Does Construct 3 Desktop have a future?

  • The Construct 3 Desktop release has been out for a while. I'm sure that many people have noticed the "beta" tag being there for 2 years now. Before going into my questions and concerns, I would like to make clear that this isn't meant to be a developer "roast" about one of their products.

    Besides the very much appreciated NWjs updates and bug fixes, there seems to be not much going on right now. Requested features such as supporting MacOS and Linux have been on the back burner for a while now and there also seem to be some major issues with NWjs occasionally crashing, which may or may not get fixed soon. These crashing problems even lead to some developers using Construct 3 as a PWA instead of the dedicated desktop release. On a different note, PWA's might also receive low-level local file access soon.

    So with all of this in mind:

    1. Does Construct 3 Desktop have a future?
    2. Is there a chance of a PWA replacing it in the future?
    3. Are there any future plans regarding it at the moment?

    With the addition of the mentioned local file access API, there don't seem to be any significant features left*, that would justify the support of a dedicated Construct 3 desktop app. Obviously this topic is targeted towards an opinion from Scirra's desktop team but everyone else can feel free post their opinion below as well.

    (*Reference: "Features specific to the desktop build".)

  • Good post, I had forgotten I also did a PWA for C3, it's nice to have its own clean window running and with cut & paste, I'm pretty much ok vs desktop. The local files are nice because of the potential use of git/version control in a better way for a team, but in reality, fine-grained collab on C3 is hard anyway.

    The other interesting thing for local files for me would be to link animation frames to local image files and have a refresh button per sprite or frame (didn't C2 have this?)

  • This is a very good question, at anytime if the Construct Team wanted, they could already have made official releases for the desktop version.

    I would like to know as well.

  • Well you've basically figured it out already - Google have plans to add support for local file access in web apps, which might turn up some time early next year. By that point virtually everything that previously could only be done in the desktop download will be possible in the browser. Then there's no real justification for having a separate desktop download, so we'd probably retire the desktop download. This would reduce a lot of the maintenance overhead (since there's a bunch of desktop-specific code to handle things like folder saves, clipboard access etc. which we could remove, as well as eliminating the need for a parallel update process of the NW.js build used), and avoid NW.js specific issues such as various crash bugs that have come up lately that only affect NW.js.

  • Well you've basically figured it out already - Google have plans to add support for local file access in web apps, which might turn up some time early next year. By that point virtually everything that previously could only be done in the desktop download will be possible in the browser. Then there's no real justification for having a separate desktop download, so we'd probably retire the desktop download. This would reduce a lot of the maintenance overhead (since there's a bunch of desktop-specific code to handle things like folder saves, clipboard access etc. which we could remove, as well as eliminating the need for a parallel update process of the NW.js build used), and avoid NW.js specific issues such as various crash bugs that have come up lately that only affect NW.js.

    Thanks for the heads up. Really hoping to get my hands on a PWA with local file access soon.

    As far as I know this doesn't include local file execution, so I assume the launching external image editor feature would be dropped?

  • As far as I know this doesn't include local file execution, so I assume the launching external image editor feature would be dropped?

    That would be the only feature that is still not supported, but I don't think that alone is enough to justify all the work involved in maintaining and publishing a whole separate desktop download. We might be able to find another way to make it easier anyway (e.g. download an image file, modify, then drag back in). There's also this Chrome issue filed to allow opening external apps for this type of case, so it could well come later down the line too.

  • > As far as I know this doesn't include local file execution, so I assume the launching external image editor feature would be dropped?

    That would be the only feature that is still not supported, but I don't think that alone is enough to justify all the work involved in maintaining and publishing a whole separate desktop download. We might be able to find another way to make it easier anyway (e.g. download an image file, modify, then drag back in). There's also this Chrome issue filed to allow opening external apps for this type of case, so it could well come later down the line too.

    Alright, thanks again.

    No questions left, looking forward towards the PWA updates.

  • Ashley Would it be possible to get a local preview like we have for C2?

    The remote preview really isn't viable for quick testing, and the local server updates instantaneously.

  • What do you mean? There's already an instant local preview in Construct itself. Remote preview is pretty quick if you want to test on a mobile or something.

  • Ashley Would it be possible to get a local preview like we have for C2?

    The remote preview really isn't viable for quick testing, and the local server updates instantaneously.

    newt there is a request here if you are interested to give some votes

    https://construct3.ideas.aha.io/ideas/C3-I-618

    I agree the remote Preview didn't work really well for me either it's very time-consuming the waiting & fails many times

  • Ashley the local server. Local host.

    Building a preview on the remote just takes too long. Then there's the current server issues.

    Don't get me wrong, remote is great if you want to show someone who could be anywhere else in the world.

    tarek2 thanks I'd vote if I could.

    Somebody needs to make a suggestion to give us more votes to use...

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  • If the only issue is how long remote preview takes to load, we can explore how to speed it up. HTTP servers cannot be run from a web page so it's not really feasible to do that (which is why C3 does it differently). Further C2's approach has its downsides: it runs an insecure HTTP server, which means increasingly many features are unavailable in preview, and there are some pretty difficult security issues around upgrading that to HTTPS. So as ever it's better to explain the problem you're trying to solve (which sounds like "remote preview can be slow sometimes") rather than jumping to a chosen solution, which may be infeasible or have its own downsides.

  • Ashley What about the keyboard shortcuts? Chrome intercepts many shortcuts, for example Ctrl-F4 (debug mode) or Ctrl-W (close event sheet/layout) will close the entire Construct window. This is extremely annoying and is one of the main reasons I prefer Desktop build..

    Also, will there be an option to set preview browser to NWJS (to be able to run and test NWjs plugin-specific events)?

  • Ashley One more quick question if you don't mind.

    If the whole PWA setup goes live, will any NWjs related code be removed from the editor? (For example code that automatically restores the window on startup.)

  • Ugh. . . The coolest event system I have ever seen and now your going to kill the desktop IDE and still no native compilers. . . Come on.

    Is this engine just a pure mobile/web engine now ?

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