Thinking of returning to C2 - some questions

Discussion and feedback on Construct 2

Post » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:58 am

Hi everyone,

Before I start, I must say that Construct 2 is the reason why I'm a game developer today. Without it, I'd never have learnt the principals of game dev that I apply now. With that said, I moved over to Unity for a first-person 3D game that I've spent nearly the last two years on. I'm now thinking about taking on a side-project in the form of a side-scrolling 2D platformer. I looked at the many ways of doing this in Unity, and, being the non-technical developer that I am, thought that Construct 2 is probably a more suitable platform on which to develop.

Bearing in mind I haven't touched C2 since r208 (June 2015), I've got a few questions that I'm hoping the community can answer for me:

1) How is support these days? Still going well enough? On that note, is C2 stable?
2) Is there any (speculated or otherwise) ETA on Construct 3?
3) Are there are must-have premium addons/behaviours/etc. that I should look at for a side-scrolling platfomer?
4) How is Steam integration on C2?
5) How's performance looking for standalone(exe) builds? Are we still at the mercy of Chrome's wonky WebGL support?
6) Anything else you can think of?

Really hoping that you fine folks can give me the answers I'm looking for. I know that the forums were a huge part of my progression as a developer when I was most active with C2; I'm hoping that's still the case! Thanks!
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Post » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:24 am

GeometriX wrote:1) How is support these days? Still going well enough? On that note, is C2 stable?
2) Is there any (speculated or otherwise) ETA on Construct 3?
3) Are there are must-have premium addons/behaviours/etc. that I should look at for a side-scrolling platfomer?
4) How is Steam integration on C2?
5) How's performance looking for standalone(exe) builds? Are we still at the mercy of Chrome's wonky WebGL support?
6) Anything else you can think of?

Welcome back. :)

1 - It's great as usual. Scirra answers the Community's questions on the forum like before. The only thing is that C2 don't get new features and has a slower release cycle due to the development of C3.
2 - No, but we can expect some news in 2017.
3 and 4 - The Experimental Greenworks Plugin is quite unreliable as far as I can tell, but there's MadSpy's premium Steam plugin that works great from what I hear:
https://www.scirra.com/store/construct2 ... basic-2546
https://www.scirra.com/store/construct2 ... am4c2-2545
5 - Performance is not an issue on desktop platforms if you develop your game with optimizations in mind (just like you would in every engine). Keep this thread saved in your bookmarks if you want to target desktop: updated-22-12-2016-the-big-nw-js-roundup-tips-amp-tricks_t184449
6 - C2 was awesome when you left for your 3D project and C2 is still awesome. :D Happy developing!
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Post » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:54 pm

The basic problem with 5. is still the same, I'm afraid. Chromium still has its blacklist, and since the same people are running the same crappy hardware/driver combinations as back then you still get a lot of negative review flak from those and can't do anything about it.
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Post » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:03 pm

yeah, the main problems for me seem to be 4 and 5, but mostly 5. There's always something amiss regarding the nw.js / chrome stuff, where you're expected to wait for an update to fix it, which could take months. and there's always a chance these updates can introduce new problems.
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Post » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:11 pm

GeometriX wrote:in the form of a side-scrolling 2D platformer


2D platformers seems to be the weakest point of C2, especially if making a game where the enemies are also using platforming behaviors and if there are many (eg: 5+) enemies alive at a time/on screen. Eats up the JavaScript performance and leads to missing collisions on average or lesser machines (which feels like a large portion of audiences who purchase 2D games on the desktop/Steam).

Also, screen capture software still tends to wreak total havoc in the games, causing further missed collisions and engine issues you won't easily avoid, so social spread of the game might be negatively impacted.

But as a side project? I agree with @glerikud that it should work alright on desktop aside from the above (Windows specifically, never had much luck with Mac/Linux for our game).
"Construct 4 lets YOU make advanced games! (but not play them)" Construct Classic - Examples Kit Dropbox is a pile of trash and if you need my old files PM me! :)
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Post » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:30 pm

Jayjay wrote:
GeometriX wrote:in the form of a side-scrolling 2D platformer


2D platformers seems to be the weakest point of C2, especially if making a game where the enemies are also using platforming behaviors and if there are many (eg: 5+) enemies alive at a time/on screen. Eats up the JavaScript performance and leads to missing collisions on average or lesser machines (which feels like a large portion of audiences who purchase 2D games on the desktop/Steam).

Also, screen capture software still tends to wreak total havoc in the games, causing further missed collisions and engine issues you won't easily avoid, so social spread of the game might be negatively impacted.

But as a side project? I agree with @glerikud that it should work alright on desktop aside from the above (Windows specifically, never had much luck with Mac/Linux for our game).


I'll add to this and say high resolution platformers are definitely an issue in C2 and I haven't seen any real movement to look into why HD performance isn't all that great. Based on my experience, the issues come down to slowness due to C2's rendering capabilities more than the speed of any event/action execution (as in, other engines using WebGL don't have the same rendering performance issues). Pixel art platformers that run at lower resolutions perform much better. Maybe (hopefully?) these rendering improvements will come in C3. At the very least, fixing shaders so they run based on the layer/layout instead of screen coordinates and adding in addition shader feature support is long overdue. See: https://www.scirra.com/forum/webgl-effects-change-while-scrolling_t115751.

Construct's event system is super solid and allows some pretty advanced programming-type stuff. In that sense, Construct being based on javascript/html5 tech has worked out well. But it's graphical capabilities are kind of sub-par. And of course there's also the issue of platform support, and regardless of how much someone may enjoy using C2's event system, lacking support for the platforms a game may do well on is a real concern.
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Post » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:16 am

Thanks for the honest feedback, everyone! I had completely forgotten about the platformer-based enemy performance limitations. Sure, there are ways around that, but since I'd be going into C2 as a way around doing the more finicky stuff in Unity, that issue and the others mentioned seem to cancel out the relative hassle of using Unity.

I think I'm going to stick with Unity, and just figure out the stuff I need to, and/or grab some assets to make life easier. It's a pity, I was looking forward to using Construct again. I absolutely adore the event system, it makes total sense to me, but it doesn't make sense to use a framework that could hold back any success this game might have.
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Post » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:23 am

@GeometriX About the desktop export, you can try Armaldio's Electron Export that is waay better than NW.js performancewise:
https://github.com/C2Electron/template
Last edited by skymen on Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post » Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:37 pm

digitalsoapbox wrote:I'll add to this and say high resolution platformers are definitely an issue in C2 and I haven't seen any real movement to look into why HD performance isn't all that great.

This is a classic case of blaming GPU performance on Construct 2. If a game runs OK in SD, but is slow in HD, that's 100% down to the performance of the GPU hardware. A native engine would perform identically, because it's the same hardware. I have looked in to this in the past, and it usually comes down to crappy integrated Intel GPUs. There isn't much any game developer anywhere can do about that...

I'm not aware of any performance issues relating to platform movements - collision cells should ensure that's fast. I'd be happy to review a .capx if someone made something demonstrating a performance problem.

According to webglstats.com 95% of users have WebGL support now. Problems for the 5% may be tricky, but firstly it's a pretty small segment, and secondly there's still not much that can be done about it - Chrome does a lot to work around driver bugs, and if it can't run WebGL, it's likely that the drivers have severe stability issues. So those users are likely to be a problem anyhow.

I've not seen any actual performance numbers comparing Electron and NW.js. They are both based on the same Chromium engine, so it would be a surprise if they performed differently. I'd have thought they are running identical code!
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Post » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:04 pm

I always have issues running higher-resolution webgl(they run too slow and aren't playable), but I'm assuming it is due to my graphics card:
Unmasked Renderer: ANGLE (NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GS Direct3D9Ex vs_3_0 ps_3_0)
I also have experienced slow-downs due to events related to enemy ai, but I assume it is probably something I am doing wrong. It could be that my specs just aren't fast enough, considering my laptop is from 2008.
I look forward to the day that I get a new one!
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