Stencyl is still too difficult to use

ipe 369

  • Posts: 1001
Lemme change the first four
Sploder = ideal for kids (< 6 year)
Scratch = ideal for kids (<8 year)
Gamemaker = good for kids <12 (used in school here a lot)
Stencyl = Easy as gamemaker. Also better and professional.;)

NexusxAlpha

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Could we stop referring to Design Mode as coding? It's not code.

I call it "Blocking".


Manuel

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That word is kinda cool. Blocking. I like it.
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Hectate

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  • Posts: 4645
Usually when I'm blocking it means I don't have any idea of what to do, rather than that I'm actively doing it  ;D
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Proud member of the League of Idiotic Stencylers; doing things in Stencyl that probably shouldn't be done.

godofvaganza

  • Posts: 117
Before I start making game in stencyl. I use flash develop to making flash game. it's pure coding. Even if we want to add some asset, we need call them with code. In my opinion, Stencyl actually really like an coding but it's more visual. Design mode is same logic as you coding in as3 or something. Attribute is same as as3's variable which use global variable and local variable (in this case global attribute and local attribute). Actor and scene Behaviours is same as class in as3 which you can attach on actor. If you take a look deeply, stencyl also like MVCS type framework. I've learned robotlegs framework in as3 which is pretty hard for me. But when I take a look on stencyl, I seen it's pretty same! And I can learn easier. That's why I choose stencyl. I think Stencyl give you a choice, you can make a game with easy way which maybe everyone can make the game like yours easily too, or you prefer hard way which not everybody can make game like yours because you can making game without limit. You choose.

captaincomic

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Does it really matter if it is coding or not??? :o
No, not really. :) But I still find it interesting to discuss.

As Hectate already said Design Mode is clearly a Visual Programming Language. So programming yes, and coding is usually just a shorter term for the same. It's also a turing-complete language, which means that theorectically it's possible to solve every computable problem. (In practice though turing-completeness doesn't give you much, every fuck can be turing-complete.)

ICLHStudios

  • Posts: 88
I'm not very good at programming, I don't think like a programmer, and attempting to do so drains my energy and focus extremely quickly. After a few minutes of translating syntax in my head, searching the lines of code for what other lines of code are doing, and trying to estimate the ramifications of any one change I'm tired out and start to lose my place, soon having to take a long break, during which I will forget most of what I puzzled out already.

This is what stencyl helps with the most, it turns frustrating abstract code into a more intuitive visual system that I can work with for much more extended periods of time before I run out of juice and stat losing track of stuff. While it's not as easy as things like sploder or gamemaker, when using those all I can think about is what I can't do because of their limitations, with pure coding, all I can think of is what I can't do because of my limitations, with stencyl all I think about is what I can do.

This is why I like Stencyl the best.

Also, I like the idea of calling it blocking or something because, while it's probably technically coding, if you call it that there's really no simple way to differentiate between pure coding and design mode-ing.
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irock

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The reason not calling it coding matters is because when you hear coding, you think of typing code, and that's scary for people who don't code. It also creates confusion since Stencyl doesn't consider it coding.

Galdon2004

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Well, in my mind the main difference between the design code and 'code' is that you can't misspell something in one place and have the entire program foam at the mouth and flail about on the floor like its having a seizure.

That the code is click and drag-able rather than in a reference guide to be typed in seems mostly like a semantic difference.

tabletop

  • Posts: 358
Programming and Coding are different. Irock is right. It isnt coding, but it definitely is programming.

captaincomic

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Yeah, I think it's justified that Stencyl says "no coding required", since coding is what people are afraid of and Design Mode is really much easier than writing code as text. You don't have to learn the syntax and you cannot make mistakes like forgetting a semicolon, or misspelling a variable.
(Although with modern IDEs, with syntax highlighting, autocompletion and sensible error messages, I think writing code can be almost as easy as snapping blocks.)
So it probably makes sense to say, Design Mode is programming/blocking, but not coding.

camaleonyco

  • Posts: 204
In my opinion, two words define Stencyl: Easy and Buggy.

I find the design mode very intuitive, it should take any adult less than a week to understand the flow, and what every block does. Of course you need to have some skills, like an analytic thinking, but you will need to have those skills if you want to make games, no matter what tool you choose. It can look intimidating at first, but after you spend some time with it and read/watch some tutorials, it should be very easy to make a game with Stencyl. It should be... but it is not.

The main problem is that those blocks and behaviors don't always do what they're supposed to do, and I'm sure that a lot of users quit Stencyl because of this. You tell them that it's very easy to make a game with Stencyl and the first time they try to put a game together it doesn't work. You can solve almost all of these issues writting some code, but then it's not easy anymore, right? This is one the buggiest program I've ever used, and unless you have some programming experience I wouldn't recommend Stencyl for beginners, because sooner or later you will find a dead end.

The second problem is the terrible documentation. I understand that the team behind Stencyl is a small one and that they are under a lot of pressure, so I don't expect a ton of tutorials and I understand that the Stencylpedia is not their priority. However, the crash course is just not enough to learn the basics, many times the Stencylpedia entries are not deep enough, and when you try to look for answers by yourself, usually you only find outdated or incomplete articles. So, it's not easy to learn how to use Stencyl, because many times you have to deduce stuff by yourself, with a lot of trial and error.

The last problem is the community. I think it's mean to blame the experienced users. The real reason is that this is a small community. If you have a problem with ActionScript 3 or with MS Excel, there are millions of user in thousands of communities that can answer your questions. I have enough experience with Stencyl to consider myself more than a beginner, but I don't have free time for the forums. I don't mean to keep any knowledege to myself, it's just that I'm busy and I'm sure that the most experienced users are even more busy than me. However, if Stencyl weren't that buggy and the documentation weren't so bad, we wouldn't be complaining about the community.

Having said that, I still think that it is a great tool, and I know this will sound weird but: it becomes very flexible once you understand its true limitations. You can make platformers, physics puzzles, RPG's, racing, shooters, real time and turn based strategy games... almost whatever 2d game you want. And even when its frustrating to spend 70% of your development time fixing stuff, its still a faster to make a game with Stencyl than coding one from scratch using FlashDevelop+Flixel+Box2D, and way easier to learn. It's cheap and it has a lot of potential, they just need to fix a bunch of things. That's why I recommend it to my friends, because as more people buy it, Stencyl team will have more resources to improve it.

irock

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  • Posts: 2897
The main problem is that those blocks and behaviors don't always do what they're supposed to do, and I'm sure that a lot of users quit Stencyl because of this. You tell them that it's very easy to make a game with Stencyl and the first time they try to put a game together it doesn't work. You can solve almost all of these issues writting some code, but then it's not easy anymore, right? This is one the buggiest program I've ever used, and unless you have some programming experience I wouldn't recommend Stencyl for beginners, because sooner or later you will find a dead end.
Which blocks and behaviors don't do what they're supposed to?

Sunflower

  • Posts: 591
Alright, camaleonyco's post surprised me. O.o'

While Stencyl might have a few bugs, I didn't really experience them to be in my games (those were my very bugs, and I usually would eliminate them after a single overview and obligatory facepalm, or, in more severe cases, after series of prints-tracking). None of blocks I used worked differently than they should (except custom ones, at times :P). At most there would be the cases were they worked differently than I would initially expect them to, but in the end it all made sense. Granted, I don't use Box2D-ish stuff, like collisions, regions etc. and I am one of those users who eagerly wait for the Box2D disabling function. ;)

Maybe it's different with provided behaviors, which I don't use because I make my own? Maybe? ^^'