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Interview: Thomas Gullen on Construct
In this little interview, Thomas Gullen one of the directors of Scirra.com answers some questions about the Game Creation Tools Construct Classic and Construct 2.
Can you give us a bit of background on Construct 2, it’s development and what developers can expect from it?
Construct 2 is the follow up program to Construct Classic – the open source game maker. To date, Construct Classic has had around 500,000 downloads. A few years into Construct Classic we realised it was lacking in some areas.
We’ve listened to the community and hope to make Construct 2 even more popular than Construct Classic. Although we’ve decided to go commercial with Construct 2 there is a free edition available. If you haven’t seen it already the Space Blaster HTML5 demo was made in the free edition!
There’s only two of us working on Scirra, Ashley does all the super clever stuff writing the editor and I do the website and all other little bits and bobs. During development of Construct 2 we really try hard to respond to all queries and requests in our forum and integrate them into Construct 2 if we feel they are a good idea. Community feedback is very important for us in driving Construct 2 in the right direction.
Developers can expect a very intuitive and easy to use editor that lets them make HTML5 games quickly and easily. HTML5 is the exporter we have picked to go with first but users can expect more exporters in the future (EXE, iOS native etc).
Is it normal that HTML5 games are slow in some browsers?
The main problem we have found with HTML5 is their bad audio implementation. We are expecting to see significant improvements in this over time!
People also complain that HTML5 games run slowly in their browsers. This is usually due to the fact that they haven’t got Hardware Acceleration enabled in their browsers. You can enable hardware acceleration in Chrome by yourself but this is somewhat experimental. So it will probably be better to wait for the next version of Chrome which will be shipped with this automatically enabled.
Browser support is rapidly improving for HTML5 and we expect things to be a lot smoother and faster in the coming months.
What is the difference between Construct Classic and Construct 2?
Construct Classic is free, open-source and currently developed by the community. It makes DirectX 9 games for Windows. Construct 2 has a free edition, but it’s closed source. We also have licenses available. It makes HTML5 games for the web, and is much more mature and better designed than Classic – we hope it completely supersedes Classic in the near future.
Can you mention a few notable games that were created with Construct Classic and Construct 2?
For Construct Classic, definitely check out The Iconoclasts and Minitroid. For Construct 2, it’s still relatively new, but we’ve put some demos up on our site.
What kind of games can aspiring devs create with Construct 2?
Construct 2 is very versatile for 2D game creation. You can make shooter games (see the demo on our site), platform games, puzzle games, anything you can think of really! A lot of people in our forum have been ingenious with Construct 2 and come up with some great examples. We can’t wait to see what else people come up with!
Can Construct 2 create downloadable games?
At the moment Construct 2 exports to HTML5, and people with web browsers and compatible devices can play the game by browsing to a web page. There are plans in the future however for other exporters, possibly an EXE exporter, or native phone exporter.
There’s the free edition of Construct 2, which is limited to 100 events. Since we’re still working on Construct 2 you can get an early adopter license for indie devs which is just $32.
We’ve also included lots of free music, ambient sounds, sprite packs and sound effects in with the early adopter release which a lot of other game making programs don’t do. We’re aiming on expanding this collection slowly and have really enjoyed working with Matt Oglesby who’s written some great music for us and Nick Conlon who’s designed a lot of sprites. We’ve tried to include a generous handful of these in the free edition!
What do you think makes Construct 2 great?
We think that Construct 2 is the best editor on the market and everything else out there either patronises you, or tries so hard to be easy to use that they actually throw loads of dialogs and pages at you and then paradoxically end up being hard to use. Construct 2 is designed to give you complete control while making it as easy as possible and getting out of your way so you’re working on the game, not the program.
What was the reason and what inspired you to create Construct?
Many people have tried to make non-programming game creation tools, and we have always found them to be lacking in some way. Even Construct Classic had its shortcomings. With Construct 2 we want to gather all the lessons we’ve learned and get it right once and for all.
What’s the technology involved?
What’s next for Scirra?
We’re still working hard to make Construct 2 great, with regular releases. Next up we’re going to make sure absolutely everything is fully documented, then get back to new features. We also are going to work with artists to bundle in lots more free artwork, music and sound effects!