Level design tools and more

Discussion and feedback on Construct 2

Post » Sun Sep 14, 2014 3:30 pm

@newt I think he is referencing this : plugin-3d-using-copperlicht_t67847
Game design is all about decomposing the core of your game so it becomes simple instructions.
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Post » Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:02 pm

@newt , you are right, I had the CubeMaze by Yann in mind. Sorry, I meant no disrespect.

@jayderyu , I understand what you mean, I'd also read on an other topic that C2 is build in a way that it's very difficult to change/add some core features.

I just think that some aspect in (game) creation are the same no mater what tool you use. All design tools offer guide lines for example. A new design software should include this feature because it's proven to be useful and should not wait from a 3rd party plugin to do it or for its users to request it.
Having said that, I'd expect from a game engine to have some features that are known to be useful, like animation tracks, path creation tools etc. And since there are many inspired 3rd party tools that had been made for the other game engines, try to implement them in your new software.

Of course, here lays the "one person developing" problem.

@Tokinsom , I couldn't agree more with you about the 3rd party plugin problem. That's why I think that all those tools (ideally) should be included within a game engine.

As for the difficulty in using a tool like the one in the rayman video, if it's anything like Ferr2DTerrain I'd say that it is fairly easy to set up. I mean, the tile editor in C2 is more difficult INHO and it is only the last step in an amazingly tedious workflow of creating a series of tilled textures.

@Valerien , while I underestand your point of view and your agreement in @Aphrodite 's words, I disagree with your statement about people with little programming experience and I'll support that with this question: If Unity had the event system programming logic that C2 has, would that automatically meant that it is made for people with no programing experience? Wouldn't most of the people here jumped immediately into using Unity, with all its advanced futures, its extended functionality by 3rd party components and its wide spread of use in many titles and studios as an industry standard? I think yes. In my opinion, what defines C2 is not it's (wonderful) way of programing, but that it targets mainly the HTML5 platform (for good or bad).
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Post » Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:17 pm

@eli0s : it's not what I meant to say. Construct is marketed as a product for people with no experience in programming. "Create games. Effortlessly." This message is what scirra picked as their main selling point. This doesn't mean Construct is only worth the leap for that. Nor that you can't use it if you're not a beginner or anything. But it does attract a lot of people who are rookies in game creation.
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Post » Sun Sep 14, 2014 10:41 pm

@Valerien , ok, I am sorry, I misunderstood you. My argument is that a great and powerful software (tool) shouldn't be difficult by default. Computer programs have evolved so much in the last few years and they have brought opportunities to people that up until recently were available only to hardcore enthusiasts (with a lot of money) or big professional studios. I understand that in the eyes of an experienced and talented coder, anything other than code looks insufficient and ugly, but for the rest of us, that kind of tools are the means to create things that otherwise we couldn't make even in our dreams. That's the reason I expect more from C2, I think it's only logical to evolve the software into a more versatile tool, make it powerful enough to compete with Unity and win over it because of the event system workflow.
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Post » Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:34 am

Im sorry...but i dont think that C2 is a underpowered engine... its a tool... and as any craft.... the tools do one part of the work... and the craftman does the rest... c2 is in my opinion the best 2D engine...
im making a game that...humbly i must say that will be the best looking game made with C2 (at least as of now)
and i must say that c2 is a game making tool, not a prototyping tool ( i hate when i see this asociation )

c2 will continue to grow... and become more powerful
if some day i have a game that with c2 is impossible, i will change to Unity until now...my money is on C2
with all respect... everyone that says that c2 is a noob engine... when they are unexpirienced (like me) and say that c2 is not suitable for their super game... i think to myself... you are starting wrong... you always need to start with a small step... with very solid platformer with original mechanics, fun gameplay, and beutiful graphics ( for example ) but if you want to start making a MMOFPS-COD/BF4 KILLER UPERDUPER SUPER MEGAME.... With 5000 $, you are asking too much... big games require big money and man force... how about you use C2 and make some good games instead? look at games like shovel knight... do you see anything that c2 cant do in shovel knight?? NO! then what is stopping you?? look at konjak... i see iconoclast...made with classic... and i plays and looks beutiful...

my game will rival games like dust and elysian tail :D and i have confidence in what im doing...becuase i live in reality...i know my limits... now go and make the next meat boy!!! :P
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Post » Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:38 am

although.... there is one think i really would like c2 to have... native resolution...so i can give the player the option to choose the resolution they want... instead of just scaling no matter what...

and i agree that plugins so useful like, FSM, magicam and canvas should be officially included and supported...
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Post » Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:03 pm

@Lunatrap , I am glad you are confident in your skills and I do hope that your game will reach its full potential and your expectations!

I am with you in most of what you said. I argue about some things that Construct doesn't do, or if it does, it's because there are workarounds but they are either too difficult or not practical for a streamlined creation process.

There are many topics about those things, some of them are arguably very important, like modularity, other are more biased subjects, like native exporters. In any case, I started this topic not to blame C2, but because some of the things that other tools do are very inspiring and I wish there were somehow included into C2 as standard features.
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Post » Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:12 pm

Hey some great opinions.

@Lunatrap. I'm in your camp. I don't believe there is any blocker to make a full fledged game. I do believe however sometimes I'm just going to have to roll up my sleeves and do it the hard way. I actively do use Unity at the company I work, but even with enough Unity skill set for 2D games. I would still work with C2 for any 2D.

Some plugins I agree I don't know if should be officially supported, but seems like should have a presense. Canvas especially. Rex FSM, I use groups for finite statemachines. magic cam is good. but that's also the point. If the engine is robust enough to let 3rd party developers to create quality tools, does that need official support?

I lean no.

@elio0s
I agree. I wanted to create a node based traveling system similar to Knights of Pen and Paper and such AdventurePath kinda of thing. But rather than linear paths use some pathfinding. it works find. But I wanted to see if I can make a tool in the SDK to assit in creating the graphics. You can find the thread in SDK as Edittime Widgets.

Overall I would rather Ashley work on producing a more robust IDE where tools, templates can thrive and flourish into quality standards. Rather than Ashley work on new end user features. I would like to modularity so that I know templates can be imported into project easility more so; so that if there is an update to template developers don't have hard time.

I would like to see all plugins have an Editor.js file which is only edit time. But let's us have widget and high amounts of control. Widgets to be dragged to create bezier splines in a scene, new windows to create tool interfaces.

Is any of this needed to make a great game. No, but it sure would help. :P

I've had my peace. I'll now continue make C2 stuff :)
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Post » Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:54 pm

newt wrote:Its kind of a "Field of Dreams" kind of thing where they have to ask if it's really worth it financially. While it would probably lend itself to other types of games, for now at least it would be very niche, although I would say a very healthy portion of 2d games are platformers.

A third party editor for making maps is doable, it just doesn't lend itself to the workflow, and I don't see someone putting the time needed into one unless they went commercial. Then that person would also have to ask "If I build it will they come?". Then there would be a ton of debate on what features it should have.

Of course another option might be a community based editor where it could be forked for specialty enhancements.

Also I don't remember a 3d demo, I bet that was Yann.

Agreed with everything you said.
I know quite a bit with regards to JS and the SDK, but there are many problems.

Many plugins can't be made in a user-friendly way because the IDE isn't extensible enough, and even if the IDE could be extended, third-party addon's poor image makes me uncertain whether it would be a good idea to actually make them (would I ever see my money back?). Nowadays I'm not doing much with C2, since I've started making more money with database work than with gamedev work, so I no longer have any incentive to create addons that boost my own productivity - I was hoping the store would fix that, but now that it's not accepting plugins/behaviors I'm a bit bummed out.

Here's a list of a few plugins that would greatly enhance level design, but can't be made due to IDE restrictions:
  • Path movement (displaying the path in the editor)
  • Better tilemap editor (with ability to set obstacle map, animated tiles, setting properties for each tile)
  • Isometric map editor
  • Interface creation tools/modular components
  • Boss/enemy patterns (finite state machine or similar)
None of those can be made without including external tools that, like you said, don't fit well within the workflow.
Ashley already stated he will look into updating the editor for construct 3. We'll see if that allows for better third party complements.
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Post » Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:45 pm

Another thing is that far as third party editors goes we really need to know what is planned from Scirra, as it would really suck to get half way through implementing one, and then have them add one. Why pay for one when one is free, and in the editor?
Then if they were to make it where you could add support for the editor it would change things obviously.
Not sure if, or how that would affect what Scirra would add as features. I wouldn't think that that was direct competition since they don't charge for "official" plugs.
It might make it easier for them feature wise, but they wouldn't want to worry about a bunch of unsupported plugs either.
And thus we're back to the whole asset store plug argument.
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