YoYo Games today changed their main website from a large light coloured community-focused homepage to a smaller darker product-focused frontage. We knew it was coming but it is a big change.
Gone from the homepage are the user-created games and adverts, in their place is massive Flash applet promoting GameMaker. What better way to showcase the upcoming HTML5 GameMaker than by devoting the most prominent space on the new homepage to a Flash animation! In response to a question fielded on Twitter Mike Dailly wrote that an HTML5 animation will eventually replace the Flash one in providing links to the various present and upcoming versions of the game creation software as time allows.
At the top of the site are four drop-down menus providing access to internal pages of the YoYo Games website.
GameMaker provides access to pages for GameMaker Standard (though this also includes the free “Lite” version of GameMaker 8.1 for Windows), HTML5, GameMaker for Mac and GameMaker Studio. The information on the HTML5 and Studio versions of GameMaker is each limited to a single video which we’ve seen before and a promise that more details are “coming soon”.
Games expands to link to an empty template page under “Showcase”, a Publishing page invites developers using GameMaker to contact YoYo Games with their ideas, whilst “Developer Profiles” features zero developer profiles. “Sandbox” links to the homepage of the old YoYo Games site which has moved to a new location of sandbox.yoyogames.com. Although previously uploaded content is now accessed via a new subdomain, redirects are in place from the old yoyogames.com URLs.
Support starts with “Documentation”. I expected this contain links to download the GameMaker manual in various languages and perhaps the official tutorials but instead it is a rather unnecessary intermediary page on the way to directing users to the YoYo Games Wiki. “Community” provides a gateway to the official Game Maker Community whilst a message on the “Resources” page suggests that we will soon see some new official tutorials and resources to use in-game.
GameMaker is widely used in schools and the dedicated “Education” page reflects this enabling schools to submit an enquiry for site license details. Then comes the FAQ page and links are also given to the Helpdesk and a “My Account” page which displays your GameMaker licence details.
Company displays information about YoYo Games and its founders, a generic “Contact Us” form (which will undoubtedly be misused by many community members!) and provides access to a Press area containing access to promotional material for published games as well as the new News section.
Official Game Maker News
The YoYo Games “glog” has been replaced with a News section on the new website accessible only from a drop-down menu. As yet there is no obvious “this page has moved” message on the old blog but I am sure one will be added soon.
Although in recent months the blog comments section attracted an increasing number of immature look-at-me messages I am disappointed to see that all comments by all users on all blog posts have been deleted. This includes all clarifications to posts and answers to sensible questions that have been made by YoYo Games staff. A cynic might say your games are next!
Discussion regarding future official YoYo Games announcements will now take place at the Game Maker Community where a permissions change means that all forum members are able to reply to forum posts imported from the “glog”.
Sadly this doesn’t appear to have shed the pointless “first!” comments as we already have our, well, first of these.
Interestingly, as yet, a post made earlier today on the new site announcing its launch has not yet made it to being imported to the GMC.
Although the main site design is present many sections of the site are incomplete and are labelled as “coming soon”. The first news article states “that means, they really ARE coming soon” but is followed immediately by “there is quite a lot to cover such as HTML5 and Publishing so please be patient”.
On first testing the 8.1 purchase option I was greeted with a server error message however the start of upgrade process appears if you try now, so it appears that the site is being worked on.
I certainly hope more content does come soon because currently the new site is rather sparse. It is a brave man who decides to flip the switch from a front page covered in games to an empty Games Showcase with previously upload games hidden away behind a “sandbox” link.
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