Scirra will soon release a new HTML5 game development engine, Construct 2, which will allow developers to use Construct’s powerful and seasoned toolset to create HTML5. Construct 2 is an update to the renown game editor Construct (now known as Construct Classic), which lets developers create Windows games without writing any code. The following is an interview with Thomas Gullen, web developer for Scirra.
HTML5 Grind: How big is Construct Classic in terms of developers, players and games created?
Thomas Gullen: We’re actually not sure. We have a lot of users who never visit the website and make games we never hear about. Construct Classic has been downloaded over 350,000 times and we estimate it has 1000 regular (daily) users.
H5G: What’s the most well-known Construct Classic game?
TG: Probably Minitroid! See a video of it here. This was featured in IGN. It was built with our Construct Classic game development program, which is open source and free to use for everyone. (Note: Classic used DirectX, not Flash.)
H5G: How much of Construct Classic was ported over to Construct 2?
Construct 2′s event system is basically a polished and much more usable version of Classic’s. We think it’s the best visual programming system in the world! Artists and creative types have always loved Classic for allowing them to put games together themselves without having to be technical.
H5G: The Game Shooter demo is really smooth (with only a tiny bit of jitter on Chrome). What’s the technology behind the animation?
TG: It’s all the browser, really. Firefox 5 and IE9 have really good hardware acceleration, which means that all of the hard work is done on the GPU. GPUs are designed for complex 3D scenes, so most of them can do huge 2D games without breaking a sweat. Chrome are still working on their hardware acceleration, which probably explains the choppiness. I’m sure they’ll fix that soon, though.
On our end we use a high-resolution timer to keep the game running at the same speed no matter the framerate. It definitely helps it have a smooth feel — nobody likes it when games go in to slow-motion because the hardware can’t keep up.
H5G: Can games make use of third-party libraries such as Box2D or monetization systems (e.g., in-game purchases)?
H5G: What’s the pricing model going to look like?
TG: We’re still working it out. There will be a free edition, a basic license, and a “pro” commercial license. We’re mainly targeting indie developers and we’re confident the basic license will be under £50.
H5G: Will Construct assist game developers in publishing to the App Store or Android Market?
TG: We don’t have plans for this right now, but we like to think everything is a possibility and will keep open minds to these sorts of ideas. At the moment, we just want to focus on making the absolutely best game development editor out there.
H5G: What’s next for Construct 2?
TG: Lots more regular updates! The editor’s still in beta, but we’re rapidly improving it with weekly or so updates.
We’ve just released a new website as well, which we are working hard on to make it community driven, friendly and a central resource for all things Construct. There are lots more features for the website on the way, so watch this space!
H5G: What one word sums up HTML5 development for you?
TG: “Future.” Our minds are boggling with the possibilities of gaming in the browser!
Used Construct to create a game? Tell is about it in the comments below!
Ian Langworth has been making web sites since before HTML had tables and Photoshop had layers. He wanted a single place to go for news and information related specifically to HTML5 and game development, but one didn't exist, so he started the HTML5 Grind.