4. Baby’s First Steps

As I mentioned in the last post, one of my favorite things about Construct 3 was the wide variety of tutorials available to total beginners, so I decided the best way to start was tackle one and see how it fit.

You can find it here: Beginner’s guide to Construct 3. I went for the shooter over the platformer for no significant reason.

Ghost Shooter tutorial from construct.net

The guide itself is really robust and easy to follow, as I had hoped. Kudos to the Construct team for laying this out so simply.

What I found quickly encouraged me: even this visual language was still a language to learn, and therefore essentially just a complex puzzle to solve. Within the first few pages I was trying to guess what the guide was going to have me do next. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.

But what I already knew is that failure is a much better teacher than success, and so I happily failed over and over and then went back to the guide to see what I needed to do differently.

One of the parts of this whole exercise that I’m most looking forward to is rewiring my brain.

It actually reminds me a lot of the hit game Baba is You.

Baba is You Switch review - "Puzzling perfection in every way" | Articles |  Pocket Gamer
Baba Is You from pocketgamer.com

The real joy of that game is in learning the complex and often unintuitive language that the game creates, and I felt very similarly about learning this visual style of programming. I had to come up to a wall, figure out how to identify it as a wall, then figure out how to climb over. But maybe another solution is simply to go around it – and how can I test that out?

There’s an iterative cycle that is immensely rewarding with immediate feedback, though, that learning actual languages can’t replicate.

So about an hour after starting, I finished the tutorial game and my head was already spinning.

Check back next time to see my first actual attempt at a game. Let’s go!

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