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PostPosted: 2016/08/30, 05:17 
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Heyo everyone!

I was thinking about Duality and how painfully underused it is, I honestly believe that this deserves more attention, being the C# Open source editor that it is it can really serve as an alt to Unity and most other engines. But in my opinion one of the things that sort of keep it in the shadow is the small, but dedicated, community and lack of places and ways to find it other than 2 Gamesfromscratch videos and 2 reddit threads on r/gamedev.

So I propose a few ways to help Duality reach a wider set of people:

First, its own Subreddit: Now, while the forum is perfectly fine a person browsing reddit is much more likely to follow links to communities already inside the "Reddit ecosystem".
A sub for Duality would do wonders for its exposition and community growth, while the forum is a closed place confined to this site and those who visit, in reddit it's easy to stumble upon it, from a link in a thread or by clicking on random, a presence in reddit is beneficial and has practically no downsides given enough moderation.

Secondly, Steam:Now, I do remember reading in a post here (altough i don't want to put words in anyone's mouth, forgive me if i am) that the engine wouldn't fit with Steam because of how modular/open it was. Aside from the obvious benefits of a Steam page, exposure, accessibility etc, I have to say that Duality's open-ness and "modularity " are great strenghts in Steam, because it sets it apart from other engines while not being completely alien (Godot, for example is open source).

The engine's plugin system is a huge strength and could be used spectacularly (and I spent too long trying to spell that word) with one thing: The Workshop, I admit i don't have experience working with steamworks api and I don't know at 100% what it would require and the effort it would take, but from a purely theoretical standpoint, the ability to share a plugin in the workshop and have it easily applied/uninstalled, like it is now but on steam's shiny big pretty, famous interface is awesome. Let Duality become the Skyrim of Engines and let users mod it to their desires.
This extra amount of "customization" would kickstart a lot of small projects, prototypes but those would grow to become full games, adding to the showcase of Duality and increasing its popularity and legitimacy in the eyes of a newcomer.
As examples, RPG Maker and Game Studio use the Workshop for assets, plugins and small projects and having used both i have to say it just feels nice to have that there.
But I say again, I've heard Workshop integration can be hard work and how worth the effort the benefits are depends on the engine's dev.


And thirdly, a facebook group/bigger twitter presence:From the previous bomb of text this is pretty small, I know, but it a simple but effective maneuver, it's just another place for newcomers to stumble upon Duality and for current members to gather and discuss.
As a disclaimer I already follow Adam on twitter and the hashtag's spread is entirely dependant on community usage, which would increase given a bigger one.

And honestly, that's it I'm not a marketing expert or a seasoned dev, hell I've made 1 little game my whole life, but I think this has potential and deserves to have a shot at the big guys and these are ways I think would really boost it up the charts, based on what I saw with other engines mainly Godot which is rising in popularity lately. But this has a really nice community and while atracting more people would bring more "spam" even if 1/100 become a real polished and well received game I believe it's worth crowd.

Hope I wasn't too preachy, thanks for the reads =)


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PostPosted: 2016/08/30, 14:46 
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Hello !

Your ideas aren't bad and I'd like to share my point of view.

Concerning your second point, I don't know if putting Duality on Steam would have a huge impact, but I saw that your major argument was to use Duality's modularity to attract more people. While I agree with you, the problem is that Duality is lacking of module. At the moment the actual package explorer/manager is fine because there aren't many plugins (but a sorting system would be nice).

That brings me to this point : your ideas are great to attract more people, but not to retain them. Currently, if you look at Duality's wiki, it's empty compared to, say, Libgdx's wiki. At the moment, if you want to do something, either you google it (but community is small, thus you won't get many results), or you look at the wiki (but there aren't many tutorials), or you ask the forum (again, small community, so you aren't guaranteed to have a quick reply), or you look at the samples, or you look at Duality's sourcecode.

As I did the last Ludum Dare with Duality, I can tell that I've been sometimes frustrated by this lack of tutorials (by the way using the google search of the forum is your best bet to get something ^^), and by the lack of plugins that would have been nice to have. For example, managing animations was frustrating : I followed the actual tutorial on the wiki, but it is flawed : each time I wanted to add an animation in my spritesheet using TexturePacker, it would mess with the indexes and I had to change every single number manually. So, why not make an editor plugin ? Welp too bad, no tutorial (which has been requested many times in the forums). I tried to look at Duality's source code, but, no offense Adam, I only saw huge classes that I don't know how to read. Therefore, I abandonned this idea which made me lose quite a lot of time and did everything manually. Can you see the problem here ? No tutorials = No more sweet plugins for the community (unless you know how Duality functions, which is way out of my reach for now).


Wow I really sounded pessimistic in my last paragraph. However, Duality's community may be small, but not inactive. The project section of the forum regularly has new awesome projects. Plugins are being made, for example the Input Mapping, whichcomes handy, or the new TileMap Plugin, which looks awesome.


To conclude, what we need at the moment are tutorials (e.g. "How to make an editor plugin") and more features (e.g. Adam already made the necessary work to make Duality multi-platform, we now need someone with too much free time to make it real), and new people will come here on their own.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong (that wouldn't surprise me) ! ^^


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PostPosted: 2016/08/30, 18:29 
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There are a lack of tutorials and attracting more people to duality would help that issue because there would a bigger vocal demand for them which would push forward their creation.

More people asking, more people experimenting and discovering, leading to a wider sharing of knowledge. It's more noticeable in bigger communities but it happens in small ones too, it's just instead of 20 threads asking a question you get 1 and even if the question is asked there's no noticeable "need" for a tutorial because "The one thread who asked is answered". If there are 20 threads asking the same question, it's annoying that people aren't looking at the already, but it would serve as a "rude incentive" to create tutorials on that topic and enhance the wiki. And I believe that once that growth starts the community never really stops because they see the positive feedback on the engine's activity and would be more lenient on developing the wiki and docs.

The fact that this is a forum, separate from other gamedev communities hurts the ability for people to come here on their own.


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PostPosted: 2016/08/30, 18:38 
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Hi!
That's an interesting conversation, let me push some thoughts:
In my opinion publishing Duality on Steam would not have a great impact. The problem is that as today, the market of 'free' game engines is rather crowded. A beginner hobbyist (which I think Steam's audience mostly consists of - I may be wrong) should not have Duality as his first engine, because it lacks tutorials and some basic features (UI system for example) compared to the others. This engine's real strengths are more valuable for the intermediate users: modular architecture and open sourceness are examples of that. What really helped is to attract more of these high-level coders creating quality content (games, plugins, etc..) to show off. For example SirePi has done a lot - unfortunately he seems to be less active nowdays.

About the community: I cannot fully agree with dividing the community on different platforms (fb, reddit ...). This is not the best on the field of serching stuff, but at least focused. Maintaining it is a big enough task for Adam, well who recently expressed it in a post (maybe this or the one about Patreon), that he doesn't really have the time to do more marketing with maintaining the current frequency of development.

Well I should get back and start working on the jam game...


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PostPosted: 2016/08/30, 21:07 
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Hi, I don't think there are too many game engines on Steam to call the market over saturated, especially considering Duality's price and type (free, open source ones, 2d with C#), but even it the case that there are truly too many, Duality stands out from the crowd for the reasons you mentioned it wouldn't land well with Steam and its crowd.

And I don't quite see it as splitting the community, more like having more entry points for newcomers to get involved in their preferred sites/accounts/"ecosystems", although I do see the problem with the workload a 1 man team has with maintaining a community and engine developing. Is Adam this forum's only moderator/Admin?

gl on your game =)


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PostPosted: 2016/08/30, 21:44 
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Eldir wrote:
Hi, I don't think there are too many game engines on Steam to call the market over saturated, especially considering Duality's price and type (free, open source ones, 2d with C#), but even it the case that there are truly too many, Duality stands out from the crowd for the reasons you mentioned it wouldn't land well with Steam and its crowd.

Sure, there are only a few engines on Steam, but globally there's a lot available. Let alone Unity which is far the most popular of them for hobbyists (according to which engines ludum dare participants use).

Eldir wrote:
And I don't quite see it as splitting the community, more like having more entry points for newcomers to get involved in their preferred sites/accounts/"ecosystems", although I do see the problem with the workload a 1 man team has with maintaining a community and engine developing. Is Adam this forum's only moderator/Admin?

Yes, SirePi is a moderator too, but he's not that active as I mentioned. Of course, having larger social presence would be beneficial, but I'm not sure if anyone wrote to an empty, for example, reddit board.

Eldir wrote:
gl on your game =)
Thanks! Not much done yet :I


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PostPosted: 2016/08/31, 03:58 
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Quote:
Of course, having larger social presence would be beneficial, but I'm not sure if anyone wrote to an empty, for example, reddit board.


Everything starts at the empty bottom :)


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PostPosted: 2016/08/31, 18:19 
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All efforts are certainly valid, but for the most part, I'd wager Adam would find that someone out there to help him develop Duality would be much more beneficial.

Most people here are enthusiasts, eager to learn, but can't, reasonably, help maintaining Duality. Which is understandable. Duality just suddenly appeared out of nowhere and was already a valid framework.

And that is it's a bit of a problem. If someone out there wanted to help out, where's a starting point? I sure can't help. I'd be willing to try, but can't for the life of me figure out most of what's going on by reading the code. Most things Adam posts here go over my head.

I will one of these days force myself to actually do something useful, but not now.

And I can explain clearly:

My code-fu is nowhere near Adam's standard, my knowledge of C#/OGL is severely lacking and being a proud daddy is a time sink (and living in a house where yours truly has to actually do construction work after getting out of work).

So yeah, we need developers more than spreading the gospel, because users will want some features that we do not yet have, like cross platforming/ease of use, etc....

_________________
Hello there! Nice to meet you!
I have github. Apologies in advance for bad coding practices.


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PostPosted: 2016/08/31, 19:28 
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Quote:
So yeah, we need developers more than spreading the gospel, because users will want some features that we do not yet have, like cross platforming/ease of use, etc....


Wouldn't a way of getting more devs interested in the project be to spread the gospel?
My ideas were for a wider general audience, since I'm part of that one. Trying to get dev attention is a good idea.


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PostPosted: 2016/08/31, 20:03 
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eyeliner wrote:
I will one of these days force myself to actually do something useful, but not now.

Hey, as even stated on the wiki, you don't have to be a code ninja to actually do something. Lack of time is a different matter though...

What sure helped to attract, was an in depth tutorial series using Duality, which is beyond the existing ones, and shows how to make an actual game with the engine. When I google 'duality2D tutorial', only the wiki comes up, and two youtube videos from 2014. Even the one from snowypeak blog is missing, even though it's the closest to the 'create a game with Duality' experience.

Youtube tutorials can be easier to create, in posession of good language skills, but me personally dislike them for being frequently too slow-paced. But they may be more consumable by absolute beginners. What do you, guys, prefer?


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