The first publicly available version of GameMaker:HTML5 has been released, a beta, which can be purchased for $79 using a coupon. From Tuesday next week the price will rise to $99 and when the first “full” version is released that will jump to $199.
You can buy GameMaker:HTML5 here.
Writing on Twitter about today’s release the Game Maker founder Mark Overmars tweeted “If you buy it you get it immediately and can create your first HTML5 game in minutes.” An option on the new Welcome screen enables GameMaker 8.1 editable files to be imported, allowing the software to live up to Mark;s words. There is no option to import an editable file directly from GameMaker for Mac as currently the GameMaker:HTML5 IDE is only available for Windows.
The release had clearly been highly anticipated by some, a few users had downloaded and installed the software before it was officially ready to go and shortly after the announcement YoYoGames.com was experiencing a heavier than normal server load. Throughout the afternoon converted PC GameMaker games have been appearing online. Every game I tested ran smoothly and was as responsive as desktop-based GameMaker games on my 3 year old laptop using Chrome.
Although I assume that the vast majority of those using GameMaker:HTML5, at least during its beta stage, will own the existing “Standard” GameMaker it is perhaps worth noting that GameMaker:HTML5 can also export games in .exe format. The drop down menu which lets you toggle between testing and exporting a game in .exe or HTML format seems a bit laborious given it only lists two options.
Immediately obvious when you first activate the software with your licence code is the IDE skin, very different to the colour scheme used in all previous versions of GameMaker. For some reason this reminded me of OpenTTD! The skin can be disabled under File -> Preferences but when it’s gone you aren’t back with the GameMaker 8.1 appearance but a strange autumnal mix of browny-orange, white and grey.
As far as features go we already knew what we would be getting, most of the functions from the the desktop versions of GameMaker have been transferred across. There’s currently no 3D support but it will arrive later.
There has already been an update and with an built-in updater these look set to continue. There is currently an issue with the the way topics are listed in the help file which limits access to the function documentation. As with GameMaker 8.1 you can choose between receiving all updates or restricting yourself to those which have been more thoroughly tested first.
Game Maker Studio Discount and Promotions
YoYo Games’ Sandy has said that those who buy GameMaker:HTML5 will receive a discount “that will be at least $99″ on the full purchase price of Game Maker Studio when that is released.
Community Manager Kirsty wrote on the GMC “watch out on our twitter and facebook for promotions later this and next week!”