Impact

This forum is read only and just serves as an archive. If you have any questions, please post them on github.com/phoboslab/impact

5 years ago by Nightowljrm

Hello!

Before I begin, thank you for taking your time to read my concerns and (hopefully) answer my questions. I know there have been a few threads about this before, but I didn't feel like they completely eliminated my concerns. So without further adieu, here's my "Should I get Impact?" concerns.

First, a little of my background. I've noticed many users of ImpactJS are professionals and Impact is just a side-hobby. I, currently, am not a professional; rather, a college student. I am studying to become a web and software developer and have studied the following languages: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Visual Basic, C++, and Java. I am enrolled in classes for PHP and ASP currently.

I passed my classes with A's and I understand all the basic concepts, but I want to be a better programmer. The only way to do that is to keep practicing, and I think some game development would be a fun way to go. That and I've loved video games all my life, so it would almost be a dream come true actually building a game. I made a simple platformer with enchantjs for my JavaScript final project, but it took some fiddling with as all the instructions were in Japanese, if I remember correctly. So I have some light experience with an HTML5 game engine as well.

With some context laid out, here are my main concerns:

1. This is my main concern. Almost every post I've read on whether or not to get Impact mentions an "active community." I know that I will have to ask for help at certain points, especially for some mechanics I'd love to see in my game. (For example, swinging with your whip in Castlevania IV, switching weapons or inventory similar to The Legend of Zelda, etc.) Is the community active? I know there's a private section of the forums for only licensees, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of activity on here or PointOfImpactJS.

2. One of the main selling points for me for Impact has been the fact that you have the potential to create games for Nintendo's Wii U. (In fact, I own X-Type, which is how I came to know of Impact). I've read Dominic's blog post on Impact working with Nintendo's Web Framework, and I've read the FAQ from Nintendo and read how to apply to become a developer. Does anyone know the likelihood of becoming approved and how the process of creating a Wii U game - or porting your game to the Wii U - would be like? Is there any Impact documentation for working with the Wii U, or is all of that information from Nintendo? Would additional plugins, like the one that is used to create Doom-like FPS games, work on the Wii U as well?

3. For my last concern, it's simply this: Based on my background (I can go into more detail if need be) do YOU think I can use ImpactJS - even if I need to buy one of the two main books on Impact - and develop a game from it? Will I learn in the process like I hope to?

Contrary to other posts I've read, $99 seems more than reasonable for an engine that - as far as I can tell - seems very professionally created and capable of quite a bit when put into the right, creative, ambitious hands. Especially since it comes with a level editor and access to tools that let you bring your game to iOS and Android. I want to take the plunge and buy ImpactJS, but I just wanted to ask a few questions first.

Thank you again for your time. I apologize for the lengthy post! I look forward to your responses.

TL;DR:
1. Is the community truly active? What if I need help?
2. Can someone shed more light on Impact working on the WIi U?
3. Based off my limited background, can I see success with Impact and will I learn from working with it concepts and skills that I can apply in the professional realm?

Thank you!

5 years ago by Datamosh

1. Yes, it is a very active and friendly community. If you have a question you can ask here and always have someone to help.

2. I can not answer this because I have no experience with WiiU.

3. You do not need any book, with wonderful documentation you have everything you need.
I'm using ImpactJS since 2012 and I really love it, i can't find another engine that allows me to sketch and polish as easily and quickly.

5 years ago by drhayes

1. Yes, the community is very active and willing to help with basic coding questions, higher-level design questions, and totally willing to playtest each others' games. Hands down the friendliest online community I've ever been a part of. Seriously, on 99% of all other communities I'm a lurker; this one is one of the few exceptions.

2. Don't know!

3. I think you answered this yourself. The best way to get better at software engineering is to do it a lot. That involves not just coding but managing requirements (even if they're your own!); creating a schedule/milestones and breaking up your work intelligently; deploying your work somewhere; setting up analytics; growing a user base... you can take a JS game you wrote as far as you want in any direction you want. Picking what to do based on what you don't know is a great way to learn quickly.

You can self host and, thus, learn how to set up DNS, hosting (or static hosting via S3, my current fav)... or maybe you want to set something up on itch.io and try and monetize – analytics matters a lot more when you can't directly ask your users what they're looking for or having fun with.

Or maybe you want to package up your game with node-webkit and get some native coding under your belt across all the major desktop platforms? Maybe try some Steam integrations as well, a la Elliot Quest?

None of this is specific to ImpactJS, of course. But it's a pretty good place to start. ( =

5 years ago by Nightowljrm

Thank you for your responses so far. Happy to see such nice responses.

How easy/difficult is it to make a game available for Android or iOS? It doesn't seem too difficult based off what I've read, but at the same time, I'm a complete novice when it comes to actually publishing anything.

5 years ago by Apiheld

Is the community active?

Your questions will usually be answered relatively fast, which is what matters most. Besides that, your observation is correct. There aren't too many posters. If you define active as "lots of posts", then the community isn't very active. If you define active as "I get answers that solve my problems", then the community is sufficiently active.

Nintendo's Wii U

I don't know much about it, but generally speaking, your first games will suck anyways, so it's more important to get the game out and work continuously than to look for Wii U support. It certainly is possible, but I wouldn't focus on it at first.

Will I learn in the process like I hope to?

For sure. Games usually have so many challenging aspects that you always learn something. For that, you need an engine that allows you to focus on core mechanics, which at the same time isn't as bloated as bigger engines. With Impact, you don't need to worry much about how to draw on a canvas or how to play sound in a browser. Your projects get a very basic structure from Impact. But you have enough opportunity to build your own modules, to learn more about software architecture, specific algorithms (path finding for example).

In this forum and on github, there are tons of plugins that help you to get an idea of how to do things if you're stuck.

How easy/difficult is it to make a game available for Android or iOS?

See Wii U: Shouldn't be your main concern at first. Don't know about Android, but iOS: You just stick your game in a folder in Ejecta and you're done. It's very easy. Might require a few adjustments with controls etc. but this is a no-brainer.

Also, read this to understand the Wii U / iOS point I try to make ;) http://www.gamedev.net/page/resources/_/technical/game-programming/how-do-i-make-games-a-path-to-game-development-r892

5 years ago by Nightowljrm

Thank you for your response! Very thorough.

As long as help is available - because I know I'll need it - that is sufficient activity for me.

You make very good points relating to publishing on Wii U, iOS, and Android. I read the article you linked me to, it was very good. I just thought I'd ask, especially regarding Wii U, because ultimately, I'd love to create a 2D action platformer for Wii U. But you are absolutely correct: one step at a time. Start small.

5 years ago by chimera

Another prospect user here, I registered to get an opinion from what looks like a great community of devs here. Not looking to overturn your thread OP but any answers here might help you out as well ^_^.

I have previously been working with Phaser which I found extremely easy to get started with, and have been thinking of switching to Java/LibGDX to work with a better OOP language and better cross platform compatibility.

My question is whether or not any devs here have tried either of those game frameworks/libraries above and how they compare to Impact. LibGDX lets you use Java and compile to multiple devices and is free. Having to take extra time to include Ejecta into the flow seems like a bit of a hassle if you wanted to port your game to iOS.

5 years ago by Apiheld

I haven't worked with Java/LibGDX, but I don't see the point. Also, you're comparing an HTML5 engine with something that's supposed to run native (and must be installed). The beauty of Impact or any HTML5 engine is that it runs in a browser.

It entirely depends on you and the scope of your game. Before I go with Java, I'd probably use Unity.

Having to take extra time to include Ejecta into the flow seems like a bit of a hassle if you wanted to port your game to iOS.

1. Do you think compiling Java/LibGDX to iOS works right away?

2. Please, go and download Ejecta now (it's open source, you don't need Impact for it) and try to port one of your Phaser games to iOS with it. Using Ejecta is as complicated as copying your game.js to one folder and writing one line of code that includes this file. Done.

switching to Java/LibGDX to work with a better OOP language and better cross platform compatibility

Again, I don't see a better cross-platform compatibility than JavaScript. If you don't like coding in JS, that's an entirely different matter. It depends on a) what you enjoy and b) what makes you most productive. The gamers don't care if your game was written in Java, JavaScript or OCaml.

5 years ago by dungeonmaster

If
(You have spent >100$ on any nice to have things in the last few months like Coffee Lattes, nth good-looking T-Shirt, 2nd pair of already existing shoes, a nice game, a new gadget, a cool kickstarter, fundraiser etc..)

AND

(You are spending average > 5 hours a week for game development in any form)

{
Just buy impact, without a second thought.
}

else if

(you are sort of short on money but still can spare the 99$)

AND

(You are serious on 2D game dev and already using another HTML5/Javascript library)

AND

(You think that that library could have been better in this or that way)

{
Just buy impactjs. It's solid.
}

else

{
Try Unity or other free libs. Come back in a few months to see if above holds true that time.
}

5 years ago by chimera

Thank you guys for your replies, you really are very happy with Impact.js and I am thinking I will make the purchase to start developing with it. I don't dislike javascript, in fact I am more familiar with javascript than I am Java, I just saw Java as a good next language to learn and the next step for me.

Another question though, through Ejecta you can build for iOS, what are most of you using right now to port to Android? I think Phaser devs were using CocoonJS to cross build to different platforms.

5 years ago by FelipeBudinich

I'm using Cocoon, it's the most painless option at the moment.

I wasted a lot of money on App Mobi android solution, before they went free, and then when Intel bought them their solution performance went down awfully (it's now called Intel XDK)

5 years ago by drhayes

Hey chimera, I'd be remiss if I didn't point you at PandaJS. I've heard it called "the open-source ImpactJS".

I don't actually think it's that similar once you get past the module format, but you should check it out if you're worried about your $99.

But, seriously: JS is the most cross-platform language in the history of computing. By installed runtime it is the most popular language in the world. It runs on everything, usually with enough performance to run a 2d game.

JS gives you access to WebGL (and... SHADERS!!!), a limited form of OpenGL, arguably the most cross-platform graphics library in the world.

Apiheld is right: gamers won't care as long as the game's good. But these are my reasons for being very comfortable being a JS gamedev for the forseeable future. Wanting to learn another language and using gamedev to do it seems pretty reasonable to me. ( =
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