First off, I'd like to apologize if this is in the wrong section of the forum. Secondly, I'd like to apologize if this gets a bit rambly. Considering what I intend to post about, I can forsee it getting pretty wordy by the end.
So, I'm potatoeater, a relatively new person to the whole Construct 2 thing. I played around with the original Construct (I think it's called Construct Classic now?) a few years ago - I had heard about it while looking around the interwebs for game-making tools like Klik and Play and Game Maker. After hearing quite a few good things about Construct (mainly that it was free; something pretty unheard of for these types of things back then), I decided to download it and mess around with it. I was pretty amazed and tried to do things with it, even posted on the forums at times (back when it was much less fancy and shiny), but due to some issues (I think it was with a binary object or something) I ended up dropping everything and eventually stopped using Construct. Then real life happened and I wasn't been able to do anything related to making games for a while.
Recently, however, I've been trying to get back into this hobbyist game dev shebang. So I did the obvious; google things. I saw things like Game Maker Studio, Unity, Unreal Development Kit, Multimedia Fusion 2.5 and finally Construct 2. After weighing the options the options and playing a bit with all of them, I decided that I'd try to tackle Construct 2 seriously first.
I then grabbed the free downloadable version of Construct 2 once I decided that I'd try to make a game with it. After reviewing the specs and limitations of it, I decided on remaking an old, obscure game into a browser-playable version with multiple characters and an online leaderboard - because hey, those things should be possible with it, how hard could it be?
So after two weeks of futzing about with the unknown that slowly became known (truth be told, this should have probably taken less time, but hey, I never said real life stopped happening), I managed to pop out something that could be called a game. It's playable at the following website:
My personal anecdotes about my experience making it are as follows:
- Construct 2 is pretty great. There's no other way to state this. Even if it does lack a bunch of features that the others take for granted, its simplicity and ease-of-use may convince me to, should I decide on one of the others for more serious projects, get a full copy of this and keep it around for lighter things. It's that good, in my opinion.
- I'm surprised at how informative the community is. Not only the quantity, but the quality of information available is very adequate. Multiple times, I'd have an issue with or a question about Construct 2 and I wouldn't even have to ask about it on the forum. I could just google it or search the site/forum and it'd already be answered concisely, with even easy to understand examples at times.
- I was shocked by the 100 event limit. Not that it was 'so low' or 'practically unusable' or anything like that. I was shocked by the fact that a complete game (or rather, the game's core) could be made by only using about a third of that. So much is taken care of by objects and behaviors and whatnot, it's astounding how much you can just leave to Construct 2 and not have to worry about it. Compared to something like The Games Factory, where the behaviors were finicky at best and infuriating at worst; the reliability of Construct 2's behaviors was very appreciated.
- Also regarding the 100 event limit, I found it both an adversary and an ally. While true, it did prevent me from working further on the game when I had barely gotten a functional stage working, it made me go back to my event sheets and try to work out how I could do things more efficiently or how I could do things with less events. A sort of forced optimization, I suppose. And a newfound appreciation for all those development tricks all those programmers of ages past used to get things running on older systems/consoles. After hitting it a few times, I finally got to a point that I was relatively satisfied with - escalating difficulty, multiple playable characters with differing gameplay, scoring, timers, an online leaderboard, power-ups and an acceptable level of polish; all in exactly 100 events. Sure I had to cut some things I planned to do, and sure I could have maybe optimized it further (not sure how I can get animation into less than 3 events though, haha) but as I said, I'm satisfied with what it is right now.
- Regarding events as a whole, I was also shocked by learning that it's not particularly the creation of game logic that eats through the number of events you use, but rather the polishing of the overall game. Making menus do cool things or having fancy animations during certain circumstances are probably the most blatant things in that regard.
- Third party plugin support is probably the best thing ever.
All in all, I'm pretty satisfied by Construct 2 (the free, limited version, even!), what it can do and what it offers, and will most likely be purchasing a copy of it in the future.
So, is anyone willing to share their notable experiences with Construct 2 or advice for newbies?