Clickteam Fusion 3 is the latest development from the original game making software company, ever… Clickteam. First announced a few years ago as the “to-be” future version which will pioneer once again how kids, teenagers, adults and development companies alike, will be able to create their own games and apps with ease, whilst still maintaining a professional development environment.
Game Design and Development
Back in 1994, Clickteam pioneered and paved the way forward for beginners of computers to design and “code” their own games and apps for the PC with absolutely no programming knowledge at all. It was (Klik n Play) and still is (Fusion 2.5), the revolutionary product that began 23 years ago and has been developed on ever since.
Throughout the development of the core runtime since Klik n Play, the series has evolved many times over and has held lots of titles including Click n Create, The Games Factory and Multimedia Fusion and it’s currently held title of Clickteam Fusion 2.5.
Over the last 23 excellent years of production and development, the core runtime has had hundreds of revisions. Clickteam effectively, created the worlds first Microsoft Windows game development software. You can read more on the evolution of the core runtime here.
It would be very unfair and not even logical to say that Clickteam Fusion 2.5 will ever have a ‘shelf time’. However, there does come limitations with anything you develop, eventually. Clickteam have done exceedingly well with the core runtime. Back in 2006 when Multimedia Fusion 2 was publicly released, it was a machine of a game and app development tool, even then, nobody could really foresee at the time, that mobile gaming would be such a hit.
Even the Flash exporter wasn’t available until a few years later. My main point here is, Clickteam listened to what the users wanted and actually made their first exporter (Java). Quickly followed by Flash, Android, iOS, XNA, HTML5 and ultimately, the UWP Exporter. With all this functionality available and MMF2 had now become expandable, Clickteam Fusion 2.5 was going to be the last jump in the series before the arrival of Clickteam Fusion 3.
So what do we know?
Let’s take a look at what we do publicly know about Clickteam Fusion 3 thus far. I will sort these into headers in no-particular order but here is what everybody knows so far.
Fusion 3 is a complete rewrite
True. Clickteam Fusion 3 has been developed literally from the ground up. The most exciting part of this venture for the main developers must have been clicking File > New and actually typing that first bit of code. There will be zero code taken from the existing Fusion 2.5 engine.
There will be no full backwards compatibility, however there will be some form of importer. It will import assets mostly. If code is to be imported, it will be converted from Fusion 2.5 event code to Fusion 3 event code. However, there is no official word as of yet with regards to events. So for now, settle for at least the asset importer.
So far, there has been quite a few snippets of the frame editor improvements. Things such as object snapping, duplication and cloning. There has also been some talk from Anders regarding Strings in Fusion 3 and how String objects are ten-fold on what they currently are.
There is a blog post regarding the evolution of Backdrop objects in Fusion 3. They take on a whole new dimension both in the Frame Editor and, prepare yourself… the Event Editor. Not to mention the new integration of the “Nine-Slice” for backdrop objects.
You can see news reports on the co-ordinate system for Fusion 3 and how they are handled with the new runtime. There is also a blog post regarding collisions in Fusion 3, which makes for an exciting read.
Data in Clickteam Fusion 3
There are lots of blog posts regarding data in Clickteam Fusion 3 and I suspect there will be many more to come. The first one that stands out is the post regarding Data Types in Fusion 3. It goes on to explain that Clickteam Fusion 2.5 basically allowed two types of data, numbers and text. In Fusion 3 however, things dramatically improve with more types defined, you can now store many different types of data such as Integers, 2D Vectors, Strings, Floats and RGBa colours, to name a few. There is also another post on data types here.
Blog posts about Clickteam Fusion 3
You can catch up on the full list of blog posts regarding Clickteam Fusion 3 straight from the developers fingers at this link here.
Extension Development in Fusion 3
As you know, Clickteam being self-proclaimed pioneers (well, proclaimed by me at least), we wanted to go a step further with Fusion 3, not just one step further, but multiple and this is just one of them. Gone are the days you have to be the ultimate god of programming to create an extension. Clickteam Fusion 3 will allow you to design and develop your own extensions from within Fusion 3 itself. This is a very useful objective for beginners/intermediates and advanced alike. However, if you still wish to develop your extensions, you will be able to do it in C++ and not have to port to objective c for iOS or Java for Android. The aim is, to enable you to ‘code once – distribute everywhere’.
Performance of the new game maker
Fusion 2.5 is fast. I really don’t want to list the technical aspects of just how fast it is as a game engine but let me tell you it is a highly efficient and very highly optimized core runtime. Coming off of that, let me now tell you that Fusion 3 will be a quantum leap in terms of performance over Fusion 2.5. Now that really is saying something.
Interpretation of a Game
Currently, Clickteam Fusion 2.5’s core runtime is essentially an ‘interpreter’. What does this mean? Well, you “code” your game in a sheet called The Events. These events are logical statements that define what is true and what is false. When an event is rendered to become true (even in the false sense) actions are taken. For example:
Ball collides with Block: Bounce Ball.
The text in bold is your condition. The text in italics is your action. Fusion 2.5 waits for the condition to be true and then it takes action. So when the ball does collide with a block, it will bounce the ball.
So, when you export your game/app, you are also exporting the runtime. Here you have two entities that work together. One is your game, consisting of the assets (sprites/sound effects) and events. The second is the Fusion 2.5 runtime. The runtime loads the assets, visually draws everything to screen and then parses the events that take place.
The Fusion 2.5 logic has to be interpreted so that the runtime understands it. The overhead of this interpreter is minimal, it doesn’t really affect your games and apps as it stands. That being said, Fusion 3 will not work like this at all. It will generate pure C++ code which means your games output will be native to whichever platform it is running on.
Scalability of Clickteam Fusion 3
With a brand spanking new engine (runtime) being developed, the chief developers namely James and Anders are once again, in true Clickteam fashion, creating a product that will lead a new revolution of game development. They have witnessed first hand, as have the rest of us, how fast and how extensive technology has evolved over the last 10 years. Our two lead developers and Clickteam as a whole company, understand and realise that alongside performance, scalability is the key to the success of Fusion 3.
Clickteam Fusion 3 will be a game development tool that will stand as a flagship product now, in 5 years, 10 years and beyond. I really want to say, it’s the first super-major revision for a long time, but technically, it isn’t. It’s a brand new product. Absolutely brand spanking new and it comes loaded wiith features you would never have thought in previous products and it comes with the backing, support and development from a company that has over 20 years in the spotlight, working with users, companies, schools and professional developers and development teams.
Most commonly used game design methods
We see, we listen, we do. It goes without a shadow of a doubt that the new Clickteam Fusion 3 will come bundled with some useful stuff for you to play with for your games. A lot of people ask questions like, will there be pathfinding routines? Will there be a built-in logic for line-of-sight? To answer all these questions lightly, yes. We do plan on integrating some of the most common game design routines and bundling them with Clickteam Fusion 3 as standard.
Do you want to know the even cooler thing? You don’t have to rely on Clickteam to do this or any other routine/method either. Fusion 3 will enable users/members of the community to develop snippets of math and code that will allow them to distribute these routines and share them with the community. How cool is that?
Clickteam Fusion 3 Expected Release Date
I’m pretty sure this is probably the one you have all been waiting for. Unfortunately, even though I have a pretty good idea of a release date, I cannot at this time officially announce this. However, what I can do is hint. I’m good at hinting. Clickteam always give me ‘the look’ when I hint. So, I wrote a poem which contains a conundrum.
From the early days of Klik n Play,
We thought we’d never hear you say,
Fusion 3 will finally be here,
And when it is, it will cause hysteria.
It’s not just the core product that will stand tall in the game development world, it is also the company. There are 13 members of Clickteam and collectively, we have a seriously vast amount of knowledge, skills and competence. But most of all, we have the passion.
Passion is what drives us here at Clickteam to get up everyday, work on bug reports, work on feature suggestions, write new documentation, develop new extensions, provide endless around-the-world support through many different channels.
I will update this post in the future as new blog posts and new information is revealed. If there is too much to list here, I will create a follow up post and link to it from here.
Let me sign of by saying, Clickteam Fusion 3 is going to be big. I’m not even sure that’s the correct adjective to use here. Gigantic. Absolutely gigantic. Mark my words. We are equally if not more excited than you for the release. There’s going to be a lot of blood, sweat and tears poured but the excitement will be worth it for us here at Clickteam and you, the users. It will vastly appeal to complete beginners to game development, whilst catering for every single need of an advanced game development team. From top to bottom, the core engine, the support, the website, the infrastructure all the way to the success of Fusion 3 as a product and success of users future developments. I told you gigantic was the best adjective to use.
Until next time.
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