Construct 2 allows you to import scenes and actors from GameSalad projects. Construct 2 has a number of interesting features, including its support for additional platforms like Windows 8 Metro apps, Facebook games, the Chrome Web Store, and sophisticated fullscreen-enabled HTML5 games that also work offline that you can publish to your own website. Importing your project to Construct 2 can help you get started porting your project to these additional platforms. This tutorial describes how to do it, what's imported, and what's not imported.
Get Construct 2 free edition
First of all, grab the free edition of Construct 2 if you don't have it already. You can download it here. Obviously the free edition doesn't cost anything so you can download right away! The Construct 2 editor is currently only available for Windows (XP or newer).
Importing a project
Construct 2 can import .gsproj files from the Windows creator, or .gameproj files from the Mac creator (sometimes also .gameproj.zip). To open a project, select File - Open.
In the dropdown for the file type in the bottom right, select GameSalad XML project. (This will also show .gameproj.zip files.)
Browse to your project folder and select the .gsproj file for that project. Construct 2 then imports the project.
Construct 2 will import:
- Actors and their images
Construct 2 works very differently to GameSalad, so it can't import anything else. That means the following are not imported:
- Actors with no associated image, or images with no associated actor
- Physics or motion settings (see below)
- Rules, behaviors or other game logic
Some of these you can import yourself which is described later on. However, things like Rules are impossible to convert, because it's completely different to Construct 2's event system. The import is designed to give you a starting point to try playing with your project in Construct 2. It's not intended to be a complete conversion! That's why we say Construct 2 just imports scenes and actors.
The nuts and bolts
Scenes are called Layouts in Construct 2. Each Scene in the project is imported as a Construct 2 Layout. You can find all your layouts in the Project Bar.
Each scene's layers are also imported to Construct 2. You can find them in the Layers Bar. Non-scrollable layers are imported with layers with their Parallax setting set to (0, 0), which should have the same effect. Note the Parallax property also allows you to set different layers scrolling at different rates, which is an interesting effect for many games.
Construct 2 doesn't separate 'actors' and 'images'. In Construct 2, there is a kind of object called the Sprite object which contains animations and images as part of the object. On the other hand, GameSalad actors don't contain the images, they simply reference a separate image. So there isn't a one-to-one way for Construct 2 to import GameSalad objects. So the importer will simply create a Sprite object for each actor which has an image.
If there are images that haven't been imported, you can simply drag and drop the PNG file for it from Windows Explorer in to Construct 2's layout view. A new Sprite is instantly created. If you select multiple PNG files and drag and drop them in, a new Sprite is created with an animation with those frames.
Construct 2 supports additive blending, so will use the corresponding setting for actors with the blending mode property set to Additive.
Objects with horizontal wrap or vertical wrap set to Tile in their prototype will be imported as Tiled Background objects instead of Sprites.
Construct 2 has its own animation editor you can use to set up animations within the IDE. If you have animated objects which use rules to change images, Construct 2 won't be able to import them. Don't worry, though, it's easy to import them yourself. Suppose your Player object has been imported with only one image when it had a whole animation. Double-click it in Construct 2's Layout view and the animation editor opens. Right-click the frames pane at the bottom, and select Import Frames.
Select all the PNG images making up the animation from the GameSalad project. (Note Mac projects, .gameproj, are just zips of folder projects - rename to .zip and open them to find the PNG files.) They should then appear in the animation editor. You can adjust the animation properties like its speed, looping setting and so on by selecting the animation in the Animations window and changing its properties in the properties bar.
You can also add other animations by right-clicking in the Animations window and clicking Add animation.
Physics and motion
Construct 2 does not have physics or motion built-in to objects. Instead, you add them to each object that needs them using behaviors. This helps the game run efficiently, since objects which don't need features don't have to have them. Note the terminology difference here - they're different to the thing with the same name in GameSalad. Adding behaviors to objects gives them pre-packaged functionality. For example, adding the Physics behavior to an object makes it start acting like a realistic physics object, and adding the Bullet behavior to an object makes it move in a straight line.
To add behaviors to an object, select it and click Edit behaviors in the properties bar:
The following behaviors correspond to GameSalad's actor properties:
Physics - add an object to physics simulation. You can also set the same physics properties you used before, such as density and friction. For more information see the tutorial Physics in Construct 2.
Bullet - make an object move in a straight line (like linear velocity). See Bullet in the manual.
Rotate - make an object spin (like angular velocity). See Rotate in the manual.
For Platform movements, add the Platform behavior to your player, and add the Solid behavior to the floor. There's lots more help in the tutorial How to make a Platform game.
There are many other behaviors you may find interesting, all documented in the behavior reference.
Instead of using actors to draw text, in Construct 2 you'll want to add the Text object. Unfortunately this is another manual step because Construct 2 does not import text drawing rules.
In the Project Bar, right click Sounds and select Import Sounds. Select all the sounds from your old project, and Construct 2 can import them all at once.
Don't forget to add the Audio object to play sounds! For more information, see Sounds & Music in the manual.
That's about as far as it's possible for Construct 2 to import GameSalad projects. They're two very different bits of software so it's never going to get everything, and will usually need some tweaking. However, it's a great time saver and gives you a useful point to start playing with Construct 2.
Construct 2 events work considerably differently to GameSalad rules. There are many other differences between the editors. If you'd like to learn more about how Construct 2 works, you might want to try our Beginner's Guide to Construct 2. If you'd like to learn more about how to use events, see How Events Work. If you have any questions, feel free to ask on the forum - we're happy to help!