Improving Game Develop usability


#1

I’d like to get some feedbacks about Game Develop usability and ergonomics. :slight_smile:
Game Develop has in my view a lot of nice features, but they can be somewhat hidden by an interface which can be heavy to use or not well designed.

[size=130]Describe me an issue[/size]
To begin, you can describe an interface or a process which is too complicated/difficult to use. It can deals with an editor ( For example: “Using the image bank is too difficult” ) or even with the existance of a feature ( For example: “In XXX software, there is no need to use a image bank” ). You can also point out a specific process ( For instance: “Too much clicks are needed to edit an automatism” ).

[size=130]Tell me if you have some ideas or alternatives[/size]
If you have an idea to improve an interface, let me know. Even if it comes from another software. I’m interested about hearing about another software if you think it is easier to use or has a better interface, and why :slight_smile:

[size=130]Some remarks[/size]
Obviously, I won’t be able to fix or change everything in a short amount of time, but I’d like to hear about any feedback so that I stay aware of the main issue in Game Develop design.
Some of you already made me some remarks, you can include here a link to these remarks or rewrite them here if you feel its important. If you have to much thing to complain about, then submit the things which seems to be the more annoying or that would probably discourage a beginner.


#2

I actually think Game Develop is really friendly to beginners, I think it’s incredibly easy to understand.

The scene editor seems to have a few minor problems though:
I think you should replace the current middle click to grab, then middle click to stop moving the scene around with a simple middle click and drag.
Also if you zoom out a lot the view seems to become less responsive to mouse movement.
Maybe you could also have a limit of how far you can zoom in, because if you zoom in too far it seems as though the Z position goes into the negative and you start viewing the world from underneath it.
And also you have to click an item before you can click and drag it into the view, perhaps it would be a little faster if you could just click and drag an item without having to select it first.

Other than that almost anything that would reduce the number of mouse clicks it takes to complete an action would probably be good.
:smiley:


#3

This is fixed, thanks :slight_smile:


#4

[…]


#5

You can mention any subject that make GD hard to use. :slight_smile:
Just make sure to describe me as precisely as possible what is hard to use and tell me your ideas on how to improve it, just as MillionthVector did.


#6

This: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=3202

Make it so action mentioned by victor (center camera within limits) would do this in screen bounds, not screen center. Current behavior of it is confusing.


#7

Maybe make it to where you can have an option to show/hide action text because when you add many events and actions to a scene the editing becomes slow and laggy and maybe being able to hide the text could help improve performance.


#8

When you have many event you can separate them into external events, and include these external events thanks to link.
It is a good option to split a big game engine into such small modules doing a specific task ( An external event for enemy management, another for the player… ).

You can also fold the sub event ( Click on the grey arrow at the left of an event with sub events ) so as to hide the sub events. :slight_smile:


#9

I don’t wish compare your program with Construct Classic, but perhaps Game Develop would be a little more intuitive, specially in the events. Also, Construct Classic has several automatisms, including a platform behavior, which doesn’t require you to program the platform movement again.

Also, in the Psychs automation, it’s hard to create a custom mask. The automation collision ignores the sprite’s mask, and will made the entire object as a solid, instead of use the sprite’s mask. It’s hard to explain this.

I love Game Develop, but I needed contribute my experience somehow. Pardon me if I sounded rude or offensive, in no point I wished offend you or your software.


#10

Yeah a Platform automatism would be great as there are a lot of beginners trying to make platformers. :slight_smile:

There is an option to create a custom mask inside the Physics automatism, but it is a bit hard to use I know ( and it is totally different than the custom collision mask for Sprites which has nothing to do with the automatism ).

No problem, this thread is made so as to share the experience about using GD and how to improve it. :slight_smile:


#11

A platform automatism would be quite handy in this case. Another thing I would suggest is make a way to let an object solid without using a Psychc automatism, sparing some memory specially for large obstacles.

I guess it would be easier if there was a way to allow the Psychc automatism allow use the sprite mask to collisions instead of a new one. You know, it would be troublesome if you wish make the character crouch, but a bullet hit the empty air above like if he was standing.

You know I respect you so much, I just wanted contribute with some suggestions. Perhaps you would give a look to Construct Classic and check its features to inspire you. :blush:


#12

Construct is a great program indeed. :slight_smile: I check from time to time others game development tools to see how they are evolving and try to find good ideas to enhance Game Develop.

( By the way, I just want to mention that there is no problem speaking about others game creation tools here. Feel free to explain in which way you find Construct/Game Maker/MMF/Stencyl easier to use ( Which part of the program is better, or how a dialog is designed, or maybe a process which is easier to do with one of this program… ), it is always interesting to have opinion about how Game Develop compares with others programs :slight_smile: )


#13

My favorite part about Game Maker was it’s really easy, simplified coding language that came with it. You could skip using any of the drag and drop functions and just code, and I think development of games went faster because of it.

All the functions and stuff were really easy and simple to use, and it seemed optimized for fast coding. Instead of ‘Button.Variable(clicked)’ it would be ‘Button.clicked’.

Here’s an example of something like Game Maker Language:

“”"
//comment
if(global.time >= 1000)
{
global.time=0
instance_create(obj_cow,random(room_width),random(room_height))
}

with(obj_cow)
{if(x<0)
{
show_message(“cow ran over the edge”)
instance_destroy(cow)
}
}
“”"

I think it’d be great if Game Develop had it’s own simple coding language, where you could place a text field in the same fashion you add a new event, I think it could go like:

“”"
//comment
globalVariable(time)+1
if(globalVariable(time)>1000
[
globalVariable(time)=0
globalVariable(amount)+=1
TextObj.setText(toText(globalVariable(amount)))
]

“”"
No need for conditions or anything because you can code them in.

Also Game Maker had an ability to check if the mouse was over a sprite (great for buttons), I think that’s help speed things up and simplify making games here.


#14

Hi.I’m new to GD but I have already 3 suggestions.
Sometime I have difficulties to find an action or condition even if I have used before.
it would be nice to have a search box when we want to add an action or condition so we can search what we need,don’t have to browse the categories to find it , just type in to the search box and use it.

The second thing is,because I’m new to GD,many times I don’t know what functions I can use or what is the right syntax.
I know we can use expression editor,to browse functions in categories but many times I have difficulties to find what I need
So when we are editing a condition or action,it would be nice if we have an autofill to suggest what we can use and how.for example I type in the name of an object and the autofill suggest all the possibilities I can do with my object like object.Direction() object.X()…etc
Or if I want to force to an angle my object,autfill suggests all the possibilities I have to force to my object. MouseX(),object.X()…etc

The third thing is,I have used Construct 2 before and I love it how easy to add an object to a scene and customize it hit boxes.
In Construct 2 we can just drag 'n Drop a sprite from the desktop straight in to the scene and we can use it,don’t have to worry about importing process and directories.I don’t say it difficult to import in to GD,but I love this technick for prototype something fast.Very convenient. Also the customization of hit boxes.Is fully visual in CS2 we can make hit bosex to fit an object as perfect as possible in seconds.
Something similar would be nice in GD.

Thanks.


#15

In fact it already exists but it is hidden ( I do not know why ) when you open the window to add a condition/action: Just make the window bigger and the search box will be shown at the bottom of the actions/conditions list :slight_smile:

I will check if it is possible to add an autofill function when writing an expression, good idea!
Good idea also to create a Sprite object directly from an image file dropped on the scene. :slight_smile:

You mean that there is a button that automatically create the hitbox ?


#16

I’m glad if you find it useful my suggestions.
Found the search bar,thanks :mrgreen:
Maybe need to set the window size a bit larger by default in next release to make sure the search bar is visible :wink:

No,I mean the possibility to add,remove and move polygons of the hitbox,so we can make custom shape to fit the object perfectly.
In GD as far as I know we can use only a rectangle = 4 polygons,tell me if I’m wrong.
In CS2 we can use any number of polygons to make any kind of shape of hitbox.
Here is a screenshot of hitbox editing in CS2:
http://kepfeltoltes.hu/view/130727/cs2_hitbox_editor_www.kepfeltoltes.hu_.png

Something similar would be great.GD already got hitbox editing,all we need the possibility to add and remove polygons.
(Can I add more polygons to hitbox in GD? :blush: I couldn’t)


#17

LOL just found how to add,remove polygons :smiling_imp:

Great! :smiley:


#18

About image’s polygons edition… would be grat if you could make zoom-in/zoom-out for better editing of polygons/image points, maybe with some little grid representing pixels separations.

In the scene edition tab, I think should be better for move, instead middle-click for start moving over scene/ middle-click for stop moving, a drag movement.

The new windows for object’s properties/variables/automatisms are excelents, keep the good work 4ian :wink: .


#19

Keyboard shortcuts!

When memorized, using keyboard shortcuts is generally faster than moving your mouse, and faster actions=faster game completion time, so my suggestion is to take the most commonly used actions in Game Develop and set keyboard shortcuts for doing them automatically, examples would be adding a new event (different shortcuts for each event maybe?), opening an objects advanced properties window, opening an objects sprite window, etc.


#20

How about under Open Game menu (on toolbar) make separator and then list all recently opened games? Something like:

Open game /
Open project…
Open an example…

c:\users\abcdef\Game Develop Projects\game1.gdg
c:\users\abcdef\Game Develop Projects\game2.gdg
c:\users\abcdef\Game Develop Projects\game3.gdg
c:\users\abcdef\Game Develop Projects\game4.gdg