The new Stencylpedia is ready!

Jon

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What do you think about the proposed outline I put above, in light of what you've posted (very useful feedback - that's more of what I'd like to see in terms of actionable content)?

One thing I haven't figured out yet but would help cut down the overhead for step-by-step instructions is developing a pipeline for being able to record these to animations/tiny clips - but I haven't figured out a way to do that that's efficient enough to be feasible.

Psmith

  • Posts: 14
Jon:

I think your latest outline is an improvement, especially if no stone is left unturned, and nothing is assumed about your audience - and, of course, it is done step by tiny step.

The only difficulty I have with this approach is that it assumes that most users will want to make a game of a certain genre (there are about 7 of them, I think).  I've stayed away from playing and making games because of the monotony of choice - and lack of original ideas present in the gaming forum. 

I'd like to make something that comes from my lack of background in gaming, not my intimate acquaintance with it.

An opportunity lies directly ahead which could allow "new blood" to infuse the game making world, but every advantage must be provided to accommodate them - supplying very concise and graphic small examples of functionality that could be viewed as "components" or "building blocks" for much more ambitious and creative things.

In a sense, I wish you and other teachers would forget everything you know about games and look at Stencyl as a playground for the imagination (another cliche) - a means to produce entertainment, diversion, humor, and the visual, non-linear story.

If you look at the attraction factor of things like Algodoo and, as counterpart, the engagement factor of "Angry Birds" - you can see that it is the infinite nature of visual possibilities that forms the basis of the attraction.  No limit to the number of actions and reactions that are possible.

Take the engine powering Algodoo and couple that with a form of truly "codeless" programming and you would have the winning game-making appliance.

So, the point I am making is that Stencyl is capable of so much more than serving as a tool to make, over again and again and again, those 7 (or so) genres of games that have raised your generation - and several before that.

I understand the nostalgia factor of revisiting your childhood comfort zones and the vehicles that produced them - (I have done it with an obsession for Looney Tunes) - but, from a universal adoption point of view - Stencyl should be aimed at a broader category of users for a broader realization of its usefulness.

Psmith
The "P" is psilent as in "psychosis, psoriasis, pterodactyl, and Psalm".

Psmith

  • Posts: 14
Jon:

Regarding the means to present step-by-step, graphically engaging tutorials, might I suggest the following 2 applications (assuming you have a Mac):

1) Screenflow 3 for video capture and addition of sound (with editing).
2) Hype for producing HTML5 "pages" or "scenes" that can include video clips.

These 2 apps are the quickest and most efficient means of producing media rich, browser-based content.  Also, the most economical means.


Psmith
The "P" is psilent as in "psychosis, psoriasis, pterodactyl, and Psalm".

Joe

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Regarding the examples, it makes sense for us to use concepts that people are already familiar with. There's certainly no requirement or expectation that users will make games of the same style (and in fact, we would strongly encourage otherwise!), but it's easier to assimilate knowledge when you can connect it to something you already know.

This starts to tie into the age-old discussion of theory versus application. Both are important, but not everyone will have the time, dedication, or desire to learn the ins and outs of Stencyl and how it does things. Part of the point of abstracting away programming is that, indeed, users shouldn't have to know everything that's going on under the hood.

Creating really good tutorial content takes careful planning and lots of time -- especially videos and media-rich content like you're suggesting -- and video-based content comes with its own set of cons as well, such as not being easily skimmable.

We're actually working on a massive undertaking that will tie in some things like you describe, by taking a more bottom-up approach. Based on your comments so far, I really think you'll like it. :)

majormax

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Hmm....

Anyways, The new stencylpedia is quite awesome and is sure to come in handy.

Silux

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It's a very good guide!
The mini games fit very well and some really give you inspiration to make games.

notes:
in the bounciness demo, the "mambo" with bounciness =1 actually bounces a little higher than his starting height(until it exits the screen)!
In optimizing performance 1, i'd point out that the print statement is more expensive under the always event.Also big actors, transparent or images with blurred edges are a great source of lag.
Currently working at:
Starwarrior 2097(my main project)
How to make successful games in Kongregate and the world(article)

Vigilence

  • Posts: 62
I'm in the same boat as Psmith.  Although stencylpedia does cover a lot of information, I am currently struggling to create custom behaviors.  I feel that the behaviors needs much more coverage, as its the core of creating a custom game that fits an individuals needs. 

Although I am a beginner, I don't want to rely/crutch on pre-built behaviors for each and every game I make (unless the code is made by me).  Even trying dissect pre-built behaviors leaves me discouraged/baffled, as I don't have a clear understanding as to how and why it was built the way it was. 

I would like to have a strong understanding of the logic behind setting up custom behaviors so that I can create my own behaviors for basically everything Psmith summed up:

"As an absolutely new user and a non-programming designer, I want to learn things - one little thing at a time.

Once understood, I would like to add "behaviors" to that little thing, to make it more and more accomplished.

After making my little thing, (an actor/player), do interesting things, I would like to learn how to make him react with:

1)  His surroundings
2)  Other entities that move
3)  Involve my player in interesting action/reaction behaviors.
4)  Make his "decisions" result in consequences.

These things, I believe, are at the heart of every game - and should be learned - one little thing at a time.

Thus, given the very linear nature of Stencyl, I would like to see, in order:

1)  Many examples of how my player can react with his surroundings, step-by-step.
2)  Many examples of how my player can react with other game entities that move, step-by-step.
3)  Many examples of the kinds of reactions my player can have to other things, such as:

   a)  collision reactions
   b)  animation reactions
   c)  physics reactions

Step-by-Step, leaving no clicking "order of things" left out or assumed."

I want the knowledge on how to create and custom behaviors for situations like the above so that I can create games with a unique style/game play.

Jon

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I somewhat agree that the behaviors coverage isn't to the point where you can build something on your own. And what wasn't really our goal with Stencylpedia for that particular section. For Stencylpedia, we wanted to get the essentials actually put down on paper for the first time, but as I blogged about, it isn't and wasn't meant to be the end-all-be-all solution for imparting the art of building logic and thinking logically - something that this just isn't the right format for and was well out of scope for doing for this iteration.

I think what you're actually asking for is the next project in this area that I have planned and what we've referred to on and off as our secret project on the roadmap. The approach is radically different from anything that's even tried to attack this problem so far and is, in my mind, a big leap forward once we take it, one that's well beyond what we've done with Stencylpedia today. As I blogged about, this is about 10% of what I think the potential is - you've just seen the tip of the iceberg. ;)

Photics

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As I blogged about, this is about 10% of what I think the potential is - you've just seen the tip of the iceberg. ;)

Ha, Jon is so optimistic about the future.

A Dramatization...

Developer: I'd like to start using iStencyl, but I'm always so tired.
Jon: We're working on Stencyl Studio's new robot-assist mode, where the software will take physical form and drive you to the mall for some tasty energy snacks.

I'm just kidding. Jon's style of community management is one of the reasons why I like this place. I'm also watching to see how people react to Stencylpedia. I'm surprised at the reactions.
Michael Garofalohttp://photics.com – Author of The Interactive Stencyl Textbook 8)

Vigilence

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" Jon's style of community management is one of the reasons why I like this place"

Agreed.  Jon actually reminds me of one of my favorite professors.

zeljko46

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Will we be able to continue our projects from 1.4.1? Probably not, but asking just in case
Play my game: http://www.kongregate.com/games/zeljko46/idle-downloader
Feedback, suggest, and if you want, offer help :)

Jon

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  • Posts: 17524
Will we be able to continue our projects from 1.4.1? Probably not, but asking just in case

Yeah, we're not discontinuing 1.4.1, and you'll continue to be able to download it and use it in the future. All our older builds get stored here.

http://community.stencyl.com/index.php/topic,5530.0.html

zeljko46

  • Posts: 84
Will we be able to continue our projects from 1.4.1? Probably not, but asking just in case

Yeah, we're not discontinuing 1.4.1, and you'll continue to be able to download it and use it in the future. All our older builds get stored here.

http://community.stencyl.com/index.php/topic,5530.0.html
Oh nice! So you will parallely develop 2.0 and 1.4.1. Will we be able to increment Game Attributes in 2.0? It is harsh i always have to say 'set <game attribute> to <game attribute> + 1
Play my game: http://www.kongregate.com/games/zeljko46/idle-downloader
Feedback, suggest, and if you want, offer help :)

Joe

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  • Posts: 2480
We won't be developing 1.4 anymore, but it will still be available for download.

Incrementing Game Attributes like that won't be in 2.0.

Vigilence

  • Posts: 62
I wish that there was a next and back button on the bottom of each article, as well as a top of page button.  Having to scroll all the way up just to click on the next section in the chapter is a bit tiring and annoying.