Which program is better? Construct 2, Stencyl or Game Maker?

Discussion in 'Fangaming Discussion' started by Salem the Engineer, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. I was going to start my project of a Sonic game until I ran into a lot of options for which programs to use. I prefer thje most user-friendly interface, I ran into Stencyl thinking I could publish to desktop. However, it seems I would have to pay a yearly fee which I don't like. I then ran into Construct 2, which is very similar to Stencyl but only requires one-time payment which I am completely on board with. Otherwise, I would have to use Game Maker, which I will have to do a lot of learning. So here's my question: Which of these softwares are better, and why?

    • Stencyl
    • Construct 2
    • Game Maker
     
  2. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    shaving is boring Wiki Sysop
    7,052
    1,130
    93
    Northumberland, UK
    hey wiki you're so fine
    Well that would depend entirely on what you were planning to do and how much of your life you wanted to devote to learning these things. Strictly speaking if you had long term ambitions to become some super duper programmer... you might be better off avoiding all three, but if it's just a hobby... either will do.

    Although Stencyl never really lived up to its promises... and the freebie Construct Classic may be a better choice than Construct 2 if you want to save some money. Game Maker I could never personally recommend but others will get behind it all the way. There was a time where it wasn't best placed for producing Sonic fangames, and although many have since proved otherwise... it's still a very bloated product and you can't expect to produce something quickly.

    If I were a younger man I'd be spending more time with Construct Classic... but then I was never one to sit down and make serious games
     
  3. SoullessSentinel

    SoullessSentinel

    Member
    257
    0
    16
    Grimsby, England
    Cxbx-Reloaded
    No matter which engine you use, you'll still likely have to spend many months, if not years, learning the inside-out of how the physics in Sonic games work and implementing this, developing a game, even a fan game, is a serious undertaking. Even more so if this is related to your idea in your other thread about remaking Sonic 3.

    That aside, my best advice would be to try trial versions of all three (if possible) and go with whichever software has the best workflow to fit you, as you will find it extremely difficult to be productive in any environment that doesn't fit how you'd like to work.
     
  4. Lapper

    Lapper

    Member
    1,671
    516
    93
    England
    Sonic Studio, Sonic Physics Guide, Kyle & Lucy: WW, Freedom Planet 2
    I would assume GameMaker could handle more advanced collisions. Though I havent had any experience with either of the other options, except knowing that you don't actually script with them, it seems.

    Also seeing as a perfect GameMaker Sonic Engine has been made by Mercury (although in progress)
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=AUfD4gqjNvc
    it says to me that GameMaker is more than capable at doing the job, and well.


    Depends how accurate you think it's worth going though, I guess.
     
  5. Truner

    Truner

    Member
    Maybe, just maybe you should try looking into this baby here: E02 Multiplatform 2D Game Engine

    It's multiplatform, it already has a classic Sonic example game thingy for it and it's made by Stealth (what else is there to say?).

    The good thing about is that if you make a game with it, you are not limited to regular operating systems. Your game will run on these platforms: Windows, Linux, Intel/PowerPC MacOSX, PSP (Custom Firmware), Wii (Homebrew Channel), and GP2X Wiz.

    From the looks of it, the engine is well documented, the Sonic example game is great for newcomers and it would be great if such a great engine would take off already. It sucks that most of the Sonic fangames are limited to Windows (and maybe OSX/Linux), but can never be played on handhelds or gaming consoles.
     
  6. BlazeHedgehog

    BlazeHedgehog

    A "Community Enigma"? Oldbie
    1,464
    6
    18
    As somebody who has never coded with Game Maker but has had to play plenty of Game Maker games, I have had a significant number of problems with games made in GM not functioning properly.

    Some games have excessive RAM use, others have scripting errors that only occur on some machines but not others... it's all a pretty big headache, if you ask me. Some of that can be attributed to shoddy programming on the developer's part, but sometimes Game Maker just doesn't work on certain computer builds and I've never heard anyone explain why that is or provide any kind of sufficient work-around.

    A game that works right for one person is not necessarily guaranteed to work the same way for everyone. Maybe the argument could be made that Game Maker is just that powerful, but it's obvious very few people know how to appropriately wield it.
     
  7. winterhell

    winterhell

    Member
    1,165
    7
    18
    For using existing and available engine I'd second the E02 suggestion.
    While the 3 platforms you mentioned allow making a "perfect physics Sonic engine", the ones that are out there are not 1:1 for different reasons.
    As far as performance on Game Maker and MMF2 goes, on newer machines all are going to work fine. Just don't get your hopes up for playing on your old '99 PC.
     
  8. Does E02 Multiplatform 2D Game Engine support widescreen?
     
  9. Mr Lange

    Mr Lange

    A wise guy eh. I know how to DEAL with wise guys. Member
    1,286
    10
    18
    The Land of Waldos
    Sonic Utopia, Sonic Overture
    Game engines in order from best to worst:

    Unity



    Construct Classic
    Construct 2
    Game Maker






    Stencyl

    Those spaces are quite deliberate. And I took the liberty of adding Unity and Construct Classic because they are better than the ones you mentioned and equally as accessible.
     
  10. Billy

    Billy

    RIP Oderus Urungus Member
    2,016
    90
    28
    Colorado, USA
    Indie games
    Not necessarily for the OP (since there's no sonic engine for it), but love2D is a pretty good for making 2D games. You have to learn lua scripting, but that's not too hard.
     
  11. P3DR0

    P3DR0

    b0ss Member
    435
    1
    18
    SONIC INFINITY
    Stencyl: It's horrible. Good enough to make less ambitious games, but horrible to use none the less.

    Construct 2: A great engine with lots and lots of potential, pretty easy to use but still a small fanbase, little-to-none support and tutorials.

    Game Maker: Extremely powerful engine, with enormous fanbase, lots of support and shit. Allows you to develop from simple plataforms to full 3D games. If you need an example of its power, Hotline Miami was developed using it. But while it is great, it also have most of those problems that BlazeHedgehog said (and I confirm a few of those from an mid/high-end PC, specially the unexplainable errors).


    Why not use Multimedia Fusion 2? It's a very popular one, having lots of support and great extensions, it ain't very difficult to learn (it is hard to get great at it, but not to learn and develop less ambitious fangames) also it have Sonic Worlds in it, which is a great Sonic engine with tons of content and gimmicks already programmed. It is also a favorite for most of Sonic fangames developers.
     
  12. Candescence

    Candescence

    Member
    1,990
    7
    18
    Sydney, Australia
    3D Indie Stuff
    A relatively small fanbase, I'll give you, but what the heck do you mean by "little-to-none support and tutorials"? For a relatively new program, it's got a decent amount of both.

    Construct 2 is pretty much the fastest-evolving game making program yet. A week doesn't go by without a new release featuring at least one new feature and about a dozen or so tweaks or bug fixes. At this point, it's more or less eclipsed its predecessor (which is an unstable, buggy mess. Construct Classic is still a great program, but holy shit, is it buggy) in features (except for an in-built debugger, but that's to be hopefully rectified soon), and is fundamentally more refined. The main problem, of course, that it doesn't have a working Sonic engine programmed for it yet, and I've tried to rectify that, with little success.


    Personally, I'm not a fan of Game Maker nor of MMF2, for more than a few reasons.
     
  13. P3DR0

    P3DR0

    b0ss Member
    435
    1
    18
    SONIC INFINITY
    "Relatively" isn't a lot. Let's say they make a Construct 3, and in day one it gets like 10 tutorials for it. It doesn't make a ton just because the engine is one day older and the rates of tuts/day is 10 per day, it still only have 10 tutorials in total and that's that.

    But it is still an amazing engine like you said. Just not a great one for someone who, assuming by what he said (and the fact he considered using a shitty tool as Stencyl), that not only have little-to-none knowledge of game making and wants to develop a Sonic game.

    Mostly because of the lack of tuts and/or a fully built Sonic engine like MMF2 and GM has.

    I agree that Construct is the bomb among almost other 2D options, but most of the stuff that the engine provides and what makes it so great ain't that much necessary in a Sonic game. It is a great tool if you're going to develop something a little more complicated, but a Sonic game? He'd just be better off with Sonic Worlds in MMF2, which is, imo, way more easy to use and learn than Game Maker.
     
  14. Lilly

    Lilly

    Member
    2,326
    126
    43
    United States
    Shang Mu Architect
    I definitely have to chip in with the Multimedia Fusion 2 recommendation, and that's coming from a long time Game Maker user. It's fast, stable, and games built with it run almost perfectly under WINE on Linux too. (I had no problem enjoying Sonic Axiom, Sonic Before the Sequel, and the like from Xubuntu, aside from some PulseAudio-related problems.) And if it's easier to learn than Game Maker, like P3DR0 said, I'd definitely go for it. Just by reading through the Freedom Planet thread, the support for it is amazing too.

    As for the weird errors that certain Game Maker games have, I've noticed this behavior from a lot of game source examples, especially 3D ones, that rely heavily on "weird" function usage, (Not kidding by weird, I couldn't figure out how the developer pieced his GML together, whereas with other peoples' examples, picking apart the code to understand it wasn't a problem.) or external libraries, so it's easy for me to assume that both could be causing the bulk of those errors. Anytime I see an obscure external DLL or mind-bogglingly cryptic code used, the game, or source example, would never work for me, guaranteed, and my family had three different desktop machines running different versions of Windows too. (Win2000, XP, and Vista.) I could still be wrong here, but that's me speaking from experience as a fairly active user of Game Maker since version 4.3 was released nearly a decade ago.

    Sticking to Game Maker's own functions, within reason, while using stable libraries, hasn't caused me any problems. External DLLs are great for expanding Game Maker beyond its limits, but having too many dependencies is usually be a bad thing, and limits how many machines can run your game, since not everyone has the same hardware build and drivers as you. Game Maker by itself mostly does what I want anyway; I just hated not being able to use OGGs for sounds and music, or properly controlling their playback, so I went with the SuperSoundDLL library.
     
  15. Candescence

    Candescence

    Member
    1,990
    7
    18
    Sydney, Australia
    3D Indie Stuff
    There's actually plenty of tutorials on the Scirra website (about a few hundred) and then there's dozens (if not hundreds) of examples of interesting little things in the "how do I" section of the forum, most of them collated under a big list of useful and neat things in a stickied topic. More than enough for anyone to get started, I'd wager.
    Well, I've already mentioned that, but that's mainly a problem due to nobody other than me really making an effort to rectify it.
    I really don't get this argument. Why should anyone settle for less when you can have more? Construct 2 does a variety of things so much better than MMF2, including the number of platforms you can export games to with a single license, a vastly better event system (MMF2's event system drives me crazy), a better file format more suited for collaborative work, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Why should I settle for an inferior program?

    As I said, all anyone needs to do to make Construct 2 a more attractive option for fan-game makers is to create a fully-featured Sonic engine for it, ala Sonic Worlds.
     
  16. Azu

    Azu

    I must be stupid. Member
    Construct 2 is good for making HTML5 games and all that, but other than that, I'd go with MMF2 or Game Maker. MMF2 is cheaper than Construct 2, but only by like 10 bucks or so. If you're into learning coding, then I'd try something like XNA or if you can wait for the port Sonic Worlds is built. I haven't try Unity, but from what I hear is nice, but I'd recommend UDK, it's not that hard to learn (aside form scripting)
     
  17. Thousand Pancake

    Thousand Pancake

    Being a food you put milk on and then eat in the m Member
    360
    0
    0
    This is only speaking from personal observation, but:

    Game Maker:
    Pros: Very powerful, well suited for many different types of games
    Cons: Runtime is buggy, somewhat slow, tempermental with certain systems

    Stencyl
    Pros: Editor supports all desktop OSes, exports to Flash and desktop
    Cons: Potentially limited, simple actions can be needlessly complex to program

    GF2/MMF2:
    Pros: Stable, good extensibility, relatively easy to use, interesting option for legacy systems
    Cons: Expensive, most export plugins also cost money, runtime can be slow for action games with complex physics and/or lots of things going on at once

    Construct 2:
    Pros: Easy to use, powerful runtime, exports to many, many platforms out of the box
    Cons: Also expensive

    Unity:
    Pros: Easy to use, good for practically anything, exports to a lot of stuff
    Cons: Designed for 3D games, not 2D; potentially expensive

    Game Editor:
    Pros: Editor supports all major desktop OSes, uncluttered UI, self-contained runtime avoids pitfalls with porting
    Cons: Exporting options limited, crappy community, development is slow
     
  18. Mr Lange

    Mr Lange

    A wise guy eh. I know how to DEAL with wise guys. Member
    1,286
    10
    18
    The Land of Waldos
    Sonic Utopia, Sonic Overture
    I'm gonna add on to that a bit.

    Game Maker:
    While Game Maker is very powerful, it's a bit lopsided in the features it has out of the box. For example, it gives you great tools for handling movement, but if you want collision detection you're on your own since it has no routines or anything other than some raw functions for checking collisions. Making a platformer for example means you're not much better off than just learning a language raw, because you have to make a good collision system yourself. It's strange how they make some things very accessible for beginners while leaving them to fall flat on their faces when it comes to important features that a beginner would need.

    MMF2:
    I wouldn't suggest this for game development, mostly because it's actually more expensive than Construct 2, which is more recent and probably more capable. MMF2 is very old and has needed a lot of external support to bring up the slack, mostly in the form of extensions and plugins. The full version of Construct 2 is cheaper, more robust and flexible, and unlike the aging MMF2, it's undergoing heavy development so it's seeing a brighter future.

    Construct 2:
    Depending on your needs you may want to try Construct Classic, which is now open source and still very powerful, although development on it has slowed to a crawl, if not a complete stop. The editor is a little buggy on occasion, but I've found it to still be a powerful game dev tool, just as capable as Game Maker and in some ways more capable than MMF2. However it only exports to PC exes, so you don't have much in the way of cross platform support. If you're willing to shell out the dough, Construct 2 is the way to go.

    Unity:
    I'm moving to Unity and leaving all the other programs behind. The more I study it and learn how to use it the more I realize it's far more capable than all of the other programs. Despite the 1,500k price tag, they do offer a free indie version with some of the modern graphical powers cut out, but most of the program is still intact. Also it is actually far more capable of 2d games than the other programs, provided you know how to bend it to your will. Honestly I don't see any reason to go with the others aside from using them as a low barrier entry to learning game development. I recommend at some point you move to Unity, if not right away.

    Game Editor and Stencyl:
    Just avoid these. They are not worth your time.
     
  19. Aerosol

    Aerosol

    Not here. Moderator
    10,953
    306
    63
    Not where I want to be.
    Sonic (?): Coming summer of 2055...?
    You make that sound like a cake-walk.
     
  20. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    shaving is boring Wiki Sysop
    7,052
    1,130
    93
    Northumberland, UK
    hey wiki you're so fine
    Strictly speaking Unity is probably the more "professional" of the set above, although I'd argue it's entirely unsuited to hobbiest game development and little projects you want to get done quickly.


    Another possible option is to go down the Python/Pygame route. That's what the Rasperry Pi endorses, so there'll be schools across the land teaching that stuff to kids. Again it depends entirely if you want to do programming as a professional career - Python's ultra-simplfied user-friendly syntax is lovely, but it won't teach good coding practice, particularly if you start using classes. Pygame is a wrapper for SDL, which is a top choice for cheapo game development in C++ - you lose speed, but you keep functionality.

    (also Python forces correct spacing with code, which is something Game Maker doesn't bother with (and at least half of Game Maker users))