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Developing in freeware, then buying a license to publish.

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I've been playing around in the Unity and GameMaker free trial versions to get to grips with basic retro style game making.

The games I am interested in making are fairly basic, typical 2D indie games with simple controls and functions. In most cases I seem to be able to fully build these games in the trial versions of each software (without needing any of the complex/more in depth features of the paid versions of the engines).

My question is this;

If I make a game in the free version of one of these engines and decide I want to publish it, will I be able to buy a paid version, open it in that and publish from the paid version (so I don't get the ugly Unity or GameMaker splash screens etc...). In other words, can I develop the game for free in the trial, then get a paid license when I am ready to release it to reap the benefits of publishing from a licensed version of the engine?

I'm not looking to dominate the world of indie titles or anything - but I'm learning fast and don't want to put my name to anything that looks sloppy upon release.

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In the case of Unity, the free version is not missing any actual features, so what you want should indeed work for Unity.

I understand that Gamemaker(new 2.0) in the trial version doesn't limit resources, though you can only test, not release, in the free version.  In the past, they have limited resources(like only having 20 sprites, and similar things) in the free versions, but for the new version I don't think that is the case.  If I'm right, you can do the same thing as you can with Unity, except that for Unity, you could release with the free version if you wanted to(accepting the splash screen), while with Gamemaker you cannot release at all on the free version.


In my experience, if you a really wanting nothing but 2d retro styled games, Gamemaker is likely going to be better for you.  If you are ever interested in doing something with 3d, then Unity would be better, even if you do 2d now and 3d later, because Unity can do both(though 2d isn't as good for retro style games with Unity as it is with Gamemaker), but Gamemaker is really bad if you mess with 3d(it can do it, but you have to do lots of coding yourself for it).

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