My opinion about the minigames & undocumented functions

Description: Subforum dedicated to SMBX-38A - a fan-made remake of the original SMBX Engine, made by 5438A38A.
Forum rules: This is official Europan/American community for the SMBX-38A. Suggested to don't post stuff for this engine outside this subforum.
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Post #1by Lx Xzit » 7 Feb 2017, 12:36

There is something that I'd like to discuss for a long time, but in an appropriate way (I do not know why nobody made a post about this yet). Before to starting, I want to clarify that I am not in favor of the community of SMBX 2.0, and that I feel a lot of respect for 5438A38A, I am sorry if at some point I became disrespectful and offensive since it is really not my intention. I still have time to do this because SMBX 1.4.4 has not been released, so there's no time to waste! hopefully this topic can make a difference, I'd love that 5438A38A read this topic completely, because this topic is focused on something that only he can change. :)

This is a little personal reflecion. What I want to talk about is the way 5438A38A hide us important things and limite us for growing as a community. I want to talk about is undocumented information (like keypress) and the secret functions that are unlockable through beating the mini-games, and explain why hidding these do a great damage to the community and why in my sincerely opinion should not be hidden. Not long ago, I tried to recreate a function that when an NPC is in the water it acted differently, then I tried to make a somewhat complicated and unstable system just to recreate this, some time later I discovered that I could have saved a lot of work using the undocumented ("secret") function called ".inwater", this frustrated me. Another example of how this has hurt other users: Once, someone worked very hard trying to recreate arrays in SMBX 1.4, when he did, he discovered that this function was already in the game but it had to be unlocked with a mini game, which was really frustrating. There's another example, recently someone told me that he was going to abandon SMBX 1.4 because he was frustrated that there was so much hidden information that did not let him to work very well on his own projects. These are just a few examples of how to hidding information and the secret functions has harmed us, I have known of several cases in which users abandon their projects because they believe that X function does not exist, but in fact, this function do exits but it have to be unlocked or is not documented.

I discovered that there was a minigame that unlocked some "special events", one of these events lets you troggle the switches. I will take this example as a reference, to demonstrate why it is not good to hide functions overall. This event is very useful, but because X user don't know this function do exists, he will have to recreate it in a more complex way through layers, events, scripts, etc. Why this function can't just be accessible by default? What I try to say is that users are working harder than they should because they do not have access to certain functions, which only creates an unnecessary barrier and limits the community. Other example: there is an important function that is not accessible by default (you have to play and beat a minigame to unlock it), this function is player the player gfx-off sets (which I discovered because another user told me). Do you know how many graphics I left unmade because this function is not accessible? and I've seen people who abandon their graphics of playable characters because they can not access this function. Sometimes, people ask me how to do X thing I have to reply "you can't, you have to beat a minigame first" which reminds me how frustracting is do not have access to certain functions.

What I want to achieve is that, nowadays nobody has time to beat difficult mini-games, or no one has a rea interest them, so why hide functions that nobody (aside from the creator) will be able to access? Here is another example: Since SMBX 1.4.1 was released we found some minigames, until today nobody has been able to solve even the half of them, since as I said earlier, nobody has time to solve them or they are "impossible". If 5438A38A wants the community to do great things, he should not restrict us by this way, if this continues like this the only thing that will happen is that people will continue trying to recreate super complicated functions that could be easily doable with secret functions, functions which nobody will unlock never, or they will try to kill themselves to simulate a complicated script because X function is indocumented (like happened to me with inwater function, or the case of "keypress", I left many projects for not knowing about this function). If this continues, things are going to get worse... why limit the community to doing great things in this way? What is the point? In short, I really would like the secret functions to be in the game by default and that all scripting functions be documented, so the community can develop great stuff.

Again, my sincerely apologuies, I just wanted to express my opinion and tried to do it in the most precise and correct way possible, whatever it be the decision of 5438A38A for future versions, I will respect it. :)
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Catskart M
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Post #2by Catskart » 7 Feb 2017, 22:40

Lx Xzit wrote:Again, my sincerely apologuies, I just wanted to express my opinion and tried to do it in the most precise and correct way possible, whatever it be the decision of 5438A38A for future versions, I will respect it. :)

You don't have to be apologuies, I'm not happy at all about those unusefuls things.
In the 1.4.2 before the release of 1.4.3, there are a lot undocumented things and some hard minigames, because of that I planned to move in Gdevelop, I beggan to use it where I made an early platformer.

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Post #3by PK Esper » 10 Feb 2017, 12:54

TL;DR.

To be honest, I haven't use the hidden functions though especially for my episode. Because let's say the Math Minigame (i hate maths), what in the earth with the number and unicode is this. Why would it crash when to use um.. the calculator app for example, it's not fair though. Kind of frustrating :vava:
I would like to see if more functions and miscellaneous stuffs was in the document. I would support 38A for a few updates, things and bugfixes(?) rather than NPC suggestions what I expected that 38A couldn't implement it by the way.
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