OFFICIAL GameMaker Update: Expanded Free Version and More Coming Soon!

rmanthorp

YoYo Games Staff
Admin
YYG Staff
Hello game makers! The summer may be in full swing for many of you, but here at GameMaker Towers it’s been a busy few months. So here’s a quick update on what we’ve been working on, plus a sneaky peek at what we’ve got coming down the line.

As you probably know, our goal has always been to create the tools to make it easy for anyone to make great games. This is because we strongly believe that making games should be accessible to everyone. This is why we recently removed the time limit for the free version of GameMaker Studio 2, so creators can take as long as they need to learn how to make a game.

As a result, we’ve seen a stampede of new developers getting started with GameMaker. And to help them take the next steps in their game development journey, we plan to continue to enhance the free option by adding a new export target.

Since announcing the changes to the free version of GameMaker, the number of new users registering each day has doubled. It’s been amazing to see more people, spending more time in GameMaker and creating more ‘first’ games than ever before. Bravo!

UPDATED ROADMAP & FREE EXPORT
We’ve revamped and updated the GameMaker Studio 2 roadmap to better reflect our new increased update cadence and details some of the new features coming to GameMaker. This new roadmap strives to provide more transparency about upcoming features, tools and directions for GameMaker Studio 2. The latest beta release of GameMaker Studio 2 even features an early Ubuntu version of the IDE which you can download and check out right HERE.

We’re also thrilled to be able to share news of an exciting new export option coming soon to the free version of GameMaker Studio 2. You know that GameMaker is now part of Opera Gaming, alongside the awesome Opera GX gaming browser, right? Well, soon, anyone using the free version of GameMaker will be able to export, upload and share their games - directly through Opera GX, where they will be playable for over 9 million gaming fanatics! (Game creators looking to export to other online platforms will still need the Web export option.) Look forward to more details on this soon.

OPERA GX GAME JAM
Wow!! The response to the Opera GX Game Jam has been truly amazing! The Game Jam concluded on Friday with an incredible 910 games entered - making it the most participated Game Jam ever on Game Jolt!

We have just started to dig into all these entries and we are already blown-away by how creative some of the games are. We originally earmarked 2 weeks for judging, before putting the finalists through to the popular vote. However, due to the huge volume and quality of entries we are extending the judging period by 2 weeks to let every entry have time with a judge. You can take a look at all the games here: https://gamejolt.com/c/gamemaker/ogxgj be sure to comment and like the games that you want to see in the final vote.

GAMEMAKER SHOWREEL, AMA & A NEW TUTORIAL
Now let’s take a look at a new Made with GameMaker Showreel video, showcasing the latest and greatest games Made with GameMaker. We hope you call out your favorites!


Looking forward, we are going to be running another community AMA soon and want to hear from you about the current and upcoming plans around GameMaker Studio 2. As always, we will aim to answer as many questions as we can with the core technology and production team on GameMaker. For now, we will leave you with some teasers for our next tutorial series that we’ve been hard at work on: Hero’s Trail - a dungeon crawling adventure game with combat, treasure and plenty of handy game development lessons!

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Title screen early concept by our Lead Artist

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Nocturne

Friendly Tyrant
Forum Staff
Admin
Ha! I knew that YYC and Opera would have something up their sleeve for those people that want to export projects using free... Yes, this is limited to the Opera GX browser, but it's a platform with a massive user base and gives people the ability to share their projects once more. Reminds me a lot of the old Sandbox or the (flawed but still interesting) YoYo Player. Excellent stuff... Maybe not quite what everyone wanted, but definitely a good and positive move!!!
 
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soon, anyone using the free version of GameMaker will be able to export, upload and share their games - directly through Opera GX, where they will be playable for over 9 million gaming fanatics!
This is very exciting!

We originally earmarked 2 weeks for judging, before putting the finalists through to the popular vote. However, due to the huge volume and quality of entries we are extending the judging period by 2 weeks to let every entry have time with a judge.
But the jam page says:
August 14-22nd: Opera, YoYo Games and the panel of judges will select the top 4 games.
which is just 1 week?
 

rui.r6o

Member
anyone using the free version of GameMaker will be able to export, upload and share their games - directly through Opera GX
Just to be clear, how would this work for non-free users? The wording makes it feel like some easy export workflow would only be available for free users (which wouldn't make much sense IMO).

Anyway, exciting things are happening with GameMaker!
 
Just to be clear, how would this work for non-free users? The wording makes it feel like some easy export workflow would only be available for free users (which wouldn't make much sense IMO).
I'm sure it would be available for paid users too, but even if it wasn't, the free version is free so... You can download that too ;)
 

gnysek

Member
1629468710108.png

So filters could be a predefined shaders, which can be choose from some kind of library and applied before first layer and after last one ? That's how I understand it.
 

Xor

@XorDev
Dope! Honestly, the free-version was great even without the export, but this is even better. I hope that it is possible for free-version developers to monetize their games and maybe earn the money to buy a GM subscription themselves!

Only time will tell if Opera GX is a viable platform, but I am quite optimistic. It may be the perfect niche to begin a game dev career in.
 
Hi,

Will there be any upcoming changes for Educational pricing and usage options, We currently only use it for one module about one month every year and don't export out. Now there are free versions available with no time limit I presume for home users only, will there ever be an free educational use version for lite users.

Nick
 

Nocturne

Friendly Tyrant
Forum Staff
Admin
I NEVER would've seen THIS move coming from YoYo a mere week after the recent changes!
As much as I'd like to think that this is a response to the "outrage" from the community, I suspect that this has been the plan all along. It's not the kind of thing that they can decide from one week to the next, although perhaps announcing it now is a direct result of community feedback.
 

Xor

@XorDev
The announcements could have been planned a little better. The new free version (no time limit) was a completely positive thing. Nobody could complain about that, whereas the subscription model is less positive (this has been known for a while). If you're gonna make an announcement about the negative news (although it's great news long term), put it with the positive news at the same time.

Then when people talk about the new changes they do have something good to say, even if they don't like the subscription model. That's how I see it anyway. Oh well, it worked out. Maybe the publicity has been good for YYG/Opera.
 
I mean, if we're talking general jams, not GMS specific ones, it's still a pretty hard sell to have to tell a user they have to install a new browser to play your jam game. Not that I think this is a bad move or anything, just saying, lol...
I agree - even if I would've preferred just a splash screen and/or a watermark, I can't make an argument that this isn't a reasonable concession for a free export.
 

drandula

Member
Well, soon, anyone using the free version of GameMaker will be able to export, upload and share their games - directly through Opera GX
Wait, if you read carefully: "Game maker will be able to export...directly through Opera GX".
Does this mean Opera GX integrated web version of GMS 😂

</joking>
 
I mean, if we're talking general jams, not GMS specific ones, it's still a pretty hard sell to have to tell a user they have to install a new browser to play your jam game. Not that I think this is a bad move or anything, just saying, lol...
True but this move is a win win for yoyo and opera as the whole point will be to get more users to use the OperaBrowser while providing a free export method for GMS2. Sure most people will just use the browser to try out the games made using the free version of gamemaker but some portion of those users will likely end using operagx as their main browser after they've tried it and decide that they like it more than whatever they were using before as a browser.

Its a pretty smart move on Operas part to leverage users coming from gamemaker for this purpose. Not sure how operaGX makes money. Im guessing from the default search engine choices?
 
True but this move is a win win for yoyo and opera as the whole point will be to get more users to use the OperaBrowser while providing a free export method for GMS2. Sure most people will just use the browser to try out the games made using the free version of gamemaker but some portion of those users will likely end using operagx as their main browser after they've tried it and decide that they like it more than whatever they were using before as a browser.
For sure. I don't think it's a bad move for anyone. Just it's not a cure-all for jams.
 

gnysek

Member
Myself, I'm cursious about this "New Start Page/Project Creation Workflow"; specifically the ability to create projects from a template. I wonder how that will be implemented.
I think it will be just a normal "import" option, but from predefined marketplace items (or from bundled with GMS).
 

Alice

Toolmaker of Bucuresti
Forum Staff
Moderator
I wonder if the next step would be Opera hosting a HTML5 games platform similar to Kongregate or Newgrounds. It sure would be swell, with free exports being locked to Opera GX but paid exports being available on all browsers. The Kongregate locking down left quite a niche in game development space that I've yet to see properly filled (especially as a gateway to get games - whether demo or full versions - visible to a moderate-to-large-sized audience).
 
I wonder if the next step would be Opera hosting a HTML5 games platform similar to Kongregate or Newgrounds. It sure would be swell, with free exports being locked to Opera GX but paid exports being available on all browsers. The Kongregate locking down left quite a niche in game development space that I've yet to see properly filled (especially as a gateway to get games - whether demo or full versions - visible to a moderate-to-large-sized audience).
That was my immediate thought as well. Seems like it's the first step in building the foundation for a new game marketplace of sorts. It'll be interesting to see how all these changes pan out.
 

Posh Indie

That Guy
I saw the Opera GX Exporter coming the day they said, "Acquired by Opera". Not that it is a bad thing, of course. It is actually fantastic that it will be a free export (Just gives tangible value to the free GMS2). The roadmap looks okay...
 

FrostyCat

Member
I'm cautiously optimistic about this announcement. While I am glad that this solves part of the sharing issue with the free exports, it has several other major issues:
  • It is based on an export that has a track record of being the least stable and having the most unwritten rules of the bunch. This is bound to draw complaints.
  • Every problem that plagued the YoYo Sandbox will have a chance of repeating here, especially in terms of stale homepage content, fraudulent previews, poor general quality, and widespread copyright violations.
  • Policing this new GX portal will detract from maintaining the YoYo Marketplace, which at the moment has severe code rot among its offerings and no updates to its homepage for more than a year.
As for the new roadmap, I recommend either deleting the old one on the Helpdesk, or redirecting it to the new roadmap. There are discrepancies under the Extensions section already (e.g. Google Play Billing is "In Beta" on the new roadmap and "In Development" on the Helpdesk roadmap), and there will always be more as long as there are 2 different roadmap pages to maintain. On a related note, the Learn page now contains obsolete material while the Tutorials page contains current material. The former should either be deleted, or have a large disclaimer at the top saying that it contains pre-2.3 material and including a link to the new Tutorials page.

As for the new tutorial, I think YoYo is again duplicating effort where it is not urgently needed. It is not doing anything new that Space Mods, Fire Jump, or most other genre-centric GM tutorials aren't already doing. As a Q&A responder, the most common novice issues I see are:
  • Blind tutorial searching on YouTube and falling for obsolete pre-2.3 material
  • Aimless learning strategy and "infinite monkey" coding habits
  • No formal coverage of basic DnD and GML syntax nor encouragement thereof
  • Putting the "advanced" label on basic algorithms and data-handling code (e.g. JSON, basic loops, tree search, etc.)
  • Inadequate GML-centric coverage of math common in 2D game development (e.g. basic 2D plane geometry, linear interpolation, etc.)
More of these kinds of "let's make a game" tutorials will not solve the problems above. Put more effort on helping novices develop workable learning plans that include theoretical foundations, practical examples, and independent work. Say, offer a checklist of recommended learning objectives for new users downloading the free tier, bi-weekly or monthly research challenges, or achievement badges on the GX portal for key learning objectives and independent work.
 

drandula

Member
Its not the HTML5 export! that is all I will say just now....

It is compatible with the standard VM C++ runner and we are still sorting out some edge cases around network, audio and window size etc... but it is exciting...

Russell
Here from the sharing, pricing and publishing topic
 

Sad

Member
I wished they'd just open up Web export for free, but on second thought that'll be disrespecting people who own perpetual license for web export.
So I'm happy with what we're getting, it will be some kind of format that can be opened via Opera GX browser? How would this work, this isn't anything like HTML5 export right?
 
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Nocturne

Friendly Tyrant
Forum Staff
Admin
In the days of the old Sandbox it was possible through "hacks" to get EXEs to play in the browser (more or less) and technology has moved on quite a bit since then. I'm thinking that it'll be a WASM export... It'll be created from the same C++ code that the YYC LLVM creates, and then they'll use something like emscripten to make it WASM. If so then that's brilliant news as it'll be very fast and should be almost identical to the windows YYC export.
 
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gnysek

Member
I also think it won't be HTML5 for Opera browser. It will be something like GMPlayer, so normal .exe running data.win files, as this version causes less bugs and have bigger performance. It's also less dependant of engine updates of browser itself (JS). Games will probably have some DRM to be playable only online (some public/private key pairing).
 

woods

Member
More of these kinds of "let's make a game" tutorials will not solve the problems above.
but one thing these tutorials do do is generate excitement and desire to make more... (hopefully by learning the basic core mechanics) it does give a small sense of, however misplaced, pride and a draw to move into more"advanced" stuff(which any developer out there knows is the basics) but for someone with ZERO knowledge, it is a place to start.
 

Posh Indie

That Guy
Anyone remember the old YoYoGames sandbox? I have a strange feeling that it's about to get reincarnated in all its questionable glory.

Glad to see the roadmap however, exciting stuff.
I really hope not... That would probably scare Opera away, haha. That said, if they put some controls in place... in fact, I would probably go as far as to say they will have to put some controls in place...

Here from the sharing, pricing and publishing topic
That's telling: Even they will not use the HTML5 module... haha.
 

Khao

Member
Okay this is great.

Not being able to export your game (so basically not being able to share it with anyone) without a subscription had me worried. Problem is gone.

Having to rely on a browser to share your game is obviously not ideal. But as it is, this is by far the most you could ever do for free with Game Maker.

I like it.
 
In the days of the old Sandbox it was possible through "hacks" to get EXEs to play in the browser (more or less) and technology has moved on quite a bit since then. I'm thinking that it'll be a WASM export... It'll be created from the same C++ code that the YYC LLVM creates, and then they'll use something like emscripten to make it WASM. If so then that's brilliant news as it'll be very fast and should be almost identical to the windows YYC export.
A WASM export is good/great thing. But not if it works only in Opera GX's runtime? (or am I majorily misunderstanding this)

We've "been" here before. In the past Microsoft tried all sorts of shenanigans' to get custom things that only work on their browsers. It's a bad idea*. I'm still having to clean up doo-doo from those bad old days of the web.

*(I could be convinced, because even I'm excited to hear about this)
 
While I still think some sort of limited VM export for Windows with a baked in ad-screen and non-commercial agreement on games built with it would be a good peace offering, I do think the free Opera GX export is a step in the right direction.

It re-introduces that element of giving new users (especially kids just playing around) an outlet to learn how to make games and then publish them without a monetary barrier past "owning a computer" the way the old lite versions of classic GM did.
 
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Zhanghua

Member
While I still think some sort of limited VM export for Windows with a baked in ad-screen and non-commercial agreement on games built with it would be a good peace offering, I do think the free Opera GX export is a step in the right direction.

It re-introduces that element of giving new users (especially kids just playing around) an outlet to learn how to make games and then publish them without a monetary barrier past "owning a computer" the way the old lite versions of classic GM did.
cracked issue
 

Zhanghua

Member
I wished they'd just open up Web export for free, but on second thought that'll be disrespecting people who own perpetual license for web export.
So I'm happy with what we're getting, it will be some kind of format that can be opened via Opera GX browser? How would this work, this isn't anything like HTML5 export right?
opera gx limited version
 

Yal

🐧 *penguin noises*
GMC Elder
Roadmap said:
UI library
Ooh, I've always hated coding menus so this sounds pretty nice~

Roadmap said:
less room editor / sprite editor friction
Do we finally get copypaste in the sprite editor? :0
Also, being able to open the "variables" window for instances without the view scrolling and zooming all over the place because the chained windows don't fit in the screen? (If you have like 20 instances you want to customize it gets annoying quickly to have to re-adjust your view every time because of the automated scroll every time...)

Roadmap said:
effect layers
original_hype_train.png
 

Nocturne

Friendly Tyrant
Forum Staff
Admin
@rmanthorp Can you give us a little extra information on the GX export? Specifically:
  • will Opera be creating a dedicated upload site for games? I would LOVE to see a place like the old Kongregate where people can upload things and get feedback, and over time get extra community features added like achievements and badges etc...

  • OR are we simply getting an export that will create a "package" that can be sent to people and that requires the Opera GX browser to run? Essentially the browser becomes the runner for the game?

(please be a site, please be a site, please be a site!)
 

JeffJ

Member
Also, being able to open the "variables" window for instances without the view scrolling and zooming all over the place because the chained windows don't fit in the screen? (If you have like 20 instances you want to customize it gets annoying quickly to have to re-adjust your view every time because of the automated scroll every time
This. A million billion times this. Not just for "variables" window, but for everything in the IDE.
 

Posh Indie

That Guy
I'm thoroughly convinced that anyone who does is a sadist.
I kind of hope they come up with an entire system for the UI side. It says common elements, but a layout designer would be nice.

I will use Unreal Engine as a comparison, but only because they are not directly in competition with one another (As GMS is 2D first, UE is 3D first). UE has a nice UI layout designer coupled with the customizable common elements and then the layout itself is an asset that can be utilized (GMS having a UI Layout asset would be neat).
 
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