Are their terms if C3 reaches end of life?

  • Hello!

    I'm quite happy with C3, but talking to someone who still uses C2, they raised a fair point that I couldn't find the answer to (I read terms and conditions but was unsure, tried googling but keep finding C2 posts).

    1) If C3 was going to be ending in the future (for Construct 4 or something!) or, I hope not, but it Scirra had to shutdown for whatever reason, then is there set terms and conditions detailing what happens?

    I ask due to being a subscription model, and how offline mode requires a regular online checkup to verify our login (meaning your servers are required to validate ourselves), then is there terms set in place so that we would not be locked out of our historical work and all of our c3p files in future?

    The defense of C2 was that they can indefinitely use C2 forever as it simply works offline and the licence file works offline, and download updated node webkit downloads to continue producing modern content.

    2) The website's terms and conditions, does "website" apply to the editor itself, as the editor is part of Construct.net?

    If not, am I missing where to find the terms and conditions specifically for the editor on the Scirra website? I ask as I was trying to research question 1 myself without needing to post.

    Many thanks!

  • Most likely they will give everyone who already has subscription full access to Construct 4. So people can jump between Construct 3 & Construct 4 until one is stable enough so people can abandon Construct 3.

    Also there should be a very good reason for C3 to end! New engines aren't released for the sake of sequel. Construct Classic was like a proof of concept & Construct 2 a mature version of that concept. Construct 3 have taken that in the direction Scirra Team always was going for, solidified their ground.

    And now with a clear path ahead it is hard to imagine Construct 3 being replaced anytime soon.

    In my opinion the only reason for Construct 4 is expansion of Scirra Team which will allow them to finally have full 3D support. It will likely have two runtimes same as Construct 3 - Legacy 2D runtime & New 3D runtime.

    After some time support of 2D runtime will end, but it will be good enough so all C3 projects will be able to run on it.

  • The subscription model can be economically supported indefinitely. So we can keep supporting it as long as people are paying for it. We have no plans for any kind of retirement at this point, and any such time would be years and years away. We also have no plans for "Construct 4" at this time.

  • Ashley Many thanks for the response, but I think I wasn't clear with my questions.

    I mentioned C4 as a small joke, not as an expectation or the discussion, but my original question is very important to me. My main concern is, and lets be realistic here as we all don't know what the future holds:

    Lets fast forward a random amount of years, e.g. 5 years. Lets say for whatever reason:

    Scirra makes a new product and ends C3 and the new product doesn't load some aspect of c3p files therefore rendering c3p files unusable. Or maybe Scirra doesn't receive payments and must shut down, there's many possibilites, positive or negative (I wish for great things for Scirra, of course!) whatever the reason, the main point is that C3 becomes inaccessible and the verification servers are inactive. Let me stress, I'm not suggesting there's going to be a new product, and I'm not thinking Scirra is going downhill, but please follow the hypothetical situation.

    So my concern is, that I cannot find in the terms and conditions that there is a legal requirement that Scirra will provide a solution to opening c3p files if Scirra must retire C3 for whatever reason.

    Whereas right now, we can open Construct Classic CAP files indefinitely, and Construct 2 CAPX files indefinitely, as long as we have the installer (and licence key file for Construct 2).

    So, 5 years pass, C3 is down and the verification servers are offline. Now: the person I was talking to that uses Construct 2, they would had continued to use a very dated C2 which can be potentially maintained by custom builds and downloading NodeWebkit updates. C2 will always generate the HTML5 code in the end, plugins can still be made indefinitely to expand C2.

    This means they would have spent about £70 one-time, and they will confidently know that they can open their .capx files indefinitely, even in 30 years time if they kept their capx files. All the source code is previewable/buildable so long as they keep an installer of C2 and the licence key file.

    Compare that to me, who would have have either paid monthly (£839 for 5 years) or yearly (£424 for 5 years). And without the legal requirement that Scirra will provide a way to open c3p files, then Scirra "could" simply close the Construct 3 website down, close the verification servers, and there would be no way to locally open, build, or edit our source code (our c3p files).

    I'm sure a third-party individual would try and find a way to preserve the offline version of C3, but would we seriously be expected to rely on this after spending the above money over the years (and that's only 5 years, imagine more), simply to have a risk of having all those years of work just locked away?

    I still have my KickNPlay (released in 1994) games from when I was young, and personally these are very sentimental, so long as I keep backups of the installer and game, I can still find a way to view them if I wish even after 25+ years. But with C3, I'd be extremely ticked off if I lost even 5 years of real game development work (which may need to be maintained, updating old games, etc.) simply because there was no legally binding reason for Scirra to release a solution to open c3p files.

    I am not complaining about the subscription model, I must clarify, the cost is absolutely fine, and I'm not asking for an offline way to read/edit c3p files whilst C3's verification servers are active (although an downloadable Offline "Construct 3 Player" with event sheet view stripped out and only preview mode available would be great for archival/preservation reasons).

  • It's difficult to make any strong guarantees about hypothetical situations years in the future.

    So long as people are still paying for C3, then it's perfectly economical to keep supporting it indefinitely.

    If nobody is paying for C3 any more at some hypothetical point in the far off future, then presumably few people will care what happens to it, especially if there is a newer and actively supported product that can still import C3 projects.

    It's also possible that some future Windows update makes C2 unusable long after its support ended - so contrary to what you imply, there is no guarantee that is going to last forever.

  • Ashley

    ... So basically we have no guarantee, and that's that? ALL c3 users have the risk of never having access to their c3p files, IF a situation happened.

    Do you have a backup solution in place in event of file loss for C3's builds? I ask because that's also not exactly stated anywhere as far as I can see. This information needs to be told (not locations or what software you use to make backups, just reassurance for gods sake).

    Your replies here don't even attempt to convince me that my project files that I may spend £100's if not £1000's on may not be openable IF a situation happened in future. There really should be a clear stance on this, especially legally.

    People are still using C2 now; for the record I have spent a few hours of convo trying to convince this person to move over to C3 as they're still not sold on C3, if anything they've enlightened me to something I strongly feel about but embarrassingly missed, I was sold mostly on how great the editor looks and the C3 runtime, as well as a monthly sub option.

    Some projects I spent so many years on in C2 cannot be opened in c3 due to addons, (I'm trying to avoid using addons in my C3 projects due to this, but had been forced to for one thing) so I do no have faith that c3p files will be 100% compatible with the concept of a "future product" IF that happened.

    I'm sorry Ashley but the c2 comment you made is simply not correct, virtual machines exist, old hardware exists, and these methods are possible due to installer files and licence key files. C3 does not have these options, which as of now I respect as this is probably a great anti-piracy measure to not have local licence key files, and other reasons. But having no legal obligation that Scirra should release a way to open c3p files IF a situation happened, then I cannot defend c3 in this case.

    Ive already started 3 projects and was really committed to C3 but this question and your answers are really making me lose confidence.

    By the way, if by the end of this discussion Scirra did decide "no we are not going to legally guarantee that you can access your c3p files in the event that c3 is inaccessible" then I would be EXTREMELY ticked off if I paid for a year as I know this cannot be refunded, sure it would have been my fault for not spotting the lack of statement before subscribing, but I thought Scirra was better than that.

  • These are all hypothetical situations that are years away. How can I promise you anything about them? What if someone else owns the company by then? What if the web is entirely replaced by some new holographic platform and we switch to that before the end of the company? What good is it providing a guarantee if in some hypothetical scenarios it won't apply?

    The company is profitable, things are going fine, it's economical to support C3 as long as anyone's paying for it, and I don't see any reason for any of that to change for years to come.

    I'd add C3 projects are a zip file with a mix of JSON files and image files, all widely supported formats. So in the long term it's perfectly possible that other tools can still open and use C3 projects.

  • If there was a legally binding requirement that Scirra must provide a solution to open c3p files in the end, then this would NOT be able to be negated by a new Scirra leader, or any, ANY, hypothetical situation. Hypothetical does not mean impossible, sure it could mean unlikely.

    Some very rare case exceptions where I think everyone would agree that it's very different would be if scirra's staff caught covid or a fire happened at Scirra, that would be very tragic and I don't have answers about that.

    But general business situations, this is not acceptable and I'm surprised you do not seem to agree with this.

  • I've never heard of any other companies imposing such legally binding requirements on themselves, and I'm not sure it's actually legally possible anyway. What would you do, sue a defunct company? If you can and this disaster situation happens which "everyone agrees" is fine, but then someone sues us anyway over it? It just seems unrealistic and I don't think it's reasonable to insist on this.

  • I have been a programmer for over 30 years, and I have used a great number of different programming environments.

    I have never seen a guarantee like that from companies big or small.

    C3 uses a lot of industry standard formats. Unzipping a .C3P file is easy, you can open all the assets with a text editor or any image editor, so there is no problem viewing the code. Exported projects will continue to run as long as you have a compatible operating system to run them on.

  • There is one important difference here.

    With non subscription software you actually can use it forever regardless of what windows updates do.

    For example I still have a laptop with Softimage running windows 7 on it and as long as that laptop works it will continue to work even though Autodesk killed it off in 2015.

    With their current model I believe you'd be out of luck. You want to use Maya or 3ds max? you have to keep paying forever if you want to use it

    I guess that would be the difference between Construct 2 and 3.

  • Ashley

    I'm not really sure about other companies terms and conditions either, I only ever compared Construct 3 to Construct 2, and Construct Classic, and I mentioned Klick and Play once. And if I was about to go read a bunch of other products Terms and Conditions (I really just want to make games and apps, not read this stuff, jeez), then I'd be stuck because I don't know any other Game Development software that is both browser-based only, and subscription based (there's the one free competitor but, that's free and has an offline installer).

    Construct 3 is the first software subscription I've ever paid for, perhaps maybe that's why I'm panicing now about the future, and perhaps that's why I'm coming off as uneducated and frustrated. If it's the case that all "browser based subscription software" do not have these terms and no company wants to add them, then I think this is a very valuable lesson for me and I will have to be much more careful with subscriptions and then... I don't know, pay money based on pure trust that Scirra will sunset C3 gracefully.

    I want to emphasise again, the money that I will have paid:

    Construct 2 is 8 years old, and people still use it and can open all their project files indefinitely, for £70, and edit them if they have their licence key file.

    Construct 3 for 8 years, minimum, £679.92.

    You cannot brush this off for a hopeful third party to be able to rewrite the Construct 3 editor/runtime.

    Am I missing something here? Because I'm feeling very alone in my opinion. I'm happy to pay Scirra £679 over 8 years, as long as there was a legally binding item in the terms and conditions as I've mentioned in this thread.

    Without a legally binding item in terms and conditions, what if "the next Scirra CEO" decides "eh, nah, close C3 down", then ALL of us customers have no way to continue with their projects, and we have no legal grounds to do anything about this.

    In a lighter tone, perhaps Scirra could take the stance in an industry first, and provide what I'm suggesting which will give customers a sense of security and will make committing long-term to C3 much more appealing. Or not. It's up to you guys, it just striked me that this would be something Scirra would stand up for, I don't know why I had this idea.

    AllanR

    Thanks for the reply. I'm not familiar with many programming environments that are browser-based and subscription-based to research this, I did assume that this concept of browser-based subscriptions was a new thing as most people weren't on board a few years ago with C3 being browser-based to begin with.

    Exported projects are our only hope for preservation of our work (IF something happened to C3), and within the c3p file, if the code is that readable and it's that simple to not require C3, then wouldn't Scirra be concerned about a third-party runtime appearing right now?

    We can recover assets from a c3p file, sure, but if you backed up your files, then, you probably backed up your assets and original files if organised and backed up correctly (although it is nice to be able to recover if ALL you had was your c3p file).

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  • I rather weird demand to be honest.

    This is a Web-Based Engine. (Online Engine, basically).

    Is there any guarantee that any Online Game for example will return you anything once their servers shutdown? That users will still have access to all the content they purchased throughout the years which in summary quite often would be likely more expensive than the overall cost you mentioned for Construct? There is no guarantees there and here shouldn't be any as well.

    If everyone uses the engine, everyone buy subscription and company has enough to continue at least supporting it. The more money they earn, the better future this engine will see. If everyone just slowly abandon the engine and stop buying subscription then there is no real need to continue supporting it anyway. Sure there will be some dedicated users & some nostalgia comebacks, but by the time they will all have it coming. You can always tell when Online Product is about to die.

    Scirra grows right now. Engine is now not only for ethusiasts & hobbyists, but now they make incredible focus on education which is a very solid direction. You have nothing to worry about.

    We're sailing steadily on the fore wind.

  • What good is a legal contract from Scirra Ltd to cover your hypothetical, if in your hypothetical Scirra Ltd ceases to exist?

  • I'd be more worried about the health of you guys, especially with the pandemic around.

    Pretty sure a bunch of us would go mental.

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