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Messages - Frostfire

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Well said, Frostfire.

Especially somethings here that I can correlate well with myself

"And furthermore none of them look up and copy code either as is the case with Unity, praying it all works.  They understand programming.  "

"takes 20 steps to get position to display on the screen for debug purposes.  " Precisely. Had great difficulty just for debugging purpose in Unity.

That all said, I still love Unity may be because there are toooooo many video tutorials for that and also tooooo many plugins, extensions and assets to use. May be because I never tried out any other 3d Game engines. If you have an idea for a 3d game, you have no other option but to stay a little away from Stencyl.

There are something that 2D game developers can't do. For everything else, there is Stencyl ;)

Unity and I don't get along.  Things about it irk me, and any time I try to do something as an experienced programmer it puts up roadblocks for me.  I see other people have luck with it, and I wish them the best.  I try not to downtalk Unity as an engine.

However, I will speak volumes about how the masses of game developers talk about Unity.  Unity is widely used and has tutorial videos and extensions because of it's community for the most part, not it's core development team.  That might be a bit over the top to say, but consider that their scripting references are a mess, their own tutorials are very narrow in focus, and something breaks almost every version upgrade.  I've been using the same adapted kits from Stencyl since version 1, and I've only had one thing that acted "weird". Nothing that has been broken. 

I also didn't have to learn Stencyl from 50 tutorial videos.  I did the crash course. I did an ancient programming exercise which taught me to make a pronger patrol between two blocks.  Everything else is so simple I learned it on my own (though I'll admit I didn't hear about the image API till yesterday).

And maybe it's because I'm a teacher, but I see wide eyed students dreaming of working in triple A companies, when the only thing close to a triple A company actually producing on Unity is Facepunch (I say that because I think they only have 20 people).   

I'm not saying don't like Unity.  I'm just posting a continuance on the conversation.  It just does irk me that despite a lot of solid engines out there, it gets so much limelight, when I see it basically just playing catchup to others.

Also I find their community to be pompus and unhelpful when it comes to coding.  Which is another reason I love Stencyl.  Because people here are awesome.

Ask a Question / Re: Displaying coins.
« on: December 17, 2015, 10:08:58 am »
Hm. Not quite.  And I don't know if you're using the code base or the drag and drops, but I'll give a simple drag and drop procedure:

The basics:  Coins collected will be an number attribute stored in the scene behavior.  When you pick up a coin, this attribute will be increased by one.  In that scene behavior, you simply display the number.  You can apply fonts to it after you're done.

We'll let the scene behavior know that a coin was picked up using a trigger,  (some engines call it a message).  A trigger calls out a name.   Anybody set to listen for that name initiate whatever logic you set up for it.

What you'll need:
-Coin actor (Make collectible only to player.  Best if not effected by gravity currently because we're setting it with collide with anything)
-Player actor

Behaviors you'll need
-Actor behavior: Caught Coin.  Attach to Coin actor
-Scene behavior: Score. Attach to scene

Caught Coin:
=Event:When collides with something else
-Trigger event gotCoin in behavior Score for this scene
-Kill self

 -Coins: Type number.
=Event: (Custom Event, down at the bottom).  When gotCoin occurs:
-set Coins to Coins+1
=Event: Drawing
-Apply Font
-Draw Coins at x and y (where x and y in this case will be the screen coordinates)

If you want to get fancy, you can go into the numbers and text->text and get a text concatonator (a plus). Write coins on one side with a colon, put the Coins attribute into the other side.   Put in an "As text" block,  and put that in to your draw.  You'll have to modify the x and y because now it will be longer.   

This can be extendable to make it so that if it only collides with the actor, modification of the score can make it so that if something hits you, you loose all your coins.  It's about how you want to do it.

That should be it.  Me thinks.

Ask a Question / Re: A problem of Turrets
« on: December 17, 2015, 09:05:44 am »
where the turret is supposed to follow the mousse
Maybe this is what you want:

<a href="" target="_blank" class="new_win"></a>

Yes.  It's beautiful. Wonderful.  It makes me want to cry it's so lovely.

How did you do it?  Was my code snippet wrong? Did I make an error?

I really dislike when I go into a programming chat channel like Ludum Dare, and they ask me what I use to program and when I say Stencyl everyone starts laughing and says that's fake coding. Stencyl is easier than other ways to code, yes. But I have been using it for three years and I still suck. I wish people would have more respect for it.

*Clears throat, get up on soap box*
In all honesty, I feel the same way.  I used to teach Stencyl for college level game design at a university.  I taught for intro to game engines, which didn't involve programming.  I taught the actor->behavior model. The idea was to then pass them up to Unity for 3D.    I love Stencyl, and fell in love with it for how quickly I can program in it.  I advocated time and time again that we should teach programming with Stencyl because it's so easy to use.   But because Unity is Unity (some kind of praised indie god savior) and Stencyl is Stencyl (simply a 2D creation tool), we actually stopped using it. It's been bumped off for Unity.  Simply because Unity is unity.  And because Unity doesn't agree with me, I don't teach anything involving a game engine there anymore.     The higher ups didn't even really give it a true chance or looked at the output. 

We teach Unity therefore we should start with Unity. 
Stencyl can't teach anybody anything because Unity is greater than Stencyl.
Unity is greater than Stencyl because it's in 3D and anything that can't 3D is loser. 
Unity is greatest thing ever, that's why we teach Unity.

However, at the other school I teach at, I had to teach intro to programming.  I used Stencyl, and found they had vast successes.  Where in the programming course at the other school they'd barely have a game with about launching a ball at things to knock them down (health is beyond measure), my students are making almost full 2D games on their own, creating their own health systems, and doing other things I was frankly surprised they could do.  They need help now and again, but towards the end, when I'd be teaching them how to do something, they'd already have it done mid lecture.    And furthermore none of them look up and copy code either as is the case with Unity, praying it all works.  They understand programming.   Only 1/8 of them had previous programming experience.  And only 1/8 said programming wasn't for him (not the same guy, mind you)

Talking with students at the other school, they are confused.   I don't know their dropout rates, but I do know if you're not a programmer, prepare to leave confused.

There's some stigma that Stencyl is not worthwhile because it not only is it drag and drop code, but it's in 2D only.  Meanwhile, Unity gets forgiven for everything.    Stencyl's UI drawing system has always been a breeze for me.  Getting something basic to print to the screen takes less than a minute.  A year ago Unity's UI was a hunk of indecipherable garbage, and after a refit it still takes 20 steps to get position to display on the screen for debug purposes.   And no one wants to call them out on it.    Stencyl had Stencylforge before the asset store, but people I know still call SF "Stencyl's asset store."

And now that Unity has a 2D game creation utility, Stencyl is laughed out of the room even harder.   

However, even if it's drag and drop programming, I can program any routine faster with Stencyl than they can type it out (with the exception of a Quicksort I tried to do in stencyl once.  That took way more lines than I thought it would).

I can still drop assets into stencyl faster than they can set theirs up.  And I can still make a game from scratch in Stencyl in 5-10 minutes, while they're still watching the tutorial video on how to make whatever their idea is to work.

I just don't get it.  There are a ton of utilities out there, and even the big players have dumbed down their engines and upped their tutorials.  But Unity's always the first thing everybody goes for. 
-Unreal automatically does networking, but lets use Unity (which starts at the transport layer I believe, or did once not too far in the past)
-Cry looks gorgeous but lets go with Unity.   
-Stencyl was made for 2D games, but lets use Unity.
-Rennpy is free and was made just for story games, is basically complete and all you have to do is write the story and put in the pictures!.........but lets use Unity and write it from scratch.

All I see is unity playing catchup and the biggest thing they have going for them is Hearthstone, Rust, and Kerbal. 

My rant might be dated by a year, and it's 12:15 at night.  But I'm tired of Stencyl being looked down upon.  It's a solid engine.

*Gets off soapbox*

Ask a Question / Re: A problem of Turrets
« on: December 16, 2015, 07:46:44 pm »
I appreciate the effort, but looking through your code, you mount your images onto the layer.  I'm mounting them onto an actor, which I think is where the disconnect comes from. 

I do suffer from bouts of stupid, so I might be dense and not seeing it as I should.  But my code for targeting is basically the same as yours, but doesn't work.

I'll try it on a layer tomorrow to see if it acts differently.  My always of my code is below is first. The second is my created

Ask a Question / Re: Guys I need help with my game ASAP!
« on: December 16, 2015, 07:13:27 pm »
If you could, upload an example to the stencyl  arcade and then post it here so that we can figure out exactly what it is that you're looking for. 

Ask a Question / Re: Stomping problemin crash course
« on: December 16, 2015, 07:10:55 pm »
The problem is, they're not colliding. Check your collision groups.  You can see this by going to either Settings->Group or going to the actor, going to Properties and edit groups.

Do not mess with the Collisions Tab right now.  That is to set up it's box, not it's group.

At the groups screen, you should set up groups for enemies and players. They may already be there.  An actor is put into a collision group to determine what it collides with.  In this instance, players should collide with enemies.

Collision groups are 1-to-1, meaning that when you select one group to collide with another, (IE Players to Enemies) the other will also happen (Enemies to players).  Select the group and then select what it should collide with.  Groups it collides with are green. Groups that are not are grey.  Click to select.

Afterwards.  Make sure said actors are IN those collision groups.  Just messing with groups doesn't set them.  So under properties make sure they're in the right group you set up for them. 

Ask a Question / Re: A problem of Turrets
« on: December 16, 2015, 06:57:58 pm »
yoplalala was right.  I didn't understand what he meant by image.  I didn't know about the image API.

Turrets are mounted, I can control their rotation, but now a new twist.

I can't get the absolute position of the images where they are on the screen for targeting data.  So in the game posted below, where the turret is supposed to follow the mousse, it can't because get X and Get Y for the image are static (and the numbers there are...weird.  X is 0.5 as you can see in the middle of the boat).

So close.  Yet so far away.

I think a trig function'll get me in, and using the API will allow me to shove a lot of turrets on there.  But now were it's firing from is going to be a problem.

Ask a Question / Re: A problem of Turrets
« on: December 16, 2015, 11:20:50 am »
Turrets need to rotate to follow targets.

Ask a Question / A problem of Turrets
« on: December 16, 2015, 11:07:56 am »
So, I'm working on a boat game from a top down perspective.  Right now, it's in it's simple stages. The boat moves at preset speeds you increase by pressing up and decrease by pressing down (So pressing up once sets the speed to 1, which the boat gradually speeds up to 15, then pressing again moves it up to speed 2 speeds up to 25, etc.).  To turn, pressing left and right rotate it.

The ships have a turret on top, which is mounted via a script on the boat.  The script basically says create turret, save turret as variable, and then always keep turret at XCenter and YCenter of the boat, minus offsets so that it can be on the front of the boat or back of the boat. 

The problem is when I rotate it.  If the turret is not in the dead middle of the boat, when you rotate, the turret starts to take a different position.  After several tests, I figured out that this is because when rotating, the X and Y corrodinate of the boat are not changing, so therefore the turret remains at the same place

I made a picture below to demonstrate. I used the battleship Yu from 1944 because all my boats right now are boxes.

1 is the Boat and the two turret models being used.
2. Is it in a verticle possition and everything is fine
3. Is when it faces horizontal, and the turrets remain where they are
4. Is what I think I have to do.  I have to make a script so that when the boat rotates, the turrets follow a circular path from a radius that is the X Center and Y Center of the boat to where the normal offset is.  How to do this, I'm not sure of yet. Trig was never my strong suit, and I think that's what I'll need.

However, I'm not sure how intensive all of these calculations will be.  I plan on having several turrets on several boats, so the solution can't be super memory intensive.   If there's a simpler way to do this and I'm being a dumbass, I'd appreciate if anyone has any leads.

Thanks :D


On yoplalala's suggestion, I used the image API.  Mounts good on ship, and I can control it.  But......

Don't have the absolute position of the turret during rotation, which screws up the targeting of the Atan2 function.  Also how to fire from the turret while making it look realistic is an issue that'll come up).  Get X and Get Y for the image are static (and the numbers there are...weird.  X is 0.5 as you can see in the middle of the boat).

Archives / A few other suggestions from teaching Stencyl
« on: January 27, 2013, 04:48:20 pm »
I started using Stencyl a year ago. I teach game design with it now. I like it because it's simple to use, but powerful when you need it to be. I've taught class, demos, workshops, all sorts of things with Stencyl, and I've seen some pretty interesting things. I made a suggestion about workspace management about an hour ago a while ago, but I thought dropping common problems and a few suggestions might be helpful.

Some background:
My first lesson I teach to people about Stencyl, in both class and workshops, is the Stencyl crash course. I've done it fifty times and I could recite it in my sleep. I modify a few things, but it's Mambo and Prongers basically.  Though I know the crash course is also available in a kit, I usually have them download it from Stencylforge to get used to it.  It also emphasizes to people skeptical of 2D games, who have tried Unreal, Unity, or other 3D engines, how easy it is to start with absolutely nothing and they can have a game in 20 minutes.   (Some audiences are really impressed I can make a game from scratch in under five minutes).

I try to teach them to be careful what they download, to look for featured assets and to check the ratings and comments. But at least two people out of a class will have something go wrong while collecting assets.

They downloaded the wrong resource kit, or they get impatient at the download screen and hit download twice, or my personal favorite, they start downloading each of the behaviors one at a time.  All of these end up becoming amusing errors. There's usually at least one person, when they call me over, that I just have to perk a brow and ask "How the heck did you do that?".  and they don't know, naturally. They're in front of it for the first time.  I have them start downloading their resources again, which Stencyl makes easy so I don't have to worry.

This is more complicated later.  When we move the Run and Jump kit, someone will just go onto Stencylforge and searches "run and jump", download anything with that name. Or they see an asset they like and download it, not realizing, even though I told them, that actors can have behaviors attached to them.

I don't fault them. They're learning. And because Stencyl is so easy to use I just have to take five minutes to get them situated right in class.  But later on down the line, when I set them out on their own to make a game, it generally involves me debugging their projects trying to figure out where they downloaded things from.  For some, who have "downloaded themselves into a hole" so to speak, I might have to tell them to export their art assets and start again with run and jump, because it could take me longer to sort out their projects than it would for them to start over.

I've encountered problems like this as an advanced user too, or at the very least, when I was starting out. So here are some small suggestions that I could help both the beginning user, advanced user, and me teaching class.  If a few of them have been implemented, I apologize. I've tried to check each one as best I can.

The Suggestions:

Download log: A log that is kept with the game locally, or with the program, that logs what you downloaded or imported into a game.  Not just a system log, but like a download tab that you can pull up in a browser.  Downloaded resources list the author it was downloaded from, and imported resources list the file name.  In this way, if you have to reimport an asset, you can figure out where it came from.   And when I can figure out where Steve got that Walking script from quicker.  I'd also like them to start making a bibliography/credits page for downloaded assets, and this would go a long way toward that.

Download Actor from Stencylforge without Behaviors:  I think it's great that Stencylforge allows people to download actors that are ready to use in a game. But more often than not, it doesn't work out like that.
Usually when someone finally finds that actor they want, they just want the animations. But what they get is usually broken. At best, the behaviors they come were designed with the game they come from in mind, so they aren't a good fit. Usual case, the actor's behaviors are missing pieces of their code from either game attributes, custom code blocks or worse. These behaviors (like shooting) will reference actors that aren't even there (like bullet).  But the biggest mess is that these behaviors then go side by side with all the rest of the behaviors, resulting in two Walking, two Jumping, another animation manager and so on.  And this is if they're lucky and download one thing. Not like five to experiment. 
After they hit a programming error (this is Game Design 101. They don't understand programming yet), they generally remove the behavior from the actor, believing that will solve their problem. This actually makes it worse.  Unattached behaviors still compile, so it still errors, but now they have no idea which Walking script is the bad one, because it's no longer attached to an actor.
I'm going to list my problems with duplicate behaviors in another thread, because it is a huge problem. But for this suggestion, I think the ability to download an actor without behaviors would help immensely and immediately.  I try to teach people to make a separate game to strip assets, but they don't quite get it.

Put "Don't remove" on the right hand side on the Mac:  Not sure why.  We're used to Yes being on the left and No being on the right in most instances.  But when you remove something in Stencyl on the Mac, "Don't remove" is on the left and remove is on the right.  This usually results in three minutes of comedically trying to figure out why it won't go away.

Undo Delete animation: I have a problem with this every once and a while. Someone deletes animations without thinking. If they're lucky, they only deleted the one side, so the simple fix is duplicating it and then reversing it.  But worse case, it's reimporting everything about the animation.  If there was a way to, I don't know, flag deleted animations, backgrounds, and other assets until the next restart, it would help a lot of people starting out I think. Perhaps

Copy behaviors to actor: Never fails. Someone gets their actor finally imported into their game. They're happy, similing. Milestone uncovered. Then I have to tell them they have to put all the behaviors from Jumper onto them, directly as they came in.  Smile fades.  I made a pack that has all the defaults done, but it doesn't work if they were prototyping with Jumper and changed his settings.  The ability to copy behaviors and configurations from one actor to another, even if it causes some kerfuffle with animations, would be a big help.

Copy Scene settings:  When creating new scenes in the beginning, people forget to put gravity on all the time. That's no big deal. But later on down the line when they have 10 scene behaviors with setups, it becomes more complicated. When I made my first game, I got my first scene done and then just kept duplicating it, deleting everything inside the scene, resizing it, and then starting over.   I kinda like the idea that you have to set it up each time for the control, but full length games could be easier if you could set up "Default scenes have these settings in this game".

Right click erase in Scene Appearance.  We all screw up while putting down tiles. It happens.  I used to just choose a blank square from the tile set and then erase with it. Found out the hard way that if you expand a tileset and add to it that everything becomes that tile. (Also amusing),  I teach now to use the selection tool, and I have no problem with it.  But if the users could right click to erase, they might appreciate it.  Right now, it just comes up with a menu you can't do anything with without selecting anyway.

I've got a few more. I'll come up with them as I come along.
Sorry so much text. I'm occasionally wordy. Thank you for your time in reading if you made it this far

Archives / Games separation at Welcome Screen
« on: January 27, 2013, 01:44:14 pm »
I love Stencyl. I really do. I started using it to make video games about a year ago, and now I use it to teach video game design.  People are really taking to it, both because it's so simple to use and because it's so complex when you get all the way down.  It's really catching on.

But there's a problem. The games are piling up.

Two sections of the class this year as well as last year's class are making the welcome screen a minefield of the controller pad icon. With each lesson usually comes another game to start from scratch, and I actively encourage students to version their games during development, so if something goes wrong they have something to move back to. They back them up to flash drives and use Stencyl Forge, but I think it's important to keep the games on the computer still in case one of the other two fails.

So every computer is full of past versions of games, test prototypes, and projects of users who travel from seat to seat. Most of them usually get the controller icon logo so they become undifferentiatable. And some people modify the examples games (purposefully or by accident) so that they can't be pointed to in class for demos.

Teaching good naming techniques and organization is a part of the course, but it's hard enough having to learn about game design itself without that.

Stencyl does a great job of organizing assets in game. I'd love to see that level of organization at the welcome screen as well. I know Stencyl wasn't design for multi-user, and frankly I don't mind that. But I think this problem also affects the normal user.

In my first game, I had almost twenty versions, Save game As every time I reached a milestone, along with several test workspaces for when I needed to try something without effecting the main game.  Didn't know how Melee worked? Make a new game and download someone else's. See how they got it going.  I easily had 50 games my first time out, and  I can't imagine how confusing it would be if someone ELSE was working at my computer doing the same with their games.

So, I have a few suggestions:
1. Game Separation.  Something as easy as being able to make folders on the welcome screen would be a huge help in organizing people's projects. A drop down tab on the left hand side, similar to how behaviors are done in game,  would be awesome.  I don't think they have to be account bound or anything.  Just so when Steve walks in, he has a folder for his game he's working on, a folder containing all his labs so he can reference them, and when Jerry sits down, he can access his own folder without having to see all of Steve's stuff plastered all over the main screen.

For the normal home user, I think this would allow people to better manage their game workspaces, making a folder for each of their game projects, so I know that "Flight Test" could into the folder with that flight game I was working on.

2.Demos as kits:  Adding Demos into kits (or something like it) would allow people to feel free to experiment with them. And if they screw them up, get a new one.  I know you can download them from Stencyl Forge, but that is just another step.

3. Lock game/Archive game:  Basically, you can right click on a game and hit lock, and it becomes read only. It remains that way until it's unlocked in the same fashion, or when the user tries to save they're warned and are given the option to unlock it.  This is mostly to protect projects from the occasional mouse click which could pull out code or modify a scene.  The biggest thing to protect against is the inability to undo deletes from the dashboard (I delete a background, it's gone) or animation screen (I delete an animation by accident, it's gone).  )

Secondarily, archiving the game could allow only active versions of games to be displayed on the main screen, so the welcome screen only has seven or eight games rather than 50.

But for us it's mostly about keeping people from fiddling with some projects (or having an extra layer to it).  Every suggestion post has to have one in left field.  This is that one.

4. Choose/Add Game folder: Our classes are taught in mac labs, but I know most students have PCs at home. I can tell them the file path on the mac, but then they are confused when they try to find it on their PC. The ability to change what folder you're pointing to for Stencyl games, or adding additional ones (via suggestion 1) would help with backup purposes and workspace management. 

The ability to choose their games folder and/or adding additional game folders to be displayed at the welcome screen would allow people to keep track of their games.  Not working on that project anymore?  Take it off your workspace list, not displayed anymore.  Need to back it up? You put it on the desktop, so just copy and paste.  Also, if the computer uses accounts, it would allow the folder to be aliased to a network drive.

I think these would help us as well as normal users of Stencyl, even if some were just implemented. I appreciate your time to read all this, and thank you for making such a great software

Ask a Question / Logging out
« on: April 04, 2012, 11:16:00 am »

We're using Stencyl in our intro to game engines class, and things are going well.  But, I can't seem to find a logout feature for when we get students year.   

They're all up to date as of today and are using the on Macs.  I haven't found the option on PC either though.

Archives / Re: The new Logic Layout
« on: December 15, 2011, 10:37:33 am »
I like what Chunky said.  Maybe a button added to the bottom of the logic page for managing behaviors would be best.  There you can make new categories, and even choose between the old way and the new way, for anyone who does like the new way.  And there, you can choose to spawn a standard set of folders with icons (Motion, collision, Health, AI, Actions), so you don't have to recreate your own every time in a standard blank game.

I also like what Paul suggested, but it did give me a thought. 
I think what really threw me off when I first saw the new layout was my old categories were now folders.  I re-iconed them to make it better after I realized I could, but for a while, I didn't know that I could change the icons. That's really what got me into this thread.  When I see a folder, I don't think I have the option to change how it appears. 
Maybe instead of it starting up as a folder, it came up as a book. This I guess is mostly for legacy games, where categories are there already, or for users downloading scripts from Stencyl forge, where folders are created automatically instead of you doing it yourself.   

Feels silly talking about this. Behaviors still work the way they always have.  But I think it's really about the ease of recognition.  It's like why programs have icons, so you don't have to read the description under each of them, you just know what they are.  The faster I see the organization, the faster I can work. And the concept of forcing me to organize things helped me also remember where they were. 

Archives / Re: The new Logic Layout
« on: December 14, 2011, 09:16:16 pm »
Ok, so. Tried it for a day or so, and still got to say, not a fan. Like the old interface better, or at least some manner of it.  I'll give a few reasons

I've done other game engines, and in truth, any game engine gives you the ability to put scripts into folders (or at least most do).  However, what I really liked in Stencyl that I didn't like in others was that the segmenting was there.  The concept that things were in those premade sections really helped out in organizing behaviors.

Now, I'm currently teaching Stencyl to other people, and already, I can see where it will be confusing for them.  Seeing all of the scripts in their categories already there, labeled and organized made the experience for me, and it's already harder for him because he doesn't see them there like I did when I started.  To just be able to to say "Go to motion in a new game", it's already not there, they have to create it and mark it out, which is another step toward understanding rather than it just being there.

It's a bit hard to describe, but I really did like the other one.  I also though the screen was more clean, where as when I pop out the logic boxes, it just makes my left side all a jumble.

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