The sad truth of Construct 2

Discussion and feedback on Construct 2

Post » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:17 am

I'm currently developing a bit larger scale project for PC and everything is going well, but I'm mostly concern about Construct 2 leaning so much towards 3rd party solutions. For example I have made lot of animations in Spriter imported everything successfully to C2 and in preview everything looks beautiful, but that's it. C2 doesn't export my animations and I'm left waiting for this to be maybe fixed some day.

I've been really careful to start anything big with C2 because I still get nightmares from my Construct Classic times :) I had nearly finished my game and decided to update C1, and before I noticed anything unusual my project started crashing without any obvious reasons.

Mostly I've been happy with Construct 2, but I'm waiting for some sort loading system that would let me choose when to only load stuff that's needed and not everything at the start of my project. The thing is that if players have to wait more than 12 sec for something to happen they're going to hate you, and if you try to entertain someone who's starting to play your game feeling upset. Well it can be a bit hard and they will probably be more critical towards what they see.
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Post » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:26 am

[QUOTE=Joannesalfa] Another excuse thread.

It depends on your design.
Not an excuse thread in the least. I'm not saying I can't make ANY games with Construct 2... I'm saying I can't make BIG games with Construct 2. I'm also referring to mobile games when I say this, not PC games. There is only so much designing can do for a game. The whole argument is that I want to keep the designs I have. Not have to dumb them down or remove them all together in order to get playable performance out of HTML5 games on mobile devices.

My last project actually pushed HTML5 mobile gaming to the limit and it wasn't even that intense of a game. It merely couldn't be optimized any more. Don't believe me? I sent the project to Ashley and he looked over it himself and told me basically the same thing. That there wasn't really much room to improve performance, and that it was an issue with the browser and the power of the mobile device.

The problem is that mobile devices need native apps. Playing games through browsers on a phone just isn't going to cut it... at least not any time soon.

[QUOTE=theubie] So, knowing that Construct 2 is designed to create HTML5 games, you decided to complain that Construct 2 is designed to make HTML5 games. I'll let you sort that out on your own.[/QUOTE]
Yes and no. I'm complaining that such a great piece of 2D game development software is limiting itself by forcing HTML5 only exporting. I'm not demanding that Scirra adds in more native export options... I'm merely expressing my disappointment that it doesn't offer them. Also that Ashley tends to address the issue by saying "it would take too much time" and "html5 is good enough". It's not good enough.

Maybe it's fine on a good PC with chrome and full webGL support. It's not fine on an iPad 2 running Safari with only canvas2D.

I think my problem with Construct 2 is that it's advertised to be super fantastic and export to everything, but it leaves out all the details of "well it's not going to be as great on iOS devices due to no webGL... oh and it's not going to be that great on most mobile devices if your game is doing anything more than displaying a few images moving around... oh and it's not going to be great for saving/loading levels or player data..."

I mean if Construct 2 wants to be marketed as a "simple game maker" then fine, but it shouldn't be saying it can compete with game development tools that can export natively and then brag about how it creates more optimized games.

Taken from this blog post:

"We dont currently support other exporters because we dont need to. Were extremely excited by the future of HTML5. New technology means that we can now reach, or will soon reach, all the platforms YoYoGames claim they do.

Take for example CocoonJS and AppMobis directCanvas. CocoonJS on an Android phone averages 34 fps in our benchmarks, and directCanvas on iPhone 4S can surpass 50fps. And its early days - were confident this can be improved further. Other technologies exist to wrap HTML5 games in a desktop app. We are reaching a point where HTML5 games wrapped in other technology is comparable to native.

Were certain that HTML5 will imminently be able to deliver on all platforms, and it will allow us to focus our efforts on developing the best possible software instead of maintaining multiple exporters. HTML5 is going to allow game developers to create truly multiplatform games and were almost there. Maybe YoYoGames mistakenly dont consider us a direct competitor yet, but they should: consider that you will only need a single Construct 2 license to reach all these platforms."

Not supporting more exporters because they don't need to? We can reach all platforms that Game Maker does? Yeah, except the games don't run as smoothly and are severely limited in features.

CocoonJS and AppMobi don't really deliver much of a performance improvement... not to mention they are still just wrappers that are running the HTML5 through a browser window. They are still limited by HTML5 limitations.

"We are reaching a point where HTML5 games wrapped in other technology is comparable to native."

This is just blatantly wrong and deceiving. Again, this is comparing simple games... not heavier games. It's a lot of misdirection. Just because HTML5 *can* work on most all platforms, doesn't mean it can match native speeds.

In the end I know this post can't possibly change much of anything. I really just wanted to vent some frustrations. The software is fantastic. Creating games in Construct 2 is like a dream. I've managed to complete games with Construct 2 and they are great. But I had to hold back.

I can't take advantage of any of the effects Construct 2 offers... blurs, color replacements/tinting... distortions, overlay/screen/multiply... None of it. Because it won't work on iOS devices. Yet other game development tools that export natively can do all of that no problem. I can't add screen shakes to my mobile games, because that would surely kill performance. So yes, Construct 2 can export to nearly everything. But with many limitations.
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Post » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:05 am

Thanks Konidias I have been feeling this way for the last month. The article post you copy/paste was also the selling sentiment for me to go C2.

I think offering a model for native export is the best path, but I am firm another solution could be managed very well. The beauty of JS is that it's an overidable library. Also native wrapping is a great opportunity... I will go further on this in just a bit.

The problem it seems is that Canvas is software pasting into the browser. Canvas2D is GPU accelerated pasting and memory management of the buffers and pasting into the browser.

WebGL is acceleration mathematical rendering of objects and commands. Games by default now are using some for of GPU rending acceleration which Canvas2D doesn't seem to do. either very poorly or not at all and would be the valid explanation why there are no WebGL effects.

going back a paragraph what seems to be the inherit problem is the piggy backing on Apple/Google/thirdparty software CocoonJS/DirectCanvas. These groups inexplicable aren't pushing WebGL. Though at CocoonJS it's on the todo list so I'm hoping sooner that later.
What is that. That's a modified form of Ejecta where the WebGL commands are rebound to OpenGL ES. This is what boggles me. Why hasn't anyone just build a bridge between WebGL to OpenGL. Especially CocoonJS that has graphical performance intentions.

oh well. Once I finish my current game for the Ouya( performance concerns) I'm going to tinker with the possibilities of doing an Android version of EjectaGL concept. building a bridge between OpenGL canvas and WebGl with the intention of converting C2 export. I have no idea if it's doable or the difficulty but I'm curious.

For me. I would be happy to manage 100 objects running at 60fps on a Tegra 2. I find it painful that I can only manage 20 objects at 20fps :( not that i solved some of my devices problems.

Anyways as someone mentioned CocoonJS is coming out with an update soon. So maybe it will come with something nice. Like WebGL? :) I remain hopeful and I know in the long run C2 has a very long future. But right now...
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Post » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:10 am

DirectCanvas sucked, CocoonJS is improving a lot, sometimes i get smooth 60 fps of all my games on my iPod touch 4, i'm gladly scirra keeps updating CocoonJS platform plugin.
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Post » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:34 am

[QUOTE=theubie] So, knowing that Construct 2 is designed to create HTML5 games, you decided to complain that Construct 2 is designed to make HTML5 games. I'll let you sort that out on your own.[/QUOTE]

Thats a good point. I have had no issues so far with my game. Horses for courses is the term.
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Post » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:43 am

I am not so foolish as to expect my games to run well on ALL platforms. I choose the target platforms and design for them. Making a game and then expecting it to run equally well on all available platforms... well, that's naivety. For one you have to consider the huge gaps in performance, limited features as well as different means of control (touch vs gamepad vs keyboard/mouse).

You need to rein your expectations in a bit. If you hunt two hares at the same time, you'll lose both.

As a consolation prize, HTML5 means that games will eventually run on all HTML5 platforms when it is fully supported.Mipey2013-02-07 11:44:06
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Post » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:51 am

I've also been having very promising results with the latest CocoonJS version and iPhone 4. I strongly feel that CocoonJS can and will be the solution for C2 mobile performance problems.robotecollective2013-02-07 11:52:22
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Post » Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:38 pm

@Konidias i think you want to much. Mobiles Devices have limitations its will be always like this. Every tool, SDK, Engine whatever has also advantages and disadvantages.

You will need to live with limitation. Ludei is doing a great job with the exporter.
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Post » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:11 pm

There is a reason why big game companies still use flash or java for bigger online games. AS html/html5 is not ment to be a game-platform, there are borders, sure.
Im actually a bit unhappy about my plans for 1-2 games too, but its not html5 or c2 to blame. I know, that when i want best performance on my android device, i have to code as near on the base as possible, so for me its java than. But as im not such a super-talented programmer i also try to make my ideas with c2 coming true, and well,...this is awesome. So, i think, if you see, what html is originally made for and what c2 makes possible/gets out of it, c2 makes a fantastic job. If others like gamemaker do the export better...i dont know.dformer2013-02-07 13:12:30
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Post » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:52 pm

[QUOTE=robotecollective] C2 IS a game-making tool. Powerful, yes, but every game maker (pun intended) out there has it's limitations. Scirra is doing great job for such a small company, especially with all the latest betas.

My advice to you Konidias - learn to code. It would solve all your problems. C2 is not for everyone - it has it's pros and cons.[/QUOTE]

I'd just like to support your opinion :) For me HTML5 works also better than Flash. And more - Flash causes my browser or computer to crash sometime, and HTML5 does still not.
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