Pitfalls with medium-large games in CC

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Post » Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:11 pm

Hey all,

I have been using CC to create small projects for a while and I am fairly comfortable with most of the objects and features. However, I'm now at the point where I'm looking at making a larger project, specifically an exploration platformer. I am looking for feedback for those who've worked on mid-large sized projects in the past - what kinds of pitfalls did you run into scaling Construct upwards, and what workarounds did you find?

Specific concerns I have right now are that the game will feature a lot of high-rez images (backgrounds, sprite animations and the like) and a fairly large explorable map, about the size of Super Metroid. It should not need to do anything too complex beyond that, other than basic events and some particle/blending/lighting effects. I am not worried about it stressing CPUs too much, but I am worried about how best to organize such a project within Construct while keeping it as efficient as possible. Obviously I'll be using techniques like event pages and good commenting/object naming to keep things organized, but what can I do beyond that?

One specific question that has come up: are there significant efficiency gains or losses in loading levels from a file as opposed to making each section of the game as a Layout in Construct? With one approach each 'level' would be a layout within Construct with transitions linking them together, while in the other there would be a single level layout and the content for each level would be loaded in when the player transitions. Can anyone who has used one approach or the other in a large project vouch for which is better, or what issues they ran into?

Obviously some pretty general questions, but any experience you can share would be helpful.Squidget2013-02-09 23:18:36
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Post » Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:36 am

Small projects in CC are fine, but do yourself a favor and don't try to use CC for a medium to large sized project. Just don't. Use C2 instead. Using CC for such a thing is too risky with its problems, most of which seem to crop up in larger projects. Some people encounter more of them than others, but it's not worth risking when C2 is so much more stable.

I worked on a project in it for years and eventually had to abandon it and start over in C2. Having to do so was very unpleasant and yet blissful at the same time because of how much smoother it is working in C2.
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Post » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:55 am

What kinds of issues did you run into with your project? Did they come up when you had large numbers of textures loaded? Large numbers of events?

I have looked over C2, but I am not sure I could convince the rest of my team to do a browser-based game even if I wanted too. Does C2 support large projects much better in its current incarnation, or is it just that its's still being supported so problems will eventually be fixed?
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Post » Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:00 pm

I had issues with large numbers of objects, textures and events. Large textures add a lot to the preview theme, and though that gets cached, any time you update the graphics they need to get recompiled, on my game with 10,000 events it takes 10 minutes to load the battle system event sheet, 7 seconds of waiting for every single edit made to that event sheet, 30 minutes to undo or delete an object, 5 minutes to preview, there are events I can't move or edit without crashing the editor, I have to repeatedly close and restart the program when using the animation editor to keep memory leaks from crashing the program, the runtime sometimes crashes, and CC can become very unstable by trying to do things like delete family variables or such which kept me from reworking the code.

There are more issues too, like don't use the layout object, but I can't remember them all ATM. C2 supports larger projects better and is still being supported so any problems you discover can be fixed, and it can also export to exe with node webkit so you can make desktop games for PC, Mac and Linux. C2 even renders faster than CC does!Arima2013-02-10 21:04:54
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Post » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:02 pm

[QUOTE=Arima] I had issues with large numbers of objects, textures and events. Large textures add a lot to the preview theme, and though that gets cached, any time you update the graphics they need to get recompiled, on my game with 10,000 events it takes 10 minutes to load the battle system event sheet, 7 seconds of waiting for every single edit made to that event sheet, 30 minutes to undo or delete an object, 5 minutes to preview, there are events I can't move or edit without crashing the editor, I have to repeatedly close and restart the program when using the animation editor to keep memory leaks from crashing the program, the runtime sometimes crashes, and CC can become very unstable by trying to do things like delete family variables or such which kept me from reworking the code.

There are more issues too, like don't use the layout object, but I can't remember them all ATM. C2 supports larger projects better and is still being supported so any problems you discover can be fixed, and it can also export to exe with node webkit so you can make desktop games for PC, Mac and Linux. C2 even renders faster than CC does![/QUOTE]
I used to get the same thign, but on my old computer. Now I have a quad core and everythign works great, even large Project, as long as the big textures are external.
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Post » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:19 pm

That was with big textures being external. :/ I've tried it on a faster computer and it did reduce the delays by about half, but it didn't solve any of the other issues and was still quite unpleasant to work with.
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Post » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:49 pm

Armia - I appreciate the information, I have picked up C2 and I'm going to try prototyping the project in that. I would rather avoid issues like yours if I can. :)

That said, am I right in thinking that this is currently the accepted/endorsed method for exporting an exe in C2? I ask because it seems like a very sketchy method for something so important, given the reliance on an external githhub project and a bunch of incomplete plugins. Playing around in the program I also can't find a way to do a lot of basic .exe functions (like closing the program on command.) So are .exes still basically unsupported, to the point where I'm going to regret using C2 for an .exe project?
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Post » Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:21 am

While node webkit is the only option for exporting exes, it is already working very well and export for it has been integrated into C2 itself.

There should be a plugin integrated in C2 that has window functions like quit and such (right click the layout, insert object, it should be on that list). You can also use the ones listed in the tutorial, they've worked for me so far (though I have not tried all of their features).Arima2013-02-12 02:22:50
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