Construct's project folder structure
In Chrome (and other Chromium-based browsers like Edge and Opera), you can save projects to a local folder. It's necessary to use this option when using source control like Git, since it allows you to work with a range of individual files, instead of a single .c3p file.
Since you'll be dealing with individual files in the project folder, it's worth knowing how it's structured and what each folder and file is for. This is the overall project folder structure as saved from the Space Blaster demo project:
First, the main project file is a .c3proj file (really just a JSON file) in the root. This stores all the project settings and a list of everything used in the project. Other parts of the project are saved in subfolders as follows:
- eventSheets stores all the event sheets used in your project in JSON format.
- objectTypes and families store data for all the object types and families added to your project in JSON format.
- images stores all the images used in your project by all objects in PNG format. The image filenames are either the name of the object for non-animated objects (e.g. tiledbackground.png), or the object name, animation name and frame number for animated objects (e.g. player-default-000.png).
- layouts stores all the layouts used in your project, including the layers and where all objects are placed, in JSON format.
- Other folders like icons, music and sounds store project files from their corresponding folders in the Project Bar.
Some folders may be missing if a project does not have any content for them. For example a project with no families may omit the families folder. However it will be created if any families are added to the project.
UI state files
There are also several .uistate.json files in both the root and some of the subfolders. These are JSON files that separately store the user interface state, like which tabs are currently open. This is stored in a separate file because typically you do not want to share it. Having to log a change for the rest of the team just because you switched a tab is unnecessary and a possible source of problems, so Construct deliberately saves this separately so you can exclude it. Basically, the file is for you only and is of no interest to the rest of the team.
Source control basics
The image below shows the basic architecture of a source control system:
The server has the master copy of the project. This is the version with everyone's changes merged in to one place.
The clients have their own independent copies of the project, called their working copy. This means each team member's changes don't immediately affect the server, nor can other team members immediately see what others have changed. If a team member has finished a unit of work and wants to merge their changes in, they push the changes to the server and their work is merged in. Once the changes are in the server's copy of the project, other team members can pull to download any new changes to their own working copy.
A typical workflow in a single work session might be:
- First pull so you the latest version of the project
- Make some changes
- When done, push the changes to the server to submit them
After pushing, the next time each team member pulls from the server, they will receive those changes.
If you make changes then pull without committing, any changes from the server should be merged with your local changes. Usually the source control system can do this for you automatically.
The main problem with this process is conflicts: when two people change the same part of a project then try to push those changes at the same time. The first person can submit the changes OK, but when the second person pushes, the server will notice they haven't pulled in the other changes yet, and will make them do that before they push. Then they will have to manually merge in the other changes then push again. This will be described in more detail later on. If everyone only works on separate parts of the project, or at least co-ordinates to ensure two people don't change the same thing at the same time, you should be able to avoid most conflicts.
In some source control systems, the server can be on a team member's computer. However this is more complex to set up. Using a web-based service like GitHub means their service acts as the server.