Just showing Scirra some love.

Discussion and feedback on Construct 2

Post » Mon Dec 22, 2014 5:50 am

This topic started out as a type of closing addendum to another topic on a completely unrelated subject, but, I just had too much to say to justify that. And, this is still everything simplified in a nutshell, while trying my best to keep the negative attacks on other things to a minimum.

To those that made C2... I just want to say.... thank you.

Construct 2 makes extra effort much more worth putting in, both by usability, and with a manual that is very detailed and easy to understand, and also updated in a timely manner. MMF and Game Maker pail hugely to it in my opinion. I understand this is just an opinion, but its a very strong one based on experience. Not as if the other two don't have a few decently sized things that I miss being able to use, but... decently sized != largely sized != extremely largely sized. The difference in useability I feel from it is immense. But, Game Maker does have an awesome animation editor. I like to use graphics generated by it, then easily import them into C2. That'll show them. This very thing is more difficult for me to do GM-> MMF, cause MMF can't mass import lots of single frames at once, and importing "spritesheets" with it makes me put in more complicated settings I have trouble understanding. This was turning me off, to the point I imported every single frame, one by one... which also forced me to export from Game Maker, one by one. Export a "strip" from Game Maker, load it into C2 and only specify the number of cells, nothing else, and BAM. Only two things I see wrong with C2 here, are that you can't mass export from it either (haven't had too much of a need though since I don't need to take anything I have in it for use in the others), or copy an entire animation or a bunch of frames from one object type to another instead of cloning the object (regardless of whether cloned in the same game or copied from one to another). Although I'd hope for a change here, it's not like the bad is even close to outweighing the good. Of course, it's thanks to Scirra's lax rules that don't punish people for talking about "rival programs" that I was able to even express this. YoyoGames are tyrants, who blatantly write about this in their forum rules. I also like the mentality much better. For example, the C2 manual actually encourages people to use the default platform movement, and discourages uneccessary extra effort of making a "custom one". Meanwhile having a manual old as a dinosaur, MMF does the opposite, seemingly as an excuse for them to not fix their own default platform movement, which really is broken. It's basically unusable, which is the very thing they tell me. I was forced to use PMO, a third party Platform Movement Extension for MMF, which, although less buggy than their own, still pails compared to C2's.

Oh and try doing the following in both programs. I dare you.
1. Give a character object (the invisible square/rectangle detector one) Platform Behavior/PMO
2. Make a platform object that is solid behavior or set it up as an obstacle in PMO.
3. Make this platform move.
4. Run the game, and then try to stand on it.


The difference is simple but hugely impacting.
Suddenly the inclusion of moving platforms is now worth doing.

Of course, Game Maker has absolutely no default platform movement at all. You "need to use code" for this. They advertise themselves as basically (in my words) "easy for beginners to use drag and drop, but you can also code too if you are an expert". Yet, platform games are a very popular genre that a beginner would be likely to want to make as their first game (and they make you feel shamed if you even use a single one of those very limited non-code actions that are built into the program). Heck, I made a lite grade RPG battle system in Game Maker, even though I have never made a platformer in it. Eventually I did give up on it though... for reasons that are probably easy to understand by now.

In my opinion, although better than MMF, much better, C2 is still similar enough that I can carry my knowledge over very easily. Took me less than a month (been using MMF and GM for over 10 years, though you might not know it, due to how I often had my skill level unfairly judged on their forums by people that barely played or did their research on the stuff I made if at all) and a good read of the manual (I thourghly read what I needed to know, but it didn't take long) and my game was already better than any of my MMF stuff. With the other two, I had just been slowly getting better over years and years.

Oh, and the sub event system, which MMF lacks, has been a HUGE help for me. I did read that blog post you wrote about uneccessary use of sub events and "every tick". Although I already long since knew that type of thing from using MMF (regarding the use of multiple conditions per line, since I said that it has no sub event system) , the friendly detailed way you worded it just spoke to me, and basically, just made it fun to read anyway. Just to feel the love given from it. It's clear that you actually care about the quality of your own software, and understand the value of both small things that go a long way, and also of explaining things well. I just feel as if I can't fault it for it's flaws, due to this.

Oh, and the difference between fairness of price (compared to both the other programs)... it's huge. Rather than point out all the details to explain just how bad this problem is, let's just say, that your more friendly mentality, makes a fair price worth having. Clickteam and YYG seem power hungry, corrupt, and greedy, and fear losing said power.

It strongly feels as if you understand that reduced/easier work = motivation, and actually makes more work get done, as opposed to laziness.

Oh, and I'm sure I might have posted some kinds of hints or tidbits here and there when making help topics. But if you want to see what I have made with your program, you can check me out here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... ZwMuAxzUdp
And here as well: http://biancagames.com/rokko.htm
I can rest assure you, this game absolutely would not exist, if it were made in MMF or Game Maker. My brain would have been way too fried long ago.
It feels like it's one of those "big huge dream crossover" type projects that never seem to get off the ground due to lack of dedication... except it actually exists (incomplete version that is downloadable and solidly playable).

Oh, and I just want to apologize for something too. I was the one that left a comment before about how updating to build 190 messes preview mode up completely in every possible browser. Although I haven't fixed this yet and am still reverted to build 184 for the time being, I am sorry I blamed you for that. Deep down in my heart, I didn't actually feel that Scirra was too blame. I probably sounded otherwise due to feeling frustrated. This is a problem I will try to fix eventually, and if I don't or until I do, I will just keep using the old version. My game is gonna keep going, and I am going to keep using C2, with or without the new features.

<3
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Post » Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:56 pm

I think that the most important thing is that, when compared to GM (never tried a lot MMF2 even though I have a license because, well, it seemed not worth my time), C2 is actually made also to do prototyping, and is really though for non programmer people (that does not mean non-math people or non-logic people or non-game-designer people), it was meant to do fast yet clean prototyping that can be expanded into full fledged games, some people argue that html5 only is a drawback compared to GM but I find it really silly (why buy an html5 engine creation if you want or need native in the first place, duh! If I need a screwdriver, I won't use a hammer, sure that can work but If I never want to pin nails on the walls that is really dumb, almost as dumb as this metaphore I am making), GM I always feel was not meant to have this drag n drop stuff in it, it would have been better without, and MMF2 as I said, I do not even see how that helps anyone, all it teaches seems to be "how to work around issues rather than correcting them", but I can be wrong about that. C2 took the challenge to erase the need of code completely for the end user, and it did it well, maybe a little too well sometimes, but still a great thing.
Game design is all about decomposing the core of your game so it becomes simple instructions.
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Post » Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:31 pm

I used to work with GM. It was my engine of choice.
I actually love the scripting it has. For me, it is much easier to work with. And immensely versatile. I have never liked drag and drop over code.
I liked it so much as to start a tutorial series. And every so often I boot it up to help people that send me messages for it.

Yet....here I am. Construct 2 forums.
Not because of the drag and drop. Not because of the price.(ok partly because of the price) But mostly because I hate the GM level editor.

I first used C2 and honestly was lost. Felt like it couldn't do hardly anything. I was in a battle of different thought/work methods.
I'm not sure what it was, but after some time finally I understood how C2 was doing things.

I won't say I like the event system. But I will say I believe it can do most everything GM can do. And do it faster. At least on a basic level. GM on the other hand lets me easily create complex systems that are easy to change and use across many projects.

While I still greatly like GM. I can't justify using it because of the level editor. If they had a good level editor, I would probably be using it and have all its costly exporters. Native and easy exporting is amazing.

The engines aside. Because they honestly don't matter nearly as much compared to art/animation. 80% of a game can easily be dedicated to art and animating. I feel it's best to find art/animating software you love and use the engine it is most compatible with.

TLDR:
GM is a great tool. C2 is a great tool. Both can do the same things. Both have great communities.
It boils down to level editors and cost/exporters.
They work fundamentally different but can get the same results.

I can't honestly say one is better than the other.
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Post » Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:19 pm

Didn't read all your text xD But Construct2 rocks, you can code if you want in javascript to make plugins, and re use them without recoding everytime. And it got a very supportive forum and tutorials page, the updates are on regular basis it gets only improved, but not every year but every month sometimes week. And the power on mobile platforms are now huge, 1 year ago when i bought it, the mobile support was poor. But now with cranberrygames support it's rocks all the native exporters out! Great work Scirra team!, you promised a good game engine, and didn't fail.
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Post » Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:39 pm

I ACTUALLY CREATED a Game Maker Manual that has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times.
You can download it here still:
http://www.bracercom.com/Game_Maker_Function_Guide.rar.
This manual was given the heads up by Mark Overmars, the creator of Game Maker himself.

And I have created a Game Maker Platform Tutorial that has been viewed 69,756 times so I think I am in some small position to say that Construct 2 truly put Game Maker to shame with its Platform engine.

The Game Maker community is now more & more along the line of "you want to make a moving platform bla bla bla or curve surface detection for gliding along bla bla bla, you have to learn to code a little, it wouldn't kill you, it is good training for you and it is not Game Maker's fault."

Construct 2's attitude toward that is more along the line of "Really ? Is it really THAT DIFFICULT to code that into a drag and drop system that automates this ? I WILL SHOW YOU Mr. GAME MAKER HOW IT IS DONE !".

To me, it is all about elitism, I am allergic to elitism.
The minute I feel an overwhelming sense of elitism in the Construct 2 community will be the day I will leave the community, not that anyone cares.

But right now...right this moment...Construct 2 is making the idea of drag and drop programming with vast powers made easy coming to fruition in a way unparallel in the game making world where "auto platform with moving erm...platforms" or "collision with curve curfaces" is still something where people have been brainwashed into believing it cannot be automated.

Construct 2 users, you guys truly need to have a sense of how much of a God send Construct 2 is.
I would actually encourage some of you to go try some other Game Makers and come back crying to Construct 2, atleast you will appreciate the magnitude then.

If there are any Game Maker devoties here that want to start the whole "Programming is good for you, drag and drop can only bla bla bla" elite talk, please understand this, I have 11 programming languages under my belt, I have about 30 Apps in the Apple App Store and another 30 for the Android App store created using various programming languages from ObjC, Php, to AS3 with SQL database integration, so yes, I do "know" some programming.

What I am stressing here is that Construct 2 is now slowly showing the world how Drag and Drop programming is done right.
I truly admire the spirit and creativity on problem solving by its founders.

Construct 2 is already the easiest HTML 5 app/game creator around.
If Construct 2 ever implements timeline like Flash [Which I don't think so because the paradigm might force a recode from the ground up, I don't know] Construct 2 will DESTROY everything that Adobe is now trying so hard to do, All the Adobe Edge...or trying to save Flash by implementing WebGL in an awkward manner...it will ALL BE DESTROYED the minute Construct 2 have timeline animation integration.

Fortunately for Adobe, this doesn't seem likely at the moment, but Construct 2 as it is is already setting a historic precedent for an amazing powerful drag and drop programming IDE.
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