Concerns about official Stencyl activity

Max Finch

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I'm gonna be straight up -- the lack of official Stencyl interactivity has me and a few others feeling like Stencyl is dead.

As of right now it looks like Justin and Robin are the only two people who are keeping Stencyl alive.  I rarely see Jon around anymore and the most exciting things I ever see anymore are when Colin and Folmer launch a new game. The fact that the community is keeping the engine and community alive while the CEO seems to sit and rake in profit shows to me that this train is on a fast track to failure.

Honestly Jon if this is the case why not sell Stencyl to an individual or company who can keep this ecosystem alive? There's a lot of great developers out here who rely on this toolset and community to produce impressive content. If you want to move on, at least give this project of yours a lasting chance.

I may be totally off base with this comment, I mean no offence. Just stating that I'm frustrated with the lack of interactivity and action going on around here.


EDIT: This was originally from the Stencyl Game Jam thread. I was pissed at the lack of interaction, and was simply stating my opinion - views - as well as other people's thoughts. This post was taken out of the original thread and put in a new thread in an out of context degrading way.

« Last Edit: September 05, 2016, 04:32:17 pm by Justin »

iii

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@Max Finch,
I can confidently say you are way off base there.

As far as I can tell, Jon is handling more on the business side these days, to keep it alive.
And what keeping Stencyl going is probably the larger business with schools and the educational side of it,
that I think is what Jon is currently busy on nowadays.
(I think I've read Jon's post somewhere about this.)

Without this, I doubt Stencyl can still be what it is.
How many actual gamedev subscribers (besides schools/education) do you think there are?
Probably not that many, and most probably not the direction that can support Stencyl comfortably.

Most people only see the surface, and not the things that happen behind the scene.

A captain of a ship, doesn't actually work on the deck, cook, maintain the ships's engine, ..etc
He is the head of the operation, keeping everything stable and holding it together.

Kojima doesn't actually program anymore.
Neither did Shigeru Miyamoto, Swen Vincke, Andy Gavin/Jason Rubin, or other CEOs.
Sure, the beginning of it, but not the whole thing.

The fact that a CEO hanging and posting around in a forum is actually a rare thing.
None in Unity forum/Game Maker forum(current)/Unreal forum/Cry Engine forum,...etc
Stencyl is not maintain by a single person anymore like the early days.

When a chunk of code is done by a certain developer, its not like others can just jump on it right away.
Maybe thats why we always see Justin handling a lot of it these days.
As far as I can tell, he is the main person handling the migration of the current Stencyl to the new OpenFL.
The migration is not just a simple changing/updating to a new version,
a good chunk of the engine need to be re-written too.
I can imagine, having too many hands on the main code right now can be a nightmare and get messy real fast.

But one thing I can agree on.
Its too quite in here, compared to other game engine forum.
But, this is not because of the lack of post by Stencyl devs or the founder.
Its because of the lack of development post and activity by game devs,
that makes it feel like there's not many people working on games right now.
It makes it seems kinda dead. Even Matt rarely post here these days.
I see a lot of other interesting big games have long stop updating their W.I.P thread too.

If only we can make it more lively like TIGSource/Game Maker forum.
Perhaps, most of the users here are not the chatty kind.


Getting back on the topic.
Maybe Stencyl can organize an official Stencyl Jam after the release of the Stencyl with the new OpenFL.
Could make stability testing and bug reporting much faster.

vikingpotato

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@Max Finch,
I can confidently say you are way off base there.

As an old Stencyl dev, I agree with Max! Except for the 'raking profit' bit.. Stencyl in my knowledge has never revealed sales figures, so we don't know if abundance of money or lack thereof, is the reason for the fading motivation towards maintaining Stencyl.
I have a love-hate relationship with stencyl now. I have invested so much time on this tool, I am reluctant to let it go. At the same time, the forge has been a failure, extension support is really slow and random bugs keep ruining the experience. I have been supporting Stencyl for 3-4 years. Now hoewever, with what little time I get now for development after my day job as a game designer, I want to spend it making things with maximum efficiency.
Stencyl does need to up its game if it wants to be anything more than a hobby tool.

colburt187

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The lack of community is the only thing I wish was better. In terms of the engine itself, I think its a dream. For an iOS dev the current extension set up as fantastic, and I haven't encountered a release stopping bug as far back as I can remember. I could live full time from my stencyl earnings but I choose to stay at my full-time job in a game studio for various reasons.

We use Unity in the office and battle with bugs on a weekly basis, constantly rolling back versions and waiting for support to get back to us. I have also worked with Unreal Engine 4 for 2 years and it became a running joke how often it crashed to desktop. It got to the stage where people were hitting the save short cut every minute.

Engine bugs are just part of game development. I recently published a game made with Sprite kit, we battled with bugs all the way and eventually were stuck on iOS 9.0 for release, and after all that work all we had was an iOS version, no android or desktop version at the click of a button like Stencyl can do.

rob1221

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As of right now it looks like Justin and Robin are the only two people who are keeping Stencyl alive.
Having most Stencyl changes being done by 1-2 people is actually really common in Stencyl's history.

Max Finch

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Whoever split the topic and re-titled it needs to re-evaluate their role as a moderator. In my opinion, if you're community base is asking if something is dead - that's probably not a good thing

The toolset isn't what I was really referring too. I was simply referring to Jons nonchalant "We're not doing anything this year" post here: http://community.stencyl.com/index.php/topic,49049.0.html which suggests nobody cares about the community. I received a confidential E-Mail from Jon, and can understand his role. But I still stand firm with my belief that the moderators around here could give a damn about keeping the community alive. And it's quite obvious the majority of the moderators dislike mobile games, which I'll be honest is probably the main reason indie developers subscribe to this toolset.

Stencyl has been my go - too - toolset since I was 15 years old. For 5 years I've been designing all the games I made up when I was younger. But the community was more alive, and Stencyl as a company was more active.

ceosol

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I try to keep everybody up to date on my activities.

If anybody wants to teach me some coding, I would be happy to help on the actual Stencyl Engine development side. I have mentioned before that every time I try to code things, I fail.

rob1221

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Whoever split the topic and re-titled it needs to re-evaluate their role as a moderator.
The previous topic was about a possible game jam and you made it about much more than that.

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In my opinion, if you're community base is asking if something is dead - that's probably not a good thing
I'll agree that perception is important.

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But I still stand firm with my belief that the moderators around here could give a damn about keeping the community alive.
I can't speak for any others, but as far as running/managing community events, I'm not really interested in that.  Also keep in mind that while Master stencylers have mod abilities, there's no expectations that come with that title.

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And it's quite obvious the majority of the moderators dislike mobile games, which I'll be honest is probably the main reason indie developers subscribe to this toolset.
What have mods done to lead you to think that they dislike mobile games?

irock

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It should be noted, as rob pointed out, that there are no "officially designated moderators"; just Master Stencylers.

I've been in the Stencyl community since May 2007: that's over nine years. Stencyl has become a part of my identity, and I'd be a completely different person without it. I've used the toolset nearly every day since the 2009 private beta. I have a vested interest in Stencyl's well-being, both in terms of the community and the toolset, and I've expressed similar sentiments as you in regards to both of those things.

To imply that none of the moderators care about keeping the community alive is a bit insulting. There's a reason we recently moved Stencyl's community chat from IRC to the more modern Discord, and so far that decision has resulted in more activity. If we didn't care, you know, I don't think we would have done that.

Personally I haven't been very active in the forums lately for a couple reasons:

1. I think the best thing I can do with my time is make cool games with Stencyl (though maybe I should start a devlog)
2. The same reason a lot of other people haven't been posting as much: Catch-22. If the community is less active, there's less incentive to post, which results in the community becoming less active, which diminishes the incentive to post, which results in the community being less active, etc

It should also be noted that forums in general are unfortunately not as popular as they used to be, giving way to specialized websites like Twitter, Reddit and Facebook. There are exceptions to the rule. Tigsource is a longstanding established community for indie game developers across the board, and GameMaker's userbase is much larger than Stencyl's.

I think a jam is a good idea. If there are any other ideas on how to make the community more active, your voices won't go unheard.

Max Finch

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Whoever split the topic and re-titled it needs to re-evaluate their role as a moderator.
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The previous topic was about a possible game jam and you made it about much more than that.

The previous topic was about a possible game jam -- and my response was a response to the negligence of community interactivity (I.E. no effort to start a game jam.) Just because Newgrounds hasn't reached out, doesn't mean efforts can't be made. I personally believe my response was related and called for in that thread. Yes, I was a bit too angry and got carried away, I could've worded it a little better. But in the end you reap what you sow, and I feel like no "sowing" is being done with Stencyl.

I'm sorry if I've offended any moderators here. And I'm not intending to bash Stencyl. I'm just pointing out that in order to keep a fire alive you've gotta fuel it.

 
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Also keep in mind that while Master stencylers have mod abilities, there's no expectations that come with that title.
If you're a moderator you're pretty much viewed as a face of that forum and community.

Mineat

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@Max Finch:
A jam is a good idea, I'm just waiting on the engine's updates as I wait on finishing a
project while writing one in Python. Both projects ride on dreams their founding engines
create as well as mine and I'd be heartbroken to see what my lurking, surviving and/or
helping throughout the sites came all the way for.

Aside from that, gaining money as well as making your dreams come true takes
sheer hard work as it takes balance, time, and enough focus on both things. They tend to
go one way or the other and life as a difficulty is a multiplier on them.

You are talking about people who would love to keep their homes AND their dreams. One should
not stop the other, unless extremely being incapable of supporting it. Think. Wait for the
next updates for it. And if it's not the solution, be sure you have all the needs and evidence to make
the next move.

Justin

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I'd just like to point out that the topic split was carried out because the OP himself was concerned about the thread going off-topic. Feel free to continue the discussion here. Everybody here has an interest in Stencyl's continued well-being, and at least to me, a thread like this is not unwelcome. That being said, please don't make it into an unnecessary argument over the topic split. Let's continue the thread with a positive mindset. Thanks.

edit: I Hope you don't mind, I re-titled the topic. I don't find there to be anything particularly inappropriate about this topic.

For Live Support: Join our discord server and ping me @justin.
I'm most often available between 8am and midnight Japan time. (GMT+9)

Max Finch

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edit: I Hope you don't mind, I re-titled the topic. I don't find there to be anything particularly inappropriate about this topic.

I don't mind. Whoever split the thread titled it to make me look like a jacka**.

Max Finch

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@Mineat As an investor in stocks, game developer, college student, and being employed part time, I know how life works. I was mostly on my own at 16 and fully independent at 17. Success takes work, and it seems not a lot of it is being done in regards to the community. I'm not saying the toolset (Stencyl itself) isn't up to par. I'm talking solely about community and company interaction.

rob1221

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Oh so that's what you're mad about.  I didn't think it was a big deal but whatever, I'm out of this thread anyway.