A bunch of suggestions

si99

  • Posts: 12
Just some pain points/things that have driven me bonkers over the last month or so (hard to order, on most of them, I read them and immediately think "Argh! That's the worst!" *laugh*:

  • Given how often you do a "print" block followed by a "text & text" block (eg print "blah=" <variable>), and given that print is almost always used for this sort of debugging, some kind of shorthand would save a ton of time (particularly since tracing is the only form of debugging available under Stencyl, there's no breakpoints)
  • When an actionscript error occurs, having a larger text box to read the stack trace would be very helpful.
  • Having code blocks which would expand horizontally would be very helpful
  • When entering new custom blocks (and possibly events) once you've entered the name in the configuration form, it'd be nice if it also changed it in the Event List. It's going to be rare that you'd want different names in each place, and it's otherwise double (or triple - if you enter the same name in the Block Spec field) entry
  • Having to click at least twice, if not three times to add an image to an actor. Command-P to add the initial image is good, but then you have to find the mouse and click Image, followed by IMAGE. Which is crazy slow if you're having to add a ton of different animations. Keyboard shortcuts would be very helpful.
  • When publishing to Flash, it would be good if Stencyl remembered the last location saved, rather than having to keep moving to the correct path every build
  • Being able to use the normal keyboard shortcuts for paste (into a new window) would be helpful (ie, command-V, instead of having to right click select paste)
  • Being able to search the preview code window would be VERY helpful.
  • It would be VERY helpful if there were keyboard shortcuts for all the common dialogs. Eg command-R for remove, command-D for don't remove etc (same as the Alt key accelerators under windows), command-S/D for save/don't-save, Command-Y/N (or Enter/Esc instead of Tab-Enter/Esc) for yes/no
  • It would be super helpful if Stencyl remembered the position and size of the log window between sessions/games
  • It would be helpful, on Mac, if the keyboard controls for moving around were the same as system standard. Eg, in the code boxes, Command-Left-Arrow for start of the line, instead of (as currently) Function-Left-Arrow. (Mac standard, Function-Left-Arrow=home). Very disorienting having them be different.
  • A keyboard shortcut for syntax checking code would be much quicker
  • The command-enter shortcut to test a game would be super helpful if it worked when the log viewer had focus (since it auto-pops up and steals focus every time anyway)
  • When publishing to Stencyl Arcade, at the point where the first dialog appears (Is this in progress or not?) a Cancel option would be helpful - in case you've accidentally hit build on the wrong app and want to back out, rather than having to publish, find the game, then remove from the site via the web
  • When entering colours, it would be super helpful to be able to paste hex values in, rather than having to type each RBG value separately
  • The colour picker - hitting escape doesn't cancel. Hitting Enter doesn't accept (different from every other dialog)
  • Shift-Command-S to save a project as would be helpful (and Mac consistent)
  • Command-W to close the (eternally self-opening) log viewer would be helpful
  • being able to quickly split large spritesheets that combine many animations into separate animations would be awesome (eg, copying/pasting multiple frames, dragging and dropping frames. Anything, really)
  • Being able to command-c/command-v to copy/paste selected frames would be much faster than click-select-click-copy-click-swap-click-paste (etc)
  • Being able to copy/paste multiple frames would be MUCH faster
  • When creating a new animation, defaulting to the name box (so you can immediately enter the name)
  • Being able to edit a custom block after you've defined it would be VERY helpful (eg, a long complicated block definition, accidentally hitting enter and having to re-enter the whole thing again manually)
  • If you save a project, and then immediately close it, it asks you to save it again (even though nothing has changed). Seems silly

Frankly though? For an app of this sophistication? This is NOT a big list. I really quite love Stencyl. It's incredible. Thank you so much for it.

Innes

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  • Posts: 1961
Agreed; lots of useful suggestion here. Many of them are just 'tidying up' and consistency in GUI controls, but they're the sort of thing that makes workflow so much easier.

Quote
Given how often you do a "print" block followed by a "text & text" block (eg print "blah=" <variable>), and given that print is almost always used for this sort of debugging, some kind of shorthand would save a ton of time


It's not ideal, but a solution that I am using is to having AutoIT automate some of the features that require click-and-dragging. The example of the debug printing is the one I use most. I have placed the [Print anything], [text & text] and [anything as text] blocks in the Favorites palette, and I have a hotkey assigned that drags them into a blank space on the code-block canvas. The script literally replicates the mouse and button actions that I would carry out to drag the three blocks into place in a blank area of the 'coding canvas'. I then just have to drag the created block structure into place in my code. My AutoIT script looks like this:

Code: [Select]
Func DebugPrintTextAsAnything()
   MouseClick("left",1669,993, ) ;Select favorites palette
   MouseClickDrag("left",1500,245,1000,800,0) ;Drag [Print anything] block
   MouseClickDrag("left",1500,270,1010,800,0) ;Drag [text & text] block
   MouseClickDrag("Left",1550,295,1118,800,0) ;Drag [anything as text] block
   MouseMove(985,806) ;Position mouse ready to drag new blocks
EndFunc
As long as you are looking at a screen where the blocks can be added, it works perfectly. Naturally, if you use this script, you'll need to adjust the x,y locations for the mouse / block coordinates. The whole script should only take a few minutes to put together, including adding the hotkey. When the script is run with the hotkey, it takes fewer than 2 seconds to complete.

For clarity, the resulting blocks appear as shown in the attached screenshot.
Visit www.TheStencylBook.com - the only published book for learning Stencyl.

si99

  • Posts: 12
Ahh.

I ended up just creating a global code block. Mostly gives me what I need. Looks like this (attached).

GeorgeN

  • Posts: 859
Maybe an extension will come soon. Maybe tomorow if I will have time.

dripple

  • Posts: 748
Great stuff in here.
Sure, my games won't get better with all the new features of Stencyl.
But I do have more fun creating bad ones.


MayazCastle Keeper

GeorgeN

  • Posts: 859

ETHproductions

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  • Posts: 430
Quote from: si99
  • Being able to edit a custom block after you've defined it would be VERY helpful (eg, a long complicated block definition, accidentally hitting enter and having to re-enter the whole thing again manually)
I think what you are looking for already exists. When I right click on a custom block, there's an option titled 'Edit Custom Block Details...' . But I think it would be helpful if there were a more obvious way to do it.  :)

Quote from: si99
  • When entering colours, it would be super helpful to be able to paste hex values in, rather than having to type each RGB value separately
I actually made a behavior for this, along with a bunch of other color-related tasks, a couple of weeks ago. I'm working on turning it into an extension, so I'll post tomorrow once it's ready.

Also, if I may add my suggestion to the list, it'd be nice to have a way to define roll-over descriptions for extension blocks. I personally think it's frustrating to not be able to add a bit of help to your blocks...
Fontstruct - Stencyl - Website (in progress)

Proud Member of the League of Idiotic Stencylers; doing things in Stencyl that probably shouldn't be done.

captaincomic

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  • Posts: 6108
Also, if I may add my suggestion to the list, it'd be nice to have a way to define roll-over descriptions for extension blocks. I personally think it's frustrating to not be able to add a bit of help to your blocks...
That's possible already. Add
Code: [Select]
help="your help text"to the extension block definition.

GeorgeN

  • Posts: 859

I actually made a behavior for this, along with a bunch of other color-related tasks, a couple of weeks ago. I'm working on turning it into an extension, so I'll post tomorrow once it's ready.


http://community.stencyl.com/index.php/topic,22166.0.html

ETHproductions

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  • Posts: 430
That's possible already. Add
Code: [Select]
help="your help text"to the extension block definition.
Well, that's good to know. :) Thanks!
Fontstruct - Stencyl - Website (in progress)

Proud Member of the League of Idiotic Stencylers; doing things in Stencyl that probably shouldn't be done.

dripple

  • Posts: 748
I think what you are looking for already exists. When I right click on a custom block, there's an option titled 'Edit Custom Block Details...' . But I think it would be helpful if there were a more obvious way to do it.  :)
You can change only the title and the description. You're not able to change the "signature" of that function, i.e. adding or changing parameters or the return type.

Without the ability to change the signature, the whole custom block is more or less useless for complicated code.
Sure, my games won't get better with all the new features of Stencyl.
But I do have more fun creating bad ones.


MayazCastle Keeper

si99

  • Posts: 12
Thanks for the link to those extensions, @GeorgeN - lots of good stuff in there.

And yep, @dripple, you're bang on the money. Editing the Custom Block Details doesn't allow anything helpful. Eg, if you suddenly realise you need to pass another parameter. You have to restart from scratch.

dripple

  • Posts: 748
Thanks for the link to those extensions, @GeorgeN - lots of good stuff in there.

And yep, @dripple, you're bang on the money. Editing the Custom Block Details doesn't allow anything helpful. Eg, if you suddenly realise you need to pass another parameter. You have to restart from scratch.
Well, there's a solution to that: you can edit die XML files directly to change the signature. Thats what I do (not very often) from time to time.  But I am not happy with this kind if "hacks" (as they might break in future updates)
Sure, my games won't get better with all the new features of Stencyl.
But I do have more fun creating bad ones.


MayazCastle Keeper

HidetoKoudanshi

  • Posts: 120
These are really brilliant requests and were many things I wanted to see. Thanks to those who made extensions to cover them. This is a perfectly good solution but I'd love to see these become native so newbies don't have to "stumble upon" this thread to be able to use these fantastic things. :)
If I ever commission you for code work, please know that I understand how commissioning works. You must get paid first before you will code anything for me. Only once you are paid the agreed-upon price, will you begin coding for me. I respect artists and coders. You deserve to be paid for your hard efforts.