What format should I save my screenshot as?
The one vital rule:
If you don’t know the differences between different image formats, and how data relating to the picture is stored you might want to check out this article on Wikipedia about the way bitmap files are stored.
Using a bitmap, such as the 904KB image on shcorporation‘s freewebs site slows down your website hugely. Do you really think someone wants to sit and wait for an image to load just because someone can’t be bothered, or isn’t aware of how to make an image web-ready?
Okay, not a bitmap – but what should I use?
.gif, .jpg and .png are all fine.
Personally I prefer saving files in the .PNG (vector) format, because as wikipedia puts it, there are some distinct advantages over the other potential formats:
After asking if the community needs another magazine…
and being told
Creating your own magazine which you freely admit “is [half filled with] just stupid random crap.”
As featured in the May 2007 edition of the MarkUp Game Development Magazine
How many times have you started to play a gamemaker game before realising that the programmers ‘forgot’ to include full instructions and a control map?
Finding yourself playing a game for the first time without knowing what you are meant to or how to do it is daunting; however there are a lot of games out there which are just like this.
Some people make use of the ‘Game Information’ screen which can be set up in gamemaker, and viewed in most games, even if it has been left blank by the authors, by pressing [F1]. This however has very limited capabilities and can display only basic text.
Of course, for people unfamiliar with gamemaker they may not even know that help is available by pressing [F1]. So it is always best to include an external manual or full instructions which are clearly accessible from your games main menu.
A well-designed manual can include screenshots, graphics, annotated diagrams and illustrations such as a keyboard map of controls. There will also be room for a full introduction to the game, and you can even include hints for players to get more out of your game.
Creating an external manual is easy. It can be done using the most basic of software – a wordprocessor. Many games are distributed with a .txt readme file, however this usually contains just copyright information and is not suitable for a full professional-looking manual.
The beta version of Microsoft Office’s 2007 version of Word did contain a built in .pdf compiler so you could save your documents to be read by Adobe’s free Reader software. This however was removed from the official release, but is still available to install as a plugin from the Microsoft website.
Earlier versions of Word or other word processors can still be used by making use of free text-to-pdf converters such as pdf995.
There is no excuse for not including good instructions with your game. They can make the difference between someone trying and failing to play your game and someone playing and enjoying your game.
As featured in the May 2007 edition of the MarkUp Game Development Magazine – Download it now for more gamemaker articles, reviews and tutorials.Read More »
Annoying trait 3
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“That’s a retarded rule! Are they intentionally trying to discourage beginners or what? I wish you elitist developers didn’t lock your knowledge away from the rest of us! And quit acting like your better than everyone else! Not to you per se, but to advanced developers in general…most refuse to help people like me. “
People posting their website in the Web Site Announcements forum at the GMC are often met with a barrage of complaints about their choice of web-host, particularly if they have opted to use FreeWebs.
Let’s take a look to see this in action at the GMC: Sheepdawg Games – the first response simply reads ‘>.< freewebs’, Stubbja Productions – again the first reply tells the user not to use freewebs. Undead Gaming hold the record for managing not to have their choice of host mentioned until, wait for it, the third reply. Until that is someone with a username of at least 25 characters who obviously thinks that they look like a monkey replies with the highly intellectual phrase seen below:
monkey member can’t spell. And so full of reason, I like the way he justifies his attack on freewebs with a double b by doing nothing.
An article posted on the GMC last year attempted to explain What is wrong with FreeWebs, it summarises by giving 5 main points:
- FreeWebs contains ads, and other addons which most people never need.
- FreeWebs is a premade web builder, and it proves to be better to make a site by yourself.
- They have guesbooks, bad hit counters, and background music, which can distract people in some cases if your going to make a game site.
- The templates on FreeWebs rarely correspond to what content you use on your site.
- FreeWebs is becoming a mock-up copy of MySpace.
I don’t think that offering a wide range of addons is a bad point, nor is the fact that FreeWebs have their own WYSIWYG editor. Although it’s true, everyone does seem to use the same darn layout , ,  but you can’t blame FreeWebs for the lack of creativity that some people who use their services posses.
P.S My first gamemaker website was hosted by Freewebs, in fact it is still online but is not maintained and so is several years out of date.Read More »
Issue 3 of the MarkUp magazine has been released today.
Details about the magazine and the contents of the May eddition are avalible on the MarkUp website, so my advice to you is go there and download the mag.
My article on the importance of game manuals is on page 19.
Annoying trait 2:
Bumping your post every three minutesRead More »
A quick look back at what has become of issues mentioned during the previous week on gamemaker blog.
My first article has been included in the next issue of MarkUp gamemaker magazine, I’ve seen it in the final draft copy. The magazine will be released at the begining of May. And more of my content may be included in future issues of MarkUp.Read More »