GameMaker has “No Competition” –
We beg to differ! HTML5's scalability

Official Construct Post
Tom's avatar
  • 28 May, 2012
  • 498 words
  • ~2-3 mins
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In a recent interview with Sandy Duncan (CEO of YoYoGames, the company behind GameMaker) he stated that “We have no direct competition”. A fairly bold claim for anyone who’s heard of Construct 2! GameMaker users continue to jump ship over to us.

As many people know, GameMaker have developed multiple exporters which is where Sandy’s assertion likely originated.

“It now supports PC, Mac OS X, HTML5, iOS and Android - all for $600.” - Sandy Duncan, CEO of YoYoGames

This is where our strategy and YoYoGame’s strategy differs. We decided early on that maintaining multiple exporters and bringing them up to the level of quality we would be happy with would be a difficult job with limited resources. It’s a long term commitment to customers requiring considerably more complications and development time than working with a single technology like HTML5.

Another consideration was that with multiple exporters, plugins for Construct 2 would have to be re-written for each exporter which would be a maintenance nightmare. GameMaker solve this issue by creating `Game Maker Language`, a common scripting language they have developed for all their plugins to be written in.

With Construct 2 and our currently exclusive HTML5 support, plugins are written in Javascript. Javascript is a great language to learn with swathes of learning resources already freely available online, and writing plugins in Javascript is a great way to start learning how to code.

If we had decided to go with multiple exporters in Construct 2, we could have also invented our own scripting language to tackle the issue. We decided however it would be best to not re-invent the wheel; Javascript is a very popular, well supported scripting language. Javascript also has significant real world value - shows a steady upwards trend in the demand for Javascript related jobs. And of course, Javascript has been optimised for extreme performance by industry heavyweights like Google.

We don’t currently support other exporters because we don’t need to. We’re extremely excited by the future of HTML5. New technology means that we can now reach, or will soon reach, all the platforms YoYoGames claim they do.

Take for example CocoonJS and AppMobi’s directCanvas. CocoonJS on an Android phone averages 34 fps in our benchmarks, and directCanvas on iPhone 4S can surpass 50fps. And it’s early days - we’re confident this can be improved further. Other technologies exist to wrap HTML5 games in a desktop app. We are reaching a point where HTML5 games wrapped in other technology is comparable to native.

We’re certain that HTML5 will imminently be able to deliver on all platforms, and it will allow us to focus our efforts on developing the best possible software instead of maintaining multiple exporters. HTML5 is going to allow game developers to create truly multiplatform games and we’re almost there. Maybe YoYoGames mistakenly don’t consider us a direct competitor yet, but they should: consider that you will only need a single Construct 2 license to reach all these platforms.


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