Just a word on programming

Discussion and feedback on Construct 2

Post » Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:04 am

Reading the thread about one game engine vs another it is hard not to notice how important it is for people that you don't have to code in C2. Hanging around this forum you surely see a lot of variations of this: "C2 is great because it allows artists to create games". The word 'artist' is apparently used as a synonym for 'a creative person who sucks at coding.'

I would just like to point out two things for those who begin their adventure with software development here.

First, C2 really is remarkably more accessible than any code based tool. That said, most people think of coding as some kind of an arcane art available to master for the chosen and the talented. That's completely not the case. If you jump right into the middle of a C handbook and try to wrap your head around memory management, pointers and the like then sure, you can get discouraged pretty easily. But to write a 2d game in Basic or Python is really not that big a deal. Actually it is pretty similar to working in C2 once you get the hang of it. Which leads to the second thing...

You are already coding in C2. You may be using menus and icons to interact with the engine but you do the same things any programmer does 90% of the time. If you know how to use variables, loops and functions in C2 then you know how to program. If you are smart enough to master advanced graphics software and C2 then you are also smart enough to program. Just get a good online course/book for a high level programming language and you're good to go.

Look, there are at least hundreds of thousands of programmers in the world, and only a handful are math geniuses. Most are normal people who just learned it at some point and carried on exploring. It's way easier than learning to play the piano, for example. So if you feel that you 'are an artist but can't code' then this is a self imposed limit.

Being unable to code is not like an intrinsic quality you can't do anything about. It is probably easier than you think. It may not be that necessary when modern tools like C2 are around but if you want... you can do that!

Ps. I can code. But I still love C2.
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Post » Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:28 pm

[QUOTE=pirx]You may be using menus and icons to interact with the engine but you do the same things any programmer does 90% of the time.[/QUOTE]
Courtesy of google image search:

This is one of the more noticeable differences, which might be enough to sway the opinions of some people towards C2 (honestly, when you're starting to learn programming, syntax is likely to cause you problems, especially if the language isn't described very well, e.g. Pascal), but i guess i see what you're saying...Stiivais2013-11-22 14:29:53
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Post » Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:59 pm

I love C2 for the fact that you don't have to type out endless code in the traditional sense being an artist. I can visually understand the list of events much quicker and easier. Its like speaking plain english when i read through what's going on. And you can beat the immediate satisfaction of being able to play something as quickly as throwing on a platform behavior for example and a ground plane. Very few game engines allow you to immediately get your creative ideas out there and iterate.

C2 is amazing!
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Post » Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:49 pm

I agree with justifun, as when you look at C2 I think you need to look at it in a different light to an 'industry tool'. It's more like a tool for designers/artists who might otherwise have no interest at all in game creation. Hence a lot of people refer to it as a toy, but I think that's also like saying a painter is no good unless they can make their own paint. To me, code-free engines are the next step in the games industry and more and more coders will be funnelled into making these engines as opposed to making the games.

So yes, you're right, you can learn to code. But when it comes to it, the response is why? Every few weeks C2 makes advancements that reduce the need for code (even multiplayer is on the way!), so if you are purely a designer/artist I would argue it's time misspent to learn code. It's like when you go to a games convention the talkers always say 'don't try to do everything'. If you are about creating content, you should focus on that and not have to worry about 'SYNTAX ERROR' ;)

My idea of course has the pitfall of if the game engine you use suddenly disappears and every other engine out there still uses only code, you are stuck not making games. But for many people they would rather not make games if it meant having to code.

Just my few cents! :)
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Post » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:11 pm

I disagree, somewhat.... feels like you are being a bit narcistic, comparing your own skills to that of others.

Being able to write a few lines of code versus applying programming methodology to create an interactive component ..... are 2 worlds of differences ...

Though, once you get the gist of general programming flow and modern day object orientated programming, you can probably handle any type of modern programming language, but applying it, thats a whole different level of "artist"
Who dares wins
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Post » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:16 pm

C2 is programming it's not coding. And no matter how much Scirra managed to drop the programming barrier there is still the large masses of people who just don't get logic flow.

That is the key element to programming anything. It is the understanding of logic flow.

C2 does soo much of the back end work that it's amazing what can be created in a short time. I personally feel C2 can get a prototype game of just about anythign in 2D faster than coding. So this helps a lot of new people get into the entire programming element where as coding time and compile would slow them down.

Coding still oddly mostly carries a lot of overhead than just programming. There is IDE setup, compilers, a lot of console commands. While Unity helps stream line this a lot the root of programming still has a lot of grindy hurdle overhead.
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Post » Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:22 pm

I dunno, I'm an artist that's only making games because of C2 because every time I tried to wrap my head around traditional coding, no matter the language (I tried basic, c++, JavaScript and some others I can't remember), I just couldn't do it. Maybe I just didn't find the right tutorials, but all the ones I tried assumed simultaneously that I already understood how to code for some reason while teaching me how to code. I'm guessing they were trying to teach people who were already programmers just how to use that language, rather than teaching someone how to code from square one. None of the random symbols and syntax ever made sense. I also really like C2's concept of picking objects, which I hear is different with traditional coding.

Regardless, I look at traditional code and I see gobbledygook, and I look at C2 and see understandable logic. I think someone should create a language that reads as well as C2 does. Even if they did though, I still really like coding with a wacom tablet rather than typing (and technically, due to problems with my hands, I can't type enough to code traditionally anymore anyway).
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Post » Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:58 pm

Most "languages" are just that, attempts at making it more read/writable, speeding coding up, and extending access to more people.
So there are languages in languages dropping the complexity more each level.
Saying Construct2 isn't part of that lineage is narcissistic, anything "lighter" than your level of coding experience is a game maker.
Every language has elitist haters, look at Java.     

Edit:
Ok, maybe not every language, there aren't many Assembly coders knocking C. Paradox2013-11-22 20:12:49
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Post » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:12 pm

C2 has taught me so much in terms of programming that it is making my switch to unity much easier to grasp. I am with jayderyu, Construct 2 may not be coding, but it has taught me how to program. Now as I begin projects in unity, things that seemed so foreign before, suddenly make sense.
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Post » Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:06 pm

I am a full time programmer. C2 is definitely programming.

I have written games from the ground up. C2 is 100x more productive than raw Javascript. The time between coding a UI and experiencing is very low with C2. This is critical for rapid iterations. Its saving me tons of time

Yesterday I managed to force Dijkstra algorithm in C2. It was actually harder work than if I just coded it in a normal language. BUT I COULD. The time lost in expressing computer science style algorithms is saved many, many times over in being able to experience the visual and interactive elements of the game immediately.

Performance is a b****. Still, even if I port the entire project to Javascript myself, it would still lead to a shorter overall development time. I can do all the tinkering with things so fast with C2
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