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If you're worried that your kids are spending too much time gaming in their bedrooms, don't be.
Brothers Tom and Ash Gullen first started making games at home as teenagers, but are now the founders of a hugely successful game software called Construct.
Billed as 'Powerpoint for games', Construct is designed to make it easy for anyone to make their own games and animations online.
Tom and Ash started the company while they were living at their mum's house, but it quickly took off. Today it has over 2 million annual users and sees more than 200,000 projects created per month.
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Now, the brothers are turning their attention towards animation, in the hope of reviving a dying online culture which birthed classics like Salad Fingers and Badger Badger.
Construct Animate will launch in January, and give users the ability to make not only games, but animations, cartoons, and banner ads, then export these to video or a GIF file.
The hope is that they can help revive a culture of animation on websites like Newgrounds and Albino Black Sheep, which hosted early Internet classics.
Many of these were made on Flash, an app which made it really easy to create games and animations at home but is sadly no longer supported by most computers. The hope is that Construct will offer a new, modern option for budding animators and game developers—without the need for any special equipment or payments.
This project is close to Tom's heart, as he grew up 'playing around' with Flash. "I've got really fond memories of that time with all those really creative people just putting animations out there," he says. "I feel like the web's got more professional and that old part of the web is dying out a bit, so it would be great to bring it back."
Now in touch with both Newgrounds and Newgrounds, Ash says: "If you think of the glory days of Flash, that was used for games and also animations, so it seems like a natural fit for what we're trying to do. We're trying to be the next Flash with HTML 5. The technology has just made it very easy."
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A lot of Construct users already export games to Newgrounds, but the brothers say that you'll be able to stick videos from Animate up on YouTube as well.
The hope is that creators on the platform can make their own viral successes, similar to Construct's own earlier this year. When Liz Truss became the shortest-lived prime minister ever in September, Ash developed 'In Liz We Trust', a platforming game that saw players take control of the troubled PM as she steals coins from hardworking Brits.
The game was a huge success, gaining coverage in more than 180 articles and videos and attracting thousands of players. The game was even sent out to lots of top politicians, and apparently, someone on Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon's official account opened the link.
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Construct's booming popularity has come as no surprise to Tom and Ash's family, who they say are "really proud" of them.
Tom said: "There's a newsletter called Pop B*tch that my sister subscribes to and one day she texted me saying that Construct was high up in the newsletter. It's really funny when stuff penetrates real life and then comes back to us organically from our family."
They owe a lot of the company's success to the period spent at their mum's house. Tom says they were 'fortunate' due to their mum's generosity "allowing us to live at home longer than we perhaps should have", as well as the fact that the business was cheap to run and set up.
And despite their busy schedules, family and gamemaking still go hand in hand. Ash says that this Christmas, he plans to wind down the year by working on the game he first began creating 20 years ago—a real time strategy game called Command and Construct. At least, that's what he's going to keep calling it 'until whoever owns Command and Conquer tells me to stop'.
If you'd like to try out Construct yourself, you can create an account and start making your own games for free via their website.
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