News Article

Scirra's Construct 2 Engine to Support Wii U Nintendo Web Framework Development

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Another route to the eShop

While various small developers are bringing their games to the Wii U eShop using custom-developed engines or licensed options such as Unity, Nintendo's also established the Nintendo Web Framework to allow games using web-based codes such as HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript to be published on the store. One upcoming HTML5 game coming to the store soon is BLOK DROP U, and you can see our interview with its developer, RCMADIAX, to learn more on that project.

There are various easy-to-use development tools that use HTML5, one of which is Construct 2, a 2D engine from London-based company Scirra. In an update on its official blog, Scirra has now confirmed that official support for the Wii U is on the way. The engine already supports platforms such as iOS and Android, as well as multiple web-based services, utilising plug-ins and built-in support to easily export games.

Below is an excerpt from the announcement.

Construct 2 takes advantage of the Nintendo Web Framework ( enabling both new and existing games to easily port to Wii U, taking advantage of Construct 2's unrivalled high-performance and feature-rich HTML5 2D game engine. Engineering work is currently being done to make sure everything is running smoothly, and an initial release of Construct 2 with Wii U support will be made available to authorised developers soon.

Developers will need to become Nintendo Authorised Developers before being able to use Construct 2's new Wii U support. Developers can apply to become authorised developers at Please note that a Wii U development kit will be necessary to test your game works with the Wii U system before publishing. Developers will also need at least a Construct 2 Personal license (or Business license where necessary) to export for Wii U.

The Wii U tool, when launched, will be available to all Construct 2 licence owners at no extra charge, part of a policy that means all platforms are supported. Nintendo's system appears to be the first home console utilising this engine.

This is potentially exciting news for those that use the Construct 2 engine or are thinking of doing so, especially as a free version is available as a means to try it out.


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User Comments (39)




This is never brought up during the interview but, this is the engine that powers BLOK DROP U. Very exciting news indeed!




XCWarrior said:

Hey whatever helps more Indy devs get on the Wii U eshop, the better. The system needs to see more than 2 releases per week on there.



unrandomsam said:

HTML5 is never going to end up with an end result worth having. (There again nobody has managed to with Unity either to my knowledge).



AdanVC said:

Reading this news makes me happy knowing there's still some type of 3rd Pary support for Wii U :')



Gioku said:

Looks like a nice little engine! ...I might have to check this out! ...I'm good with making 2D games, this looks built for 2D.



Shiryu said:

Hey, interesting! I have been following Construct for a few years and it very well suited to implement 2D game mechanics... this is neat!



unrandomsam said:

HTML5 is even worse than a native mobile app.

Bombermine and Super Ubie Land are the best two HTML5 games I know and they are both awful.

Especially compared to e.g Something like the Chrome native version of Bastion.



Yorumi said:

@unrandomsam html5, well specifically their movie support, is really designed more as a replacement for flash than an ultra scalable engine. It's designed more for quick 2d animation though scripts than for any sort of large scale project.

Unity is designed primarily for doing 3d rendering in web browsers, which gives it full access to the gpu. It's compiled, though still uses scripts, and has a stand alone, installed mode of deployment. It generally performs a little below UE3, but is ultra scalable, the source code is available, and it gets constant updates to add new features.



Gioku said:

Well, I'll say this much: anything that I'll make with this will probably look better than anything I've previously done; I've never used vectors before (only sprites)... so I'd be able to do a lot more advanced art than I've used before... though I do like pixelart. :3



unrandomsam said:

@Kodeen To be fair I have never really had a problem with how what Unity creates looks. Problem is the end result is never fun to play. Same style of game / art quality + XNA it comes out fun to play.



Kaze_Memaryu said:

@unrandomsam You should try CrossCode. That's just one of many exciting HTML5 games - and it has a tech demo that's even playable on the WiiU browser (albeit without sound):

Give it a try, it's already pretty awesome (D-Pad to move, touchscreen to attack - or you plug a USB keyboard in).



Corvid said:

There seems to be a lot of negativity towards HTML5, Construct and Unity. As with any engine it depends entirely on the developers. HTML5 has come a long way in terms of performance thanks to certain engines and wrappers. I've been a Construct user for several years now and C2 performs very well on most platforms. As far as style goes, it's down to the developers - people use certain styles or make certain games because they're popular, not because they're using a specific engine or technology.



unrandomsam said:

@Kodeen So why out of the list of Greenlight Unity games do none of them manage to get the controls right. (I bought about 10 on Desura). XNA gets it consistently right. Unreal I only have one example but it gets it right as well.

The original VVVVV and Hexagon is flash
Anodyne is Air

Nearly all the good stuff is XNA

Super Meatboy
Rogue Legacy
Mark of the Ninja
Hotline Miami etc etc



Corvid said:

@unrandomsam Hotline Miami was actually developed with GameMaker as far as I'm aware. But regardless, the engine or framework makes no difference. If you took a sample of 100 games built with any framework there are bound to be a percentage that get certain things wrong - no fault of the engine, it's down to developer.
The XNA games you've listed are all made by experienced developers over a lengthy period of time - Indie Game: The Movie shows Tommy discussing the great lengths he went to in getting the controls spot on for Meat Boy - inexperienced developers might not dedicate that much to it. If you compared them to a list of Unity games developed under similar conditions by similarly experienced developers then I'm sure they'd stack up. My experience with XNA games (mostly on the XBox Indie channel) shows a lot of.. well, dross.




As far as controller support goes, Construct 2 does support the Xbox 360 controller for developing browser-based(and I would assume PC) builds. It's up to the developer to build their title with this support.



unrandomsam said:

@Corvid There are differences. Take writing a Saturn game. Or Havok (Sonic Team or their porters managed to mess up using that somehow).

Certain things are harder or easier to use well. (I have a friend who is a graphic designer who makes games commercially using Unity god knows how though I know he doesn't do any programming whatsoever though).

Some people could probably use anything. It seems rare that people have both the great ideas and the ability to implement them using anything. (Especially the stuff designed for massive teams).



JustinH said:

This is good to hear. Very cool. Any chance anyone at NintendoLife is digging into what's going on with Wii U support for Monogame? Everyone seemed to be sharing the same story in October but I haven't heard a word about that since.



Yorumi said:

@Corvid Unity also has a lot of built in scripts, these are for camera controls, inputs, etc. Like most things the default package isn't great. A lot of developers use the default scripts for these things because they're good enough, and the math for some of these gets complicated fast.

It's actually kind of funny my school didn't teach java because it had too much built into it's library. They said it's becoming a problem where programers only know how to use the built in functions but don't really know what they're doing. They only let us write in c and c++ until the last few classes because they said we should be learning how to build all these packages.



unrandomsam said:

@JustinH I have seen that loads of people repeat something but there is no source where it came from.

(Don't think Nintendo would like it though because people could use it without being a registered developer and the code would have to have knowledge about the Wii U that they seem fairly reluctant to give to people. It is different with a company because it can be NDA'ed).

Will be good if it does happen though. (As long as it is optimized and uses the cpu and gpu as optimal).
Not sure about the license and what is required of it.



millarrp said:

More supported engines is always a good thing. Hopefully this translates into more games...



Cobra said:

Wish GameSalad was as quick to the party. I've got an almost finished game in GameSalad, and if Construct 2 can do it with it's small dev team, no reason GameSalad shouldn't have been able to.



MadAdam81 said:

MechWarrior Tactics is on Unity. If only Microsoft didn't get their grubby paws on the rights,.we could possibly have seen it on the Wii U as its first free to play.



Pixelrobin said:

Alright YoyoGames, get GameMaker in there too!

Construct 2 is a great engine but seems very limited when compared to Gamemaker in my own opinion.

But then there's the Unity Framework. The best one out there. Now supports 2D. Nobody's using it. Wow.




@Cobra I actually used GameSalad before switching to Construct 2 and found it to be lacking in a lot of areas. The team at Scirra usually releases a beta build at least once per week with some kind of new feature or optimization. I can't say the same for the GameSalad team.



Darknyht said:

@unrandomsam Gone Home was on a lot of Game of the Year lists and was built using Unity. As others have said, it is the developer of the game and not the tools that dictate quality.



AnD4D said:

I've made a full game using Construct 2. Brilliant engine, and I'm still learning new things each time I use it. With the frequent updates, it's always improving. I've applied for a Nintendo Dev license, and hope to release this month if at all possible.



Thulfram said:

@AnD4D You applied for your license in February and your game appeared in the Wii U eShop and I bought it yesterday. Your game is great and more than worth the price. Fun!

Why such a long delay?

I am a big fan of Construct 2 and have written some tutorials on using Construct 2 to create games for the Firefox Phones. Here are my first three tutorials:

Even though these are for the Firefox Phone, it is really just HTML5 and would be very similar to the Nintendo Web Frameworks. The screen size would be the only difference.

Construct 2 is very easy to use and doesn't need any programming experience. If you want to make a game for Wii U, this is probably the simplest way to go!



AnD4D said:

@Thulfram Hi Thulfram! I hadn't made any changes to my game since March. The process with Nintendo was just slooooooow! I was accepted at the end of February, and made Internal Invasion using Construct 2. The thing is, NWF isn't really that great just yet, and my game required an awful lot of scaling back just to get an acceptable frame rate (believe it or not!). The fact that the C2 developer hasn't really supported the Nintendo side of things for months doesn't help either.

In the time it's taken to get a completed game onto the Wii U, I've nearly made a whole new game. It's bizarre really, but I'm happy with the result, and I thank you for your support! Feel free to ask me any more questions on here, or on twitter @bearboxmedia



Thulfram said:

Well, I liked the game I bought last night. I find it an interesting and innovative mechanic. I just wrote about it on the Construct 2 site at So maybe you want to go over there and share your experiences. I'm sorry that Ashley hasn't been supporting the Wii U.

Is there any way to summarize what you had to scale back and what you did? The game plays just fine in its present state. Did you have any problems with "lotcheck" or other Nintendo rules and regulations?

I'm looking forward to your new game. Will you still use Construct 2 and will you (I hope) do it for Wii U?

The other Construct 2 game on Wii U seemed to go through fine. Blok Drop U and just had an update recently.

Are there any more Construct 2 games on Wii U? I am very curious about this. I've been doing Construct 2 games for Firefox Phones with no problems, but that's a different animal.

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