at what point in gamemaker do you...


At what point in gamemaker do you start to learn by yourself and create your own unique things? So far everything i have learned is either from the programming section of the forum, a youtube tutorial, or i read over the manual just to get a clarification on a function or something. But what if i want to create something unique that nobody has ever made. Or atleast something that stands out from the rest. I know this topic seems a bit broad but its something that has been on my mind recently and i need to ask you guys what you think.


Whenever you start to do it man... I try it all the time but I always look for help when I got stuck in something I dont understand... and always find help, so far there is not one single thing I couldnt do it because of gamemaker limitations... there are some that I didnt did because was a massive task, but not because it wasnt possible


I think its a combination of 2 gifts you should have - thinking outside of the box / problem solving, and some creativity.

You are given a set of tools - (first ofcourse you'll need to learn how to use the tools, but you can ask that on the forum / view tutorials), and you should think of something you'd like to accomplish.

I think you're looking at it the wrong way - if you look at the tools and think "What can i do with this?" you'll end up with _much_ less creative ideas.

If you have a small idea in your head, you can then look at the tools and try to think how you can use and combine them to accomplish that specific idea.

Most of the ideas I have are usually cominations of different things i saw before and which i like. This then creates something unique :)


do it now. take what you have learned and make a game you followed a tutorial for but without referencing the tutorial unless you're absolutely stuck.

works for me.


Agree with Sabnock. Remake a tutorial, try adding a few extra features - extra enemies. sound control, better graphical effects.

Never Mind

Game Maker is a tool. You're ideas can exists separately. Don't feel too tied down to what you currently know. You can work out a lot of how a game will work on paper before you even start.
I enjoy drawing and painting, so I tend to think of game development as just another medium I can use to express an idea.

You can create your own universe inside a computer screen. You are god. Now what do you want to create?
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You should never try to just 'learn by yourself'. Always use the forums when you have some trouble. That's why they're here. I remember programming back before we had the internet, and having to figure out any problems entirely alone - that's not an experience I'm eager to repeat. (If ever anybody says that people depend too much on the internet now and forget that we used to manage fine without it, I always reply, 'No - we didn't manage fine without it!')

But the time to start trying to 'create your own unique things', I'd say, is immediately. The most successful game I made in my teenage years (most successful both in terms of how popular it was and how much we enjoyed making and playing it - you can download it here, though it's so old it doesn't tend to work on modern computers) started when I got a new programming language (Blitz Basic), and on the first day I got it I made a little arrow fly around the screen by turning and thrusting, and then made the arrow fire bullets. A few days later we turned the arrow into a ship, and added a second ship, and added some collision detection with the bullets. Then we added a level that they could fly around, then a split screen. Then we added bombs they could drop - this was all in the first month, and we kept adding bits and pieces for a year until we had a nice game. But I still tend to start games in the same way - stick a character on the screen, and start making it move. It can get more complicated later. I suspect that whatever kind of game you have in mind, you have the knowledge to do the first thing that needs programming about it. You can get more complicated later, and more ideas will suggest themselves along the way, and you might have more idea of what you need to do when the rest of the game is already there, and you'll be an a position to ask people on the forums how to accomplish the effect because it's a current need rather than just a far-off idea.

I think you're looking at it the wrong way - if you look at the tools and think "What can i do with this?" you'll end up with _much_ less creative ideas.
I don't think that's necessarily true. Maybe it works differently for some people than others depending on how our minds work, but if I just start with a blank slate and try to think of a game to make, the only ideas that ever come up are 'a game like this game I've already played'. My most original game ideas have come by thinking about what a certain programming tool might lend itself to - I guess because that's when the game idea is coming from something other than an already-existing game. I imagine 'Fantastic Contraption', for instance, came about because somebody looked at a physics engine and wondered what they could do with it.
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A huge part of programming is creativity, and not just with the actual game/level design. You will need to be able to use variables in such a way that you can accomplish a given effect with less effort. Global variables come in very handy

Start with a simple game, and slowly add features to it based on what you've learned so far. Try to see how much you can get right without googling/youtubing it. Troubleshooting is a big part of it as well.


I've used Game Maker since 2007. I used only drag and drop functions for the first year or so until I became comfortable learning scripting. After that it was probably another year until I was comfortable enough to start writing my own complex systems without much reference.
Do not curve your ideas on what you are currently capable of.
If you have some sort of great idea, but no clue how to make it even possible, do not settle for something else.
Learn the application well enough to make your idea come true.


tutorials and seeing how other people do stuff is a good way to learn but you should never directly copy anything.
implement things in your own way, you'll discover a lot more and also understand what you've done.


aka fel666
You should learn by yourself from the start.
If you follow a tutorial, or copy some code, you are not learning anything. You start learning when you take the ideas presented in the tutorial, or techniques presented in the code and use them to implement something different.
Perhaps you found a tutorial which males use of switch statements. How else can they be useful? when would you use them? Those are the quetions you have to ask yourself.

Anytime you "learn" something new from a tutorial or other, always play around with it, and see what you can come up with.
In fact, when you follow a tutorial, dont just copy down the code. You are just learning to type if you do that. Instead, understand what the code does, and implement it your own way. This is important to make sure you understand what it is the tutorial was trying to teah, and to be able to adapt the ideas presented for your own projects.


Self-guided learning is a process that you do not graduate to from something else, it's making use of available resources to master new skills, each one building on the last. Learning GM:S is no different than learning something else; start with the fundamentals, then move on to more advanced things.

Look at what a game is, for instance: an object on screen that responds to a player's input in order to reach an objective, overcoming obstacles along the way. Now, break that definition down into it's parts and you'll see an idea of how to progress.

Learn to:
  1. Make an object
  2. Make a room and place the object in the room
  3. Capture inputs
  4. Make the object respond to the inputs
  5. Create an objective and a consequence of meeting it (get to an exit and go to the next room, for example)
  6. Use the previous steps to make an enemy object that serves as an obstacle
  7. and so on...
When you're first starting to learn, don't worry about quality or even finishing a complete game. I have several projects that I started and never finished because they were really vehicles for learning concepts and procedures. Each one, however, led to the projects I have completed, and each of those has built on what I learned from the previous.

I also really recommend doing the built-in tutorials first, at least Catch the Clown and 1945. They may be boring, but they teach fundamentals that will stick with you. Don't just copy the code in the tuts and skip ahead either, take time to read the instructive text. Be careful relying on video tutorials; without taking time to analyze what the presenter is doing, they often turn into little more than Bob Ross videos for gamemaking. A pretty picture that doesn't help when you don't even know how to hold the brush.


aka fel666
Be careful relying on video tutorials; without taking time to analyze what the presenter is doing, they often turn into little more than Bob Ross videos for gamemaking. A pretty picture that doesn't help when you don't even know how to hold the brush.
This is very true.
I make video tutorials myself, and I have noticed many people misusing the tutorials completely, blindly copying down my code. However, this is kinda y fault: My tutorials where too specific and guided. I now try to build tutorials that are more oriented towards teaching techniques and ideas. However the viewer still have to do their part and 'study' what is going on.
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