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12/04/2017

Update your Construct 2 export Process



Seeing how construct 3 is out, and released this is rather important steps to do as scirra will no doubtfully drop support at some point and stop updating the applications that are behind scenes. At this point they are saying they will continue support for it but some day support may just drop out of the blue.


First thing I need to explain is how construct 2 actually works is with a bunch of band aids of other applications Scirra didn't actually make. Such as Flac, pngcrush, and much more. I have a feeling if I were to look at their source code I would see much of the same uncredited practices.

Basically how it works is when you go to do a test run or debug it will do a mini-uncompressed quick export, and when it does this it doesn't do any compression for images, and sounds are already compressed thanks to flac oggenc, and video files are just straight up loaded in with only specific formats and codexs supported. Its tricky to actually get video files to load at all often resulting in massive projects due to including every video format possible practically and hoping it works with every export, or just simply creating seperate versions and knowing which formats are fully supported.

The advantages to this guide over using scirra's defaults are not only that you can use 64bit versions of the software, but that you have it most up to date, and the reason you would want 64bit versions of the software is faster compile times and faster imports for sounds for 64bit os versions.  Meaning this won't work for 32bit os users outside of just updating to latest versions of the software.

Keep in mind scirra applies limitations to modifying the source code of their software, luckily they include software that isn't exactly theirs in their Construct 2, which in construct 3 you would have no control over as it is more than likely either replaced or all done server side.

PNGCRUSH


One of these tools is pngcrush, which scirra uses a old out dated form of it. Keep in mind there are ways to compress more than scirra's usage of pngcrush ex: color index mode, which will limit the colors of a image based off a color index table rather than storing every possible color in each pixel it will only store a color refference ID which will refference a color stored in a table. Meaning a 2mb image can easily be compressed down to 64 colors at 300kb depending on resolution. Construct 2 doesn't have a option for doing this via batch process, but rather I recormend using gimp to do the task as you can alter the color pallets as needed if you know how to which is simple to do. But that is for another tutorial.

This is how to improve the export process for construct 2.

First things first, is to update pngcrush, You can check your version by doing windowskey+r &
cmd /k "Drive\CONSTRUCT2ROOTFOLDERS\Construct 2\exporters\html5\tools\pngcrush\pngcrush.exe"

Scroll to the top and construct 2 uses 1.7.? the most upto date version is 1.8.11 which has had many bug fixes, many many many added features, and some redundancies removed.

Now for some of the other tools you can update this trick doesn't work all that well to display version due to the creators not having anything output other than on failure.

To download latest PNGcrush version click here: https://pmt.sourceforge.io/pngcrush/

Once you download it backup the older version of PNG crush in a subfolder just name it OLD and move it in there, then move your new version of PNGcrush into the folder and match the old versions its name by renaming the program if need be.

PNGNQI

After doing PNGCRUSH it is wise to also update this, Luckily this is Opensource software with various derivatives of it, so I recommend replacing this application entirely as pngqi is just a derivative of pngnq anyways. pngnq-s9 seems to compress better download that here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/pngnqs9/?source=typ_redirect

Once downloaded, goto "\Construct 2\exporters\html5\tools\pngnqi" back up pngnqi, a create folder named OLD place it in there.
Then just move the pngnq-s9.exe file into the folder "G:\Construct 2\exporters\html5\tools\pngnqi" and rename it to match the old program "pngnqi". 

This newer version proclaims it will be 70% smaller than the original interms of file size. So basically I tested this with a 261kb image file with color index, and the image was compressed with construct2's pngnqi and it ended up 69.9kb and with pngnq-s9 and it ended up 64kb. Which means slightly better compression. Keep in mind inorder for this to work it has to be derived of pngnq which the native builds have not been updated since 2011 just different derivatives of it since then.  Which means with larger image sizes that percentage difference of compression could be a larger gap especially since some of the images get converted into sprite sheets which get larger as a single image sprite sheet than they would as a series of single images.

PNGOUT

PNGOUT for construct 2 hasn't been updated since 2013, pngout's last release was in 2015.
So we have another just update the program here.
Simply download PNGOUT.exe commandline  from http://www.advsys.net/ken/utils.htm

Back up the old version, by going to "\Construct 2\exporters\html5\tools\pngout"
Create a folder named old, place the old version of pngout.exe into that "OLD"  folder and just move the new version of pngout.exe into "\Construct 2\exporters\html5\tools\pngout" done.

I'm pretty sure scirra violated  a license agreement here aswell

"Redistributing, repackaging, or reusing the PNGOUT or KZIP executable is prohibited without the express consent of Ardfry Imaging, LLC, and a formal business agreement." - Stated on their website unless they actually got permission to do so which I don't see that without credits.


But downloading it this way seems the only legit way to do it as scirra probably didn't care. 


FLAC


Next you will want to update FLAC.
You can check your version by doing windowskey+r &
cmd /k "Drive\CONSTRUCT2ROOTFOLDERS\Construct 2\tools\audio\flac.exe"

Which is GPL Free software which the license isn't directly included with the executable just in the old out dated source code which versions do not match.  Naughty naughty scirra not following the actual GPL to the letter.

At any rate just simply download flac from here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/flac/?source=typ_redirect
Once you download it backup the older version of FLAC.exe in a subfolder just name it OLD and move it in there, then move your new version of FLAC.exe into the folder and match the old versions its name by renaming the program if need be.

OGGENc2


Possible update
You can check your version by doing windowskey+r &
cmd /k "Drive\CONSTRUCT2ROOTFOLDERS\Construct 2\tools\audio\flac.exe"

Currently construct 2 is using OGGENC2.88 for  it which is the most up to date. How ever there is different audio library reffers for OGGenc2.88 which produces different level of compression results and outcomes. Construct 2 uses OGGENc2.88 libVorbis v1.3.5 by default which you have the option for generic, p4, x68, source code+ libraries for download here. But you can also attempt to use Oggenc2.88 using aoTuVb6.03 2015/ (Lancer Builds).

So if you want the advantages of x64 or p4 or use aoTuV instead of libvorbis, then here is your options.

Simply download here: http://www.rarewares.org/ogg-oggenc.php


NWJS

This one scirra produces a solution for this but how ever it is already outdated,  Which is the norm for them at this point.  So basically what you need to do is first download scirra's solution, which just installs it to a specific location that c2 looks at when compiling NWJS.

Download Scirra's solution:
https://www.scirra.com/nwjs

Go through the install wizzard and just install it.

Next you need to download every version of the latest version of NWJS from the offical website here: https://nwjs.io/downloads/

The next step involve copying the latest version platforms of NWJS replacing scirra's solution with them. The only reason why scirra did this was because c2 just looks at a programfiles location grabs from it and copy pastes a lot.  Basically all you need to do is just replace each platform files.


Closure Compiler

This one is googles so it is easy to update, but of course google makes downloading it hidden within walls and walls of text. Of course this means it may as well be close sourced. You can download the latest version of this compiler at: https://developers.google.com/closure/compiler/

Back it up: Goto: "\Construct 2\exporters\html5\tools\closure"  Create new folder name it "OLD" , put compiler.jar into "OLD" folder, then move new downloaded compiler.jar into folder, rename it to match old name if name is different.

Building from source codes


Keep in mind the GNU GPL software include with this also allows you to use dirivitives of the same software, meaning you can use modified versions of the same software which could have improved on it better than the normal ones.  For the software that does include source code you can improve on it aswell and improve it and use it so long as the license permits it which the GNU GPL software does.


After export optimization


The applications used will take multiple PNG images and put them together for a new image. So this is the time to actually limit the color pallets of each image. Now if you export using nwjs you the package file is just a zip folder. So open it using any file archive tool, and export the images out open using gimp, click on image, and color mode, then select index. Once you use color index select how many colors you want and if the image comes out distorted then ctrl z and try again, you can also select how from many color pallets and even make your own. Save the image and go onto the next image.

Also you may need to do resource hacking inorder to have a good icon for your project.  There are various tools to do this with since construct2 doesn't actually do this it just uses nwjs's native icon. I will talk more about this later.

Sound compression is another thing you can do after exporting, you can easily compress it more than pngcrush can, keep in mind you might be lowering quality which might be your goal as well for retro style games.  Keep in mind you can keep the same sound format which is important to do.

File including process


With construct 2 you can include any file you want with your project, This is where you want to include any licenses , readmes, and additional files such as a desktop ico image file because the icon file options do not always work with c2.

It is also important that you include any file dependancies such as video files, models, and any other applications. IE if you make a launcher using nwjs and rex's nwjs extended plugin. Keep in mind if you use other applications to include their licenses and keep them separate from your own via subfolders.

Keep in mind the more you include with your project the longer the download size will be and the larger the game will be with longer loading screens, but small text files won't matter much neither will the icon image so long as it is formatted for desktop icon resolutions.

Also I highly recommend you create a generic credits for all plugins you use so it will lessin the chances of them coming after you demanding money out of you for not including credits for what they did.

TROUBLE SHOOT PROBLEMS

With updating these tools runs a risk of construct 2 breaking, I nor scirra will support you on this front, this process is do at your own risk with no warranty. These things are also liable to change faster than this guide can provide.

Newer versions or self built versions may cause problems, which is why I recommended you back up all older versions of the applications.

That being said when a problem happens, first attempt to find a solution, if you can't find a solution then comment explaining the problem the best you can in the comments.

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