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Messages - oripessach

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Ask a Question / Re: Did I discover Stencyl at the wrong time?
« on: September 26, 2015, 01:56:42 pm »
@ TheIndieStation - I have no doubt that the developers are trying to make things better. I'm just pointing out that the results aren't as good as they probably would have hoped. Specifically, there are too many releases that include pretty severe regressions.

I no longer upgrade Stencyl unless I absolutely have to - it's just gotten too risky.

Now, why is this happening? I can only speculate, but as an outside observer I noticed a few things about Stencyl's release process that probably don't help.

The first thing is that Stencyl doesn't have releases, as such - it has builds. It looks like at some point the developers would decide that what they have is good enough to release, and out the door it goes. Then they continue developing the code, and if users report bugs, they fix those bugs. Then, they would release the current build as the bug fix release.

(Again, I'm just guessing that this is what's happening. Please someone correct me if I'm wrong.)

It's better to handle bug fixes by fixing them in a branch that's rooted in the released version. This way, there can be no risk of introducing regressions along with the bug fixes when all you're trying to do is fix a bug. The bug fixes should be integrated into the main development version, too, but releasing them as patches against an established release is good practice.

There should be a beta period for major releases. Users would be able to download the new releases with the new features, but they'll know that they're more likely to be buggy, so they won't complain as much when they do encounter bugs. It would help Stencyl manage user's expectations.

After the beta period is over, the beta release with bug fixes applied can be released as the official release.

Managed carefully, this kind of release cycle shouldn't really tax the developers' time with too much administration while still setting correct user expectations and making official releases more stable.

Ask a Question / Re: Did I discover Stencyl at the wrong time?
« on: September 26, 2015, 11:07:14 am »
In all honesty, if I didn't have to finish the project I'm working on right now I'd probably ditch Stencyl and never look back.

While the development team is reasonably attentive to bug reports and things do get fixed, I'm seeing way too many regressions and long standing bugs that just don't get fixed (Android softkeys as an example of the former, audio length on Android, for the latter.) Some weeks I've been spending more time dealing with bugs than working on my game. This isn't something I would consider normal.

From a practical standpoint it means that I have to allocate time in my development schedule to stabilizing the platform and hunting for library and tool bugs on top of all other development tasks. At this point that means an extra few weeks to deal with unexpected issues after my own code is done and ready for release.

My perspective: 30 years of software development using a wide range of commercial and open source tools.

Dealing with QA issues in a small team can be difficult, but it's not impossible. Solutions that the team might want to consider:

1. Automated UI testing tools. Even a rudimentary test suite should be enough to catch obvious problems like exceptions being thrown while performing basic UI tasks, like searching in the block palette.
2. Trying to recruit volunteers to do basic regression tests, in exchange for license upgrades, perhaps. Adding a short QA cycle before public releases can make a huge difference in the number of bugs that slip through.

The bug tracker is a necessary tool and a step in the right direction, but it's not enough on its own. Trying to get more testing done before releases is the next logical step, in my opinion.

Ask a Question / Re: Starting tutorial for interactive picture book
« on: September 25, 2015, 06:57:54 am »
I haven't seen a tutorial focused on an interactive picture book, but it would certainly be possible to create interactive picture books in Stencyl.

I would recommend that you go through the two crash courses here:

That should get you familiarized with the tools and the terminology that Stencyl uses.

For an application like a picture book I would probably use background images for the pages themselves (possibly including the text) and actors set up as sensors for the interactive elements.

(Source: I know some Stencyl, and I worked on interactive picture books in my youth.)

Fixed Bugs (3.x) / Re: Bitmap font errors
« on: September 19, 2015, 12:52:15 pm »
Well, replacing the png file certainly helps.

It looks like Stencyl scales the bitmap font when it really shouldn't be doing so. None of the scaled versions are the same size as the original file - they're 64x64, 128x128, 256x256... You know, programmer numbers.

My bitmap happens to be 170x170.

Fixed Bugs (3.x) / Re: Bitmap font errors
« on: September 19, 2015, 11:42:45 am »
Thanks, doczal! I'll try your workaround.

I can confirm that the problem is still there, and that I can't get the Stencyl developers to even acknowledge it.

Oh, the actor is definitely outside the region. In fact, because of this issue, it goes completely off the screen.

I think this happens because a cast error somewhere else that causes the engine to skip doing something it needs to do.

I'm trying to implement a region that I can place and size in the scene editor, so that when my player enters it he gets blown upwards. This is the code - it creates a region that overlaps with the actor representing the region, and then hides the actor.

In the Updated event, I iterate over all the actors inside the region, and apply a force to them. This can be used to implement windy areas in the level, and those areas can be turned on and off. Pretty neat.

Except that it doesn't work. Once the actor enters the region, getActorsInRegion() continues to return that actor even after it gets blown out of the region.

What's going on here?

I'm attaching the code block images, if they're easier for some people to read.

Code: [Select]
override public function init()

/* ======================== When Creating ========================= */
createBoxRegion(ScaleUtils.scaledCoord("x", actor), ScaleUtils.scaledCoord("y", actor), ScaleUtils.scaledSize("width", actor), ScaleUtils.scaledSize("height", actor));
trace("Region creatd at (" + ScaleUtils.scaledCoord("x", actor) + ", " + ScaleUtils.scaledCoord("y", actor)  + ", " + ScaleUtils.scaledSize("width", actor) + ", " + ScaleUtils.scaledSize("height", actor)+")");
_Region = getLastCreatedRegion();
propertyChanged("_Region", _Region);

/* ======================== When Updating ========================= */
addWhenUpdatedListener(null, function(elapsedTime:Float, list:Array<Dynamic>):Void
for(actorInRegion in getActorsInRegion(_Region))
if(actorInRegion != null && !actorInRegion.dead){
if(!(actorInRegion == actor))
trace("" + actorInRegion);
actorInRegion.push(_X, _Y, _ForceMagnitude);


Ask a Question / Re: Best way to modify a whole tileset?
« on: September 14, 2015, 11:44:05 pm »
Oh, cool. Thanks!

Ask a Question / Re: Best way to modify a whole tileset?
« on: September 14, 2015, 11:09:05 pm »
So, I need to hand edit all of them? Scale them, too?

Ask a Question / Best way to modify a whole tileset?
« on: September 14, 2015, 10:41:21 pm »

I have a few levels that were designed around a tileset with placeholder graphics, and I would like to replace the graphics without having to redefine all the collision shapes or redesigning the levels. Surprisingly, there's no obvious way to do that. What am I missing? Or, rather, what's the best way to do this?



Fixed Bugs (3.x) / Re: The state of Bitmap fonts
« on: September 13, 2015, 08:13:24 am »
I imported it at 1x, and the bitmap isn't 256x256. Not sure what you're seeing there.

Fixed Bugs (3.x) / Re: The state of Bitmap fonts
« on: September 12, 2015, 10:58:38 pm »
Also, which version of stencyl are you using?

Fixed Bugs (3.x) / Re: The state of Bitmap fonts
« on: September 12, 2015, 10:57:45 pm »
Can you post your game here?

Fixed Bugs (3.x) / Re: The state of Bitmap fonts
« on: September 12, 2015, 10:17:17 pm »
How did you set it up?

Fixed Bugs (3.x) / Re: The state of Bitmap fonts
« on: September 12, 2015, 09:46:55 am »
The problem is that the bitmap fonts don't draw at all. Regular fonts have artifacts around them that come from nearby letters, and this happens in a scene that doesn't move the camera at all.

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