Tom Grochowiak on GameMaker for Professional Developers

Tom GrochowiakTom Grochowiak blogs about the love-hate relationship he has with GameMaker as a professional game developer.  Under the MoaCube banner Tom has been the main developer on the Magi and ArcMagi magic strategy games and the upcoming Cinders visual novel

Dividing his thoughts into sections focusing on the good and bad aspects of GameMaker as he sees them for commercial game developers, Tom outlines the benefits, such as rapid development from the off, and drawbacks, many of which he notes are being worked on in the future GameMaker Studio edition.

The full post is well worth a read, but Tom concludes:

“Let me reiterate: when faced with the responsibility of having to spend actual money that isn’t ours, we concluded that using a completely new engine is less risky than working in software I’ve been using for the past 7 years. It made me think. You should consider it too.

GameMaker is a tool with much promise, and may well become a viable choice eventually, but it needs more time and better handling from YoYo Games. They could probably use some constructive feedback that’s not just straight hate, so if you are a professional indie developer, consider getting in touch with them and let them know what bothers you about the software and what improvements would be crucial for you to consider using it. The guys there really wish well and deserve the chance.”

In a way this tells us what we already know – GameMaker is good for beginners and most 2D game projects but has shortcomings for larger games – but it is interesting to see these points laid out by one of the more serious developers using Game Maker.

What do you think?

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  1. The crap the went down with 8.1, removed the desire for me to purchase the html 5 version of game maker. I purchased Construct 2 instead because of the frequent updates and support these guys are doing, which how a company should be run in my opinion.

    Not until Game Maker 9 will i even consider purchasing their products ever again, and a big if the updates are greatly improved (great performance and features for the room editor especially) I already wasted money purchasing 8.1.

  2. I think one of the other problems is their support (or rather, lack thereof). For example, a user posted a thread on the GMC a few weeks ago because they purchased GMHTML5 on 12/23, but it would not accept the license key. Mike Daily replied saying that the company was all on holiday and would return on January 9th. He also mentioned they’d probably have quite the backlog of issues to work through.

    That’s not how you operate a business. You don’t take an entire company holiday starting before Christmas and return a week after the new year. Or maybe I’m just a silly American and that’s how they do things across the pond.

  3. “Bad first impression: To get GameMaker, you have to go to the YoYo Games’ website. It looks like poop. Then you download the software, boot it up, and hey – a big shocker – it looks like poop too! Gotta love that Windows95 feel!”

    Yep. I hope someone at YoYo’s pays attention to this: look is important especially if you’re trying to reach a higher target with GM:HTML5 and GM Studio… Even the so-called prosumers are picky when it comes to looks.

    So, please, stop being so square-engineer-minded and do yourself a favor and hire a professional agency to create a professional website, logo, and UI.

    It’s gonna pay in the end, you’ll see.

    PS Most of the users you will be trying to sell GM Studio to use Mac computers. If you keep the Mac version outdated, or release it months after it’s launch you will lose a hell of a lot new users.

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