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What tools/engines did you try before Construct?

  • This is kind of like the "Where did you hear about Scirra?" thread, but I'm interested in seeing the software people have already discarded, which occasionally came up in that thread, and also why that particular solution wasn't right for you. (I've omitted things like Unity and UDK, which I wouldn't really use for the same kinds of projects)

    In the past year or so I've tried Stencyl (formerly StencylWorks), Gamesalad, GameMaker and, of course, Construct to varying degrees to try and figure out which would be best for me going forward. These were my observations.

    Gamesalad, I'll be honest, I didn't get very far with at all. I was on the Windows beta, but lost interest fairly quickly. I thought it would offer me some kind of magical solution for publishing to iOS without leaving Windows, Marmalade SDK style.

    GameMaker is an interesting, relatively mature product and I've seen some nice things done with it, but I didn't want to learn a proprietary scripting language when there are other, more useful languages I'd like to learn. Overall, I also thought the editor felt clunky. I also had some performance concerns due to things told to me by wiser, more experienced GM users.

    I actually still have Stencyl installed. I like the interface a lot, and I also like the way they're trying to implement their resource and community infrastructure within the application. In terms of ease of use and general accessibility, I think it's the closest thing I've found to Construct.

    I think their UI for snapping code blocks is probably a great, visual way to teach programming principles to people who have never even nested an HTML tag before. That said, I don't like the emphasis on tile usage in game construction and C2's workflow is definitely more streamlined (note: not a euphemism for 'simplistic').

    There are a few abstract reasons and many more tangible reasons behind my decision to go with C2. The core for me is that I think as the HTML5 platform matures, performance improves and support grows, Scirra customers are going to come out winners. That's why I got on board early.

    How about you guys and girls?

  • Similar story really,

    My first experience with a game maker was RPGmaker2003. I loved it and spent a massive amount of time designing maps and customising sprites but never released anything.

    Was interested in Game Salad a few years later but it seemed like you only had a very limited set of inbuilt actions, what wasnt built in was possible but with raw coding and beyond me a that point (still probably).

    I saw a lot of people using game maker but I felt lost as soon as I opened it. Like you I didnt want to invest the time in it. There were other smaller game makers around that time similar to rpgmaker but nothing that I felt I could grasp. I dropped the idea of making games for a few more years.

    Finally, determined to give it another go I turned to TGB. It was a lot of coding but It looked promising, they had tutorials and even base templates for platformers or top down shooters (all of which I purchased). Progress was so slow... And at the end when it came to implementing something new I had no idea where to begin. The forums were anything but lively.

    I kept finding myself looking for new programs (even though I had just invested a good deal of money in TGB and really wanted to stick with it).

    I stumbled across C2 and have been amazed at how good it is ever since. (I have tried Stencyl as well and to be honest I wanted to like it, it just didnt seem as quick and easy to experiment with or anywhere near as flexable as c2).

    Scirra having a friendly community is the icing on the cake :)

  • I'd messed with Game Maker quite a bit, before deciding to look for something else for various reasons. I tried doing some programming from scratch with Java, which didn't work, and then XNA, which didn't work either. I need quite a bit more practice programming before I can get anything nice out of them, and at the time I just wanted to make a game for fun.

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  • My first engine was Klik & Play, but I was a kid when I started with that. Its crazy how 10 years or more later, I found an engine so similar to it, but a so much more brilliant.

    After that, maybe 2-3 years after Klik & Play was RPG Maker 2003, I fell in love with RPG Maker 2000 after that. I liked the older version more as a kid, such an unknowing hipster child I was.

    RPG Maker XP was next.

    Eventually grew fond of online game creation.

    Found Konfuze, Elysium Source then finally Mirage Source (Visual Basic 6 Engines) and Eclipse. Which me and my pal, Robin, recreated with Mirage source. We made an engine called Eclipse Origins, which has a community based around it, currently one of the (or) the world's largest 2D Online RPG development community.

    Around the same time, I worked on graphics for online games made with RPG Maker, one was called Squeebs, another one Slime Online (some of you may know it?).

    I finally used Game Maker myself to do some prototypes for school. But I disliked it, I heard of Construct Classic at the time, so I recommended it to my school - Nanyang Polytechnic, School of Interactive Digital Media. My course, Digital Media Design (Games) now uses Construct Classic instead of Game Maker for year 2 projects I believe.

    When C2 came out, I was initially a little bit skeptical, but I realized how badly mistaken I was and how great HTML5 is.

    Here I am!

  • GenkiGenga - Yeah, I'm an old-school RPGMaker user, from the Don Miguel translations for 95 and 2000. It was never something I imagined releasing a game in, but it was a lot of fun to mess around with. TGB is one of the rare things I haven't looked into even a little bit. I agree that with Construct the community aspect is important, too; I think it goes a long way to keeping me engaged.

    PixelMonkey - I know that feeling. There are things that I want to build from the ground up but can't due to lack of skill and there are games that I think wouldn't benefit from me reinventing the wheel. I'm trying to address the former by learning and widening my skillset, and for the latter... well, that's where Construct comes in :)

    Rory - Haha, showing the RPGMaker love, too. And Klik & Play... that takes me way back!

  • boybokeh :) I still find myself using some of the methods that Rpgmaker had in place. I like to put triggers down and when walked over the "scene" starts. Im sure TGB is a really good product if you know the ins and outs of coding (slow to progress but good).

  • Hmmm I tried Unity... before I understand 3D is not for me ! However it's a really powerful engine.

    I also tried Stencyl, good product too.

  • I tried unity... Far too much to learn, 3d rad is the engine i've used for the past year. I've worked hard in 3d rad and learnt a lot. I truly am a fan of 3d rad. Though my main problem is work load and recently the forums for 3d rad have been down. I have 2 games i have been working on for a long time. They both have a long way to go yet. My girlfriend turned round and said i want to make a game but a 2d one. So i went searching for a game engine. I didn't actually find one until i remembered a member posted something they made in construct 2 on the 3d rad forums. We both tried it and have both brought a license! Since finding it i have almost finished my first game! I have to say construct 2 is made perfectly. The design, the layout, the idea and coding is perfect. I have to say i am incredibly impressed and will be putting my 3d projects on hold for sometime.

  • I also looked at Unity and started going through some tutorials, but eventually decided it was a bad choice for 2D games. It's possible to do but requires some trickery.

    Messed around with GameMaker a while back and had a lot of fun hacking into Spelunky.

    I also looked at Stencyl because the graphical programming and ease of use seemed great, but decided against it because, well, Flash isn't going to be around much longer.

    And then I ended up finding Construct 2, I don't remember where but probably on Indiegames.com or somewhere like that. After downloading the demo and having a working platformer in a matter of an hour I was pretty much sold. I bought my license a couple weeks ago and have no regrets.

  • Getting a lot of insight here, keep the posts comin', folks!

  • Phew, do i have a history with these type of tools.

    I pretty much tried every single one, but i'll talk about more recent ones.

    I feel nostalgic for Game Maker because my first "Games" were made in it when i was about 9 or 10. but it was shortlived, i loved RPG Maker 2000 and 2003 back in the day.

    first time i got serious was much like Rory when i got involved with the Mirage Source community, Dabbled with the horrors of VB6 with the help of people like DFA, but again nothing ever really turned out of it.

    Programming a game from scratch was never my thing,

    I was always a mess in everything, especially in code, so i decided to try out Stencyl about 8 months ago, i quite liked it but i had far

    too many issues with it, tons of physics bugs and the recent price update really turned me off of it.

    Then i found Construct Classic, made a bunch of prototypes and fell in love. Now i moved to C2 and do everything in it.

    And hopefully, my first Truely complete game.

  • DeMayunn Ah, glad to hear Mirage's name here again. DFA is back in Eclipse now btw.

  • Rory - Yeah i know, i'm still in contact with him :P

    However let's keep reminiscing to Twitter.

  • I think their UI for snapping code blocks is probably a great, visual way to teach programming principles to people who have never even nested an HTML tag before. That said, I don't like the emphasis on tile usage in game construction and C2's workflow is definitely more streamlined (note: not a euphemism for 'simplistic').

    There are a few abstract reasons and many more tangible reasons behind my decision to go with C2. The core for me is that I think as the HTML5 platform matures, performance improves and support grows, Scirra customers are going to come out winners. That's why I got on board early.

    How about you guys and girls?

    I have zero interest in HTML 5 games at the moment. Never had any interest in Flash either, so I suppose that goes hand-in-hand. But Construct's system is superior in execution to the other systems. The whole visual building blocks systems I find in other programs is just too lame for me to even want to do anything with it. I find MMF's checkbox system to be a complete dinosaur that should've gone extinct a long time ago, and like you I refuse to learn GameMaker's scripting language because it has no utility outside of GameMaker.

  • MrMiller - interesting you say that about MMF. I've never used it properly, but I've seen some reasonably complex stuff done with it. More power to the people working with it, I guess :)

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