Local file & folder saves now available

Official Construct Post
Ashley's avatar
  • 20 Nov, 2020
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We first took the bold step to launch Construct 3 as a fully browser-based web app in 2017. At the time, thanks to the ever-increasing power of the web platform, Construct 3 could do virtually everything Construct 2 could do as a desktop app (as well as adding new capabilities like Cloud Save). One of the only things that couldn't be done in a browser was accessing local files and folders. For a long time browsers lacked the necessary features and permission to access local files. However we're now pleased to announce that as of Construct 3 r225 you can now also save projects to local files and folders, just like in desktop apps! It's supported in Chrome 86+ as well as other Chromium-based browsers like the latest Microsoft Edge.

Saving local files

Now you can choose Menu - Project - Save as - Save as single file. The following save prompt lets you save your project file anywhere on disk. Previously you could only save a file to your downloads folder using the Download a copy option.

Further, when you next use the Open local file option, you can make changes and save directly over the original file on disk. This is the same convenience that you could normally only get with a desktop app, but now available in the browser!

For security reasons you may sometimes see a permission prompt when accessing files. Make sure you allow permission to ensure file access works.

Local files are also remembered in recent projects, making it easy to pick up from where you left off.

Saving local folders

Another new option is the ability to Save as project folder. This option saves your project as lots of individual files within a dedicated folder.

Why might you want to use this option? Firstly, it's good for very large projects, since saves are quicker: Construct only has to update a few of the changed files, rather than regenerate an entire new .c3p file containing the entire project on every save.

Secondly it's good for teams collaborating with source control tools like Git and SVN. Construct's main project data files are in a text-based JSON format, which works well with tracking and merging changes in these tools. We've written a guide covering how to use this with GitHub, so if you're interested in collaborating on a project with a team, see: How to collaborate on Construct projects with GitHub.

What's in a .c3p?

A useful thing to know is that Construct's single-file projects, with the extension .c3p, are (and have always been) just a zip of a project folder. This means you can rename them to .zip, extract the files, and now you have a project folder. Similarly you can do the reverse: zip a project folder, rename the .zip extension to .c3p, and now you have a single-file project. This means you can also easily switch between the project types in file managers like Windows Explorer.


You can find out more about the new feature in the updated manual section on Saving projects. You can also watch a demonstration towards the end of the r225 release video.

We first bet on the web back in 2011 with Construct 2's HTML5 exporter. We doubled-down in 2017 with a web-based editor for Construct 3. This move continues to pay off as the web platform continues to advance. Google even have a project specifically dedicated to ensuring web apps can do everything desktop and mobile apps can, called Project Fugu. This includes further capabilities in development, including the ability to associate the .c3p file extension with Construct 3. There's also the existing Install as app option allowing you to create a desktop shortcut that opens a special app window which (like in the browser) works offline - looking and feeling a lot like a desktop application, but actually using web technologies.

This moves us closer to the vision of having a web apps that work just like desktop apps - something we're fully utilising with Construct 3. And as ever browser makers are still working hard adding lots of other improvements and optimisations, and we're of course still working hard improving Construct 3 itself too!


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