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MarkUp Issue 4 – A review

As I mentioned a few days ago the fourth issue of MarkUp has now been released. I know many of you will already have downloaded it.

At 24 pages it is the largest edition to date and included a review of the commercial game Heroes of Might and Magic V (not made in gamemaker). I have to admit I am puzzled by the presence of this in what is after-all a game development magazine rather than a general gaming magazine – or did I miss something? (I didn’t read the article).
A couple of articles I had written appeared in the magazine – one on effective screenshots and a review of Forted previously seen on gamemakerblog. This brought some criticism which if you regularly read this blog you will probably know about. However sadly this changed to a debate about the merits of popcorn and the origins of the word maize.

I have to admit I thought there was something ‘not quite right’ about this issue although I can’t really point it out with my finger. It just didn’t seem to, well it’s hard to describe, but it just didn’t seem right. Sure there were some excellent articles and graphics, but some irritating things really came to light when I was reading through.

Whilst the text in articles is well spaced out the actual layout of the elements on the pages seemed a little crammed, white space is your friend. I think the creative commons information on the cover should be moved – I know this isn’t a standard magazine you can go and buy at a newsagents or supermarket – but the front cover is the prime real-estate of a magazine, a chance to sell the magazine to passing punters – this information could easily be included at the end of the magazine or on a new contents page.

I think the mix of ‘wordy’ (hope that term isn’t offensive) articles and tutorials, such as is on pages 4 and 5, doesn’t really mix. I understand there may be space constraints but it just seems strange to mix coding and comment on the same page.

I appreciate the hard work everyone puts in to creating the MarkUp magazine, I for one certainly wouldn’t have the time to manage a project like it a the moment, and in my opinion MarkUp remains the number one gamemaker magazine out there. However I believe this criticism is valid and will help the MarkUp magazine develop.

Issue 5 of MarkUp will be about multiplayer games – you can find out more at the GMKing forum.

What do you think?

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  1. I agree w/ the HMM article critisism (though it was good), and definitly w/ the legal stuff (perhapse you should do a back cover to that wraps w/ the front cover, that would make it easy for me to actually print it as a magazine… much nicer than reading on my pc)

    But I also think it’s the best edition so far, I loved reading your review and some of the techy articles (my favorite part)…

    – Leif

  2. Yeah, definitely, the layout is a bit odd for monitor reading. But, I haven’t seen a better looking layout out there, so, I’m out of ideas of that. I’d love some ideas though 🙂
    That said, I still think MU4 is the best issue we’ve released content-wise. For some reason I like the MU3 color scheme and cover better…..not sure why 😛


  3. First of all, I agree with most (all-1) of your remarks about MarkUp. Though I agree there were things that were ‘not quite right’ with this issue, I still _have_ to view it as the best we’ve done so far.

    For the Commercial Game review, Heroes of Might and Magic V, here’s what I think: MarkUp is a Game Maker magazine, we’ve made that choice and stick to it. But I don’t think a review of a game not made with GM goes against that.

    A game maker magazine should only talk about Game Maker in terms of coding, techniques, etc. But then, a review is another story. We don’t review games just to showcase the GM games out there, we review games so that game designers could learn from their others mistakes, and try to ‘imitate’ (not copy) the good points of other games.

    About the copyright, hell yeah – I agree.

    As for the fact that it is crammed – I totally agree, but I’m afraid nothing could’ve been done about that. We try to avoid that as much as we could be posting images and stuff like that, but sometimes, there’s just nothing to post.

    Hopefully with the new MarkUp forum will allow us to publish each article as soon as it has been formatted, allowing people like you to share such thing with us before its too late 🙂


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