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Ashley's avatar
Medal
Construct Team Founder

We've previously blogged about the Raspberry Pi 2, as well as the Asus Tinker Board, another single-board computer. This time around I took a look at the latest Raspberry Pi, the Raspberry Pi 4 (Model B). In short, it works great with Construct 3! Many past problems have been fixed.

In case you're not familiar with it, the Raspberry Pi is a single-board computer. This means you get one credit-card sized board, and it's up to you to plug in a keyboard, mouse, display and so on. It looks like this:

They're super cheap compared to other computing devices, with the Raspberry Pi 4 costing around $40. This makes them great for hobbyists and tinkerers, as well as education such as teaching computing concepts in the classroom, or even industrial uses.

Running Construct 3

The Raspberry Pi runs Raspbian, a Debian-based OS, and comes with Chromium (the open-source version of Chrome) pre-installed. Construct 3 has long supported other Linux-based systems, and with Raspbian it runs in Chromium right out of the box! There's no need to configure or install anything at all. Here's how it looks after a fresh install of Raspbian:

Despite a bit of choppiness here and there (understandable given its size and price) it's perfectly usable! You could get some real work done, and all the features work smoothly, such as the event sheet.

Improved graphics support

In the past graphics support on the Raspberry Pi was tricky. However with the latest version of Raspbian on the Raspberry Pi 4, it supports not just WebGL out of the box, but WebGL 2!

This is impressive for this kind of device. It even puts it ahead of iOS, where Safari still only supports WebGL 1! It's a capable little device with support for modern graphics, and the GPU driver seems a lot more robust than in the past too.

Performance

The improved specifications on the Raspberry Pi 4 with a faster CPU and more memory help make sure things run more smoothly than in the past. Indeed, it can run Construct 3 games pretty well too - here's one of our performance tests running at 60 FPS:

It seems to have a fairly limited GPU bandwidth though and tends to slow down a bit if you maximize the window. It shouldn't be surprising as this kind of device isn't exactly going to win performance benchmarks. However the games are still playable, and if you use a smaller window they run perfectly well. As long as your games don't push the limits of PC-grade hardware, it'll probably be OK.

Conclusion

It's great to see that both Construct 3 and the games it publishes running well on the Raspberry Pi 4! In the past it was a lot more problematic, but all the issues with things like WebGL support and stability appear to have largely been solved. So now things "just work" with no need to fiddle with settings or software updates.

So if you're in the market for a single-board computer with decent support for Construct games or even the editor itself - we can definitely recommend the Raspberry Pi 4! If you give it a go let us know how it works out for you too, we're always interested to hear how it works out.

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  • "slow down a bit if you maximize the window. "

    "use a smaller window they run perfectly well."

    Exactly this was also the case with the Raspberry pi 2 model B running Construct 2 projects.

    Makes me sad this hasn't been accomplished yet.

    Major downside.

      • [-] [+]
      • Ashley's avatar
      • Ashley
      • Construct Team Founder
      • 1 points
      • (0 children)

      When you buy an entire system for ~$40, it's not surprising it's not super fast... but I think it bodes well for the future - as ever the computing power you get for a fixed price keeps increasing over time! Future models may well be more powerful.

  • it would be cool to have some performance comparision with this against normal androidboxes (like android tv)

  • As a desktop user, what's it liked compared to mobile and console performance?

  • This is a great news, Ashley! Thank you for your post.

    I've been looking on the Internet about Raspberry Pi 4 back this Summer because I wanted to see if it would be possible to put my GBJAM game on this. I'll probably invest in one very soon. If I could build a custom GameBoy-like handheld device with it, it could be sooo fun :p

  • how is it with fullscreen pixel games?

  • This is amazing! I’m so happy to hear that the performance issues are no longer a problem. My interface prototyping game is about to jump up to another level! Not to nitpick, but you are wrong about webGL2 not being supported on iOS. it has been supported for the past two years. It’s just not on by default. You have to turn it on in Safari settings.

      • [-] [+]
      • Ashley's avatar
      • Ashley
      • Construct Team Founder
      • 3 points
      • (0 children)

      WebGL 2 is off by default in Safari because it's not finished and doesn't yet work properly, which is what I count as "not yet supported". Even if something is supported, if it's not enabled by default it's not actually any use, since it will remain disabled for virtually all users in practice.