Should I buy C2?

Chat about anything not covered in these forums, but keep it civil!

Post » Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:51 pm

It's kind of an odd question to ask on the official C2 forums, but after browsing a bit, I'm kinda scarred.

I am a 48h game jam developer and ,'till now, I worked using my own set of tools. While this is cool, because I have a complete control and understanding of what I do, I feel like loosing time and being limited especially since I can only compile to Linux, OSX and Windows.
So, I've been looking for a nice little game engine, with a descent price, that can output on smartphone and html5 as well as my usual targets.
At first look, C2 seemed perfect : really easy to use, expendable through javascript, and above all in my budget range. I played a bit with the free version and was satisfied.
Yet, here I saw quite a lot of disturbing stuff, so I have a few major concerns:
  • Is the android/iOS export working? I saw countless posts stating they had problems and since I do games with very limited time constraint, I can't afford to loose half a day on a specific platform problem
  • I saw like a weekly war going on about "you should go native", well I'm coming from native and I don't think it's the best idea for hobbyist. Is performances that bad? From my test, it looked more than ok for a wysiwyg game editor.
  • What about gesture support? I saw some documentation about touch and multitouch support, but is there some gesture support built in?
  • The easy to use shaders is one of the strongest point of C2 to me, allowing quickly done effects. On the same idea, I often use some very basic 3D for effects, is it possible to display 3D textured objects? No animation or anything, just basic 3D rotation and display?
  • How is the tool progressing : it seems like updates are coming out often, but as users, do you feel there is progress?
  • And finally : are you happy with your purchase?
http://www.schizokoa.com we are a small game jam group, visit us!
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Post » Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:05 pm

I'm always experimenting with other options, but hands down, C2 is the best!
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Post » Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:31 pm

1: I don't think you will be able to export to any app store in under 48 hours. At least not any that demand revue. Export to browsers that those devices use is basically one click publishing.
2: The constraints are pretty much the same as native, IE too many objects, graphics intensive, etc, with the caveat that there are a few quirks to the logic that can get you into a bind.
3: All that is needed to make specific types of movements is there, and there are a few third party plugs that are somewhat useful. The engine does not give you much as far as pre-configured things go, since there are way to many different ways to do so.
4: Its a 2d engine, with 3d support from third parties. In other words, not reliably.
5: Weekly.
6: If I were to get another computer, C2 is the first thing I would install.
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Post » Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:48 pm

lahssoo wrote:
  • Is the android/iOS export working? I saw countless posts stating they had problems and since I do games with very limited time constraint, I can't afford to loose half a day on a specific platform problem
  • I saw like a weekly war going on about "you should go native", well I'm coming from native and I don't think it's the best idea for hobbyist. Is performances that bad? From my test, it looked more than ok for a wysiwyg game editor.
  • What about gesture support? I saw some documentation about touch and multitouch support, but is there some gesture support built in?
  • The easy to use shaders is one of the strongest point of C2 to me, allowing quickly done effects. On the same idea, I often use some very basic 3D for effects, is it possible to display 3D textured objects? No animation or anything, just basic 3D rotation and display?
  • How is the tool progressing : it seems like updates are coming out often, but as users, do you feel there is progress?
  • And finally : are you happy with your purchase?


I've used C2 for all the past game jams I've participated in. I'd recommend to work with it outside of jams to completely get the hang of it but I guess you know that.

  • It works on mobile in most cases. A lot of the people having issues are because they are using huge amount of huge pictures and blow up the memory of the phone, the same thing would happen in native.
    Normally, I'd expect a game made during a jam to work, because not being too resource intensive (normally).
    Test out of jams, and once you hit the limit, you hit the limit.
    Be also aware that the more recent the phone is, the better it will behave. If you're targeting, say, android 1.5, C2 won't be the best for it.
  • Weekly war about native, pretty much same as above, some ppl can't design correctly and will blame the tool for it. Coming from native, you know already about memory management and are maybe more likely to not give CPUs and GPUs more than they can chew.
    JS execution speed/capacity is never an issue and is more than enough, even on mobile, for games.
  • There isn't gesture like in a single action or condition, but I guess it's quite easy to make your own "engine" once you're comfortable with the event system.
    There are also examples in the forums, and some listed in the How do I FAQ (if I remember correctly, Ashley posted a capx of a fruit ninja like "slash" on screen, it worked pretty convincingly and was done in a few events).
  • No 3D display/object. If you want/need 3D, depending on the project you can cheat with sprites rendered in 3D. But as for 3D render managed by the engine, it's a no go. Some third-part plugins dabbled a bit with it, but it's rather experimental and not very reliable.
  • The "regular" release cycle is one beta update every week (more or less) and a stable update every 6 weeks. Recently it came to a bit longer downtime between the beta releases since Ashley is tackling the delicate issue of multiplayer. There is progress/new features in every release. Sometime the release is more oriented towards certain aspects that may not feel useful (like for a desktop developer, mobile exports are "meaningless"). Nevertheless would it be only the bug fixing and the regular improvements to performances and usability that Ashley keeps pushing in, it's worth it.
  • I bought C2 when it could barely display animations for sprite, and that was about its only feature at the time.
    That was about three years ago and I've been pretty much using it every day since then.
    Yes, I'm very happy with that purchase.
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Post » Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:52 pm

lahssoo wrote:It's kind of an odd question to ask on the official C2 forums, but after browsing a bit, I'm kinda scarred.

I am a 48h game jam developer and ,'till now, I worked using my own set of tools. While this is cool, because I have a complete control and understanding of what I do, I feel like loosing time and being limited especially since I can only compile to Linux, OSX and Windows.

You'll definitely like it here, especially since you can code. The editor can be a bit quirky sometimes, and you'll often find yourself pushing it's limits, but Ashley is always adding features, and you can always crack open the SDK if you want to get your hands into some javascript.


lahssoo wrote:Is the android/iOS export working? I saw countless posts stating they had problems and since I do games with very limited time constraint, I can't afford to loose half a day on a specific platform problem

Yeah it works. The problem is mobiles are always 1~3 years behind the desktop feature-wise, and about 5 years behind performance-wise, so people complain. Right now, physics is possible (whereas a few months ago it used to kill the phone). WebGL still degrades things a bit too much from what I hear, so it's only usable in newer phones (not exactly top-of-the-line, think 2 years old maximum).

lahssoo wrote:I saw like a weekly war going on about "you should go native", well I'm coming from native and I don't think it's the best idea for hobbyist. Is performances that bad? From my test, it looked more than ok for a wysiwyg game editor.

Like I said above, performance is great, unless we're talking about mobiles. Still, seeing as how you're a game jam dev, I would familiarize myself with the engine first, given that the performance issues that occur in mobiles are nearly always caused by the same things (excess physics, WebGL, big textures). Since you're familiar with code, you'll probably be aware of what those problems are, since they happen everywhere.

With native, you spend most of your time dealing with low-level routines for drawing, collision checking and dealing with bugs - Construct 2 takes care of that for you, so you can have a pretty good game up and running in a few hours, and games that would take months to make from scratch in native should take you weeks at most (think super meat boy, braid, spelunky, binding of isaac).

On the other hand, as your project gets bigger (think RTS games, simulations, RPGs), the event system starts to become a bit unwieldy. You can postpone this if you're clever and think outside the box, adopting frameworks, sane variable names, comments, groups and so on.

There's definitely a point where your code becomes spaghetti, and that for me is the biggest problem right now. It shouldn't bother you, though, unless you want to make an epic feature-packed game.

lahssoo wrote:The easy to use shaders is one of the strongest point of C2 to me, allowing quickly done effects. On the same idea, I often use some very basic 3D for effects, is it possible to display 3D textured objects? No animation or anything, just basic 3D rotation and display?

No. People will come up with hacks, but there's definitely no 3D: anyone who says otherwise is deluded. We have basic billboard mode-7 like stuff, achieved through basic trig, but there aren't any rotating objects or anything like that. At best, you can display a 3D planet rotating.

lahssoo wrote:How is the tool progressing : it seems like updates are coming out often, but as users, do you feel there is progress?

Fast progress all around. Ashley is great. May not always have the features you want right away, but the updates never stop.
Also we're not talking about itty bitty patches-disguised-as-updates here either: we actually have full length features being added to the product all the time.
We recently had a debugger (complete with breakpoints and stepping) and the current "big thing" is the multiplayer (with UDP support!) plugin.
Our "patches" frequently add cool stuff as well, such as the recent ejecta wrapper.

lahssoo wrote:And finally : are you happy with your purchase?

Definitely.

Here are some problems you'll face:
  • There are few ways to collaborate - two people cannot edit the same project at the same time.
  • Code gets messy if you want to do complex games
  • Code reuse is poor, due to lack of modularization. Either reuse entire engines or make new engines from scratch.
  • Some times, browser vendors do weird things that break the engine, and you have to wait for new versions to come out (such as chrome's decision to disable hardware acceleration in windows XP and vista).
  • Some things are impossible to do until browser vendors agree to support it (the biggest problem was multiplayer, but that's now being fixed).
  • You cannot "code" directly in the engine. If you want to touch the javascript, you have to create a plugin/behavior with the SDK. It's a painless process, though.
  • Integration with 3rd party tools is a pain, unless said tools are officially sanctioned by Scirra (such as spriter or tiled). If you want articy:draft or similar, you have to do it manually (and there are no means to automate the integration either).

Here are some problems you WILL NOT face:
  • Stuttering caused by javascript's garbage collector: Ashley has done a great job working around the gc, so this type of pause is rare.
  • Display/Behavior inconsistencies: games work mostly the same across platforms. You may find some discrepancies in jump heights, small distortions in effects and differences in physics evaluation, but nothing major. Things work like you expect them to.
  • Showstopper bugs: The engine is pretty stable, and you only run into bugs if you dig deep inside the engine. Most bugs have workarounds, and are fixed pretty fast.
  • Project corruption: pretty rare. When it does happen, it's often because the developer deleted something he wasn't supposed to. Also it's often possible to recover such "corrupted" projects.
  • Hidden "gotchas": stuff works as documented, but for the most part you don't even need to read the documentation. Functions are self-explanatory and work how you expect them to work.
Last edited by Fimbul on Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post » Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:52 pm

Wow, ok then, my next jam should be Construct 2 powered then, thanks for the answers!
http://www.schizokoa.com we are a small game jam group, visit us!
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Post » Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:56 am

yes! if you can afford the personal license. It gets you over the limitations of the free version.
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