Great for Beginners? -- (update) maybe!

Discussion and feedback on Construct 2

Post » Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:24 pm

This is just a vent.

Look, I've been playing around with examples and tutorials for a couple of days just to manage text input, for a simple quiz -- A simple quiz!! (too bad I don't want to destory hordes of aliens) ... All the examples for 'quiz' use a simple mouse for input, and no tracking (even the word search example burried here is only click first letter, and click last letter. No dragging across word path examples (such as in boggle or ruzzle) .... and every one uses non-beginner functions and more advanced features such as arrays or json. There are no good, simple tutorials for this, and it is not easy to understand logic flow in Construct for what I am trying to do. I'm still stuck trying to figure out the best way to assign text input to a local variable! ... (and what about timing?)

What I've discovered, is that for even something as simple as input validation, you need some understanding of functions and programming. That's certainly not 'beginner' level ... I also find the tutorials beyond the graphics games, very lacking or incomplete or requiring a 3rd party plugin (when it comes to text) ... perhaps that is the nature of 'text' but I find this a very lacking quality of this product (how many educational institutions would like to write a simple quiz?) ... and this is a product that is pitched for "beginners" ? ... and if you have a question, the tone here is 'do tons of research first and become and expert (using disorganized and incomplete examples and tutorials), and then maybe you can ask your question' ... hmph.

I don't want to give up, because I think my teenage son would really get a kick out of the graphic games that seem to be much easier to create.

My end goal is to make a boggle clone, but one that is more quiz based -- where you can pick the letters or words you want to appear in the grid and 'train' on them.... I have already developed a web site (using old school ColdFusion) to sort and parse a whole lot of word information (see bestwordplay dot com ) -- I did the code (uses jquery, datatables and database) ... but now wanting to use Construct to add a quiz -- much more challenging!!

Anyway, sorry to vent -- but I'm not even a pure beginner and am quite frustrated with this product for my personal interests. I'm not ready to give up -- I see potential... I just needed to vent. Thanks for listening.
Last edited by kbtbc on Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post » Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:36 pm

The nature of what you are trying to do is very closely related with arrays, and iterative loops, and as an extension, functions. You can do without them but it's much easier with these. A quiz if I understand correctly will at least have a question database and answers related... Don't make the graphics fool you, there are many incredibly complex algorithms running on many, graphicless environments. Besides, simple use of arrays and loops is actually beginner stuff. C2 is VERY suitable for beginners no matter what you want to achieve, especially so when compared to other similar, programs.

Let off some steam, Bennett. You say you won't give up, so hopefully, when you make a couple running examples and see how easy it was, you will laugh at your own post :) Within a week, if you are really focused.
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Post » Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:05 pm

That's not actaully very hard at all. However hard is subjective. And no matter how easy the tool is to use; there will always be an edge case example that. Especially an edge case where a new tool user may not quite get the flow of the tool. In C2 it's all about leveraging the tools easy graphical style of development to your use. Sure you can use an array, but there are ways to structure an array. Including graphically.

Step 1 there is no code flow. this is design.
So here is a thought. Create a sprite(you can use sprite font) with 26 animatons so that there is 1 letter per animation and each animation named according to letter. Turn off animation speed so the letters don't cycle.

Define a screen offset X and Y. Get the Width/height of the Sprite. Determine Rows/Columns for your board.

Create a for(i = 0; i < col * row; i++)
stystem.create object SpriteLetter.
spriterletter.position = x * width + offsetX and y * height +offsetY // technically you will want a spacing option
spriteletter.animation = choose("a", "b", "c"................) // the alphbet



Step 2
Create a few objects and stuff Also make sure you include Touch Object.
text word
1 SpriteObject. called Node
1 SpriteObject. called PathLine
1 SpriteObject. Clear button. This goes off the side. With the events OnTouch. Destroy node and PathLine
1 SpriteObject. Solve button.


Event
IsOnTouch
isTouching SpriteLetter
isNode NOT overlapping Sprite Letter
-- Create Node.
-- node.position to spriterletter


Event
OnCreated SpriteNode
-- if node.count > 0
-- node.createdId = node.count
-- node.create PathLine
-- pathline.set angle(nodexy, lastnodexy)... wyou will need to do some funky same object stuff here by prestorexy
-- lastcretednodeUID = node


Solving
whatever trigger you want
for each node sort by countid ascending
-- node overlapping spriteletter(this builds the SOL into the sprite letter for just the node)
-- word add text spriteletter.animationname
endloop// only to note when the word is built
check word against dictionary
do word stuff.


And for the dictionary your on your own. but I'm sure you can find something

But for me this was a very simple design that I could probably whip up in less than an hour. However I totally admit that I really needed to think within C2 design flow. Which isn't intuitive with a programmers background design.

Anyways. Easy peasy project. :) good luck
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Post » Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:25 pm

Thank you for your feedback, encouragement and the outline for approach -- very helpful!

I'm a beginner here ... Hard is definitely relative! I will proceed to work this out ... what you can do in an hour will probably take me at least the two weeks Windwalker suggested ;-)

I do have dictionary and database already (in use in my website) ... my code there does use arrays and functions (so they are not foreign concepts to me) -- it's just Construct is so different than what I have ever used for any programming and I'm not really sure managing text input (or given the popularity of word games) that this is an 'edge' case ...
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Post » Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:55 pm

Yeah, boggle isn't a beginner game. Just did the bones for a cvc game, and It takes a pretty deep understanding to pull it off.
The key is to know every little action, rule, etc before you even start.
Knowledge of regex couldn't hurt either, and any thing string related.
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Post » Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:10 pm

The game I tried starting with was a puzzle game, albeit a graphical one. I ended up putting it aside, and making some other simple things first to get my head around Construct2. And there are still times where a problem seems to defy logic. When that happens, step back and think of alternative solutions. Writing a new solution to a problem can be faster than banging your head on the old one for days. If that's hard to make yourself do, tell yourself you are only making a temporary work around, so that you can continue, and come back later to the tough spot.

It is possible to do, but not exactly following the beginner path.
Here's a dictionary type playable one I keep coming back to and working on, still needs a bit more work before I make it live.
http://hexedtext.clay.io/
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Post » Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:04 pm

If you're talking about making a game with something like clicking (or touching) and dragging along a word in a wordsearch, then matching that word, it's definitely at least intermediate level and not beginner level. You're going to have to get involved with user input and tracking a user gesture, arrays, and pattern matching (probably against a database). As a beginner launching directly in to something at least intermediate level is probably going to be a struggle. I'd still recommend the beginner tutorials even if they're not the kind of game you want to make - they'll give you an impression of how to start using Construct 2, and are indeed easier and more suitable for a beginner level user.
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Post » Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:27 pm

Message: kbtbc can only post plain text URLS until they have 500 rep. 1 URLS modified. Why?
Ok, concepts are starting to come together! ... I haven't even got to touch functions yet -- so I made need two more weeks ;-) ... but after a week of effort, I have to say that I am really enjoying the results -- I am just personally having fun learning.

After fully completing the first tutorials, and then wondering how to handle the word data and how to approach this with C2, I decided to just alter the Ghost Shooter -- and work with what I am learning -- and I have functionality to show for it!

This wouldn't be possible without the fine help of the people here in these forums. From the idea here on using animation frames, to help with arrays I have put together 'Ruzzle's Revenge'! (the letters are back after years of abuse being so misspelled) ... In this pre-pre-alpha release, the "monsters" are one of 5 letters, 'A,S,P,E,R' ... which can be anagramed into 240 possible words -- which I store in array. As you kill the monsters, you are building possible words. The shortest possible words are matched first (for example if you are thinking to spell SPARE, the game will first record SPA as a valid word. Once a word is matched, it cannot be rematched. Possible matches will be displayed as you play, just as a reference, helping you learn new anagrams (which is good for us Ruzzlers). If your letter que can't go on to complete a word, it is reset and points are lost. ...

Anyway, this is hardly a game to 'show off', but rather I'm excited to finally not feel overwhelmed. These are just beginner modifications to the tutorial, with a ton more to do -- but if you want to try it, I published it here http://fun.bestwordplay.com

Now I'm off to figure out the highscore/php/ajax tutorial! Happy July1st!!
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