An open-letter to @grazer

Ever since i came onto this site and started to use the editor frequently, there have been plenty of things i’ve wanted to see added! This is a collection of them. I get that you’re probably a busy guy @grazer , so i made it easier by high-lighting the most important parts by making them bold! But, i highly suggest reading the whole thing instead if you can! I’ve also provided a visual demonstration of all my suggestions to give a rather accurate depiction of what i’m saying would look like!

*Add different proximity sensor shapes! Currently the only shape is circle, lets say for example you’re making a rouge-like (Google it) and you’re using proximity sensors connected to cameras to make the camera transition to different rooms, you’d have to make the doors at the center-edge of each room to make that work! But, if you could set it to square or rectangle, then it could be anywhere on the room cause then you could go into the room without having to walk closer to the center to get it to work!

I also suggest making it so when you click the object, its proximity sensor will appear, and then you can drag the edges to make it either bigger or smaller!

*Add a quick menu! Basically, if you want to edit a objects behaviors the only way you could do that is clicking it and going into behaviors. But: Why not add a little arrow at the top left that lists the behaviors in the object vertically and allows you to go into said behaviors and edit them there! This would be helpful is you just need to tweak something quickly or need to see what a mailbox/message says!

*Add a way to change a objects collison manually! Currently, Flowlab seems to automatically detect an objects collison and that typically works well. But you should make it so you can go into the skin editor and go into a different layer that allows you to edit the pixels which collide manually! Flowlab is a extremely open and customizable editor and making it even more customizable like that would be great!

*Add a flagging system! There is currently 0 regulation as to what goes onto Flowlab and this is both a blessing and a curse! A racist game could be uploaded and it could just slip under the cracks and go unnoticed! My solution to this is a YouTube styled flagging system! Basically: If someone in the community clicks the flag button on the games page: They should have to re-enter their email/password (This is to prevent mass-flagging!) and than it should be sent to either Grazer or, my idea: A special page on the website where the community will look at it and be the judge of whether the game gets punished or not! Which leads me into my next idea:

*Add a mature/explicit setting! What this would do is make it so creators can tell players that “Yeah, this game is more adult”! Creators should be required to put this up when the game features: Blood or gore, sexual content, racism or swearing! Now being a “Mature” game should mean that only people who enable the “Show me mature themes” button on their account (Which should also be added!) will be able to see it! Simple, and useful!

Now what do we do if someone gets FLAGGED for NOT putting up the mature themed button when it should be up? Well, deleting the game is FAR too brutal of a punishment in my opinion! As what if that racist game has a lot of effort behind it? So here’s a lighter solution: Just make it so flagged games will be forever set to not show on the games list and that any link to the game on the site will be automatically removed! Meaning, yes, the game still exists: BUT it can no longer be shared unless it’s being exported! Fair and brutal!

*Change how a input/output plug looks when it’s connected! Basically, as of right now: There’s no way to know which plug is used and which one isn’t! And my proposal is to change the outline of the plug so that you can clearly tell at a glance that it’s being used or not! For example in this picture it kinda looks like that the “on” input on that switch has something going into it when in reality it’s just going behind it!

*Add a variant of the save function which EVERYONE shares on that game! Basically as of right now: Online functionality for Flowlab is pitiful. And i have a solution to this which would definitely make adding certain things to your game a LOT easier! My proposal is a special variant of the save behavior which allows EVERYONE to update the same save data! This opens up the door for a LOT of different things to be made! Here’s a list of some off the top of my head:

-Leaderboards could be made as you can just have the number be filtered out with other peoples numbers in the save and then if it’s in the top 10 save it!
-Shops could now have a universal stock amount as you could just tell the shop to subtract 1 and then save it so everyone gets the same amount of items before they ring the shop dry!
-You could even have a custom play count as you could just use the “Once” behavior to add 1 to the number and then save it!

*Add custom loading screens
Recently, paid users got the ability to customize their games page (I’m a little jealous, to be honest). Why not expand upon this by allowing them to even customize the loading screen that plays before their game opens? This could be anything from allowing them to put up a simple picture that scales with the resolution or going so far as allowing them to make their own animated loading screens! This would allow game developers to give their games just a little bit more character!

An improved games page
Iv’e brought this up in The (Now defunct) Crigence Critique, but Flowlab puts a little too much of an emphasis on “Creating” but not enough on "Playing"

Cycled pins
Over the years, Flowlab has gotten FAR too many pins (If you ask me anyway), i think it would not only make the pins more effective, but free up space if we made the pins cycle between each-other!

Of course, i’m not sure if the websites infrastructure would be capable of supporting this but it’s something to consider!

Thanks for reading ~Crigence

@Crigence you can replicate the square thing using filters…

The quick menu would never work, as it would cause very complex behaviors to be very screwed, and simple behaviors you might as well just open up the window

It’s not for connecting them, it’s for editing the behaviors themselves. Although yeah more complex behaviors wouldn’t render properly

Well, since this is a message to @grazer , I wanted to say that for the GUI for messaging such as to the player, I would like it if it could be possible so that you could have multiple things to click so it could reveal a different outcome in the message so, say if it was a conversation between a player and an NPC, the player can choose what he can say to the NPC. Just a suggestion, and thanks for reading, @grazer .

I just updated the letter with a new feature request!

@grazer if you’re paying attention: This is probably the most important feature on the list!

Thanks for the suggestions, @Crigence - and I appreciate you taking the time to add illustrations as well :slight_smile:

Regarding the Flagging system, we sort of have something that works that way - except it is opt-in. There is a button in the game settings that says “Don’t display is games list”.

In general, I don’t want to try and police people’s games. A couple of times I’ve needed to manually de-list games (just from the list and search), but mostly we’ve been lucky and people haven’t made too much content that’s inappropriate to list on the site. It may be good idea to add a “report content” button, but I’ll need to add some sort of content policy to go with it if I do.

Yeah that “Don’t display in games list” button doesn’t seem to work, as i’m pretty sure free games can’t be shown in the games menu as the button seems to be unchecked… Yet Old Super Mario Bros. (My game) is a free game and yet it’s on page 2 currently!

(Unless you actually choose what goes on the first 3 pages in which case thank you!)

Hey love the ideas!

@grazer I have updated the discussion to include a new suggestion i want to see added to the editor! Also, thanks for responding!

I didnt mean any cringy stuff here @Crigence , just you give pretty harsh reviews.

Oh and I checked the day, only I posted stuff ALL DAY that day.

@Crigence I like the ideas

are you not allowed to have blood and gore on games list here on flowlab?

Will horror games with some brutal jump scares count as a mature rating? If yes, and it can’t be on the list, can you make an age select thingy in the game that you have to be ___ old in order to play?

Also, I have a suggestion too- I wish that the backgrounds could have an animation option. It would make the game more detailed, clean, and polished. It is better than to put it on the game layer, because in my experience, when I make a background that has an animation, it sometimes goes over the player and other sprites, and I don’t want that to happen. It makes the game design less clean and buggy, and if it was added, it could hugely benefit the flowlab community, whether the creator payed for flowlab or not, considering it could indeed save the amount of objects needed.
Another thing is that the background should also have an option to code, but to be fair, it won’t have any coding blocks that can potentially move the background.
I have an example for both of these- I’m making a moderate horror game that isn’t gory or bloody, just scary. (It could be okay for kids if they can handle normal jump scares, just to be clear that it can be appropriate.) The background should have a door and a closet that the enemies can go in and out of. As someone who hasn’t paid for flowlab yet, this could entirely benefit me in astounding ways. It could expand my capabilities and skills as a creator of flowlab, and my games could be more detailed and have more effort put in it.
Keep in mind, this is a suggestion, not a demand for something new.

@“ShadowAxeKid Productions” everything you suggest is possible. In order for something to be moving in the “background” simply put it in the game layer with a lower display order than everything else. I don’t quite understand what you mean by door-closet. But it sounds completely possible with some coding.

I do agree with you however, it would be nice to have more advanced background options, simply to make things easer.

@grazer I also have a recommendation for future updates. Proximity’s can detect when something leaves the detecting area.

Guys, there is Raycast. A beautiful guy that would help you with that. @“Lyndon Bork” and @Crigence (for your rogue-lite/like)

  • Quick menus are way too much overwhelming and confusing. I would rather leave it as it is.

  • Hitbox drawing is kinda possible. Not saying it wouldn’t be useful, but there is a way to do it now. If you use the mainframe as the hitbox and use animations as the normal sprite, you got a custom hitbox. I do this A LOT. It can do magical stuff.

  • Different shapes for proximity… Hmmm yeah alright. It’s not bad but I don’t think it’s really needed. judging by the example you gave - you can make that pretty easily.

  • And everything else +18/ report flag-related will make this site way more restricted and it would need constant attention for trollers, spams and unlisting games. I think it’s too much unnecessary work for a community that is doing pretty great actually.

Thanks for the feedback on my ideas, i appreciate some constructive criticism every now and then!

Anyway, firstly i’m not saying you should HAVE to use the quick menu and i never said it’s a replacement. It’s just for making quick edits!

Secondly, that is a pretty smart solution for custom hitbox’s but i feel like we shouldn’t really have to go through all the effort to do something THAT simple.

Thirdly, i actually already knew about being able to make somewhat custom proximity sensor shapes but as i said about the hotboxes: It shouldn’t be that complicated to do something that simple.

Also i NEVER said that the 18+ setting was for moderation. It’s just so players know what they’re getting into!

Also, yeah i will admit the flagging system is a bit unnecessary RIGHT NOW, but if this site ever becomes big or wants to go even slightly mainstream: We’re going to need some more moderation!

Lastly: You forgot to mention the different looks for output/input plugs… But still, thanks for all the feedback!

If you want something to know when it isn’t in proximity, connect proximity to NOR. A NOR Logic Gate basically is an Always for something opposite of what you connect it to.