Question about Construct 2 and mini rant about game engines

  • First of all I would like to say that I think that Construct 2 is pretty damn awesome from what I've played with it so far! It's very intuitive and it makes the process of making games very fun!

    I am thinking of buying Construct 2 but I have some questions (I apologize if they were previously answered in a forum thread or a news comment, I unfortunately couldn't find the information I was looking for):

    a) will Construct 2 be supported after Construct 3 is released? Technically I know that Construct 3 is released and Construct 2 is obviously still being updated, but I don't exactly follow the technology about wrappers for JavaScript, but from what I understand some get deprecated (this was done for Cocoon.io, I believe), and I would like to know if I can use Construct 2 to export games, even if support would be dropped for it. Sorry if this seems like a stupid question.

    b) this is a mini rant: from what I could find, performance sometimes can be troubling for games (mobile games in particular). The thing is, I don't really trust most users with their expectations and with the scoping of their projects. For instance, I once saw that someone was having huge framerate issues, but the problem was that he was emitting thousands of particles every second, which of course would slow down almost any engine (not trying to be mean to that user, I know that we're all learning here, sorry that I singled you out).

    On this performance subject I admit that I am having some reservations. The thing is that I know too well how some software/ game developers want to seem hardcore and brag that they learn other engines (now the craze is with Godot, you're especially cool if you work in Godot -- not saying it isn't a great engine) or that they believe that every single thing should be coded in C++. I saw that some users threw around a test about jankiness and another user was comparing freaking DOOM with a game engine. I think that's downright unfair and to be frank disingenous and mean, considering DOOM is a single game that was optimized by a horde of engineers, arguably one the best hordes in the business (iD Software, come on!), and while I believe that the engineers that made Construct 2 are especially talented, you can't really beat ONE game that was optimized to perfection versus a game engine. I don't understand how the developers/ people who work at Scirra can have so much patience with some of the accusations some people throw at the engine, but damn if they don't deserve a medal.

    When I was looking at Unity people kept saying that it's kind of overkill for smallish 2D games, Gamemaker Studio also is reported to having issues when porting to mobile and HTML5... I'm no expert, but is it safe to say that it's a matter of skill and imagination when it comes to performance? I just saw that Environmental Station Alpha was done in Multimedia Fusion, not even Clickteam Fusion 2.5, and it's an amazing game! Construct 2 also has great games built with it, and the ones on the Showcase page are especially impressive!

    The question I am asking, as I am stuck in an analysis paralysis loop, can I reliably make Construct 2 games for browser games and mobiles, maybe desktop, too, without having huge problems with performance?

    Sorry if my questions seem stupid, I'm not that knowledgeable in game engines, I tried Unity but that seemed kind of too much for the type of 2D games I want to make and I think that Construct 2 fits better for my skills.

    Thanks in advance!

  • Performance will be the least of your issues.

    As a long time user, here's my advice, C2 can be used for :

    • Prototyping games
    • making games that do not deal with: a lot of data, complex dynamic UI, animated UI or anything animated, fancy custom effects.
    • big projects: developing good practices to write maintainable event-sheets is actually harder that written code lol
    • web games; making native games with an html5 engine is funny.

    And you better have a lot of patience: a lot of stuff can be done with C2 just like you can dig a hole with a spoon, it works but so inefficient.

    All in all C2 is a great for a starter !

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  • Hey, thanks for the reply!

    Can I use Construct 2 to sell games to publishers? I saw that GAMEE has a competition going on right now and I found an old post about marketjs buying Construct 2 games. I was curious about mobile games especially, because I think they can be a little bit easier to design and test.

  • [quote:3685mgt0]Can I use Construct 2 to sell games to publishers?

    Only If you have a personal or business license.

    [quote:3685mgt0] I saw that GAMEE has a competition going on right now and I found an old post about marketjs buying Construct 2 games.

    Last time I checked MarketJS only sell their own games.

    If you want to know more about your monetization options I suggest you go and read the : html5gamedevs.com forum.

    [quote:3685mgt0]I was curious about mobile games especially, because I think they can be a little bit easier to design and test

    As opposed to ?

    Yeah C2 is pretty good at supporting a lot of browsers, 99% of the time you wont have problems with the latest devices.

  • a) Construct 3 is already available and released.

    Construct 2 is still updated, but as indicated in r244 changelog :

    [quote:jerzdice]We'll still be maintaining Construct 2, much as we have for the past year or so. However we will be focusing on Construct 3 for new features, including a new runtime.

    There was also an AMA on reddit a few weeks ago in which you could read : https://www.reddit.com/r/construct/comments/7u0twm/we_are_scirra_the_company_behind_2d_game/dtgpz4e/

    [quote:jerzdice]Firstly, we will be continuing to support both Construct 2 itself, and the Construct 2 runtime in Construct 3, for some time after we release the new C3 runtime. For C2 itself we will continue maintenance much as we have recently (see our releases here: https://www.scirra.com/construct2/releases). For C3, we expect even after the new runtime is released, many users will keep using the C2 runtime for some time after that - issues like compatibility and third-party addons may hold people up moving to the new runtime.

    As for hiring, we've already hired about as many staff as we think is sustainable. We also believe Construct 3 is the future of the company, so any new hires would go toward improving C3. C2 is also still a really great program, and I think if we released it open source, we would seriously undermine the future of C3, so I doubt we'll do that.

    Construct 2 exports to HTML5 first and foremost, and always will.

    Buying a license for C2, the license is valid for a lifetime, and so even when the last release for C2 comes, the license will still be valid for/with it.

    And C2 will still export to HTML5 no matter what.

    For mobile, I'm guessing C2 will still provide export to Cordova as well, so as long as wrappers support Cordova, C2 should allow to export to mobile as well.

    And at worst, Construct 3 can be used to export Construct 2 projects to mobile.

    b) You are correct about performances and how a lot of users' expectations are not that realistic.

    As long as you follow the best practices, the performance and memory usage tips, design with the possible limitations of your target device in head, test often on the target platform, performances are more than acceptable on mobile and on desktop as well.

    As long as WebGL is supported and you are using a decent device to execute your game, performances are no issues.

  • If you're concerned about performance, then you should be aware we're aiming to release a whole new runtime for Construct 3 this year, which will have major performance improvements throughout. C2 still performs pretty well for the most part though - historically we've had far more users running in to hardware limits than engine limits, which is more of a game design issue than technology issue.

  • In my experience, Construct 2 is extremely versatile, robust and powerful. It's a 2D engine, so you have to use it as such. For prototyping, there is nothing better. For creating fun 2D games, in a short amount of time, nothing compares.

    Once you get to really know the engine, get a feel for it's quirks, learn best practices and dive into a lot of the advanced features, You'll be able to make some really amazing creations.

    I used Unity for years (and still do from time to time). The problem I have with Unity is that I spent 3/4 of my time coding, reviewing code, troubleshooting and bug fixing. Something about Constructs visual events, and how you handle them (assigning event sheets to layout, including sheets in other sheets, global variables easily carrying across all event sheets), makes "Coding", troubleshooting, and bug fixing a breeze, affording me, as a one person team, more time to focus on art, style and gameplay.

    I think a lot of the problem with construct is that it appears extremely approachable and easy to use, so users jump in head first, without taking the time to review examples, read tutorials and go over the manual.

    It took me almost a year before I even realized that there was a Function object that could be used and BOOM my world was turned around, as well as how I approached creating games with the engine. Take the time to really dig in and learn the engine and you'll see that (despite it's quirks) for 2D projects, It's amazing.

    One thing I also like is the ability to port projects from C2 to C3 relatively easily. Hopefully this support continues for a good long time.

  • The question I am asking, as I am stuck in an analysis paralysis loop, can I reliably make Construct 2 games for browser games and mobiles, maybe desktop, too, without having huge problems with performance?

    Yes, conclusion taken from a blog post (link below) from Scirra: "(...) HTML5 is a great technology for games. It's a consistently fast and mature cross-platform technology, even when wrapped as a native app. The standards compliance of modern browsers is excellent, too. Construct 2's engine is mature as well, having been one of the earliest-released HTML5 engines in 2011, and now with five years of upgrades and maintenance is probably one of the fastest and most reliable HTML5 engines on the market. It's great to see this carrying over to native apps on both desktop and mobile. We're intrigued to see how things will keep advancing in future!"

    Performance blog post

    https://www.scirra.com/blog/175/the-gre ... 16-edition

    Examples of games

    https://www.scirra.com/construct2/games

    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/f ... =103535227

    And C3 is going even beyond this.

    I hope this helps.

  • First of all I would like to say that I think that Construct 2 is pretty damn awesome from what I've played with it so far! It's very intuitive and it makes the process of making games very fun!

    I am thinking of buying Construct 2 but I have some questions (I apologize if they were previously answered in a forum thread or a news comment, I unfortunately couldn't find the information I was looking for):

    a) will Construct 2 be supported after Construct 3 is released? Technically I know that Construct 3 is released and Construct 2 is obviously still being updated, but I don't exactly follow the technology about wrappers for JavaScript, but from what I understand some get deprecated (this was done for Cocoon.io, I believe), and I would like to know if I can use Construct 2 to export games, even if support would be dropped for it. Sorry if this seems like a stupid question.

    b) this is a mini rant: from what I could find, performance sometimes can be troubling for games (mobile games in particular). The thing is, I don't really trust most users with their expectations and with the scoping of their projects. For instance, I once saw that someone was having huge framerate issues, but the problem was that he was emitting thousands of particles every second, which of course would slow down almost any engine (not trying to be mean to that user, I know that we're all learning here, sorry that I singled you out).

    On this performance subject I admit that I am having some reservations. The thing is that I know too well how some software/ game developers want to seem hardcore and brag that they learn other engines (now the craze is with Godot, you're especially cool if you work in Godot -- not saying it isn't a great engine) or that they believe that every single thing should be coded in C++. I saw that some users threw around a test about jankiness and another user was comparing freaking DOOM with a game engine. I think that's downright unfair and to be frank disingenous and mean, considering DOOM is a single game that was optimized by a horde of engineers, arguably one the best hordes in the business (iD Software, come on!), and while I believe that the engineers that made Construct 2 are especially talented, you can't really beat ONE game that was optimized to perfection versus a game engine. I don't understand how the developers/ people who work at Scirra can have so much patience with some of the accusations some people throw at the engine, but damn if they don't deserve a medal.

    When I was looking at Unity people kept saying that it's kind of overkill for smallish 2D games, Gamemaker Studio also is reported to having issues when porting to mobile and HTML5... I'm no expert, but is it safe to say that it's a matter of skill and imagination when it comes to performance? I just saw that Environmental Station Alpha was done in Multimedia Fusion, not even Clickteam Fusion 2.5, and it's an amazing game! Construct 2 also has great games built with it, and the ones on the Showcase page are especially impressive!

    The question I am asking, as I am stuck in an analysis paralysis loop, can I reliably make Construct 2 games for browser games and mobiles, maybe desktop, too, without having huge problems with performance?

    Sorry if my questions seem stupid, I'm not that knowledgeable in game engines, I tried Unity but that seemed kind of too much for the type of 2D games I want to make and I think that Construct 2 fits better for my skills.

    Thanks in advance!

    A couple things:

    a) C2 is being sold with software-breaking bugs. This is discussed elsewhere on the forum, feel free to take a look.

    b) C2 has a lot of performance issues, on desktop and elsewhere, when you try to do anything visually complex or expect things to behave the same way every time (for example, issues with jump predictability using the platform behavior in C2, that Scirra has said they will not backport fixes for from C3). This is not a developer or hardware limitation, regardless of earlier comments in this thread - it's the way C2 handles rendering, which is very inefficient, and little improved in C3 at this time. Promises of a new runtime can't be counted upon for commercial releases, especially when the switch from C2 to C3 has been so fraught with issues from a user perspective and has alienated many experienced users. It's why most of the more successful developers have moved on to other engines, and why some of those developers have ported their games originally made in C2 to other engines, including at least one of the games listed on the Showcase page.

    Do you mean new DOOM or old DOOM? Because old DOOM's engine (and it was developed as an engine, not just for a single game) was developed mostly by a single software engineer, and new DOOM's engine was developed by only a handful of software engineers - probably a smaller team than you think, considering its complexity, but they were smart on how they built upon previous existing tech. It's a perfect example of what's possible when a game engine is designed to be easily ported to a large variety of platforms as a native application by extremely skilled developers. C2/C3 can't be wrapped as a "native" app, not sure how anyone thought that was true, so that's something to keep in mind should you be interested in porting to widely popular platforms like XBox One where performance can be, to put it politely, somewhat disappointing (not to mention the lack of required features to do a release outside of the XB1 indie program, and even then xoBXonx@DI requirements have yet to be addressed).

    It's not your imagination that there are some issues with HTML5 performance, regardless of engine. There are, however, less issues with HTML5 using certain development tools over others. Phaser is a good example of a high-performance HTML5 engine geared towards the kind of quality and features that developers expect an HTML5 game engine - or, really, any modern game engine - to have.

    Unity has done a lot these last few years to improve their 2D toolset. I wouldn't recommend ruling it out as an option. Unlike some other subscription-based engines, they are very good at justifying their subscription cost.

    If you're looking to do 2D games on mostly desktop, C2 is probably okay if you keep things very simple graphically (C3 is still a mess in its current state and not worth the cost - it's early beta at best). Mobile performance is iffy for anything past very, very simple games, and the same is true for web-based games. Generally speaking I'd suggest using it ONLY for prototypes and porting to a more capable/feature-full engine for a commercial release or for very, very simple games.

  • Hey, thank you to all who replied!

    digitalsoapbox, thank you for the length reply, I really do appreciate it! I was kind of in a bad mood when I wrote my rant, and I might have changed some opinions from that time

    Yes, I am talking about the new DOOM! It' was made by only a handful of engineers? Wow, that's amazing!! Did you see this article talking about it :http://www.adriancourreges.com/blog/2016/09/09/doom-2016-graphics-study/

    So many things happen, it's amazing how they designed the engine!

    And yes, thanks for the points you have given about performance, and about the relationship between C2 and C3. To be perfectly honest, I'm kind of disappointed that Scirra knows that the Android export module is problematic for C2, and they claim that it's fixed in C3 by doing the conversion on their servers, and that you can convert C2 games with this method, but in order to access it you need to subscribe to C3!! I mean, I know it's a business, but if you know that you have a problem with your exporter, wouldn't you want to offer a solution to C2 owners too? If it couldn't be done (no resources, not worth it), maybe I could understand, but not like this. Perhaps they could charge a small fee to convert C2 games.. But heck, what do I know? I think it's bad PR for people to know that your engine has a faulty exporter, but you have a solution, but you keep it behind a paywall..

    Again, I was in a bad mood when I wrote the initial post, and I probably should have taken heed of what others have said, mainly because they are C2 users and have had issues with the software, versus me, someone who never worked with it. So, if I've offended someone, sorry!

    Thank you again to everyone who replied!!

  • ....but in order to access it you need to subscribe to C3!

    Not just that but the Free version of C3 is keeping the whole "25 Events limit, No access to family feature" BS so even a C2 license owner would have to pay a subscription just to TEST a game they already made.

    With a subscription business model you think they'd at least give you access to the whole engine and hold the file behind the paywall IF a user wants to export it. Softwares like Aseprite for example have a free version where you have access to all its features but cannot save the resulting images you create; it's all fair and good since you get to enjoy the product to its full potential before you decide you want a full version.

  • [quote:3u66hr0i]And you better have a lot of patience: a lot of stuff can be done with C2 just like you can dig a hole with a spoon, it works but so inefficient.

    Really?? To me it's more like eating soup with a ladle, much faster than it should be. I think Construct is quite efficient at least if your aim is to export HTML 5 games. I don't really know, nor do I care about desktop and mobile options right now, you can play HTML 5 games full screen on mobiles anyway, without installing anything.

    They should make sure google ads can be easily displayed within games, that is missing and is the most important thing they could do, but seems they don't care about it. So far that is my only gripe ( to lazy to code it myself maybe, I'd rather spend time making actual games ).

    In the end, don't fall in love with any engine. Just figure out what works best for your particular game and go with that. Imagine your final product, then in your head work slowly backwards and see which engine will cause you the least problems at each step of your development.

  • Hey, thank you to all who replied!

    digitalsoapbox, thank you for the length reply, I really do appreciate it! I was kind of in a bad mood when I wrote my rant, and I might have changed some opinions from that time

    Yes, I am talking about the new DOOM! It' was made by only a handful of engineers? Wow, that's amazing!! Did you see this article talking about it :http://www.adriancourreges.com/blog/2016/09/09/doom-2016-graphics-study/

    So many things happen, it's amazing how they designed the engine!

    And yes, thanks for the points you have given about performance, and about the relationship between C2 and C3. To be perfectly honest, I'm kind of disappointed that Scirra knows that the Android export module is problematic for C2, and they claim that it's fixed in C3 by doing the conversion on their servers, and that you can convert C2 games with this method, but in order to access it you need to subscribe to C3!! I mean, I know it's a business, but if you know that you have a problem with your exporter, wouldn't you want to offer a solution to C2 owners too? If it couldn't be done (no resources, not worth it), maybe I could understand, but not like this. Perhaps they could charge a small fee to convert C2 games.. But heck, what do I know? I think it's bad PR for people to know that your engine has a faulty exporter, but you have a solution, but you keep it behind a paywall..

    Again, I was in a bad mood when I wrote the initial post, and I probably should have taken heed of what others have said, mainly because they are C2 users and have had issues with the software, versus me, someone who never worked with it. So, if I've offended someone, sorry!

    Thank you again to everyone who replied!!

    No worries, I'm pretty hard to offend, and I'm with you on disappointment in C3 as well as Scirra's more recent behavior connected to it and fixing software-breaking bugs in C2. Their behavior points to things maybe not going so well for them right now and not having the experience to know how to deal with it in the manner we all expect from a business.

    As for the behind-the-scenes on the newer DOOM - yep, read it awhile back. It's pretty amazing to see that they can apply the kind of techniques developed for film and TV visual effects to a realtime game with performance as impressive as they've been able to achieve. It's the kind of stuff that would take hours upon hours to render out just a few years ago, and far above and beyond what even $500,000 SGIs were capable of back when I started working with 3D professionally all those years ago. Even on lower-end hardware or Intel embedded GPUs, their work will run rings out, say, the work of people developing a far more basic 2D game engine with developers who continuously blame the hardware for their tool's shortcomings. But I guess hardware is...third party.

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