Construct2 AND Gamemaker - do you need both?

Discussion and feedback on Construct 2

Post » Fri Sep 25, 2015 2:02 pm

Great price and it donates to doctors without borders ,so good cause . I first got game maker at 4.3 and stopped at 8.1 so I am very comfortable with gml , have always liked the image editor . I think c2 has lots of promise , but still use construct classic more , what can I say ,I like them all .
What I know would fill a Book , what I don't know would fill a Library
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Post » Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:47 pm

To answer the OP- I think it depends on your needs specifically. Construct 2, in my mind, has the best UI and method of programming a game, hands down. However, don't plan on having a smooth release for your game with anything outside an HTML5 export. So if you plan on making a browser-only HTML5 game, there is absolutely no better choice than C2.

However, if you want to export to other formats - Be it Windows exe, Mac, Linux, consoles, and possibly even phone (IOS and Android as I've heard a good amount of issues come from the wrappers bloating the game's size, therefore affecting performance), you may want to consider other options such as GM. It is possible to use 3rd party sources to create something like an exe or app using wrappers, but as noted before, they tend to bloat the size of the project and affect performance. There are also many known issues with these 3rd parties where there's not much Scirra themselves can do. We're pretty much at those company's mercy if and when we encounter bugs trying to create something that honestly doesn't seem like was meant to be created using C2. Native exporters are a whole lot better, and that's something GM does have.

Personally, I don't like the archaic nature of GM; I can understand the appeal, but you can't seem to do much in that program without learning its' native language, GML. In that sense it's probably great for people who want to learn a simple programming language. For me and probably several other C2 users, we use this sort of software because we can't/don't want to learn an entire language to make a good game, so it kind of defeats the purpose. It's also not the most powerful language either. I've always kind of wondered why people don't just resort to Unity if all they do is program in GML anyway. Maybe it's a price thing, or it could be more difficult to program in Unity, I'm not 100% sure. Unless like I said, you're a beginner programmer looking to learn an easy language. Also, the level editor of GM drives me bonkers, but that could also just be me.

I can't say for sure because I've only just started trying it on the side, but if you want something similar to C2, but with native exports, Clickteam Fusion 2.5 may be a good option. From what I can find, this comes with some catches though. The reason Construct and Clickteam are so similar in appearance, as the story goes, is the dudes at Scirra liked what the program could do, but had become fed up with the constant issues that kept cropping up with it, making simple programming tasks a giant chore when creating games. I believe that's what got them started making CC as a more friendly alternative. So one would expect to find some very odd issues popping up here, and it wouldn't be quite as easy to get things done as it is in C2. Fusion is also more expensive if you want the ability to export to all its available platforms. It's upwards of $400 USD.

So the way I see it (And I've been pondering this for a while since it affects me as well). It may be good to have an alternative tool for if/when you aren't able to suit your exporting needs with C2. What you go with depends on what you need, but in my honest opinion, I don't see a whole lot of reason to go the GM route unless you're looking to learn an easy programming language!
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Post » Fri Sep 25, 2015 8:47 pm

Thanks for all the feedback, I went ahead with the purchase (hey, it's only $12 right?) but initial impressions are that while it will no doubt be useful once I've reached the top of the learning curve, it doesn't have the jump-in-and-play feel that Construct2 offers.

@Megabeard, I've used Clickteam stuff on and off for years (since Klik and Play, and The Games Factory) which is maybe why Construct2 seems like such a familiar piece of software.

GMS will be one of those 'when I get around to it' applications I'm guessing, but no harm in having it in the meantime, just in case.

On the whole I'm pretty happy with Construct2 and am eagerly awaiting the Mac port of Construct3 when it sees the light of day.
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Post » Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:31 pm

As a "real programmer", I believe the sweet spot for a game making tool is one that makes the simple things as simple as possible, and in the rare case that this is not sufficient, provides unrestricted access to a powerful programming language.

My favourite tools in this regard at the moment are Unreal Engine 4 and Construct2, which both strike that balance perfectly IMO. The Blueprint system in UE4 is extremely intuitive and efficient, while being able to extend it with C++ guarantees that there are literally no limits to what can be done with it. The only downside of UE4 is that it's too complex and heavy for some kinds of games.

That's why I've chosen Construct2 as an alternative for lightweight games, as the event system and smart UI are fantastic for quick prototyping and game logic, while JavaScript is a solid language under the hood (especially since the export is always HTML5, so no extra glue is required).

GameMaker didn't appeal to me at all, because its drag and drop UI is not very well thought out (nor powerful), and the scripting language is nothing to write home about either. It works, but that's about it. I don't use C2 because it's "good enough", but because I genuinely believe that for a certain type of game it is a best of breed tool. I cannot say that about GameMaker.

Even if you don't know how to program in C++ or JavaScript (yet), you can always hire somebody to fill in missing pieces if required. In the long run, I'd say it's more fruitful to have a tool that makes the 90% of your workload as easy as possible, especially if you don't intend to specialise on being a programmer.

HTML5 may be a limitation on mobile at the moment, but it seems to be improving rapidly and should be a non-issue fairly soon. Especially for the kind of games that Construct2 excels at, and for anything with more complex requirements (and/or three dimensions), I would recommend Unreal Engine 4 anyway.
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