GMC Forums GMC Archive - Game Design & Development


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This topic is for storing any Game Development or Design articles/posts that are still relevant to devs using GameMaker Studio 2, culled from the defunct old GMC Archive. When posting please follow these simple rules:

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Why Your Game Isn't Finished Yet

Original: Link

Here's something I put together. It's kind of a game design primer and checklist. I hope it helps.



DO Start small

When people start making games they normally have a dream project in mind ("It's like, Call of Duty, but with like an MMO thing - oh and it's in space with, like aliens, and loads of planets and galaxies-") Yeah, no. It's cool to dream of the amazing games you'll one day make but it's also important to be realistic. When you're starting out making games it can be a good idea to remake (but not copy!) a classic simple game (Pacman, Asteroids etc.) Even if you want to do your own project it's best to keep it simple and small. You can always expand after you've completed the initial idea, but if you take on too much at once you'll get disheartened and quit. I've done this more times than I can count, and it took years before I realized my mistake. If you take away nothing else from this list, remember this - Start small.

DO Plan thoroughly and completely
Here's another I used to do - think of a game idea and immediately open GameMaker, mess around with some stuff, get bored, close GameMaker and never open that project again. Sound familiar? Or maybe you spent a long time on the project but it's becoming really dull and you're slowly giving up. Everyone's motivated by different things - but there's something that seems communal in the games industry. Planning. None of your favourite games ever got made without at least a game design document. So the first thing you should do when making your game is write a list of every feature, character, level etc. that'll be in it. Explain what the game's all about. Come back to it, when you have new ideas. This can form a nice to do list for when you come back to project, and it keeps you motivated. You can just focus on one game play feature, complete it, and move on to the next one.

DO Be creative
I'm noticing a growing trend with GameMaker games - Zombie games. I even wrote an article about it here ( ). A lot of them tend to be similar and focus on copying the Call of Duty model. It's probably not a good idea to do this, especially if you want people to play your game. Why should people play your game and not Call of Duty? You should make some effort to differentiate your game. When I say "Be Creative" I don't mean start from a blank slate and be 100% original. I don't think that's even possible. But consider what might make cool features in a zombie style game (but which aren't impossible to make!). Maybe your game could focus on being more scary or the complete opposite - more zombies and more arcade style! Your big advantage over Call of Duty is your creativity - make it count! And as a final note, don't directly rip off anything like Zelda, Mario, Sonic, Battlefield, Call of Duty etc. You could get legal action taken against you if you're simply ripping off the game and you're not learning anything.

DO Realize "There's nothing new under the sun"
This kind of leads on from the last point. You need some inspiration for new game play mechanics or ideas. Well go search! Not just your Xbox 360 games, though. Search online. Find arcade games, classic games and stuff on other platforms. Look up YouTube footage, watch films and listen to music. Expand your horizons and you'll quickly end up with more ideas than you need! However, this can also work the other way - you might find out your super awesome game idea already exists. That's OK - learn from it! What did reviewers and customers think of it? Was it good? Great? Terrible? Use it that knowledge to make your idea better!

DO NOT Consider yourself alone/an auteur/a visionary
So maybe you've come up with what you consider a super unique idea. You don't want anyone's help because your idea is so valuable people will definitely steal it. You tried making it once but it was hard so you gave up. So now you just complain to everyone in earshot about how if only EA would give you a blank cheque you'd make the best game ever created. Don't be this guy. We all have our dream projects but they shouldn't distract you so much you do nothing else but think of them. Work your way up to that big project, maybe by taking chunks of the design and completing them as individual games.

So you've got your awesome game idea. You've polish the document up, have loads of great ideas and long to do lists. You've looked up similar games, played them and learned from them. Some people seem to get stuck here. I've heard from people at parties about their amazing game idea they somehow never found the time to make. Don't be them. Start. Don't let time, skill, money or any other barriers hold you back. GameMaker has a free version! Find an hour or two a week to bash out some code! And skill, well, nothing teaches you game development better than making a game.


DO Keep to your plan

You've spent time developing a game design document, a to do list and some other documents. So use them! When you finish stuff cross it off your to do list, and if you missed something - add it! These resources are only useful if they're kept up to date. If you find it a pain to use Word or Notepad, then write your list on paper. Or whatever - just use it! Cross stuff off a list is great - it shows you how much you've done and provides great motivation. However, while you should keep these documents up to date, don't treat them as scripture. Good game development is about iteration - finding what's wrong with your project, fixing it and testing it again. If you decide to cut a feature, that's okay, and your game design document should reflect that.

DO Stick to good coding guidelines
It's tempting when working on projects to cut corners, especially on stuff as dry as coding guidelines. But it's important to adhere to good coding guidelines. Example - I was working on They Hunt with a Hunger (link in my signature) and did a bunch of stuff to the shop interface. I then came back near the end of the project to change a few bits and pieces and was completely confused - where was that data again? Everything was neatly organized into data structures but without comments I couldn't find my way around. We don't adhere to coding guidelines for you right at this moment, we adhere to them for future you and other coders. For a great GameMaker specific guide to coding guidelines see this topic. Thanks paul23!

DO Use appropriate sprites
Don't cut corners when using art. Art is what attracts most people to play your game so it's important that it at least looking consistent. Now I'm not an artist but there are a lot of great resources out there - is a good place to start. All my games start with basic programmer art like circles and squares for the player and enemies, but don't release your game with that stuff left in. Also, try to avoid using the default resources that come with GameMaker, because it can be distracting to people. It makes for great programmer art though.

DO NOT Use default show messages
This should be fairly obvious - they're ugly and annoy the hell of people.

DO NOT Hit "The Wall" (or if you do, plow through it)
"The Wall" is a running term - it refers to when you suddenly burn out of energy and need to quit in the middle of race. In other words, you've pushed yourself too hard. I think this can be applied to game development fairly easily. Although not as physically exhausting as running, on long projects people can lose sight of other things and burn out easily. Remember to balance your life, okay? Alternatively the opposite can be true - people can gradually get bored of a project and never finish anything. As I said earlier, everyone is motivated differently and I don't have a great answer to this - aside from keeping your projects short and focusing on the to do list. It's the only thing that's seemed to work for me.

DO NOT Use obviously copyrighted content
I mentioned this briefly earlier, but even if you don't copy the game play of an existing game, you shouldn't use their art, sound, music, names etc. either. I did this once, and really regretted it because it was so obviously ripped off and stupid. You risk legal action and deprive other artists of an opportunity to help you. It's just and douche move. I mean - how would you like it if someone did this to you?

DO Play test
No game is done unless someone else has played it. Your friends and family will (if you're lucky!) be interested in your game making hobby and be happy to give your game a try. Now, that's great and it can be super useful if you understand some ground rules: Your friends and family won't want to hurt your feelings and so they might not tell you if something isn't great in your game. Sometimes it's better to watch what people do, rather than what they tell you. Another point - try not to involve people too early in the process unless they've had some game development experience. They might misunderstand the kind of feedback you want or really be able to say anything constructive ("Oh I know that's broken, obviously I'm going to fix that"). Some game developers like Half-Brick (Jetpack Joyride, Fruit Ninja) swear by taking your game onto the street and letting people play it. As long as your prepared for it, this can be a great learning experience. Just make sure you know what you're doing.

DO Use content tested on multiple computers
So multiple people have played your game but have you tried it on multiple computers? Or if you're making an android/iOS game, multiple devices? This is a must for obvious reasons - what may work on one computer, might not work on another.

DO NOT Ignore problems you know exist but think other people won't see
I've been guilty of this one as well. You can't hide poor production from players - they will see it. If there's a UI glitch, or a small bug with damage then fix it!

DO Use music/sound effects
Games with great music and sound effects are much more immersive and enjoyable than those without. Try and find some to fit your game. That said, in HTML5 this can be pretty buggy, so don't worry so much about this there.

DO Polish
You can think of polish as refining something or making it elegant. Lots of polish makes a game a joy to play, whereas not enough can make it annoying or frustrating. I'm sure you can think of one or two instances of developers cutting corners or obviously not finishing something - it's especially common in bad games. Every bit of effort you put into polish improves your game and it's vital that you put work into it. In fact, if there's one big problem most of the games on the GMC suffer from, its this. There's a great video called "Juice it or Lose it" which explains exactly what I mean:

You've finished your game and are ready to upload it for everyone to play on the GMC, now follow these tips for maximum response!

DO Select the right forum
Fairly obvious, although people seem to not realize there are forums for each platform (HTML5, Windows, Mac, Android etc.) and WIP forums for projects that aren't yet finished. Don't annoy the mods by putting it in the wrong one. If you do make a mistake, that's OK, just PM a moderator.

DO Come up with a name for your game before uploading it
Come on, people, I really shouldn't have to say this. This should be obvious, even for Work-In-Progress projects.

DO Use grammar in your game topic
I know a lot of people on this forum are pretty young, and I'm not too strict about grammar and spelling myself, but you shouldn't use leet speak or poor grammar in your opening post. People will assume this lack of care extends to your game and so they won't want to try it. So run your post through a spell checker, okay?

DO NOT Use any of following in your game topic
Meh. Lol. Bad. LMAO. Heh heh. Excessive smilies. That dumb medieval one people seem to love. And for god's sake, don't go on a rambling monologue about how your game isn't done but you're bored and want attention. I don't care. I want to know why your game is great and why I should download it and review it. Okay? *breathes*

DO Upload screenshots
It's a scientific fact - made by like scientists - that topics with at least one screenshot get 10,000% more activity than those without. No, but seriously, people are a little hesitant about downloading strange programs onto their computer, so show them what they're missing!

DO Include relevant information about your game
Don't just drop a link and tell us to download it. Sell it to us? Why's your game great? Let us know about controls and any specific feedback you want. There's a great topic about this right here. Thanks RhysAndrews!

DO have a download/play link for your game topic
It's a rule in the Completed Game and WIP forums that you have to have a download link to your game. If it isn't done yet, there are preview topics for screenshots and the like.

DO Get involved with other communities
The GMC is great, right? But there are other game development forums and communities out there - like the GameMaker subreddit on Reddit. Try and reach out to them to promote your game. However, make sure to follow their rules! They might not look to kindly on people only there to push their stuff on them.

DO Relax
Breathe. You've posted your game, made a great topic, spread it to the right communities and forums and maybe done a little post mortem. Take a moment and congratulate yourself - you've done something a lot of people wish they could. Reward yourself and take a break. You should probably go outside or something, as well.

DON'T Bump your topics after 2 milliseconds
"GUYZ COMMON THREEE DOWNLOADZ AND NO COMMENTZ WUT WUT WUT". Christ, calm down. Look it's fantastic that you're so passionate about your game - that's great. But don't harass people for downloading your game and not commenting. Some people don't have time or the inclination. Be patient. Maybe you could spend this time answering people's questions in Q&A or by writing a little post mortem about what you learned making your game. Or start planning your next one!

DON'T React badly to comments/criticisms/feedback
People are going to make flippant comments about your game or even react badly to it. Try and accept this - although I know it's hard. Try to see where they're coming from and learn from it. No game is complete without players so learn from what they're saying to you. If you respect people and learn from your mistakes, you'll be a master GameMaker in no time. Maybe. Hell if I know.


DO Consider/Critique the games you play

This is so underrated. Don't treat every game as GOTY or total rubbish. Be able to use game development terms and critiques correctly. Really try and dig under the skin of the games you play and figure out why you love/loathe them. Before long you'll be thinking about how the developers managed to do this feature or that piece of art. This is good - you're learning. Although you might find it tricky to "lose yourself" in a game again, you will. And that's when you know you've found something special.

DO Join game jams
Game Jams are friendly competitions where entrants try and make a game in a very limited time frame. They're great - especially if you're struggling to finish any projects. The GMC hosts them pretty regularly - get involved!

DO Make One Game a Month
One Game a Month is project where the objective is to, well, make a game every month. And that's pretty much it. Edit: Though the original run ended in 2018, the same idea can be applied at any time. Check out the past results here:

DO Get a website/blog
After you have a few games under your belt it's helpful to have a website or blog to organize them all. It doesn't have to be flashy or anything - just a collection for your games and any thoughts you have. There are plenty of free ways to get this set up so have a look around.

DO Buy the Game Maker books.
They're great. Probably the best game development resource I own (aside from GM, obviously). Clear, sensible advice and some great example projects with explanations for everything. The chapters on design are fantastic as well.

DO Realize these points are my own experience, yours will probably differ. And that's fine.
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OP: RhysAndrews

Guide To Raising Replies On GM Releases

Written by RhysAndrews
Updated by FrostyCat (2019-11-24)

Original: Link


Being the 370th person ever to join these forums, I've examined how people respond to topics, how they create them, when, why, and even where, and how others take those responses. In fact, lately, it has been stressing me to see people blindingly respond and edit their topics to die out the chances of others replying to them. This topic will give you some tricks of the trade, and some tricks that most of us know - to really polish off your GM-Release Topics, and your GM-WIP Topics - to really give a bigger chance of people responding to them. You need to remember that this guide focuses on your topic layout, not your game. There will not be a dramatic increase in replies, however these guides will definitely contribute towards it, as well as give a nice layout for the community.

Part One || Your Game
Now obviously, the quality of your game is extremely important; if someone views your topic, only to see a review flaming how badly designed your game is, their chances of trying the game out them self is very low. It's also obvious you need to work hard on your overall performance, quality, and fun in your game. However, I'm not going into that.. I'm going into the simple features.
  • Make sure your game has a strong documentation. If you leave out all the keys or the story or what the hell the game IS, you aren't going to like the output of the reviewers. Do NOT put the documentation in the games topic, having to refer to the topic while playing can get irritating.
  • Make the game actually seem like a game, not an engine. Give your game a menu system, a customised loading screen, and its own icon. One of your biggest goals is to make the game look and feel like it wasn't created with Game Maker; that's what shocks people the most.
  • Completely disregard presenting this game to the public if you made it "because you were bored". This tends to end in flamewars.
  • Any external documentation files should be in either PDF, TXT, or DOC format (PDF is the most professional option, TXT is good too). They need the basics... Story, How to Play, Controls, and Credits. Also allow people to access this easily inside the game (loading the file in-game with a press of a button, or opening a graphical version as part of the menu).
  • Give a lot of options. A lot of people test out your game while listening to music, and if music is playing on the game that isn't mutable; You'll get some bad comments. Allow for a quick and easy way of muting music, switching resolutions, etc.
Part Two || Your Distribution
It's everywhere: Make sure you use a fast host! Don't just go for the cheapest! Give a description of what the game IS! Well let's make it a little more informative, descriptive, and clear.
  • Make sure anyone can get access to your game; compress your game into a ZIP file, not a RAR file. If you have WinRAR, WinRAR can compress to both ZIP and RAR files. Remember, you are serving the viewers, they are not serving you. So you must be responsible for making sure they can download and run the game without a hassle. Also, make sure the host does not require registration to download, but just a few clicks (at the most).
  • Avoid installers for smaller games! People don't usually want a shortcut to your game in the desktop/quicklaunch/startbar until it's up to a certain caliber. Whenever feasible, keep the files directly inside the zip file.
  • Fast Hosts; People aren't going to download from hosts that go at 2kb/s, so don't host there. Search around for reviews, or ask a friend to host it on their server for you. Also, put into consideration that people don't want to be directed to your site; they want to be directed to your GAME LINK; you can link them to your site somewhere else in the topic, but always allow a direct link. And that direct link needs to be clear and straight in your topic, not a signature and not small text.
  • Multiple Mirrors; on the common case of a server going down or completely shutting down, it's good to have multiple mirrors. That way, the topic will cover for dead links itself, and you won't have to edit and upload all the time.
Part Three || Your Topic
There are tons of topics around that has too little or too much or irrelevant information on the message body. You need to level it perfectly to get people to enjoy your game more; Yes, the topic can affect how people enjoy the game by a lot, because it gives them a bit of knowledge about who you are, so they would know what the purpose of the game is, thus would appreciate it more for what it is.
  • Use a lot of italics, bold, size changes, and alignments where appropriate. Give Italics when you want to emphasize something, or make your text Bold to grab the viewer's attention. Make headings bigger than subheadings and subheadings bigger than body text.
  • Do NOT give the controls in the body text; people do not need to know this until they've opened the game. Make sure what you insert in this topic only shows the important info to make the viewer want to try out your game, and make sure you give them ALL the important info. Split that info into groups.
  • SCREENSHOTS. They're very important. One option is to use the "Upload an Image" button and insert a thumbnail. An alternative is to host them separately, and hyperlink the full size screenshots. Screenshots are easy to take - just press the PRINT SCREEN button (between F12 and Scroll Lock on most keyboards) and then paste in paint (if you're on Windows), or press Command + Shift + 3 (if you're on Mac).
  • Do not say things that make people praise you more... like humbly saying "I did this in a few hours, hope you like it", or "it's not that good, but I thought I'd release it anyway". Keep the topics looking formal, as if you don't think anything about your game, you're simply here to give it to the viewers, and let them decide. It's also not important info, so viewers won't respect the comments.
  • Most importantly, NEVER use memes or non-serious emojis. It really makes people think you're all teletubby like... well that's not necessarily the word, but just don't use them.
  • Keep the email talk and abbreviations out. lol and lmao and omgwtfpwned really puts a dent in the formality of your topic.
  • Make your topic title the name of the game, not "My first game" or anything like that. As for the description, make sure it's something that will attract the viewers' attention. Download count (even an estimate is ok), Viewers Comments, or a simple slogan or description about the game.
  • Preview your topic before posting. Quite often you'll forget to close tags, leaving a messy looking design. Also, spell-check your work (unless you very rarely spell a mistake, in which case you should just quick-review your work).
  • Your topic is useless without a download link, so make sure it's easy to see, and that it isn't in your signature or it doesn't take a bit of forum browsing (or site browsing) to reach. It needs to be *right there*.
  • Spellcheck your work. It's absolutely vital to keep your design/layout nice. If English isn't your native language and/or you simply aren't 100% familiar with English grammar, get a friend or a fellow GMC member with native fluency to rewrite it for you. And don't trust the language converters on say Google.
Part Four|| Your Response
This is REALLY important; I'm telling you WHEN, HOW, and WHY to respond to your own topic.
  • Most importantly, your repliers have put time out to test your release. No matter what, do NOT get annoyed or angry at them; a nice comment that corrects them, yes, but what they say is up to them so long as it's within the GMC Rules and ethical rights.
  • It's their review, so let them say whatever they want about it. If they report a bug you know about, thank them, and don't say that you already knew about that one. It's your own mistake for not giving a known bugs list; and if you did, read the first point.
  • Put their suggestions, reviews, and bug reports into SERIOUS consideration, especially if your work is a work-in-progress. Viewers are the people that are going to be playing your game, so let them get what they want, they know what they want.
  • Believe it or not, people are less likely to even visit your topic if you are the latest replier. If you don't believe me, try it out sometime. In which case, don't reply unless you have to, and upon replying, Make sure you acknowledge EVERYONE'S comments. At least you're minimizing your replies, and still covering everyone's thoughts.
  • Don't flame back flamers. This will screw up your topic with a huge flamewar, and would probably end in a topic close. Just report any unfair comments and moderators will take it into their own hands.
  • If you have more news on your release, edit your topic-message with the new news, and only post a new reply with the news if you are not the latest responder. This could result in a topic lock if otherwise.
  • Quote replies before responding to them; Make sure to have their name in the quote box. Lead by example:
RhysAndrews said:
As you can see my name is in the title-bar of the quote.
Yes, thank you for that.

I hope that helps you really understand how to polish off your topic.

Rhys Andrews
GameCave Team


Using Colours in Game Design
Edited by FrostyCat (2019-11-24)


Colours are naturally appealing to the eye, especially when used correctly. In this passage of text I'll explain to you primary colours, secondary colours, the colour wheel, and how to use them to effectively draw gamer's attention to parts of the game, and make your game easy to look at and understand without intrusive things like dialogue boxes and text everywhere.

Part 1: Colours
Basically, you have 3 colours. Red, Yellow and Blue. These are the 3 Primary Colours - i.e. they're the first 3 colours you can mix to make any other colour you can think of, if you mix them properly. You can set them up as thirds of a circle, like so:


Then you have colours like green, purple and orange, which fit in between yellow, red and blue. These are called Secondary Colours, because they're the second colour you get after mixing two primary colours. Let's put them into the circle as well:


Then, by mixing primary and secondary colours, you can get any colour in the rainbow. The full circle is this:


Part 2: The Colour Wheel, Complementary Colours and Analogous Colours
Look at the colour wheel, as the circle above is called. I want you to take a look at the outer ring. First, look at blue, then straight away look at the opposite colour, which is orange. These two colours are called complentary colours, because they contrast so well when put together. Seriously - Open up Paint.exe and draw a blue square next to an orange square. They are completely different.

You can do this with any colour. Pick a colour, look across the wheel, and that's it's opposite. Green/Red, Yellow/Purple, Blue/Orange, the list goes on.

Now I want you to look around the colours of the wheel in a clockwise motion. The colours next to each other easily transition, as opposed to the harshness of the opposite colours. This is because they are next to each other, and are similar - for example, red and orange. They work together. Colours like these are called analogous colours, as they are very similar and easily comparable. They are found next to each other on the wheel. For example, take a look at different pictures of flowers, and notice the colours and how they work together, and their relationship to each other on the wheel. It's suprisingly accurate.

Definition of analogous

Part 3: RGB Colours & Hue, Saturation and Value
I'm going to take a quick detour and mention RGB colours, and HSV - Hue, Saturation and Value. Basically, where red, yellow and blue are what you can use to create any colour with paint, red, blue and green are what you can use to create any colour with light.

The main difference comes from the fact that as you mix paint it gets darker, where as you mix light it gets lighter (go figure). The RGB Colour wheel is a little bit different from the RBY colour wheel, but the same principles from the previous parts apply.


The reason that this is useful knowledge is that computer screens create light! The images seen on screen are created with RGB colours because the screens have to emit light, so RBY colour wheels don't make sense - you're mixing light, not paint.

Now, Hue, Saturation and Value are some interesting and different things altogether. The saturation of a given image can ususally be represented as a percentage (though in GM's sprite editor it's a value from 0 to 255) and represents the amount of colour (or lack thereof) in an image. The value of a given image is simply a representation of the lightness or darkness from that colour. For example, let's just say I have the RGB colour (0, 0, 1.0f) - 0% red, 0% green, 100% blue. If the value of that is reduced over time, the blue would get darker and darker until it is finally just black. Hue itself simply represents a colour in the rainbow - red, violet or anything inbetween.

Part 4: Using This Information
(Originally contributed by icuurd12b42; reworded to become project-neutral)

So now that you have an understanding of the way colours work with and against each other, you can use them in game design. Here is an example colour scheme applying the principles discussed thus far.

Background things: Colour of choice, theme of level (e.g. ice = blue, fire = red)
Foreground things: Brighter colour of choice
Important parts (e.g. doors, interactive objects): Complementary colour, or a colour near it on the wheel
Very Important Parts: Exact Complementary Colour
Player, Enemies, etc.: Your choice, but they should look nice at least

Usually you should set the theme of the level, and how it looks. For example, a cold, icy place would be rather bright blues and whites, with things like orange doors so the player knows where they're going. Another example is a fire-y level. Fire is usually red, so that's the theme I'll pick for the level. Important things are green, enemies can't be red (otherwise they'd blend into the background), the player is their usual self.

Part 5: Conclusion
If you set up levels to exploit the characteristics of colours and their workings, your levels will not only look nicer, but have a professional look and polish to them that is very, very appealing. Take a look at Phil, my game. Nothing special, 4 days of work, and it looks almost indie material.

Have fun while making games, and remember, graphics aren't nearly as important as gameplay, but nobody will play a game that looks like rubbish.
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Copyright & Trademark Questions: Useful Links


The two most common copyright questions here are:
  1. Do I need to register a copyright for my game?
  2. Can I sue if someone steals my game?

Answers: Registering your copyright is not required, but you must register to file a lawsuit:

1. Copyright is automatically granted when you create your work. Your product IS legally copyrighted, even if it's NOT registered.
And remember this: just because something is free on the net, it may still be copyrighted. Nobody is allowed to use your material, or anyone's material, unless they get the owner's permission.

2. To sue for copyright infringement (in the USA), you must register your copyright first.

2a. If you register AFTER the theft occurs, you can only receive money for actual damages, such as lost sales.
2b. If you registered BEFORE the theft occurred, you may also receive extra money for statutory damages and lawyer's fees.

There's usually no reason to post copyright questions in the forum. For more information, check the links below.


List Redacted by FrostyCat (2019-11-29)


Game Design/Layout
  • Unnecessarily time-consuming tasks that should be simple (e.g. excessive distances between the bank and the shops).
  • Annoying health decreases.
  • Using different background music for everything (can make game slower or just be annoying).
  • Not enough background music variation (using the same song throughout the entire game can be annoying).
  • Weird glitches or bugs (Test, test, test, and then test your game some more).
  • First boss being harder than later or even the last boss.
  • Game rules that go against your intuition (random's example: "Cosgroves umbrella the jumping stones still kill you on the side").
  • Not being able to hide from or avoid boss attacks.
  • Impossible to beat bosses (Duh!).
  • High scores that only rely on getting a bonus and nothing else.
  • No title or menu screen, and starts right into the gameplay on startup.
  • Multiple mini games that are poorly done, instead of one type of game that is done well.
  • Overused stock images, sounds or music.
  • Not enough levels or is too short.
  • Ability to save the game too often (not annoying really but can take the challenge away from some games).
  • Inability to save the game at sensible check points (e.g. level completion, defeated boss etc.).
  • Lack of variable jumping in platformers (i.e. the longer you hold the jump button, the higher the player jumps).
  • Too much focus on graphics, and not enough on gameplay.
  • Lack of custom in-game dialog boxes (the show_message function can be annoying and unprofessional).
  • Inability to see what is ahead of you because of annoying HBor or VBor view settings (in platform games especially).
  • Lack of response from user interaction.
User Friendliness (let users play your game the way they want to play it)
  • Not being able to toggle full-screen (if someone wants to run your game in full-screen give them the option; if they don't, let them turn it off).
  • Not being able to toggle background music and/or sound effects (can slow game down or just be annoying; and if the user turns it off, make sure it STAYS off throughout the WHOLE game).
  • Cinema/movie scenes that are too long and/or impossible to skip.
  • Almost anything that takes control away from the user for long amounts of time.
  • Lack of documentation and other how-to-play material (e.g. can't play a game if you don't know what the control's are).
  • Lack of a quick exit feature (let the user quit the game whenever they want to via one or two key combination exit).
  • One key exits (accidentally exiting a game without saving it is needless to say, very annoying).
  • No load/progress bar during the load screen (not as important if your game has a short load time).
  • No indication that a menu item is selectable when you hover over it with the mouse.
  • Unnecessary installers or lack of appropriate installers.
  • External dependencies that are needed to run the game, but are not part of the package or added by the installer.
  • Game text that scrolls too fast, or too slow, or is impossible to skip.
  • Lack of a Restart Level option.
  • Slow load times.
  • Slow run times (be careful about scaling).
  • Lock ups during game play.
  • Slow download caused by large file sizes.
  • Long download times; short gameplay times.
Game Controls
  • Controls that are spread out too far or are too cramped together. (CobraA1: "Try to use keys that require minimal hand movement, but the left hand and right hand should be a comfortable distance apart. ")
  • Using the Shift key (can open an unexpected Accessibility window on some computers).
  • Using the keypad (can cause problems for laptop users).
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This is a conversation starter that I posted on the GMC in 2009. May I start a similar topic for 2019?
SilentxxBunny said:
I have been thinking that The GMC is in need of an update to keep up with the times. As Game Maker continues to become more advanced so do the games that have been created with it. I think that this is incredibly eminent with the sudden wave of 3D and Online games that have been created lately.

One peculiar thing that I only just noticed is that we have a section dedicated to 3D games but we do NOT have one dedicated to Online Games. So I was thinking that in order to keep up with the times and the outburst of Online games that have been created lately we should dedicate a section to the finer design aspects of Online games.

1) PHP and MySQL Connectivity
2) Online Speed Optimizations
3) Online DLL's Generally Networking Extensions
4) Server and Client Interactions
5) General Port Discussion (Port Forwarding)
6) TCP vs UDP
7) Server Coding (GML vs Foreign Languages)
8) Game Maker and Online Programming
9) Different Types of Connections
10) Preventing Common Errors
11) Theoretical Knowledge
12) Online Security (Preventing Hacking)
13) GM Servers vs Virtual Servers
14) Package Sending
15) Account Systems
16) Synchronizing
17) Auto-Updating and Patching
18) Online Highscores and Statistics
19) Real Time Events and Special Occurrences
20) Online Editable Examples​

This would also solve a bigger issue that I am sure you have all noticed. The surge of topics in the question forums that say nothing but "how do I make an online game?!?!?!?!1" that are inevitably closed. Perhaps if those users had an entire forum dedicated to Online games to surf through they would ask more specific questions rather than general ones. I realize this won't be the solution to all of our problems and that there will always be some users who ask dumb questions. But I do believe that this could help. Quite like the 3D games forum the Online games forum would be strictly for advanced users to discuss the more complicated aspects of Online programming.

This would be a great way to spawn new and intelligent ideas for Online games and I think it would also help to cut back the spam topics in the question forums. What do you think?
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