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How To Run GameMaker On An iPad

Within the GameMaker community, GameMaker for Mac is known as one of the least stable and least useful versions of the software. It is based on the GameMaker 7 framework, which was released in 2007. Mac users who want to run GameMaker 8.1 or GameMaker Studio have had to find alternatives.

By using software such as Bootcamp or the more flexible Parallels Desktop, Mac users have been able to run Windows applications on their machines, including the modern versions of GameMaker. Parallels Desktop is by far the best option for running GameMaker on a Mac, as it creates a seamless interface between Mac OS X and Windows.

But why stop at Windows and Mac? Here’s how to run GameMaker on an iPad.

Earlier this year, Parallels Access was released. Parallels Access allows you to remotely access your Mac or Windows applications on an iPad. As far as remote access applications go, Parallels Access is exceptionally well designed and easy to use. It features a convenient app launcher, built-in keyboard with Windows-based additions, and a fluid touch-driven interface.

Parallels Access is integrated with Parallels Desktop, allowing Mac users to remotely access a Windows virtual machine on their iPad as well. This addition differentiates Parallels Access from the crowd of remote access applications that are available.

Naturally, this unique functionality comes at a price. Parallels Access costs $79.99 per year, though you can currently get a 6-month subscription for free when you buy Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac. Considering the cost, Mac users who operate a virtual machine to run GameMaker will get the most value out of Parallels Access, however Windows users can still take full advantage of the software.

Even though running GameMaker on an iPad is somewhat impressive, the question remains: is it actually useful?

Typing and managing code is by far the most productive use of GameMaker on iPad. Assuming you left your computer running at home or the office, you could take an iPad on the bus or train and easily add code to your project without lag becoming a major issue.

But, in this age of ultralight laptops and tablet-PC hybrids, one has to question whether running GameMaker on an iPad is really the most effective way to make games when on the move.

What do you think?

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  1. Of course the title is misleading.

    Simply put, when using any kind of a remote client, the app is not running on the device, native or otherwise. The app is running on the host that is processing the apps instructions.

    When I use my iPad to RDP to work, Windows 7 is NOT running on my iPad. When I use my iPad to SSH into our corporate Unix host, my iPad is NOT running Unix. When I use my iPad to run a 3270 terminal to connect to our IBM mid-range system, my iPad is not running z/OS.

    Natively, or any definition of running.

  2. Or you could use something like VNC which is free and isn’t platform locked.
    Coding on a touchscreen is awful anyway (I can only imagine how bad it is with the iOS keyboard), a Netbook would be more appropriate than a tablet.

    • I agree. I’ve messed around with Remote controlling my PC with my iPad from Uni before. It was awesome for a week until I realized how much time it took to do basic tasks.

    • This isn’t platform locked, and it has the benefit of being integrated with a highly functional interface optimized for mobile, and the fact that it’s integrated with Parallels Desktop adds appeal to Mac users.

      That said, yes, there are plenty of remote access apps out there. Parallels Access is just one example.

  3. Slightly misleading title made me very excited, now I’m just disappointed.

    $80 a year is expensive. 2X client works pretty well and is free.

    And of course, if you’re in Australia the experience might be much more laggy than in America. Worth a shot though!

  4. As I need a new tablet soon (my Nexus 7 broke) I’m definetly thinking about getting a Windows 8 tablet mainly for GameMaker development. Doesn’t have to be the Surface Pro, but maybe a cheaper 11,6″ Lenovo IdeaPad would be a cool idea.

  5. “Parallels Access is integrated with Parallels Desktop, allowing Mac users to remotely access their virtual machine. This addition differentiates Parallels Access from the crowd of remote access applications that are available.”

    This part is a little confusing. It sounds like “virtual machine” means that you can access the Mac without completely taking over the desktop. Correct?

      • Ah, I see. It’s a bit of a round about way to do things. I’ve done similar things on Android but generally it’s just easier to use a laptop.

        My favourite mobile-desktop setup:
        Galaxy Note 2 running remote desktop to my PC (plenty of free apps for that), mini bluetooth keyboard/mouse combo (sometimes I use a full size keyboard/mouse if there’s one available), and All Share Cast (which plugs into a monitor/TV using HDMI and wirelessly gets my device screen).

        It fits in my pocket and as long as I have a monitor or TV handy, it works really well. It still doesn’t beat a laptop though.

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