Dealing with "novices" abusing the Q&A: We need less spoonfeeding

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Alessio

Guest
That's another question, indeed, that i wanted to ask: why are video-tutorials so popular indeed? Everyone recommends them. But someone may prefer them, even written tutorials can be bad.
 
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Rekka

Guest
I prefer examples,I no it sounds lazy,but prototyping is so much faster+ I can use the principles/skills I learned from them to use in many games.It's saved me many forum posts.
 

SnoutUp

Member
This is a lot of text being written for and about people, who sadly will never read it. It was probably mentioned multiple times in this thread, so I would like to [repeatedly] point out, that it is not possible to stop beginners from "beginning", but this forum could have a "beginners" or "help!" section to keep general programming subforum cleaner. Not sure what was the reasoning for losing "Programming Q&A", which had "Advanced" section in GMC.

Or we can purge them ALL! Muhahaha!
 
As a newb myself, i find scripting very confusing, and although i agree with OP, i simply cannot understand coding, enough to do something from scratch. 99% of youtube tutorials arent exactly tutorials, as those tutors dont explain but just type, forcing us newbs just to copy learning nothing in process. As a family man with a full time job i cant just drop everything to enroll in a coding course or something similar. here in Australia, we dont have too many choices when it comes to night courses.
Have you tried the tutorials that come packaged with GM? They're very good, I think.
 

FrostyCat

Member
That's another question, indeed, that i wanted to ask: why are video-tutorials so popular indeed? Everyone recommends them. But someone may prefer them, even written tutorials can be bad.
They got popular not because they taught adequately, but because:
  • They provided constant visual stimulation.
  • They had plenty of ready-to-copy material.
  • They enabled "visual learning style" excuses.
  • They centred around topics with immediate, tangible outcomes.
  • They catered to what novices want, instead of what novices need.
For a generation notorious for poor literacy, distraction, overdiagnosed learning disorders and instant gratification, the popularity of video tutorials is no surprise.

What gets really troubling is how the written-video divide encourages two self-closed and self-enabling cycles. People who learn basics outside video tutorials write about it, while people who learn non-basics without basics from videos make videos about it. So the video side of the divide retains the weakness of not grasping basics.

You're right, written tutorials can suck too. I'm no stranger to writing scathing reviews on GM books and written tutorials, and the most commonly cited criticism is poor proofreading. But once the choice of topic and proofreading are done right, a written tutorial can be delivered perfectly every time. A lot of real-time faults that don't apply to written tutorials can and do compromise video tutorials.

Preferring video tutorials is fine, some of them are still strong learning aids. It's the automatic and exclusive preference for video tutorials that I find fault with. Anyone who turns away valid instructions just because they are written is a video-mongering illiterate.
 

Mnementh

Member
GMC Elder
One thing I haven't seen mentioned in this topic is that it's not only the people asking questions who are young or inexperienced - pretty frequently the people answering questions are similar.

From my experience on the forum you can generally tell when a user really doesn't know where/how to start and when a user is just being lazy or demanding. Just use common sense?
I'm not sure my experience is the same. One prototypical topic is "Please help me to X, I tried but it didn't work" with no other information. My response to that is, "What have you tried?", and I feel like in a surprising number of cases, the poster has gone on to give a reasonable description of their efforts (but maybe I'm just suffering from perspective). It's not that they hadn't tried, it's just that they didn't know how to ask questions, which has been pretty frequently mentioned in this topic.

They got popular not because they taught adequately, but because:
I think another factor is that video tutorials are relatively easy to make.
 
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Alessio

Guest
The problem is with the teachers, not with the medium you use. I personally prefer written guides than video tutorials but if the teacher is good they can teach it right either with videos or written pages.
The problem with guides for GML is that most are either too simplistic that don't go beyond the blatant rectangle jumping and moving around or things that are way too insane to grasp for a beginner.
 

Vxss57

Member
Have you tried the tutorials that come packaged with GM? They're very good, I think.
I have followed "heartbeast" tutorials on youtube and i have no problem understanding what he is doing, i can follow quite easily, however i just cant do anything on my own from scratch, without following a video. Thats most likely because i dont have basic knowledge of scripting. I have started looking at index list on main page.
 
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McWolke

Guest
YouTube tutorials are not there to teach you how to code, but to teach you the idea behind how to code GAMES, at least in my opinion.
I started studying Computer Science one year ago and programmed some stuff in Java (some little things to learn, chess, hangman, bomberman), but i had no idea how to code games in GameMaker.
i watched tutorials and slowly understood the idea how to create certain things, i found functions i didn't know they existed and learned how GameMaker works.
HeartBeasts tutorials are a nice way to understand these kind of stuffs, but you shouldn't expect to learn how to code by watching his tutorials, since he doesn't explain the coding itself, or at least not in a way how it should be, if you wanted to learn coding in general.
i wouldn't start making a Game without knowing how to code in general, but that's just me, and GameMaker is kinda designed for people who can't code, so people without knowledge about coding are going to watch these tutorials and won't learn a thing from it, then they will come here and ask their basic programming questions.

so what am i trying to say?
YouTube tutorials are nice for people who can code, but don't know a thing about GameMaker. but they are bad for people who can't code.
 

RangerX

Member
I have followed "heartbeast" tutorials on youtube and i have no problem understanding what he is doing, i can follow quite easily, however i just cant do anything on my own from scratch, without following a video. Thats most likely because i dont have basic knowledge of scripting. I have started looking at index list on main page.
That's the main problem with many video tutorials. They don't teach nothing. They just tell what is it that your see on screen and you, you follow. Then it works. Then your learned nothing, back to square one.
It's like watching someone writing a sentence in a language you don't know. After you done following, try to compose a sentence now? You need to first know the basics, how to structure the language and then get some vocabulary.
Learning a programming language is just like learning a language. There's not that many ways for doing it.
 

ParodyKnaveBob

The Laughing Rogue
One thing I haven't seen mentioned in this topic is that it's not only the people asking questions who are young or inexperienced - pretty frequently the people answering questions are similar.
Can people answering the questions do a better job? [snip]
  1. If the old-hats can [snip]
  2. Don't forget that some new-to-intermediate-hats will wind up saying "here's the entire answer yaay!!" because they saw the question as a challenge, and they worked it out (perhaps for the first time just then), and they're glad and totally want to help someone else with what they found to be a big deal not long ago (or currently!) themselves ("advanced to them").
$:^ }

...and since I'm here, hey, @Lonewolff, you were a page late. $}^ D

- Bob
 
I have followed "heartbeast" tutorials on youtube and i have no problem understanding what he is doing, i can follow quite easily, however i just cant do anything on my own from scratch, without following a video. Thats most likely because i dont have basic knowledge of scripting. I have started looking at index list on main page.
So you haven't done any of the built-in tutorials, right? The youtube tutorials are tempting, because they're like "make an RPG in FIVE EASY STEPS!!!!", but they're not a the best place to start if you don't even know GML yet. Go through the tutorials that come with GameMaker, and skim through the manual. You're trying to build a puzzle without even knowing what pieces you have to work with. Doing the text tutorials and reading the manual is a pain in the ass, but I promise you it's time well spent. Things that are confusing and hard to you now are going to make you think "how was this ever difficult for me?!" after you know the basics. =)
 

Llama_Code

Member
Video tutorials do a great job of showing you how to do something without explaining the basics or the underlying reason why you do it, and that why you don't really learn from them. By the end of the video you may have built something, but you just followed along without understanding what your doing or why your doing it. You may very well be able to build that exact thing again all by yourself. Problem is that no two game are alike, so when you start your next project your going to be lost.

The best teacher I have ever seen here was Carl Gustafsson, he did an excellent job of explaining not only what you did, by why as well. Following his tutorials he would often have you do something that worked but wasn't ideal, then later have you change to the better way and then explain the reasoning, and it showed you that hey, there are often multiple ways of doing things but not all ways are ideal for all situations, and the while you may make something that works you can probably improve it.

With most videos it's more like paint by number. Yes you have a painting when your done but you didn't really paint it you just followed along. And most the time the paint doesent cover the numbers so it's obvious.
 

Bingdom

Googledom
I would like to share my experience on how i learned and developed games with game maker. :D

1st month
Really hard for me to understand anything, struggling to remember codes, confused about the 'with' and other useful functions. My main source of learning was watching some of Shaun's (Asteroids, Menus) and Heartbeast's (RPG, some others) videos. After following a couple of Shaun's asteroid videos (where i started), i was able to remember how to do the movement and shooting but most of the time i couldn't remember the way how i should structure my code (but it was a very good learning exercise), whenever i tried to get into more complicated stuff, I'd use the manual a lot for a reminder to what certain code does what. This was the point when i started to work on my first game. (RTS Tank wars, you can find on the forums).

2nd month
I was starting to get the hang of Game maker, understanding how step events work, (room_speed, event start, event end, etc.) The manual then became a great source of information, and i googled heaps on how to do this and that. I took a look at particles, it was very overwhelming, and i didnt understand how to set it up(watched a video about particles, read the manual about it). I began working on my second game(Pixel Kingdom Builder), but my first game was still my main project because I found my first game much easier to continue on, due to the fact that i was used to the code and it was a good reminder.

3+ months
Started to program efficiently, storing id's and strings into variables, saving/loading, the manual and google was pretty much my main source of information, i'd watch some video tutorials here and there to help me do certain things.

From my experiences, videos was a high priority when i was first starting out. It gave me a better understanding how i should set up things, how your code should be structured, why you should do that, and helped with the 'where to start' scenario. After a few weeks of videos, i was capable of 'branching out' as in, Googling how to do this and that while understanding it and finding functions in the manual. It really depends on how the person teaches in the video, some people say 'Do this, and it will work' (which is probably not even considered as teaching). While others will actually explain with a visual presentation.
 

Sabnock

Member
As a novice GMS'er it's nice to think that if i have an issue i am struggling with that i have a solid and friendly community to turn to. and to date that has been the case.

I agree that the first port of call should be to read the manual (i haven't read it all tbh) and or that wonderful resource that is Google or Youtube and every one should do the tutorials before rushing headlong into a project. but sometimes your just looking for the quick answer and if people are willing to help and it's not the most basic of queries like a += 1 then why not.

Perhaps there should be a novice forum page for people who have little or no knowledge of using D&D / GML rather than have an aloof attitude to it and remember that we all started knowing not a lot and probably asked some questions that would now be considered "Read the manual" worthy ;)

People of knowledge could then read that and assist if they want or not as the case maybe?
 
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MarcC

Guest
Tutorials on basic programming and GM theory are sorely needed, but the current video-mongering fad is a major obstacle to realizing their potential.
As a long time old fart talking about how the 'new 'fads are destroying society, started to agree with the well intentioned OP of this thread, but also, the wiser old fart also noted that the previous generations fads became mainstream (web pages with structured info, new fangled garbage, who needs that, me 25 years ago [citation needed but sadly, just another unreferenced pub grumble])

The OP lost a couple of kudos points delving into a political rant listing (his/her) reasons why the dislike of the current fad is a dislike; this doesn't really fit into the thread, and there's a ton of proof to contradict the worthlessness of video tutorials, even if i agree with the first line of the statement i've quoted. It is also likely that it will be the new 'mainstream' in a few years [citation: 3-4 lines up].

I found this thread while waiting for my activation email(s) to arrive, i was fairly irritated, by the bottom of the first page, i was palpably irritated by the bottom of the 2nd, i read the OP top post on the 3rd page and started to reply, if there is any wisdom on the third page, i'm pretty sure its hidden by the cruft like the first two pages; This is pretty much what i had expected to find after reading the first post, it starts of with the best of intentions, but quickly gets overwhelmed and dominated by the older denizens, who have been here so long they must be so wise so nobody dares contradict, and heaven help anybody who dares do so. This exact scenario is played out in every forum of any kind ever created, the only difference between those and this forum to which i am immensely surprised and pleased is the level headed forum specials (admin, mods, etc) most forums hover around psycho ninja nazi type mods, different is nice :)

and yes, i do realise i just tossed a rat into the viper pit
(also for later on when i call the *manual* garbage in main post)


Forums are notoriously bad search tools, and even the mighty google often provides a dozen bad links for every good one, as somebody who considers himself fairly good at google, even i get some days where i just get tired of clicking useless links, so its quite sad that the best source of information, and the best finder of information are mostly incompatible with each other. Also with reference to most so called manuals supplied with software these days being garbage, usually badly updated, badly formatted, scantly minimalist at best, provided in a format that should have been put to death before half of the people here were even born.

Now, having said all that, i agree with some of the sentiments, the information is out there, to be fair, some of it is old as the hills (GM 4 tutorials anybody, and i thought i was old as a GM6 user).

The faults are many, i can sit here and point fingers at all kinds of things, lack of easily found structured information *especially* provided by the company, who imo should have pages and pages of structured and referenceable online documentation and no, docs.yoyogames.com doesnt count since its formatted to emulate the worst possible format, its like throwing doxygen docs (which would probably be far superior to the current docs site imo) at new users, its useful as a reference, on the whole its useless as a learning tool.

The tutorials, are a wildly mixed up bunch of things, badly named and poorly categorised and pushed into arbitrary beginner intermediate and advanced topics, they are not remotely conducive to structured learning, and what new people need more than anything; especially since they are self learning, is well structured information and tutorials, re-emphasis on well structured. The information is all there, with the exception of a reasonably structured GML coding guide which i couldn't find (yes i know there are others, i still believe that the company itself has an obligation).

Most normal people don't want to even ask questions on forums, it's downright degrading, its an admission of failure, worse, it's a public admission of failure.
On the assumption that all information is relatively easy to find. most people answer their own questions, in short order.
Badly organised and difficult to find information hurts the user, and by extension hurts the company and the community, the fact that this thread exists at all in inherent proof that somewhere there are failings, very few users *want* to be spoon fed, those that do generally fail pretty quickly on their own if they don't quickly re-assess their learning methodology.

It would be nice if the forums were divided into more sections, one single programming forum is going to get flooded fast, you could at this point add a beginners section so that the grumps could avoid it altogether

So it's taken this far to get to the point that this thread is partly confused because it's talking about 2 different types of questions and askers, those asking for help to early, and those asking for the very mythical 'make my gaem' button. The former are covered by the above paragraphs, the latter are partly covered by the well structured and easy to find part, and this time its resources, there are none, not really, and certainly not provided by yoyo.

many many many (police acadmy reference) programmers take example code and tweak it to their own uses, to such an extent i'd be almost willing to bet a small amount that almost everyone here has done this.
My highest level of disdain for the organisation of anything related to gamemaker is reserved for the marketplace(beta) this if full of things that should simply be located on a "how to do" resource page, but instead are held hostage behind account logins and downloads, some of them are little more than 3 lines of code, most of the rest is money grubbing for the sake of money grubbing. If there are any truly useful things on the marketplace they are well buried in a mountain of garbage.
If a well curated resource section existed, then even those people who just want a chunk of code writing for them will be reduced, and for the odd one that does still post, you have something to link
against, and then you have a post you can link to.

Once things like these are in place you find that users learn faster, new users post less silliness, and the forum becomes a place where the truly stuck people can find help, and everyone here at some point has been truly stuck, i deny that such perfection exists in anything; so dont even try to claim otherwise.

Newbie Tip: Automatically ignore any user who posts a lmgtfy link, these people are below contempt and are probably only on the internet because they cannot interact with humans on a personal level, nothing will be lost, and many no, most almost all other users are genuinely helpful. Do not be afraid to ignore those people who are ingenuine, it will filter out unhelpful posts and essentially get you to the help you need far more quickly with less distraction.

This post is 100% constructive at least in the parts where i think yoyo need to change a few things, this is not intended to point out failures, rather show where improvements can be made in respect to how to deflect a portion of the problem area into more useful and constructive self help areas. Nothing in my post is intended to offend anybody accidentally. see tl:dt pt 2

Just in case it got a little buried in this far longer than intended post, i would like to re-iterate how refreshing it is to see forum mods and admins engaging in conversation and ideas, it's nice.

TL;DR Yoyo needs to rethink some of their information presentation methods, so that the cantankerous jerks who hate newbies don't have to be offended by reading.

TL;DR Part Deux. I am acutely aware that community trolls and their fanboys' exist, i am also acutely aware that this post will have angered you, i posted a little picture for you so that you can relax.

Note: I apologise if some of this post has gotten a little out of order, it took me a little over 2 hours to write (I won't bore you with the details of how being dyslexic and an OCD perfectionist slows things down, just trust me :p )
 
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MarcC

Guest
That's the main problem with many video tutorials. They don't teach nothing. They just tell what is it that your see on screen and you, you follow. Then it works. Then your learned nothing, back to square one.
It's like watching someone writing a sentence in a language you don't know. After you done following, try to compose a sentence now? You need to first know the basics, how to structure the language and then get some vocabulary.
Learning a programming language is just like learning a language. There's not that many ways for doing it.
I think perhaps you've been watching some bad videos, there are some excellent youtubers out there 'Jamie King', 'makinggameswithben' are good examples for C++, 'BornCG' for blender, i also have 2 subscriptions to what appear to be very helpful gamemaker channels 'Making Games 101' and 'Let's Learn Gamaker'
I disagree to a small extent with regards programming, programming itself is trivial, and literally anybody can learn programming in a few short hours, there are a ridiculously small number of constructs in programming, a few more in advanced programming but not many more., when you move past the programming part to programming 'language' you are pretty spot on its all about the vocabulary.
 
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TheRaven81

Guest
I just bought that amazing Humble Bundle, and while waiting for a few emails I ran across this post, and decided to read it - because more often than not a thread like this can provide information on what the mindset of the community is like. Surprising as it may be, I read through this entire thread, all 3 pages. I don't like what I see, and it just solidifies my experience that I've been having.

I myself have very little programming knowledge, and i know a few basic fundamentals. But when I had questions here, I was told to go through the tutorials, and they would help me. So I did, but I struggle even with those because the tutorials are so badly written - they are like someone said before(can't recall who) "Paint-by-number pictures" where you just follow along and do exactly what it says to produce the intended game. I learned nothing from them because some of them give Drag and Drop methods, or Code snippets for every little part - but there's no explanation for any of it, like "why does doing it this way work?" "What is it about X thing that makes it do Y effect?"
A few people also gave me code snippets to try to help me. But because it was all without comments or explanation, their "help" was to no avail because I didn't understand it. It's like trying to give someone who doesn't know how to read or speak Russian a book written in Russian, and expecting them to read it out loud to you. You can't do that and expect a positive result.

I say this with all sincerity, with no disrespect, to Jabbers and to anyone else who has (or will) repeat this kind of misinformation. You're wrong.

View attachment 2487
I tried this - searching "inventory" in the manual, and I look at the results. With my experience(and I'm sure someone with the same experience will do the same thing), I see all the ds_* results and go "WTF are those, and what do they have to do with an inventory?" Your reply is probably "Read them all and you'll see", but if they all have to work together to make an inventory system work, then someone with my experience is not going to find out what they need by doing that search and reading them all because unless they have further experience, then piecing that puzzle together is probably over their head and if they REALLY want the puzzle solved, they will need further help and explanation.

Several people have quoted this, several times:
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
Like Alessio has said(or at least tried to explain), teaching a man to fish isn't as simple as handing a man a pole and then expecting him to know how to catch fish after you give him the tool to do so. You have to explain to that man how the pole works, and how to properly use it to catch a fish, and what techniques to use while he's doing it. You can't just say "here, use this.", hand the man a pole, and expect him to know what to do with it.

Translation:
Give a man with no experience a piece of code, and you'll only confuse him. But if you give that same man a piece of code, and explain it too, then you'll end up with a learned man with a better understanding.
You need to think about the "food" you put on the "spoon". Give a snippet with no comments, and expect someone to know how to use it, and you'll instead have a very confused person when they try to use it and it doesn't work. When they come back saying so, don't be surprised. If you are expecting someone to learn from what you gave them, then use comments - show that person what your code does, how each part of it works to solve the problem, and where in the event it needs to go to work(Create, Step, etc). If your comments are well written, then they can then successfully take your code, modify it to their needs, put it where it needs to go, and make it work. But not showing how the parts equal the result is bad practice on the part of the community as a whole, and it's more often than not what I get from a lot of people here. Everyone kept giving me things and expecting me to know what to do with it.

From a beginner's perspective, this ride through here(since GM5) has truly sucked and has been nothing but dream-crushing because I can't find anyone who can properly teach, and I can't get further from being just a beginner, because I fail to learn anything from anyone. After a while, I even went so far as to buy BOTH of the official Game Maker Books - "The Game Maker's Apprentice"(uses GM7), and "The Game Maker's Companion"(uses GM8/8.1) - but I can't use what's in those books here in GM:Studio because I've been told some of the functions are now obsolete and no longer work - so I can't even use/modify the code within them to help me. $80.00 down the drain now.

I came back though, with a leap of faith that I *might* be able to learn something finally. I hope that despite what I've read, that it's the case. I'm also a part of a niche group of gamers - Board Gamers, and I use Tabletop Simulator. (http://store.steampowered.com/app/286160) It's basically a 3D physics sandbox that simulates the Tabletop environment, and you can use it to make Tabletop games. The Community Forum here(http://berserk-games.com/forums/) has been the greatest community in helping me learn the ropes in using the platform, and how to use it to make my own games. Now I'm an advanced user, and I am also helping other people even now. The reason I mention this, is that I haven't been able to use the Game Maker Community to achieve the same success with Game Maker, and it saddens me.
 
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FrostyCat

Member
I myself have very little programming knowledge, and i know a few basic fundamentals. But when I had questions here, I was told to go through the tutorials, and they would help me. So I did, but I struggle even with those because the tutorials are so badly written - they are like someone said before(can't recall who) "Paint-by-number pictures" where you just follow along and do exactly what it says to produce the intended game. I learned nothing from them because some of them give Drag and Drop methods, or Code snippets for every little part - but there's no explanation for any of it, like "why does doing it this way work?" "What is it about X thing that makes it do Y effect?"
A few people also gave me code snippets to try to help me. But because it was all without comments or explanation, their "help" was to no avail because I didn't understand it. It's like trying to give someone who doesn't know how to read or speak Russian a book written in Russian, and expecting them to read it out loud to you. You can't do that and expect a positive result.
That's what the Manual is for --- so that you can draw "what about X that makes it do Y" conclusions for yourself.

Let's say place_meeting(x, y+1, obj_block) shows up in a player's Step event code from a tutorial for platformers, and you don't know what it does. Pause the tutorial, go to the Manual, flip to the Index tab, type place_meeting and read the instructions.
The Manual entry for place_meeting() said:
When you use this you are effectively asking GameMaker: Studio to move the instance to the new position, check for a collision, move back and tell you if a collision was found or not.
Now it's your turn to contextualize. Given the definition, in the tutorial's context it just means whether there is a block immediately underneath the player (since moving it down 1 = immediately below). Problem solved.

Also, for people who try looking up general concepts like "inventory" or "platformer" in the Manual, you are using it wrong.

The Manual is simply a listing of functions and a description of exactly what they do, much like a dictionary. You use dictionaries to learn the meanings of individual words in an essay, but you don't use dictionaries to learn how to write an essay. Guides on writing essays can be found elsewhere, but if it uses words you don't know, you need to have the initiative to turn back to the dictionary, look up the word, return to the guide and contextualize.

Do we really need a "How to use the Manual" guide around here? I'm just seeing way too many examples of it being used wrong on this topic and countless other ones on the Q&A boards.
 
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MarcC

Guest
Do we really need a "How to use the Manual" guide around here? I'm just seeing way too many examples of it being used wrong on this topic and countless other ones on the Q&A boards.
Considering the number of jackwagons that seem to think reading the bloody manual is a panacea; Yes, perhaps we do. If for no other reason so that the sanctimonious posters understand they are actually wrong!
 
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TheRaven81

Guest
Do we really need a "How to use the Manual" guide around here? I'm just seeing way too many examples of it being used wrong on this topic and countless other ones on the Q&A boards.
If you see that many examples of misuse, then maybe so? Maybe if the community(and even the software) was making it clear that the Manual is only a reference guide for terms, and not the answer to everything, then you wouldn't see so many examples of misuse.
That's what the Manual is for --- so that you can draw "what about X that makes it do Y" conclusions for yourself.
And no, it's not. You'd think so, but to a beginner who can't learn from a manual, that is not the answer. The answer is write a better tutorial, and comment your code so that those that read it can understand it for what it does in that particular instance. The Manual is way too general and will give you multiple definitions on how the terms are used, much like a dictionary, as you said. a single word can have multiple meanings, but which one is being used is not clear, and should be in the context of it's usage. When it's not, then that's where the confusion arises and the comments are a HUGE help. Because the comment would explain what the code is specifically doing in that instance. And the Manual cannot do that.
 
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MarcC

Guest
From a beginner's perspective, this ride through here(since GM5) has truly sucked and has been nothing but dream-crushing because I can't find anyone who can properly teach, and I can't get further from being just a beginner, because I fail to learn anything from anyone. After a while, I even went so far as to buy BOTH of the official Game Maker Books - "The Game Maker's Apprentice"(uses GM7), and "The Game Maker's Companion"(uses GM8/8.1) - but I can't use what's in those books here in GM:Studio because I've been told some of the functions are now obsolete and no longer work - so I can't even use/modify the code within them to help me. $80.00 down the drain now.
tbh, while i haven't really looked at what is different, or what is added per version; the best advice would probably plug along with the books until you do get to something that doesn't work then ask specifically. I'm pretty sure the more helpful members of the community would point out the way to do whatever is needed in the current version.

<grumpmode>If things have been removed without more effective replacements *especially* if such things are in the books; Then the fools who did that should be flogged in public, and then forced to attend software engineering seminars. When they are done learning that stuff they should learn to document software, as well as maintaining all versions of documentation.

In fairness to yoyo, they shouldn't have to go back further than GM7 which i believe is where they started.

But if you go searching google for information as suggested, guess what? Almost ALL information is out of date (heck i even found a GM4 document on the first search page), if somebody suggested that even GM8 is incompatible with GM:S, then i would go as far as saying it's borderline impossible to find good information that could be wholly relied upon. This is why i stated earlier that the company should take some of the responsibility and create and curate all the information instead of leaving it to 3rd party anti-community book writing profiteers and unaffiliated educators.
 
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TheRaven81

Guest
Well here's an example then that I've not been able to find a replacement for:
In the first book, "The Game Maker's Apprentice", which, btw, has Mark Overmars(Creator of Game Maker) and Jacob Habgood as authors - Chapter 3 is about a game called "Galactic Mail", and it uses the "Sleep" action, which makes the game pause for an amount of milliseconds before continuing, and I've not been able to find a documented replacement for it. That's only one example that I've found myself and know offhand, but I wouldn't doubt it if there was more than just that one. The only explanation that I have gotten from anyone - that still really didn't explain anything - is that "Sleep" was mainly a Windows function, and since GM:Studio is multi-platform, the function is now obsolete. It won't even work for a Windows build of a program, and I've gotten no answer as to what to use in it's place.
[EDIT] Actually this is the answer you get if you look that function up in the Manual. It's listed under the Obsolete Miscellaneous Functions:

Apparently listed along with many other obsolete functions. Thing is - again - what do you use in place of them? There's nothing anywhere that helps you in that regard. And it says "...the fact that most of them are no longer relevant to any other device except Windows." Well what if that's the platform I'm building my game for, anyways? The runner is hardly an explanation. [end edit]
 
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Me Myself and I

Guest
Umm, if you don't want to spoonfeed somebody or encourage it, don't.

Not trying to be snarky, but just don't reply to the OP, or, if you do, do it in such a way that you're not spoonfeeding them. If they don't like it....oh well.

No, that's not the most welcoming attitude for a community, but I suspect that the ones who WANT to be spoonfed aren't all that committed to game development in the first place....if they were, they wouldn't be asking to be spoonfed!
 

FrostyCat

Member
Well here's an example then that I've not been able to find a replacement for:
In the first book, "The Game Maker's Apprentice", which, btw, has Mark Overmars(Creator of Game Maker) and Jacob Habgood as authors - Chapter 3 is about a game called "Galactic Mail", and it uses the "Sleep" action, which makes the game pause for an amount of milliseconds before continuing, and I've not been able to find a documented replacement for it. That's only one example that I've found myself and know offhand, but I wouldn't doubt it if there was more than just that one. The only explanation that I have gotten from anyone - that still really didn't explain anything - is that "Sleep" was mainly a Windows function, and since GM:Studio is multi-platform, the function is now obsolete. It won't even work for a Windows build of a program, and I've gotten no answer as to what to use in it's place.
sleep() has been removed because it blocks the application and renders it unresponsive. This is a behaviour that mobile platforms, browsers and recent desktop platforms (even Windows) now handle by prompting the user to close it. The alternative is using an alarm to delay an action without blocking.

The other notable one in GMA that has been removed is the "show highscore" popup, due to input and interface limitations across platforms. There was a time when I was asked about it so many times, I wrote an entire article on it. The first links are dead, but the mirrors still work.

I'm not sure if there are other incompatibilities in GMA, but these two should take care of the most obvious cases.
 
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TheRaven81

Guest
FrostyCat & Nocturne, thank you. I didn't want to turn this into a Help thread, but I figured I would mention my trouble since the topic came up - and your answers were very helpful. So maybe I've just been unlucky in all that previous time, running into all of the jerks... I hope that what I just received from you both is what I continue to get from the entire community.
 

Nocturne

Friendly Tyrant
Forum Staff
Admin
FrostyCat & Nocturne, thank you. I didn't want to turn this into a Help thread, but I figured I would mention my trouble since the topic came up - and your answers were very helpful. So maybe I've just been unlucky in all that previous time, running into all of the jerks... I hope that what I just received from you both is what I continue to get from the entire community.
And thank you for the kind words. Seriously, you may have just been unlucky, and I also admit that the tone in this topic sometimes suggests that we are an elitist bunch, but in my opinion, this really is one of the nicest and most helpful forums on the internet. Okay, I'm biased... :p but if you just look through the Programming forum for example, you'll be hard pushed to find a single topic that doesn't have a reply. And you'll have an even harder time finding a topic that has a rude or unhelpful reply.

This topic is a simply a reaction to one or two users who blatantly appeared to be asking people to do everything for them, and it's something that's been discussed a few times in the long history of this forum, since these kinds of people will always pop up from time to time. Just keep things in perspective that the majority of the people that come here are just like you: people with a passion for making games that want to get some help or share some knowledge.

And on that note, I think this topic is ripe for closing, as I feel it's starting to go around in circles. The conclusion I would come to is that when replying to help people, consider first how they've asked the question and whether or not the best help you can give is not to actually give them the answer, but to give them the tools to find the answer themselves. It's not always the case, and most topics can be answered with some code or a link to the manual, but sometimes it's better for the user if you say "Why not test it and see for yourself? Here's how..." rather than throw some code at them.

Remember, we have all been beginners, and we are all still learning, so approach every topic with an open mind and treat people with the same respect that you'd like to receive in turn. You do that, and this will keep being the best forum around.

;)
 
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