Stencyl, Flash, HTML5, Android and the future

Innes

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  • Posts: 1963

So, out of 500,000 downloads/50,000 registered developers, only 10,000 games were made? The number of games published by the average registered Stencyl developer is .2


If one assumes that all the downloaders are serious developers who intend to publish games, then that would be a low figure but, as with much free software, there are other issues to take into account. Consider that many of the downloaders will be people who download the software:

1) load it, realise that it's not really what they wanted, and never use it again.
2) for their own entertainment, with no serious intention of publishing a game.
3) for educational purposes with no intention to publish.
4) are 'kids' who think that they are going to create the next Call of Duty and give up after a few weeks
5) people who are trying to create games in their spare time and haven't released yet.
6) people who are creating very complex games that may take months to release.


Yet, since I don't feel like waiting anymore, I have an idea for a fourth attempt at creating a game with Stencyl. It's so easy that if I can't create it with Stencyl, I think I should give up on the software.

I think that this a serious issue for all would-be game-developers (including me); we have aspirations far beyond our ability and the ability of the software.

I started using Stencyl at the end of 2011, and I have only successfully 100% completed one game. That is not a fault of Stencyl; it is because I was jumping in too deep. A couple of months ago, I decided to make a 'really basic, simple-to-create game', and it took me around 40 hours to complete (excluding graphics and audio which were created by third parties). The feedback that I have received from other, successful developers really surprised me; they think that the game is great... good graphics, good audio, good gameplay (not too easy, not too hard). Of course, there was some criticism, but the positives outweighed the negatives.

I have been using game creation tools for literally three whole decades (I started with Laser Basic on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum) and I have recently taught game-creation in schools for a few years. Without exception, every single one of the tools that I have used has it's disadvantages and limitations and, along with that, frustrations. Stencyl is no exception.

In my seven months (part time) with Stencyl, I have achieved far more than I have been able to do with any other game-creation tool in the last thirty years.


Taking into consideration that Stencyl was only publicly released 14 months ago, that is quite astounding. Yes there will be bugs (as with all tools) and problems (as with all tools, especially new ones), but the rate at which these are problems are being resolved and the tools are being improved is quite astounding.


I'm sure that I am coming across as a real 'fanboi' (is that what they are called?) but I am writing this from a purely independent perspective. With Stencyl, as with all the other game-development tools, I have paid for it with my own hard-earned money, and I have no affiliation with Stencyl LLC, other than being a paying customer.


My advice is, yes, create a 'very basic' game, and take it through to completion. That's 100%, ready for market. That way, you will learn all the problems, frustrations, etc on a minor project rather than going crazy trying to create something more complicated.


We know for a fact that professional, successful games can be and have been made with Stencyl, and sponsored. No doubt those developers were, at times driven crazy trying to find solutions to problems but, that's what programmers do; they find solutions to problems! Exactly the same frustrations occur when coding 'by hand' (e.g. with Actionscript 3.0), so Stencyl is no exception.


The risk that I have taken with this post is that you will consider that it is condescending. I do understand that you are a competent programmer and that you have had success with other tools, so I really hope you won't think that I am patronising you; that is not my intention. What I am trying to do is take a very wide view, take into consideration other tools that are on the market and also bear in mind that Stencyl is very young with a very small team behind it.


I can't wait for Stencyl 3.0, and I wish that there would be some announcements about progress, but I understand why the Stencyl team are remaining tight-lipped; they can't win, whatever they say, and that applies to all developers!


Whilst I expect Stencyl 3.0 to be very good, I do not expect it to be a panacea; with the new tools there will be new difficulties, but I think it will make it more fun and more productive to make games.
Visit www.TheStencylBook.com - the only published book for learning Stencyl.

Photics

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  • Posts: 719
If one assumes that all the downloaders are serious developers who intend to publish games, then that would be a low figure but, as with much free software, there are other issues to take into account.

Well, I could see that with the large download number. I don't expect every download to turn out a game. Yet, there are a lot of registered people at the website. I'm surprised that 50,000 registered users didn't create more games.

Although, since one doesn't need to upload a game to the server to publish, perhaps the number is higher.

My advice is, yes, create a 'very basic' game, and take it through to completion. That's 100%, ready for market. That way, you will learn all the problems, frustrations, etc on a minor project rather than going crazy trying to create something more complicated.

Two of my game attempts were just ports of games that I put together in a few weeks. A third was a game designed specifically for Stencyl. I don't think that I was aiming too high... but I scaled back even further with my fourth project.

Whilst I expect Stencyl 3.0 to be very good, I do not expect it to be a panacea

Ah, that's a good way of thinking. Perhaps my expectations are too high. Yet, if Stencyl gets this right, HTML5 publishing could be a big thing. Plus, it's just the little things that are messing me up. I'm thinking that a few key improvements could dramatically change my success rate.

Additionally, I can feel the potential of Stencyl. While I don't expect 3.0 to be perfect, it is a turning point for Stencyl.

In my seven months (part time) with Stencyl, I have achieved far more than I have been able to do with any other game-creation tool in the last thirty years.

Wow, hey, congratulations.  :D

The risk that I have taken with this post is that you will consider that it is condescending.

Actually, I enjoyed reading your post.
Michael Garofalohttp://photics.com – Author of The Interactive Stencyl Textbook 8)

Greymtr

  • Posts: 54
I would like to comment on the "the future" bit.

I have mentioned 'enyo' in the stencyl 3.0 page for those of you who have'nt seen it it's some thing like
Just to keep the " what language or system will stencyl run on?" argument ( or whatever its called)
updated.

Have any of you guys heard of ' enyo ' it's a cross platformed javascript application that transports to all major OS including :-

For PC
-Windows
-Linux
-Mac

For Mobile and Tablets
-Android
-iOS
-Blackberry
-WebOS

And for web browsers such as :
-Chrome
-Firefox
-Safari
-internet explorer

and many more OSs.

If enyo could be used in Stencyl............the possibilities.....(still calculating).....are almost infinite.

We could transport apps and games not only to our current options (flash browser,iOs,PC)
but to the various other great platforms.

Oh.....forgot a major point....It's free. 8)


                                                                                                                 
-Greymtr Smith
I know that the chances of this happening in the 3.0 update are close to none so I decided to post here so that a future update may have this feature...

It's extremely simple : A couple of programming lines here and there and .... Alakazam !!! your game has now been shipped to all major OS 's !!!

I would like to see this feature coming somewhere in the future ( not so near I now fear) not only for me but for all those developers who want their Stencyl Games to be transorted to different OSs

Enyo's Official Website : http://enyojs.com/

Oh...And yes Jon ,  do give a reply to the status of 3.0 in the news page.
Part time gamer.Part time n00b. Full time Sci-fi Fan.

Leaufai

  • Posts: 327
A couple of months ago, I decided to make a 'really basic, simple-to-create game', and it took me around 40 hours to complete (excluding graphics and audio which were created by third parties). The feedback that I have received from other, successful developers really surprised me; they think that the game is great... good graphics, good audio, good gameplay (not too easy, not too hard). Of course, there was some criticism, but the positives outweighed the negatives.

Where could I find this game of yours, as it's not in your profile? I'd love to try it out.