Round-up of other Game Development Tools news

on August 2, 2010

Time for a quick look at developments taking place to various free Game Maker alternatives which may be of interest to Game Maker users.

Scirra’s open-source game creation software Construct still receives regular updates and version 1 should be out very soon.  A brief comparison of Game Maker and Construct which I wrote last year remains one of the most popular articles on GMB.  Ashley Gullen from the Construct project recently revealed (in a Russian interview) that they have already decided to plan a complete rewrite for Construct 2 which will have some kind of commercial option and the ability to create games for use on other platforms.

Gendai Games who are behind the GameSalad iPhone Game Maker have recently secured $1M of funding and are currently recruiting.  A week after the launch of Apple’s iPad more than 10% of the 100 best selling games were developed using GameSalad.  The fact that tools such as GameSalad have been allowed to continue means that there remains a possibility of a future version of Game Maker offering the option to create games for a variety of iDevices.

Stencyl, labelled vapourware by many, is currently promoting the fact that the cross-platform tool can be used to create flash games.  I applied to the beta ages ago, heard nothing and now many months on there is still no public version.  To be honest I’ve lost all interest in the project though it will be good to see how it compares to Game Maker if a public release ever becomes available.

FlashpunkThe Flashpunk ActionScript library has attracted a small following of members of the Game Maker community.  Development of the framework which is intended to be used to design 2-dimensional flash games has been ongoing with the latest change made yesterday.

James Garner (interview) from DSGameMaker has a cross-platform easy game creation utility lined up to be his next project after version 5 of DSGM is released.

It will be interesting to see whether these new game development tools take people away from Game Maker or instead draw a new crowd of people to “easy” game development.

20 Comments

  1. Noel says:

    Out of all of these, I’ve only used Flash Punk, but I absolutely love it. Many aspects of it are similar to Game Maker, and I think it’s a great alternative (or something to try after you’ve gotten a hang of coding).

  2. Brad says:

    Yea I’ve also only tried FlashPunk and DSGameMaker. I absolutely love flashPunk. Unfortunately, I’m horrible at making single player games.. For now I’m sticking with Game Maker MMO games. I made an awesome game in flashPunk, but unfortunately the Box2D physics engine I used wasn’t quite powerful enough for what I was doing. I may continue the project later.

    Generally, I keep trying to move from GM to other languages such as flashPunk or Allegro5/C++, but I keep getting contacted by artists to make another GMMORPG.

    My current plans are to finish my current GMMORPG project, and it’s going to be my last project with game maker.

    I’m also going to write a C++/Allegro 5 game engine structured similar to flashPunk mainly for personal use.

    Construct looks quite nice, but it looks too similar to Game Maker. I’m at a point where its easier for me just to use C++ or flashPunk, because If I’m going to do a serious project, I want power and customization. If I want to make a simple game, throwing something together in C++/flashPunk is no longer as much as a challenge as it was about a year ago when I first started moving away from GM.

    Glad to see an article showing game maker alternatives. Nice article!

    P.S. Has any one tried Flixel?

  3. Noel says:

    @Brad: Yeah, I’ve tried Flixel, I made a small platform engine in it a few months ago (before FP was out). Some people prefer it over FlashPunk (for various reasons), but I personally like the design and way Flashpunk is handled and built more.

    They’re both Flash game libraries, and they both do relatively similar things, so it really comes down to what you personally prefer to use, and how you want to make your game.

  4. I tried flixel quite a while before FlashPunk’s release and I failed epicly.

  5. I tried Flashpunk, I understood it, then it changed and now I’m using Flixel. :/

    Also, I applied for the Stency beta and was accepted like, a day later. It’s pretty good, but it’s kinda… simple.

  6. Really? I agree FlashPunk has changed quite a bit but I’ve taken the time to familiarise myself again and I understand it quite well. How are you finding flixel?

    And haha, I bet the Stencyl guys knew you from the indie scene!

    • Just replying to what you asked on Twitter:

      It’s all drag and drop (as far as I know, I haven’t had the time to do more than toy with the demo games), so it’s similar to GM in that sense, but it’s a lot more customizable and organized (things get their own thumbnails, you set up your own variable things, the list of actions is highlighted).

      Also, I’m finding Flixel pretty good. It’s been around longer than FP, so there’s a heap of open source projects and tutorials and all that kinda stuff. FP did help me learn how FlashDevelop works though, so it was a lot easier to pick up this time around.

    • Cool. :)

      And guess what? I got accepted into the Stencyl beta today! :P

  7. Elmernite says:

    I’me taking a stab at Flashpunk. It is quite an adjustment. It is similar to GM, but extremely different. Which keeps tripping me up. I’m like this works like this in GM, it must be the same in Flashpunk…. Nooooooooo.

    -Elmernite

  8. xot says:

    So far only made a half-hearted effort with FlashPunk. I think the library looks great, I’ve been excited about it since day one, but learning general AS3 syntax and structure has been a bit of a bear. If I can just get over that hump, I think FlashPunk might open a lot of doors for me. Any tips for someone without proper OOP training?

  9. po2devs says:

    also include http://www.flashgamecreator.net a GM like application for creating Flash games

  10. Elmernite says:

    Ouch, could be hard going. But I think you’ll manage to wrap your head around it. Me advice would be to read some tuts on Actionscript that way you can get the new syntax down.
    -Elmernite

  11. Just to build on a Twitter conversation I noticed (I think it included a “George” of some kind…), it’s really nice to have a GM blog that provides interesting posts, even outside-GM ones (which remain interesting and don’t make me want to suddenly desert GM), instead of just copying over everything the YYG glog :)

  12. Mik says:

    I love Construct – I posted a video/article about what a 100% total noob could do in four hours using it: http://www.crudepixel.com/Development/the-4th-hour

  13. theg721 says:

    Has anyone tried 3D RAD? It’s a nice little tool that I quite like: 3Drad.com.

  14. SWsoftware says:

    there is a similar program called “Game Develop”
    http://www.en.compilgames.net/?file=kop1.php

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