2008 Review: Game Maker Magazines

Over the past year the fate of different Game Maker magazines has contrasted.  The year started with two strong magazines, GameMaker Tech and MarkUp, going head to head with their January releases.  However in 2008 these often praised publications had a troubled year, with both magazines releasing less frequently than they had done so in 2007 with both magazines managing just five releases in twelve months.

In February the well established magazines were joined by two new magazines – GameMaker Magazine, later renamed GameMaker Scope, and Tom Russell’s Quaterly magazine albeit not entirely focused on GameMaker.  Whereas Russell’s Quarterly has received acclaim for its high quality in-depth articles GameMaker Scope has been confined to the GameMaker Magazine graveyard – producing a commendable 5 issues in its short and often controversial lifespan.

Throughout the year we saw the usual dribble of low quality one-bored-preteen magazines releasing an issue or two before vanishing into the GameMaker wilderness under a torrent of abuse (some handed out by GameMaker Blog).  Highlights this year included GRandER and the perhaps inevitable return of Prodigy GM with a follow up to their 2007 attempt at Gnazinetwo issues of Prodigy Game Magazine.  Do you even remember GMFetch?, it all seems so long ago.

August saw the launch of GMWeekly which, until recently, released a GameMaker newsletter every Friday which has included tutorials, game reviews and puzzles.

Content wise the best was probably saved until the end of the year and the release of GameMaker Tech’s 14th issue which included an exclusive interview with YoYo Games CEO Sandy Duncan and a giveaway of 10 GameMaker Pro Licenses.

There is still time to vote for your favourite periodical publication of 2008 in the GameMaker Blog awards.  GameMaker Tech, GMWeekly, MarkUp and Russell’s Quarterly are the magazines in the final vote.  GMWeekly is also nominated for launch of the year.

What do you think?

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  1. 🙂 , Yes, it seems like where dead (GMS that is), but after stopping, and continuing the 6th issue, I think that it may be the last. Not entirely sure to be honest.

    I think that the problem was the lack of support as well as not getting many, I think about 5, for issue 5, which I worked on for all of my school break, as well as more. But now? Doesn’t really bother me.

    If I am going to continue, it would just be small issues, nothing big.

    Anyway, enough about myself and GMS. Congratulations to all of the other GameMaker Magazines out there! You’ve done a good year … Well, except for one, *cough*Hardcoregamer*cough*, but let’s not mention it, shall we? 😀

    And actually, I forgot completely about GMFetch until you mentioned it Phil! haha, I remember Gamma6 (I think it was) joining the GMS team for a very short time. I am sure Broxter would remember that, we weren’t quite sure.

    I am actually surprised that the year has gone by already, but remembering back to the start seems so long ago.

    Great article Phil, made me remember some things about the year.

  2. “Do you even remember GMFetch?” – Wow, I’d completely forgotten about that one!

    A very good round up Phil, I enjoyed reading it and remembering all the magazines that have been and gone this year. I wonder what 2009 will have in store for us…

Mid-week community links

2008 Review: Competitions