OFFICIAL Announcing GameMaker Studio 2 Trial Changes

rmanthorp

YoYo Games Staff
Admin
YYG Staff
Announcing GameMaker Studio 2 Trial Changes

Learn to make games using GameMaker Studio 2 for free through the summer and beyond.

With the time limited free trial period now removed, creators have as long as they like to use GameMaker’s integrated game development software to start learning how to build their own games. Only if game creators wish to export to one of the many platforms supported by GameMaker, will they need to purchase a license. GameMaker’s intuitive Drag and Drop (DnD) system makes it easy for anyone, regardless of previous coding experience, to make their own games. While its proprietary GameMaker Language (GML) enables more advanced users to develop more detailed gaming experiences.
Game creators can also access a wealth of high-quality demos and tutorials for free, created specifically to introduce new users to the fundamentals of game design and get quickly up to speed with the basics of GameMaker. These include the recently released Little Town tutorial designed by award-winning developer Benjamin Rivers, and Fire Jump, designed by our in-house development team.

Earlier this year, YoYo Games was acquired by browser developer and consumer internet brand, Opera, with GameMaker forming the cornerstone of Opera’s new Opera Gaming division - alongside Opera GX - the world’s first browser built specifically for gamers. Stuart Poole, GM at YoYo Games, said: “Our vision has always been to try and make it as easy as possible for anyone to make their own awesome games and today’s announcement represents a major milestone in the realisation of that vision. By making GameMaker free for everyone, we’re removing a major barrier so that anyone can try game making for the first time and start to unleash their inner creativity without any time limits.” Krystian Kolondra, EVP PC & Gaming at Opera, added: “We’ve already seen the gradual lowering of technical hurdles resulting in the democratization of both content publishing, through platforms like WordPress, and video creation through channels Vimeo and YouTube. Making games is fast becoming the next step in the creator economy and by making GameMaker free for everyone, we believe that creating games will soon become a popular part of everyday life for many people.”

We're excited for the future of GameMaker. Let's Make A Game!
 

rIKmAN

Member
Yeah this is a good move, removing the 30 day trial limit will allow people to get into using GMS2 at their own pace and eventually be hooked and end up buying a licence to allow them to export.

Removing the barrier to entry puts it on an even footing with the other engines in terms of starting cost and due to its ease of use in comparison I can see this bringing in new users and returning old ones that wanted to learn but were put off by the short trial period and up front cost.

Good decision all round by YYG and Opera, I hope the web team have prepped the servers for an influx of new users.
 

Alice

Toolmaker of Bucuresti
Forum Staff
Moderator
So, first there was a limited-features unlimited-time.
Then, it was unlimited-features (exports excluded) limited-time.
And now it's unlimited-features unlimited-time trial?

Sounds great to me (though I already got the license, anyway).
 

Slyddar

Member
Being a Udemy and Youtube trainer, I was very much against the 30 day trial change all that time ago, as it had the potential to stifle new users migrating to GMS2. This was really felt the most with weekend training courses, or educational opportunities for the young beginners. Now this new change will really push GMS2 to the forefront and alleviate those problems so I'm really excited to hear this news. Congratulations to the team for choosing a bold strategy like this, and I really hope it strengthens Gamemakers community and the future for Yoyo Games and Opera.
 
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EvanSki

Raccoon Jam Host
lol.png

"We're changing the trial to be 30days!"
But 30 days isnt enough to learn game maker, We think it is
"We're changing the trial to be unlimited time"

lmao


Edit: actually this is a really smart move
have gms free to use, have the exports need a license that is for like 12 months or whatever depending on the license

their for its the best of both worlds in a sense
a subscription for yoyo and free to use for the community
 

Adman

Member
Ugh. I just bought a permanent license five days ago. My trial period hadn't even run out yet, but I figured I was having fun learning that I was going to eventually buy it.

I wonder if I can get a refund... It kinda sucks to spend $75 on something that is free the next day.
 

kburkhart84

Firehammer Games
Ugh. I just bought a permanent license five days ago. My trial period hadn't even run out yet, but I figured I was having fun learning that I was going to eventually buy it.

I wonder if I can get a refund... It kinda sucks to spend $75 on something that is free the next day.
It still won't be fully free, you will still need a license to actually export your games once you are done making them. The trial is fully featured as far as testing games on your system, and now will not expire in 30 days....but you won't be able to share your games with it, nor will you be able to sell them. And that $75 is actually a good deal since the regular price is $99, so I think you are better off this way since you said you thought you were going to end up buying anyway.
 

JeffJ

Member
This is really cool - kudos, definitely a change for the better, and I think GMS2 will thrive for it!

I do have a couple of questions.

1: The trial limitations mentioned here:
Makes no mention of platforms for testing - so can you test on consoles, provided you have the authorized credentials?

2: The trial limitations mentions: "You must always be on the current/newest public version of GMS2 in order to use your licence"
Why?
 

EvanSki

Raccoon Jam Host
Edit: actually this is a really smart move
have gms free to use, have the exports need a license that is for like 12 months or whatever depending on the license

their for its the best of both worlds in a sense
a subscription for yoyo and free to use for the community

2: The trial limitations mentions: "You must always be on the current/newest public version of GMS2 in order to use your licence"
Why?
 

Bluetail7

Member
This is a cool move from the Staff's decision, now people can have easy access and take their time to learn the tools. This might also provide a lot of feedback from new people as well.

Even tho the free version does not export, this is perfect to see the potential of GMS2
 
I like the idea of only buying the export modules, AND the idea of keeping new guys on the latest version. Very good move.
And, no BS like "You can make 10 custom functions max, and just use 3 objects!", another big step up!
Go Opera...another move or 2 like this and I might even change browser, lol!
 

FoxyOfJungle

Kazan Games
Great decision! This will make a hobbyist who loves games to venture out learning GML and once he sees that his game is going forward, he will want to buy some license and enjoy how wonderful Game Maker Studio 2 is. :banana:
 

Kezarus

Member
Bold and important move! Loved that! 😍

It's hard to convince other people to use GM if you have a pay wall and other engines don't.

Gonna recomend it now for a friend that asked for an engine weeks ago. =]
 

drandula

Member
I would guess it is because YoYo wants to minimize the amount of legacy support tickets coming from unpaid users.
Also why you would YYG teach new users the old stuff anyways 😂 if they have no prior experience, it is good go with new stuff. (Most relevant in 2.2 vs 2.3).
But yeah, good point, it's good decision for avoiding bug reports from already solved stuff from new users.
 

JeffJ

Member
The problem with that is it is more often than not that a new version introduces breaking changes to some extent - even in stable, as we've seen very recently. Having the option to rollback is therefore always of value. It is dangerous to assume that stable means stable for every project, especially the way things have been for the past few years.
 

EvanSki

Raccoon Jam Host
The problem with that is it is more often than not that a new version introduces breaking changes to some extent - even in stable, as we've seen very recently. Having the option to rollback is therefore always of value. It is dangerous to assume that stable means stable for every project, especially the way things have been for the past few years.
2.3 is a good example of this
 
The problem with that is it is more often than not that a new version introduces breaking changes to some extent - even in stable, as we've seen very recently. Having the option to rollback is therefore always of value. It is dangerous to assume that stable means stable for every project, especially the way things have been for the past few years.
I would argue that if someone is working on a project that's long term/important enough for that to become an issue, then the project is worth purchasing a software license for.
 

EvanSki

Raccoon Jam Host
I would argue that if someone is working on a project that's long term/important enough for that to become an issue, then the project is worth purchasing a software license for.
the issue is for people with a license as you have to be on the current stable release for your license to work, therefore dispite any project you need to update to the latest version no matter what horrible unchangable issue it will cause
 

kburkhart84

Firehammer Games
the issue is for people with a license as you have to be on the current stable release for your license to work, therefore dispite any project you need to update to the latest version no matter what horrible unchangable issue it will cause
Did it say somewhere that paid licenses are now having to be on the newest versions?! I didn't see that anywhere. I understood that these rules only apply to the free non-expiring trial version.
 

EvanSki

Raccoon Jam Host
Did it say somewhere that paid licenses are now having to be on the newest versions?! I didn't see that anywhere. I understood that these rules only apply to the free non-expiring trial version.
This is really cool - kudos, definitely a change for the better, and I think GMS2 will thrive for it!

I do have a couple of questions.

1: The trial limitations mentioned here:
Makes no mention of platforms for testing - so can you test on consoles, provided you have the authorized credentials?

2: The trial limitations mentions: "You must always be on the current/newest public version of GMS2 in order to use your licence"
Why?
just going off what jeff says, might have some info wrong
 

Samuel Venable

Time Killer
I can easily see this screwing over a lot of teachers when they get the first impression this will last forever but then realize it doesn't and they will need to pay to get updates when the free "forever" is no longer "forever" due a change of plans that happens on and off every major version very intentionally. Doesn't mean YoYo is doing anything wrong, but they could stand to be a little more loud about the fact when you purchase it is 2.x updates only, and stuff dies with time, just look at the uproar of users who complained when they had to pay again after 1.x died. YoYo did that to themselves by not making it a bit more obvious. They could also make it more obvious the free trial limit Is only uplifted for a limited time. I mean yoyo the best in saying this, it would save them a lot of angry users. I happen to be very happy with GM and will gladly pay every major version that comes out (within reason--relative to my financial priorities). If they could echo what I say as a direct reminder to everyone "enjoy while it lasts, we have to make money and feed our families, not just do our users need that, we do too"--would go a long way. It's embarrassing that people need the reminder, but in 1.x EOL they did, I'm certain they'll need it for 2.x.

There has been a lot clarification when people were expecting their 1.4's to work into oblivion foreverness. Perhaps I may be paranoid. I guess with time we'll find out. lol The key thing is it came after EOL not before, they didn't know their android and iOS would stop working.

tl;dr its a bit off topic but stems from the same subject matter. I hope this helps grow their community and helps them get more purchases rather than having the opposite effect. Without an export option to distribute is a key factor I think will play well in their favor.
 
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kburkhart84

Firehammer Games
just going off what jeff says, might have some info wrong
It seems to me that Jeff is referring to using the trial license, not our normal paid licenses. I can't speak for them but since that's the context of this topic I'm pretty sure I'm right on that.

I can easily see this screwing over a lot of teachers when they get the first impression this will last forever but then realize it doesn't and they will need to pay to get updates when the free "forever" is no longer "forever" due a change of plans that happens on and off every major version very intentionally.
True, that would suck. But I actually have a good feeling on it this time around, that they aren't going to be changing from this type of free version any time soon. The reason I think so is simply because it is fully featured as far as what you can do, learning the software, teaching it, etc.... but as far as commercialization it is basically useless. Anybody who wants to monetize is going to have to cough up for a license. So Yoyo isn't really sacrificing much in the way of their own monetary gains, but they ARE opening up the trial to more people, giving more time, etc... I think if you could monetize the trial, then it would be concerning and be something that they would easily have motivation to remove in the future, but with the limitations and rules they have placed on it, I don't think that's going to be an issue. In fact, the part that seems more likely to me is that they may switch to subscription for GMS3 or something(which is a whole 'nother discussion), but with that, they possibly could open up their free version even more similar to other engines. They would certainly have to expand their user base to do that, but considering the expansion of the trial version that seems to be their goal, which is going to be better for all involved as I see things.
 

Samuel Venable

Time Killer
True, that would suck. But I actually have a good feeling on it this time around, that they aren't going to be changing from this type of free version any time soon. The reason I think so is simply because it is fully featured as far as what you can do, learning the software, teaching it, etc.... but as far as commercialization it is basically useless. Anybody who wants to monetize is going to have to cough up for a license. So Yoyo isn't really sacrificing much in the way of their own monetary gains, but they ARE opening up the trial to more people, giving more time, etc... I think if you could monetize the trial, then it would be concerning and be something that they would easily have motivation to remove in the future, but with the limitations and rules they have placed on it, I don't think that's going to be an issue. In fact, the part that seems more likely to me is that they may switch to subscription for GMS3 or something(which is a whole 'nother discussion), but with that, they possibly could open up their free version even more similar to other engines. They would certainly have to expand their user base to do that, but considering the expansion of the trial version that seems to be their goal, which is going to be better for all involved as I see things.
Yeah I completely agree actually. But It's getting late and my ability to discern what was a dumb thing for me to say or not is quickly declining. lol I'm not even certain the level of what I said was a legit concern. I was thinking out loud a little too much. Like strongbad does with his emails.
 

rIKmAN

Member
the issue is for people with a license as you have to be on the current stable release for your license to work, therefore dispite any project you need to update to the latest version no matter what horrible unchangable issue it will cause
The caveat of being on the latest version is for users of the free version, I would assume it's because of what Frosty said above (to reduce support tickets from unpaid users on out of date older versions) but also to mitigate the risk of piracy/cracks of any form becoming an issue.

Paid licence holders will be able to rollback IDE/Runtimes just like we do at the moment, it wouldn't make sense to remove that option from people who already paid for licences due to the issues you and Jeff have already mentioned with regards to bugs and issues in newer versions meaning the best version to be is sometimes not the latest one.
just going off what jeff says, might have some info wrong
I think he maybe misunderstood and thought it applied to all licences, not just the free one.

For the other question, I won't put words in his mouth but from what he wrote Jeff is likely asking for clarification on if he can use the trial to test on consoles as he has valid credentials (ie. has been approved by console platform holders) and so would be able to test on consoles using the "Free" version if it allowed testing on the console target(s) without having to buy the console licence until it the game was ready or close to release.

Although unlikely, it's a valid question and YYG should make it clear what targets the "Free" version will be able to run projects on from within the IDE in Test mode.

I presume just Desktop and maybe HTML5 due to the Opera link, but clarification would definitely be good as we know how well guesswork and speculation goes down around here... <This thread has been locked>
 

Nocturne

Friendly Tyrant
Forum Staff
Admin
...but they could stand to be a little more loud about the fact when you purchase it is 2.x updates only, and stuff dies with time, just look at the uproar of users who complained when they had to pay again after 1.x died. YoYo did that to themselves by not making it a bit more obvious. They could also make it more obvious the free trial limit Is only uplifted for a limited time. I mean yoyo the best in saying this, it would save them a lot of angry users.
First, nobody who's owned a computer thinks any software is free forever and if they do then they haven't been using the computer for long... The current software ecosystem is either you buy a version and get a "permanent" licence for that version or you pay a subscription and get full updates. This is pretty much all there is, and I can't really think of any software that permits you to buy a one time licence and then get free updates forever after. Also, YYG communicated the sunsetting of 1.4 a LONG time before it happened. They made blog posts, used social media, made a forum topic, and sent out emails... Short of letting everyone with a licence know telepathically using a psychic blast I'm not really sure there is anything else they could have done... I also have to say that I don't remember any "uproar". I remember a couple of very vocal people being upset, but the majority saw it coming the moment 2.0 was released and were okay with it.

There has been a lot clarification when people were expecting their 1.4's to work into oblivion foreverness. Perhaps I may be paranoid. I guess with time we'll find out. lol The key thing is it came after EOL not before, they didn't know their android and iOS would stop working.
I'm afraid that anyone that gets caught off-guard by this just hasn't thought through the way software works, especially not on mobile platforms. This is basically willful user ignorance and again, not something YYG can do anything about... I mean, anyone who works with Android and iOS knows that their main APIs are updated practically every six months, so it should be NO surprise to discover that any software that doesn't update to use these new APIs will eventually be unusable.

YYG are not perfect and have (and will) make mistakes, like any company. However I think they handled the sunsetting of 1.4 perfectly well and were transparent and upfront about it from the start. The 1.4 (and 2.x) licence states - IIRC - that you have bought a licence to the current version and free MINOR updates to that version. It's never stated that you get free MAJOR updates.

-----

ANYWAY, on the subject at hand... I think this is a great and positive step forward for GameMaker and I feel that it shows a high level of confidence in the product going forward from Opera and YYG. Well done and I hope we'll be welcoming a lot of new users into this community if the coming months!
 

Samuel Venable

Time Killer
@Nocturne You can remove my post if you want. I didn't mean to distract away from the topic that much. I was really tired and not thinking right when I posted that (still am) only reason I'm not in bed right now is because I'm waiting for my large VM to compress.
 

rIKmAN

Member
Short of letting everyone with a licence know telepathically using a psychic blast I'm not really sure there is anything else they could have done...
I've received communications solely via psychic blasts since around 2010 and what are the chances that's the only form of messaging users that they didn't use!?

I was almost left in the dark but luckily a friend got an old skool thing called an "email" that I vaguely remember as a thing and he told me about it, so thankfully I didn't have go into uproar mode!
 

Nocturne

Friendly Tyrant
Forum Staff
Admin
@Nocturne You can remove my post if you want. I didn't mean to distract away from the topic that much. I was really tired and not thinking right when I posted that (still am) only reason I'm not in bed right now is because I'm waiting for my large VM to compress.
Not going to remove it, as I think a bit of healthy debate is fine! If the topic spirals out of control from here onwards then I'll reconsider... :) And get to bed. You can sleep while the VM compresses!
 

JeffJ

Member
I think he maybe misunderstood and thought it applied to all licences, not just the free one
No, I quoted the article specifically talking about trial restrictions - I still think it's a bad decision to take away the ability of version control of development software, regardless of being paid or not, and was seeking a reason for this decision. If the issue is support, then simply make it known that there is no official support for trial version unless the user is using the newest version. But don't force breaking updates on them - it's bad for the user, and it's bad for YYG in the long run, when forced updates will inevitably break projects for people evaluating the software, and is then much more likely to never convert to paid because of that type of experience. In the end, of course it is up to YYG, but when I read that specific trial limitation, I felt it deserved to be challenged, at the very least, for what good reason.

Jeff is likely asking for clarification on if he can use the trial to test on consoles as he has valid credentials (ie. has been approved by console platform holders) and so would be able to test on consoles using the "Free" version if it allowed testing on the console target(s) without having to buy the console licence until it the game was ready or close to release.
This is exactly right, though. I feel the wording of the trial - what it can and can't do - is really vaguely worded. It seems they are going for one document that says all the things it can't (the restrictions document I linked above), which then opens the question if it can do everything not mentioned in the list of restrictions. In that case, console testing would be something it can, and that would be extremely enticing. But yes, some official clarification would be nice.
 

rIKmAN

Member
If the issue is support, then simply make it known that there is no official support for trial version unless the user is using the newest version.
Well that's kind of implied by the fact that a caveat of using the free licence is that you have to be on the latest version.
If the licence is invalid and they refuse to update when the IDE asks them to then why would they expect support?
The IDE would tell them why it isn't working so they wouldn't need support, it wouldn't be rocket science.

As I said above that's likely not the only reason and they don't want people being able to choose any version of the IDE to use in perpetuity with a free licence in case the worst happens. By enforcing the "must be on the latest version" rule they would be able to fix/patch out anything that may have been taken advantage of and then refuse access to any licences that aren't up-to-date making the older versions useless/unusable for those with a free trial licence.

I see it as a protection measure, not something out to stiff potential customers and although that can happen I would say an update that causes a bug for some potential users and upsets them for a bit until it's fixed is much better for YYG than the alternative.
 

Yal

🐧 *penguin noises*
GMC Elder
I've had multiple experiences of people dropping GM because they didn't have enough time to figure out how it worked before the trial ended, so I can confirm that this is a move for the better.
The hype train is on the roll again, baby!
original_hype_train.png
and yes I genuinely liked that logo back in the day don't @ me
 

TrunX

Member
Nice change! Makes it also easier for educational institutions to use GameMaker in lectures (again).
My old university dropped their GameMaker course after GMS1.4 wasn't available for download anymore for new students and the free GMS2 version was too limited.

(They university was paying for educational licenses so students could use GameMaker 1+2 on the PCs inside the university, but the lectures itself took place in rooms without PCs and the students had to use their own laptops. As far as I heard the university tried everything to save the course and find a solution but the response from Yoyo was that the only possible solution would be that evey student must buy their own desktop license to participate in the course. Which was not acceptable so the course got dropped and another game engine got introduced instead. That made me a little sad as one of the few GameMaker advocates at the uni back then.^^)
 
No, I quoted the article specifically talking about trial restrictions - I still think it's a bad decision to take away the ability of version control of development software, regardless of being paid or not, and was seeking a reason for this decision. If the issue is support, then simply make it known that there is no official support for trial version unless the user is using the newest version. But don't force breaking updates on them - it's bad for the user, and it's bad for YYG in the long run, when forced updates will inevitably break projects for people evaluating the software, and is then much more likely to never convert to paid because of that type of experience. In the end, of course it is up to YYG, but when I read that specific trial limitation, I felt it deserved to be challenged, at the very least, for what good reason.
Has any update broken fundamental GM functions? (I.e. drag n drop?). I think any user who's using quite advanced features would be on paid license anyway.
I think it's... acceptable for users to get free use of GM in exchange for being guinea pigs for YYG's new versions.
One might almost be tempted to think this was a decision made because.. too many experienced users were gun-shy about updating, and so the latest releases weren't getting enough user testing. But that's pure speculation.

I generally see this as a win-win decision, and I think if I reading you right, you also think that, too, (despite the concern re: serious bugs)
 

gnysek

Member
I think they should make the Creator's Edition free.
That would make desktop version free too, what's the problem with creating new account every 12 months? I think, that Desktop licenses are still more than 50% of their sales.
 

JeffJ

Member
One might almost be tempted to think this was a decision made because.. too many experienced users were gun-shy about updating, and so the latest releases weren't getting enough user testing. But that's pure speculation.
I've had that same exact thought, too. If it means that stable will eventually get back to actually meaning stable, then that's definitely a plus. I just hope it won't have the effect on the guinea pigs that I fear - if breaking changes have that effect on people who are already committed to GMS as a development environment, then it stands to reason that free users would be much quicker to leave after very few of those experiences.

I generally see this as a win-win decision, and I think if I reading you right, you also think that, too, (despite the concern re: serious bugs)
But overall, yes, of course. The forced update thing was a little speck of "why?" in what is otherwise only a very good thing.

And I'd still like to get some clarification on the console testing question.
 

gnysek

Member
And I'd still like to get some clarification on the console testing question.
This is sadly even not mentioned in helpdesk article, but doesn't free version only allow to test games on same platform, on which ide runs (so only on Windows, or only on Mac), being a free Creator/Desktop version with no export option? Then not only consoles wouldn't be allowed, but even mobile and web.
 

rwkay

YoYo Games Staff
YYG Staff
You can apply for a test license on console once you are confirmed as a developer for that console we give out timed licenses for those (they are not part of the trial) - we publicise this through the respective platform holders processes (not sure it appears on the websites but it is how they handle it).

Russell
 

Yal

🐧 *penguin noises*
GMC Elder
Has any update broken fundamental GM functions? (I.e. drag n drop?). I think any user who's using quite advanced features would be on paid license anyway.
I think it's... acceptable for users to get free use of GM in exchange for being guinea pigs for YYG's new versions.
One might almost be tempted to think this was a decision made because.. too many experienced users were gun-shy about updating, and so the latest releases weren't getting enough user testing. But that's pure speculation.

I generally see this as a win-win decision, and I think if I reading you right, you also think that, too, (despite the concern re: serious bugs)
There's been a number of incidents:
  • Before a certain version, if you had an asset named the same thing as a built-in function (which normally isn't possible but would happen if an update introduced a new function) the game would break in very unexpected ways - a bunch of convenience functions used names of scripts from a certain popular GM script site (e.g. angle_difference) so a lot of people were hit by this
  • 1.4.9999 broke a bunch of things because of last-second changes (which never were bugfixed since it's the final 1.4 update), most notably colors changed from BBGGRR to RRGGBB format. The built-in color constants weren't updated to match this (and afaik the D&D color picker also is hardcoded to the old format), so basically every drawing function that used a non-grayscale color constant was broken by this, even if you used the convenience functions that are supposed to make your code actual-format-agnostic.
  • GMS2's sprite editor still doesn't support copying and pasting, and new users easily spend at least half their time using it.
  • The compatibility functions for the old d3d_model system are hideously slow (they basically allocate, free and regenerate the entire vertex buffer every time you add a single triangle) and turned what was instantaneous loading in a GMS1 project into an affair that could take upwards of 10 minutes in a GMS2 project.
  • Original GMS2 removed the script tabs system, which basically undid a lot of work for everyone that kept large projects organized
  • Basically every script-based tutorial written pre-"The Real Language Update" will break if copypasted by people that don't know how GM scripts work, i.e. new users (see the pinned topic in Programming for the details on this - it still trips people up regularly!)
Of course, like half of those are from the GMS1-->GMS2 transition which wasn't just a simple update patch, but you didn't specify and I'm feeling grumpy today, so...
 
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