Hello there forum people, my name is Andreas and these are some of my thoughts about a different free version for C3, but first an introduction. (Hint: Skip the blue text if you don't care about the story of my life)
I've been using C2 on and off for the past few years. I have tried a lot of game engines the past ~10 years but with C2 I almost fell in love from the beginning. For the first 3 years that I had the C2 licence , I only used it as my go-to-app to make a prototype and even though I knew the 100 events would be enough for that, I bought the licence to support the brilliant developers behind it. Because that was exactly what I thought when I first saw C2, the word brilliant .
I knew I wanted to be a game developer (even as a hobbyist) when I was about 8 years old (I am 27 now), games where something almost magical for me then and I thought that I would never be able to make a real game because programming was too difficult/frustrating/boring for me. Don't get me wrong, I loved the idea of programming, telling the computer to do something and then see it happen is amazing, but trying to find the missing semicolon/bracket isn't.
My first game engine was RPG Maker, I remember trying to push the event system to its limits to make something different with it like a card game or a mini version of a top down GTA, because I didn't want to make a jrpg and I had no interest on learning a real programming language (fun fact, I now have a Computer Science/ Computer Engineer degree).
Few years pass on and the game developer dream is almost gone, I spend my time making very simple games just for the fun of doing it and I don't have dreams for any kind of "big game".
And then BOOM!!! I found C2, fell in love with it and the rest is history. Now I am proudly developing a mobile 2d platformer for a company as a solo dev (contractor), and my dream job is now my real job.
Okay , that was a huge intro, and it almost doesn't have anything to do with the topic so let's move on.
My thoughts on the current free version is that it's too limited, and I understand the reason behind it. A lot of people were satisfied with the 100 events,4 layers and export options, and scirra was losing money from those people(maybe?). But limiting the events from 100 to 40, and the layers from 4 to 2, is not going to fix that problem (in my humble opinion), it will just make the free version almost useless (I mean having to choose between UI layer, or a scrolling BG...really?). Nobody is going to use the free version to make a game, they are going to use it only to see if the engine runs smoothly on their PC/Mobile and then either buy it, or forget about it.
But I think there is another way of using the free version other than that. Use it to make Construct 3 known to the world. Almost everybody knows Unity and there is a good reason for that.
That banner at the start of every game that was made for free.
Because the only problem with Construct not having a huge audience and making Scirra a ton of money right now is this:
Nobody knows about it.
I haven't met a person in real life that knew what Construct2 was, and I am not even kidding, I've met a lot of game devs in game jams and some of them said that they've heard of it, but noone really knew what a powerful tool C2 is.
My biggest concern about this free C3 version is that nobody is going to make a decent "How to make a game in Construct 3" video tutorial . Just take a look at some of the great tutorials Jeremy Alexander has done for C2 like this one
and tell me if he is going to be able to do it with C3 as well. I was also thinking about making Intro to C3 video tutorials, but even though I will buy it, I can't make tutorials only for those people that have bought it as well, cause that almost defeats the purpose of an "intro tutorial".
Tutorials is also another big reason competitors like Unity have such a huge audience.
If someone that hasn't chosen an engine yet wants to make a 2d platformer, first he is going to search on Youtube "how to make a 2d platformer", then he is going to watch the first 2-3 videos that pop up, and then he will download an engine and follow one of the video tutorials that use that engine.
So making it harder for C3 users to spread the word about it by limiting the free version is not going to help in the long run.
So this is what an alternative version could look like
And yeah that is just a quick prototype of what I had in mind , but I think it solves a lot of problems that the free version has right now.