Correction. My strategy is to create a C2 file, which is just an array, located on my Hostgator server. Then I would have the main C2 game connect to the Hostgator server and interact with the array via AJAX.
Will that work? And if it does, can you direct me to a tutorial or step-by-step process to make that work. I was looking the signaling server C2 example which Scirra has for creating a chatroom or two player game. Is that sufficient to use or does the server to be set-up in some special way, as well?
For the longest time, before I broke down and learned SQL, I used flat file databases like you're planning. For many things, they're adequate and relatively fast. Here's some issues you're going to run into:
Passwords. PHP has built in features to hash passwords into MD5 or SHA1 hashes. Without some ability to compare the password the user enters to a stored hashed password, your passwords are going to be plain text. Keep in mind that people tend to reuse passwords!
Email Verification: The easiest way to verify a user is to send them an email with a link to a website to verify. That link should have 2 things in the query string, the user's email and another random hashed string like this:
firstname.lastname@example.org&hash=SOmecoLLectionofRAndOmGarBage. If the email and that random string match when that page is called, then it's a successful validation. Construct has no built-in way to send emails.
Forgotten passwords: You'll need some way to send an email or other method (SMS for two factor authentication) to people who've forgotten their password.
Nextly, security: While it's not always easy, Construct games can be deconstructed. If you provide a direct link to that array inside the C2 client and your game becomes popular, it will be found. Just assume it will. What would happen if I plugged that direct link into a browser or got to poking around?
There are a lot of things that Construct can do. And there are a lot that it can't.
As for learning MySQL, you'll need some language to interface into it like PHP, Perl, Ruby, etc. I strongly suggest that you get an IDE like NetBeans and break down and learn it. I write code in several languages but it still took me a good year to become proficient in PHP & MySQL to the point that I felt confident in what I was doing. If you're going to keep writing games, whether in C2, Unity, Unreal or any other engine, learning how to connect to resources that aren't native to those engines will be essential.
A quick story. A number of years ago I wrote a shareware program for Windows. It's teleprompter software. You can find it here if you're curious: http://www.uprompt.com. I did a lot of planning for security and how to use registration keys. But it wasn't enough. I knew that I had finally hit the 'big time' as a shareware author when some hacking group released a keygen program that would create registration keys for my software. While it was a source of pride that some hacking group found my software worthy of cracking into and I actually boasted that on it's website as a selling point. 'My software is so good, they've cracked it." it also created a need to rethink how I did things. Always assume that someone will spend the time to bot, hack, cheat or otherwise abuse your work for their own personal satisfaction. If yours becomes popular, it will happen.
I'm trying to convince you to break down and learn MySQL and PHP, so let me give you an idea of the power it would put at your disposal. My teleprompter has automatic registrations. When a user clicks on the PayPal button on the website and makes a purchase, PayPal sends what's called an IPN (instant payment notification) to one of my PHP scripts. That script digests the information and adds it to a MySQL database. It also sends me an email notifying me of a payment received. The teleprompter accesses another set of PHP scripts that checks that MySQL database. If the user enters the correct license ID and registration, the PHP script tells the teleprompter that it's valid or invalid and if valid, registers the software for full use. All of this takes place without my intervention (unless something goes wrong) creating a passive income. I have a database of all of my users, their names, emails and I even have stats on how my software is used so I have information I can digest.
Construct is a great gaming engine. But that's exactly what it is, a gaming engine. If you want to be able to have the flexibility in your games to say, add in vanity items, add in pay-to-win, subscriptions or even one-time purchases, tracking users, high scores, leaderboards, or a whole host of data, learning a database like SQL and a web-based language like PHP will give you the power to do that.
I can guarantee you that the guys at Scirra work in a lot more than just Java to sell, maintain and promote Construct. And there's a good reason why.