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Holding tutorial content accountable to novice aptitude on the GMC

Blakkid489

Member
The people having trouble isn't the problem, the problem is how everyone that could copypaste that stuff just fine didn't actually learn anything from it.
WTF that's what I was trying to say. . . . .God I'm retarded

(I know, admitting is the first step)
 

sylvain_l

Member
I think in a way you are wrong.

You shouldn't complain about the one who come on the forum to ask questions, even if they are just looking for a quick answer to make it work (they don't want to figure it out yet, just make it work).
I agree someway that can feel frustrating ansewring them. (don't do it if its too much of a hassle)
Those one are "intelligent" enough to fix themselves a goal and a way to get to it. And adapt their way, by looking for help when required so they get back on their track.
Let them learn at their pace and their way. They are motivated enough and capable to keep their motivation, the day they want to learn, they'll learn and I think they'll learn it quickly.

Same can be said about bad programming habit, etc...
Dev is an endless journey, you'll progress all along. There is not such thing as the one right way to learn it. We learn what we have to learn at our pace. Making détour or going straight way is a very subectiv way of looking back on your path.


The one that are really spoiled and doomed by youtube vids. Are those who never put their feet on reddit, discord, or the gmc forum or have an IRL dev friend to help them. They copy-paste, and the day it doesn't work, they don't get it, don't know where to look for help else at best posting a comment on youtube. They get stuck, loose motivation and chance at the end they give up.
You'll never hear of them here... (I know there is a direct link to the forum in the help menu, but it feels like only a few percent of GM users are using it - so I wouldn't put a blame of those who use it, even if their attitude isn't the one of the rookie dev we dream of)
 

Chungsie

Member
I think there should be some official tutorials on how to debug and use the debugger. because often times we can follow a tutorial, but the instructor never tells how to debug.
 
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G

Guest

Guest
@Chungsie, @Pixelated_Pope is good people, try his tutorial, although I haven't watched it:


Or just **** around, I learned it that way along with the manual. Click a lot. Right-click a lot. Try out the various options that appear when you click and right-click. You won't break anything.
 
@Justice @Chungsie
I also attempted a more direct "how to debug" series with my Pixelated Pope: Private Investigator series on my channel. Not sure how effective it actually was, though. And, unfortunately, it sort of relies on me having volunteers to continue.
 

zendraw

Member
ok so for godssake is there gona be a pro game maker tutorial channel or somthing like that? every1 throwin theyr cents around wont lead this thread anywhere. yes every1 has a cent and every1 wants to throw it, but lets get practical here. im eager to see some in depth stuff and techniques.
 

Storyteller

Member
Ive begun my series on the ADDIE Method for Instructional Design.
Ive got most of 'A' done and the governing thread. I'll be posting soon.
Im going to go in order on these and develop a simple tutorial on a basic subject, like Arrays or Room Transitions that I can tie into a simple project Im working on. Go through each step and explain all the theory, and follow along with an example that uses the process.
Expect something on Sunday, with a working copy Monday or tuesday, with each step taking 3-4 days each after that.

I could use a bit of help with proofreading and fact checking, maybe a subject-matter expert to make sure Im not giving bad information.
 

zendraw

Member
there is no need for discussion, the pros from the forums simply make tutorials. thats it.

@Storyteller where will you notify? post a channel or smthing to follow.
 

GMWolf

aka fel666
there is no need for discussion, the pros from the forums simply make tutorials. thats it.
There is much need for discussion, actually.
There is definitely a tendency to use tutorials code as a finished asset rather than a means to teach a concept.
And I would love to know of better way s to convey ideas so this doesn't happen. (Because I am tired of answering thhe same comments on my channel/pm/fb everyday.)
 

zendraw

Member
i see, well then my suggestion is frost cat as the OP here to make a discord and add people and discuss there, here is not very practical. kenjiro dabadidabbed the whole 1st page. still when somthing is decided and worked upon you shuld update here or somewhere. also good luck
 

GMWolf

aka fel666
i see, well then my suggestion is frost cat as the OP here to make a discord and add people and discuss there, here is not very practical. kenjiro dabadidabbed the whole 1st page. still when somthing is decided and worked upon you shuld update here or somewhere. also good luck
Actually thr forum is a great place, as this is a matter that required thought, and not everyone shares a time zone.

If this wasn't the thread you wanted, just don't join it.
 
As someone who picked up GM 6 months ago, let me weigh in on a subject completely over my head:

I started out with no idea what I was doing, so naturally I went over to the good old YouTube and searched "how to start using game maker studio." Naturally, I got Heartbeast/Shaun Spalding videos. Watched all of Shaun's "How to get started with GM" series and all of Heartbeast's "How to make RPG game." The basic shell for the game I'm currently working on is still fairly close to what came out of Heartbeast's RPG tutorial- I broke off midway when he got into weapon pickups and such, not really the direction my project is going in, but I digress. Am I misusing the physics system? Probably. I understand applying impulses to instances in order to make them move; I simply don't feel it's worth the effort to work out how when I can simply say "phy_position_x += spd" and that be that. For things like projectiles and such, that certainly does make sense, and I use it in that context, and for anything that has momentum, like, say, a box sliding around on ice, or something like that, I would definitely have it work that way. I see that for a large portion of what I am trying to create, the physics engine is not strictly necessary, but it does make some things significantly easier, and certainly doesn't make the stuff I don't *need* it for any harder, so I use it. In addition, I would like my game to include some physics-based puzzles, because I find them to be entertaining and, when done right, not too frustrating. I say that to say this: I would say I have a reasonable handle on all the code in my project. I don't say that to brag, nothing I am doing is that complicated, and I still have a lot to learn, but I make sure whenever I watch a tutorial to understand why the code works, not just that it works. I can also comfortably say that the most complicated stuff I have written has been totally my own, with no assistance from any YouTube tutorials. The one exception to that rule is PixelatedPope's resolution scaler. I have a fair handle on it, but I can't say I could explain precisely how it works from memory- I implemented it like two months ago, so have mercy please. However, I understand from reading this thread that not everyone is like that, and quite frankly, I understand that. A lot of people have big game ideas in their head, and they want to start creating stuff without actually knowing about how to use proper syntax, what all these crazy "ds_list/queue/grid" functions do, state machines, that sort of thing. Ignoring the logical improbability of one individual making the next Zelda/Meatboy/Undertale/what-have-you, there is no way someone without all the necessary disciplines (game design, programming, art, narrative, sound, music, etc) could ever begin to create such a thing, and quite frankly, I believe programming to be the most necessary out of all of those. Yes, having pretty pictures and an enthralling storyline is cool and all, but unless the game plays nicely and isn't a bug-free mess, people won't care. The start of that road is understanding the language. I like tutorials because they give me ideas for how to implement something I have been thinking about, even if it isn't what the tutorial is actually teaching. Oftentimes I'll have a design floating around in my head, watch a tutorial about x thing, and go, "Hey! That's a great way to go about implementing y thing." My point is, tutorials definitely need to go less in the direction of "Here's how you do A," when A is only applicable to one specific type of game, and wayyy more of "Hey, this is a 2D array. As an example of how you use it, here's an entire animation system built on 2D arrays. Go wild!". I think that would solve a lot of issues with those who simply want to copy-paste code and see things work. For example, if I wanted to make a series about making a platformer, I would want each lesson to go over a concept, and then have something coded in the game implement that concept in a meaningful way, i.e., Ep. 1: Variables would teach what a variable is, basic operators which everyone should know from arithmetic, and how to use them in context (left arrow goes left, right arrow goes right). However, even that has problems, because for that they have to create an object, a room, put the object in the room, and know what all the basic events do, so realistically that would be an episode four or something like that, LOL. The issue I immediately see wit this type of structure, though, is that people will quickly lose interest because they aren't really making anything. However, if one doesn't have the patience to sit through an hour or two of basic groundwork, then one really isn't cut out for gamedev. That's just my opinion, though, and I eagerly await being chopped up by my elders here shortly :).
 
This is the start of a paragraph. This is the end of a paragraph.

You use it by breaking groups of similar thoughts into sections by separating them by a blank line. Go Wild!

Despite the wall of text you managed to create, you do have some very good points:

tutorials definitely need to go less in the direction of "Here's how you do A," when A is only applicable to one specific type of game, and wayyy more of "Hey, this is a 2D array. As an example of how you use it, here's an entire animation system built on 2D arrays. Go wild!"
I think this is basically what some people are suggesting, at least that's what I'm getting from this topic.

1) Give the basic theory and explain how to use something, for example a 2D array.
2) Show some simple step by step usage examples
3) Then to cement the subject give the learner a little practise exercise, e.g., :
- Now that you have the idea of a 2d array, make a system to store the x and y positions of all instances in the room and draw a circle around each instance using the data in the 2d array.

Teach someone to fish....
 

Yal

GMC Memer
GMC Elder
I simply don't feel it's worth the effort to work out how when I can simply say "phy_position_x += spd" and that be that.
The problem with that approach (manipulating phy_position manually) is that you're basically short-circuiting a system meant to make things easier for you to abstract (physics forces etc), giving both yourself and the CPU more work. Good tutorials would've taught you a way to do things that's both easy to code and minimizes the amount of redundant or unnecessary work. (At least you've taken the effort to built UPON the tutorial material instead of just mimicking it, and that's more than most people do! :))

Totally agreeing with your main point, though! I guess the main problem is that people that don't know what an array is in the first place won't be able to google for it or ask how to make one, so the demand for it appears lower than it actually is. But I guess umbrella-ing tutorials on basic subjects like this under "how to start using Game Maker" would go a long way. (IMO apart from basic stuff like arrays we'd also need tutorials on GM's unique quirks, like the deactivation system, with() loops, and async events)
 

hogwater

Member
Would any of you care to recommend a good modern book on GML? As in, a book I can get in paper form and hold in my hand. One more general book on programming that would still apply to using GML might be good as well.

I'm looking for a book that is focused on teaching really solid fundamentals.
 
G

Genolution

Guest
I'm in a way new here and would like to share my perspective. I was around for GM7 i think it was. Back in the mid 90's anyways. YouTube wasnt even a thing then. If there was tut vids out back then. I wouldn't even have the bandwidth to watch them. But I did have the forum, which was full if 13 yo boys and very toxic. The most help i got was from the game files i could open up and look at. Just being able to see all the code and the structure of it all was a huge help. I can only imagine if someone was there with me explaining things how much more i could have learned. I sid figure out quite a bit on my own. I found a top down Halo shooter and i took the ai from that and changed a bit how it moved, experimented with adjusting some variables, added some if else script and after loads of trial and error i turned a foot soldier ai into a klingon bird of prey with a cloaking system. I was really proud of that. Its been years since then and have forgot much of what I have learned. But I'm back at it now. I would really like to learn the fundamentals of coding. Now days we got twitch tv. Perhaps one of you veterans could stream some dev sessions and do some Q&A.
 
K

Kuro

Guest
I'm in a way new here and would like to share my perspective. I was around for GM7 i think it was. Back in the mid 90's anyways. YouTube wasnt even a thing then. If there was tut vids out back then. I wouldn't even have the bandwidth to watch them. But I did have the forum, which was full if 13 yo boys and very toxic. The most help i got was from the game files i could open up and look at. Just being able to see all the code and the structure of it all was a huge help. I can only imagine if someone was there with me explaining things how much more i could have learned. I sid figure out quite a bit on my own. I found a top down Halo shooter and i took the ai from that and changed a bit how it moved, experimented with adjusting some variables, added some if else script and after loads of trial and error i turned a foot soldier ai into a klingon bird of prey with a cloaking system. I was really proud of that. Its been years since then and have forgot much of what I have learned. But I'm back at it now. I would really like to learn the fundamentals of coding. Now days we got twitch tv. Perhaps one of you veterans could stream some dev sessions and do some Q&A.
I don't know if anyone else streams, but I know @Fel666 has been known to do awesome streams on YT from time to time. Across the various streams of his that I've caught so far I've watched him build, in 2 hours or less, the core mechanics from; Tetris, Bomberman, Go, and a top down shooter SuperHot demake. I also know the @Mike streams really cool retro re-makes in gamemaker as well as old hardware emulator hacking-ish stuff. Not sure I did a very good job of describing that. But really interesting stuff anyway.
 
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Ankokushin

Member
EDITTED EVERYTHING FOR KARMA REASONS:
If the forum here offered a path to learn that is both relatively easy to start AND coding-correct, that all the community supported... I think naturally the noobs, such as myself, would go there. But since the official means have a somewhat steep curve for learning, seems pretty natural to me that people look for alternatives.

I guess this thread is really important. Someone here said this "stinks of elitism" and I think it does have this smell, but I think FrostyCat´s heart is in the right place: the more people can learn, the more empowered they are, the better. Adressing this issue is important because many people are really trying hard, and would like to learn more but are misguided in the sources and tutorials they find.
 
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zargy

Member
@FrostyCat
It took me the course of 8-10 years to get really good at what I do (programming games), and it will likely take about that long for anyone else just starting to get pretty good (unless they're a very fast learner, or a literal genius, both of which are very rare). You claim these YTers are having a negative effect on the rate of learning of beginning programmers. And maybe you're right. I haven't examined their videos closely. Perhaps their videos are pretty terrible at teaching good concepts. Okay. Fine. Let's assume that for a moment. My question to you, then, is why don't you try the same thing yourself? You seem pretty to be a smart cookie, and I really do mean that. Video production isn't actually that difficult. If you manage to make videos that are informative and entertaining, and you market your channel well, you could potentially attract quite a large viewer base. Why not give it a try?

Because let me tell you this: If your goal is to combat the spread of teaching practices and techniques that you consider detrimental, you're not going to succeed against the Youtubers by posting here.

These content creators will continue to produce their tutorials, whether you like it or not. The internet is an open platform, and Youtube is an open platform. You can disagree with the programming techniques they decide to teach, and indeed openly criticize them, but that won't likely stop them from doing it. Sure, you can try to institute a list of approved tutorials, and that may indeed be helpful. But you are assuming that a sizable portion of these YTers audience comes from these forums, when, more accurately, it's probably from them searching on either google or YT for "Game Maker Studio Tutorial", and clicked on the first link.

What if you got your wish for 'curating' tutorials on this board. Both Heartbeast and Shaun Spalding have close to 100,000 subscribers on their channels. Their videos seem to regularly get anywhere from 1k to 500k views, with Shaun's Basic GM: Studio tutorial from four years ago reaching 1.3 million views. Let's try to low ball the numbers massively here and say that half those views were people watching the tutorial a second time, and let's assume that only, say, 20 percent of viewers even watched it to completion. That's 130,000 people who watched that full video alone.

Compare those numbers to this board. The number of people who watch these people is far more than the number who visit these forums. So what if you won't put their content on the approved list. Why should they care, exactly? Let's flip it around. Why should those content creators recommend the GMC as a learning resource to their subscribers, if their content isn't welcome here? Because, and I'm sorry I have to point this out, they have a much larger audience then you, and that audience will keep growing.

You also seem to be quite antagonistic towards them, making the claim that they are purposely not covering skills that are really needed so as to keep their audience from being independent, while producing no evidence. Which I honestly find kind of offensive, and I'd imagine they would as well. You can't know the reasons they're making their content at all. Why do you assume their motives are in bad faith? For that matter, you seem to be blaming Youtube as a platform in general. That seems kind of broad.

Unfortunately, that's not all. You have to come up with the criteria of what constitutes a "good" tutorial. Can you explain what your criteria is, exactly? What about other longtime GM experts. I'm pretty sure if you ask them, their criteria would be at least somewhat different. How 'smart' does someone have to be to be considered one of these chosen 'experts', and who will choose them?

I'm sorry, but your post comes off as someone who thinks that people should only learn one way, and learning any other way is wrong. And I find that very lacking.
 
Oh, SNAP. ^
....Has anything useful come out of this thread yet? Or was it just a bunch of bluster?
I'd personally love to see an "approved" list of tutorials by the expert GM users we have here on the GMC. It seems like nobody here cares enough about this to actually do anything about this, though. Frosty, lead by example! Set up a website, and start gathering worthy tutorials! Your idea is good. Do something with it! :p
 

zargy

Member
I hope I didn't come off as over-critical in that post. I read this thread in the early afternoon and sat thinking about it all day before finishing my comments. I just really dislike it when someone tries to solve a perceived problem not by creating something of worth themselves, but by trying to actually tear the efforts of others down.
And for the record, I'll fully admit to being annoyed by tutorials that don't teach you to navigate systems effectively. I wish there were more in-depth tutorials that help people understand why they should do things, instead of just what they do. And I think we're just scratching the surface of what we can do with teaching the process of game development.
 

FrostyCat

Member
....Has anything useful come out of this thread yet? Or was it just a bunch of bluster?
I'm sorry, but your post comes off as someone who thinks that people should only learn one way, and learning any other way is wrong. And I find that very lacking.
Not much has come out of the thread yet, I admit. But there has been a little background work on the ADDIE concept between Storyteller, Fel666 and I. Though it did not take long for us to realize that the original idea won't work out, here's my takeaway from the discussion:
  • Learners have different time horizons and goals. An advertiser or teacher suddenly thrown into the shoes of a game developer on a deadline doesn't have the same needs as someone learning it for enjoyment or personal development. Everyone should be encouraged to have an individualized goal in mind and have the guidance to play to it.
  • Learners come in with different backgrounds. A specialist in development in another language or general sciences won't take the same path to learn GM as someone from a non-development, non-science background. The current popular model seems to assume that the latter is always true, and that may be part of why GM is ineffectual in drawing industry attention.
  • Learners don't necessarily know what order in which to do things, nor do most plan for it. That's where we have problems with rookies doing a platformer but not knowing how to scope a variable, or attempting a 3D game but not knowing what a cross product or normal is.
  • Learners don't become independent off the same instructor or school. Someone learning exclusively from Spalding, HeartBeast or another similar product-oriented instructor will have issues with basic GML/math/CS and may generalize poorly to what they haven't seen. On the contrary, someone learning exclusively from me or another similar theory-heavy instructor will not get as much hands-on work and may work much slower in actual development. Learners should be exposed to both basic theory and specialization in their area of interest, and different schools of instructors should collaborate and cross-refer their students for the best effect.
  • Learners are best judged by the forces of reality alone. Spalding and HeartBeast are certainly not interested in making every one of their viewers learn for real, and despite my best intentions, few of mine do and same for many responders around here. The real test is whether they sink or swim on their work, not whether I or any other responder said they've learned or not.
It took me the course of 8-10 years to get really good at what I do (programming games), and it will likely take about that long for anyone else just starting to get pretty good (unless they're a very fast learner, or a literal genius, both of which are very rare). You claim these YTers are having a negative effect on the rate of learning of beginning programmers. And maybe you're right. I haven't examined their videos closely. Perhaps their videos are pretty terrible at teaching good concepts. Okay. Fine. Let's assume that for a moment. My question to you, then, is why don't you try the same thing yourself? You seem pretty to be a smart cookie, and I really do mean that. Video production isn't actually that difficult. If you manage to make videos that are informative and entertaining, and you market your channel well, you could potentially attract quite a large viewer base. Why not give it a try?
I don't try it because of the topics I teach (elementary theory and non-genre-specific coding), how they aren't conducive to a video format and how SEO-unfriendly it is. Fel666 does some coverage those, and the videos are consistently underused. They market poorly because they're not sexy and they're not what novices think they'd immediately need. Most think they need to know how to make a game, but they don't think they need to know basic GML to get it done. The channel approach is a losing fight that I don't want a finger in, both ideologically (it's stupid to demand that all sorts of learning be audiovisual) and practically ("How to use control structures" will always lose to "How to make RPGs" on YouTube).

Unfortunately, that's not all. You have to come up with the criteria of what constitutes a "good" tutorial. Can you explain what your criteria is, exactly? What about other longtime GM experts. I'm pretty sure if you ask them, their criteria would be at least somewhat different. How 'smart' does someone have to be to be considered one of these chosen 'experts', and who will choose them?
My criteria for a good tutorial are simple:
  • Accuracy. It should be proofread for errors and omissions, and the first draft/take should NEVER the same one showing up in public.
  • Traceability over craftiness. Whenever possible, use an explanation that gives better insight on basic concepts over a shorter one that do it in a more opaque, "automagical" way. Spalding's platformer tutorial is an example against this one --- the movement code is hacky and none of his disciples I've seen could explain it.
  • Compliance with best practices. HeartBeast's RPG tutorial is an example against this one. Any half-decent responder can attest to how bad its man-handling of the physics system is, and it's not like he doesn't have comments about the same problem on the video itself.
  • Presentability. Videos should have crisp audio and have larger font sizes for readability, and cut down on fluff such as backspacing, unrehearsed rambling or excessive waits. Written tutorials should be edited for readability and trimmed for unnecessary content.
As for when one should start writing a tutorial, it should be when one starts answering more questions than asking and has a sense of professional independence. For one that doesn't need peer approval (would be best if it was available), this is the best criterion I know. If you still have questions about your ways or need help, hands off the quill.

What if you got your wish for 'curating' tutorials on this board. Both Heartbeast and Shaun Spalding have close to 100,000 subscribers on their channels. Their videos seem to regularly get anywhere from 1k to 500k views, with Shaun's Basic GM: Studio tutorial from four years ago reaching 1.3 million views. Let's try to low ball the numbers massively here and say that half those views were people watching the tutorial a second time, and let's assume that only, say, 20 percent of viewers even watched it to completion. That's 130,000 people who watched that full video alone.

Compare those numbers to this board. The number of people who watch these people is far more than the number who visit these forums. So what if you won't put their content on the approved list. Why should they care, exactly? Let's flip it around. Why should those content creators recommend the GMC as a learning resource to their subscribers, if their content isn't welcome here? Because, and I'm sorry I have to point this out, they have a much larger audience then you, and that audience will keep growing.

You also seem to be quite antagonistic towards them, making the claim that they are purposely not covering skills that are really needed so as to keep their audience from being independent, while producing no evidence. Which I honestly find kind of offensive, and I'd imagine they would as well. You can't know the reasons they're making their content at all. Why do you assume their motives are in bad faith? For that matter, you seem to be blaming Youtube as a platform in general. That seems kind of broad.
I recognize the asymmetry in traffic and broader community attention, that's why your suggestion is shifting me towards figuring out where GMC fits into the picture instead of what the GMC can do against it.

Doing full-genre tutorials without low-level skills is Spalding and HeartBeast's style and that makes their channel popular. It's their style, as much as doing raw theory is mine. But I'm sure that Fel666's experience with YouTubers isn't unique when it comes to dumb GML questions and user error, and Spalding and HeartBeast has to handle the whiny ones as well. If the GMC provides resources and an incentive to support and train struggling users, then it frees up more of their attention to focus on expanding their offering.

As a result, I'm thinking about some sort of "GM University" section. Think of it as a self-administered, choose-your-own repository of defined workflows and elements along the path. Here are the sections:
  • Courses: A curated collection of one or more tutorials, along with associated exercises and answers if applicable, designed to cover some topic of interest or essential skill. This gives a more structured way for learners to practice essential skills (copy-and-paste from videos is NOT practice) and allows for multiple authors to be represented in a topic. Moderators and curators have topic-opening access to add/withdraw courses, and members have post-only access to present all of their work in one post for the course topic and provide feedback once they are done.
  • Programs: A set of courses tailored to a specific time horizon (1-year specialist, 3-6-month major, <2-month minor) and field of interest (generalist, action/casual developer, strategy/data architecture, contractor, etc.). Moderators have the right to sticky commonly applicable program topics to help reduce choice paralysis and give guidance on a defined course of action, and members can optionally post their own program topics if they wish for feedback or help developing their program. Upon finishing a program, learners are encouraged to post a capstone project along with feedback/self-reflection on the topic of the program.
  • Administration: Recommendations for new programs and discussion of other administrative policies go here. Anyone can post here, although only moderators can act upon the comments and close topics.
"Homework" is in the form of public repositories of exercise answers or enhanced variations of the course's material, along with comments for a course's instructor and/or self-reflection. Learners can "hand in" their homework by making a post in the corresponding course page linking to the repositories for their work (questions on homework still belong in Q&A). Not only are learners encouraged to build a portfolio as they work, they also get insight into how others add their own variations and approach their work. This is a learning flow that YouTube accommodates poorly, but a forum environment excels at it. If this system is successful, we can do it together and draw more learning attention to the GMC.

The future is about exchanging YouTube and GMC traffic in a cohesive, mutually beneficial manner that enables cohesive learning. And yes, I'm making a concession and extending an olive branch. Better learning won't be happening under the efforts of one person or website alone.
 

zargy

Member
Thanks for replying. I can see you've thought about this a lot.
I'd like to have more discussion with you and other interested parties on this subject. If you want to seriously organize this, may I suggest we set up something like an simi-open discord server for people who are interested in figuring out more about this issue? I personally don't find forum posts that conducive to this kind of discussion.
 

Maloso

Member
I don't think much will ever change in this regard.
Game Maker itself markets towards a specific type of person, take the following quote from it's homepage "you can have your game up and running in a matter of minutes without ever having to write any code!"
It's marketing towards people not interested in the fundamentals (or who don't want to dedicate time to learn them) and who want quick results with minimum effort and these YouTube channels cater towards these clientele.

The other issue you have is people wanting to create the games they play.
Good games that teach the fundamentals would be variants of pong, asteroids, space invaders etc. Simple games with simple concepts, however a large majority of people don't want to create these games. They want to create games like those shown on the Game Maker Showcase, variants of RPGs and platformers, games that are more advanced and have taken much longer than a few weeks to create. If you have a clientele that are wanting to create these games quickly with minimum effort, it's understandable that they will skip corners and ignore concepts that many would consider essential.
 

Yal

GMC Memer
GMC Elder
Forum posts has the benefit of supporting asynchronous communication and advanced formatting, so they still have some merit... but I can see the problem of keeping a focused discussion going when someone can just show up and post something completely off-topic at any time :p
 

FrostyCat

Member
Forum posts has the benefit of supporting asynchronous communication and advanced formatting, so they still have some merit... but I can see the problem of keeping a focused discussion going when someone can just show up and post something completely off-topic at any time :p
If you want to talk about "showing up and posting something completely off-topic at any time", that's a much bigger issue with chat systems like Discord than with forums. The last thing this discussion needs is people speaking line-by-line in real-time without gathering their thoughts into cohesive packages.
 

GMWolf

aka fel666
As I work towards covering more general pattern, I am realizing that Yotube tutorials are not the best medium for tutorials. @FrostyCat has been saying this for years, and it is i need true.

That's why o started a blog last night where I will post tutorials from now on.
I will keep streaming on YouTube, and am still researching what mind pof videos would work.
 

Yal

GMC Memer
GMC Elder
Text tutorials also has the benefit of any code snippets being directly copy-pasteable, and a big part of the audience probably will see that as an advantage :p

(Feels like an important thing to consider for good written tutorials is where to draw the line with code examples - ideally they should be small enough that they only do one thing so that they (a) encourage people to put stuff together on their own with a bit of a thought process involved, and (b) are easy to paste into any project because they don't have a whole framework of non-universally-applicable stuff stuck in them)
 
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Brandiin

Guest
This is an important discussion to have. I'm a beginner, but I made a rule early on: never use code I don't understand. Copy pasting is a path to failure.
Regarding YouTube, some tutorials helped me (tutorials like the ones Maloso mentioned). Others created bad habits : (
 
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Brandiin

Guest
Hey Fel666, watching your FSM tutorial as we speak lol.
 
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chance

predictably random
Forum Staff
Moderator
That is very true!
I lost count of the number of time I have had to cope with people who copied my code and had no idea what it did.
It's kncreadobly frustrating.
I expect it is frustrating. But it has nothing to do with the tutorial format -- i.e., whether it's video, downloadable project, or blog post. Lazy learners will copy/paste from good tutorials, bad tutorials, or free source code -- regardless of format. When that happens, it's not the fault of the tutorial author, or the format they chose.

I disagree with the notion that video is inherently a poor format for tutorials. There are plenty of good video tutorials -- as your own tutorials prove. In the hands of a skilled tutorial author (like yourself), video can work fine.

That said, not every tutorial is suited for video. With lots of code, or many code blocks, a written format may be a better choice.
 

zargy

Member
I expect it is frustrating. But it has nothing to do with the tutorial format -- i.e., whether it's video, downloadable project, or blog post. Lazy learners will copy/paste from good tutorials, bad tutorials, or free source code -- regardless of format. When that happens, it's not the fault of the tutorial author, or the format they chose.

I disagree with the notion that video is inherently a poor format for tutorials. There are plenty of good video tutorials -- as your own tutorials prove. In the hands of a skilled tutorial author (like yourself), video can work fine.

That said, not every tutorial is suited for video. With lots of code, or many code blocks, a written format may be a better choice.
I agree.
 

GMWolf

aka fel666
@chance i'm flattered

What i meant to say is, some topics are far better suited to be made in a written format than others.
When doing some videos (such as the action/actors Or the saving system) I found that I wanted to add more detail, or simply go further with the concepts, but didn't manage to fit it in the video in a way that worked.

What I tried to say at the end of my previous post (But it got garbled in my attempt to type on my phone), was that I'm still figuring out what subjects fit what medium, and the best way to approach them.


One thing I did notice was that it is far more effective to talk about concepts, without showing any coding. This is why I try to introduce a small presentation at the start of my videos.
However my analytics show that this makes people tune out. People either skip the section or stop watching entirely if they don't see Gamemaker open at first.
perhaps I'm not engaging enough, or people looking at video tutorials want instant solutions, I don't know.


Looking at search terms and video views, I also see that some topics are simply less searched for than others.
My better videos (that explain more general topics) get very few views from being searched, and are not being suggested very often.
However some of my videos I'm not too happy with (lighting systems, etc) are getting far more views!
Lighting system got 23000 views versus the 5000 of my state machine video. Keep in mind my state machine video is o Me of my more popular vids.
My tile map collision video got 13000 views versus the 1400 on my structs video.

What is a shame is that both my array structs and FSM videos are of much higher quality, and are far more useful than the other two vids.


Another interesting metric is the number of 'dumb' questions I get on different kinds of videos (this is how I measure success).
For instance, my lighting videos got the same question asked over and over; how to make it work with views. This is a problem that should easily be resolved by understanding the code and applying an offset to some drawing. However, despite having me answer the question in the comments many times already, I still get the question from time to time.
To me, the video failed as it seems no one learnt to use surfaces or shaders (which is what I should have focused on).

On the other hand, I believe my structs and FSM tutorials where a success, I got fewer views and comments, but they where discussing the ideas rather than askikng 'dumb questions.

Is there a solution?
Well perhaps.
I am trying a new format, where a approach one or two related topics using a more 'sexy' title.
My swaying grass tutorial is such a example.
When making the video, I kept in mind i would have to teach the concept of vertex buffers, and to some extent, vertex shaders, all while showing how to build this one effect.
I think it was a success.
I see people who comment about learning vertex buffers from the video (yess!) And even got someone show me what they made with It, and I'm sure they will now be able to do a lot more with vertex buffers from now on. (They extended the idea by adding randomness, etc).
How about the view count? too soon to say, but even though it's was published 2 months after, it's got as many views as my most useful video, 'array structs'.

I guess I understand the phrase "When a 'wise' man points at the moon the imbecile examines the finger".
 
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chance

predictably random
Forum Staff
Moderator
(snip)
My better videos (that explain more general topics) get very few views from being searched, and are not being suggested very often.
However some of my videos I'm not too happy with (lighting systems, etc) are getting far more views!
(snip)
No mystery here. This has to do with subject matter, rather than tutorial quality. Lighting and collisions are topics beginners recognize and want to learn. Whereas structures and state-machines appeal to experienced programmers. And beginners outnumber experienced users by large margins.

This also explains the number of "dumb questions" for certain tutorials. It's a function of audience skill level and size, rather than tutorial quality.

Nevertheless, I understand your desire for "metrics" to gauge how well your tutorials are succeeding. But metrics based on view numbers don't tell the whole story, for reasons I mentioned above.
 

FrostyCat

Member
No mystery here. This has to do with subject matter, rather than tutorial quality. Lighting and collisions are topics beginners recognize and want to learn. Whereas structures and state-machines appeal to experienced programmers. And beginners outnumber experienced users by large margins.

This also explains the number of "dumb questions" for certain tutorials. It's a function of audience skill level and size, rather than tutorial quality.

Nevertheless, I understand your desire for "metrics" to gauge how well your tutorials are succeeding. But metrics based on view numbers don't tell the whole story, for reasons I mentioned above.
Not being frequently searched for by rookie developers is understandable, it's the lack of recommendations from experienced developers that Fel666 is having beef with.

If the "dumb questions" are coming up so often, why are resources that target the underlying causes of "dumb questions" not being suggested more often? This is causing novice ignorance to beget band-aid learning instead of longer-term learning, which disincentivizes the development of basic learning materials, which begets more novice ignorance.

Also, if beginners massively outnumber experienced users, why are so many of them given poor advice on how to become independent? Around here, the "I learned everything from YouTube" crowd tend to be intermediate users at best, while top responders and veterans almost always advise learning basic GML and doing independent work. This topic and this topic demonstrate the rift quite evidently. Why miss key competencies and teach dependence?
 

Yal

GMC Memer
GMC Elder
This topic and this topic demonstrate the rift quite evidently.
I find it kinda beautiful how the first topic's first reply ties in with the opening post of the second topic.
While it probably just was an autocorrect messup, I like how it suggests YouTube tutorials are one-way consumption rather than something that requires active effort and learning. It's a hilariously appropriate metaphor for the underlying problem we're discussing.


I've learned most of my GML knowledge through osmosis... partially through reading through random pages the manual, but mostly from being really active in the GMC for years, reading interesting code snippets and method suggestions by others. It's not a method I'd suggest to someone wanting to learn GML quickly, because it takes a lot of time and is very imprecise, but I recently watched a GDC talk mentioning how this method (I think the term they used was "random scatter learning") is the most effective, because players don't want to actively learn a lot of things just because the game tells them to, they want to osmose random details that seem interesting and useful when they come across them. I think @Fel666 has a good point about making tutorials that are APPARENTLY about a concrete thing, but actually teach other things on the side... they're basically using osmosis scattering to teach stuff, and it's the way people prefer learning - sounds like a win-win situation to me.
 

chance

predictably random
Forum Staff
Moderator
If the "dumb questions" are coming up so often, why are resources that target the underlying causes of "dumb questions" not being suggested more often?
I think proper resources are suggested, quite often. Most "dumb questions" (i.e., easily answered by a little research) are referred to the GM manual. Often, members provide a direct link to the specific function needed. So I don't see an issue here.

Also, if beginners massively outnumber experienced users, why are so many of them given poor advice on how to become independent?
First, I don't feel that's true. I think GMC beginners (in general) receive good advice about using resources to improve their skills. That said, bad advice still occurs occasionally. But again, it's because beginners outnumber experts. So when they try to help, they sometimes give poor advice. That's the nature of an open forum. So your question answers itself.

I guess you and I have different views of the situation. You seem to suggest that experienced GMC members have a responsibility to teach beginners. Even suggesting experienced members are partly responsible when beginners fail, or pick up bad habits.

I might agree if this were a classroom, where beginners were paying for coursework. But the GMC isn't that. Experienced members are free to help, or free to ignore.
 
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zendraw

Member
i had a feeling it wuld turn into a bucket of jibberish. sure, you are all smart, but nothing came out of this topic, and correct me if im wrong but that was the point? and how can somthing be done if all you do is talk about it and dont do nothing? and an irony im noticing, advanced gml users tell noobs to practice yet here we are and you cant even start on making a tutorial.
if you want i will make it easy for you, you just choose a game, lets say top-down one, lets say a zelda clone, cus its an adventure game and its fun and has all kinds of mechanics.
now plan that game out in tutorials and structure them so they progress from easy gml to advanced and you can list them out so newbs culd follow them.
there you have it. and with this game your teachings of ds_grids and i dont know what, will have juice and purpose and people will get attracted to it. yes if you really want people to learn you must first attract them with somthing.
also the videos shuld be around half an hour, +they shuld have time stamps i think were called, like what they do with albums on youtube.
i dont know if im missing anything but if i am, ask and i will tell you what to do.

just do somthing. jesus..
 

Bayesian

Member
I'm planing a YouTube tutorial series aimed at beginners and I'm really striving to avoid all the mistakes mentioned in this thread. Is anyone willing to help 'peer review' my project? The scripts for each episode are on Google Docs, though atm since I've decided to switch to GMS 2 I'll have to rewrite them, but the idea I'm going for is there. The scope may need to be toned down atm, or have the title changed at the very lest(I've been calling it "Everything Platformer".). I've had a hard time describing what I want to make. The idea is every 'basic' type of player movement found in Platform games. So rolling, dashing, wall moves and that stuff but not "Every character's up+b from Smash".
 

zendraw

Member
you just go ahead and make it, just dont forget whats the point of these tutorials. to make the manual or this forum obsolete. if your knowledge of gml is at that level then you dont need to worry bout scirpts n sith lords, its about makin info so easy to understand that a baby wuld get it. that means you get personal with it, not formal. no1 likes formal, and no1 gets formal. but again, its about the info, it doesnt need to be a tv show. ive stopped watchin shaun and beast but theyr way of presentation is good, use that. infact i like shauns presentation, about things he get he aways goes more in detail, thats good, do that. but his tutorials stop at the noob level. thats the whole problem with his chanel.
 

hogwater

Member
This is kind of a tangent, but I think a really neat idea for a "tutorial" would be a "How Did They Do It?" series. You could show clips from a game, and then theorize a few different ways you would be able to replicate the mechanics in GML.

Might be a nice way to introduce people to concepts and ways of doing certain things without necessarily crafting every bit of code bit by bit for people to ctrl+c.

There are different ways of doing this (some of which are being done)- you've got the historical/hardware accurate investigative route, the complete reverse engineering while using the actual sprites route etc. I think a more theory/discussion based "how one could accomplish these ideas" style could be helpful.
 

muki

Member
Part of the limitations of youtube tutorials is when you're a channel owner, analytics tell you the shorter the video you can make, the better it is for hits/views. So they tend to gloss over important stuff. We're unfortunately in a soundbite world.
 

GMWolf

aka fel666
Part of the limitations of youtube tutorials is when you're a channel owner, analytics tell you the shorter the video you can make, the better it is for hits/views. So they tend to gloss over important stuff. We're unfortunately in a soundbite world.
I think the solution to this is to cover smaller, Self contained subjects.
 
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