Is Construct 2 suitable for my needs? (Advice)

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  • First of all, I'm impressed with what I've seen so far;

    Nice company/devs

    Seems intuitive to use (it only took my a couple of hours to get an animated character running and jumping around on some basic platforms)

    No need for coding (I'd like to code, but I've only done simple scripting so far)

    Reasonable pricing for the Personal Edition

    Good community!

    By day I'm a Cisco/firewall/telecoms engineer with a general IT background, I'm also an avid gamer and a hobbyist artist. Recently after watching Indie Game - The Movie it suddenly brought back memories of the platformers I played when I was growing up when gameplay ruled. I bought FEZ, loved it and I decided that instead of just painting pictures that I never look at again, I could channel that into making a game.

    I have no illusions on making any money, I just what to make something that I'll enjoy as much for the process as anything else...

    So, that's where I'm coming from. What I'd like to build initially is a platformer with painted backgrounds and foregrounds and fairly large levels. I don't really like the tiled effects of some of the older/retro style games but from what I've read so far, using big images in Construct 2 is pretty much a no-no approach.

    I did have in my head that I'd basically paint a full level on the front layer, stick some basic sprite objects to make up the solid platforms behind that layer and that would work for me.

    Now, while I like the software, I'm not sure there's any way to achieve what I'd like to do with it?

    Am I looking at the wrong software for my ideas or are there different ways to achieve the same sort of thing in Construct 2?

    PS - I only really need to run the game/s on Windows, but I guess a web option would be nice too. I'd also like to be able to create save games easily.

  • Welcome to the forums Zantium, and although they say no "big images", you can paint your large background and break it into segments of around 512x512 and it should help performance (in-game it would still look seamless). It would probably depend on overall size of a level.

    Construct 2 is pretty fast and does have the ability to export to Windows EXE's as well as other platforms. You can check out the old Construct Classic though as well to see if you like the way games are made with Construct, but it's recommended to switch to Construct 2 as Construct Classic was retired.

  • Thanks for the welcome. :)

    I guess the foreground would be the big image with the most detail in it and the background would be a muted parallax scrolling type affair that would follow or match the foreground - at least in my mind. ;)

    So then, if I sliced a large design image up into 512x512 segments but had a total level area of perhaps 4096x4096, how would that help?

    The only way I can think of is if the engine dynamically loaded the currently viewable graphics/screen and unloaded ones that you'd passed from memory.

    If it works like that, it's not a problem, I can draw a big picture in photoshop or SAI and just chop it up.

  • You can definitely achieve what you want with Construct 2. As Jayjay said though, you will probably need to cut up your huge images, but only because it will be better performance-wise. Saving and loading is a breeze as well, and Construct 2 is great for making most types of games, but it is super great for platformers.

    If you're still on the fence though, I'd suggest playing around with the free version a bit more; it tends to grow on you.

  • We have officially retired Construct Classic, and our official advice is that nobody should use it.

    We recommend not using large image tiles to design levels, not because Construct 2 can't handle them, but because they're a bad way to design games in general. See the blog post Remember not to waste your memory.

  • Oh dear, I'd actually started reading that article when I first looked at the software and forgot to go back and complete it. <img src="smileys/smiley9.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

    So, what I'd planned to do is basically bad design practice (though perhaps technically possible on a desktop).

    Even if I chopped up a large imaged level into smaller tiles, it wouldn't make any difference. It's still the same number of bits in use as a total loaded into memory as Construct 2 loads all the required assets up front for each level.

    I had thought that a single background with lots of space/transparency would be more efficient than lots and lots of sprites to make up the scenery, but the engine rendering the transparent parts negates that.

    OK, I think I fully understand why it's bad now and I need a different approach. What I need to do instead is build myself up a "palette" of sprites for each level with a different design look and make up the levels using these. That would be a bit like using the stamp tool in photoshop rather than painting in with a brush.

    That Rayman Origins example is really good too, it doesn't look repetitive at all. There are a couple of things that spring to mind with it however;

    1. There are a lot of sprites highlighted in that one image (23), with a large level, can Construct 2 handle that sort of number 500-1000? and in using sprites does it impact CPU or RAM? (I'd guess being objects, it would hit the CPU more)

    2. In the image there are a couple of different trees, while these look like individual images, there are similarities so these too may be build from multiple layers of "tree parts". So, should practically everything in a level be build from sprites on a layer of tiled image/texture e.g. the grass/ground should use a tiled image as a basis and highlights are added as sprites?

    Thanks for your help so far. :)

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  • You can deactivate collision for background only sprites. I think it is also possible to activate effects only for on-screen sprite, not sure if it is really good, but maybe that could help

    also, particles are hard to handle

    Tiled background should be used for repeated images instead of sprites.

    Also, nothing prevents you (except time maybe) to try to make some differents configuration modes, some with no effect applied whatsoever (for people which can't handle greatly the game),

  • Hi Zantium ;

    I'm also new here. I've been busy elsewhere since I started with construct 2 (and mainly forum reading.. so distracting..) but I was stuck between Gamemaker Studio (steam one) and Construct 2 (which I heard of literally just before I was about to buy Gamemaker.

    -I'd like to say I'm glad I didn't spend the ?300 odd, because one I would've had to have borrowed it from my grandparents and two because Construct 2 is better and less expensive!!

    I was delaying making a simple game as I wanted an answer before testing but then I went and did the Ghost Top-down shooter which during I felt like I was just monkey-see-monkey-doing (reading and performing) but after I was really impressed and felt like I'd gotten to grips with how Construct 2 is unique.

    I could go on.. (don't ask me to <img src="smileys/smiley17.gif" border="0" align="middle"> ) but Construct 2 is seriously good. I'm not saying I'll stay here forever (maybe one day work on 3d games.. <img src="smileys/smiley10.gif" border="0" align="middle">) but for now, 2d-wise, I'm staying with construct 2!

    Sulli me or steam chat me (Steam ID: Sulli (picture of samurai jack) or something and we can have a chat etc; as forum posting is an abstract way to socialise on a long-term scale!

    Anyway you'll enjoy Construct 2; guaranteed! <img src="smileys/smiley1.gif" border="0" align="middle">

  • Zantium perhaps this might show what you can do simply- but don't be unimpressed with the simplicity; because think how much you could do with the time saved using Construct!

    Check out the .capx to see how simple it is- in the event sheet.

  • Sulli Oh, I like the program, no worries there. I was also looking at GM:S on steam when I saw this one. It's nicely laid out and intuitive as I mentioned and I read one of the tutorials, watched a couple of youtube videos etc while feeding the baby. <img src="smileys/smiley1.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

    Platform feel wise, my initial tests were good, with a little tweaking the movement and jump motion felt right and I was able to set it up with a controller no problem. I honestly spent much longer drawing this animation sequence than I did actually setting it up in game - which is a good thing!

  • Zantium I'm really liking this guy atm!

    Good one to subscribe to, me thinks <img src="smileys/smiley1.gif" border="0" align="middle">

    Hit me up on steam if you've got it. It'd be nice to chat to another user.

  • I think I've seen one or two of his videos already but hadn't taken a detailed look - watching on virgin tivo box (while feeding baby) so the interface/search/subscribe is limited. Subbed on my PC now though.

    I have to say, I don't think I've ever actually chatted to anyone on steam before but I'll try and say hello next time I'm on.

  • I think the next step for me is I'll make a few basic images for fore/middle/background sprites, create a large level with lots of basic platforms and plaster it with "random detail".

    That'll give me some sort of idea on what it'll run like without any other gameplay elements (movement, enemies, dangers etc) on top.

  • Zantium I think construct 2 can handle images in a fairly big quantity. Why not make levels if you feel you can't cram it all? (Make seperate layouts) :)

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