Sunday, February 06, 2011

Open Web Games, GameOn and Construct 2

(edit: Construct 2 is going Closed Source, I'll either edit out this part or keep it for reference, but don't get your hopes up when reading this)

Scirra Construct is one of the few FOSS competitors to the proprietary GameMaker 2D game development suite (Gluon, Enigma and Game-Editor being the others). Unfortunately, the system has been limited to Windows since its inception due to relying on DirectX fiddlies, however, that has all changed...

Construct 0.x Showreel

Yesterday the long awaited Construct 2 project released a public alpha. No longer are Construct games chained to Windows; instead, games can be exported to HTML (5) which is pretty much on the opposite spectrum of platform-lockin.

Construct 0.x Interface
Now, one significant problem is that the editor isn't cross platform, and relies on a Windows GUI lib. However, seeing as the games are now cross platform, maybe the FOSS gaming community can show their appreciation by helping with the porting process? "Game Maker" like software is something that really lowers the bar of entry into game development, and Construct 2 fits that bill.

Jump on their forums if you're interested!

Why HTML (5)?

So, some people might ask why Scirra is targeting this rather new platform. I'm most probably mistaken, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Construct 2 is the first "HTML 5 Game IDE", and definitely the only Open Source one. Among the Free Gamer blog team, we have a couple of writers who don't approve of the web being used as a game platform (you know who you are), personally I find it rather promising. The fact that open web tech is immensely cross platform, and has an ease-of-delivery that is second to none, I can only see benefits to developing and embracing it further.

Mozilla seems to have gone that route; they recently hosted the "Game On" competition where developers entered games that utilize open web tech; and FOSS web games won 2 of the categories ("Best Webbiness" and "Most Fun")!

Don't write HTML 5 games off to 2 dimensions either, someone recently posted a rather simple but fun 3D RPG game utilizing WebGL on OpenGameArt the other day,  it's rather cool :) Also don't forget about the Quake 2 WebGL port! (remember, these require a WebGL enabled browser, such as Chrome/ium and Firefox 4)