The most common issues people following this course have aren't linked to code but rather forgetting to attach a script to a node or not setting a property, which makes this difficult.
That's why in every video we make and test a change - that way if something goes wrong it's most likely in the past few minutes of the last video, greatly limiting the backtracking you have to do.
Lastly, we're here to help. If you get stuck, you can upload your project as a zip archive to something like google drive and we'll help you solve your issue and explain what happened exactly.
In my case I had a 1.0 instead of a 0.0 at one place from 14 lessons back. The code worked, until it didn't, and was really hard to find where I missed that change.
This is especially problematic since there's no pause for people following along, just immediate switching between tools removing the view of the code. It's not uncommon that the view in the video changes more than 5 times in 5 seconds.
I stopped following along after a while because of how the video flow is and how Godot works. If Godot loses focus when I switch to pause the video it closes the tool/view/scene/inspector when I click to get back into Godot so you have to really fight the system from both sides while at the same time trying to think and learn.
It's obvious to me now that this is mostly meant as a youtube series, for people casually watching, and not as an actual course.
I see, I guess you had that in the calculation of the input direction? That's a tricky one to find indeed. In those cases don't hesitate to upload your project, you don't have to bother with backtracking. Other students usually don't - people tend to ask us directly, here, or more often than not on Discord.
This is typical of what people expect in video series, not really related to youtube (many Udemy courses are like this). But I completely understand this may not match your needs and expectations; I'm in a similar boat.
We made series like this one to give our audience things they wanted. This is one of the most-watched Godot tutorials series ever, along with Heartbeast's ARPG series, which uses a similar format. But I don't watch this kind of content, for instance.
Perhaps some of the content of more recent and text-based series, like 2D secrets or Godot node essentials would work better for you. I would especially recommend the latter, although it's in early access: it's our best resource.
Yes, I understand. Trying to convey constructive critiscism in comments usually tends to sound passive aggressive when trying to keep it short but that's not my intention. The contents in this course are great, although not designed to follow along with.
I had a little bit of godot knowledge before I started (made a few tiny projects), and more than 30 years of programming experience in other languages. Most of the time I had already written the functions that came later in the course because it doesn't really differ that much between projects and I had some time to write it during the showcasing of some editor feature. I can also transcribe directly from what I see without looking where I type or anything. If I'm not given enough time to follow along then very few people are.
The 2D Secrets course suffers the same problem, although it's text and images, because in that course there are no summaries on each part and there're no direct indications of what code goes in what file (it could say 'Player.gd' for example on top of each syntax highlight just to make sure, like in a book), in relation of the rest of the code. The syntax highlights feel loosely placed and screenshots are of very small parts of the editor so if you don't already know, and therefore wouldn't need the screenshot, it will be difficult to know where to find it.
When it comes to the code you just scroll back up and somewhere it will say what file we're dealing with, and you'll figure it out. If you read a book on the same theme there's always a summary, like the whole file or class we just edited in the end of each part or chapter to summarize what we changed or learned. That way you don't need to read the whole chapter again just because of a typo.
Good things are always easier to criticize, because it's obvious what can be made better. And I would advise against trying to be like Udemy, no one actually learns anything there, it's pure procrastination. You can do a lot better and are already doing that.
I teach a few university teachers so they are updated with new programming knowledge and ways to teach it to others. This is not at all the same kind of teaching, but I know that much on this site is more complex than what is taught in the university, and making it more accessible causes less people to give up on it.
The details of the courses are the valuable parts, though. I really appreciate those and I'm aiming for a lifetime membership.
No offense taken, I appreciate the feedback. My answer was really to explain the mindset making this series. And, I would add, the older video courses.
We're always looking to make improvements. We tend to be limited by the lack of budget though, which is still pretty tight. That's in fair part why you will see improvements mostly on newer courses. I want to revisit and improve the secrets courses, but this will likely happen for Godot 4, when we can hopefully reach more persons to buy copies and fund the work.
Until then we will mostly make small improvements as we go while we focus on producing new courses to stay afloat.
The 2D Secrets course suffers the same problem, although it's text and images, because in that course there are no summaries on each part
Could you tell me more about what you mean by summaries? Any example I could look at would be welcome. One thing I know we have to do moving forward is summarizing concepts, guidelines, good practices, or key takeaways.
If you read a book on the same theme there's always a summary, like the whole file or class we just edited in the end of each part [...]
In the Secrets courses, you should have code listings that show the state files edited in the lesson should be in at the end of about every lesson. Did you read a series that didn't have that? Or do you mean something other than that?
Another student requested the same improvement, which I'd like to have eventually. I coded an include shortcode that could take care of that, but at the moment only node essentials uses it.
The syntax highlights feel loosely placed
Definitely, that's a known issue and a problem linked to this platform. Basically, almost no online platform supports GDScript and automatic formatters would detect other languages instead.
We are developing our own platform to eventually get over the many issues we've had this one and others before.
For now, I invite you to download the offline version of the course which has the correct syntax highlighting for GDScript.
Don't hesitate to send more feedback and to be critical of the content too. Some improvements you will hopefully see across the series and courses are thanks to people like you who take the time to criticize what we do.
Your questions are most welcome too if you ever have any. Again, we're here to help!
Thank you very much for your comprehensive answer, Nathan!
With summaries I mean kind of like this, in the end of the lesson page:
In this lesson we learned about using RayCast2D and CapsuleShape2D to detect hooking points. We set both to be on collision layer 3 and mask layer 2.
We changed our Hook.gd to the following,
[full syntax highlight of Hook.gd]
We created a REST animation in our AnimationPlayer where we made sure to reset visible to true and scale to 1 of our HookSkin. We also set the REST animation as our starting animation.
The summary just have the end results, in natural language and code, without explanations.
believe a summary like that also helps making the lessons more focused
if it's integrated in the workflow, because if you need to put many
parts in the summary you most likely are not focusing on one key part in
that lesson. In that case maybe there needs to be one or more lessons before this one handling those dependent parts. Maybe there are parts that shouldn't even be the focus in this course and therefore makes the lesson unnecessarily complex.
It's a bit like a TLDR, but better because everyone misses or misunderstands something. Also, you can't really have too much accessibility.
An anecdote for me is that the most extraordinary teachers I've had in my life had this in their lectures both before and after the main lesson. Where we are now -> Lesson -> What we learned today. It made me feel like there was a reason for the lesson, on top of the actual boring 'you-must-learn-this-now' part. It's all of a sudden my accomplishment to have achieved this.
I also noticed now that some of this already exists later in the 2D Secrets series (the code part), which is really nice. Also now after completing the platform character series I realized the tempo is much better, first showing the code and then talking about it while the viewer can make sure to get it right and not have to pause as often.
Yes, it all makes a lot of sense. We try to make improvements as we get feedback.
But it's something we have to do moving forward due to our budgets always limiting us. Hopefully, we're now getting closer to the point where things don't need as much change, but you will definitely see improvements between courses.
Another limitation perhaps is it very difficult to find really experienced teachers to work with us, much more so than really good coders.
And while we have some tools to help with the writing style and consistency of our formatting now, that doesn't help you with the teaching part.
There again, budget and the lack of people teaching Godot are two limitations. So I tend to hire people who lack some experience and try to train them now but you certainly know that takes time.