Consider Cocoon if XDK is not working (updated)

Discussion and feedback on Construct 2

Post » Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:38 pm

UPDATED: When I first posted this I was dealing with a lot of really stupid problems with XDK. Project crippling plugin issues and other nonsense. When I found Cocoon IO at the time it was working so much better for me than XDK that I wanted everyone to know about it... however since this post awhile back, I currently feel that this is no longer accurate. It is still a good platform but basically depending on your game needs and such or problems you may face, be sure you consider cocoon io if XDK is giving you trouble. At this point they are both good. Both have pros and cons but ultimately both (though things change constantly with software updates / OS updates / plugins,etc) are working hard to be better and its a good idea to familiarize yourself with both of them and then use which ever one you like better till it doesn't do what you need well enough..

------- Rant begins -------

Listen everyone, I know I'm not the only one who's had more than one nightmarish experience with cordova / xdk / phonegap publishing with cranberry plugins not working with a particular version of construct 2 or xdk.. you get build errors.. no idea why? spending hours trying to find the answer yourself or with others..

I have found the solution and so has Volkan.. Cocoon IO!

I was reluctant to get into it.. I was comfortable with XDK and even if it kept mucking up the time.. I did have some successes with it.. but those successes eventually were becoming an unacceptable % of the time i was spending.. to the point where it was looking like Construct 2 was becoming unviable for mobile game development... at least for anyone beyond a hobbyist or people who didn't need to rely on any 3rd party services.

So some people bitch about some stuff.. I'm going to tackle a few of those weak arguments:

But Caleb, they want $500 to remove a splash screen!
this is optional! you don't have to pay $500 to use the service and make a game. you just see a little short splash screen before your game loads. If you think this is unfair.. EVERY unity user who uses the free tools has this and guess how much it would cost to own the software to not have a splash screen with unity.. if you want iOS and Android it would cost you $4500 and ONLY $3000 if you just do iOS or Android.. a steal!

I don't want to have to learn another complicated publishing process
It's not! yes it's a little different than XDK/Phonegap, but it's MUCH easier to manage plugins! OMG once you get in there you'll know what I'm talking about

I love having to make 12 different specific icon sizes with each new project I make in XDK.
Well I love uploading a single 1024x1024 image and let them deal with all of them for me.. seriously.. you might cry a little when you realize you can do it once and just see icons in your builds regardless of device you publish on..

I still have a bad taste in my mouth from Cocoon.JS
I personally never went too far down that road, but I know people were having trouble with it in various ways. It's improved remarkably since then. The fact that they brought in Cordova plugin support is a game changer. This means you're no longer reliant on either Cocoon IO OR Ashley to make working plugins. Cordova offers a 3rd party solution and it works!

I want to use Cranberry / Cordova plugins
You can! That was the big improvement with "IO". They included Cordova plugin support! I have spent seriously.. MONTHS trying to get ALL the plugins I need working with XDK and without fail something would always fuck up and leave me with an almost working game.. in the matter of a couple of weeks of learning / testing XDK I now have IAP, Vungle, Admob and Social Sharing working. I used the native Cocoon IO IAP plugin and Ads.. but Social Sharing and Vungle (from Cranberry) worked just fine.

Cocoon IO has actual Construct 2 plugins created specifically to help use Cocoon IO services directly
Seriously, unlike cranberry plugins which are a wild west of support / breaking SDK versions where these are actively supported plugins by humans who respond to your posts on the Cocoon IO forum to help developers with problems.

Crosswalk is so awesome. I love it's performance and how big it bloats my games
Well I can't help you there. If you use Cocoon IO for Android it is 2mb + your game.. Crosswalk is 19mb + your game.. I had a game i made with crosswalk that was 28mb.. when i moved the same game over to Cocoon IO it came out 13mb.. and great performance.

These greedy Cocoon IO guys actually want me to pay money for their work!
They have a free plan and then have several tier plans (i'm going to be going with Silver myself this week because my time is more valuable than using a free tool that has sapped so much energy from me) but you don't have to pay them one red cent to publish your games. The other tiers off higher priority on compiling, but in my experience the free tier takes about as long as XDK ever took to do their compiles.


Why am I posting this? Because I'd like to see more people in the Cocoon IO forums posting their problems and solutions. Cocoon IO isn't without some getting used too, but I've found that the blockers I hit are able to be moved around without much trouble.. unlike the hair pulling frustration I and others I know have faced..

this tutorial will get you far. you may hit a few other little things along the way, but seriously don't jump ahead.. take your time. start with a hello world project. don't try to pull your completed game over starting out.. if you start simple you'll bring your game over..

https://shatter-box.com/knowledgebase/cocoonio-how-to-build-a-game-using-construct-2/

also Andy made a book download for $3.. Andy has been incredibly helpful and he's part of the Cocoon IO team. Buy this book if nothing else but a way of saying thank you for helping Construct 2 developers out. https://www.scirra.com/store/ebooks/quick-starter-ebook-1893

If you have questions post them on the cocoon io forum and i'll try to help where I can as well. I hope to see more/all of you sharing your successes with Cocoon IO very soon. I have a couple of games coming out soon.. it's actually nice to go back to fixing actual in-game bugs again rather than chasing down plugin errors and compile problems... Cocoon IO can give you errors too but believe me if you pace yourself, you'll see what I'm talking about.
Last edited by part12studios on Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post » Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:29 pm

yes its really good and scirra must make it official
i guess the only problem is when you use physic !
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Post » Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:02 pm

I haven't run into any problems, but my use of physics is pretty light. That said whatever the issue is I'm sure it can and will be fixed if enough people report it.
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Post » Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:18 pm

Theses things go up and down, just like with Nwjs. It's important to keep from burning your bridges for that reason.
Of course you have to be able to tell when something is not coming back as well
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Post » Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:27 pm

yea i understand to some extent, Ashley wanting to be neutral but then if they don't want to officially support some particular platform / technology they should diminish the affected platforms as viable..

Because what people basically bitch about is "well i already paid for C2.. why should i need to pay for anything else?" and they are right if their under the impression that C2 CAN reach a given platform.. other game engines like GameSalad and others have an incorporated pipeline which means it WILL work for those platforms though it might also inherit some limitations as well.

I think C2 got burned by Cocoon.JS because of various reasons.. and probably don't want to be burned again.. I get it.. but people will learn (and be unhappy) eventually that C2 to iPhone/Android is difficult through most options.. especially if they want to make money with their game.. and i think it's fair to say most C2 developers think their game is going to make money.. but it's the same story over and over.. people make their game with C2 quickly.. then spend many times that much time trying to figure out how to publish the game.

Cocoon IO is by far the smoothest path and I hope no one wastes any more time trying to fight with XDK like I have and other developers I know who are using Cocoon IO now.
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Post » Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:39 pm

What about IAP with Cocoon IO? There is nothing mentioned in Andy's e-book. Can you point to some tutorial?
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Post » Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:41 pm

there is no tutorial for that.. BUT there are templates you can download if you get the cocoon io plugin.. these capx files show the file working. it works just like you would expect it to work using cranberry's plugin with minor differences.

I have them working and it was no major re-write of the IAP system that was formerly using cranberry's IAP plugin
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Post » Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:49 pm

or @backendfreak you could write an ebook on how to do it ;) This is a new frontier but man it's been nice to explore. i still have things to test out..

Also keep in mind that if you use the cocoon IO ad object. there can only be one so whatever service.. admob, chartboost, etc.. is the only one that system can have. It might also be possible to stack cordova plugins as well but i haven't tried it yet. I only needed admob and moved on from there.

I will say this, one thing that Cocoon IO does require if you want to make an iOS app is a .p12 file. This typically requires an actual mac computer to generate, but you CAN make a .p12 file if you google how to do it on pc. There is a tutorial from years back I once followed to create a .p12 and it worked.. but if you have a mac it's a bit easier to do.. but there is a tutorial for that also because it is still a little weird.

Android is as you would image very easy to publish too. i will say that I have seen some inconsistencies that they have acknowledged when you make a project. only make your project for iOS OR android.. don't try to do both.. if you do it might work, but I have seen situations where a compile works for one and not the other with the same setup..

Most of this I have learned just in my own experiences so I'm not saying you'll never have a bump along the way, but I think you will agree bumps you can work out yourself are much easier than ones that require someone else to be involved with.

There is more on this for later, but so far any wall I've hit had a very straight forward solution and that's the kind of stuff I like, just like with Construct 2 itself. Things don't always work as I think they should but when they don't I find alternatives
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Post » Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:04 pm

That sounds really promising. When I started working with C2 for mobile apps there was even no e-book describing step by step how to build a mobile app with C2 and IntelXDK and I struggled a lot. And it was really painfull process to learn everything so I was really not in a mood to start this struggle again with CooconJS, Coocon IO or anything else.

BUT... Intel XDK is not perfect as we all know. Performance is pretty poor, and with every new Crosswalk version release it was worse and worse. And on top of that there are mobiles which simply cannot hadle it at all. It is a minority but still.

So this was really discouraging to build more mobile apps with C2, and I think many peaople simply left C2 because of that.

And I'll say one more thing. I've never shared that on the forum, but I think it's a right time. I've built a mobile game with C2 (pretty simple trivia game). First it got its release on Polish market (Polish version). Simply to do good testing on smaller market before releasing WorldWide in english. You can take a look on it here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... polskiquiz
As you can see it has pretty decent graphics, and we had VERY good feedback from people we were showing the game (I'm saying "we" cause I've released that with a group of friends). But still it has a mark of 3.9 now... which is not the best score you would expect. Once we put the game on Google Play the nightmare started. Many people had performance issues, game was blinking, wasn't working at all etc. We had to ban several devices at all (including Galaxy Tab 3 series!) and rise android requirement to 4.4 KitKat to be sure game is runnung on some decent/modern device. Till we made those changes we recieved a lot of negative comments and bad marks. Not because the game was bad, but because it wasn't working. It was really a pain, especially when you invest some money in marketing.

Anyway I was waiting with releasing english version till C2 will get some better "partner" to compile mobile games. And it looks like the time has come!

So again. Cocon IO sounds really promising. Thank you @part12studios for sharing!
Last edited by BackendFreak on Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post » Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:14 pm

@backendfreak all of this.. I hope you have better luck with Cocoon IO. If your experience is half as good as mine has been you'll still be glad you made the move.

C2/XDK are basically fine if you don't use any plugins.. but we all know that no one can make any money without relying on plugins or incorporate social media and other marketing technology.

You should notice that moving to Cocoon IO will not be all that bad.. just take it one plugin at a time, don't try to throw them all in at once because you very well may get some error and not know which plugin was the problem..
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