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Discussion and feedback on Construct 2

Post » Thu Feb 25, 2016 4:27 am

There's a big tension around recently due to many recent bugs and old problems/topics as well. I am also frustrated as I'm trying to release my Android app which is finished, but both CocoonIO an IntelXDK have some unacceptable issues now.

Believe me I had moments I want to cry as well... but if you calm down and look at the big picture, then after all it's not C2 which is a problem. It is true that Ashley could have made better decisions sometime as @megatronx mentioned, but well... that's another story.

Regarding that C2 is a "product which is supposed to do what it says on the box" I must disagree a bit. Software is not a bike. You can say that about an easy accountant software which needs just one update a year to adjust new tax rules, but not about an engine which is made to make other software. Thinking this ways you should have the version of C2 which you downloaded as first, and use only wrappers and everything around with the version which was available the time you downloaded that first C2. Then it would be what was on the box (at that time).

But we need/want more all the time right? This technology is extremely rapid. New things come out and we want them in C2, so we have updates and what goes after - issues which need some fix.
Let's be honest... even Microsoft and Googe make soft mistakes and they have a series of quality checks.

After all I have really mixed feelings, cause from one side I do understand the software production system and it flaws. But from another I am also tired of "hoping" that "they" will fix "it" soon.

I wouldn't judge anyone for dropping C2. I know sometimes frustration reaches the limit and you simply say "ahh f*** it!". Moving to Unity or something like that would probably give you better performance and feeling of stability, but surely development won't be that fun as with C2.

Personally I told a friend today that this is my second and last mobile game with C2. I'll be following IntelXDK and CocoonIO and wait for the good times (I'm sure they will come within maximum 2 years). But I'm absolutely not leaving C2. Let's face it. It is the best HTML5 game engine in the world.

P.S. Wanted to write some short thoughts just to follow this subject, but as usually I wrote ten times more than I planned :lol: (laughter through tears)
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Post » Thu Feb 25, 2016 4:40 am

FMFM wrote:I see @Ashley, I see… What about C2/C3 own exporters? I guess you understand that the problems associated often do just that? What's more third-party variables, the greater the problems. We could have only C2 problems and publishing platform (in this case iOS) problems. Now we have Ludei and Intel problems as well. Don't answer on this. I know your opinion about exporters. You just say that you don't have time for it.


I've seen him say about native exporters pretty much what he just said to you in this thread: They wouldn't necessarily fix the problems people assume they would because they would still be relying on external sources (for example, driver makers).
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Post » Thu Feb 25, 2016 4:47 am

BackendFreak wrote:Regarding that C2 is a "product which is supposed to do what it says on the box" I must disagree a bit. Software is not a bike. You can say that about an easy accountant software which needs just one update a year to adjust new tax rules, but not about an engine which is made to make other software. Thinking this ways you should have the version of C2 which you downloaded as first, and use only wrappers and everything around with the version which was available the time you downloaded that first C2. Then it would be what was on the box (at that time).


Perhaps some more background to why I feel C2 doesn't live up to its promise would help.

As a Construct Classic user, I had been fine with the issues of the native engine crashing and editor bugs, because I had understood it was a project made open source by students in their spare time. It still produced amazing Windows games in both 2D and 2.5D that worked excellently (rarely crashing during runtime) on then-average (today low-end and ancient) DirectX 9 hardware, and even 3D ones if you knew the math.

When Construct 2 was in early development there was a great deal of excitement: Scirra was going to make a serious go of it/a professional game dev tool and an improvement to CC starting all over from scratch.

Around this time we were also told "desktop export would be a given", which many assumed to mean native export, and other ideas were being put out by Scirra (like having multiple exporter options rather than just the HTML5+Wrappers option. That's why the html5 engine is inside a folder called "exporters" eg: C:\Program Files\Construct 2\exporters\html5). Information about that is all here on the Scirra forums (possibly also on the old forums which should still be online right now) somewhere but you'll have to search to find the posts sadly as they've been buried over time.

Then over time Scirra dropped down to just pure HTML5, promising that the technology would catch up and work out better for all. They pushed out reports of near-native performance tests (when what they really meant is that the code is more optimized than CC, but if those same optimizations were applied to a native exporter it would obviously perform better in most situations), and many other reasons why this is the best choice for us, the developers of games using their tool.

It's 2016, 5 years after development started of C2, and I still find CC exported games to perform smoother on my Windows computers.

I switched to CC from Clickteam KnP/TGF/MMF, so the "graphical coding" was not novel, just better. The editor in Construct tools is also way better to me too, but again the complaint isn't about the editor but the actual games, the products I get from this tool.

In a way, C2 is exactly like "an easy accountant software", it's not an end product or a source of entertainment in itself, it's what I do with it that matters because it's a tool. I'm not even mad at the price because I agree it's relatively inexpensive (even considering that Unity and other big engines are now free for general use or low monthly fees for commercial titles), and Scirra should charge business customers more if they put native export into it.

I'm mad because I believed in Construct 2, worked together with a friend to make over 50% of a game, which was then funded on Kickstarter with the dreams of "Win, Mac, Linux + WiiU" that hence became an expectation from the backers (read: customers), and had to turn up with the same excuse Ashley gives us: "We're sorry, issues with a third party (C2 -> Node Webkit -> Chrome -> HTML5 + WebGL) prevented this from working on anything but high-end Windows desktops".

We were lucky enough to release to Steam, but there's still plenty of devices that should have no problems with the game suffering from frame skipping, missed collision detections, and etc. Especially in screencapture/let's play footage. And ultimately we can't port without totally re-writing the game.

Even a method to quickly export games into something easier imported into other engines would make Construct 2 100% more useful for developers who want to make more than lightweight or mobile games.

@Quicksand

There's less layers (points of failure) in native export:

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The driver issues Ashley mentioned were almost always AMD related, which is hilarious because WebGL still has issues on AMD devices too, and the solution changes from "wait for AMD to fix it" to "wait for NodeJS to update chrome, but if that doesn't fix it then wait for Chrome to make sure it's not their fault, then if it isn't hopefully Google will push AMD to fix it".

And why is WebGL worse on AMD? Because it's already bad at OpenGL anyway, which WebGL is pretty much based on:

https://www.gamingonlinux.com/articles/ ... hmark.3806

For these next two links Vendor A is NVIDIA, B is AMD, and C is Intel.

http://richg42.blogspot.ca/2014/05/the- ... ality.html

http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/18234 ... -of-opengl

Also a relevant link for how CC and C2 compared at the time when C2 started claiming to be "as fast as native": is-webgl-slow-on-some-machines_t75194
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Post » Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:27 am

Now this is a great topic. And both sides have a point, in my situation I'm sticking with C2, so far it has been the easiest, fastest way to achieve my projects. Later in the future i might use different engines, tools, etc. But for the meantime C2 is my #1 weapon of choice
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Post » Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:07 am

gumshoe2029 wrote:Honestly, I have been around the web development world a bit, and Construct is, by far, the most expansive, standards-compliant, bug-free, easy-to-use web development platform that I have found. This software trivially easily exceeds GameMaker in HTML5 game development, and has the potential to match Google Web Toolkit pound for pound in critical enterprise applications if developed in that direction.

I, and my team, have nearly two years of time and effort invested into Construct, and we have never looked back. We tried a number of platforms before selecting Construct, including Google Web Toolkit, GameMaker, D3, raw HTML5, and none were as easy to learn or as quick to demonstrably perform our most intensive graphics requirements without overloading our test machines. Our test litmus program involved generating one hundred thousand objects and displaying all of them in screen in a fully zoom/pannable dynamic user interface at once. GameMaker was not able to do this without stalling and freezing our test machine.

No, C2 is one of the most unbelievable pieces of software that I have found in the web development world, and we are very anxiously awaiting C3.

It's always good to see these kind of satisfied posts.

Silverforce wrote:This is the price we pay for having a great and intuitive game engine.

True. Adopting new technologies is never an easy road. We have a great, intuitive, fast and fun to work with engine, but on the other hand, we have to accept the problems HTML5 brings with itself now. I don't dare to guess where HTML5 will be in a few years. It's very promising even now, despite the wrapper problems and more and more devices include the support for it as a way to make standalone applications on their system. They may have stated that HTML5 is a ready and released tech, but there's definetly space for improvement on the integration part.

BackendFreak wrote:I wouldn't judge anyone for dropping C2. I know sometimes frustration reaches the limit and you simply say "ahh f*** it!". Moving to Unity or something like that would probably give you better performance and feeling of stability, but surely development won't be that fun as with C2.

No one should be judged for dropping any software that doesn't fit their needs. @FMFM You might find what you are looking for in Unity, UE4, etc., but as I said before it will never be bug free. Every software has it's issues, we just happen to see on the issues comes with Construct 2 because we are using it.

I can see the discouragment and dissapointment what was caused by these issues and it's unlikely that these will be fixed soon, since it's out of Scirra's hands. I don't see it as an excuse, since in the end, we still have to face those bugs be it whoever's fault. But I still won't leave Construct 2, because despite these problems it still has many advantages over other engines which makes it the best choice for me. I have some hope that these problems will be fixed in the future, and I also have big hopes for Construct 3, even if it will still use the same runtime.

Sometimes people just have to take a break. @FMFM If you do leave, please, after a few months come back here and tell us how the change turned out for you.
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Post » Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:20 am

The problem with native export is you need multiple codebases & renderers to go cross-platform, like CC with DX9, it's windows only and requires a lot of effort to port.

But guess what?

Vulkan is the answer.

It's cross-platform, Windows, Linux, Android.

MAC OSX has Metal, which is a derivative of Vulkan.
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Post » Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:56 am

Silverforce wrote:The problem with native export is you need multiple codebases & renderers to go cross-platform, like CC with DX9, it's windows only and requires a lot of effort to port.

But guess what?

Vulkan is the answer.

It's cross-platform, Windows, Linux, Android.

MAC OSX has Metal, which is a derivative of Vulkan.


Looks good. Are you suggesting Vulkan wrapper, or for c2/c3 to completely switch api?
https://www.khronos.org/vulkan/
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Post » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:22 am

Well, they went with DX9 for CC and it runs really good on PC.

Why not look into Vulkan for C3? ;) Probably too late for that though, as C3 is just a UI overhaul.
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Post » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:27 am

I agree with Silverforce Vulkan is amazing and the things it can do to android. If c3 can utilize such a low level api in some way it will give a performance boost may be?
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Post » Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:08 am

Silverforce wrote:Probably too late for that though, as C3 is just a UI overhaul.

I think so too. However I'd love to see Ashely's comment on this Vulkan thing. It's an interesting topic imo.
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