Platform-Style Video Games with Construct

Getting Started with Construct 2

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This video introduces the user interface of the Construct 2 software, and introduces some of the vocabulary used by the software.

Keywords

  • Construct 2
  • Layout
  • Events
  • Objects
  • User Interface

About this video

Author(s)
Lee Stemkoski
First online
15 February 2019
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4842-4446-3_1
Online ISBN
978-1-4842-4446-3
Publisher
Apress
Copyright information
© Lee Stemkoski 2019

Video Transcript

Lee Stemkoski: In this video, you’ll see how to download and install the Construct 2 game engine. Then we’ll give you a brief tour of the Construct 2 user interface. Again, showing you what it looks like for a completed project. And along the way, we’ll introduce some terminology or vocabulary used by the software. We’ll talk about different object types such as sprite, text and tilemap objects as well as their associated properties. We’ll also talk about events which are instructions for the game. They are created from combinations of conditions and actions, and we’ll talk about associated behaviors as well.

To begin, downloading the Construct 2 software is relatively straightforward. There’ll be a link provided in the description below. In the Construct 2 game engine, you merely need to go to the webpage and there will be a link to download the software. There is a paid version and a free version. The free version is very powerful, and what we’ll be using in this video series. Also, note that Construct 2 is only available for Windows computers. After clicking the download link, you’ll be brought to another page and the download will automatically begin. We’ll download an installation file. Once that’s finished downloading, you can go ahead, and double click and it will automatically install for you. It’s that simple.

Next, when you start the Construct 2 software, the user interface might be a little bit intimidating, but over the course of the video series, we’ll introduce everything you need to know. First, let’s do a quick tour of the different areas in the software demonstrating what they look like in a completed project. As you’ll see, the screen is divided into four areas. The main area in the center, and there are a series of panels, one on the left called the Properties panel. On the upper right, something called the Project panel, but there are some tabs underneath it which let you switch to different panels. And on the bottom right, the Objects panel, and again there are different tabs which let you switch between different views.

The Main panel is where you’ll spend most of your time. It’s located in the center. Initially, it displays the layout which shows you where different game objects are positioned. There are lots of different types of objects. For example, the different entities in your game. For example, your characters, your enemies, your collectible objects and your interactive objects. Those are all called sprites. They’re represented by images. They have different positions on the screen and they can interact with each other. There are also text objects. There are other objects such as keyboard, mouse, and audio, but those are mainly used for events. You won’t necessarily see them on the layout.

The instructions for your game are called events in Construct. At the top of the Main panel, you’ll see a series of tabs and clicking on these tabs allows you to switch between these different views. The event sheet is a list of events or instructions for your game. Each event has two different parts, a condition, one or more conditions, and then one or more associated actions. Events are like if then statements. If the condition is true, then perform one or more actions. So for example, this first action conditioned combination, this first event says if the left arrow is being held down on the keyboard, then the quality does a number of things.

That’s all in the Main panel. Also, when you click on things in the main panel, you’ll notice that the panel on the left will change to display different information or different properties about your objects. So for example, when I click on the Koala, I see that the name is Koala, it is a sprite, I didn’t see what layer it’s on. I can look at the position, the size and other associated properties. Clicking on something such as a text object will give me a different list of properties which I can change and configure as needed. The top right panel, the Projects panel, lists all the different objects I’ve added to the game, including some which are not visible, such as the audio object or the keyboard object. And down in this object’s list, I can see everything which is visible in my game at a given time.

So those are the main areas in the Construct software and we’ll get a lot of experience working with them and configuring them as we get started on our first project: Creating a Platform-Style Game called Jumping Jack.