due to china, so unless you're targeting chinese casual gamers during their working hours (if so, that's dumb), XP is as good as gone.
Coincidentally, construct 2 was launched officially in june 2011, and back then IE6+IE7 had a combined 9.5% share.
Aurora Australis wrote:And as far as your 'opinion' carrying 'weight', if you've so keen to belittle such as large demographic, then no, your opinion doesn't carry any weight when it comes to commerciality.
Since when am I belittling anyone? I'm dissenting - two totally different things. Unlike some of the people in the forum, I couldn't care less about mobile. I get that people make money with mobile games, and I get that mobile is what's "hot" right now, so I don't mind, however:
If you guys want to pressure Ashley to focus on mobile exporters, then I am within my rights as a buyer to pressure Ashley to NOT focus on mobile and keep his current strategy of a pure-HTML5 product. When this product started (and when I purchased my license) it was all about the desktop, so when business decisions start impacting the quality for me (and make no mistake, if Ashley were to focus on native exporters, the desktop side would suffer), I have to speak.
Arima wrote:Because Internet explorer 6 doesn't have the features necessary to run HTML5 games. XP does, and until recently, chrome supported hardware acceleration on it by default. That's more users that can purchase your game. It's that simple. Besides, Ashley already said he's going to make node webkit have hardware acceleration all the time.
I agree, this discussion on XP is basically a moot point due to node webkit. Still, I would expect HTML5 developers, by definition on the bleeding edge of tech, to not care about outdated/unsupported platforms.
Arima wrote:Again, I disagree. The state of MMF should not be used to assume what the state of C2 would be if they made native exporters. C2 already is vastly better than MMF, is updated way, way faster, works better and has most features that games need, and scirra working on native exporters would not send C2 back to MMF levels of problems, nor would it entirely stop progress on the IDE if they hired someone to work on them concurrently.

Why shouldn't the state of MMF be used as a baseline for comparison? You're well aware Ashley, or as he was known back then, Tigerworks, made construct due to dissatisfaction with clickteam's solutions. This is in part due to Ashley being a better developer, but the vast majority of it is due to learning from clickteam's mistakes! Let's explore some of those:
  • Hardware acceleration support from the get go. While the infrastructure (read:webGL) wasn't there yet, the scaffolding was present long before.
  • Open formats and technologies.
  • Event sheet organization is a priority - even official plugins should adhere to standards and not be deeply dependant on engine internals (this is an area where I think c2 has been failing a bit, recently, with the new crop of official plugins requiring architectural changes).
  • Open discussion of competitors in the forums.
  • Short release cycle.
And now, most recently, we can say add "not wasting time developing native exporters" to that list. It's obvious that native exporters would not send C2 back to MMF levels of problems, but it would definitely slow things down. Ashley said it himself: the work involved in maintaining separate codebases grows exponentially!
Hiring someone new doesn't change anything: that is one person that is sucking money from Scirra. That same person could be developing something else instead. It's as if you all think the editor is perfect already when it's far from it! We need more modularity, we need a way to code server-side in construct (especially now with multiplayer), the tilemap needs way more features (where's isometric support? why can't tiles have attributes? why do we need a separate tilemap for a collision layer? how do we make multi-tile entities without resorting to third party tilemap plugins?), we still don't have full layout-by-layout loading, the list goes on and on...
Arima wrote:You can't just call a platform with over 700 million devices sold overpriced hype. Even if not all of them are currently in use, a quick google search implies more than half still are. Even if you personally don't like it, lots of other people do and it has been a huge moneymaker for some.
Actually I can, and I just did. My personal grievances with Apple aside, the point is that you're always reliant on third parties: I could go reductio-ad-absurdum (as I did with my IE6 example) and suggest that Scirra becomes a mobile device manufacturer and OS vendor as well to minimize reliance on external factors. That would obviously be outlandish - my argument is that making native exporters might not be totally inviable, but it's still unreasonable. This phenomenon even has a name: Not invented here. Why do you think Ashley's solutions would be better than existing solutions?
Arima wrote:but apple doesn't want to for some reason that they apparently don't want to disclose (or at least in my search for answers I don't recall finding an official reason)

And there's that "third parties are unreliable" issue again. Back when clickteam was developing the android exporter, they ran into some bug in the official Android SDK that prevented them from continuing. Chrome for windows 8 ARM still has many of it's capabilities artificially limited. JIT compilers for iOS are inaccessible, third parties cannot compile. Apple's software can, though, so it's not an engineering or technological problem.
This goes to show that even when making native compilers, the list of possible problems with third parties is huge! Sticking to HTML5 has its cons, but at least there you know the issues will eventually be fixed, since you have giant players throwing their weight behind HTML5's success.
Arima wrote:Which company was that? Regardless, one company's failure does not mean another company will not succeed. There are quite a few frameworks that export native just fine.
...? The company is clickteam. But we can also talk gameSalad, gamemaker, and many others in the scene. The reason I chose C2 over them is because I think C2 is a better product. And that is due to not wasting time on exporters. Ashley keeps mentioning "what a waste it would be to develop native exporters and by then HTML5 is good enough", but can you imagine the waste it would be if we had a native blackberry exporter? Symbian? Tizen? XNA? Ouya? Windows Mobile? Ubuntu touch? Palm OS? Bada? Hindsight is always 20/20 but who could've predicted the huge success of the wii? Or the huge failure of the WiiU? Or the sudden appearance of the iPhone? Blackberry was once a huge company, so it's not like you're safe by sticking with what's established today.
Arima wrote:It's really not. It's the result of years of work and quite a lot of code.
Keep in mind I'm talking about the IDE only, not the engine powering the games or the exporter. The most complicated parts are the event editor, the image editor, and the saving/loading of it all into XML. Sounds like, at most, a few months work to convert, though only @Ashley can say with any certainty.
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Post » Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:11 pm

@Fimbul

"If you guys want to pressure Ashley to focus on mobile exporters, then I am within my rights as a buyer to pressure Ashley to NOT focus on mobile and keep his current strategy of a pure-HTML5 product".

- I understand that youve got a lot experience. im shocking that these thoughts are from an experienced developer like you.Because experience means years and you are not a child to speak this way. What it means we pressure for mobile and you with your rights will pressure Ashley to NOT focus on mobile. Ashley is not a dog or a cat...He has his plan for what he will do. And for the moment he gave us many alternatives desktop,mobile,consoles and we are talking about our problems/our worries to find out where things will go.
In the end you bought c2 for a specific thing, others (like me) also bought it for html but mainly for mobiles. All have opinion there is no need to push someone.

Also you wrote:
"When this product started (and when I purchased my license) it was all about the desktop, so when business decisions start impacting the quality for me (and make no mistake, if Ashley were to focus on native exporters, the desktop side would suffer), I have to speak)."


-"when the program started"...Now you remind me WIN XP..Then the engine got a specific target now it has multiple targets.things changing like Windows...it is called progress 3.1-95-98-me-xp-7-8
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