Following a recent interview with CEO Sandy Duncan, YoYo Games CTO Russell Kay has also been interviewed on Microsoft Development Radio, using the time to explain his view on the differences between using ‘Drag & Drop’ and code in GameMaker.
You can watch the video below.
Kay, based in Scotland, is responsible for overlooking the engineering of GameMaker. He believes the reason many people start off with Drag & Drop is because the thought of avoiding coding is attractive. As time passes, amateur GameMaker users split into two main groups as they mature; those who adopt coding using ‘GameMaker Language’ to fully realize the software’s capabilities, and those who remain with Drag & Drop as a preference. Kay estimated that at any given time around 60% of GameMaker’s millions of users relied on code while the other 40% used Drag & Drop.
Kay mentioned that GameMaker Studio is closing the gap between Drag & Drop and GameMaker Language in regard to functionality. In particular, he noted that Drag & Drop actions are now converted into GameMaker Language when packaging a completed project. The implication of this is that all code has a Drag & Drop equivalent, and both methods will result in the same game with the same performance. It is worth remembering that this level of compatibility between the two methods does not exist in previous GameMaker 7 and GameMaker 8 versions; Drag & Drop cannot fully match the abilities of GameMaker Language in those releases.
Having said this, Kay did note the limitations of the Drag & Drop interface; in particular, GameMaker Language is a better solution for more complicated concepts, such as loops. Another minor limitation is that Drag & Drop does not fully cover OS-specific functions (for example, only GameMaker Language can fully harness the power of Windows 8 Live Tiles and Charms).
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