2017 UPDATE: This post is now hugely out of date and the GameMaker Studio software is far superior to Scirra’s Construct in every way. I’ll leave the post up for reference but you should really check out this post to find out more about GMS2 and what it has to offer.
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.
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
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.
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!