Open letter to the Construct community

New releases and general discussions.

Post » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:00 pm

Dear Construct community,

You may have noticed our front page banner changed recently. Construct 2 has been under private development for some time now. I haven't said anything before, because it needs this whole spiel to go with it, but C2 is at a point where it's ready for public testing. It's at a very, very early stage (sort of pre-alpha) and is primitive compared to Construct 0.x, but C2 can just about do something vaguely useful, so it's a good time to get everyone on board with suggestions, bug reports and ideas. That way, we can all try and make it as good as possible.

The thing is, 0.x is technically poorly designed. It probably can never be patched up to a "1.0" standard - or if we did, it would just be a name, and not be as stable as users expect from a 1.0 release. We basically learnt to program from 0.x, and obviously when we started we were less experienced, and the first decisions you make when writing a program are the most important. A lot of those decisions were made wrong. As a result, people regularly go through experiences like Jonas Kyratzes describes in this article: frustrating, slow, and with lots of obscure bugs making development a nightmare.

If we released "Construct 1.0", it would still have these problems. The poor design makes it far more work to improve than just to start again, entirely from scratch. So the time has come when Construct 0.x should be put in to "maintenance mode". This means occasional bug fixes but we won't be aiming to reach 1.0. There probably also will not be a practical way to import 0.x projects to C2, for both technical reasons, and the limited time available to devs (especially when you also have a 12,000 word university report to write!).

This is painful, because of the years of effort the developers have put in personally, and especially for the thousands of people who visit the site every day, expressing an interest in Construct 0.x, and especially those who have invested so much time and effort building large projects, helping other forum users, writing tutorials and documentations and so on. However, the prospect of adding something to 0.x like exporting to a new platform is... daunting. It basically can't be done, so the longer we wait, the less useful 0.x becomes. C2, on the other hand, has a totally modular export system, which means we can adapt it to new technologies for years to come - and that's just for starters on improvements. To prevent 0.x going completely stale, I will grant SVN access to any interested developers, and can lend a hand with releases, but I will be focusing on C2. Also, there should be a new build of 0.x shortly, thanks to Davo and R0j0Hound.

Please remember, everyone who ever worked on Construct 0.x have only been bedroom programmers: I'm still on a full-time university course myself, and everyone else who contributed were in similar situations. We try to look professional, but there is no office, company, income, employees or regular structure at all, like most of our competitors! We do it for the love of it. Construct 0.x was written by ordinary people in their spare time with other significant commitments.

I also want to assure you that we learnt a huge amount from Construct 0.x, and we won't be making the same mistakes again. 0.x serves excellently as a prototype, with valuable feedback on what people like, don't like, how they use it, what works, and what doesn't work. All of this feeds in to C2 to make it even more awesome. There are a lot of exciting new features based on its new design. We're already doing a lot better. Also, it's an absolutely huge project, so I guess I have to admit I'm a little bit mad to even try. But why not? What would a program twice as good as Construct look like? What if it could even change the world, just a little?

It's been a lot of fun having the forum here and working on Construct. However, we want to move on. We apologize to those of you with large projects and significant time investments in 0.x. We're thankful for what you've done, and we realize that we may be letting you down, at least for the moment. But in the long run the experience we've gained will allow us to make a better program for you, which will be faster, more powerful, more stable, easier to use, and easier to add new features to.

So although this may be bad news for your project, I'm asking your support and cooperation for the development of Construct 2 - or, at least, that you understand of who's behind the program you use, and why we made this decision.

Thanks everyone,
Ashley
Scirra Founder
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Post » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:08 pm

sounds fair.
i just hope the C2 will not cost as much as other game authoring engines.

Good luck.
I cant wait to see the future.
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Post » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:08 pm

Totally understand and appreciate the work you put into this, for, as you said "the love of it". There's no reason why people can't finish their projects in 0.x is there? I have a feeling most would drop it anyway and move to C2.

Any word of when the beta (pre-alpha?) will be released. I'm interested in having a look.

Cheers again and good luck!
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Post » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:16 pm

You 'gotta do what you 'gotta do. With the fiddly bits of Construct 0.x a non-issue, I'd gladly pay for what I know will be a great product :)
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Post » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:18 pm

Im not sad or dissapointed at all about this decision,In fact im very excited about 2.0. I can't wait to see the beta release keep up the great work.
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Post » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:20 pm

It's all good, Ash. Glad to see that you're opening up the SVN to developers though, it means C1 can still continue to grow :D. And I'm excited to see where C2 will go. It's looking promising already.

[quote="vandal":hdd1d9pv]Any word of when the beta (pre-alpha?) will be released. I'm interested in having a look.[/quote:hdd1d9pv]

According to the pre-alpha testing forum*, it's opening up for public testing some time this weekend...



* [size=85:hdd1d9pv]Which I have had to maddeningly keep secret for a while now[/size:hdd1d9pv] :x
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Post » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:27 pm

Its great seeing how this community supports one another and it will continue to grow for long time with this release.
My Games on google play

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Post » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:28 pm

If the new 2.0 continues with the intuitive, fluidic programming style that the current one has - and which in my opinion makes it far superior than many current commercial systems - then not only would I happily move to 2.0, but would be more than willing to pay.

Just a thought, but when Edgar Vigdal remade Deluxe Galaga for the PC - Warblade - I was more than happy to pre-buy before the finished project, because I knew it would be worth it. Maybe you could go the same way?

As I say, just a thought / suggestion.
If your vision so exceeds your ability, then look to something closer.
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Post » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:29 pm

I don't mind that old projects won't be usable with C2. I really can't wait for this.

irbis, where did you read that C2 will cost something?
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Post » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:36 pm

That's a good news! I can't wait for CS2! :)
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