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Creator 2.0 ... an interesting experience

tatiangtatiang Posts: 11,131Member, Sous Chef, PRO, Senior Sous-Chef
edited November 2017 in Working with GS (Online)

I set out this morning to try and create a game for the Thanksgiving contest using the online version of Creator. It was quite a mixed experience and I ultimately gave up out of frustration. I'll premise this by saying I didn't read any instructions or watch any tutorials. I just dove in based on my experience with the desktop version of Creator which is many years deep. Much of it wasn't intuitive in ways I thought it should have been. Much of it was appreciated (zoom in/out, auto-complete image names). And much of it left me wishing it could be different. So here, in no particular order and after only about 20 minutes time -- so make of it what you will -- are my comments:

  1. Actor inspector should be on by default. Took me a while to figure out I needed to open it.
  2. Option+dragging a behavior shows a + symbol but doesn’t actually make a copy of the behavior.
  3. Choosing attributes is SLOW.
  4. It’s strange to make the left parenthesis the expression editor. It’s non-intuitive and looks weird. And why the f(x) notation? It makes it look like I should only be entering a mathematical formula. It also displays a total of 5 brackets (5, not 6… not an even number) which just adds confusion and clutter. Come to think of it, why do we need to tell Creator we’re using an expression? Shouldn’t it just figure out that 1-self.Direction is an expression, not an integer/etc.?
  5. Edit—>Undo doesn’t do anything.
  6. Everything takes up so much space. A single rule with If and Else takes up half the screen. It’s hard to work like that. Change Attribute suffers the same problem.
  7. The difference in appearance between an enabled (on) rule and disabled (off) rule is so slight as to be unnoticeable. It should be an obvious distinction. Like the entire rule is grayed out or something.
  8. I went to type “right” for a keyboard key as a rule condition and it wouldn’t accept it. Took me a moment to figure out you have to press the key itself.
  9. Why is the spacing for the list of attributes within a behavior (e.g. Change Attribute) so widely spaced vertically? If I have 30 self attributes, it’s going to be a pain to scroll through them. At least single-space the list.
  10. Actor attributes should not be locked by default. Why make everyone unlock them as a first step to editing them?
  11. Should be able to option-drag to copy actors within a scene.
  12. There should be a way to constrain actor width and height so that if you change one value, the other changes proportionally. For example, if you change the width of an image that is 200x400 to 300, the height should change to 600.
  13. Importing an image with an identical name should offer to replace the existing image.

P.S. Looks like we need a "Working with GS (Online)" subforum.

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Comments

  • pHghostpHghost London, UKPosts: 2,223Member
    edited November 2017

    Great points all round!

    For me, points 3 and 6 have become such an issue that I basically gave up on using it for the time being.

    Also, I tried importing a project -- small, 1.2 MB and light on logic -- and it got stuck on a 'Syncing With Server' message. Reloading the page removes the message, but the project seems empty and you cannot press any buttons to do anything (even to go back to the portfolio)...

  • gingagaminggingagaming FREELANCE GS DEV Posts: 1,521Member

    @tatiang if you speak to Alex he may add you to the beta forum "Web Version Beta Testers" for the testing and reporting of the online creator. Theres a lot of internal feedback inside there

  • Braydon_SFXBraydon_SFX Posts: 8,985Member, Sous Chef, PRO, Bowlboy Sidekick GameSalad Employee

    Good points and I agree with some of them (especially#4); we're still working a lot of the look of tool now that the functionality is pretty much in. I didn't mean overall UI, but things like buttons, colors and spacing. The new update that is coming out next week is huge in my opinion. Everything is much smaller (rules, behaviors, listing of actors, images, etc) and a lot of the UI elements have been altered.

    I actually really enjoy the new attribute browser. If I know the attribute I need, I can simply start to type it in and hit enter when GS suggests it.

    Copying / duplicating actors is still coming.

    Pretty sure #7 has been altered in the new build.

    PS: make sure you check "smart navigation" in your settings. I think that helps a lot.

    Hope you continue to use it; I'd love to see an entry from you for the contest!

  • tatiangtatiang Posts: 11,131Member, Sous Chef, PRO, Senior Sous-Chef

    @gingagaming I'll consider it. To be honest, I'm a bit jaded at this point after putting time into Graphene and seeing nothing come from it. But it might be better to be part of the conversation then just throwing things at the wall to see if they stick.

    @Braydon_SFX Looking forward to the update! I really like the auto-complete, too. Where is "smart navigation"?

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  • ToqueToque Posts: 1,128Member, PRO
    edited November 2017

    I have to agree 100% with tatiang. Ive struggled since the start. Ive been making a list as well. I think when your top user like (tatiang) is calling your newest software "frustrating" that should be concerning??

    Ok. So if you have a scene thats 2000 wide there is no scrolling to actually put anything in that extended area???????? So you can out zoom but you are placing actors in a tiny tiny zoomed out scene.......

    Not giving up yet........

  • tatiangtatiang Posts: 11,131Member, Sous Chef, PRO, Senior Sous-Chef

    I appreciate the compliment, @Toque, but I wouldn't call myself the top user. I'm just someone who's been around a long time and has both a traditional programming background (albeit limited; I switched majors from Computer Science to Sociology part way through college) and a teaching position. My love of GameSalad has carried me a long way but I find myself more and more frustrated with the lack of response from the company over the years -- although it's good to see @Braydon_SFX interacting with everyone. Still hoping for success though!

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  • PhilipCCPhilipCC Encounter Bay, South AustraliaPosts: 1,316Member, PRO

    It's disheartening to hear that seasoned members have found so many problems, faults, anomalies and omissions in Creator 2.0 that I have resolved to wait on the sidelines until they give the rest of us a thumbs-up.

    I'm not prepared to spend my time being a beta tester for software that costs me a subscription, even if I was expert enough with GS to contribute any useful feedback.

    So, I'll leave that to others who are prepared to do so and keep my fingers crossed that it all works out very soon... before my Apple Developer membership expires!

    I appreciated that @Braydon_SFX does his best to reassure us that things are looking up and this version is almost complete. I admire your stoicism, and loyalty to GS, but you probably have your eyes and legs crossed as well as your fingers right now!

  • FINNBOGGFINNBOGG Posts: 1,808Member, PRO

    Whats the purpose of this 2.0 That the buggy 1.0 could not provide if your team stayed focused on its issues? What problems will this mysterious miraculous 2.0 solve? Why are you once again spreading yourself so thin?

  • Braydon_SFXBraydon_SFX Posts: 8,985Member, Sous Chef, PRO, Bowlboy Sidekick GameSalad Employee

    @FINNBOGG said:
    Whats the purpose of this 2.0 That the buggy 1.0 could not provide if your team stayed focused on its issues? What problems will this mysterious miraculous 2.0 solve? Why are you once again spreading yourself so thin?

    Here's A few reasons. There's a lot more, but these are just some that popped off my fingers as I typed:

    The native tools are grounded on a bad code base. It's difficult and very time consuming to add new features and even fix bugs. Not to mention deploying fixes for two platforms: Mac and Windows.

    The new Web tool allows users to use Creator and not have to worry about UI differences between Mac and Windows. That's handy.

    The web tool will be able to be used on touch screen devices. This means you can build a game on your iPad. I think that's neat.

    When pushing an update for Creator 2.0, all we have to do is essentially push a button. We don't have to compile a package and send it out to everyone. It's so much quicker to deploy fixes and patches this way. Like...crazy fast.

    You don't have to download the tool; it's all online. This can be important and ultimately the deciding factor for those in schools who want to use GS.

    I'm my opinion, the new solid codebase, as well as the ability to push updates with speed, is totally worth it. :-)

  • FINNBOGGFINNBOGG Posts: 1,808Member, PRO

    What you listed sounds like a lot of nice stuff. Also sounds like it fixes a nice amount of current issues.

    SO can you list the Cons? Since its web-based does this mean you will be required to have internet connection 24/7. Sounds like this will be a big issue for devs who are used to not needing internet service every minute if development.

    What features and services will not be coming along for the ride with this web-based creator?

    What new features and services are we guaranteed to see since we will be using this new miraculous code that will be running in the background?

    WIll current issues be a thing of the past due to this new leap?

    What are some of the current hurdles is GS facing to make this happen.

    I truly would like to hear more on this.

  • PhilipCCPhilipCC Encounter Bay, South AustraliaPosts: 1,316Member, PRO

    @The_Gamesalad_Guru

    Sadly I agree.

    I keep hanging on to GS because I thought I could see the great, exciting potential of GS Creator, then of Graphene, and then this online Creator 2.0...

    ... or maybe I just swallowed such a long stream of too many empty promises that I'm totally spent now?

    I'm hardly excited about creating GS games anymore. Or using any tool to make apps.

    I'd rather direct my creativity to video production, illustration, animation, music composition and (FCS), just cooking a nice dinner!

    I find it hard to admit my mistake of believing in GS and to decide to finally cut my losses and move on.

  • DaddyMagicDaddyMagic Posts: 30Member
    edited November 2017

    For the first time in 3-4 years I cancelled my GS subscription with no plans on ever renewing, not even with a Cyber Monday discount, considering the Black Friday thread was closed (when every other game engine is having sales) I figured enough was enough. I really liked GS but it's obvious it will never be a desktop application again and it's way too late to play catch up with the other game engines. Within the last year while GS was distracted with this ridiculous web version other game engines like Unity+Bolt, GameMaker ect... have excelled tremendously and made it alot easier for the average person to make games on an advanced and supported platform with top notch tutorials that anyone can follow. GS had potential, alot of potential, but it's buried too deep in the grave to get out now. I struggled trying to make my games with GS because the most basic principles in game play such a mechanics and linkages was non-existent and still is even in the web version. I'll miss you guys and thank everyone who helped me. I learned alot about making games with GS but sometimes you just have to move on where the resources are going to support your dreams and have the stability to do so without disappointment.

  • DigiChainDigiChain Posts: 1,163Member, PRO

    It’s been interesting to read how other are getting on with the new web creator. I took a look at it a couple of weeks back but found it lacking at that point (but realise things seem to be progressing and improving quickly).

    As a long time GS user (over 6 years now!) I’ve witnessed GS seemingly come back from the brink on numerous occasions, hopefully the web creator will be another of those occasions... but my main worry is how it will handle larger projects, and that our current projects will all import and run on it as they should.

    As FINNBOGG points out, there’s a lot of competition out there. Gamemaker 2.0 is going from strength to strength (and is available on Mac now too!) and because of this I’ve started learning new game making software. It just seems too risky to continue betting my entire livelihood on Gamesalad alone in its current state.

    Hopefully the new web creator will turn things around and show us that Gamesalad is here to stay. If so I’m sure I’ll still be around for years to come...

  • tatiangtatiang Posts: 11,131Member, Sous Chef, PRO, Senior Sous-Chef

    Some additional features lacking in the web version:
    • Logging to debugger
    • Table view -- by now, we should be able to see table values in some toggle-window or other while previewing a project

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  • ForumNinjaForumNinja Posts: 525Key Master, Head Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    Thanks for the feedback @tatiang!

    @tatiang said:
    Here, in no particular order and after only about 20 minutes time -- so make of it what you will -- are my comments:

    1. Actor inspector should be on by default. Took me a while to figure out I needed to open it.

    I believe the inspector should be visible by default and set to the game attributes tab o.0 If not that should definitely be fixed. (or am I confused?)

    1. Option+dragging a behavior shows a + symbol but doesn’t actually make a copy of the behavior.

    Yeah this is one of the shortcuts not currently in, but that I'd like to see as well.

    1. Choosing attributes is SLOW.

    I agree, this should be sped up. On the bright side typing the attributes you want should be pretty quick.

    1. It’s strange to make the left parenthesis the expression editor. It’s non-intuitive and looks weird. And why the f(x) notation? It makes it look like I should only be entering a mathematical formula. It also displays a total of 5 brackets (5, not 6… not an even number) which just adds confusion and clutter. Come to think of it, why do we need to tell Creator we’re using an expression? Shouldn’t it just figure out that 1-self.Direction is an expression, not an integer/etc.?

    @adent42 can better speak to this. To my knowledge there wasn't an icon available similar to "e" that we have in the native versions. (that extra bracket should be removed I agree)

    Having Creator figure out that you're using an expression by the input you provide should be doable, but I think you'd then run into issues with the readability of more complex expressions.

    1. Edit—>Undo doesn’t do anything.

    Undo isn't currently live, but is functioning in the test build we have up (though edit -> undo doesn't seem to track the changes made inside creator / still doesn't work, but command/control + z does)

    1. Everything takes up so much space. A single rule with If and Else takes up half the screen. It’s hard to work like that. Change Attribute suffers the same problem.

    The test build helps with this some as well, but it could probably use some more love.

    1. The difference in appearance between an enabled (on) rule and disabled (off) rule is so slight as to be unnoticeable. It should be an obvious distinction. Like the entire rule is grayed out or something.

    +1 to the being grayed out. The distinction is a little more clear in the test build since we've replaced the arrows with the more familiar on/off toggle buttons

    1. I went to type “right” for a keyboard key as a rule condition and it wouldn’t accept it. Took me a moment to figure out you have to press the key itself.

    It's not 100% intuitive, but helps to reduce issues with mistyping a special key and it quicker than having to pull up a keyboard and select the key you want.

    1. Why is the spacing for the list of attributes within a behavior (e.g. Change Attribute) so widely spaced vertically? If I have 30 self attributes, it’s going to be a pain to scroll through them. At least single-space the list.

    That could be shrunk down some as well, I agree. Added to the list.

    1. Actor attributes should not be locked by default. Why make everyone unlock them as a first step to editing them?

    I believe that's the same functionality as the native versions (instance actor's attributes are locked by default to ensure that they stay sync'd with the prototype actor).

    1. Should be able to option-drag to copy actors within a scene.

    +1

    1. There should be a way to constrain actor width and height so that if you change one value, the other changes proportionally. For example, if you change the width of an image that is 200x400 to 300, the height should change to 600.

    I like this idea. Could save a step in a lot of scenarios.

    1. Importing an image with an identical name should offer to replace the existing image.

    Agreed, added to the list.

    P.S. Looks like we need a "Working with GS (Online)" subforum.

    Added.

  • ForumNinjaForumNinja Posts: 525Key Master, Head Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    Oh and smart navigation is located under your settings:

  • FINNBOGGFINNBOGG Posts: 1,808Member, PRO

    where do i go to try out this online version?

  • JamesDJamesD Posts: 12Member, PRO

    @FINNBOGG said:
    where do i go to try out this online version?

    https://creator.gamesalad.com

    Hello ForumNinja,
    For what it's worth, the online creator still consistently hangs with the message "Saving changes to server..."

    All I'm trying to do is load a template project to view the assets, but they're all empty when I am able to view the project assets (expect Wizard Run). Usually hangs when attempting to view a project or click on a project tab (i.e. the actors).

  • tatiangtatiang Posts: 11,131Member, Sous Chef, PRO, Senior Sous-Chef

    @FINNBOGG said:
    where do i go to try out this online version?

    https://creator.gamesalad.com

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  • tatiangtatiang Posts: 11,131Member, Sous Chef, PRO, Senior Sous-Chef

    @ForumNinja said:

    1. Actor attributes should not be locked by default. Why make everyone unlock them as a first step to editing them?

    Sorry, I think I was confusing the prototype with the instance in that case.

    Thanks for all the answers!

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  • ForumNinjaForumNinja Posts: 525Key Master, Head Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    @tatiang you're welcome!

    @JamesD The templates currently up there are all for the curriculum so they just come with the images / sounds already imported (not the actual games themselves created) with the exception of Wizard Run.

    Wizard Run is one of our simpler beginner units that has a completed game already provided.

  • IceboxIcebox Posts: 1,467Member, PRO

    @ForumNinja Will the team look into performance ? cause the way it handles bigger projects right now is painful. Navigation / selecting / dragging / placing actors on scene/ zooming in and out / hiding the inspector / scrolling the scene/ scrolling the logic stack behaviours all seem to slow down to the point its difficult to develop with. Is the team aware of this ? What worries me is that i know the performance is enough to handle education purposes , will it be optimised for developing big projects in the future or is it going to remain the way it is right now with additional features.

  • ForumNinjaForumNinja Posts: 525Key Master, Head Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    @icebox Performance for larger projects is on the list of things to address, yep! I'm sure there's optimizations that can be done to help, though I'm not sure on specifics.

    I noticed that setting the zoom to 25% before changing scenes (or loading a new project) causes them to load faster, which may help in the short term some.

  • JamesDJamesD Posts: 12Member, PRO

    @ForumNinja said:

    @JamesD The templates currently up there are all for the curriculum so they just come with the images / sounds already imported (not the actual games themselves created) with the exception of Wizard Run.

    Thank you for the explanation, I appreciate it.

    Any ideas/suggestions on how to keep it from hanging/freezing?

  • ForumNinjaForumNinja Posts: 525Key Master, Head Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    @JamesD

    The only suggestion I have is to refresh the page you're on if it gets stuck. What browser are you using?

  • ArmellineArmelline Posts: 4,488Member, PRO

    Am I blind or do we still not have a Change Table Value? I see copy table, but not Change Table Value.

  • ForumNinjaForumNinja Posts: 525Key Master, Head Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    @Armelline It's in the beta build set to go live tonight.

  • ArmellineArmelline Posts: 4,488Member, PRO

    @ForumNinja Great! Will finally be able to start using it :D

    This publishing issue is killing me though. Totally unable to properly test a Christmas themed app that it's looking increasingly likely the deadline will be missed for.

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