Experimental local file & folder saves in Chrome 78+ / r168+

  • As of Construct 3 r168, there is new experimental support for local file & folder saves in Chrome. This works right from the browser - there's no need to download the desktop app version for file access!

    This lets you do the following:

    • Save single-file projects (.c3p) anywhere on disk (previously you could only 'Download a copy')
    • Open a single-file project (.c3p), edit it, and save it back over the original file on disk
    • Use folder-based projects in the browser

    This is made possible by a new experimental feature in Chrome which we are testing in Construct 3. You can help test it too, however there are a few steps to follow. You'll need the following:

    1. Chrome 78+. Currently this is beta - you can download the beta version of Chrome here which runs side-by-side with the stable version of Chrome. Chrome 78 is also due to become the stable version in late October after which you won't need to use the beta any more.
    2. Open Settings, and tick Enable experimental features

    If you reload Construct 3 and all three requirements are met, you should see a notification in the corner saying "Experimental support for saving local files and folders is enabled."

    Warning: this feature is currently experimental! Be sure to back up any projects you use in this mode. Since these are experimental project save options, if anything goes wrong it could result in lost work.

    In the main menu you should now find options Open local file and Open local project folder. These will load projects directly from disk. If you then edit them and press Save, it will save back over the same file/folder on disk. Similarly there are new save options Save as single file... and Save as project folder.... You will see various permission prompts while using these to ensure Chrome can access the files/folders on disk, but generally once you've granted access to a particular file/folder, you can continue using it for the rest of the session without any further prompts.

    Please note:

    • Regularly back up any important work you use in this mode
    • Report any bugs to the bug tracker following all the guidelines (please mention you are using experimental local file/folder mode)
    • Since the underlying Chrome feature is experimental, this feature may later become unavailable temporarily or permanently. We'll try to keep you updated about its status but be aware the option may disappear in future. We hope to ultimately have it permanently enabled for everyone though.
    • Local file/folder access is only available through the Start Page or main menu options. Other ways of opening projects, notably dragging and dropping a project file in to Construct 3, don't work with local file access yet.
    • Recent projects don't yet support local files/folders since the necessary feature to remember local file/folder accesses isn't yet available in Chrome. We intend to add this when it becomes available.
    • Construct can't yet be made the default app for .c3p files, but Google are looking in to this and it may be supported in future.

    Once this feature is fully supported in Chrome, there aren't many reasons to keep the separate desktop app downloads of Construct 3 around. They were mainly made to handle local file/folder access, which will soon be available in Chrome (and across multiple platforms rather than just 64-bit Windows). Chrome also has an 'Install as app' feature that makes the web version of C3 look and work much like a native app. Additionally the desktop apps are relatively high maintenance, such as requiring regular updates, and having their own set of awkward bugs. So in the long term we plan to ultimately retire the desktop app downloads of Construct 3 and move to using the browser for everything. This will free up our limited developer resources, simplify the codebase, and ensure everyone has the same set of features. There's still some more work to be done to ensure the browser version covers everything, but since that's our goal, I'd particularly encourage anyone using the desktop app versions of Construct 3 to try this feature out and let us know how it works out.

    Anyway please give it a go, report issues to the tracker, and apart from that if you have any general feedback you can post it here!

  • I've tested this using Chrome Version 77.0.3865.90 (Stable) + chrome://flags/#native-file-system-api enabled. Everything works fine. Saving, quick saving [CRTL+S] and loading.

    I find the info regarding the Origin trial a bit confusing. Do you know when this will actually go "fully" stable?

  • TheRealDannyyy v78 will be stable Oct 22.

  • There is a provisional schedule at goo.gle/fugu-api-tracker. I think that is subject to change, but it suggests the native file system origin trial will last through Chrome 78-80, and then ship for everyone in 81. We've signed up to the origin trial though, so it'll be enabled by default at editor.construct.net through Chrome 78-80, albeit behind the "experimental features" setting in Construct. We might wait a bit longer after Chrome 81 before enabling it by default in Construct itself, since we have to be sure project saving is totally robust before enabling it for everyone.

  • There is a provisional schedule at goo.gle/fugu-api-tracker. I think that is subject to change, but it suggests the native file system origin trial will last through Chrome 78-80, and then ship for everyone in 81.

    That Google sheet is amazing, thanks for sharing! Alright, let's hope it goes through and ships as expected in Chrome 81.

    We've signed up to the origin trial though, so it'll be enabled by default at editor.construct.net through Chrome 78-80, albeit behind the "experimental features" setting in Construct. We might wait a bit longer after Chrome 81 before enabling it by default in Construct itself, since we have to be sure project saving is totally robust before enabling it for everyone.

    That's good to know, won't need to play around with browser flags. Thanks for adding early support for this feature!

  • This is great news!

    There is still one thing I believe web version can't do - preview in NWJS mode. Will this be added before retiring the desktop app?

    And also, is there any way to override/disable Chrome keyboard shortcuts? I've closed Construct at least a hundred times by pressing Ctrl-F4 or Ctrl-W, it's the main reason I'm using Desktop build...

  • We'll figure out an alternatives for those at some point along the way. I'm not sure about keyboard shortcuts, I think there might be a separate feature being tracked for better keyboard shortcut access somewhere.

  • Looks promissing, great stuff.

    I'm wondering if there will be any way to prevent the browser from closing without asking you Y/N before saving.

  • We've been discussing about the possible removal of the external image editor feature with some Construct Community members. Since you guys know all the details on what is and isn't possible, I'd like to propose the following system as a replacement.

    Feature proposal: Local Image Sync

    Replace the "external image editor" button with a "local image sync" button. If this button is pressed, Construct 3 will sync the current frame with a selected source file. If any synced source image has been modified by the user, Construct 3 could open the sprite editor to confirm/apply the changes.

    I'd imagine reading the state of a file is possible using the new native file system API.

  • Yes it would be really nice to save to my local Dropbox folder rather than the other way around. 👌

  • And also, is there any way to override/disable Chrome keyboard shortcuts? I've closed Construct at least a hundred times by pressing Ctrl-F4 or Ctrl-W, it's the main reason I'm using Desktop build...

    I've been using a Chrome addon called Shortkeys that does just that. It can also be set for specific sites. I have it set to disable both of those shortcuts on editor.construct.net.

    chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/shortkeys-custom-keyboard/logpjaacgmcbpdkdchjiaagddngobkck

    It's an alternative if you want to check it out.

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  • TheRealDannyyy - there are various workarounds like you suggest, and there's also the fact you can copy and paste images now which might help make it quick to move content between editors too. There's another Project Fugu feature request though to launch an external app with a file which I think would do it.

  • TheRealDannyyy - there are various workarounds like you suggest, and there's also the fact you can copy and paste images now which might help make it quick to move content between editors too. There's another Project Fugu feature request though to launch an external app with a file which I think would do it.

    That looks like it could solve the external image editor and maybe even custom preview problems.

    Alright my suggested workaround isn't necessary. Hopefully this will make it into Chrome (and others), in the near future as well.

    Didn't know the web had so many great features in the works.

  • I'm wondering if we will be able to "Reload from source" Sprites that were set up on the Desktop version?

    I rely on this feature heavily and it would be amazing if, when this is all worked out, the Browser version remembered the filepath of Sprites done on the Desktop version

  • Ashley

    All my post have been deleted. And it is hard to bring up messages when I press the Community Tab.

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