Popularity of Construct 3

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  • I agree that Construct is a very capable tool that CAN produce hit games like a Hyperlight Drifter, or a Hotline Miami, or a Nuclear Throne, or a Celeste, or a Dead Cells, or a Skul: The Hero Slayer. There's no reason from a technical standpoint that Construct can't create those games. The issue is that those game designers are choosing either GameMaker, Unity, or to create their own engine.

    The highest grossing game I have seen created in Construct is Hypnospace Outlaw, which has generated some pretty good cash but is no where near the success of the games I named above.

    IMHO, I believe the reason that the best indie game designers are choosing other game engines is because of how Scirra markets their product. Scirra uses a more quirky style with weird and cute cartoon characters on their landing page. It gives it a more childish feel, like it's not meant for "serious professionals". They also don't highlight games made with Construct very well. Literally the only game they showcase is "The Next Penelope", WHICH CAME OUT 4 YEARS AGO AND DIDN'T EVEN SELL THAT WELL. They need to keep updating their showcase with good looking fresh games, but they do not.

    Now if you look at GameMaker's landing page the presentation of it is much more clean and professional. Nothing cute or goofy to make it look childish. They also showcase good looking games that have sold lots of copies, like Hyperlight Drifter, which communicates "these people made tons of cash with our game engine and you can too". They even showcase games like Flynn: Son of Crimson and Hancho, WHICH AREN'T EVEN RELEASED YET BUT THEY LOOK AWESOME.

    Another thing I think has plagued Construct from becoming popular was the inability to use an actual programming language for so long. GameMaker and Unity have always had GML and C# scripting respectively in addition to visual/drag&drop functionality. Good experienced programmers want to use a programming language they are already skilled in rather than learn some unique proprietary visual event system where those skills won't transfer to anything else. Now I realize Scirra has already changed that by introducing real Javascript programming, which is a huge step in the right direction. But I think not having that for so many years has already solidified the perception in people's minds.

    I believe Construct CAN be a popular choice for experienced game designers who make hit games in the future but they need to make some changes before that will happen. First they need to change their branding and how they market their product into something more clean and professional. Then they need to communicate very widely and heavily their new Javascript programming feature to appeal to experienced programmers. Lastly they need to keep their showcase of games updated and fresh with games that not only look good but actually sell a lot of units. If no games exist that have sold a good amount of units they need to help and encourage indie devs to do so through education and support. They need some brand ambassadors that will make training courses on more advanced topics and will demonstrate how to make games similar to those that have been hits in the past.

    Keep in mind that these are just my opinions. But I have used Construct 2/3 for about 8 years and have always pondered this exact same question.

  • Literally the only game they showcase is "The Next Penelope"

    You do realise it's not actually listed in the current showcase?

  • > Literally the only game they showcase is "The Next Penelope"

    You do realise it's not actually listed in the current showcase?

    I was referring to the front landing page (construct.net). But I think my point still stands. None of those games in the showcase page have made any real money. Maybe some of them get a few peanuts tossed to them from ads but that's it.

    There's only 2 ways for small indie devs to make a living from games in the current market (I'm sure there are exceptions but I'm talking about the average/majority). By that I mean your majority source of income is from your game sales and it's enough to live off of without being supported from external sources (such as living at your parents or supported by your spouse). Steam PC or F2P mobile is it! Unless there's a popular mobile game made in Construct making boat loads of money that I'm missing. But I would love to be pleasantly surprised with a good example if anyone has one.

    So showing examples of web games that make little to no money doesn't really help attract talented people to your tool.

  • Well, the fact that there are enough kind folks out there who have stuck with Construct 2/3 for so many years definitely must mean something positive.

    Is the end goal for most game developers only to make tons of money?

    Or is it more important for the majority of users to feel like full fledged members of a dynamic community having fun and making cool stuff they can share with each other?

  • Is the end goal for most game developers only to make tons of money?

    Or is it more important for the majority of users to feel like full fledged members of a dynamic community having fun and making cool stuff they can share with each other?

    You're right, not everyone is out to make money. I think Construct has already achieved that community part though; it's a hobbyists dream tool.

    But the original question was "why isn't Construct more popular?". IMO the reason has to do with a perception that you can't make money with it.

  • Construct always had that stigma of "problematic deployment", because browser engine based stuff like NWjs required more (and better calibrated) resources than regular native win32 exes.

    In the real world though it doesn't make much of a difference anymore. It may have 5 years ago, but today it's mostly isolated problems like some streaming/screen capture tools like OBS requiring special treatment and audio not being 100% super accurate.

    The prime, recent example would be Remote Life (https://store.steampowered.com/app/1126420/REMOTE_LIFE/ for those who don't know), a massive full HD game. From a shmup zealot standpoint it has a couple of issues, but none of them are technical in nature. It runs very well even on mid-tier rigs, and the production value is, quite frankly, awesome.

    Today, nothing is stopping you from releasing a full blown game made with construct on steam.

  • Construct opened the possibility of creating video games to professionals and enthusiasts who did not have much knowledge in programming but who wanted to carry out their ideas in quick time (prototyped).

    Unfortunately I can say with much sadness that construct 3 with its mobile-oriented system through webview is poor and unstable (it is my opinion / I do not know the technologies and complexities). The precarious deficiency in Android is always related to poor optimization in the use of events, mobile devices with weak hardware, etc. But the truth is that the problem lies in webview technology that does not give the fps that were achieved with cocoon canvas plus despite its obsoleteness. What is the use of developing a pretentious game taking into account all the optimization guidelines if in the end you encounter a great obstacle when generating an apk with poor webview technology? Construct could become a robust platform if they might rewrite the code for native compatibility or some solution that once and for all exceeds the low fps and jank warning. I wish that my comment, like that of many construction users, could resonate with developers to take action on the matter without continuing to blame (reiterate) a bad event management, weak mobiles, obsolete third-party technologies, etc.

    I love construct and I look forward to a definitive miracle! (sorry for some google translator error).

  • Modern mobile devices run Construct games really well. I haven't seen any performance issues with any modern devices for some time now - usually if someone's complaining about performance, it's something like someone digging out a 7 year old device that isn't actually in practical use any more, and getting kicked down to software rendering due to GPU driver bugs. And even that isn't because of Construct, WebView or HTML5: ironically, it's the native code in the graphics driver that is broken, and everything else is working just fine. It's always been frustrating that people blame problems on things like HTML5 even if they aren't actually anything to do with the problem. In fact it's probably is something that has held us back: if people know we use HTML5, and they have some problem, they think "oh, it must be HTML5", even if it's completely unrelated to the problem. It's hard to get around people's prejudice of web technology.

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  • Returning to the issue of why many games made with construt have not raised much profit and / or popularity in a competitive environment depends on many factors. You cannot pretend that a mediocre development of a weekend lives up to robust developments of teams of professionals who work tirelessly for months or years to get a quality product.

    The bet is then to focus on indies developments, dedicating hundreds of hours, planning, lots of creativity and implementing effective advertising according to a tight budget. Construct like many other game engines is just a blank canvas, construct will facilitate the development of your project by providing tools that simplify processes, will not give you the magic potion to make your game popular and profitable. We cannot simply bet on a flappy bird or similar. You can create simple games that can really monetize as long as they are innovative.

    In the gamer market there is a lot of competition, creating a decent quality game does not give you the guarantees that it will be successful. Earning millions of dollars (which is a lot to ask for) does not depend on a planetary alignment, it depends on how creative and hard you are, of committing 100% to your development, of not developing as if it were a simple hobby if you want to have cost effectiveness. I can intuit that construct has a wide popularity in an enthusiastic and teaching audience more than in a professional environment due to the reasons stated above. Why would a professional with experience in unity (for example) wish to migrate to construct? There would be no compelling reasons to migrate, it is not a matter of programming paradigm (if it can be called that) since learning in construct is intuitive and easy to learn, the essential reason is the maturity of the engines (performance) and the habit or custom with a certain tool.

    I think that Construct in its market strategy is well oriented, the concept of creating in an easy way (almost like a game) closes that great gap of fear that people have when they start in this wonderful world. There will always be purists who see block or visual programming as something superficial and of little appreciation, but trends have always pointed to ease and simplification, otherwise we would be using MS-DOS, and programming in machine language :)

    I trust that construct will overcome the performance gap, either by optimization of its engine, by webview optimization or by mobile phones with better performance over time.

    sorry, I use google translation

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