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 First Impressions


so I loaded up the GMS 2.something or another public beta. It loaded up ok with only a few restarts and errors.

Im on a laptop, so my screen is small, 1280x800 I think. Everything takes up a lot of space, very hard to see whats going on, might be better on a 1920x1080 or so, still, these UI panels take up some space.
I get things moved out of the way a bit, and start looking around.

My goal is to make a simple sprite move up and down quickly, just as a test to see how long it takes to get interactivity of some sort. I'll add a few random obstacles and make it an avoider demo over the next week or so as I have time to spare. (I'm fairly busy with other projects, but GM has long held a place in my heart and I wanted to see how it was faring).

So I add a room (looks like there was already one there or I added two by mistake), add a sprite and click edit. Man these icons are cryptic, I'll have to set aside a full day to go through the manual and refresher videos at some point. I get me a very terrible space ship scrawled out on the trackpoint and fill in some blobs. Reasonable by no means but fine as programmer art (its really not thank you).
Ok add an object and now I cant find anything because the workspace is on another tab and its moved everything around to bring the new one into focus. (Im sure there is an option for this, but this is a first impression, not a final workflow). Figure out 'laptop mode' which really means hold shift and alt to pan and zoom... or is it control?
Ok, get me an object and add some events... WOW that dialog takes up a HUGE, and I mean 'YUGE' as the President Elect puts it, amount of space that cannot be reduced. Ok, add a couple of events for Up and Down with a little 'y -= 2;' action, etc and hit run.
Lots of very fast text in a box and get a tiny sprite I can move around on screen. Wallah.

So this endeavor took 3-4 tries due to crashes and errors, total time, maybe a bit over an hour.
Not too bad for having not used GM at all in any capacity in the last 6 months to a year, and several years before that.

What I see:
a very pretty new UI skin over the same old GM. its nice to look at, there is a lot of cool lines between things to show relationships.
basically, its still the same thing it was 10 years ago, a system designed to teach people about game design, that CAN be used professionally, but isnt really geared for it. There is a certain workflow to GM, which is very restraining and somewhat hindering. Instead of 'drag n drop' vs 'GML code' you might try the old 'beginner vs professional' instead. Then again, some of what makes GM great, or kludgy depending on your experience, is reliance on its built in systems for timelines, events, rooms (couldnt these be 'zones' or 'scenes' instead of implying indoor rooms?).
Its pretty, its appealing, but the workflow is still the same. To some, that is a good thing, to others, myself, it is not.

Rooms and code are still built around the side scrolling platform game, gravity, physics etc. Defining view/perspective in a room isnt apparent.

The UI has areas that simply cannot be scaled, the Event picker for one remains wider than the window it is in.
The UI 'jumps around' without enough clarity, I end up on different tabs (or maybe just in a different dialogue attached to the same one), things change focus, and I mean the workspace moves to put them in view. I think I saw a preference for this, but its hard to be sure just yet. Its often hard to tell 'where you are' just yet. I think that will improve with time, but I think some better indicators (brighter or bigger lines on the tabs, or highlighting the whole tab) might help too.

Some of this I am sure is me, my hardware, my perspective. Some Im sure is from the software. I still dont see a lot of what Im looking for, and that may never change. I do love GM and I thought Id drop in and give you a few hours of my time in feedback of my first impressions setting up a simple demo.

I will have some more time later this week possibly to go a bit further, I'll let you know what else I find.