Having recently employed Paul Cosgrove alongside Lee Turner YoYo Games are currently in the process of redesigning areas of their website to attract more professional developers to their game creation software.
In an attempt to focus on the expanded capabilities of GameMaker itself, user created games are moved away from the homepage to an internal page on the website. Whether these game will fall under “Showcase” (8 above) or whether this will be reserved for just the very best games is not clear.
Here are some observations, thoughts and hopes on the above screenshot of the future YoYoGames.com homepage that was posted on Twitter earlier today by YoYo Games CEO Sandy Duncan.
1. There’s a darker look (to the homepage at least) and a new logo strapline as “putting you in the game” replaces “where the world comes to play, make and share games”.
2. Hopefully the new site will feature more consistent branding of YoYo Games’ game development software as “GameMaker” rather than the current mix of “Game Maker” and “GameMaker”. Well, except for “See what Game Maker can do” near the bottom of the screenshot!
3. Greater integration of the YoYo Game Store enabling visitors to purchase software directly from YoYo Games including GameMaker itself and games published to PC and Mac as well as providing links to install iOS and Android games. The YoYo Game Store is a relatively recent addition to the current site and at the moment is poorly integrated.
4. By moving DRM in-house and away from Softwrap from GameMaker 8.1 onwards registration problems should hopefully decrease and upgraded users will once again have a single contact. Support will be required for existing GameMaker users, professional developers as well as customers who have purchased apps published by YoYo Games. Hopefully the process of requesting support will be streamlined as it is currently unnecessarily lengthy.
5. Details about the expanding YoYo Games Ltd and its areas of business both as creator of game development software and publisher of games made using it.
6. Large HTML5 canvas to showcase various areas of the site and promote GameMaker. No doubt this will be made using the upcoming GameMaker Studio version which will enable GameMaker games to be exported to HTML5 format so that they are playable within the latest web browsers.
7. Greater amount of official introductory material such as tutorials to help beginners get started and intermediate users improve the quality of the games they create.
8. A good way to show off the capabilities of GameMaker on various platforms by providing links to play some of the best quality games on various platforms. YoYoGames.com currently has a “spotlight” section showcasing recent high quality games on the homepage of the site and the best games on the website appear in a “featured” section which shows by default when you enter the “Play” area of the website.
9. Easy access to the facts about GameMaker’s mobile device and HTML5 support and details of the various GameMaker Studio options available that will enable this.