Game Maker Magazines

on April 7, 2008 - 1101 Views

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.

GMTech

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.

MarkUp

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.

MarkUp was the first magazine to receive official recognition from YoYo Games. There is a FredFredrickson interview on pages 18-20 of issue 5.

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!

Gnazine

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.

GMFetch

“Its not about beating the competition – because weʼve 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

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.

15 Responses to Game Maker Magazines

  1. bendodge says:

    I must say, this is probably the best article you’ve had on this blog so far.

    But I have one quibble with this. I myself have included one large and one mini interview with FredFredrickson in GMTech, and I know we’ve had interviews with him that I didn’t write. So you might want to search the archives again (good luck searching PDFs :P ).

  2. Phil Gamble says:

    I wasn’t quite sure whether I could believe GMTech hadn’t had an interview with Fred, I had a quick look through and didn’t find anything – there were articles but I didn’t see a full interview. Spoke to gamez and he thought the same – if you do find it please post the issue/page reference :)

  3. gamez93 says:

    I don’t remeber a full interview with him, I only remeber little comments from him aswell as other members for things like the Users Opinions.

    I had a look through http://gmtechwiki.wikidot.com/interviews and also through the content pages list on the website and it’s not listed at all.

  4. gmjab says:

    Nice blog GMB! I don’t know if Mattthew_H(From GMM) knows this but the name “Game Maker Magazine” Has already been used by a previous magazine which I have a copy of.

    GMTM has had a few short interviews but nothing special. I believe FF has been overdone in many things so I prefer not to have a lot on him in the magazine.

    gmjab

  5. Tom Russell says:

    Thank you for the kind words. The first issue was published in February of this year; the second should be ready this May. It’s been slow going, as it’s still a one-man job and, as you can no doubt guess, in between making my own games, writing my own fiction, sending my feature film to festivals and being a happily married man with a job and a mortgage– well, it’s been slow-going. :-)

    I would like to mention that while I only mentioned Game Maker itself once or twice in my first issue, four of the five games I reviewed in the last twenty pages were Game Maker games; future issues will continue to be Game Maker heavy in the reviews section.

    Thank you again for the very kind words, and to Tuntis for blogging about the magazine when the first issue came out.

    ==Tom

  6. Broxter says:

    Hey, cool article. A very interesting read. I must state though that GMM Issue 3 will be released mid-to-late-April, and will definitely not be out by the 10th.

    Hahaha, Matt really thinks alot of me doesn’t he. :-)

  7. F1ak3r says:

    Russel’s Quarterly is the best of those magazines, IMO. I always wondered what happened to IGCM (I preferred it to GMT and MarkUp). Gnazine is just silly.

    MarkUp and GMT are pretty much equal. Both have their share of good and bad writers, and both have their share of overlooked spelling and grammar mistakes.

    I haven’t read GMM or GMFetch, but with a new editor, I think GMM may just become worth a download.

    I remember once considering starting my own GM magazine. GM OAR (Game Maker Opinions And Rants). I was going to have a simple white-on-black design, with very few pictures, and a whole lot of rants and articles about things in general (related to GM of course). Then I realized how much work it would be, and how unfit I was to commandeer a magazine, so I stuck with my 64Digits blogs.

  8. gamez93 says:

    @F1ak3r – It’s a lot of work to create a magazine, I am not sure when the last time you read GMTech was however it has gone through massive changes (new writers replacing older ones).

    It will be great to hear your comments on the current writers, and what changes can be made to improve it as just saying it has good and bad writers doesn’t help sort out the ‘bad’ writers.

  9. Phil Gamble says:

    GameMakerTech has got a lot better over the past 3 or so issues.

    If anyone else has links to any of the magazines you can remember or copies of ones not mentioned here please post a link, it will be interesting to see what else is out there.

  10. gamez93 says:

    Thanks for your comments, we are improving due to the amount of support and comments we are getting, hopefully these will continue to fly in.

    A major problem is finding enough realible people to join the magazine, and with so many different ones this makes it harder for magazines to keep on running.

  11. F1ak3r says:

    Yes, you have improved. I’ve noticed it. Let me look through the latest issue, and I’ll give my feedback. But I can appreciate how much work it is, and I commend you for that.

    Perhaps I’ve been a bit harsh to you and MarkUp in the past. It’s just that my first impressions of your magazines weren’t wonderful. But first impressions are often incorrect.

    Right, I’ll go through the latest issue as soon as I get the time. I’m not sure if my complaints are specific to it. It’s just that all the issues seem to melt into one, if you know what I mean. I apologize if I’ve pointed out mistakes that have already been fixed.

    Just because I like typing, I’ll put a few positive thoughts here. I’ve complained too much, now I must compliment:
    1. Polystyrene Man, Tom Russel, and ESA are great people to have as staff members. Well done on getting them.
    2. You guys don’t have an irrational dislike of 64Digits. That’s good too.
    3. I like the stuff that your magazine comes with. It’s like buying a real magazine, and getting a cover disc.

  12. ESA says:

    Ha, normally I don’t comment on this site. Actually, this is my first time. I must say, this blog entry was very informative, as it introduced me to several magazines I’ve never heard of before.

    It was just by chance that I clicked a URL linking to this page, actually.

    I like GMTech’s unbiased approach on issues, but I like reading MarkUp’s articles as well.

    F1ak3r: Thanks for the compliment! :D I think I told you before, but you should really write as well. Sorry if I didn’t…
    Unfortunately, Polystyrene Man left a while ago, around the time when I joined GMTech. Tom Russell is clearly an excellent addition to the staff, though.

  13. gamez93 says:

    Thanks for your comments, I look forward to a review of some of the issues.

    I have seen a few of your blogs, and if you are interested you could join GMTech as a writer or reviewer.

  14. F1ak3r says:

    Thanks for the offer. I may just do that.

    I’ll post a review of one or two of the issues somewhere on your forums tomorrow.

  15. [...] members: Chronic, KCLC, NakedPaulToast and of course FredFredrickson who is perhaps more famous for his appearances in Game Maker magazines than anything [...]

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