We have just recently reached ten years since the launch of the first Game Maker version, so now seems quite an appropriate time to look at the past, present and future of the software. This also provides a nice round up of announcements from YoYo Games regarding their future.
At the event he gave an hour long presentation about using Game Maker in education and mentioned a few points that may be of interest to Game Maker users:
On Game Maker:
- Mark started developing Game Maker in 1998 when he wanted to teach his children about the concepts of Computer Science but they never used it.
- Maintaining and improving ease of use is a greater priority than adding new features.
- He is often asked “can you create a 3D Game Maker?” but says it will be too hard to use if it is a generic tool.
- Game Maker receives around 100,000 downloads a month (in Feb 2008).
- 12 year old girls “tend to create nicer games” than boys of the same age.
- Game Maker is used in Mark’s game design course but he would discourage people from using it for a real game programming course. This may be of interest to people who have been discussing a recent topic at the Game Maker Community about an Open University module on Game Design which uses Game Maker.
On YoYo Games:
- The goal of YoYo Games was “not really to make money with Game Maker or commercialise it” but “to create a social networking place for amateur game developers”.
- One of the goals of YoYo Games is to “become a publisher of casual games“.
- Something blatantly obvious to the majority of us: “most of the games [on YoYoGames.com] are absolute crap” with “1-2%” being “really good”.
- Open up Instant Play for websites other than YoYoGames.com
- Desire to port to consoles, mobile devices etc.
- Improving developer support through provision of free assets (e.g. sprites).
- Revenue sharing
- Potentially setting up sub-groups on YoYo Games for educational use
A video of Mark’s talk can be found at the Microsoft Faculty Connection website where it can be streamed or downloaded. Your reward for downloading the 185MB file is to see Mark perform a magic trick. No really.
For those who like to complain that we posted something late before later posting it on their sites: Yes I am aware this isn’t new. Now go and post it on your blog.