Friday, December 16, 2011

Match-3 in Construct 2: part one

Gosh, quite a lot has been happening with Construct 2 since I last posted. The addition of a WebGL renderer speeds games up considerably, Scirra now features an Arcade on their site where you can submit your C2-made treasures and the custom plugin development is basically exploding. That's just to mention a few highlights.

Certainly a good time to come back and do some more blogging. And what's better than a tutorial to brush up on those rusty C2-skills of yours?

One of my more notable achievements with Construct Classic surely was the Match-3 tutorial, which quite a few people seemed to find useful. Since there's always interest in this kind of puzzle games, I decided to put a little effort into creating a similar guide for Construct 2. And here are the humble beginnings:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Put your goods in the store

Sometimes I'm under the strong impression I do possess psychic powers, in spite of the fact that there has never been any evidence to back up such a bold claim. If you go to church you might be able to empathize on a superficial level at least.

I'm bringing this up, because over the course of the last week, I have been checking out ways to monetize HTML5 games. One of the most intruiging options at this point in time is putting your projects on the Google Chrome Web Store. Also the documentation doesn't make it seem all too hard to do so, even for the likes of developers with very rudimentary coding skills.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Wrath of the browsers

Almost half a year has passed since my initial HTML5 performance test. Most browsers have seen various updates and Construct 2 has improved a lot for sure. Time to give this another whirl.

The good news is that the average fps count has risen from a measly 27.6 to 39.8, which means a considerable improvement of 44,2%. Not bad at all.

Let's have a look at the cold hard facts:

Apple's Safari gives quite the phoenix out of the ashes performance and rises from a non-existent framerate the last time to the bronze medal, beating Firefox by 4 fps. While the Mozilla browser can improve and is about one third faster than it was with version 4.0, I still hoped for Firefox to make the leap to the top this time.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Buy Construct 2 now!

As announced the new release 51 of Construct 2 introduces the licensing model, which comes as cheap as 32$ for the standard edition. Needless to say that I grabbed one right away. And while some people might decide to hold out and wait for future developments (the cry for an exe exporter is still everlasting), I think it's a nice way to show your support for the great guys over at Scirra by becoming an early adopter.

Not to mention a bunch of really cool new features in the current C2 version, most notably the wait action, which lets you create delayed actions easily. Also great is the added slope-handling of the Platform movement and the arrival of unbounded scrolling. I'm not even getting into the plethora of bugfixes.

On the downside one could argue that there are now limitations that come with C2, if you decide not to buy a license for now and use the free edition. You'll be limited to 100 events and 4 layers, which should still be enough to do a fair amount of prototyping and beyond.

If you have a little cash lying around, I'd make the case that you could find a worse investment than Construct 2. It might still lack in terms of features, but useability and stability of the software already promise a bright future, which will see it surpass Construct Classic easily. Also HTML5 will gain importance rapidly, one recent sign being Google using the technology for games in their social network.

Still undecided? It can't hurt to head over to Scirra and check out the different versions they are offering. Oh, did I mention that C2 comes with graphics and audio assets now?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It's not even a game.

Without a doubt Construct is best known for being a game maker. Due to Construct Classic's versatility, it's also perfect for other tasks. Like little or not so little apps. Let me prove my point with three pieces of Construct-made software, which recently appeared on the official Scirra forums.

'Boom' lets you procedurally generate trees in all kinds of variations. You can actually watch the thing grow from the stem up to it's beautiful blossoms. Tulamide did an awesome job with this! Very cool to look at and can actually turn out quite useful for some unique game assets.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Networking is here!

For the longest time people have been asking about networking in Construct Classic. All these aspiring developers of the next great MMO can rejoice now, as Scidave did release the first alpha version of his plugin fittingly named 'Network'.

Although this is still an early release, working online games are already very much possible with this. I tried one or two sessions with Scidave's test game 'Net Shooter' myself and was impressed. While there are still some quirks to be worked out, hosting a game and making connections is a breeze.

Since there isn't built-in lag compensation or prediction, the man himself only recommends this plugin to use for not too action-oriented games (turn-based or similar). That shouldn't stop creative minds to come up with their own methods to make up for these lacking features.

Go gather all information and grab the plugin from the official thread.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Effects galore

Now that the steam summer sale is over, I feel like I can breathe again. All those sweet games so damn cheap... but I disgress.

Heading over to the Scirra forums I found to my surprise almost a dozen new effects waiting for me to grab. Responsible for this influx are two users who go by the names of Animmaniac and Shinkan. Thanks guys!

Here's a photograph of me smoking a cigarre with all the effects applied (it's hard to get a picture where I don't smoke one).

If that doesn't get you interested, then I don't know what will. Here you have a list of all the effects which bring you directly to the official thread on the Scirra forum when you click them:

Wednesday, June 29, 2011 redesign

For a few days now you can enjoy the completely redesigned Scirra website, which keeps the green color scheme, but has a much cleaner and more professional look to it. Definitely an overdue step in the right direction regarding Scirra's future business plans with Construct 2.

Most importantly the new site now properly integrates the forum, forming a single community-friendly entity. There are more interactive features like a blog you can comment on and a special section to post indepth tutorials. All that's complemented by a reputation points system, which is supposed to reward you for contributing. A nice little touch, which will hopefully encourage good content rather than wake some of the spam devils.

As expected there are a few minor quirks to be worked out, some of which already have been addressed, like the too big font in forum posts. Also it seems to take some time to spread the word about, which is now the service used for displaying the avatar image (many reputable sites use it, this is not evil ;).

Overall I'm quite happy with the new face of Scirra and the efforts that are made to make the site a better community. They promise there's more to come and with Construct 2 dropping new builds left and right at the moment, it surely seems this will gonna be a good summer for all users!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Construct 2 release 43

I have to admit I skipped a few preview builds, but this one introduces some features that have me instantly interested again.

Time scaling is now available in Construct 2, with the ability to set the scale individually for objects instead of only globally. Pretty sweet!

Another important addition is the Custom Movement behavior, which should open up a whole lot of new possibilities. Also a few other minor behaviors have their debut, like the "Destroy outside layout" or the "Wrap" behavior.

Head over to the official thread for the complete changelog and download the release. Have fun!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Have a happy inventory!

Do you like inventories? Oh, I know you do. Because everybody does. It's a shame though that in the last few years, probably in a misguided attempt to make RPGs more accessible to console players, many games feature bothersome lists of objects you have to endlessly scroll through to find the desired item. Better take a look at the awesome inventory from Deus Ex:

My absolutely favorite kind of inventory: a grid of cells, with bigger objects eventually taking up more space than just one cell. It just feels right to me. Now you might not share my preference on this, but let me roll a bit with it as I try to talk briefly about including such a feature in a Construct project.

Friday, May 27, 2011

New plugin: Data Structures

It seems Arsonide is on a mission to spam the community with high quality plugins. I can't say I disapprove of course.

His latest plugin Data Structures provides you with three new objects: Stack, Queue and Deque. What these exactly do can be found out from the detailed description in the official plugin thread.

But let me try to find some own words to describe the functionality: think of it generally as a way of organizing a group of  elements lined up in a single row. Now you can add to that, either in the back or the front, and you can remove as well in the same manner. At least that's true for deque.

With the stack you just add and remove elements at the front, while queue adds to the back and removes from the front. If I'm not completely mistaken deque can actually do everything that stack and queue can, and then some. There are also more expressions available to deque, like getting an element at a certain position.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

New plugin: Audiere Sound

Especially for those who regularly use tracker music, there's a cool alternative now to the Xaudio2 object (and MOD object for that matter): the Audiere Sound plugin by R0J0hound.

Apart from the expected WAV, MP3 and OGG-formats it also plays FLAC, AIFF and various tracker formats like MOD, S3M, XM and IT files.

The only real downside is the inability to play MIDI files. According to R0J0hound the sound library does support it, but has no means for volume control, which is why he decided against including the feature.

Go grab the plugin while it's hot in the offical thread.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Forum rescue #004: Bitmap font damage

This will be a pretty lengthy one, so prepare yourself.

Okay, from just reading what Shiru wrote (original thread)you can't really figure out the problem. He linked to a gameplay video of Casltevania, where enemies are being hit, displaying the damage they took above their heads.

How would one do that in Construct, using a custom bitmap font of course and not just plain text? The answer is relatively simple, although there are a few things to consider. But let's start at the beginning, shall we.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Forum rescue #003: Respawn an enemy

New scirra forum member darklad posted the following help request (original thread):

Let's open a new game project in Construct and add two sprites. One for the enemy and one for the nest, which is supposed to spawn the enemy. Additional to that we will make use of the Function object and also be needing the MouseKeyboard object for this tryout.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Say hello to Construct Classic

Many users were disappointed by the abandonment of Construct 0.x, although this decision might have been an inevitable step for Scirra.

With the responsibility for the further development of the original Construct in the community's hand, one could only wonder if the software would be seeing any major updates at all from this point on.

All doubt can be set aside once and for all, now that there's a new major Construct build out, which is even complimented by a new name: Construct Classic.

Let me tell you the changlelog is long, very long! Most notable changes concern physics and platform behavior, but also so many improvements in other departments. My favorite three changes straight from the log:

Monday, April 25, 2011

New plugin: Noise 2.0

Developer Arsonide is well known for creating the very useful Perlin Noise plugin. Now he took the concept to a whole new level with the Noise 2.0 plugin, which includes awesome stuff like ridged multifractal noise, voronoi noise, planatery noise, color mapping, lighting and even integrated camera controls!

So apparently this opens a whole lot of new possibilities for creating procuderal game content. Think about entire universes created by this wonderful plugin. Hot damn!
Go ahead, learn all the details and download Noise 2.0 in the official thread.

Oh, and if the plugin proves useful to you and you'd like to support the developer, you should consider donating.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Construct 2 release 32.2

In case you haven't noticed yet: there's a new C2 public preview release out. In this one behaviors are being introduced, so you definitely don't want to miss out on that. Also very handy: you can simply drag pictures into the layout to create a new sprite. Yay!

Construct 2 release 32.2 official thread

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lerp that angle!

Before this gets buried all too deep within the depths of the official Scirra forum and will be lost to future generations, I thought I do the little that I can and mention it here on the blog.

If you ever had trouble interpolating angles properly, you don't have to resort to more or less sketchy workarounds anymore. All thanks to Construct-uberuser lucid, who made a mini-plugin with one single purpose: providing an anglelerp expression.

Yes folks, you better believe it and get this useful tiny thing asap from here.

Minitroid Tech Demo released

I'm sure I haven't been the only one adoring the sheer cutish beauty of the Minitroid project, which is a Metroid fangame being developed by Tokinsom, alongside graphics artist Betatronic and composer Jamie Billings. So far there have only been screenshots and videos to stare at, but now you can finally get the long awaited hands-on experience with the tech demo.

Minitroid Tech Demo @ Metroid Database
Minitroid Tech Demo @ Scirra forum

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Game spotlight #002: Mini Ghost Hunter

There aren't that many games done in Construct sporting RPG elements. In fact I would have to do some research to name any right now. Good thing 7Soul made 'Mini Ghost Hunter' for the  Ludum Dare 19 competition. In only 48 hours he managed to include a skill and battle system, as well as leveling mechanics.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Clash of the browsers

In the light of the recent Firefox 4 release, I decided to get all my browsers updated to the most recent version and give it a whirl with some Construct created HTML5 goodness. I used the sun example again, which serves as a relatively hefty benchmark I guess. There are objects being constantly created, destroyed, resized and the additive effect is being used after all.

Let's take a look at the FPS ranking of the different browsers:
  1. Internet Explorer 9.0.8112.16421        54 FPS
  2. Google Chrome 10.0.648.204             38 FPS
  3. Firefox 4.0                                        24 FPS
  4. Opera 11.01                                      22 FPS
  5. Firefox 3.6.16                                   14 FPS
  6. Safari 5.04                                        Freeze!

To my surprise IE 9 pretty much wiped the floor with the competition I have to say! It even has a big margin over the often praised Chrome browser, which still easily secures a good second place. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Forum rescue #002: Timer

Okay, time to tackle an easy but nonetheless important one!

Here's what U-Corp wrote (original thread):

So the task at hand is to have an object created and after 5 seconds destroyed. Sounds simple enough, but if you're going to do the following

you'll be out of luck.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Can you do that with HTML5?

I have already been babbling about what Construct 2 is capable of doing in its current state. Now in the light of the previous post, where I demonstrated a way to create a sun effect, I was wondering... could this be done already in C2?

Let's have a look at a list of features/objects I have been using for that sun in Construct 1:
- sprite object
- gradient object
- additive effect
- color filter
- distort map
- hash table object
- delta time 
- while loop
- rotation behavior
- global variables

Green color means it is already available in C2, red colored features are only available in C1. That doesn't look too promising to be honest. But let's give it a quick shot anyway!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Forum rescue #001: Sun

Welcome to the first 'Forum rescue' post! Here we will pick up a problem/request posed on the official Construct forum and try to provide a solution. With detailed explanations and the cap file to go along with it.

Here's what Dewaldt wrote (original thread):

So let's try our luck with a glowy sun that emits a bunch of light rays. For that we just need two sprites: a white circle with a soft edge and a line that's faded from white to transparency (left to right). Simple stuff anyone can make in his favorite graphics application. Let's import these into Construct and go from there.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Impressive first gameplay video of Yokai

Seems like there's another high quality Construct game shaping up. The first gameplay video of the gorgeous indie platformer 'Yokai' by 2 Bad Company displays a very beautiful art style and a level of polish that matches commercial quality for sure. Take a look:

If I felt like criticizing anything about that video, I'd prolly mention that the smoothness of the animations doesn't seem to be quite there yet.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Game spotlight #001: Tedium - The Generic Space Survival Game

You simply have to adore a beautiful little game like 'Tedium - The Generic Space Survival Game' made by Squeemish. It's a simple affair of having to survive as long as you can while an increasing number of enemies is seeking to destroy your spacecraft.

Construct 2 you say?!?

We do have Construct 2 public previews for a while now. Despite of it being still very basic in terms of features, the most impressive thing about it might be that if you used the previous Construct version before, you intuitively already know how to handle version 2. And at the same time it feels very slick and more user-friendly already.

But what is it that you can actually already create in Construct 2? Some pretty impressive examples can be found inside this thread. There are already little versions of Asteroids, Super Mario and Pong. Granted, these demos mostly only scratch the surface of the games they try to emulate, but considering the early state of C2 I'm pleased with the outcome so far.

Here's hoping that all major browsers will adapt hardware-accelerated HTML5 canvases yesterday (I'm looking at you, Firefox!). And that we will get to see some important features soon in C2, namely an integrated image editor and animations. A recent most wanted features poll indicates that this might happen soon. Other than that I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the soon addition of an OpenGL exe-exporter.

We are Construct!

Hello world!

You have just stumbled upon a new blog with the main focus on game development with the fabulous 2D game creation software 'Construct' by Scirra. We seek to cover news, updates, games, tutorials and generally everything that's going on in the Construct community.

In case you've never heard of Construct, but are interested in 2D game development, I'd suggest you click here, learn more about the software and download it asap. It's free and easy to use!

Maybe you're already a Construct user and frequent the official forums regularly. You have come to the right place! This blog is being maintained by fellow Constructors just like yourself. We hope to become a valuable resource for all things Construct and will provide things like plugin overviews and exclusive tutorials in the future. So it should pay off to check back often.

That's it for this brief introduction, take care!