Game Maker Magazines
April 7, 2008
In the past few months we have seen the launch of a couple of new GameMaker magazines. First there was Mattthew_H’s Game Maker Magazine which released its first issue in mid-February and its second in mid-March. At the end of March we then saw the first issue of GMFetch magazine emerge with just four pages of content.
I will take this opportunity to collate information about all of the recent Game Maker magazines. I will give my opinions on the output and will also talk to some of the people behind the magazines. Whilst I will not be rating the magazines as such I may compare them and bonus points will be given for FredFredrickson interviews.
This is certainly a magazine on the up. Led by gamez93, who also writes for GameMaker Blog, GMTech have produced 11 issues and have recently undergone a dramatic design change.
There’s no FredFredrickson, but GameMaker Tech became only the second GameMaker publication to publish an interview with GameMaker creator Mark Overmars in their 10th issue.
As far as I am aware GMKing’s MarkUp has released more issues than any other GameMaker magazine to date, with the 13th issue due for release later this month. It hasn’t all been plain sailing though, the current form of MarkUp launched in February 2007 however there had been a previous version of the magazine which flopped.
It is widely accepted that GameMakerTech and MarkUp are the “big two” GameMaker magazines as they have large numbers of contributors and regular releases which many other magazines have not been able to match. Originally MarkUp focused more on the game development side of GameMaker whereas GMTech was a general community magazine, however in recent issues the boundaries have become blurred and both magazines focus on similar issues. People still have their favourites though…
Indie Game Central Magazine
Released its sole 23 page issue in May of 2007 with a rather unorthodox design. The text was quite hard to read both because of the fonts chosen and also because it appears that all text was converted to images prior to the creation of the pdf.
The future of the magazine died after a problem with the hosting. Drewdelz who lead the project writes “once the site went down it was a two month hassle just trying to get it back up. After we finally got it back and running, 3/4 of the staff had vanished, people lost intrest, and I was putting more of my time and efford into my own games. So the Mag stood no chance to come back.”
“Even still today, if I could put together a good sized and more devoted staff team, I’d still attempt to bring back IGCM.”
FredFredrickson interview on pages 17-18!
Containing a rather unfortunate word within its title this publication by nateistoraw/hardcoregamer24/prodigygm managed just two issues. The GameMaker content was, well, limited and of low quality – but there was only one writer. Nateistoraw does not have plans to create further issues “any time soon” which I’m sure will please some people.
Astonishingly for a GameMaker magazine Gnazine doesn’t feature any interviews in either of its issues.
“Its not about beating the competition – because weÊ¼ve already won!” [sic] screams the first issue of this “GameMaker Extension magzine” [sic] which contains just four pages of content despite having three contributors. It’s too early to see where this magazine will fit in, I guess we’ll just have to wait to see if a second issue appears and if it does whether or not it contains an interview with FredFredrickson.
Game Maker Magazine
By far the most original name, writes Philip Gamble of GameMakerBlog.com, this recently launched magazine is improving. The second issue in two months had 27 pages and looked very different from the first issue, however there has been criticism of the quality of writing which suffers from appalling grammar.
Issue 3 should be out around the 10th April and will be the first to be lead by new editor Broxter who is “one of the most hard working users” Matt has ever seen. FredFredrickson interview on pages 10 and 11 of the second issue.
Russell’s Quarterly is very different from all of the other magazines that have been mentioned so far. Not only does it not soley focus on the GameMaker platform, in fact “GameMaker” is only mentioned once in the 74 pages of issue 1, but it is a one-man no-frills-design output. The first issue was Winter 2007, so perhaps we should have already seen a second release for Spring 2008….
There is no FredFredrickson interview and I wouldn’t have expected one either as this is so unlike anything else the GMC has seen.
Game Makers Data Magazine
If not the first GameMaker magazine John Hempstead‘s Game Makers Data Magazine was certainly the first big GameMaker magazine to receive widespread recognition from the community. Released under Hempstead’s “Morphosis Enter-Active” banner four issues were produced in the years 2003 and 2004.
As well as being significantly longer than any of the magazines around today, GMDM also featured an exclusive first look at GameMaker 5 and columns written by Mark Overmars. But I can’t locate an interview with Martin Crownover!
The majority of GameMaker magazines fail after just one or two issues because people don’t have the time to commit to such a project on a regular basis. Whilst I believe that having just one community magazine is not the ideal I do feel that too many people needlessly create their own ‘magazine projects’ simply so they can be in charge. The efforts of editors and contributors would be far better spent improving one of the existing stronger magazines rather than a one-issue-wonder (perhaps for the wrong reasons!).
So far Game Maker Magazine has produced 2 issues in 2 months we will just have to wait and see if they progress or, if like so many other magazines, they fail after just a few months in existence. Matt from Game Maker Magazine says that he sees GMM “as a long term Gamemaker Magazine like GMTech or MarkUp”. It certainly will be interesting if they have grown to the size of MarkUp/GMTech in 6 months or so time.