Why is GameMaker Studio so much more popular than Construct?

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  • Delenne Just checked it out. Clearly a copy, and a good one. Pretty sweet for it being free, and for being open source. GDscript is pretty powerful and so darn easy with their docs being alright, but their 2D is better than Unity's in most aspect - so I'm interested to see what the future will hold for it, especially in comparison to C3.

    q3olegka The Web-version just doesn't feel as native as C2 is, I always feel some kind of slight delay as well. But, when you install C3 from Chrome, it's actually pretty responsive.

    Though they might not have enough funds, most people just download the software and close it immediately, so the 5 million is not very accurate. There are also cracked versions of C2, at least they existed in the past afaik.

  • Yeah the 5 million is barely relevant. I think I alone am responsible for 20 of those. And construct 2 was supported for a long time from one-time purchases, I doubt there are still reserves left from that.

    And the current usercount is pretty much unknown, estimates at best. "100,000 users create games every month" How many of those are free users? And then there are a ton of costs for businesses, services (server, backup services,...), hardware (development devices, ipad/iphone/android devices for testing,...), wages, rent, power, water, heat... not to forget taxes. You may earn a million, but earning that million may have cost you 900k.

  • You are saying obvious things. Of course, you cannot count 5 million downloads for 5 million purchases. But even if you take 1% of 5 million, it will be a rather large amount. I don’t have information, so I’m only assuming. And I can understand the Spriter team with their delays and problems. But Construct has a huge community in many languages, which speaks of its popularity. And constantly saying that “we have a small team” is strange for me. I could be wrong. Just an opinion. Because I make money on Construct and I would like him to always be in the top

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  • Let's assume Scirra are converting 8% of their 100,000 users, that's an income of £608,861.88 a year if we use an average of $99 a user, but we'll call it £610,000 for easy maths.

    Lose 2% (£12,200) for transaction handling - £598,000

    Next up, staff salaries; let's assume a team of 6, earning the average London wage (£37,000); all together that'll cost £222,000 - you've now got £376,000.

    Don't forget NIC - that'll be £4k per person, or £24,000; now you're on £352,000.

    Better get some offices; average for London is £650-1,5000 per person; and Scirra have nice serviced offices. Let's call it £700 per person, it works out £50,400 a year. £300,000 remaining.

    You'll probably want some tech for those offices. Some computers, monitors, chairs to sit on. How many devices does Construct work on? All of them? Crap, you'll probably have to buy some phones and tablets for testing purposes, how much does the new iPhone cost? £1,000? Let's call it £10k all in. £290,000 left.

    Your product is web based right? You'll need to host it, and the multiplayer signalling server, oh and the build server - don't forget about the website and the forums either. It'll need to handle lots of simultaneous connections from all over the world, not to mention have a really high number of fallbacks. Let's fluff the numbers here and call it £15,000 a year in hosting. £275,000 in your bank.

    You'll probably want to drum up some marketing now, in-house talent is all good, but you'll likely need an agency for stuff like exhibitions, print work, PPC and outreach. £75k will get you a decent agency for 40 hours a month and give you some buffer for budget and outcosts. £200,000.

    All done? Nope. Tax! 19% (£38,000) please. You're down to £162,000. Seems like a lot? Using our numbers above it costs £37,333 a month to run the company, so what you're left with is just over 4 months of runway.

    Sure, you could hire a new person, but then you have to factor in the extra salary, the cost of recruitment, and the time spent on-boarding. This is excluding any kind of interest repayments you might have with investors or a bank, or dividends for directors and shareholders. Plus loads of stuff I forgot!

    The above numbers are entirely speculative, but it's unreasonable to think that Scirra are actively choosing to not scale.

  • We've always grown within our means as Elliott has alluded to (you forgot VAT by the way :P), and we've never taken any VC money even though it's an option for us as we're concerned we'd lose control of our vision and some of our processes.

    FWIW, and I've mentioned this elsewhere the total GGJ entries is a signal, but a weak one. Even though GGJ entries have dropped, we're seeing great growth YoY and the GGJ is of no concern to us. (Note, you'd probably want to normalise those numbers by total # entries and not compare them YoY to the absolute figures).

    More employees -> better engine quality -> more users -> more profit. It work like that right?

    Throwing new programmers at software to make it better is rarely true. I like Warren Buffet's quote for this:

    No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things just take time. You can't produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.

    Regarding pricing, we've just rolled out monthly pricing globally for personal editions. These are now available. Going from one off payments to annual payments to monthly has cash flow risk at each step which is one of the reasons we've taken our time with it.

    I know there are weaknesses on certain parts of the website, but they will addresses in due course. We have to prioritise and we do our best to prioritise for what's best for the business as a whole. There are lots of factors involved in this, some which will be opaque from the outside.

    I'd like to point out as well we're quite happy with our performance! We've seen other competitors take on VC money and crash and burn. Other competitors keep announcing years after years of delays in releasing promised new versions. We've always delivered, and deliver well.

  • I'd add that the subscription model was a major factor in us being able to scale up the company. Before that, Construct 2 was only ever developed by me, the sole developer of the product. I think people often forget that!

    Often people also suggest some kind of alternative business model that would severely reduce our income (or even completely ruin the company) in the same breath as saying we need to hire more people. Naturally customers will always press to get more for a lower price, but there's a balance to be struck between the needs of the customers and the needs of the business, and going too far in either direction is ultimately harmful to both sides. I think we've struck a reasonable balance so far.

  • Just to illustrate the point:

    You have 5 million downloads of C2

    Loads of these users just used the free edition - and yet some people propose to raise the free limits still higher.

    Also, piracy of C2 is rampant these days. The only reason this is not more worrying is we already moved on to C3.

  • Wait... you made C2 all on your own? Holy moly I wasn´t aware of that. I always struggle sticking with a project as soon as I hit a couple months of work :V

    As a note to piracy. I used to pirate C2 for a while (pls don´t ban me, lol). I kinda was at a point where I needed to keep my money together for education. I obviously tried the free version first and just thought... wow I hate beeing limited, even though I was just toying around. I liked C2 and after beeing able to really try it as a whole with no limits, my liking grew until I caved in and bought it. So in some way, piracy may have been a contributor to why I stuck with (and still stick to) Construct. Nowadays, as pointed out, there are many more free options with no limits that I could just have picked instead, potentially ending up not beeing here.

    I always had the intention that if I end up with a project that I want to release in some capacity, I´d have bought a license anyway. If I make money, you get money sounded fair to me. (Kinda flawed argument but eh...) And to this day, I haven´t made any significant money with Construct, guess that didn´t work out exactly as planned. (Well, I always have something cooking but you know...)

    What I did gain was a lot of experience and knowledge, about programming logic, about communicating with a server (AJAX), about using server-side scripting, PHP, SQL, JS, math, nodeJS, Firebase, Admob, App-development general and probably much more that I just can´t quite think of now. Most of that stuff also wasn´t planned, but I´m not complaining.

    End of storytime

  • I'd add that the subscription model was a major factor in us being able to scale up the company. Before that, Construct 2 was only ever developed by me, the sole developer of the product. I think people often forget that!

    Often people also suggest some kind of alternative business model that would severely reduce our income (or even completely ruin the company) in the same breath as saying we need to hire more people. Naturally customers will always press to get more for a lower price, but there's a balance to be struck between the needs of the customers and the needs of the business, and going too far in either direction is ultimately harmful to both sides. I think we've struck a reasonable balance so far.

    Wow. Would never have thought that Construct 2 was the work of a single person. It was always by far easier to use and more polished than anything else, especially then. It is basically why I chose it over Fusion, GM or Unity. Now I actually see that the model before wouldn't been able to keep up with the current Scirra expenses.

  • Ashley

    Why the Showcase is so ... lackluster ?

    Where are the games like:

    • The Next Penelope
    • Airscape: The Fall of Gravity
    • Super Ubie Land
    • Klang
    • Iconoclasts
    • Tokyo Dark

    Or great plugins as Liquidfun JavaScript

  • Iconoclasts only started on Construct Classic.

    Try Hypnospace Outlaw

  • The Next Penelope

    This is an example of both success and failure for Construct (2).

    A success, because on Windows it worked fine, and the game itself received good reviews. I got it on Steam, and it is fun to play. It was critically reviewed as a fine example of old-school top-down racing. It also demonstrated how Construct 2 enable just one developer to develop a good commercially viable game all on his own.

    But a dismal failure for the developer due to the impossibility to publish it to WII U because Construct 2/3 has no native exporters.

    Several companies made the attempt, but they were all unsuccessful, and in the end the WII U release was cancelled.

    As Aurelien wrote in 2017:

    Is Penelope cancelled on WiiU?

    Sadly yes (not my decision, coming from the company who proposed to port the game and invested months and money in it).

    Even if the game is a very small one, being made using html5 and pushing it hard definitely makes it nearly impossible to port on consoles without recoding everything from scratch (= more expensive than the money a niche game like mine could ever bring back).

    That's the 3rd very capable company to throw in the towel after investing in this project ("3.5th" if you count my own attempt during the first year using the official Nintendo html5 framework).

    These news made me super s(/m)ad, but I know they're very good people and sincerely tried their best.

    From here, I since have done everything I could to find other solutions, even with the WiiU now being discontinued ( < hint: this doesn't help to find new partners). In my mind, the game was made for a Nintendo console from the beginning, so... well, you get the idea. It's not pleasant. I also would like to add how people at Nintendo Europe have been supportive and helpful with me. It sounds like PR bs? It's not. Having the feeling you're talking to (good) humans is very much appreciated, rare, and they rock at this. (Guys, if you're reading this at some point, me and my clunky English are very grateful for your time!) Now, some other brave/cuckoo/masochists friends of mine are trying to port Penelope to the Switch, but nothing sure yet. It could be as technically difficult and never happen, so please don't hold your breath on this (I hold mine but shhh). This is absolutely *not* an announcement or something. I so learned my lesson here, let's not announce anything until it's 100% finished now. Speaking of lessons, the new game I'm working on for more than one year now is made using Unity, so this situation never happens again. I can't wait to show some fresh stuff in the coming months so we can share some more joyful news : )

    Cheers, and thanks a lot for caring! Aurelien.

    But the good news is that it did get a release on the Nintendo Switch. In the end they ported it to C++ and their home grown engine. They re-used 70% of the game logic via Construct's generated json files, and also had to rewrite the shaders used. They also re-released the PC version for better performance and less hardware issues, I believe, because the engine they used was platform independent.


    Anyway, I feel it is wise that Scirra is not advertizing Construct with a game that caused so many trouble during release time for the developer mainly because he used Construct, and had to resort to writing a custom game engine to have it run on anything other than a web platform/webview wrapper.

    Scirra used to advertize Construct 2 having Nintendo WiiU export support, but they wisely decided to avoid doing so with Construct 3. I suppose Aurelien would never have developed his game with Construct 2 if he had known in advance about all the issues he'd be encountering with the WiiU, because that was the target platform from the start in his mind.


    Interestingly enough Scirra still uses a screenshot of The Next Penelope on their C3 pages:


    The Next Penelope showcases the best and the worst of Construct all at once, in my opinion. One of the best commercial games made with C2, all achieved by a single motivated developer, yet pained with final release troubles that prevented the game from being released on the platform it was meant to work on, and forcing the developer to write their own game engine to release it on the switch.

    Scirra now focuses on platforms with solid web(view wrapper) support, and isn't promising anything else, which is a good thing. Know your strengths, build on them.

    • Airscape: The Fall of Gravity

    Probably because it's a good game that made no money and the creator wrote about it.

    Not a Construct problem but not good for publicity

  • tgeorgemihai about the showcase lackluster.

    There are several tens of great and noteworthy indie games on Steam, that were developed with Construct. Most of developers just don't share their used engine details, because average player cares not about it.

    The next penelope was good and stuff, but take a look at it's Steam page and compare it to another Construct made games i know of. There is a crude formula (reviews * 60) to have a hint at sales numbers (you can google for it - it's used by several steam related sites for estimates).

    The next penelope has 108 reviews 77% positive (108 * 60 = 6480 copies)

    Catmaze has 244 reviews 84% positive (244*60 = 14640 copies)

    Tokyo Dark has 582 reviews 89% positive (582*60 = 34920 copies)

    Catmaze was developed with C2 and is business wise like 2.5 times better than TNP. Tokyo dark is like 5.5 times better that TNP.

    TL;DR: there are Construct made games waaay better that TNP, but somehow when you think of good Construct made game you think TNP. I have no idea why other great games are not showcased, but my closest guess is that it's a complicated matter with potential problems i'm not aware of.

  • Actually, for showcase, it doesn't matter how much the game has earned. There the main thing is a beautiful and juicy picture. When you look at something beautiful, you are, wow, I can do it on this engine. But when you look at the 2010 games with poor graphics. You think - and that’s all that this engine is capable of?

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