Switching from GMS to Construct2 ?

Discussion and feedback on Construct 2

Post » Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:46 pm

Hi everyone, I'm a new member here, and I hope my question is not too much to ask. Or stupid. Or something wrong. Anyway, please forgive my bad english and me if it is

I work in the videogame industry for quite some time as a graphic artist, and one year ago, I decided to switch to indie dev, and make a game in Game Maker Studio (code, art, music). I love it, the script language is great and very powerful, but when dealing with shaders, sound, or even controlers, it can be a pain in th* ***.

For a few weeks now, I'm looking at Construct 2, and damn, it looks super sexy. I tried the free version tonight, and the effects presets just rock. All pannels seem very intuitive, and fresh.

So, before thinking about a full switch, I'd like to ask to you, pro C2 users, what is right or wrong in the things bellow?

- C2 is powerfull enough to get a full HD game to run if I export it to PC desktop, with 60 fps, additive blending, some particles and shaders effects in it.
- C2 can export to Mac, but not Linux. (or?)
- iOS and Android exports are not reliable for the next months. It can be done, but it's dangerous because of old third party tech.

Mobile dev is not a dealbreaker for me, my main usage would be the desktop exporter.

Thanks A LOT for your time, wish you the best!

Aurel. Aurel2013-10-05 10:18:44
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Post » Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:10 am

There are a few caveats for memory management(most of those are for mobile), but otherwise everything is doable.
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Post » Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:41 am

Thanks to your post, I just bought a personal license to test the desktop export.
Looks very solid, I'm very excited to be honest!

Thanks again! Any other advice (on perfs or about switching from another dev tool) welcome!
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Post » Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:51 am

'sup dude, another artist on board :)
agreed, SC2 is easy and powerful,
TBH: iOS and Android export right now sucks, HTML5 on iOS crashes too, is a headache...
BUT, native platform AFAIK seems achievable,
Game Closure looks like a posibility,
I'll dive into it in the next couple of days,
too bad there's no plugin ATM
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Post » Sat Oct 05, 2013 1:29 am

Hello and welcome to the community ;)

about the export to desktop it depends on the quantity of effects, particles and shaders u are going to use at the same time in the 'active' window.. it it is too much the framerate will drop
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Post » Sat Oct 05, 2013 1:45 am

Thanks Ghost and Guif0DA,

I'm now making the ghost chaser tutorial. I'm amazed by how the interface is well done. I feel at home right from the start.

Then I will try to add way too much effects, particles, fat sprites with alpha gradients and camera scrolls, to get an idea of the software limitations.

Thanks again, I'm glad you took to time to answer me, much appreciated :)
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Post » Sat Oct 05, 2013 2:09 am

[QUOTE=Aurel]Then I will try to add way too much effects, particles, fat sprites with alpha gradients and camera scrolls, to get an idea of the software limitations.[/QUOTE] As far as desktop exports are concerned, those tests would be more testing your hardware (gpu, cpu) than software limitations. C2 is open to a lot of ways to design and program your game. In fact it's close to "If you can think of it, you can do it". That's mostly owed to a very clever event system.
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Post » Sat Oct 05, 2013 6:18 am

Welcome Aurel. I think you're going to really like Construct 2. It's incredibly powerful and usable program.
That said, so is Game Maker Studio. I've used both kits now for some time and like most software each has it's plus and minuses. My perspective is from the Arts background similar to yours, so it's possible some of my opinion may overlap with what you experience.

"this is from my experience so others my disagree"
Both C2 and GMS are capable of making games with the level of detail you mention, for the desktop.

Both can export desktop apps for Win and Mac and Linux with the same high level of detail.   C2 does these 3 platforms using node-webkit. And it works great. GMS can do Win and MAC in "standard" version at a lower price point then C2, But if you want Linux that's and additional $99 making it the more costly option.

GMS wins in the Mobile department on all fronts compared to C2, but you pay a lot more for the privilege. I don't doubt that at some point the 3rd parties that C2 use or will switch to in the future will match this. But at present they don't. And frankly as an artist I'd rather spend my time making my project better instead of dealing with limited features and workarounds.   I'm not saying C2 can't do mobile, it can and does, I have a few good ones on my phone right now. alongside some GMS games, Both work well. But it takes more dedication to pull it off as a C2 dev then a GMS dev .

The single best thing I can think of if you really want to get the differences between C2 and GMS is to try and make the same small prototype game in each software. That will tell you all you need to know about both. having done this it becomes very clear which tool is right for which projects.

Some other possible helpful things you may notice coming from GMS.

1. Ironically given Game makers history as a learning tool. Construct 2 is easier to learn , has better tutorials/examples. And the usability of it's IDE is light years ahead of GMS.
2. GM community and C2 community are great and filled with helpful people. But if you can't have a tie C2 wins.
3. Ashley and Tom are more involved with their users and community than any other company that I have ever bought software from.
4. you will be blow away by the speed of the release cycle. if you're used to Yoyogames.
5. as you have noticed the behaviors and plugins "1st and 3rd party" and incredible from a GMS point of view. learn them and love them. but realize you just won't have the fine grain control you are used to with GML in all cases.
6. prototyping is faster with C2 in most cases if your are using the built in behaviors. But complex scripting/eventing is going to be much more long winded in C2 then GMS. Due to it's nature C2 just does not allow you to do some of the tricks GML can.
7. "picking" is very different in C2 then GMS, it will take a bit to get used to. it's not worse or better just different. but my lead to said long winded events.
8. You will need to make sure each object exists on some layout "room". before you can use it, or you will get errors. This is different then GMS
9. C2 will not let you create events that won't function. As it won't let you pick objects that won't work, or close a window if an expression is malformed.   GML will let you make all the errors you want but will give you helpful hints or error messages so you can fix them. Both ways work, both ways can get frustrating.
10. C2 has the better debugger. This is a recent victory for C2.
11. Community plugins are really active for C2 and many great ones exist. Community shader activity for GMS is almost as robust. Given how new it is that's says something for GMS. C2's Built in shaders are more powerful presently.
12. C2's performance in HTML5/javascript is Unmatched on desktop browsers. GMS should honestly pretend it never tried to do html5/javascript by comparison. This is not true for the other export types.
13. your "control objects" are now just another event sheet that you include into your first event sheet. you can now think of them the same way as GMS
14. check out image points. and be boggled as to why GMS never bothered to have something this simple and useful.
15. C2 does not have anything built in like tiles, it's not missed much once you get used to they way c2 works.
16. GMS "scripts" are best done using the Function object , they work pretty much the same.
17. You do not have any control over the "draw event" nothing equal to that exists for C2.
18 C2 has one "view in room" and no "port on screen" beyond changing how the view scales in the browser. C2's view_xview and view_yview, are scrollx and scrolly and return the center of the view not the upper left edge.   
19. C2 IDE is less stable then GMS IDE. If C2 refuses to close after using it a while don't worry that's just the way C2 is for a lot of people. I'd also suggest saving your projects as projects and not as a single file.

Well that turned into a wall of Text sorry about that.   
     onzephyr2013-10-05 06:43:17
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Post » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:17 am

Oh man, your post is beautiful. You were in my mind, and answered everything I needed to know!

Thanks a billion for your time. And for THAT PRETTY WALL. :)


One last question if you don't mind, can you flush the memory with C2? I mean, how do you handle textures loadings/unloads? You can say at the end of a layout "delete textures" and it will automaticaly load the needed next ones?


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BONUS!
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" 19. C2 IDE is less stable then GMS IDE. " Yeaaaah, I've seen that! Four IDE crashes in one night! Ol!Aurel2013-10-05 10:22:34
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Post » Sat Oct 05, 2013 1:13 pm

[QUOTE=Aurel] Oh man, your post is beautiful. You were in my mind, and answered everything I needed to know!

Thanks a billion for your time. And for THAT PRETTY WALL. :)


One last question if you don't mind, can you flush the memory with C2? I mean, how do you handle textures loadings/unloads? You can say at the end of a layout "delete textures" and it will automaticaly load the needed next ones?


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BONUS!
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" 19. C2 IDE is less stable then GMS IDE. " Yeaaaah, I've seen that! Four IDE crashes in one night! Ol![/QUOTE]

Right now if the app is webgl enabled it is done per layout.
If you are loading textures via url it will be by the browsers garbage disposal.
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