5 Reasons Why Construct Is Better Than Game Maker

on January 5, 2009 - 56471 Views

construct-ide

Construct is a free open-source DirectX game creator with a drag-and-drop interface.

Last weekend I spoke with one of the people behind the project, Ashley Gullen, who asked me why I thought Stencyl [official website] was so much more well known than the Construct project which is considerably further along its development. Unlike Stencyl who consistently refuse to give details of their release schedule Construct is available for public download now.

Clearly I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity to take a look at Construct (current release 0.98.3), and I liked what I saw. Construct, which has support for integrated Python scripting, has a PowerPoint style layout and several advantages over Game Maker.

1. Behaviors

Behaviors in Construct

Frequently used object actions are precoded in Construct as ‘behaviors‘.

Want your player to to have multi-directional movement? Simply select the ’8 direction’ behavior and set up properties such as maximum speed and the rates of acceleration and deceleration.

This saves time when you want to prototype or make a quick start to a project without having to set 8 different events and actions as you would in Game Maker. Physics behavior is also bundled.

2. Layout Editor superior to Game Maker’s room editor

The Construct Layout Editor

Whilst Game Maker may require different sprites for each direction an object is facing, Construct doesn’t.

All objects can be rotated after you have placed them on a Layer (Construct’s equivalent of Game Maker’s rooms) and at any angle you desire. Resizing an object can also be done directly on layers and you can also zoom in and out of layers – something not possible in Game Maker.

3. Built in Object types

Construct has built in object types that make it easy to add different elements to your games.

Want to add text to the screen? Simply drag the text module to where you want it and change its properties. Want to use input from a webcam or output data in a Bar Chart? Easy. There are currently 60+ functions, and anyone can write a plugin to add functionality to Construct.

Object Types in Scirra Construct Game Maker

4. Active development

Construct is actively being developed based on the suggestions and ideas of users of the software.

5. 100% free and open source

Game Maker is neither of these and Stencyl have announced that their project will no longer be promoted as open source.

I await your ’10 reasons why Game Maker is better than Construct’ posts…

Note: This article was written in 2009. Both Construct and GameMaker have come a very long way since!

161 Responses to 5 Reasons Why Construct Is Better Than Game Maker

  1. Matrebatre says:

    I don’t think any of these reasons show that Construct is any better than Game Maker. It looks exactly like Game Maker, only a little bit easier to use for beginners. With those built-in “Behaviors” and “Object types” you can only make default games.

    - If you want “Behaviors”, just copy the code of an example on the web.
    - If you want a better room editor, just make a level editor for your game.
    - If you want “Object types”, learn how to write your own code or use DLL’s.

    I believe the program has some benefits indeed, but you are mentioning the wrong ones. You could say the scripting language is better, or say it has a better plug-in system. Now you are telling us the program is better for people who can’t do anything themselves and still want to make games. In other words, the same kind of people that edit the GM tutorials and post them on Yoyogames.

    “Whilst Game Maker may require different sprites for each direction an object is facing Construct doesn’t.” – This is not true. You can use the instance creation code to change image_angle.

  2. Eyas says:

    I am impressed.

    As an experienced GM and GML user, I don’t particularly see much use of Behaviors (since they _seem_ more tied to the d&d side) FOR ME. Similarly, the “Layout Editor” seems more like a convenience than anything else (correction, Phil: GM (starting v6) can allow you to create multiple directions using the image_angle rotation.. but the difference is, the angle cant be changed in the room editor itself). However, the area that REALLY appealed to me is the “Object types”. I’m also impressed that such an open source project got as far along as this, with such quality. I will definitely be trying this out… now I just have to learn python :P

    BTW.. the submit comment button.. am I right in thinking it exactly resembles Facebook buttons?

  3. Eyas says:

    btw… you didnt put any direct link to Construct’s main site

  4. What is their coding language?

  5. Eyas says:

    OH! and.. layers doesn’t seem to be Construct’s version of rooms.. it seems to resemble Game Maker’s “Tile Layers”, but with the ability of holding objects as well.

  6. Althalos says:

    This is not actually a post about why Construct is better than Game Maker, but rather “nifty features that Game Maker should work on”. Overall, it comes down to which programming language is most flexible. I didn’t even see you mention any of the programming aspects?

    Reason number four makes me confused. What kind of argument is that, how do you think Game Maker is developed. How do you think Windows is developed, Game Maker has the definitely larger community of the two programs.

  7. Phil Gamble says:

    Eyas :
    BTW.. the submit comment button.. am I right in thinking it exactly resembles Facebook buttons?

    Certainly wasn’t intentional, but yes it does. Was included with the new theme.

    @Eyas
    There is a link right under the top screenshot,
    and here: http://www.scirra.com

  8. Caniac says:

    I am not interested in other languages, and or why they are better than Game Maker.
    I am interested in Game Maker, note the name here: Gamemakerblog, not Constructblog.

  9. he should place a for noobs at the end.

  10. Leif902 says:

    Phil; great post, I look forward to trying out Construct, thanks for the pointer (though I agree, the stuff you mentioned doesn’t appeal to me, I just want to hear more about its integration with Python!)

    @Caniac: A man in a large black top-hat is going to show up at your house and ban you from the internet ;) . That is all I have to say on the matter.
    @hardcoregamer: Yes, and no. I agree, I would not want to use most of these features, but they do simplify Game development and the “room editor” certainly does look more flexible (which is great for more advanced users as well).

  11. Joerdgs says:

    Point 4 is a good one. Two years and a dedicated company like YoYo Games has yet to implant a single new feature in Game Maker. I know they’re working on things but it’s moving slow compared to this indie project.

    Also, how is the performance compared to GM?

  12. Rusky says:

    Matrebatre :- If you want “Behaviors”, just copy the code of an example on the web.
    - If you want a better room editor, just make a level editor for your game.
    - If you want “Object types”, learn how to write your own code or use DLL’s.

    See, the difference is that it’s _built in_. I see none of this _built in_ to GM, and that’s what makes it nice. It makes it much faster to develop nice games.

    Matrebatre :I believe the program has some benefits indeed, but you are mentioning the wrong ones. You could say the scripting language is better, or say it has a better plug-in system. Now you are telling us the program is better for people who can’t do anything themselves and still want to make games. In other words, the same kind of people that edit the GM tutorials and post them on Yoyogames.

    He did say that it has a better plugin-system and scripting language. You’re just purposely interpreting things your own stupid anal way. Just because it’s possible to make something quickly and easily doesn’t mean that something will be good, as we know from GM.

    Matrebatre :
    “Whilst Game Maker may require different sprites for each direction an object is facing Construct doesn’t.” – This is not true. You can use the instance creation code to change image_angle.
    But does that show up in the room editor?

    Althalos :This is not actually a post about why Construct is better than Game Maker, but rather “nifty features that Game Maker should work on”. Overall, it comes down to which programming language is most flexible. I didn’t even see you mention any of the programming aspects?
    Reason number four makes me confused. What kind of argument is that, how do you think Game Maker is developed. How do you think Windows is developed, Game Maker has the definitely larger community of the two programs.

    If GM should work on them, that makes Construct better, no? And reason number four is more about listening to users and about Stencyl not being out.

    Caniac :I am not interested in other languages, and or why they are better than Game Maker.
    I am interested in Game Maker, note the name here: Gamemakerblog, not Constructblog.

    Well, note the title of this post: “5 Reasons why Construct is better than Game Maker.”

    Looks pretty cool. The room editor is a huge improvement over GM, and the behaviors thing is basically Stencyl’s snippets idea only working, which modularizes the game engine extremely nicely.

  13. Denis says:

    But the thing is. Does Construct have the web capabilities of GameMaker? Can people play the games online? Because that’s the easiest way to get your games to an audience.

  14. Hey, it’s Ashley here, from Scirra. Cheers Phil for the cool post :)

    I just thought I’d clarify a thing or two – firstly, Construct uses events as its main programming method. It’s not, primarily, a scripting-based tool. Try out the Ghost Shooter tutorial at http://www.scirra.com/tutorials to get a feel for how things work. There is Python scripting – but it was bolted on to the event system and, ahem, broke in a recent build so you can’t actually use it right now. But we’re hoping to fix it soon :-\

    Also it uses a DirectX 9 renderer with support for pixel shader 2 so you can do effects and stuff. There’s more info on our site. Anyways I’ll stop spamming Phil’s blog, always more help on the forums!

  15. F1ak3r says:

    Scripting’s broken? That’s not too good. But it does sound like an interesting program. Probably not something I’d use for serious work, just a fun toy to mess around with.

    Let me not get ahead of myself, though. I haven’t even downloaded it yet, and writing long paragraphs of criticism/praise is a silly thing to do when one has not done the necessary research.

  16. Well, as I say, it’s not a scripting tool, and I don’t think many people were using Python anyway – you can do 99% of stuff in the builtin events. Still, Python is a very good language, so it’ll be working soon I do hope!

  17. I went to the scirra site downloaded Construct and proceeded through the Ghost Shooter tutorial.

    I am extremely impressed. What struck me as the most impressive was the performance of the game, the smoothness of motion. It just doesn’t have the jitteryness that I see so often in Game Maker.

    Construct isn’t without it’s flaws, but as expected, don’t expect most commenter’s here to accurately describe them. Typical GMC mentality is to, comment with authority, without actually trying it.

    I found my biggest hindrance was culture shock, I’ve grown quite accustomed to how GM does things, the foreignness of Construct was alarming at first. This shouldn’t be considered a flaw in Construct.

    It was mentioned earlier that because of the use of “behaviours” and “object types” one is limited to creating only “default games”. What a crock of shit. My impression of “behaviours” and “object types” are built in, somewhat complex actions, that execute at speeds that similarly created GM equivalents can’t touch.

    One severe flaw with Construct is lack of project management. For a project of any size, I can foresee 100s of objects scattered all over the Layout Editor and 100s of events listed sequentially in the Event Sheet Editor.

    I really am excited Construct, but not immediately. With a little maturity and feedback from those who have created larger projects, I expect Construct to be a viable alternative to Game Maker.

    YYGs de facto monopoly might very well come to an abrupt end.

  18. Mattthew_H says:

    NakedPaulToast :
    YYGs de facto monopoly might very well come to an abrupt end.

    Let’s all hope so, :P , well, I mean, there sites cool and everything, but I think that they go about issues the wrong way, or don’t do anything, I mean, March of last year Sandy said that they will stop the decompiler, a year later, an second version has been released and nothing has been done about it.
    I mean, someone from the community has released a tool, and it hasn’t fully stoped the decompiler, I mean, it can slow it down and slow down people who are reading it, but YoYo really should hurry up and get things done!

    YoYoGames.com isn’t there job, GameMaker is, not some stupid website. I do think that the website was a good idea, in some ways.
    I think that they really need to be more organized then they currently are, and work on GameMaker! They could have two separate teams working on the Mac port and GameMaker 8 for Windows.

    If you read an article in GameMaker Scope Magazine’s issue 6, you can find out a lot of information about the Mac version, and how [i]well[/i] it’s going…

    Anyway, more on topic, It looks quite promising, I think I’ll download it and give it a go! :P

    -Matt

  19. raist says:

    Yeah, cool article!

    - Pixel shaders are modern technology, used in many commercial games, used to improve visuals of game, used to express developer ideas – construct is modern. Gamemaker is not.

    - Builtin physics support. Inovative usage of physics is trendy. Gamemaker is not.

    Im just waiting for new GM version ;)

  20. Miky says:

    @Denis
    It would be easier to put this online than GM, because there’s not a separate window for the loading bar.

  21. MMORPGguy says:

    Wow, this looks pretty good. I might try this out.

  22. Kyle Koder says:

    Been using GM for a few years now and just chanced upon this article (don’t remember what I was looking for).

    Anyway, downloaded it and tried it out for a while. REALLY short summary: it has potential, but isn’t there quite yet. Theres a lot missing. Keep an eye on it and see where it leads to, or if you know python, why not try helping out? In any case, there’s a lot to be done. END OF SUMMARY

    Details:

    There are many useful built-in features for games and applications alike. I make both, so some of those non-game oriented things catch my eye. The “file spy,” for example. It keeps track of new files and file changes in a given directory. I know I can already do this in GM, but it’s certainly easier here. There are numerous other things in there as well, most of them being predefined objects with a bunch of variables for you to change. This is good for simplicity, but not as versatile as scripting.

    Speaking of which, I’m not saying that Construct doesn’t have scripting. I just can’t test it right now, since it’s “broken” right now (see Ashley’s post). I obviously can’t say much about it, but I can make some if-then statements: IF it’s pure python scripting THEN it will be waaaaaaaaay faster than GML, but will also be that much more difficult to learn. It’s a double-edged sword, as they say. If it’s a new language built on python, then (assuming it’s well done) it should be fairly easy to use (like GML), and it should still be faster. In my opinion, the latter would be better for this program, since it’s geared toward beginners (like GM).

    The image editor is great. GM doesn’t have a very good image editor. I can tell it’s not completely done being worked on, but that’s to be expected (the flood fill needs a little work). By the way, if anyone wants a good, free (external) image editor, I highly recommend GraphicsGale.

    The physics system is fast and well done (it’s in 2D side-view).As for collisions…I’m afraid GM wins that battle by a long shot, at least for now. Rectangles and ellipses work fine, but if you want something a little more complex, you have to place the collision points yourself. Obviously, if it’s an animated sprite, those points will not move to new positions as the sprite changes. These things are done for you automatically in GM (with precise collision checking). Remember that I’m talking about the physics system here, not the normal collision system, since they appear to be two separate things in Construct. If the physics engine gets automatic by-pixel collisions working, it will be pretty much unrivaled. At least in side-view. GMPhysics is a wonderful engine, and supports soft bodies, but Construct’s physics are built-in, so they’re a lot faster (just from all of the GML calls to the DLL). As far as 3D, I don’t think there’s a built-in physics engine. GM doesn’t have one built-in either, but it has a dll available for it.

    As far as the other behaviors, they ARE useful, but what what if you’re looking for something that’s not there? At this point, it goes back to the manual scripting. That’s going to be an essential part of any comparison…so this one’s on hold for now.

    As for the webcam thing, I’m sure there’s a way to make the camera do more than take a still image in Construct, but I haven’t found it yet. I’ve got the webcam working perfectly in GM (with a dll, of coarse, but there’s no lag at all). I just found it in the last few days, so I haven’t played with it much yet, but I might find some good uses for it.

    Um, the “multiple sprites for each angle” thing makes it obvious that you haven’t used GM very much…

    draw_sprite_ext(sprite_index,image_index,x,y,1,1,direction,c_white,1)

    Stick that in any object’s draw event in GM and it will have image rotation identical to that used for Construct’s 8-way movement. No offense intended. Just want you to try both programs first.

    Moving on, I think you’re absolutely right about the layout editor being better than game maker’s room editor. The controls are very streamlined and easy to use. The scaling and rotating are nice features, too. I also agree that the layers are a very nice tool. They can be used to compensate for any clutter due to massive numbers of objects, as well as other things, of coarse.

    “Active Development” isn’t the right term, but I know exactly what you mean. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if GM8 didn’t come out until a year or two from now. I hope it comes sooner, but I don’t expect it to. I haven’t been tracking the progress of Construct, so I can’t say a whole lot about it, but I think they’re doing a pretty good job so far, especially if they’ve gotten this far since 06 or 07 (their website is copyright 07). Keep up the good work, Ashley!

  23. Kyle Koder says:

    AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!

    Ahem, I accidentally pressed the submit button before I was done…

    Anyway, one last subject: Open source is awesome! That’s all I need to say about that.

    And the end summary…The two programs are actually pretty different from each other. GM is based on scripting (you can make games with the drag-and-drop, but all the pros are into just using scripts and code blocks) and Construct, as said by Ashley herself, is NOT based on scripting. Hopefully, the fact that it’s open source will draw in plenty of people to help out on the project, like when Linux went open source. I have no more time. See you all later.

    PS. If you haven’t tried Construct, go try it!
    If you haven’t tried GM…go try it too!

  24. zashi says:

    I know python and I tried construct and cannot seem to get it right away… so, construct is NOT for the faint of hearth(also not for absolute beginners), while game maker has a rather nice learning curve.
    But the only thing I wanted to add is that Construct is technologically more advanced and (correct me if I’m wrong) uses dx9 and benefit from shaders. If you want to make games for fun, get GM. If you want to make games for learning, get Construct.. If you want to make money out of something like casual games, get GM(uses dx8 so is more accessible). If you total this out there is a 2:1 score. But if you add that no knowledge is too much, if you are an expert in GM, try Construct…

  25. Snooky says:

    It seems like it would be much better for beginners, but I’m sticking with Game Maker. If I was 4 years less experienced with it though, I’d definitely be trying this Construct dealy.

  26. [...] discussed include whether or not Construct is a viable alternative to Game Maker, the history and future of the YoYo Games wiki,  a review of GMTech’s last [...]

  27. hey says:

    Is the title, ok?
    It says why construct is better than game maker but at the end it says game maker is better than construct confused whatever

  28. @hey
    The post does not say Game Maker is better than construct. Other commentators may have expressed this view, but the article does not – instead focusing on the benefits of Construct over Game Maker

  29. SoldjahBoy says:

    Hi, Sol here from Scirra

    I am a moderator on the Scirra boards. Just thought I’d pop in and thor wmy 2 cents into the conversation.

    I have been an indie game developer for years… while never being any good at programming, my artistic skills have been my strength. I have always had to rely on a “WYSIWYG” game creation tool of some sort to produce my game ideas, since C++ or OpenGL (or anything like that) is WAY beyond me.

    I started with many familiar products from Clickteam, as well as GameMaker. Personally I found GameMaker way over complicated (as in, not hard to use, just way more complicated than it needed to be… in fact, it felt that it was made to be super complicated so the developers would laugh at you) and Click products under powered.

    Construct came along, and even though it is still in beta, it has come a long way! It is a very robust and powerful program, with virtually zero limitations (in terms on 2d development). In fact, myself and a few other team members just came up with a solution to a super complex idea (problem) we had, which at first, we didn’t think was going to be possible! But we did it!

    I highly recommend Construct to anyone with programming deficiencies (like myself), or even if you are a more advanced programmer you can still use your fancy math skills to make IK chains and other crazy stuff that I don’t particularly understand.

    Anyway, don’t knock it until you try it… I bet you guys will who are of the opinion “I’m not oing to change my mind etc because X program is better by default etc etc” will change your tune if you give Construct a go!

    Oh and, it’s not a “toy” by far as I noticed one user commenting… give it a try, you will be suprised!

    Anyway, signing off for now :D
    Hope to see you in the Scirra forums making some cool projects!

    ~Sol

  30. Erick. says:

    I tried using construct and it’s actually quite impressive, I feel it will eventually beat Game Maker into the ground. Because it uses DirectX you can create much more impressive effects than you could in Game Maker. Even the choice for a scripting language was better, I hope python is fixed soon. Right now, it seems the only logical way of creating RPG Dialog for games.

    RPGs are always hard to make in any maker with the exeption of RPG Maker. The physics are just incredible, even this makes Game Makers physics look like a joke.

    Ok, I’ll stop blabering on how I think Construct is in fact better, just head over to the forums!

  31. Serenade says:

    I found some arguments for all/most of these:

    1. First of all, set behaviors and actions will cripple your coding, and no matter how many set “actions” or “behaviors” you have, you will need to use code at some point in time.

    2.Actually, as many people said, GM can rotate with image_angle, but additionally, GM can give depth freely during game play (I forget the code…),As far as the zooming in and out of layers, GM can be made to do that as well.

    3.The only thing of interest is the “object types”. However, only if they fall in line with the “solid” “not solid” category. Otherwise, see 1

    4.Most things are being based off ideas of others in development, GM8 is currently as well.

    5.GM is free in lite version, and doesn’t cost too much for pro. While you don’t get much in lite, it still has everything you need to make a great game… with some skill. Obviously, if yoyo gave out the script, it would be very easy to hack pro, and give it away free.

    On the bright side for construct, It seems better for beginners, or as nintendo would put them, “the casual gamer”.

  32. SoldjahBoy says:

    Serenade :I found some arguments for all/most of these:
    1. First of all, set behaviors and actions will cripple your coding, and no matter how many set “actions” or “behaviors” you have, you will need to use code at some point in time.
    2.Actually, as many people said, GM can rotate with image_angle, but additionally, GM can give depth freely during game play (I forget the code…),As far as the zooming in and out of layers, GM can be made to do that as well.
    3.The only thing of interest is the “object types”. However, only if they fall in line with the “solid” “not solid” category. Otherwise, see 1
    4.Most things are being based off ideas of others in development, GM8 is currently as well.
    5.GM is free in lite version, and doesn’t cost too much for pro. While you don’t get much in lite, it still has everything you need to make a great game… with some skill. Obviously, if yoyo gave out the script, it would be very easy to hack pro, and give it away free.
    On the bright side for construct, It seems better for beginners, or as nintendo would put them, “the casual gamer”.

    @Serenade
    1. Spoken exactly like someone who hasn’t actually tried Construct. I challenge you to make something like my current project using game maker. Here is a link to the thread: http://www.scirra.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3316

    2. You can do all of this with Construct using as little as 1 event.

    3. Solid and not solid? You can make object types as whatever you want… you aren’t limited to such basics.

    4. Of course they are… nothing in this world is 100% original, as it has all been done before. “I’m sorry Mario, but our princess is in another castle…”

    5. Construct is free, always, for any version.

    6. It’s far more powerful than I think you realise. Why don’t you try it out and see for yourself instead of assuming and posting based on that assumption? Here is the link to the site again: http://www.scirra.com

    ~Sol

  33. Quazi says:

    wow, it shows how much GM mentality and ignorance is shining through in this argument.
    you guys only believe that things have to be done the GM way.

    from what ive read, all GM users think that scripting is essential in construct, they believe that things are done the same way as in GM. all i can say is your wayy outta the ballpark with that. Scripting in GM is the way things are done in GM. in construct, events do everything. they’re not crappy GM drag and drop events. events, are actually wayyy more powerful than in GM. theyre so powerful that they even overshadow the scripts in construct “hence the reason theyre still broken”. everything can be done using events. you can make any behaviour using events. you can even make your own 3d engine in construct using only events, and thats not an exaggeration. its already been done using about 15 events, and maybe 50 actions within them in total.

    believe me, im known on the forums for the complicated stuff i do, and i use 100% events.

  34. e_barroga says:

    Honestly, I can see where all the hate is coming from. It’s because of people being too biased.

    However, considering the fact that I have been using Game Maker for over 5 years…. I can honestly say that this software really has potential. The only concern that I have is the runtime speed.

    Game Maker’s “drag-and-drop” really doesn’t come close to what I assume Construct has. The Game Maker “drag-and-drop” is nothing more than coding but without the typing.

    Although…. after trying out Construct for no more than 1 minute I must say. The work environment is pretty much like game editors (e.g. Star Craft Editor, etc.)

    However, Quazi…. I must say. You may be right about Construct’s interface beating Game Maker’s drag-and-drop.

    But I would have to say…. GM’s drag-and-drop is practically useless, in my opinion. Also, GM’s scripting in no way can ever be overshadowed by Construct’s point and click.

    GM’s scripting is practically simplified programing and you can’t beat programing. That’s where everyone here is coming from.

    Here is my unbiased opinion:

    For simplicity, Construct. But I still have doubts, because although you do not need to learn how to code you’ll need to learn how to use Construct. By the time you do, you’d might as well have learned how to use GM’s scripting (which overpowers Construct in a heartbeat).

    Overall, Game Maker is better. Construct is good for beginners. Quazi, you’re also being biased at Game Maker. You look at GM like a similar program as Construct. It isn’t. People that really understand GM’s capabilities know that Game Maker can do absolutely almost any kind of 2D project. I think Construct can, too, but not at a large scale.

  35. Ashley says:

    Heh, I can’t believe this thread is still going ;) Don’t let this turn in to a flamewar, no need for hating other products, there are definitely pros and cons to both sides. Plus I think everyone on both sides is inherently biased, because with a large investment of your time in to one particular program, everyone likes to think they invested that time wisely.

    I don’t think anyone has made a significant game in *both* programs which means nobody is really qualified to say (how can you comment on something you have no experience with?). I’ve never used Game Maker (it doesn’t work on my computer for some reason) but I’m interested in what made it so popular. I’d be really interested to read a comparitive review of making a simple game in both game creators from an objective standpoint.

    However, I will add I don’t think Construct is JUST for beginners: I’m using it myself for a large and ambitious project which everyone will hopefully see soon, and having written the runtime, I have more than enough experience to make the whole game in C++ with DirectX 9. It’s quicker in Construct, though. So I don’t think it’s something for advanced users to ignore, either.

  36. Quazi says:

    “Also, GM’s scripting in no way can ever be overshadowed by Construct’s point and click.”

    this is exactly what im talking about. you dont understand that the point and click in construct is actually as powerful as any scripting could ever be. just trust me, you really dont understand where im coming from because of your inherent GM experience. up to now ive been able to make many kinds of 2d and even some 3d games using the event system. I can make any 2d game using it, as most others would be able to, and id be able to make it quicker and better than it could be done in GM. ill even make it a bet if you want and well have a lil competition.

    “GM’s scripting is practically simplified programing and you can’t beat programing. That’s where everyone here is coming from.”

    you have to realise that the event system in construct, is also simplified programming, except instead of typing all of your action and condition declarers you can easily use block of visual text which is easier on the eyes and much faster.
    you can beat programing, programing is long tedious and repetitive. if you couldnt beat programing, C++ would have never been invented because of machine code, python would never have been invented because of C++ or java, and GM would never have been invented.

    Ive seen most game maker games, and theyre not very impressive to say the least. even the good ones suffer the same troubles, and my first game made in construct was of much better quality than any GM game ive ever seen.

    im not here to bash GM, but you must realise that GM is not at all the best game maker out there, and you should actually look at a program for more than 1 minute before calling it a beginners toy.

    “GM’s scripting (which overpowers Construct in a heartbeat).”

    and how exactly does it do that. give me any way it does this and im 100% certain that i can show you a way to do it in construct which will be simpler and take less time

  37. [...] The results of the first GameJolt contest have been announced.  A total of about 30 games were entered and the majority of entries and all three winners developed in Game Maker.  There were however a number of entries made using Construct. [...]

  38. mat says:

    ok. construct is garbage. game maker is way better then crappy construct. but seriously learn real programming. game maker and construct are programs. learn a real programming language like c.

  39. Noskire says:

    I just want to learn how to make a roguelike. I’m leaning towards construct at the moment because ALL FEATURES are available for FREE and not ILLEGAL. And I like that. But I want something that can handle a graphical roguelike. so which is it, gm lite, construct, or rpg maker 2003?

  40. Quazi says:

    mat, its obvious you know fuck all about what your saying, and have never even tried construct.

    Noskire :I just want to learn how to make a roguelike. I’m leaning towards construct at the moment because ALL FEATURES are available for FREE and not ILLEGAL. And I like that. But I want something that can handle a graphical roguelike. so which is it, gm lite, construct, or rpg maker 2003?

    construct has way more graphical power than GM, the runtime will not lag easily, and can support many complicated effects with ease since it runs using DX 9 with hardware acceleration

    pay no attention to the biased opinions of “mat”

  41. Tazcat22 says:

    Wow, It’s a minefield of hate comments. I’ve just stumbled upon this, and just felt I needed to voice my opinion. Construct looks like a very good, simple learner porgram and has great potential for people who don’t have the time or brain-power to learn GML. On the downside, Construct looks a little TOO simple, looking like a “my first” product. The layout editor is great, and I like resizing and rotating, but GM can also so that, albiet with coding.

    GM is complicated but good stuff comes out of there. It wins in terms of power, but graphicaly and practicaly, it is weaker. And it does require alot of code for decent products. BUT, It does have alot of flexibility, and with a little snippet of code, I had one image, by rotation, instead of four.

    This “5 Reasons why Construct is better than Game Maker” title is misleading. They are both great programs with disadvantages and weaknesses. You shouldn’t compare them because that just seems biased. And plus, you didn’t really give five reasons it was better than GM, you just told us why construct was awesome, and listed some features that construct had that GM had too.

  42. Bloblblobl says:

    Ashley Gullen :I don’t think many people were using Python anyway

    PYTHON RULES

  43. pickledineen says:

    This seems okay but not as good as Gamemaker. I wonder if it has it’s own programming language…

  44. Bloblblobl says:

    pickledineen :This seems okay but not as good as Gamemaker. I wonder if it has it’s own programming language…

    If you mean its own custom programming language, no……but, AHEM, look above: PYTHON!

    Anyways, another reason why it’s better than GM is because in the events sheet, once you make a new event, you can select system, instead of making a controller in GM.

  45. msqrt says:

    Quazi, no. You just can’t beat programming. And it isn’t repetitive. Tedious, maybe in the beginning, but not when you get a grasp of it – then it turns into a world of great challenges that turn into great fun.

    And GM was invented because there is a market for people who won’t bother to learn to program and the developers were short on money.

    You just can’t do most of the stuff programming languages can in a drag and drop program. Accept it.

  46. Tat says:

    Quoting Noskire:
    “I just want to learn how to make a roguelike. I’m leaning towards construct at the moment because ALL FEATURES are available for FREE and not ILLEGAL. And I like that. But I want something that can handle a graphical roguelike. so which is it, gm lite, construct, or rpg maker 2003?”

    I’ve used RPG Maker and Game Maker, and I can tell you that the RPG Maker is right out. Try GM; movements are easy, and I’m sure you can figure out how to randomly generate dungeons (check this free game called Spelunky). I have no comment about Construct, so you may want to try that too.

    I don’t actually remember paying for GM; either it’s been too long, or most of the good features come with the free trial.

  47. Quazi says:

    you guys are being so ignorant about all this its not even funny. im an experienced user of construct, and ive seen many games made in gm. i dont have to accept anything, u have to accept that youre wrong. you really have no idea about anything that constructs capable of because youve caught a glimpse of it without ever seeing anything complicated done with it. the fact you all dismiss is as a “learners program” because of the simple interface is beyond stupid. i recent created a 3d engine with all the rotation calculations and created a model in it, USING ONLY events and the most basic of basic objects, the sprite object. lets see gm which struggles to rotate a graphic without GML achieve that in less than 5 events. and no, construct isnt a drag and drop program, it just has a simple interface, with condition blocks and actions instead of script, but all the same capabilities, esp compared to a builtin language like GML.

    also, “it wins in terms of power” lmaoo thats the stupidest thing ive ever heard, it lags with more than 100 objects on screen., while construct can handle thousands comparatively. and if you meant that in flexibility, just reread what i said above.

    @msqrt

  48. MegaScorpio says:

    I think, that Game Maker is the best! Construct is the small bad program for shit!

  49. F says:

    So if you like it so much, stop using Game Maker. if its so much better, why are you still using Game Maker?

  50. Commander Keen says:

    I have been using Game Maker from the 5.0 version, so I have learned how to make games in it fairly well i think. Three months ago I found Construct, tried it and ditched Game Maker. For me, my first game was alot harder in Construct than in GM, since GM has more intuitive gui, but my third project in Construct was so complex that I could NOT do anything similar in GM (even with the years of experience).

    Construct has two major advantages over GM:
    -Its ALOT faster than GM and supports DX9 and shader effects
    -the Layout editor, in wich you can change EVERY property for every single object of the same type.

    The programing argument wich are used by GMers is largely invalid, because with a little skill, you can do anything that you can do with a programing language, but faster. And if you are a programing addict, you can still use the integrated Python.

  51. Jimmy says:

    With Construct you can script with events or python, which is a hell f a lot more flexible then gml, not to mention faster.

  52. The Unnamable says:

    I think you don’t know Game Maker well, or you just want to bend reality, because only 4. and 5. are real reasons. Or some examples are poor, don’t know.

    Behaviours – Scripts. You need to call one script in Step Event to have 8-direction movement. The physics behaviour – well, this could be the second script you use. Or get a physics DLL/GEX for Game Maker ( for example GMPhysics, or GMODE, downloadable at gmc.yoyogames.com ). Or, in 3D there is GMBullet. All of these can be downloaded for free.

    “Whilst Game Maker may require different sprites for each direction an object is facing Construct doesn’t.” – It doesn’t require different sprites for each direction :P There is a built-in variable called “image_angle”. You can set it to any direction you want ( in degrees ) and Game Maker will rotate the sprite. You can give each instance placed in the room a creation code, so you can set the instance’s scaling or rotation. Three lines:
    image_angle=36//Set the sprite rotation to 36 degrees
    image_xscale=1.4//Set the horizontal scaling
    image_yscale=0.7//Set the vertical scaling

    Built-in object types:
    Want to add a text to the screen? Create an object, and then write to lines of code:
    Into the create event: if(!variable_local_exists(“text”))text=”";
    Into the draw event: draw_text(x,y,text);
    Now you have a text object! Now put an instance of your object to the room where you want it and “change it’s properties” with the Creation Code: text=”Your text”
    But the webcam examples in this reason is nice: In GM you need an extension/DLL to use webcam input.
    But you can always download an example file, and make it your way, or if you find something like a “module pack” on the internet for Game Maker, you can use it too. ( The module could consist of objects like in my example, and if you want to include that, Game Maker can merge one file to another )

    But don’t take this as an offensive post. You may have right, but I’m sure there are better reasons, or maybe these one could be better too – with better examples. Sorry if this post is a bit offensive, I just want to show you, that there are better reasons. So take this as a constructive post ;)

  53. Guyon says:

    I have used Game Maker for almost 2 years and even bought the book (which is great BTW). And while only working with Construct for 3 days I am very close to finishing my fist game.

    Here is may assessment:

    Game Maker is much easier to learn. Has much better documentation, and the scripting is very intuitive.

    Construct has a steeper learning curve, the docs and wiki is not finished, and some of the Objects are imposable to use with out help. But…

    The forum is very friendly and helped me though the rough water. And while some people say that Game Maker Scripting is more powerful, or you need to learn “real” coding they are missing the point.

    The objects in Construct are exactly that OBJECTS. The future of programming. If you pick up a C# or Java book they are totality built around Objects. What Construct is really just true visual code. Instead of subroutines running to check on things Objects sit quietly doing there thing until needed.

    Game Maker has the graphic building too, but it is much different. In Game maker you need to code to get to the real power. Construct’s real power is in the Object graphics that you build from. It feel like you are coding Objects in C# with pictures.

    IMHO The more you understand about OOPS programming the more you will appreciate what Construct is and how great of program it is.

    Finally I am thrilled that I have both. Competition is good and it will only serve to make both better.

    • a non eMouse says:

      I have an associates degree in programming, which is to say I know a fair deal about what you just said. However I don’t entirely agree that OOP is the best possible way to do things. Yes it makes things easier, but it also makes things bulkier. Even DirectX itself dramatically slows things down because it has many instructions in it that a game may never use even though it’s available. Yes it all speeds up development, but there’s always a cost.

      Think about this… memory and processor speeds have improved by dramatic amounts. How much have games improved? Personally I don’t think they’ve kept up with the hardware, but I feel that’s because many game companies want things done fast and easy so they take shortcuts. Those shortcuts make it so that even on the best hardware, the game bogs down when you have the settings turned on high.

      If a company ever made a game from scratch and developed every piece of it on their own to be used exactly as they needed… it would take years, but would probably look as good as any other game out, and run on half the hardware.

    • Nathan says:

      FORWARD: Sorry, didn’t mean to post this as a reply
      Sounds more like a stripped down, 2D version of Blender (which isn’t a bad thing)
      BUT DON”T JUMP SHIP YET!!!
      Why?
      Because Game Maker is surely taking note of this competitor and the good, new ideas that they implement.
      Use both until GM9 comes out and then decide, after all, GM has made a ton of money and definatly has the assets and community to make it the better offering, IF THEY COMPETE!

  54. [...] GameJolt contest Flood the Chamber Village Looter (Construct, GMB article on Construct) [...]

  55. devid d says:

    something i like bout game maker runs is well on low end pc. but something i totally hate about game maker is softwrap, that pathetic company who scams with my registration.

  56. Nathan J says:

    I havent seen it yet, but i just want to comment devid d’s response.

    Devid youre ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! Omg, i once changed my time like 2 days. And then the stupid SoftWrap form came up, and i couldnt use game maker at all!

    So i had to change it back, but now i cant scam winzip anymore :(

    Bye^^

  57. Nathan J says:

    Now ive given it a better look, and i dont agree with you, Mr Gamble.

    Based on what youve told, i think that Construct is a program with alot of pre-programmed stuff in it.

    In game maker the controls are limited, but you can strill control alot of aspects of the application/game.

    And, how much coding do you think youve got to do when youre programming a game in C++ or C# or Java? Its alot more than in game maker.
    So i dont think thats an argument.

    Besides that, im still going to download and try it :P

    Bye

  58. Tomcat says:

    Just one question. Thinking in a horizontal shoot em up, with multiple scroll, enemies and explosions all over the screen, in your opinion scirra is powerful than game maker?

  59. Leprechaun4 says:

    Klik n’ Play, The Games Factory 1, TGF2, Multimedia Fusion 1.5, and MMF2 are a few others worthy of high regards.

    KNP is really old but is very quick to make a crappy game with to say you’ve made something.
    TGF1 is fantastic and fastest of all with the best most streamlined interface and while being outdated a bit, it still holds its own very well. TGF1 does have a few issues though with the learning curve and the fact that the built-in movements are crap, fortunately it’s easy enough to code your own movements with the nice klik interface.
    MMF1 good but not great, I like TGF1 way better because of the TGF1′s sweet interface.

    Multimedia Fusion 2 is a beautiful program, but there’s so many features strewn about in the way of the stuff that I actually use. There’s maybe 5 things MMF2 has that I wish were in TGF1, the rest just slows me down, but those few things I REALLY would like to see in TGF1. TGF2 is a weaker version of MMF2, having less features, and an interface closer to that of MMF2 than that of TGF1′s.

    Gamemaker I used for a few hours one day and I followed the example to make their game and then I made my own thing where a sprite just moved around, didn’t get much further than that but it seemed like a fair enough program. It felt a bit restrictive in comparison to the ClickTeam products but I suppose if ya fiddled round with the GML script it could be nice and versatile eventually. It’s probably the easiest to begin learning with, but I’d imagine it’d be just as tough to master as TGF1 was.

    Construct would be my favorite, except that the interface while being user-friendly in some areas, is dreadfully un-friendly in other places. It seems to have alot of versatility and power hidden under its hood though using DirectX to its advantage.
    And it has the same sort of annoying sprite editor as MMF2 but minus the extras (there may be extra controls for sprites outside of the editor somewhere), and the frame placement is confusing. Construct borrows alot from MMF1.5 and MMF2 in functionality, but it has a style all its own. Ashley, well he did a wonderful job with Construct and spent alot of time on it.

    If you learn MMF2 or Construct, or vice-versa, you’ll be able to learn the other one fairly quick as they have alot of similar features. Construct uses DirectX and MMF2 seems to be gaining compatibility with the Flash Runtime and/or Flash Player and its capabilities. I’m not sure whether they get the code to respond to the player or turn it into flash code first, but either way, it should be interesting.

  60. Orst ost e7 o says:

    With gamemaker, anything is possible!

    Go on yoyo games, there are millions of games, all made on gamemaker.
    Look at the variety, there’s rtss, fpss, RPGs, shooters, puzzle games, towerdefence games, anything!

    I would hardly call gamemaker restrictive…

  61. onky says:

    I’ve tried MMF1, MMF2, Gamemaker and Construct. For me, Scirra’s Construct feels the most comfortable to use. Given all the games made with all these applications, it essentially boils down to what’s the easiest to use for each person….

  62. Damo566 says:

    After readin’ the post, I’m not saying that Game Maker is better than Construct. Construct looks very good – I’ve often felt like playing a car game and needing a program to quickly knock it up in, and Clickteam’s stuff I don’t find to be very good. I’ll take a good look and prolly keep Construct – that bundled physics rules – but I’ll stick with GML for proper projects, simply cos I support the people that host my files for free. :P

  63. Chronos says:

    In my opinion MMF2 is far superior to Game Maker. While game maker does have scripting, and GM users fall back on that, so does MMF2. It has over 100 extensions, physics, platform movement, arrays, 8 directional, car, bouncing ball, et. The interface is easy to understand, has a very low learning curve, and the software overall is extremely powerful. 3dimensional games can be made in MMF2. It’s just BETTER. I’ve used GM before, I wouldn’t knock it unless i’ve tried it before, and it sucked……no offense. But it did. It was hard to understand, troublesome, and just plain annoying. Don’t say you can’t learn real coding in MMF2, because that’s a lie. Several people have even had MMF2 games ported to CONSOLES. I’m not saying it isn’t possible in GM, but it sure is a helluva lot easier. You all should try out the demo, look for some tutorials, go to the site and join the massive community. You won’t be sorry.

    Now about Construct, I haven’t given it a fair try, and I will, but to be honest it looks like MMF2…seriously, just a bit fancier. Not saying more or less powerful though. They both look like great softwares.

    • Projectalpha22 says:

      Mmf2 is arguably better than both, if you know how to use it. It makes great quality games if you know how to use it,but then again, let’s say you want to make a game easily fast and don’t really care if you can’t do something perfectly exactly and you still want a quality game creator,you have construct. And even though I think that game maker kinda sucks, it is more like programming than the other two and its great for a challenge. All and all, just learn blender and call it a day.

  64. Kurt says:

    Game Maker – being updated by new Dundee office to include better code editor/debugger, can run on PSP, etc. Opens with a simple tutorial that I can make in 10 minutes with collisions, score adding, etc. Then you can convert that to GML code in another 10 minutes. Good for learning to code. I created regrowing trees choppable only if an Axe is equipped, and a global wood_amount variable that gets added to with each chop and can be converted into a Plank if you have 5. The downside is that all the scripts have to be opened in their own window, but they said they’re changing that ASAP.

    It has full games equal to the quality of the Pokemon/Zelda DS games. You can open them and look at the scripts and use them to make your own game. It’s also cheap.

    Construct… THE RIBBON! NOOOooOOOOoo. It’s free and has tons of pre-made events, but what good is that when I’m trying to learn how to code? I created an event where you clicked a button to rotate physical objects which was good, but I couldn’t find my way to any script editor. Probably has the best conditions/events editor of the three.

    MMF2 – started with a simple tutorial too. Pretty good, except I couldn’t find a script editor either.

    Ultimately, they’re all good, but if you’re starting out I would say go with Game Maker. Do the tutorial, then try to convert it to GML code and learn global variables and if/else statements.

  65. Chronicler says:

    Game maker is WAY better because its so much more costom built that construct, construct has pre made actions which tottaly stink and limit it like 99% more.

    • ALCH3MIST says:

      Its all a matter of preference. I use both; GMK has an incredible community and game distribution service to its advantage, and the interface is so easy.I luv gmk.
      But Construct wins major points, because under the hood its a damn sight more powerful.
      And the level editor!! Just try making a complex platformer level in gmk’s room editor then do it in construct’s editor).
      Fyi, construct is not just about premade actions, duh. Those are there to help you out. And construct is free.
      Just wait for construct2!

    • Auto says:

      I’ve used Game Maker since 4.0 to 8.1 – for eight or so years. I’m very familiar with it, and I’ll probably stick with it for some time longer.

      I’d really have to say, from what I hear about Construct (which I’ve not used),
      Game Maker is an introduction to programming for younger people, but yet very powerful for those willing to work hard for something good;
      Construct sounds almost like a user-defined interface – very open source. So, for those who know more about OOP programming, Construct is perhaps a more flexible option, but only if they know how to program their own objects/interface components. Once you learn that you can really, perhaps, do anything.

      Game Maker is powerful, but it has a limit – a very far limit – but still a limit. It’s easy to use, but it can’t do everything (e.g. you can’t make a fast-running wave file editor in GM, unless you use a lot of dll work perhaps).

      Construct sounds like something that, with enough background work, can do very much, and is only limited by the user’s understanding of both the interface and the code.

  66. Krisando says:

    Ouch, this is far too D&D. You cannot make any serious programs/games, it’s rather limiting.

  67. Fenyx says:

    Okay… I tried Construct… It’s really nice, I just can’t really use it very well because I’m too used to using Game Maker…. Hopefully I can learn how to use it…

  68. ProfessGMak says:

    I have been trying construct for four days and am finding this software fantastically intuitive and easy to use i am in the process of making a helicopter simulator in full 3d and have so far completed all but the lighting and my helicopter has no texturing or mapping. Thumbs Up, John hidgison, EA Games (thats right)

  69. [...] software Construct still receives regular updates and version 1 should be out very soon.  A brief comparison of Game Maker and Construct which I wrote last year remains one of the most popular articles on GMB.  Ashley Gullen from the [...]

  70. Yaro Kasear says:

    First off, any RAD game makers are capable of making only mediocre games at best. I don’t care how much praise they get in puff pieces like this: Learn to program and make a game from scratch or using an available engine. You’ll be glad you did. No one has ever once been impressed by games made by tools made by skill-less hacks.

    Second off, DirectX sucks and always will. Use SDL and OpenGL. ESPECIALLY OpenGL, which is faster and looks better. Not only that but you can actually make something that doesn’t trap you on Windows.

    • Arran Dengate says:

      People have limited time to make games. If they want to make a game that isn’t technically impressive, and focus on areas like story, art, or gameplay, why should they spend months learning to program from scratch? For example, the Spirit Engine (and its sequel) were both made in MMF2, and they’re both stand-out, thoroughly enjoyable games.

      People make a lot of junk using game makers, because the barriers to entry are low – but that doesn’t mean everything made in game makers is junk.

    • Ryan Allen says:

      wow, you are simply assuming too much. directx sucks? you are just ignorant, not everyone has time to learn a new trade and no one is ever impressed by morons like you.

  71. Winkdog says:

    Well thank you so much Philip for this nice piece of information. I wouldn’t have never known about or tried Construct if it wasn’t for your post. I come from a graphic art background, and always wanted to make my own games. I have been searching for a nice game making software that doesn’t require programming knowledge. So I can honestly say after trying Construct my search is over. I have never found such a user friendly piece of software in my life. Construct has everything you need to develop great games.

  72. rico001 says:

    I have a problem with construct documentation so far but maybe I can help with that. Hopefully there is a nice step by step tutorial with screenshots somewhere?

    When you open gamemaker the tutorial is close by. You should be able to put the first part of your game together – playable, in about 45 minutes or less.

    I’ll look at construct again, now hopefully it has better documentation, than a year ago… In summary what kept me away was the presentation and learning curve.

  73. [...] If anyone is currently using game maker you should check this post out on why Construct is better. [...]

  74. rico001 says:

    Found out it already has a forum with lots of documented tutorials, it might be usefull for making apps too: http://www.scirra.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=8&start=100

  75. Karken66 says:

    I think people miss the point of what game making tools are for. They are for game making hobbists. FPS Creator which was written in dark basic is very complex to learn but writes amazing graphical FPS games. But that is all it was designed for. It can also write muli-player games (upto 4) easily with no steep learning curve. I’m not a proffesional game developer and have looked at The Click Team products KnP, TGF1, CnC and MMF1&2 and found it fun but restictive. To use/write Click Team plug-ins is to complex for most. Game Maker is a great balance and allows for both “click and drag” game writers and provides for developers who love coding to use the GML. The graphics for GM is very easy. I looked at Construct and until they produce hobby friendly tutorials/docs I recommend GM. My humble opinion.

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