What Kinds of Games Are You Able to Create?
Instead of talking about the games you could theoretically make with GameMaker, let’s look at some of the actual, well-known, and critically acclaimed indie games that have been created with this engine.
Blazing Chrome, Hotline Miami, Rivals of Aether, Spelunky, Hyper Light Drifter, Katana Zero, Nidhogg, Downwell, Gunpoint, Heat Signature, Nuclear Throne, Undertale, Wandersong, VA-11 Hall-A, and Barkley Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden are some of the games developed by GameMaker.
Some of the most popular indie console, mobile, and PC games from the last few years are included on this list.
The genres represented are platforming roguelikes, drug-fueled top-down shooters, cyberpunk visual novels, and comedy-basketball RPGs. GameMaker allows you to create anything you can imagine.
That is, for the most part, correct. All of those games are 2D if you look closely enough. GameMaker allows you to include limited 3D graphics in your games, primarily geared toward 2D games. Consumer-level game development tools rarely include 3D functionality.
Fuze4 has it, but its games cannot be exported from the Nintendo Switch. AppGameKit Studio and Godot authorize you to incorporate 3D graphics into your game, but they need a higher level of technological expertise.
A genuinely professional program, such as Unity or Unreal Engine, is necessary for 3D development.
Using GameMaker to Create
GameMaker requests if you want to use GameMaker Language (GML) or Drag and Drop when you first create a project (DnD).
GameMaker supplies two step-by-step video tutorials for producing the identical Asteroids clone game in either language, so try them both and visit which one works best for you.
While the tutorial is helpful, it is preferable to have prior coding experience before diving into GML.
DnD is the best option for true beginners. This is GameMaker’s visual programming phrasing, which transforms finicky if/then statements into digestible unions.
DnD previously gave you far less control over your game than GML. You can now create a complex game without writing code, thanks to many premade behaviors.
That’s understandable because even this simple language can quickly become complicated. You still have a lot of math to do and a lot of assets to generate.
You control the frame rate, the physics for spaceship movement, variables for randomly spawning rocks, and explosion animations when bullets collide with their targets in the Asteroids game. The challenge was enjoyable for me.
DnD is less complicated than coding, but it’s close enough in concept that I believe my skills will transfer. You can even convert DnD scripts to GML or write bits of GML and use them as discrete functions in your DnD projects.
As a result, GameMaker outperforms visual-heavy software like Constructor Stencyl and code-only software like AppGameKit Studio or Fuze4.
As your game grows in scope, GameMaker’s interface assists you in keeping your project under control.
For example, there’s a significant workspace and tabs for editing game features like level rooms and sprite images. I like how the workspace brings together visual and coding elements.
Seeing sprite animations, the objects to which those sprites are linked, and the code for that object all in one place makes it simple to keep track of different game elements and spot potential problems.
Construct’s workflow, which divides visual features and programmed occasions into different Layout and Event sheet tabs, is better than GameMaker’s.
The layout of GameMaker reminds me of how Twine’s interactive text stories are intuitively laid out but with more elements.
Given that Opera recently acquired GameMaker’s parent company, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a version of GameMaker run in the Opera GX gamer browser, much like Construct and Twine do in web browsers.
The popularity and user base of GameMaker grows as more high-profile games are released. GameMaker’s excellent and robust community marketplace, free tutorials, and example games should be used.
You can browse for top-rated demos, animations, sound effects, scripts, backgrounds, and other valuable assets to run up your process or know perfect new techniques. The majority of the items I saw in the market were either a few dollars or nothing at all.
Make Video Games
GameMaker was first released in 1999, and I played around with an early version of the program many years ago. I was a naive kid who wanted to steal Nintendo games, but I recall being disappointed that the process wasn’t as simple as the name implied.
Whether you’re a coding prodigy or own never thought of sprites before, GameMaker Studio 2 delivers on its promise of allowing you to create original video games.
No matter how much it costs, investing in its power and publishing capabilities never feels like a waste.
- Game creation in 2D and 3D
- Programming languages that are both visual and text-based
- Exports to the web, mobile devices, PCs, and consoles, including the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X
- Options for a perpetual license
- A strong marketplace
- Publishing on consoles is expensive.
A conundrum confronts consumer video game development software. If the tools are too simple, you won’t learn the advanced skills you’ll need to advance your career.
However, if the devices are overly complicated, you will become too frustrated to continue. GameMaker Studio 2 hits the perfect balance by welcoming beginners while allowing those with the time (and money) to simply invest in their indie fun dreams.