Suggestion! Consider bringing Cordova into Construct 2/3!

Discussion and feedback on Construct 2

Post » Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:55 am

Hi everyone,

As we all know.. with iOS8 it really made Cordova a great option for C2 developers and in general I agree with this, but what I'm finding is that its also difficult to have multiple technologies all needing to work with each other at any given time and not knowing if this update or that update will break everything.. for example:

I have construct 2.. which gets frequent (welcome) updates which I like to keep up with..

then I use various Cranberry Cordova plugins which are great.. but these plugins in general, especially when hot/new tech also get regular upates.. and once you do this, you open yourself up to having trouble going back to C2 for help.. but since C2 lacks many essential plugins to make apps that can generate revenue / get discovered in many different ways.. we don't have much of a choice but to use them..

Then we have options like phonegap, xdk and now cocoon.io.. each of these systems are also in development and getting updated. I've tried to stick with xdk simply because it seemed the most straight forward, but not everyone is using it so now you have fragmented publishing platforms with their own potential quirks / bugs, etc..

All of this can result in one day being very productive making apps.. testing them.. etc etc.. to being dead in the water until the break can be found which is not easy.. especially since we have to (in my experience) actually make builds for many features to work (like ads, for example) because they don't work when testing in a browser..

So that said.. I think it would be really smart if C2 could (or maybe a thing for C3?) to actually incorporate Cordova.. since it's open source as I understand it, there shouldn't be anything stopping it from working. basically there should be some standard in which Scirra establishes as THE best way to get your games to iOS / Android.. They did a great job with using webnode where basically C2 generates the various exe's.. what would it take to make an official / supported / working pipeline for (an assumption on my part) C2's biggest target platform (maybe it's not?) which I would imagine is iOS/Android.

I realize making another "XDK" is a big undertaking but because the Cordova would be specifically tailored to C2 users / needs.. so much UI would be stripped out going straight from C2 to the Cordova wrapper. This would also help plugin developers who have to potentially deal with their own customers using multiple services and addressing those quirks and inquiries. Having one option (or at least a default one for advanced users who NEED something else) that most of us get behind would create a better widely supported system to work with..

even when we get stuck at least we're all using the same approach, so it makes community help possible while in my work it feels that once i get out to XDK I'm kinda getting away from other users who may choose a different path for publishing..

Thanks,
Caleb
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Post » Fri Oct 02, 2015 6:05 pm

@part12studios
Personally I think the idea is good, and I have suggested that Cordova export be directly integrated into C2. The shot down reasoning is that this would require the developer(us) to download the JDK, ADK and I believe the NDK. In C2 we would then need to reference these folders for the build process.

My take is that this build process could be easier than working through Intel XDK. Also doing Cordova directly would open up development options in C2/3 and just overall make mobile app development easier. Yes developers would need to download 2/3 different sdks, but I think the trade off is worth it. It's also not uncommon in the mid level and high level tools. If C2 handles the settings options well the process would be very simple.
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Post » Fri Oct 02, 2015 6:14 pm

yes exactly. updating some files is a small price to pay (even that could be automated i would imagine, similar to how C2 extracted the WebNode stuff out of C2 installer to save on download bandwidth.

also just because cordova updates doesn't mean C2 would have to update every time. if we have a stable cordova version, updating that could be methodical. sure maybe some hard core users would need an update, but i think the vast majority of us just need a standard solution that works and is part of the C2 experience, not leaving that environment into a wild west of options and problems.

I love C2, but it really has been a drag and a lot of wasted energy battling various build errors and inconsistencies taking a lot of time from making games to just getting games to build / run well.
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Post » Sun Oct 04, 2015 7:20 am

part12studios wrote:Hi everyone,

As we all know.. with iOS8 it really made Cordova a great option for C2 developers


I've been trying to find info on this but nothing is clear.

Does Cordova default to iOS8's WKVWebView engine? I ask because its been a long time since I tested performance, back then the CocoonJS WebView+ for iOS8 ran extremely fast compared to Cordova or XDK iOS export.
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Post » Sun Oct 04, 2015 10:27 am

Yea basically as far as I can tell, performance on iOS is about the same with both, but where CJS shines is on android where XDK relies on Crosswalk which ads 19mb to any game and CJS's output is much leaner..

The CJS stuff (not CJS IO) was too quirky before which is why Scirra moved away from it.. too difficult to support it's unique system.. CJS IO seems like a better option, but it's still got some weird steps to go through to make things work and when I tried it failed and really didn't feel like investing more time into it when the tutorial didn't work, plus they charge for services / features (like debranding) and XDK is 100% free.
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Post » Sun Oct 04, 2015 6:44 pm

I think this sounds like a great idea!
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Post » Fri Oct 09, 2015 1:57 am

I couldn't agree more with the initial post. I started using C2 about a year ago and immediately fell in love with it. I paid for a license and loved the process of creating a game. I had planned to include ads and posts to Facebook from the start, but saved it until the end to implement. This part of the process has been a horrible experience. As an example, the admob entry in the manual talks about how it works and what actions you can take, but there is nothing about how to test it. And do you use the native admit plugin or the cranberry version? You then start to read about the different export options and it is a maze of options. I see people on here, who obviously know what they are talking about, talk about using different paths to build their games. Do I use XDK? Cocoon? What is phone gap? haha I have actually considered biting the bullet and downloading Unity because I heard there is a straight path to building your apps. I hate to do it because I love the C2 interface and I have truly enjoyed building the game, but as you stated, I feel like I am out of the C2 world at this point in development.
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Post » Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:16 am

Exactly. There just needs to be some absolute path for officially publishing each supported platform.. i do understand it puts some burden on Scirra, but if they can help us spend more time building games and less time caught in publishing hell, the happier their devs would be and that results in more sales..

C2 is a very good value.. and I would be willing to pay more if only they could help make the publishing process easier..

Definitely one of the worst parts of cordova / plugins for me (beyond the general build troubles that crop up) is that you really can't test without building for a device! This is a terribly slow and cumbersome process.. previewing over a browser is a godsend, but that goes away very quickly when you have to push over and over again to test one small change or debug a failing to work plugin..

However if they could help us come up with some kind of effective simulator that could honest to god show things like admob working without having to build / push to a device, productivity would again go that much further.. but there doesn't seem to be a way to do this, but it seems like there must be..

Even if they just focused on iOS / Android.. i know that supporting every single platform to this extent would be too much but at least help us with the most popular ones that would get the most use. I can't say I'm aware of what the statistics are but I'm going to say it's safe to say that most people are targeting mobile and of that iOS/Android are the largest mobile focus so let's go with that.
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Post » Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:44 am

This thought keeps gnawing at me...can I build a business this way? Too often in these forums the answer is "use cranberry's plugin". I commend Sang Ki Kwon for the work he has done, but should I build a game/app that depends on a 1-man company who develops plugins in his spare time? I am relatively new to this aspect of the build process, but I am finding this part of the process much more difficult than the actual building of the game. (Example: I was trying to get the admob plugin working and now the game is locked in portrait mode even though every setting in the game and XDK is set to landscape. I cannot get it in landscape mode. haha) Not trying to sound like the voice of doom, but I really think C2/3 needs to make the process to iOS and Android builds a singular path for its customers. Until then, I just cannot see this as a tool you can use to build a mobile game business. (I feel obligated to say I love C2 as a game-making tool!)
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Post » Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:23 am

jayderyu wrote:@part12studios
Personally I think the idea is good, and I have suggested that Cordova export be directly integrated into C2. The shot down reasoning is that this would require the developer(us) to download the JDK, ADK and I believe the NDK. In C2 we would then need to reference these folders for the build process.


Thanks what you have to do in GameMaker anyway, and it's not that big of a deal. Would be an amazing option in C3.

Though I have to say, I started converting all of my apps (9 in total) over to Cocoon.io over the last few weeks and it's been really good so far. Admob ads are working natively on ios and android. I got all the game center features working on iOS apps. I found some errors in their C2 plugins in the process and they were really fast to fix them. I'm going through the rest of the ios plugins to make sure everything works, then I'll be doing video tutorials for all of them. I truly believe it's the best option for putting out a professional product. Again, one mans opinion.
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