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Is GameMaker any good?

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Hi,

 

I am a new developer. I was wondering IF game maker was any good? I'm a new developer and i would not like to use Unity or any other complex engine. Could anyone confirm (or answer) these questions:?

 

1. Can i use Programming languages (HTML, Java, etc)

2. Can you import Background images from say photoshop

3. Can we design our own character in like other modeling software?

4. Can you have cutscenes?

5. Can i publish with the free version on like Steam?

6. Is this a good way to start off career in the industry?

7. Does it have IOS and Android publishing? Cost?

8. Is their Xbox One publishing?

 

What are some examples of popular games made with GM!?

Edited by StealthPandemic

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1) No.  Coding is done with GML (Game Maker Language) or 'Drag and Drop'.

2) Yes

3) Yes

4) Yes

5) No

6) Not really no

7) Maybe, check the features on their site.

8) Probably not

 

There are none that are popular that I know of but if you want examples of games there are some on their website.

 

What are you looking to do?

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1) yes they have their own language

6) vlambeer is doing quite well http://www.vlambeer.com

Game Maker is a nice tool for 2D games, but it's not gonna land you a job anywhere fancy. But then again no single engine will do that. Make a super game and take it from there. And for that vlambeer have proved that it works great. Check out ridiculous fishing if you want to see what Game Maker is great at.

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I would say it is a good way to start out, there is a low barrier to entry, it's possible to make good quality games on it (see Gunpoint & Hotline Miami), it has it's own scripting language which you don't need to use but you can if you want to take things further, any design skills will be transferable should you feel like GameMaker is no longer suitable for your needs. etc.

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1) yes they have their own language

6) vlambeer is doing quite well http://www.vlambeer.com

Game maker is a nice tool for 2D games, but it's not gonna land you a job anywhere fancy.. But then again no single engine will do that. Make a super game and take it from there. And for that vlambeer have proved that it works great. Check out ridiculous fishing if you want to see what game maker is great at.

 

He mentioned specific languages, and languages plurals... Unless they have updated that since I used it, no they can't. They have their own scripting language, but that's all they have. (just checked, they have support for HTML5)

 

And for the price, no it isn't a good thing to start with or really use. You are wasting money to give to an inferior product. Any one that needs it would do much better to use basic javascript + CSS or HTML5 or learn a language to make a basic text based game than using it and anyone that just wants a tool to make things simpler, there are much better and cheaper options out there.

 

But over all, DL the free version, see if you like what you see and decide for yourself... Though I would suggest a much better option is simply, instead, grab its tutorials and you can use them to construct the game in python or C++ or anything else, and that would serve you much better.

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6) The guy who made the following video tutorials got a job in the industry from a game he made with GameMaker:

 

 

7) It does have IOS and Android publishing, but it costs a lot. 

 

I am not sure about XBOX. 

Edited by Tutorial Doctor

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1) yes they have their own language

6) vlambeer is doing quite well http://www.vlambeer.com

Game maker is a nice tool for 2D games, but it's not gonna land you a job anywhere fancy.. But then again no single engine will do that. Make a super game and take it from there. And for that vlambeer have proved that it works great. Check out ridiculous fishing if you want to see what game maker is great at.

 

He mentioned specific languages, and languages plurals... Unless they have updated that since I used it, no they can't. They have their own scripting language, but that's all they have. (just checked, they have support for HTML5)

 

And for the price, no it isn't a good thing to start with or really use. You are wasting money to give to an inferior product. Any one that needs it would do much better to use basic javascript + CSS or HTML5 or learn a language to make a basic text based game than using it and anyone that just wants a tool to make things simpler, there are much better and cheaper options out there.

 

But over all, DL the free version, see if you like what you see and decide for yourself... Though I would suggest a much better option is simply, instead, grab its tutorials and you can use them to construct the game in python or C++ or anything else, and that would serve you much better.

 

 

Game Maker HTML5 can use JavaScript, and it is also possible to write extensions for it. GML is also fairly powerful and can do quite a bit of things.

 

The price is cheap for the product compared to the cost of developing a game. For example Game Maker Standard is $50. Professional is $100. For $800 you get a ton of features including IOS, Android, HTML5, Ubuntu, Windows Phone 8, Windows, and Mac platform support. If that is too pricey then the modules are sold individually as well ($200 for Android export is not expensive IMO). If Game Maker is so "inferior" and if there are better/cheaper options out there, please suggest the superior options.

 

Using Game Maker is perfectly valid and I feel it is a great way to start out. I started out many years ago using similar programs (although less powerful!).

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Game Maker HTML5 can use JavaScript, and it is also possible to write extensions for it. GML is also fairly powerful and can do quite a bit of things.

 

The price is cheap for the product compared to the cost of developing a game. For example Game Maker Standard is $50. Professional is $100. For $800 you get a ton of features including IOS, Android, HTML5, Ubuntu, Windows Phone 8, Windows, and Mac platform support. If that is too pricey then the modules are sold individually as well ($200 for Android export is not expensive IMO). If Game Maker is so "inferior" and if there are better/cheaper options out there, please suggest the superior options.

 

Using Game Maker is perfectly valid and I feel it is a great way to start out. I started out many years ago using similar programs (although less powerful!).

 

 

HTML5 without javascript isn't HTML5. GML is it's own script.

 

Unity free

RPG maker is better for at least RPGs

 

I'm sure if I looked around I could find more, but for the price and for what it allows you to do it just isn't worth the money. It's inferior overall as there are others do the same and better.

 

As far as it being valid. Sure, it just isn't worth the money, at least from my point of view. I got it a long time ago when it was much cheaper and the license somehow vanished. The licensing is cheaper than unity, more expensive than RPGmaker. The abilities are greater than RPG maker, less than unity. You can learn with it, but the things you'd need to advance with it requires you to purchase it so it's better just to go to something else...and if you're going to use something else you might as well start with something else.

 

It's a valid way to start, but it seems to me it's just a waste of time to learn that system and then have to learn something else to advance rather than building on what you already know.

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When I think of game maker, I think of Hotline Miami... Can't save on my linux machine, but it certainly is good.
There is also Home, Risk of Rain, a version of Spelunky, Valdis Story...

Game Maker is a professional grade tool. Edited by dejaime

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GameMaker is a perfectly fine tool to start with, I also started with it myself... smile.png

 

Here are some things GameMaker is good at:

  • Creating games fast. GameMaker is still the best tool I know for creating a lot of "simple" different games fast, even though there are some alternatives that I haven't tried yet.
  • Letting people learn. There is no steep learning curve involved as you can even start using the D&D interface.
  • Focusing on game desgn. Using the build-in room editor and some simple scripts / D&D actions you can easily start designing levels without much experience.

Some bad things about GameMaker:

  • Speed. Many kinds of games can be created using GameMaker, but don't expect to write a fast working game with too fancy graphics compared to some other engines.
  • Networking. Even though the GML (GameMaker language) was made to be easy-to-use, in many situations you could have made a very nice interface for industrial languages like C++, while you have to do things manually using GML.
  • 3D graphics. They have a nice 2D room editor, but the 3D functions suck and I don't advice to create any 3D games using GameMaker at all.
  • Learning programming. Even though the language is simple, it is too simple in my opinion. Lua is even more complex than it at some things. The language doesn't has syntax for e.g. functions, classes, and many other things. This is obviously okay for "simple" games, but if you are planning to learn another language it may not be the best start.
  • Team collaboration. Even though the studio version works a lot better, using Git with any other language is in my eyes still superior.

GameMaker is like dejaime said a professional grade tool, but for a limited amount of games. GameMaker can be great for especially indie games publishing on for example mobile platforms. You can create games fast and you won't need too much experience. Depending on your goal, which you haven't really made clear, you may not even notice the down-sides I mentioned.

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Its awesome. Many commercial games are made with it. Its the easiest game engine for beginners.If you are just starting out then you can buy this book
http://unluckystudio.com/gamemakerforbeginnersbook/
Its just 4.99$ only

Coupon code : MONITHEROCKSTAR

and you will get it for 3.99$

You should still note that these commercial games are all of a certain quality that can easily be compared to most web games in my opinion...

 

And is clearly self promoting allowed on gamedev.net?

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It's certainly not a dev system i would like to be recommended to use/recommend someone to use (and a price tag makes it worse) when there is a better, freer, more useful, powerful and helpful unity or unreal engine.

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Unreal and Crytek's new licensing models are going to change a lot of things in the gaming industry - about time too, PC Gaming needed a swift kick in the ass.

 

I'm using RPG Maker VX Ace for my first project. It uses Ruby (or a subset of it at least) for its scripting language. Is it limited? You bet. There's lots of things I want to do but can't because it's buried in the engine code - but I'm still sticking with it because it's letting me build my game. I forget what I paid for it - it doesn't have mobile support which should've been a no-brainer for the guys @ Degica/EB - a cheap 2D engine when everybody was out trying to make the next Angry Birds? Easy money.

 

I don't know enough about Game Maker to say good or bad things about it. You've got to get your feet wet somewhere, and I think there's a lot to be said for having a _finished_ product behind you. If it's a good finished product, that's a bonus. If you're going to stick with game development it's pretty much a given that your first game engine won't be your last.

 

As far as getting a foot in the door in the industry? Make something good. Focus on that and it will show through no matter what you build it with. In the movie industry you get about three sentences to pitch a script. Having a 'lesser' tool may help force you to 'cut the cruft' and get down to the basics of what your game different. If you can make a good game with a 'sub-par' engine, then you know you can make a great game with a better one - so get a better one and make an even better game: lather, rinse, repeat and you'll get noticed. But if you can't make a good game, all the tools and bells and whistles and shinies in the world won't help you.

 

Making a game is like learning to play a guitar or anything else - it takes time, practice, and dedication to get good at it.

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I use GameMaker Studio, and own the Master Collection.

 

For 2d games, I don't think it can be beat at all by much of anything, unless price or graphics features are the only factors.  Consider this.  Unity has the free version, which I admit is really good, especially for free.  For 3d games, it is probably the best in general free thing to use.  But for 2d, not so much.  Unity's 2d is pretty far behind GMStudio's capabilities, especially considering the recent updates to GMStudio, which include the use of vector graphics, and multi-platform shader capabilities, which let you do many things.  GMStudio's 3d isn't very good at all, but at least with the shader system(which also works in 3d) people have created deferred renderers, shader based skeleton animation, normal mapping, among other things.

 

The biggest barrier to GMStudio is the price, at least for just getting started or if you have zero budget.  Unity will be harder to get started with, but you can do so for free.  As mentioned above though, who knows what will happen to prices now that Epic has the $19.99 + 5% pricing going on?  Unity so far hasn't announced anything, but that doesn't mean nothing will change.  GMStudio, though it usually is considered at a lower level(just because it is meant for 2d games), may or may not make a pricing change, simply because it is still overall a good deal.

 

The biggest "feature" of GMStudio is generally how quick and easy to get things done it is with it, combined with the capability to do pretty much whatever you want via the scripting(GML) and shader implementation, combined with the multi-platform support it provides.  The amount of platforms it supports at the moment is massive.  It has all of the major ones, and a few minor ones too.  In fact, except for consoles, it supports more platforms that Unity does.  It supports Tizen and HTML5(including WebGL), neither of which is supported by Unity, though Unity currently has a web browser plugin and they have WebGL in the works if I'm not mistaken.  Basically, the point is in this package you get speed and capability in a very good balance.

 

I guess I can confirm answers to the actual questions too.

 

1.  It uses Drag&Drop, which is limiting though actually pretty capable.  It gets to the point that though you can do something with it, it is simply easier to do in code, especially when you start using multiple if statements.  Then you can(should) use GML, the scripting language.  It has similarities to Javascript/C/Basic/Delphi, but it is a thing all its own.  It is really capable though, and can do things like arrays, data structures, and most of the normal programming syntax(for, switch, do/while).

 

2.  For graphics, you can import several file formats.  The best one to use in my opinion is PNG, due to it having good support for alpha channels.  In the newest releases, it also supports flash graphics, though it is likely to have some rough edges as it is not in the stable branch yet.

 

3.  Yes, and you could render said character into animation frames(sprites) and load those in, or you could learn how to use GM's 3d and convert the models into file format that you can either find code to load or code yourself the loading into GM.  3d is a pretty weak part of the software though, so you won't find support for many 3d things internal.

 

4.  Cutscenes...you can roll your own pretty easily using timelines.  It would work like any other parts of your game though, either simply showing a few images one after the other(like comic books) or using in game graphics and making them move around via code(instead of player input).  If you want actual video from a video file, GMStudio doesn't support it internally.

 

5.  I think you can use the free version to publish to several places, including steam if I'm not mistaken.  But, the free version of GMStudio is truly more for evaluating, not like Unity's actually useful free version.  GMStudio has limits to resources in the free version and doesn't export to most of the platforms that it supports.

 

6.  It depends on what kind of career you want.  Alone, GMStudio wouldn't get you a programming job, as you would have to learn programming languages used on said job.  As far as game creation goes, it very well could help move a career along, especially if you were looking on the art side because you can easily get your art into your games.  It could also help with contracting work, as in somebody pays you to make a game, due to the above features it is good at that.  Lastly, there are more than just a few people who have gone indie using GameMaker, even version before GMStudio.  Some of that is a testament to hard work, design, art, etc... and not only the software, though the software does help make things faster, allowing games to be produced in less time.

 

7.  It does support iOS and Android(including OUYA).  The prices last I checked were $799 for the Master Collection, which includes everything.  The professional package is $99, which includes a few exports, but then you'd need $199 each for Android and iOS, so it could very well be a better deal to get the Master Collection.

 

8.  At the moment, there is no officially announced XBOX ONE support.  PS4/PS3/PS Vita exports(which you would get with a Sony Developer's package/SDK) are still in the works, with planned release dates of April 30th/May 30th/June 30th respectively.  Note that this assumes you get approved by Sony as a developer, but then you'd get GMStudio with those exports for free if I have it understood correctly.  There are rumors flying around that Yoyo is working on support for XBOX ONE and/or WiiU as well, but there haven't been any official announcements made that I have seen yet.

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For 2d games, I don't think it can be beat at all by much of anything, unless price or graphics features are the only factors.  Consider this.  Unity has the free version, which I admit is really good, especially for free.  For 3d games, it is probably the best in general free thing to use.  But for 2d, not so much.  Unity's 2d is pretty far behind GMStudio's capabilities . . .
Unity will be harder to get started with, but you can do so for free.
The biggest "feature" of GMStudio is generally how quick and easy to get things done it is with it, combined with the capability to do pretty much whatever you want via the scripting(GML) and shader implementation, combined with the multi-platform support it provides.  The amount of platforms it supports at the moment is massive.  It has all of the major ones, and a few minor ones too.  In fact, except for consoles, it supports more platforms that Unity does.

Really? GM supports more platforms at what price? How much harder is it to get started with unity?
Generally, unity is good for 2d, 3d and in-between (i.e. 2.5d), supports more platforms for less than GM's (2d wise). And when he wants to try 3d (or mix 3d with 2d), he doesn't need to change engines or pay.
My advice, try unity 2d and game maker (you don't need to pay to start with one) and then you can make your choice.

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For 2d games, I don't think it can be beat at all by much of anything, unless price or graphics features are the only factors.  Consider this.  Unity has the free version, which I admit is really good, especially for free.  For 3d games, it is probably the best in general free thing to use.  But for 2d, not so much.  Unity's 2d is pretty far behind GMStudio's capabilities . . .
Unity will be harder to get started with, but you can do so for free.
The biggest "feature" of GMStudio is generally how quick and easy to get things done it is with it, combined with the capability to do pretty much whatever you want via the scripting(GML) and shader implementation, combined with the multi-platform support it provides.  The amount of platforms it supports at the moment is massive.  It has all of the major ones, and a few minor ones too.  In fact, except for consoles, it supports more platforms that Unity does.

Really? GM supports more platforms at what price? How much harder is it to get started with unity?
Generally, unity is good for 2d, 3d and in-between (i.e. 2.5d), supports more platforms for less than GM's (2d wise). And when he wants to try 3d (or mix 3d with 2d), he doesn't need to change engines or pay.
My advice, try unity 2d and game maker (you don't need to pay to start with one) and then you can make your choice.

 

 

That is why I mentioned the price at the beginning.  I also forgot to mention the part about using 3d later.  Usually I mention that if someone would be interested in doing 3d later, that Unity would be better to learn even if only for 2d at the moment.  But besides consoles, what "more platforms" does Unity support of GMStudio?

 

Considering this, if you only want 2d, I'd agree with the recommendation to try both.  But if you would be interested in 3d at a later point, for sure put more attention to Unity.

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How does Unity support more platforms for less than Game Maker?

 

If you want to export a Game Maker game to Windows, Mac, Android, IOS, HTML5, Ubuntu, and Windows 8  you could purchase the master collection for $800. https://www.yoyogames.com/studio/buy

 

With Unity you would be paying $75 a month, plus $75 a month for Android and another $75 a month for IOS. That is a total of $225 a month for a subscription. If you purchased it all at once like with Game Maker, you would pay $1500 for Unity Pro, $1500 for IOS, and $1500 for Android. That is $4500. https://store.unity3d.com/products

 

I tried Unity 2D, but I personally found it more difficult to use than Game Maker. It is possible that I did not give Unity 2D enough of a chance. I have used Unity 3D and I found that good for working on 3D titles, I just felt that the 2D aspect was not as simple as some other tools.

 

For instance with Unity 2D (correct me if I am wrong) you have to place the sprites in basically what amounts to a 3D world (IE you still have a 3D camera). This can be really good and allow for a lot of flexibility. However I find that working with pixels in Game Maker it is more straight forward to place sprites in a 2d level.

 

I think that they are both very good tools and that both are worth a try.

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Wasn't 'I wanna be the guy' or the guy games done in GM? Those things are pieces of troll art. :)

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I've been using GM since I was about seven (11 years ago), and I've always loved it. For 2D games, it can't be beat. If you want to make 3D games, well...it's not so great in that department, without the use of DLLs, and you'll have a hard time finding those for GM:Studio. However, I think that Game Maker is a great way to learn about programming before moving on to a more complicated language. Lots of people will say that GM can't do anything, but it really is pretty powerful. If you wanna see a little bit of what it can do, here's some commercial games that were made with GM:

 

Gunpoint (http://store.steampowered.com/app/206190/) <-- Really fun, this one

Spelunky (http://store.steampowered.com/app/239350/)

Miami Hotline (http://store.steampowered.com/app/219150/)

 

Overall, it's fun, easy to use, fast, and pretty powerful. Once you've mastered GML, you'll be ready for pretty much any other language.

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Spelunky (http://store.steampowered.com/app/239350/)

Just a minor correction, in case anyone think Spelunky was made in Game Maker from our posts, the game that was made in Game Maker is actually the Spelunky Classic. It is free and open source (source available here). This linked Steam version is a complete reboot of the old game maker one, and never touched Game Maker.

 

But, as the author said... well, read Item 3 of this (extremelly relevant) article and see for yourselves.

Edited by dejaime

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Sorry Mate!! For that promotional activity. I will never do that again. But Game Maker Studio is great for beginners. You don't need any programming experience. There are lots of step-by step tutorials available and plus cross platform support. You can easily create 2d games with it. price is also lesser than others. But the main point is its great learning curve.

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      Workflow enhancements: a new innovative workflow and seamless path from DnD™ to actual code with multiple workspaces, user definable resource views, real-time updates from one editor to another, and cross platform source level debugging; Level editing features: new layer-based level editing gives developers the ability to create more complex visuals with backgrounds, tiles, instances, assets and paths. New features also include level inheritance to create multiple levels at once, and an advanced tiling system that automatically selects the right tile for the job; Cross-platform development: available for Windows (Vista and above) and soon for Mac OS X for target development across multiple platforms including Windows Desktop, Mac OS X, Ubuntu, iOS, Android (including Android TV, Amazon Fire and Fire TV), Microsoft UWP, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One; Native extensions: Game Maker Language (GML) supports all native targets to simplify the cross-platform development. Learn more at http://www.yoyogames.com/.
       

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    • By khawk
      YoYo Games is expanding the ways in which professional developers can get their hands on GameMaker Studio 2. The engine is now available as a console-only license and an all-in-one Ultimate license. Both the Console and Ultimate versions require users to be officially registered developers on all platforms for which they wish to useGameMaker Studio 2.
      Console
      Developers also now have the option to purchase a console-only license, which includes:
      A straightforward way to access powerful development tools for either PlayStation 4 or Xbox One; Provides the exact same game-engine functionality as the Ultimate version; Can be purchased for $799.99 per seat for a one-year license. Ultimate
      Videogame developers looking for a one-stop-shop route can now purchase the GameMaker Studio 2 Ultimate license, which allows: Cross-platform development for all supported platforms, including PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android and more; Admittance to all of GameMaker Studio 2's well-regarded support platforms and communities; Can be purchased for $1,500 per seat for a one-year license. "YoYo Games is a huge proponent of spreading the joy of game development to as many people as possible, as efficiently as possible," said James Cox, General Manager of YoYo Games. "Based on our experience, one of the best ways to do this is by giving our users many options for purchasing a game engine, each tailored for a certain situation – the Console and Ultimate versions help do exactly that."
      News of the Console and Ultimate versions come on the same day that YoYo Games is implementing the latest update to GameMaker Studio 2. Version 2.0.7 brings highly requested IDE features and fixes including:
      New image editor tools such as Blur and Reverse Frames; Rewrite of the engine’s start page for a better experience; HTML5 updates and bug fixes. To see a full list of changes coming to GameMaker Studio 2.0.7, please visit https://www.yoyogames.com/gamemaker/releasenotes.
      For more information on how to purchase the Console, Ultimate or any other version of GameMaker Studio 2, head to https://www.yoyogames.com/get.

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