Sandy Duncan Interview: Game Maker HTML5 Addon

on March 3, 2011 - 2227 Views

In this section: Game Maker to HTML5 export, Game Maker to ActionScript discussion

Sandy Duncan: For 4 years we’ve had an on-off discussion about whether or not we could make a Game Maker for ActionScript, we decided that you could but you would have to take a big leap from bitmap to vector graphics and textures are all done differently. Mike and Russell said we should favour HTML5 over Flash.

I went to an event called Casual Connect, a casual games conference held each February. It was a real eye opener, a whole bunch of things came out of it. One of them is social features – how can you connect games like on Facebook games. Clearly this is an area with a lot of demand and interest and we would like to think about Game Maker games doing some of the things you see on Facebook for example.

A lot of people there were talking about HTML5 and there was one company who said they would be very interested if we could make Game Maker export to HTML5. With that one company in mind I took Mike and Russell off everything else including Game Maker 8.1.

The progress they made surprised themselves never mind me and Mark Overmars. Everyone was blown away with just how much progress had been made, I would have been pleased to say “Here’s catch the clown” as a proof of concept that Game Maker could eventually end up as JavaScript. The guys did most of the work over the weekend, it was 8 days not 2 weeks work!

The project is currently on hold but it won’t take anything like we’d been estimating it would to get it complete. For something that had been floating around for the last four years it is something that is much more real than we had ever expected.

It was and still is essentially a proof of concept but that could change dramatically over a period of days not weeks or months. We want to get Game Maker 8.1 out of the door first though, that’s our priority.

If we do HTML5 I can guarantee you that it’s a product. It’s not something for us to play with.

I’ve called it an addon as I want people to realise that it’s not an upgrade to Game Maker. We live with the legacy of this $25 product, I just want to try and help people understand as early as possible that it might not be another $25 product here. It won’t be thousands, it won’t even be hundreds.

We’re making Game Maker potentially not just something for people who want to get into games but people who are already involved in making games and a higher price in someways helps people value the product. Absolutely no decision has even been made as to whether we will do the product yet, never mind the pricing.

This is an edited transcript and is not a word-for-word account of the interview but it accurately reflects portions of the conversation that took place.

16 Responses to Sandy Duncan Interview: Game Maker HTML5 Addon

  1. Interesting to hear they considered Flash compilation. Shame they decided against it, really.

    • Israel RN says:

      I don’t see the point of Flash compilation.

      If you want to make a Flash game, well… there’s Flash already, with many open source libraries and engines devoted to game development.

      HTML5 is supossed to be supported universally soonish… so, I think if they had to choose between Flash and HTML5, they did choose right.

    • Ethan says:

      I agree, I wish they would have went with Flash too.

  2. Jack Hatfield says:

    So like $75…?

  3. Dangerous_Dave says:

    I hope they do go bigger and better with Game Maker, but I also hope they stagger the pricing. The $25 price tag is a big reason why some people use GM instead of other development tools. I think there should be a free version as there is now, a $25 version (+inflation), and a professional version, say $99. Each version would get upgrades, but the $99 version would have things such as HTML5 export and potentially iDevice export. This will help with the issue that YoYo are worried about, with GM games being spammed to the iDevice stores. $99 to get a version of GM that can export to the devices, $99 for an app store licence, this would mean only serious developers would get as far as submitting to the app store.

  4. DaSpirit says:

    I suppose they will make a version higher and better than Pro. Is it just me, or has this been hinted before?

  5. mcoot says:

    This.

    Yes! This is exactly how I’d want a HTML5 addon to be structured. Having some kind of tiered price structure, even in just a basic ‘addon’ form would allow Game Maker to become more of a professional product without leaving newbies behind.

  6. ugriffin says:

    Thirded. I agree completely, make the ‘High End’ expensive.

    And give the high end decent 3D, for god’s sake.

    Phillip, can you pretty please post the GM4Mac thing next? :D

  7. NakedPaulToast says:

    “I just want to try and help people understand as early as possible that it might not be another $25 product here. It wont be thousands, it wont even be hundreds.” — Sandy

    I having real trouble understanding what Sandy is trying to say here. It’s not going to be cheap, it’s not going to be expensive, it’s not going to be mid-range???

    Ironic that the most hard to understand portion of the interview starts off with ”
    I just want to try and help people understand…”

  8. NakedPaulToast says:

    “I just want to try and help people understand as early as possible that it might not be another $25 product here. It wont be thousands, it wont even be hundreds.” — Sandy

    I’m having real trouble understanding what Sandy is trying to say here. It’s not going to be cheap, it’s not going to be expensive, it’s not going to be mid-range???

    Ironic that the most hard to understand portion of the interview starts off with “I just want to try and help people understand…”

    • Tim says:

      He’s saying it will be somewhere between $26 and $199 (or $99 depending on how you literal you take “hundreds”.)

  9. James says:

    Yes. I wrote my HTML 5 runner in 2 days.

  10. [...] maintained that the ability to export games in HTML5, if ever completed, would be released publicly as a product rather than being restricted to users of their publishing services.  No comments had been made [...]

  11. [...] attending the event last year interest expressed by one company in HTML5 social gaming lead to YoYo Games CEO deciding to push [...]

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