The sad truth of Construct 2

Discussion and feedback on Construct 2

Post » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:33 pm

I think it's apparent that creating a native exporter for C2,is not just running a few lines of code off over the weekend,and even if it was then you have the extra burden of support and updates for said exporter.

This would take development away from the core program,and there would be a list of topics venting anger at that...

If you respect what Ashley/Scirra have done with C2,maybe respect their word and put some faith in the decisions they have made...

I think concentrating on the IDE is definately the best way for Scirra to go...with hardware manufacturers climbing over themselves to get the fastest,shiniest products to the market,it's just a matter of time to see the performance of HTML 5 increase accross all platforms.

It's a bit like running for a bus,that is coming towards you...Pixel perfick2013-02-11 15:15:00
As long as I can move left, right and fire, I'm Happy...
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Post » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:57 pm

You can respect the team / works of the team, and not be agree with some decisions.

I am an early adopter, that's because I have always believed in Construct 2 and the Scirra's Team. And that's always the same.

But we can have different opinions about some decisions that has been made.

The fact is may be we are wrong, or...may be not. Future will tell us the story :)CrystalNoir2013-02-11 14:59:21
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Post » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:09 pm

At the end of the day C2 is the easiest way to develop your game. Native exporters would be nice but that would take so much work especially for the mac devices.

Remember that most engines get venture capital in the millions and do a worse job than Scirra.
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Post » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:57 pm

Back when we were just getting started - the first "public preview" was in February 2011, almost exactly two years ago - we had threads like this, but arguing the same point for desktop games! Everyone was saying we should develop a Flash exporter, HTML5 was a fad, it performed terribly, it didn't even run anywhere (this was before IE9, IE8 was the latest IE and had no HTML5 support at all!). We also received a lot of pressure to write a DirectX or OpenGL native desktop exporter, similar to what we had for Classic. And they had a point: no browsers had hardware-accelerated canvases, so you were lucky to get 30 FPS even on a powerful desktop computer that could run the top 3D games. None of the games ran in IE at all, because IE9 wasn't even out yet at that time. Mobile was hardly even mentioned. It looked like a joke.

IE9 launched with a hardware accelerated canvas. Not to be out-done by IE, Chrome and Firefox followed up with hardware-accelerated canvases, and then exceeded IE with their WebGL support. The platform matured, bugs were fixed, performance was tuned, and now even the strongest HTML5 critics seem to admit it runs great on desktop, it's just mobile is the problem. So in two years it went from virtually unsupported to working fantastically on all desktop systems. And boy am I glad we didn't write separate exporters! We would be a long way behind where we are today if we had, because we would be having to maintain multiple codebases. Writing two codebases isn't twice as hard, it's more like squared (to the power two) as hard, because of all the extra effort to make sure both codebases are functionally identical in all circumstances, and that extra work never goes away if you keep adding features like we do.

The problem I have in threads like these is trying to persuade people where things are going. Just like the threads about desktop support two years ago, you have a point, there are lots of problems: crappy performance in PhoneGap, a Firefox bug that slows down WebGL on Android, the general browser mess on Android, whether iOS will support WebGL, and so on. What I am trying to say is we are repeating the desktop situation. These are real problems, but they will be solved with time. I would go so far as to say in two years HTML5 will be working great on mobile. In the mean time there are workarounds like directCanvas and cocoonJS, which are not themselves perfect either, but a lot better in many ways.

I know two years is a long time, and many of you have projects you need to be done before then. But I don't think it's an exaggeration to say it could take 12 months to get native exporters that are better than what directCanvas and CocoonJS already provide. Browsers do a *lot* for you: things like XML parsing and XPath support on mobile can be tricky, and that's potentially a whole project for one feature. Web Audio API equivalent features is another. If we just say we don't support things like that, then we're not going to do much better than solutions like CocoonJS already do. If we do support things like that, it will take a great deal of time to get every last tiny feature in Construct 2 working equally well as in a browser, because the project amounts to partially implementing a real browser (and Chromium is ~6,600,000 lines of code and over a thousand contributors). If your game is renderer bottlenecked, it probably won't be faster with a native engine anyway. And then we have the ongoing problem of multiple codebases, which will slow down the rate of updates considerably. (Perhaps this is why many of our competitors release updates a lot more infrequently than us.) In the same amount of time, HTML5 on mobile would be half way to great, possibly even already working great by then. Which means our small startup just wasted a whole year's worth of development time. Comparing that to the amount of progress we could make with our HTML5 support in that time, I think it's fair to say it's just not worth it. So yes, we're stuck with some difficulties in the mean time, but I am totally sure given time everything will be much better, and for right now today, there are workarounds like directCanvas and CocoonJS, as well as things like the Safari for iOS browser working very nicely, especially with iOS 6+.

"A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be." This is what we do, and I feel it has proven to work with the desktop support. There's an awkward wait while we get to where the puck is going to be, but I don't think there's anything we can practically do to get there quicker. But we will get there!Ashley2013-02-11 17:00:13
Scirra Founder
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Post » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:24 pm

Well said @Ashley !
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Post » Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:18 pm

I hope everyone gets to read your post. Truly something there.

You are a developer that makes me proud to say, I utilize and support that software.

@Ashley - Keep it up.
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Post » Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:28 pm

@ Ashley : My thinking about Html 5 is great. I prefer Html 5 than flash, performances are better and we can see that with C2 of course. How you said the problem isn't really the desktop or html 5, because we know that C2 is made arround this technology, this more mobiles, how you said in your post.

You said :

[quote]So yes, we're stuck with some difficulties in the mean time, but I am totally sure given time everything will be much better, and for right now today, there are workarounds like directCanvas and CocoonJS, as well as things like the Safari for iOS browser working very nicely, especially with iOS 6+.[/quote]

That means that all is not completly stucked :) and with time and patience, we could have better performances for mobiles with Cocoon or AppMobi etc...just take time to technology to be completly ready may be :)

I prefer an answer like this, that is for me, more understandable.

And I have always supported C2 ^^CrystalNoir2013-02-11 18:43:22
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Post » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:13 pm

@Ashley
A superb explanation of Scirra's smart decisions! What about making it a blog post? It really deserves more visibility than it gets in this thread.

Let more people know how much they're benefitting from the greatest hockey players in the business ;)
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Post » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:08 pm

@Ashley
I had a long conversation last night with a friend of mine who has worked as a Designer in the game industry for a long time (Games like: RIFT, Stargate Worlds, World of Warcraft). We were discussing the changes that the Game industry is going through and how that is affecting the big game companies and the little ones alike.

Basically the shape of games is polarizing to REALLY BIG BLOCKBUSTERS and small casual games, without a whole lot of good games in the middle.

Some of the things that he said that really rang true for me are very pertinent to this thread:

1) Flash is DEAD. It is going away. Even Adobe has an exit strategy. The big game houses are writing their own now and migrating away form Flash. It will take a few years, but there will be few attendees at the funeral of Flash from the Game industry.

2) Game companies are moving towards smaller games that have continued revenues instead of the big purchase up front. Games like Farmville (Facebook) and Pandemic (Android and iOS). The important thing about these games is that they have in-game purchases. You can play along and get in game points to spend, but for 99 cents we can give you that plant, genetic upgrade, new race car, etc... RIGHT NOW! This is where we are seeing little games that start out as FREE end up making 6 million a month due to add on purchases. This too, is the niche I am entering with my game making.

3) The game consumer is getting very smart. They want to be entertained and challenged and have it all presented in a pretty package (great art, music, effects). Fortunately, they are willing to pay - a little bit anyway - for games that meet their expectations. What they are being smart about is when a company disappoints them too many times they will no longer buy from that game company. WOW! Consumers have a memory?!?!? Some of the inscrutable "frustrating" game makers have even gone to the extent of changing their company names every year or so, just so they can slap on some new graphics over the same LAME game and sell to a whole new batch of unsuspecting rubes.

All-in-all I am very happy with your choices for Construct 2. I think you are focusing on the right things and getting a lot done. I only wish you had more help with the coding.

-Jim
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Post » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:15 pm

Great post @Ashley.
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