Interview with Game Maker 8 Logo Creator

Yesterday YoYo Games revealed the new logo that will be used to represent Game Maker 8. As expected some members of the community have been very vocal in their opposition to it with one petition attracting 500 signatures in 18 hours asking for the logo to be replaced. I expect that between them the signatories have at least 50 different designs which they believe should represent Game Maker.

Sadly the immaturity of some Game Maker users has lead to a YoYo Games staff member being compared to Hitler and the creator of the winning logo design receiving hate e-mails.  Clearly unacceptable behaviour regardless of your opinions on the change although I do hope that the people who posted saying that they would never use Game Maker again do leave.

Caught in the middle of YoYo Games’ decision and the abuse thrown by some towards the design is the logo’s creator, Albert Zak.  Early this afternoon I spoke with Albert to get some background on his design and his thoughts on the communities reaction to it.

Albert Zak - Creator of Game Maker 8 LogoWhat was your inspiration for the design?
I mostly worked by the one rule Sandy posted, “to fit better with the YYG branding”. Incidentally, most inspiration came from YoYo Games itself. Looking at their logo and at this page clearly set the art direction. Much criticism was made against the “hideous” mouth, which (as a few pointed out) took maybe a bit too much inspiration from Yahoo IM.

Does your design symbolise anything in particular about Game Maker?
Obviously the logo should represent what Game Maker really is all about. For one part, that’s the smiley face depicting fun – playing and making games is undoubtedly a lot of fun. It could also be seen as representing the word “game” in the name Game Maker. The cog symbolizes the process of creating them, or the “Maker” part in the name.

Brainstorming the new Game Maker logo design (click to enlarge)

What program(s) did you use to make the logo?
The logo was entirely made in Adobe Illustrator. I have never used any vector apps before; after reading the initial announcement just three days before the deadline, I decided to download the Illustrator demo and enter the contest. Luckily there are tons of free training available on the internet, it took less than 2 hours of tutorial-watching to make me believe that I knew enough to create the logo.

Did you submit more than one design?
Initially I wanted to redesign the hammer, but later realized there will probably be too many similar entries to really stand out. Sandy then added he was looking for something completely new; so I ditched my hammer designs and went on to some brainstorming. It didn’t take long for the final idea to pop up. I was never 100% satisfied with the execution. Specifically I couldn’t find a way to make the eyes look more appealing, and the text didn’t look good when properly capitalized.   I didn’t have the time to think up any more designs, much less to actually make them.

Game Maker 8 logo design iterations (click to enlarge)
Game Maker 8 logo design iterations

Did you feel confident once you saw the other finalists you were up against?
Totally. I’m generally a pretty confident person (some may refer to this as cocky) still I remained positive all the time. To tell the truth I got even more confident when I saw my competitors’ creations than I was when there wasn’t much known about them. I’m absolutely not saying they’re bad, but I can clearly understand why YYG didn’t choose them as the final logo.

How did it feel when you saw the criticism that was directed at your logo?
Most of the comments were just plain immature and really couldn’t be taken seriously. On the other hand, I loved the originality and great lengths of effort some of the commenters took to express their frustration with not being the winner – there’s even a game aiming to destroy the new logo! I guess nobody, not even Sandy himself, would have expected so much ranting (let’s say “heated discussion”), but eventually everyone will calm down as they realize there’s just no point in childish complaining. I’m however still kind of puzzled why only 8% picked this as their favorite, but I’m glad Sandy and a few others realized what’s really behind this logo. Of course I still feel great about having won and having defined part the future of Game Maker.

Based on the maturity levels I have seen elsewhere regarding the logo sadly I feel it necessary to make it clear that Zak submitted just one of over 500 designs that were entered into the logo contest and obviously did not make the decision that his would be the winning design.  Hateful comments directed towards him will not be tolerated.

What do you think?

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  1. Its a nice logo, but I find not suitable for GM. I can understand what the logo was inspired from and its meaning is clear – fun. But GM is already not taken particularly seriously by many. I don’t think this logo would help the cause.

    Although it would be an awesome icon to be shipped with GM as premade content (you know, the way they provide backgrounds and sprites to get you started).

  2. The logo is not bad persay, just not fitting for GM. If it wasn’t for the smiley, it could be very nice looking.

    But people severely underestimate the power of logos. It may not make too many people who are already using GM stop using it, but Yoyo Games really needs new customers. As has been reported on this site, YYG isn’t exactly making a profit, and turning off the sort of people who would make decent games (which would then prompt more people to try and make games, seeing that decent games can be made) if they tried isn’t going to help.

    The logo is the first (second if you count the YYG logo) indication of what GM is like that new users will get, and if they see an obsessed smiley face staring at them, they will be less likely to download and try.

  3. This is utter nonsense. You choose a design for its stupidly simplistic symbolism, while not considering any sort of design appeal? You must be out of your minds! But it’s even more unbelievable that you would publish an interview with the artist! And right after the initial announcement, and all of the hate that came after that! You’re literally throwing the dog a bone here. This entire interview is practically begging for people to make fun of it, not to mention YoYo Games and Gamemaker itself! You honestly believed that this would force us into an understanding majority as to why the logo was chosen and why it should be appreciated? Or in the very least belittle us into a respectful majority by insulting our intelligence and maturity? No soul can be mature when horse feces reaches our line of sight. Take this entire interview off the blog. This update alone, (not to mention the logo), is a complete disgrace to Gamemaker, the software’s users and YoYo Games.

  4. I don’t mind smilies, but that’s one of the worst smilies I’ve ever seen. The eyes are horrible, and the mouth is way too large. No sense of design in the whole thing at all. The cog is ok I guess, but the color selection on the thing as a whole is just bizarrely poor.

    Being seen using anything that has this logo is more embarrassing than farting in public.

  5. This is ridiculous! The community voted, and you just brushed us off and chose the VOTED WORST logo.
    this peice of crap only got 8%! 8%! thats not even 1/10th of the 522 people! what ever happened to majority rules? I thought that GM8 was supposed to be about what the PEOPLE wanted! Mac support, better scripting, aplha support, trigger functions. But did you guys include the logo we wanted? of course not!
    you forget we’re your customers, we choose what we buy, I’m only sticking with GM because im good at it. Otherwise I’d Ditch it for construct, gamesfactory, hell i’d even ditch it for a program called Scratch (entirely code based) or my TI84+ calculators code editor!

    You guys need to rethink this, because while it wont drop sales, its gonna put a huge damper on them. No one wants THAT on their desktop.
    thoughts that friends are gonna think when i show them games and that stupid logo comes up:
    GM7 logo: “It’s a simpler program that makes great games, but it looks rather difficult. Im impressed and I might try it.”
    GM8 logo” “its a simpleton compiling program for 10 year olds sold in the “even cadavers can do this!” market of preprovided uncostizable content oriented crap game making software. I wont think of downloading the lite version let alone buying the full version.”

    What was the purpose of the poll if you were going to flip us the bird? Id rather have the happy green turtle construction worker man with the hammer, at least that implies work.

  6. *** Congratulations to dear zak,trust me be positive always ***

    after I saw the negative posts to new logo,I sent another logo to yoyogames,after they cut their contact with me for 2 weeks and after they said to me that there is no problem with the happy green man.

    I even thought there was a political issue.cause I Live in Iran(Persia)
    then I realized that they actually feed back e-mails any more,or maybe they simply forgot me.funny.

    I just visited the yoyogames site chanceful and ” oOuch !!! ”

    the Truth is we all tried to Satisfy yoyogames with what they looked for and the Users of GameMaker,either.

    if this is really what they are happy with,let them be.this is what we were looking for,their happiness.

    this is not gonna change the truth that this chosen logo have no interests between people,young or old ( they are really sad ).
    not the artist who did that,he is young enough to have more experience,we all need.
    so No blaming for him.

    and to Angry smart guy who wrote this blog,remember : immature actions brings immature reactions indeed.
    please be Patient and have a better undrestanding.

  7. This was a pretty good interview…
    This guy is waaaay too conceited. Heck, he even admitted to being cocky. And he is.
    “I’m however still kind of puzzled why only 8% picked this as their favorite, but I’m glad Sandy and a few others realized what’s really behind this logo.”
    Shouldn’t have to be surprised. I’m sorry pal, but a smiley for a logo is nothing people want for this program. He should quit being so full of himself and actually think about how other people will react for once.

  8. Nice logo, but it does not fit the mood of the professional game maker developers.
    Game making tools aren’t welcome for the most real game developers, however now game maker will be threaten as childish shit..

    I personally have the feeling yoyogames is the wrong direction for game maker.

    (game)over and out

  9. I don’t hate the logo it self, but more of the context that it is in. It puts Game Maker in a completely different light, one of childishness rather then a game designing tool. If they keep this as Game Makers logo, I’m still going to use it, as it is still a tool to design games, but I’d probably design my own icon for the short cut, or even use GM7s logo.

  10. Ahhh first three days of Illustrator you say? And the gradient happy smiley face begins to make lots of sense.

    The Design isn’t toooo bad, but I disagree that this is what Yoyogames want for their new look of GM. I do think that this is what they think they want though…

    Also whoever said they would stop using GM because of a logo is obviously exaggerating, but many people do strongly dislike this logo for some reason haha.

  11. I’m not very impressed, with the logo or the work that went into it. Making shapes in Photoshop and adding stroke and gradient effects to them is not graphic design.

    I’m shocked that this logo won because, frankly, I didn’t feel it even had a chance. It looked just like finalist filler to me. Too bad.

    Not sour grapes, though; that’s just my opinion as a professional graphic designer and artist.

  12. Nice interview guys.

    I didn’t like the logo because to me it seemed just a bit unprofessional, It is an interesting design though. It almost makes game maker look like its for kids (ironically I’m teaching my lil brother how to use it) but it is a step up from the hammer. But since the hammer has been in Game Maker for a long long time, and dumping it kinda hurts.

    However I can respect that it did take a lot of work to make it. So maybe I don’t like it but I always respect talent. Good work

  13. It’s not a problem with the logo itself, it’s what the logo represents about the shift in direction for Game Maker: It’s no longer intended to be a viable development program, it’s just something for children to play with.

  14. It wasn’t my favorite out of the 4, but i’m sure it will get new attention.

    favorite comment so far: “And to all of those people who will leave GM just because of a logo: grow up!” By Commander~DEST

  15. >How did it feel when you saw the criticism that was directed at your logo?
    >Most of the comments were just plain immature and really couldn’t be taken seriously.

    This is the point when you should start thinking about the causes.
    Maybe it’s less the immature of the comments as the immature of the logo design.
    I don’t want to explain design principles and stuff here, just four words to the company: BUY A PROFESSIONAL DESIGNER.

    @gamer freak
    yes, looks hacked…

  16. Nice interview!
    I do find it funny that he assumes that his logo is great.
    “still kind of puzzled why only 8% picked this as their favorite”
    Maybe because the other 92% preferred other logos? Honestly, you have graphical talent and all (more than I), but please be willing to at least admit that your logo may not be the best (or the most admired by community). I congratulate you on the win and I don’t believe YoYoGames should take away the money, I do feel they should pick a new logo however.

  17. I sure hope this interview changes the views of some of the people who complained earlier. It’s really ridiculous when you think about it, all of those people complaining over what? A logo! And many complainers posted like 5 times. Just because they reacted so strongly doesn’t mean it’s a bad logo. I personally see this as a new beginning! A new future! And to all of those people who will leave GM just because of a logo: grow up! I personally don’t agree with the logo 100%, but we got what we got. The quality is much better than the last one, and who knows… this logo might attact extra attention just because of the bright flamboyant colors! Besides in a couple years there will probably be another logo contest and then you’ll get a new logo. Anyway, good job Albert!

  18. I’m still no fan of the logo, mostly because of that gigantic smiley and the pretty overused cog design. It just doesn’t represent the quality of games that can be made with Game Maker.

    The artist has my congratulations, but I can fully understand the reactions, and the outcome of the poll gamemakerblog posted.

  19. Lol. This icon is the most horrible i have ever seen. Oh damn! What is this icon?
    Game maker it’s not a japanese cartoon. Oh my god. I will not buy game maker 8 with an icon like this of course.

    Change it. Oh my god. Change it. I love so much gm. You cannot destory it in a second.
    omg omg omg omg

    God save us from him.

  20. Filled eyes are much better. Still don’t like the logo but attacking the artist is just stupid.

    Things like making petitions and games against it is a good way to express your feelings, just like commenting to the blog post in a sensible way that you didn’t (or did) like the outcome of the competition.
    Quote from Tom Russel: “Signing a petition is ridiculous.” Then a poll about favourite logo is ridiculous too. (Q from
    Maybe I should’ve posted it there?

    SunnyKatt :I have a feeling that picture of him will appear in many games too.

    That would be crossing the line. Games about destroying the logo is fine, it’s ok to not like it, but not liking the artist just because he won (there were several worse logos out there that isn’t hated) is not ok.

  21. Great interview, this is the sort of content I enjoy from GMB (and from some of the old magazines).

    It’s funny that he states that he never go the smiley quite right as I think this is the part of the logo most people are complaining about (I know I’m not a fan, despite thinking the rest of the logo looks great).

New Game Maker Logo Revealed

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