C3 Love

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  • Warning! Big text ahead!

    Hi guys, it’s been a chaos here in the forums lately. A lot of people bashing Construct 3, other supporting it. I don’t want to remain silent and want to shed a light of my wisdom (Kidding )

    Well, it's been a long journey, but i think i can say i am a veteran. I was a hobbyist for 8 years, i’ve been working as a teacher for a year and as game developer for 2 years. I already worked full indie with my savings, released a game, graduated in Game Development and work at a school/game studio. Why i’m saying all this? Because i want to tell you my perspective with the C3 thing it’s going on.

    I’m not very active in the forums or social networks, but i’ve been using Construct Classic since old days. Ten years ago i was a Clickteam user, and found about CC on the forums. People were saying: “It’s like Multimedia Fusion, but for free and more powerful!” I checked it out, and two weeks later i was in love. Man, that software were superb. So powerful, so easy, so much freedom.

    My history with Construct began there. And then came news about Construct 2. It was something different but alike at same time. Something about HTML5, web and all that stuff. At that time i was ok, because Flash games dominated the “market” and i could put some web games online. It was no a brainer for me, bought a license, a proud early adopter and sticked for the ride.

    And the Scirra team, who it was practically Ashley at the time, were some kind of monster of productivity. Man, it was so fun, a new update every week, the climax of the week was: “Man, what new feature they will release this week?”. And with a solo programmer, Ashley was a like a superhuman with programming powers, how could he create those things so fast?

    When i was at the college everybody talked about XNA, Flash and Unity. And so i was the evangelist of Construct, i talked with the principal, talked with the teachers, and i opened some classes for my fellow colleagues teaching CC. My graduation project was a Educational Game for android in partnership with a hospital that treats burn victims. In the end of my course almost all machines had a free version of Construct 2 installed

    And i had a teacher, who was an IT teacher. He was a very good programmer. When he saw Construct 2 visual coding he was amazed. He told me this was the future of coding. It happened before, From 0 and 1 to assembly. Language C to C++, then C#, Javascript, python, more and more, code became more simple and readable. We still have people who knows how to code in assembly, we still need the C++ masters. But more and more it’s more about content creation, creativity, easy to use, user friendly. It's all about what you create not how you create.

    And Construct in general it’s the best in the market at this, period. What construct can do, it does beautifully. Man, i teach programming for kids, and when they start creating games is incredible. We promote mini game jans at the course, the kids use C2 and it’s so cool see what they can do. And i’m talking about kids with 8 to 12 years old. I wish i had construct with their age.

    There was a time i was feeling down. Because everybody just speak Unity or Unreal and you need to know some big tool to say you’re a game developer. People tent to defend what they like and think what it’s right attacking what other people like. Steam for example, people bash violently at Unity games, when they know it’s made in Unity, because there were some users who build a steam greenlight for games made out of tutorials, or using a lot of free assets. Sure the quality of some games were bad, but created a thing in there that Unity games are trash and it can be only good if it’s made in Unreal. The neighbor’s grass is always greener...

    Man, i have to laugh about that. My friend and coworker it’s a Unity developer and we joke about that. People sometimes are so naive. I tell you, never stick with just one tool, learn everything you can. Sure some tools have limitations, but the video game industry was born with the limitation. The limitation force ourselves, bring our creativity to the table, how to solve problems. Read the post mortem of Crash Bandicoot for PS one and see how they made miracles within the limitations of the PS one era. Even Sony couldn’t recreate Crash at the time.


    See to what the guys of Pico 8 can do. A fantasy console with some limitations made on purpose. Play some games and see what incredible things can be done with a 128x128 pixel screen and 16 color palette.


    Limitation. We learn how to bend it, to create over it. It’s been done in the past and it’s still been done today. But today we have a big arsenal at our hands. I heard a dev once joking, he made his 2d platform game in Game Maker and people were: “Why don’t you use Unity?”. He said: “Do i need a rocket launcher to kill a ant?”.

    During the Construct 3 info outbreak( ) i saw some people raging, saying all kind of stuff and that they would cancel their projects because of that… Sorry but this is silly. People saying they would change software and never comeback. And Scirra didn’t even revealed all features of C3. The user don’t understand what they want. Henry Ford once said:

    “If i had asked people what they wanted, they would have said Faster Horses…”

    Steve Jobs it was another visionary. When Apple announced iPhone, people raged too: “How can Apple make phones? Apple create iPods and Macs that’s all, this iPhone idea is crazy!”. This innovation changed the way we live. And i am seeing the pattern repeat with Scirra.

    When Scirra betted for HTML5 people raged. Now we have great things made because of HTML5, like Slack. We have Babylon JS, a great 3D engine powered by HTLM5. If you said eight years ago that we could have decent 3D in web people would say: “You’re insane!”. Now each day HTML5 is used in a lot of things and we don’t even know. It’s just there. Scirra nailed it betting on it.

    And now they are doing it again. I’m betting on Scirra in this one. People don’t understand this has a potential to be paradigm shift. The way we create and develop games. If it was not Henry ford, we would been riding faster horses nowadays instead of cars.

    About the pricing method. Which i believe it’s the most controversial subject, two years ago i didn’t have time to watch Netflix, but i didn’t cancelled my subscription, i wasn’t using it, but i paid every month. Why? Because i knew i was supporting those guys create some incredible content. The Netflix originals exist because we customers invest in them. Blockbuster had the chance to buy Netflix, but they said no one would pay for online streaming movies. Now Blockbuster is gone and Netflix create some amazing movies and series, with Hollywood actors and all.

    Innovation. My Unity Developer friend is so hyped with C3 that he just talks about C3 now. To create and fix games on the fly from his tablet was his dream since he was a kid. Imagine the be able to create games, at same time with a friend, doing changes that both can see in real time in the project. I believe this can be done with C3’s new architecture. The possibilities are amazing!

    Some years ago people were imploring to Scirra create a Crowdfunding or a Kick Starter. Now we have the chance to help Scirra to bring our dream come true and we are complaining. Scirra Team is small, and made outstanding things. Imagine with money and a large team. A team with the size of the Unity team for example. This could lead to Global Domination

    They could bring things like 3D to construct, because the HTML5 nature. I’m working on some Unity games, and sometimes things are very overcomplicated. And you get used to Construct easiness and 3D can be a very complex beast. I read Ashley said once that they didn’t 3D yet, because to have 3D just for the sake of a feature it’s no good. It would be complicated and few would be able to use. For example Multiplayer, Scirra made a great job with it, people asked a lot and nobody use it. It’s cool to have, but the time spent on it could’ve be spent in a more important feature. If i’m not mistaken, they decided to go with it because a forum pool. We voted for it and we don’t use it. We don’t know what we want, again, like Henry said.

    But Ashley said, if they would go 3D, it should be with the simplicity of Construct. Guys, imagine with manpower and money we could have a great engine at our hands. The price of 99$ per year it’s not very expensive, even in my country where $1,00 = $3,50. I know in some countries this situation is worst, but for the majority it’s not.

    That’s why i think free version should be less limited. This is for the community. I can create games without families, with just 4 layers, limited features. But we need more events. Maybe unlimited. This would be great for everybody. I made a game for my work, within 100 events limits. A Pokemon + Mario game with a level editor and more than 40 monsters. We had to use the Free edition because the students had to take the game home. I used some crazy techniques, like one sprite holding all animations and the properties of the monster inside the name of the animation, using tokenat(). It was good experience because i never needed to check the limit of events, i have a C2 license since the beginning.

    But the Event Sheet it’s so well designed that it’s a pity not everybody knows about it. If i could ask one feature for C3 it would be this. A higher or no limit of events. This could even rival the Unity Free version.

    As a teacher and game developer enthusiastic, i have to study a lot of tools in the market to see if they can adapt to our course. I’ve been studying Blender, which a tool i really like, Unity, Godot, Super Powers etc. But i always come back to Construct, for Game Jams or something personal.

    This end up too big, and i think a lot of people won’t have the patient to read. Ashley and Tom, i believe you read the forums, and sometimes can be disheartening to read it, it’s more easy for people to say bad things than good things. But there are a lot of people like me who stay years supporting from distance. I’m so amazed with the potential of C3 and reading those negatives comments annoy me, imagine you guys. At least i can write this big post to thank you for the great thing you created. I never imagined i could work in my country developing games with a salary, but Construct helped me with that.

    Please, keep up the great work!

  • Read the whole thing and wow! That lit a fire up my ass and inspired me further to continue prototypes I put on the shelf.

    If that didn't touch Scirra Team I don't know what will!

  • Well put. In between all the criticisms against html5 and subscriptions it's easy to forget sometimes how intuitive and plain nice Construct is to work with compared with anything else out there. Issues notwithstanding, Construct is still a damn fine tool.

  • Thank you for the kind words, means a lot to us and we're glad you see where we're trying to go!

    We've always been a little bit ahead of the curve with some technology, that's where we like to be

  • Aw, Tom beat me to it!

    It's always lovely to read nice things about what we do, thank you!

  • <3

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  • Thanks for the post! I'm glad you see what we're aiming for, on a broad level

    I think it's interesting to compare now to when we first launched C2, and we got a lot of flak for choosing HTML5 over Flash. Some people even thought we were stupid and the obvious thing to do was choose Flash. You could see where they were coming from at the time - flash was dominant, but in my opinion it was clearly in decline. Sometimes I wonder where those people went... Still, there were a lot of people at the time who were excited about the HTML5 choice because it was a daring and exciting choice about a technology that had prospects of taking over the software world. We have a much larger userbase now, and I think a lot of people are more risk-averse, so are taking a skeptical position. I don't mind that too much though - we'll show how well it can work soon

  • Excellent post. Scirra, get this guy on your PR team.

  • I also want to say thank you to new programmer, Iain Shorter, who's doing hard working for C3. In fact, all teams of Scirra deserve it.

  • That was a well written and inspiring post. It was great to read and I agree with you. I'm also a teacher who uses C2 in class and I also met those "if you don't use Unity you are not a game developer" opinions. When I first started to use C2, I was amazed by the event system. And it's still the best on the market. Other tools are also gaining options to develop with visual scripting (seems like it's indeed the future of programming), but none of them managed to get it so well as Scirra. Hats off to them, they truly deserve some positive response, and I can't wait to use (and teach) C3.

  • good post, I also love construct2 but I can say sometime is very hard to get work with the events or other stuff...

    for example, when I was using flash, I was surprised that in construct2 it was not possible to put a simple mask inside a sprite, also put a sprite inside a sprite... that is powerfull that I miss very much...(or a code, inside the sprite)...

    flash is very powerfull, just people who never use it could not understand... if most people was using flash for making games etc there is a reason... the only problem with flash is heavy, security, and other stuff like that... but you can find amazing stuff that you can't make with html5, and if you can make, you have just to make more and more step to achive the same things in flash...

    in Construct2, if you start to make big game event's you will have problem organize your code, ant that's true... I made some project with more than 1000 events, and the events could be organizze better, like with color, tag or some stuff like that... expecally if you don't work all day and sometime you have to open your project after 1 week or more...(and you are alone) if your goal is to make game like tetris or some 2d game with simple gameplay it's everything perfect...

    another problem is the issue with the exporter and others stuff like that and I hope the scirra team will fix soon...

    anyway, if scirra will make a software for make websites that works with the metatag, etc...(so, no issue for the search engine... or other stuff like that) with the same way how you use construct2 you will see how many people will buy it

  • I think the website limitations (meta tags, spidering, etc...) is due to everything being within the html5 canvas, so I'm not sure C3 would be able to deal with that issue. It would be amazing if it could though!

  • drzanuff

    That was an amazing, well written defense of C3. And although it was inspiring, I really wish it had come from maybe Tom or Ashley. It seems the most positive views are presented by people far removed from the inner workings of Scirra. Although well meaning, these posts are always very careful not to criticize anything.

    Want I want to know is why won't Tom or Ashley explain the sudden shift in business ethics. Why won't they explain why it's necessary for users not to own what they pay for? Why are they threatening users who down vote blog posts, and locking threads because they are tired to reading opposing view points?

    For example Multiplayer, Scirra made a great job with it, people asked a lot and nobody use it. It’s cool to have, but the time spent on it could’ve be spent in a more important feature. If i’m not mistaken, they decided to go with it because a forum pool. We voted for it and we don’t use it.

    It's often thrown back in our face that we voted for multiplayer, but no one really uses it. Was it wrong for use to expect Ashley to make multiplayer easy for us, when he was so successful in making programming games easy for non-programmers? I don't think so. Did we throw that back in his face when he couldn't make multiplayer easy for us? No. I don't remember seeing any post criticizing him for it. Yet that blame is shifted to us. I don't think that is fair. I had confidence in him, and he failed, but I don't blame him for trying. I really appreciate the effort. I wish Ashley appreciated the confidence we had in him. I simply don't see it though. I see that he's been regretting it. I can't help but think, if Ashley had made the multiplayer feature successful, would things be different now?

  • drzanuff long but worth reading. <3 Great post!

  • Want I want to know is why won't Tom or Ashley explain the sudden shift in business ethics. Why won't they explain why it's necessary for users not to own what they pay for?

    There's several reasons:

    • we're hosting the software in the browser, with a cloud service behind it. I'm not aware of any software or service that runs in a browser and is a one-time payment - it's just not economical given the running costs.
    • we also provide other on-going hosted services like the new app building service. I'd also point out you get this service *and* the entire Construct 3 editor for less than the cost of PhoneGap Build alone, so I think this is actually a pretty good deal. We actually already run some on-going services for free with C2, such as the Scirra Arcade (which is chewing up tons of bandwidth these days!) and the multiplayer signalling server.
    • the one-time payment model is risky in the long-term, especially since we don't regularly do the whole "new major version everyone has to pay for again" process. Scirra is currently sustained almost exclusively by new users buying C2 for the first time. If the flow of new users dried up, we risk going out of business - even if we have tens of thousands of active users. There's also the aspect that we're still supporting people who bought C2 five years ago at no extra cost, and this existing audience is getting larger.
    • this is the way the industry is generally going, and some competitors are already doing it. It's harder to compete with tools that have on-going income when you only have one-off income with on-going maintenance costs, especially when there are various on-going services we're running.

    I guess at the end of the day, if you absolutely cannot stand subscriptions, you can either stick with C2 or look for a different tool.

    [quote:2ogl55k7]It's often thrown back in our face that we voted for multiplayer, but no one really uses it.

    I don't think I've ever "thrown it back in your face" - I don't regret doing multiplayer, and it was actually a super interesting project to work on technology-wise. My main takeaway from that is that voting isn't always a good way of deciding what to do. I think people tend to imagine proposed features or ideas as magic silver bullets that work perfectly and have no downsides. The real-world is actually always a series of trade-offs and nothing is perfect. I even repeatedly emphasised that multiplayer would be difficult to use, and only to vote for it if you are willing to put up with that complexity, because there are difficult aspects of networking that can't reasonably be covered up automatically. Still, everyone voted for it. Then it seems not many people use it, and my best theory is... because it's quite difficult to use, since there are difficult aspects of networking that can't reasonably be covered up. So I haven't run any polls since then. That's pretty much the only fallout from my point of view. I don't blame anyone! I just think it's a curious aspect of asking people to vote for features.

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