Using the Simplified User Interface


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Published 14 Nov, 2017
603 words
~2-4 minutes

Construct 3 has many features. This is great for people who want to make complex and advanced games. However sometimes the broad feature array is actually a disadvantage. For example if you are teaching a class of young students, you don't need to have so many plugins and properties. It can be easier to work with a reduced set of options, helping make it clearer what to do and minimising the chance of a mistake.

Construct's Simplified user interface mode is designed to solve this problem. It hides all advanced features, leaving behind a simple, straightforward set of features that are ideal for beginners.

Enabling the simplified user interface

To enable this mode, simply open the Settings dialog (MenuSettings). In the User interface section, check the Use simplified user interface option. Then close the Settings dialog.

You'll see a message reminding you the simplified user interface is enabled. You can ignore it and click OK. That's just there to help stop people getting confused in case they're wondering why some options have disappeared.

You don't need to restart Construct, nor reload your project - the setting takes effect right away.

Things hidden in simplified mode

Here is a list of some of the things hidden in simplified mode. This isn't an exhaustive list and it may be tweaked over time, but it serves to give you an idea of what is hidden.

  • All third-party addons
  • Advanced plugins, like WebSocket, XML and AJAX, as well as all platform-specific plugins (e.g. Facebook, NW.js) other than the Scirra Arcade plugin
  • Advanced behaviors, like the Custom movement, No Save and Shadow Caster
  • Advanced or less commonly used properties in the Properties Bar, like effect properties, container settings, UID & Z Index information, advanced project/layout/layer settings, and advanced plugin/behavior settings like form control IDs, origin location, and Sine behavior randomizers
  • Advanced or less commonly used event features, such as positioned audio and effects in the Audio object, advanced physics modes, key-code based input events, effects settings and JSON saving/loading

In many cases, particular sections are radically simplified. For example Project Properties reduce from a long and complex list in to a simple few options for name, description and viewport size. The Audio plugin's actions also reduce from a wide set of positioning and effects features to simple playback control. Overall this can make it much easier to guide students to the right parts of the software, and discourages them getting side-tracked with irrelevant features.

Project compatibility

The setting has no impact on project compatibility. You can save and load any projects as normal, and open them in either mode. The simplified user interface mode only hides options in the user interface, so the change is purely cosmetic.

It could be confusing to open an advanced project in simplified mode, because it will use many features which are hidden. Those features will continue to work, but it will be difficult to edit or recreate them, since the relevant options aren't visible. For this reason we recommend starting a new project in simplified mode, or only using basic existing projects that have been prepared for this mode.

Disabling simplified mode

You can turn off simplified mode, restoring the full features of Construct in the interface, simply by opening Settings again and unchecking the Use simplified user interface option. As before you don't need to restart Construct or reopen the project, it takes effect immediately.

It might be a good idea to start complete beginners in simplified mode, and as they gain more experience with Construct, later on turn off simplified mode and move on to more advanced features.

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