It’s quite easy to underestimate the power of GameMaker at first glance, yet many developers use the popular game creation tool professionally as a means to supplement or even generate their entire income.
Below are five such individuals who have experienced commercial success in some form by using GameMaker:
1 – Sean Chan lands a job at Bungie
After spending over two years on his IGF nominated GameMaker game, Battleships Forever, long-time community member Sean “th15” Chan has since scored a job with the world-renowned development house Bungie. According to Chan, it was his work on Battleships Forever that prepared him for work as a game designer, and the game’s resulting IGF nomination that lead to an industry position. Chan bridged the gap from GML to C with a computer science course offered by DigiPen. He also thanked users on the GameMaker Community, a forum dedicated to the discussion of GameMaker.
2 – Tom Francis from PC Gamer magazine launches Gunpoint
In 2010, Tom “Pentadact” Francis was inspired by a favorite game of his so much that he decided to make his own. Francis relied on GameMaker to recompense for his lack of programming skills. In Francis’ own words, “I wanted to see if, with little time, less talent and no experience, I could make a game”. Three years and $30 later, Gunpoint was released. The positive reaction was so drastic that Francis decided then and there that he would never need a job again.
3 – Matthew Bowden earns up to $22,000 a month online
Working from home with a goal to make $50,000 during 2013 solely from online sources, Matthew “True Valhalla” Bowden is yet to see a day with an office job. The trick to his success, as demonstrated in his monthly online income reports, is the combination of several different sources of income, most of which are heavily focused around HTML5 technology; this includes sponsorships, mobile advertisements, and sales of his book Making Money With HTML5, within which he shares details of his successful use of GameMaker within the growing HTML5 scene.
He has also written an article titled How I Make A Living Using GameMaker which provides insight into his career choice.
4 – Elias Viglione releases multiple hits for Android
With 184,389 installations of his various applications as of January 2013, Elias “PanicBomber” Viglione makes enough money to live on using GameMaker. He says 70% of revenue comes from advertising, whilst 30% comes from in-app purchases. Viglione prefers to generate money with free applications, saying that advertisements and in-app purchases in his games “drive enough revenue for me, and free games are so much easier to market.”
5 – Jonatan SÃ¶derstrÃ¶m launches Hotline Miami
Veteran GameMaker developer Jonatan “cactus” SÃ¶derstrÃ¶m has developed over 40 games in his time, of which many have been critically acclaimed. SÃ¶derstrÃ¶m teamed up with Dennis Wedin in 2012 to form Dennaton Games, with the pair subsequently publishing their hugely popular hit, Hotline Miami. With positive reviews published by the likes of Eurogamer and GamesRadar, Hotline Miami has seen its fair share of success. Hotline Miami has since been ported to PS Vita and Playstation 3.
The success stories listed above are few of many. GameMaker has introduced millions of people across the world to the potential of game development; anyone can start making games. GameMaker is the ultimate beginner’s tool, though the success stories above demonstrate that it is also so much more.