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#1 OMGCarlos

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 06:10 AM

I'm working on getting an together online GML library similar to Microsofts Developer Network (MSDN) aptly named the GMDN. Basically it's a redesigned help manual with online interactive demos (using GMHTML5) with downloadable sources, tutorials, and more [eventually]. There are over 875 commands in GMHTML5 alone ._. so it'll take a while. An example of the format I'm using is http://afoobar.com/g...ns/browserwidth

Just wanted to know if this is something the community would be interested in, as it's a lot of work!

 
What is it?
aFoobar.com is all about being your tour guide as you climb the harrowing learning curve, about being more of a field guide for those who want to explore the path less traveled, and to be included in your toolset as you pioneer new GameMaker territory. aFoobar.com still hasn't matured yet, so that's why I need you! With your help we can give that tour guide the energy they need to keep going, add extra pages to that field guide, and include a few extra nuts and bolts in that toolset!

How you can help
GameMaker is all about creating games quickly and easily, and although the learning curve is lower than other languages out there the fact remains that there is a learning curve.

Helping out couldn't be easier! Simply copy/paste the following code into the reply box (or PM me) and fill in the blanks. If you've got a demo you can either post a link to the demo or email it to me as an attachment. Then I'll give it the proper format and create the article. Easy!

Spoiler


and what it would look like when you post it:
Spoiler


Finally - that will get turned into this => http://afoobar.com/g...ns/browserwidth

Any feedback, comments, criticisms just reply back here or PM me :) Thank you!!!

Edited by OMGCarlos, 07 October 2011 - 05:51 PM.

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#2 BlaXun

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 10:28 AM

Sounds really pomising and I dont know why anybody would NOT want this.
Seems like a lot of work though.... are you alone on this project?
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#3 TGMG

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 12:02 PM

That is a really good site OMGCarlos, very useful indeed :biggrin: I really hope you continue this, i'm guessing it will be a sort of wiki thing that anybody can contribute too?
Since there is alot of pages to write you could have a sort of uservoice like system where people can suggest commands they want documented the most and people can vote them up, allowing the site to have the most useful content as soon as possible.

Although I do find the light grey text headings a bit hard to read, but that is very minor. Keep going it looks great!
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#4 FlatLander

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 12:36 PM

Good idea but an awful lot of work.


...
Since there is alot of pages to write you could have a sort of uservoice like system where people can suggest commands they want documented the most and people can vote them up, allowing the site to have the most useful content as soon as possible.
...

Another good idea!
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#5 OMGCarlos

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 01:46 PM

Whoa thanks for the input!
@BlaXun - It's just me right now, but I'm hiring a small team soon-ish

@TGMG - Definitely, I want to include a wiki-like system in the future but since I'm just starting out it would actually be too much work for right now. The uservoice system is an awesome idea, I'll implement that tonight. I'll darken the titles a bit tonight as well, but I feel like it's less distracting that way.
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#6 Rossay

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 02:05 PM

A really good idea!

It's going to be a lot of work but I think a resource like that would be highly beneficial.
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#7 Dark Matter

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 09:31 PM

Yeah, I'm just going to repeat everyone else. This sounds great, as long as people are up for the work. The canvas should be located inside the page - you shouldn't have to go to a separate one. Secondly, when you highlight code, it shouldn't highlight the line numbers. Thirdly, the F logo is not quite right. At the bottom of the F, it needs to curve more gradually. The pages are inconsistent too - some have the "Run example" directly over the other and on some, they're in separate tabs. I don't see what the need for ratings are. Finally, GMDN should be "GameMakers'", not "GameMakers".

Apart from that, good idea :P
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#8 funQuedDelik

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 09:44 PM

Cool, might help me out. Sept every GML example I've ever read is vague and unhelpful. I only managed to learn GML after a LOT of trial and error. Seems that's all you get when you use GameMaker. A list of what you can do and how it might work. Then you have to figure the rest out yourself.

Hopefully you(and your team) won't do this. Love that this came up after my unviewed, unreplied thread on a related subject. @_@ Still waiting for answers.

Edited by funQuedDelik, 04 October 2011 - 09:46 PM.

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#9 OMGCarlos

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 10:02 PM

Whoa lot's of input:
* The idea about the canvas is a really good one. I didn't even consider that to be honest!
* I'll fix the code highlight issue. You should be able to click the copy button and be fine, but I'll try to fix that soon-ish
* You must have OCD to notice the weird curve :P believe me it's been bothering me for a year (I used to do web development under the same brand)
* I'm constantly updating the format around to see which one has the best "flow". For the GMDN to work consistency is key, but there needs to be a certain flow in order to make it really work well. For the next week or so it'll be changed around as I figure out the optimum layout
* Fixed the other issues you touched on

All your input was great, if you find anything else definitely let me know :)

[edit]
funQuedDelik - Yea that's the whole point of the GMDN, to provide examples ect. I'm actually working alone for the next 2 weeks or so, so it will be a little bit on the slow side for getting updates up. After that I should we should be able to document commands at a rate of 50-75 per week until completion. It will take a bit before it fully matures.

Edited by OMGCarlos, 04 October 2011 - 10:05 PM.

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#10 funQuedDelik

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 11:42 PM

The GM community is pretty huge. I'm sure you can find a few people to help out. I'd volunteer but I find it hard to make time for creating games as it is. @_@
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#11 Dark Matter

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 09:10 AM

* You must have OCD to notice the weird curve :P believe me it's been bothering me for a year (I used to do web development under the same brand)

Haha. I just like logo design, so I notice things like that :P

Another couple of things I noticed - the "foo = browser_width" should probably have a semi-colon on the end:
foo = browser_width;
I know it's not necessary, but it makes it look cleaner and more like other programming languages (you've put it on browser_height, funnily enough, but not browser_width).

Secondly, on the browser_width page, it has "parameters" and "return values". As it is a variable rather than a function, these are not needed. You just need the variable type.

Also, the spacing on the browser_width/height pages is different.

On the browser_width page you've written "Get's the width" rather than "Gets the width". On browser_height, the remarks aren't in that red box. Also, the text is different. It should be exactly the same as browser_height, just with "height" instead of "width". On browser_height, you've got links to the window_ functions, but you haven't on browser_width.

The browser_ function shouldn't be under "YoYo functions" they should be under "HTML Variables" or something like that.

That's all I noticed for now :P

Edited by Dark Matter, 05 October 2011 - 09:18 AM.

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#12 OMGCarlos

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 06:47 PM

http://afoobar.com/g...ns/browserwidth

That addresses pretty much every single issue you covered. Your sense of hyper-perceptiveness is scaring me...in a good way!

I spent the last 8 straight hours redesigning the layout which you can see in the above link. I pretty much covered every single issue Dark Matter touched on (minus one or two for the moment), so if you find anything else in the future let me know. I WILL take it into consideration (obsessively so :P ). The new layout allows me to put more information into a smaller space and making it functional, although I might keep the syntax tab in it's own box so users can keep it open. The idea Dark Matter had about loading the Demo inside the page looks great! Unfortunately, it breaks the cursor - when you hover your mouse over a link it doesn't change the cursor at all. I can't figure out if that's an iFrame thing or a GMHTML5 thing so I might make a button that lets you load the demo instead of auto-loading it.

-----> If anyone wants to help me let me know either by PMing me or posting here, I'll send you a template and instructions on how to submit the article. It's actually pretty easy to do, educational, fun, and you will be helping the entire community as a whole! You can submit an article, demo, example, or any combination of these. Until I figure out a safe system to allow people to create and edit pages directly from the site like a Wiki, I'll ask for help using that method. Let me know what article you are working on so you don't accidentally work on one someone else is (articles only, for demos and examples the more the merrier)!

All submitters will get their name, website, and twitter (or whatever else) displayed at the top of the article. If you submit 5+ articles/demos/examples I'll make you an special page where you can put your bio, links to your personal sites/demos/projects, and whatever else you'd like as an incentive. My goal is to get every command documented like the above link by January 1st...

Oh...and GMHTML5 only for the moment. I'll tackle GM8+ next year.

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#13 BlaXun

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 06:50 PM

Wow. Really awesome. The layout is great ....and the information is great too.

I'd liek to help...however, I am kinda lazy... damn... if there is a easy way to do this via a template form or something I'd consider it.

Seriously, a really really awesome project you got going there.
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#14 Dark Matter

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 09:09 PM

I can't access your website at the moment, but I'll keep checking it.
When you say just GM:HTML5, is that limited to exclusive HTML functions or every one included in GM:HTML5 (which is also every GM8 one)? Because if it's just HTML, that list will probably be quite small.
I'd be happy to help with the documentation, if you'd show me how. I think it's a great project idea :D

Edited by Dark Matter, 05 October 2011 - 09:09 PM.

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#15 OMGCarlos

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 05:32 AM

To BlaXun and everyone else: I really appreciate the feedback, it definitely helps me through the monotonous moments. Especially when I'm still up at 1:30am working on it with class in 6 hours lol.

Dark Matter: No I definitely mean all of the GMHTML5 commands. I meant I wanted to focus on the ones that are supported in GMHTML5 (I think there are about 1-200+ commands that are exclusive to GM8, just by comparing the two lists of commands I have).

I setup an official "Help Request" page here -> http://afoobar.com/g...sc/help-needed. The file uploader is on the right. I'll update this again in about 8 or so hours when I wake up and sit through my class, but for the moment all the information can be found there. Now that the layout is finalized (see http://afoobar.com/g...ns/browserwidth ) I'm excited to see how this project turns out!

Thanks again for the comments everyone :)
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#16 Dark Matter

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 05:53 AM

Nicer layout. When you have hyperlinks within a "Remember" box, it cannot be seen very well though (because it's orange).
Secondly, on the help page, it should be "To do" not "Todo".
I'll start working on a few pages soon. I should be able to get a fair few done, I'd think.
I'd also been nice to have a section with all the completed pages on it too.

EDIT: So are we simply uploading a text file for you, with the content on?
Also, I think the format GM:HTML5 is better than GMHTML5.
On certain pages, the GMDN menu doesn't expand properly.
Not all the code pages conform to the same style.

EDIT 2: It wouldn't allow me to upload a .rtf, so I'm not really sure what you want us to do...

Edited by Dark Matter, 06 October 2011 - 03:56 PM.

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#17 OMGCarlos

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 07:29 PM

* Between school and work I wasn't able to update all the current pages to the new layout yet, so only two are current. The rest plus a few extra should be completed by tonight!
* I'll fix the todo immediately, thanks for catching that.
* I also agree with adding the colon to GMHTML5, I'll square that away tonight.
* I plan on having a page similar to the help manuals keyword index eventually. But for the time being I just use the GMDN main page (clicking on the menu)
* Speaking of GMDN I noticed that it doesn't display in the navigation tracker too. That's not an obvious fix for me, so I'll put that off for a little bit

I fixed the uploader, I had it set so that it could only upload .zip files as a security measure. Now zip, rar, rtf, and txt are supported. This is only a temporary way of uploaded the content until I can come up with a safe on-site editor which could take some time. If for whatever reason it doesn't work you can email it to me at "omgcarlos" at "afoobar.com" I apologize for the inconvenience and awkward way of submitting the articles, but until I can find a good way to allow on-site editing this is the best I can do.

btw - your signature banner cracks me up everytime!

Edited by OMGCarlos, 06 October 2011 - 07:43 PM.

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#18 Schalk

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 11:30 PM

This looks really well done.

Just one thing, it might be better to make:
//Change the size of the canvas
if mouse_check_button_released(mb_left){
   isFullscreen *= -1;  //Change between fullscreen and standard
    
    //Change the canvas size
    if isFullscreen = 1 {
        window_set_rectangle(0,0,browser_width, browser_height);
        //Note: view ports must also be resized
        view_wport[0] = browser_width;
        view_hport[0] = browser_height;
    } else {
        window_set_rectangle(0,0, 100, 100);
        view_wport[0] = 100;
        view_hport[0] = 100;
    }
}

//Change the size of the canvas
if (mouse_check_button_released(mb_left)){
   isFullscreen = !isFullscreen;  //Change between fullscreen and standard
    
    //Change the canvas size
    if (isFullscreen) {
        window_set_rectangle(0,0,browser_width, browser_height);
        //Note: view ports must also be resized
        view_wport[0] = browser_width;
        view_hport[0] = browser_height;
    } else {
        window_set_rectangle(0,0, 100, 100);
        view_wport[0] = 100;
        view_hport[0] = 100;
    }
}

Or maybe that's just how I like it :/
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#19 Dark Matter

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 05:49 AM

Or maybe that's just how I like it :/

Possibly slightly better, yeah.
On another note, we should probably decide on a string format that we all conform to. I prefer C-styled strings: "This is a string.", but I see you've been using the single quotation mark style: 'This is a string.'...
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#20 Schalk

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 06:11 AM


Or maybe that's just how I like it :/

Possibly slightly better, yeah.
On another note, we should probably decide on a string format that we all conform to. I prefer C-styled strings: "This is a string.", but I see you've been using the single quotation mark style: 'This is a string.'...

Agreed. It would be nice to see the use of more standard methods, by that I mean.

if (condition) {
}
not
if condition {
}

if (a == 5 && b == 6) {
}
not
if (a = 5 and b = 6) {
}

show_message("Hello World");
not
show_message('Hello World');

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#21 OMGCarlos

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 06:16 AM

@Schalk - Done! I didn't actually know about the "var = !var;" shorthand. I was going to keep it "var *= -1;" just because it actually is shorter but after considering it I realized that actually the ! shorthand is cleaner code - so I'm adopting it. Nice catch

Dark Matter - I noticed the same thing while I was converting the old format over. I'll go in and convert them all to double quotes after I post this. I'll also edit the funky code highlighting to match the one in GM8 because I personally hate the new IDE. I'll upload the css file for it in my other post incase anyone finds a need for it.

I didn't have work or school today, and I legitimately spent since 7am to right now (2am) working on cleaning up the format and working on some server code but I'm excited to say that all the hard part is done. To prevent myself from burning out, I'm restricting myself to writing 10 articles a day which is actually rather easy now that the format is set in stone. This allows me to meet my goal of having the entire GML library ported online by New Years.

[edit]
Schalk just saw your last post. Again, I didn't know that GameMaker supported the use of the c operators. I'll definitely switch over tomorrow. I'll keep the downloadable source code as is though, that's overkill, but I'll definitely adjust all the on-site code people see!

Edited by OMGCarlos, 07 October 2011 - 06:20 AM.

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#22 Schalk

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 06:27 AM

Good job with the work you are putting in. It's appreciated :)
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#23 Dark Matter

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 03:32 PM

I agree for the most part, but I think it's better to use and and or, etc. than && and ||.
Also, no use of then and true/false should be used instead of 1/0.
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#24 OMGCarlos

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 04:54 PM

I've been doing some examples and I actually don't like the && || operators, here's why. The GMDN is designed to be used as a reference for beginners and a source for new ideas for experienced users. While experienced users may find the && || == second nature to read, I feel it may be a bit too cryptic for the newbies. I personally like it and will use it in my own work, but for readability - especially for the new guys - the literal operators (and, or) makes more sense.

I don't know if I agree with not using then. I feel it's clearer to read:
if (keyboard_check_pressed(vk_up)) then dir = 0;
if (keyboard_check_pressed(vk_right)) then dir = 1;
if (keyboard_check_pressed(vk_down)) then dir = 2;
if (keyboard_check_pressed(vk_left)) then dir = 3;
over:
if (keyboard_check_pressed(vk_up)) { dir = 0; }
if (keyboard_check_pressed(vk_right)) { dir = 1; }
if (keyboard_check_pressed(vk_down)) { dir = 2; }
if (keyboard_check_pressed(vk_left)) { dir = 3; }
or even any of these:
if (keyboard_check_pressed(vk_up)) {
     dir = 0;
}
if (keyboard_check_pressed(vk_right)) {
    dir = 1;
}
if (keyboard_check_pressed(vk_down))
{
    dir = 2;
}
if (keyboard_check_pressed(vk_left))
{
    dir = 3;
}
Problem is, usually people don't read an entire article. In fact, people will usually stay on a page for only a few seconds so it's important that the reader can just glance at the code and move on - if it wasn't what they were looking for. But I agree with using true/false as it helps reinforce that a variable is a boolean and not something that should operated on

Edited by OMGCarlos, 07 October 2011 - 04:59 PM.

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#25 Dark Matter

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 05:00 PM

then does absolutely nothing. It's simply for people who cannot learn how to switch from English to a programming language. You can do:
if (keyboard_check_pressed(vk_up)) dir = 0;
if (keyboard_check_pressed(vk_right)) dir = 1;
if (keyboard_check_pressed(vk_down)) dir = 2;
if (keyboard_check_pressed(vk_left)) dir = 3;
You don't need then at all.
The third example is best, simply because it's formatted much more nicely, although you can omit the curly brackets in this case, as it's only executing a single statement after the if.
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#26 OMGCarlos

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 05:11 PM

Good point! Still I'll have to consider it and see what other people feel. To me 'then' separates the conditional statement from the execution statement - kind of like using punctuation. Sure you can read a run-on sentence, but the punctuations help separate one statement/thought from another.

Oh this is for if...then with only one statement after it. I never use 'then' in conjunction with {} , maybe I should change that?
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#27 Dark Matter

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 05:24 PM

Good point! Still I'll have to consider it and see what other people feel. To me 'then' separates the conditional statement from the execution statement - kind of like using punctuation. Sure you can read a run-on sentence, but the punctuations help separate one statement/thought from another.

Oh this is for if...then with only one statement after it. I never use 'then' in conjunction with {} , maybe I should change that?

Well, then is not used in any languages like C, so it seems rather pointless. If we're generally formatting things logically, so they'd potentially be easy to transfer to other languages (although I know that's not the point), it'd be better to leave it out.
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#28 OMGCarlos

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 06:01 PM

Ok I'll definitely talk it over!

Also, I set up the article submission form on the first post if anyone is interested. That way you can do everything from right here instead of downloading something, then uploading it, etc much MUCH easier! As long as the mods don't have a problem with it otherwise I'll take down the help request on the first post no sweat.

Oh...and there is no pressure to write an article for anyone who's posted so far. None at all. My goal is to have the entire GMDN up and running by January 1st, which at a rate of 10 articles a day I could easily do. If you have an example, or want to add something to an existing article you can post it here or just leave a comment on the articles page (very easy to do, no email/etc required to comment).
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#29 Dark Matter

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 06:14 PM

I'd like to help. I did write one function, but didn't get around to uploading it. I'll do a few tomorrow. However, doesn't this mean you won't get examples if we just post here? Will you make them yourself or just leave them out?

Edited by Dark Matter, 07 October 2011 - 06:15 PM.

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#30 OMGCarlos

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 09:10 PM

I had to take down my uploader because someone was abusing it this morning and honestly maintaining that is not a priority right now, so instead you can use a file service like http://easy-share.com/ - they don't even require an e-mail which is nice. You can then just PM/post the link to the example
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