Introduction: as outlined in my initial blog post, I am going to attempt to create the same basic game - that of the first few minutes of Gradius for NES - using a number of different game making platforms, one per day during my week off. I'm using GitHub to store the different projects. See my progress in the repo.
|Name||Construct 3 (free)|
|Alt web site||n/a|
|My github for this project||https://github.com/tildesarecool/grad-dah-clone-construct3-ed|
|Export format(s)||Android/iOS, Windows/Steam, Mac, Linux, web platforms (HTML5?)|
Much like GameMaker Studio 2 now, Construct 3 is subscription plan only. Fortunately there is a “free version” accessible through a web browser. I have to say this makes Construct extremely appealing: not having to install anything. Being able to login and pick up where I left off.
The free version of Construct 3 has some arbitrary limitations on it, of course. But I managed to find a YouTube play list (by Xanderwood) using free edition to walk me through a basic game and get a feel of it.
Among the disadvantages of a browser-based-builder is the site itself being down or otherwise having issues. If there’s no offline option than you’re kind of stuck (maybe there’s an offline option? I didn’t look that closely). There’s also the temptation of the vendor to make arbitrary UI changes, making even 6 month old tutorials already out dated. There is a “guided tour” included with the free edition, anybody remotely interested should follow that.
The UI itself is actually familiar relative to the other engines I tried and stuff I vaguely remember like Visual Basic (or VBA?) – properties on the left, project folder layout on the right, and the main “editor” in the middle.
The middle has the “event sheet” with something of hierarchical structure laying out variables. There’s also a “room” editor and a way to edit sprites right there in the page.
I think I would classify this as “everything GDevelop aspires to be”. And I hope GDevelop gets to this point some day. Because it’s free and therefore better.
At the end of the day
I made it roughly 15 minutes into the first video of the linked playlist, I would have kept going but the functionality of my project versus that of video maker had diverged too far (I never got the “spawners” to work). This 15 minutes took me much longer than an hour: this is because the narrator of the video has something of an on-the-fly improv sort of style to where he’s going through creating a game and it was difficult as someone not familiar with the UI to try and follow it, even with pause and rewind.
Again, I think I didn’t give this engine nearly the time and effort it deserved. This is largely held back by it being a paid only software model. It’s hard to pass up the web based editor that’s clearly much more powerful than anything else (like MakeCode).