We knew yesterday's announcement would be a surprise for many, but we wanted to be clear about it up-front to remove any doubt or speculation. Now we're ready to focus on all the new and exciting things in Construct 3 — and there's a lot to talk about today, and lots more to follow in the coming weeks!
Let's have a look at Construct 3 in action. With kind permission of Aurelien Regard, we are proud to show you Construct 3 running in Chrome featuring The Next Penelope.
First of all, The Next Penelope is a great game, and a huge Construct project - around 400mb! We imported its Construct 2 project in to Construct 3, and as you can see it looks great — and Chrome handles ambitious projects like this just fine.
The Construct 3 interface has been redesigned from the ground up. We've kept many familiar and useful aspects, like the panes layout and the Properties Bar. There are also some significant differences. We've aimed for a simplified, minimal design that reduces clutter and helps you focus on your content. The ribbon has been condensed down to a toolbar with just the most essential features. Everything else is now under the main menu button.
Being browser-based, the UI style can be modified using CSS. We're keen to add a custom theming system to allow anyone to edit the appearance!
Log in to Construct 3
Near the top-right corner is the user account menu. In this screenshot it's showing a guest user who hasn't logged in. You'll be able to log in to Construct 3 with the same account you use on the website. This makes it dead easy to use Construct 3 on any computer, at home, work or school. Remember, there's nothing to install! We can't wait for you to try this.
This screenshot was taken on a 4K high-DPI display. The high-DPI rendering in Construct 3 is flawless: every detail scales perfectly. The icons for example are all SVG, which means they scale perfectly to any size or detail. The icons have also all been redesigned with a modern flat style like Google's material design. The Layout View also works perfectly with high-DPI displays, and also features zoom-to-mouse, a greater zoom range, and native-equivalent rendering with WebGL 2. Also note the lack of a status bar - instead status appears when it is needed, and in the right context, such as inside the Layout View pane.
The Properties Bar has also been reworked to be easier to use with extra conveniences. For example you can click the "..." button by the project description to edit the text in a larger window. Checkboxes are used instead of on/off dropdowns. You can type calculations like 1920/2 which will set a value of 960. You can even use some system expressions like sqrt(64). Number values can be dragged smoothly with the mouse and instantly show the effect in the Layout View.
You might be wondering how we handle features that have previously required external software like Java for the minifier, or PNGCrush for image recompression. We didn't want to settle for fewer features in the browser, so we created a suite of equivalents, several of which are compiled to asm.js for near-native performance. Then we went a step further and created a scheduling architecture that uses Web Workers run tasks in parallel across all available CPU cores for maximum performance. This all ensures you can do everything in the browser - not just a subset or "lite" version, it's the real deal.
Can I work offline?
We want to be absolutely clear on this - Construct 3 will work offline! We're using the latest Service Worker technology to download the entire app the first time you visit it. Every time you visit after that, it will load directly from disk. So you can be offline, or have an intermittent connection, and you won't even notice - Construct 3 will keep working. We recognise forcing users to be online would be a significant inconvenience for many users, so we've worked hard to make the sure the offline or "lie-fi" experience is perfectly smooth.
You can of course also keep your projects offline if you prefer. We think many people will find it convenient to save and load from the cloud, especially if you use several different devices. However this is not required - you can still save and load projects locally, as you can with Construct 2.
In future we are also planning desktop builds of Construct 3 for Windows, Mac and Linux. These will work much like Construct 2 does now: you download and install the software, can copy it to a USB drive, and so on. These versions will also cover the surprisingly small featureset that can't be covered in the browser, such as saving a folder-based project to a local folder, and better copy-and-paste support. This allows you to take Construct 3 to a computer that is permanently offline, for example.
What about Construct 2?
We're going to keep Construct 2 going for the foreseeable future. Our focus will be on maintenance, with new features aimed at Construct 3, but rest assured — we'll still be fixing bugs and updating the engine if it's affected by any browser issues or changes.
Show me more!
Here's a batch of extra screenshots showing more of Construct 3 on! See the refreshed event style, range of operating systems, and some new demo projects we'll be shipping with the editor. Click each of the screenshots to see them full-size.
Construct 3 previewing a project on MacOS
Construct 3 using multiple windows on Ubuntu
Construct 3 on Windows demonstrating the refreshed event sheet design
Construct 3 on Chrome OS, running as an app so the usual browser interface is hidden
More to come
We've covered a lot, but this is still just scratching the surface. We didn't want to merely equal Construct 2 in the browser: we wanted to exceed it. There's much more to look at. Come back tomorrow for the next update!