C3 thoughts for a different free version(+story of my life)

Post » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:00 pm

Hello there forum people, my name is Andreas and these are some of my thoughts about a different free version for C3, but first an introduction. (Hint: Skip the blue text if you don't care about the story of my life)

I've been using C2 on and off for the past few years. I have tried a lot of game engines the past ~10 years but with C2 I almost fell in love from the beginning. For the first 3 years that I had the C2 licence , I only used it as my go-to-app to make a prototype and even though I knew the 100 events would be enough for that, I bought the licence to support the brilliant developers behind it. Because that was exactly what I thought when I first saw C2, the word brilliant .

I knew I wanted to be a game developer (even as a hobbyist) when I was about 8 years old (I am 27 now), games where something almost magical for me then and I thought that I would never be able to make a real game because programming was too difficult/frustrating/boring for me. Don't get me wrong, I loved the idea of programming, telling the computer to do something and then see it happen is amazing, but trying to find the missing semicolon/bracket isn't.

My first game engine was RPG Maker, I remember trying to push the event system to its limits to make something different with it like a card game or a mini version of a top down GTA, because I didn't want to make a jrpg and I had no interest on learning a real programming language (fun fact, I now have a Computer Science/ Computer Engineer degree).

Few years pass on and the game developer dream is almost gone, I spend my time making very simple games just for the fun of doing it and I don't have dreams for any kind of "big game".

And then BOOM!!! I found C2, fell in love with it and the rest is history. Now I am proudly developing a mobile 2d platformer for a company as a solo dev (contractor), and my dream job is now my real job.


Okay , that was a huge intro, and it almost doesn't have anything to do with the topic so let's move on.

My thoughts on the current free version is that it's too limited, and I understand the reason behind it. A lot of people were satisfied with the 100 events,4 layers and export options, and scirra was losing money from those people(maybe?). But limiting the events from 100 to 40, and the layers from 4 to 2, is not going to fix that problem (in my humble opinion), it will just make the free version almost useless (I mean having to choose between UI layer, or a scrolling BG...really?). Nobody is going to use the free version to make a game, they are going to use it only to see if the engine runs smoothly on their PC/Mobile and then either buy it, or forget about it.

But I think there is another way of using the free version other than that. Use it to make Construct 3 known to the world. Almost everybody knows Unity and there is a good reason for that.
That banner at the start of every game that was made for free.
Because the only problem with Construct not having a huge audience and making Scirra a ton of money right now is this:
Nobody knows about it.
I haven't met a person in real life that knew what Construct2 was, and I am not even kidding, I've met a lot of game devs in game jams and some of them said that they've heard of it, but noone really knew what a powerful tool C2 is.

My biggest concern about this free C3 version is that nobody is going to make a decent "How to make a game in Construct 3" video tutorial . Just take a look at some of the great tutorials Jeremy Alexander has done for C2 like this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQtO5wkse7U&list=PLpU8ZyxO8omzWvaeGsIi8yTh-Gq6xiIYI&index=2
and tell me if he is going to be able to do it with C3 as well. I was also thinking about making Intro to C3 video tutorials, but even though I will buy it, I can't make tutorials only for those people that have bought it as well, cause that almost defeats the purpose of an "intro tutorial".
Tutorials is also another big reason competitors like Unity have such a huge audience.
If someone that hasn't chosen an engine yet wants to make a 2d platformer, first he is going to search on Youtube "how to make a 2d platformer", then he is going to watch the first 2-3 videos that pop up, and then he will download an engine and follow one of the video tutorials that use that engine.
So making it harder for C3 users to spread the word about it by limiting the free version is not going to help in the long run.

So this is what an alternative version could look like

Image

And yeah that is just a quick prototype of what I had in mind , but I think it solves a lot of problems that the free version has right now.

Thoughts?
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Post » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:31 am

Sorry was considering writing my own post but didn't want to litter the forums. Here's my thoughts on the pricing model.

In summary I think that the free version (considering the competitors, defold and stencyl) are too prohibitive for casual and curious users.

I am completely new to Construct and was seriously considering picking it up. At 99 dollars a year it's not a price point that I can justify however. The subscription doesn't bother me but the fact is I can fully prototype a game and get it up and running without publishing it (because let's be honest that's not gonna happen for some time as a casual user) absolutely free on other platforms.

For people like me, free tools are essential. If they're not free I'd consider paying a small fee (something to the tune of 30-50 but 99 dollars is A LOT OF MONEY.

There is one other major concern here, providing Construct 3 as a webpage changes the perception on how I can use it and how much it should cost. I am not used to paying 99 dollars for access to a website, I don't see myself ever paying that.

There is a free trial, the free trial however is really restrictive. Consider allowing people to use the base feature set free and limiting publishing and addon ability. People will be much more inclined to use your software as it makes the program much more attractive and gives me incentive to learn (remember if I jump in it's a big learning effort to figure out how to make games in the first place, I want to be certain that the platform I choose is a good one)

Consider adding an extra price point with no publishing ability at 30-50 dollars, something I can throw some money at and not feel guilty about. That, or make the free trial less daunting and restrictive.
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Post » Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:25 am

@Moodge pretty much confirms my suspicions in regards to new users of construct. New users who have no experience working with construct won't have the desire to pay a subscription fee if they don't even understand how construct will work for them. A new user could take months, years just getting accustomed- sometimes spending months not even using construct and coming back to it later. Then you also limit the free version even more which makes the introduction process shorter-lived.
If I'm wrong then perhaps they will buy once, but will only use it a few months out of the year and then never use it ever again due to the subscription. And if that is the case then it might prevent hobbyists from continuing to use construct at their own pace.
I could be wrong though. That's my thoughts on it anyways.
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Post » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:09 am

Prominent wrote:@Moodge pretty much confirms my suspicions in regards to new users of construct. New users who have no experience working with construct won't have the desire to pay a subscription fee if they don't even understand how construct will work for them. A new user could take months, years just getting accustomed- sometimes spending months not even using construct and coming back to it later. Then you also limit the free version even more which makes the introduction process shorter-lived.
If I'm wrong then perhaps they will buy once, but will only use it a few months out of the year and then never use it ever again due to the subscription. And if that is the case then it might prevent hobbyists from continuing to use construct at their own pace.
I could be wrong though. That's my thoughts on it anyways.


It's how I feel as well, the problem is the trial feels too limited and the first step is too expensive.
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Post » Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:23 am

Have you looked at any of the example game templates? Most of them don't even go past 20 events...

There is a lot you can do with 50 events. More than enough to try out the software and see what it is capable of, and make an informed choice about weather or not to buy it.

I believe the free version is meant to give you a free demo and a feel for it's capabilities before making a purchase. In that endeavor it succeeds admirably.

Rather than complain about what is and isn't available for free, why not try other free alternatives? Godot comes to mind (will redact if any authority deems this inappropriate), as well as others that were mentioned already. If you try it and end up back here, maybe Scirra is on to something - namely that they have created something worth paying for to unlock the full capabilities of. If not and decide the other software works out for you, no need to post here then right?

Regarding the difference between $50 and $99 a year... no offense meant but I'm going to assume you don't have a job (which is perfectly OK! Everyone starts there). In all seriousness, in the event that you are not in the position to obtain a job, but have time to spend, throughout the history of C2 there were many opportunities to score a free copy of C2, given you were willing to invest some time and effort into doing so. Not to mention possible sales and promotions. Especially considering it is well within reason that purchasing this software will enable you to make money back from it if you are dedicated.
Mistakes were made.
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Post » Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:33 am

When i started using construct2 about 3 years ago, i never thought about the limitations really. I was never trying to do any complete game. I was more playing around and learning how the event sheet way of coding worked. I think the main reason for the trial is pretty much this... If you can figure out the basics of how the engine works that's pretty much what you need to make an informed decision whether or not this engine works for you.

For me it took a couple of months before I bought it I believe, because I didn't really have time to play around with it much.

I don't think the free version is intended for people to make complete games, and I don't think it should. Why would anyone pay if they could do everything they wanted in the free version? From as business perspective I don't think it would be good too have too many free users even if some of those would eventually become paying customers, but I can agree that more people needs to know about the software.

A good idea is probably to implement some social media functionality so you can earn more events or unlock more features by sharing on facebook, twitter, youtube or other social media platforms.

I think i saw that it works something like this now.
25 events logged in as guest
40 events when logged in.
50 events when account is confirmed.

So maybe a good idea to have people earn more events by doing certain stuff that could benefit Scirra, like sharing, or creating tutorials etc etc.
Follow my progress on Twitter
or in this thread Archer Devlog
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Post » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:12 am

The unfortunate reality is that from doing analysis on usage of Construct 2 , we see a much higher proportion of free edition users than we hoped. The goal of the free edition was to get people interested who would then buy a personal edition license once they are familiar with C2, but the limits in C2 free edition appear to be seemingly adequate for a LOT of people.

So we were faced with two options, time limited version of more restrictive free edition.

We decided against a time restricted free version, and decided to go for more restrictions on the free edition of C3 in the hope it will lead to more sales (pretty confident it will). We've started off conservatively, so we can expand the free edition at a later date if we so choose to (this is a million times more preferable than starting off with too many free features, and having to take them away from people!). However, we have no plans to do this at all. If things go well, it will likely stay that way.
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Scirra Founder
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Post » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:53 am

eddynardo wrote:But I think there is another way of using the free version other than that. Use it to make Construct 3 known to the world. Almost everybody knows Unity and there is a good reason for that.
That banner at the start of every game that was made for free.

I think you missed the fact that the Construct 2 free edition has already been doing this for quite a while now.
Scirra Founder
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Post » Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:08 am

Limiting the trial is fair enough if you're trying to salvage free users. Is there going to be a monthly charge at some point? Because I think that would alleviate most of my concerns. A monthly fee is much easier to manage.
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