Introducing Remote Preview

Official Construct Post
Ashley's avatar
  • 13 Mar, 2017
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Imagine if you could tweet your game. Or alternatively you're chatting to someone in WhatsApp and want to show them your game. Or maybe you're working with a remote playtester and want them to try a quick change. Exporting and publishing is a fair amount of hassle for this. Remote Preview is a new feature in Construct 3 that makes this easy.

Remote preview gives you a link directly to your game in the Construct 3 editor. You can send this link to anyone else on the web, and when they visit it, the game starts in their browser. Here's how it works.

Sharing your game

To share your game, you just click a new Remote Preview button instead of the normal preview.

A Scirra server will then immediately assign you a link to your game with a special code embedded. This is then shown to you in the Remote Preview dialog.

This link is now yours to share. You can tweet it, email, share on IM, or use any other means to send it to someone else. The code is randomised, so nobody can guess it unless you send them the link.

When someone visits the link, a Scirra server then establishes a peer-to-peer WebRTC connection between you and the visitor. Once they're connected to you, Construct 3 will send your project directly to them. After the loading screen, the visitor is now playing your game! Here's what a visitor using Firefox might see.

Meanwhile, back in Construct 3 you can view a list of connected clients. This includes technical information like their browser, operating system and WebGL information. It also includes real-time performance data like the second-by-second FPS and estimated CPU usage, allowing you to review cross-device performance at a glance. It also has their real-time state such as their loading progress or which layout they are currently on. Here's what it looks like with an Android phone and a desktop Firefox browser simultaneously previewing the project.

Notice the links to request a video stream from clients. When you click this, a window pops up with a real-time video stream of the visitor's game.

The visitor sees notifications telling them when you start and stop video, so they know when you are watching. This video only shows what's on the canvas in their browser — you can't see any other windows on their computer, nor access their camera or microphone — to ensure the privacy for the visitor outside of what they are doing with your game.

Updating the project

In Construct 3 you can continue to work on the project while Remote Preview keeps going. When you have some new changes to share, you can simply select Remote Preview again. This updates the version of the project available with Remote Preview and notifies all connected visitors that there is a new version available. They're not cut off, and can keep going with the version of the project they have — but all they need to do to see the update is press refresh. This helps make test iterations fast, even if you're working with a playtester on the other side of the globe.

When you close Remote Preview, the game is no longer available at its URL. This lets you stay in control of exactly when the game is available. Closing Remote Preview does not cut anybody off, so they can continue to play the game without interruption. However they are also notified about the host disconnecting. If they reload after that, the game will no longer be available.

Working locally

While Remote Preview allows you to instantly share your game with anyone in the world, it also works well locally too. On a Local Area Network (LAN), WebRTC will establish local connections where possible, allowing for a very fast local transfer of the project. You can also use Remote Preview on the same computer, and again WebRTC will establish a local connection without actually transferring anything over the network. This makes it possible to test in other browsers — so even cross-browser testing is possible from a browser! It's easier, more capable and global version of Construct 2's preview-over-wifi.

Currently Chrome and Firefox have the necessary WebRTC support to use Remote Preview. Microsoft and Apple are actively working on their WebRTC implementations for Edge and Safari, so they should be supported in the near future as well.

Instant global sharing

Whether you want to show a friend your first creation, tweet your game for instant feedback, or run performance tests with playtesters from around the world, Remote Preview makes it as easy as copying and pasting a link. It even covers reviewing gameplay videos and remote test-and-develop cycles. This is a unique feature that takes full advantage of the fact Construct 3 runs in the browser, and shows what becomes possible when using the web as the platform.


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