OFFICIAL Learn About GameMaker’s Future and How We Fit in At Opera (Q&A)

rmanthorp

YoYo Games Staff
Admin
YYG Staff
https://www.yoyogames.com/blog/598/learn-about-gamemaker-s-future-and-how-we-fit-in-at

Following our big news, we want to take the time to assure our developers of the long road ahead for GameMaker and let you know some of our plans. We also want to host a Q&A featuring YoYo Games and Opera - to introduce Opera and let our community ask the burning questions.

GameMaker

We have a lot in store for the future of GameMaker. We are not ready to share everything yet but as we focus on version 2.3.2, the top priority is further support for all the features added in 2.3, Curve Library and 9 Slice functionality and ensuring our platform exports are all up to date. A beta release of 2.3.2 is coming very soon! We’ve updated our Roadmap with some teases of upcoming features and versions beyond 2.3.2 and some big platform support updates.

Opera is investing in YoYo Games in order to accelerate the development of GMS and increase our support for new beginner users, as well as our professional developers using GameMaker. We are currently working on new onboarding and up-to-date features tutorial videos. We also plan to update our existing tutorials and Learn page to make sure everything works well with version 2.3. We have a brand-new set of education coursework coming soon. We are also committed to supporting our professional developers with platform updates, console support and plans to expand our enterprise support.

Video Q&A
Join us hosting a live video Q&A on Zoom. Stuart Poole, Russell Kay, Andrew Turner and Ross Manthorp will be joining from YoYo Games and we will introduce Krystian Kolondra and Maciej Kocemba from Opera who will all be set to answer your questions.

EDIT: We are all set for our Q&A video call - tomorrow Wednesday 24th @ 5PM GMT - JOIN: https://opera.zoom.us/j/99310892953?pwd=dENWQjR5ZFdyMzB5Ny9KTTVhOHBWUT09
We will record the call and have it available for those who can't make it.

Questions can be submitted via this Form and questions that do not get covered in the video may be covered in a follow-up blog post. We are all looking forward to hearing from you and answering your questions!
 
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Can the "Inspector ..." improvement be the suggestion I file a while back? Hope yes! I'll be glued to the screen waiting for the Q&A to be announced!
 

Kezarus

Member
As a developer, it's good to see the commitment of the YoYo team towards refactoring in the roadmap too. It's important to have a second look at the code and make it better and maintainable. IDK if it was already there before, but I just noticed it now. =]

Gonna submit some questions now. I'm very interested!
 

kburkhart84

Firehammer Games
It seems Opera will be much closer to the community(or at least allow Yoyo to be). I don't remember a Q&A or anything like it when Playtech took over.

I too am highly curious what Inspector... means. And I see they are planning to remove OpenTK. I wonder if that has to do with removing the dependency so they can finally add the IDE plugin stuff we want.
 
Can the "Inspector ..." improvement be the suggestion I file a while back? Hope yes! I'll be glued to the screen waiting for the Q&A to be announced!
Geez, I hope they allow us to swap the positions of the resources in the tree, if only that! Got the feeling this is a resource-IDE thing, but might be a lot of things, going just by the name!

I too am highly curious what Inspector... means. And I see they are planning to remove OpenTK. I wonder if that has to do with removing the dependency so they can finally add the IDE plugin stuff we want.
And what about Metal for Runtime? (see, I went with a Texas Band ;) )

 

Nocturne

Friendly Tyrant
Forum Staff
Admin
Moderator
Geez, I hope they allow us to swap the positions of the resources in the tree, if only that! Got the feeling this is a resource-IDE thing, but might be a lot of things, going just by the name!
You can already do this! Go to the top right of the asset browser and change the filter options from there to "Custom Order". :)

And what about Metal for Runtime?
 

kburkhart84

Firehammer Games
Geez, I hope they allow us to swap the positions of the resources in the tree, if only that! Got the feeling this is a resource-IDE thing, but might be a lot of things, going just by the name!
I'm wondering if it is something akin to Unity's inspector, but it seems weird that they would use the same name as the competitor but who knows? Maybe it's part of the IDE plugin stuff. I submitted a question about that feature too. I'm unclear what tree resources you are referring to though. If you don't have it set to alphabetical order you can order them however you want.

And what about Metal for Runtime?
Are we talking Dragonforce, FFDP, or something more classic like Big Hair Metal? Seriously though, that's just another graphics API that basically replaces OpenGL or Direct3d in your engine's rendering pipeline(not sure if you know or not). It seems to be the future of things, though I'm not too familiar with how shaders etc... work for it yet.
 

kburkhart84

Firehammer Games
Unity isn't the only tool to have an "Inspector" window. It's fairly common in a lot of tools (the SDK I am working on currently has various Inspector windows in the UI).
This is true, but do they all actually name it the "inspector" I wonder. I'm assuming some might, but I don't really know.
 

EvanSki

King of Raccoons
The Extension Updates (TBA)
have me intrigued, Hopefully this means better and easier use
and we no longer have to struggles with int to double conversion!
 

gnysek

Member
I don't remember a Q&A or anything like it when Playtech took over.
It's nice to see that there's some talk going on, not like last investors..
What about https://forum.yoyogames.com/index.php?threads/gml-updates-in-2019-follow-up-ama.61623/ ? :) I know it wasn't exactly when they took over, but they have their dialogue once or twice too...


----

I too am highly curious what Inspector...
Inspector means Inspector, you can open it using Windows > Inspector since 2.3.0, but it works only for sequences now. Seems they gonna extend it somehow (for rooms for sure), so Q&A should give more details :)

1613086136539.png
 

kburkhart84

Firehammer Games
Hah, that was one of my (so far 8) questions, too. Glad to know I'm not the only one.
Yup, I only added 3 because I already know they are going to get tons of duplicates. But added those three I chose just to be 100% they do have them.

What about https://forum.yoyogames.com/index.php?threads/gml-updates-in-2019-follow-up-ama.61623/ ? :) I know it wasn't exactly when they took over, but they have their dialogue once or twice too...
Indeed, but that was just with a few Yoyo members, and it was more about the gml updates. THIS Q&A is more general, including the roadmap stuff, but a couple Opera people are there so there are likely going to be plenty of questions about the company's future direction and the like, which I don't remember Playtech ever addressing(I could have missed something of course).

Inspector means Inspector, you can open it using Windows > Inspector since 2.3.0, but it works only for sequences now. Seems they gonna extend it somehow (for rooms for sure), so Q&A should give more details
See.....I have yet to do anything with Sequences, so I didn't know we already had a dialog for anything that is actually titled inspector. Knowing this, I guess you can say we already have inspectors for things like object instances in rooms and the like. So indeed we are still missing details as to what they are getting at in the roadmap. Maybe we will be lucky and it is custom inspectors which could also be read as IDE plugins, which everybody seems to want :)
 

Posh Indie

Member
See.....I have yet to do anything with Sequences, so I didn't know we already had a dialog for anything that is actually titled inspector. Knowing this, I guess you can say we already have inspectors for things like object instances in rooms and the like. So indeed we are still missing details as to what they are getting at in the roadmap. Maybe we will be lucky and it is custom inspectors which could also be read as IDE plugins, which everybody seems to want :)
That is exactly what I am hoping it is.
 

JeffJ

Member
IDE plugins, which everybody seems to want
Frankly, I'm eager for anything that gives me even the slightest chance of altering that god awful, horrible, dreaded, painful mistake that is chains and workspaces. Plugins seem to be the most realistic way. On top of that, there's about a billion other cool possibilities in it, so... Yeah. It would be pretty great.
 

HalRiyami

Member
For those curious about Inspector. It is very likely what @gnysek said. We currently only have it in sequences but the Blog post about 2.3 clearly stated that it'll be an IDE wide feature: "Currently the Inspector window is only available for sequences and the elements that they contain, but it will become a feature throughout the IDE in future updates."
 

FoxyOfJungle

Kazan Games
For those curious about Inspector. It is very likely what @gnysek said. We currently only have it in sequences but the Blog post about 2.3 clearly stated that it'll be an IDE wide feature: "Currently the Inspector window is only available for sequences and the elements that they contain, but it will become a feature throughout the IDE in future updates."
It will be very good for this to come true.

The inspector is something that you really have in many editing programs, even in video and visual design, so it's as if that name were something "universal", such as "File Manager/Browser". And that makes it a lot easier to manipulate things.

I'm really looking forward to what is to come, and I am very happy to see YYG evolving! 😀
 
The nicest thing of all would be to be able to, in Unity term, Serialize variables in said inspector to tweak them while debugging...otherwise it's just a create event with a nice interface, no?
 

FrostyCat

Member
For disclosure, I just submitted these questions on the form:
- Is it possible to ramp up beta runtime releases to biweekly or monthly, instead of the quarterly or even annual releases we've been seeing? The frustration over the pace of recent updates has been brewing in GM user circles for quite some time now. The GMS 2.2.5-2.3.0 transition, in particular, spanned over 8 months without a single update.

- Is OpenTK being removed from the IDE, finished products, or both?

- Does "Refactoring" in the roadmap refer to refactoring code internal to the IDE/engine, or tools for refactoring code in projects? Personally, I'd love to see regular expressions, multi-cursor and some basic form of OOP refactoring if possible.

- YoYo's official extensions for mobile platforms are easily the most criticized of any offering on the Marketplace, with frequent complaints about being out-of-date, build-blocking or badly documented. What will be done to improve on this? Can some of this be outsourced to select community members? Will YoYo reconsider publishing some of their own games (or that of partnered developers), so that issues concerning API integrations have a direct line of feedback to the core team?

- Why was Metal chosen over Vulkan for 2.3.3? GMS 2 is a cross-platform development tool, so it seems odd to exclusively prioritize a graphics API that only works on Apple devices.

- When will the IDE plugin API be released? This was one of the first action items on GMS 2's design that still has not been acted upon, yet has the potential to relieve significant amounts of development work off the core team's backlog. For example, there are already several particle system designers on the Marketplace, yet because the IDE plugin API is still not public, the previous roadmap had "particle system designer" on the list duplicating existing community offerings.

- I've seen mentions of "GMDeath" and "YYGTest" on Mantis before, so it seems there is a comprehensive self-test for GM already available. Are there any plans to release it so that we can verify our setups across exports and understand what use cases have been tested? This is particularly important for the HTML5 export, which has historically lagged behind other exports in terms of correctness.

- Are there any plans to officially address support for these items?
- Basic Native UI (especially text boxes and scroll panes)
- CTL text rendering and glyph substitution
- Text effects (e.g. bold, italics, bordering, multi-coloured rich text, etc.)
- Regex support at runtime and/or in the IDE
- Basic Video playback
- Improved audio engine (basic audio filters, loading OGG/MP3/WAV formatted audio on the fly like sound_add() used to do)
- SSL for socket networking
- Multi-threading
- Running headless (for servers or local data processing tasks)
I'll think a bit more about questions on Opera-GMS integration this weekend.
 

Yal

🍋 *lemon noises*
GMC Elder
Roadmap said:
Remove OpenTK
I've read through all the existing material and nothing has addressed this so far... what's the benefit of removing support for stuff like OpenGL when GM's already several majors behind in shader language support? (OpenTK's last stable release was ~40 days ago so it's not exactly in deprecated territory) Or is it an IDE change? The only dirt I could dig up on OpenTK is that it's mainly intended for .NET, which is basically Windows-only, so if it's going to be replaced in the IDE with something else it could be a sign that cross-platform GMS is gonna be a thing...?
 
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Coded Games

Member
Overall I’m already loving the new Opera YoyoGames. Recent updates, hiring, and transparency have given me hope for a bright future for GameMaker.

I am a little disappointedat how vague the roadmap is, 3 refactoring and 3 consolidations don’t really tell me much.
 

Nocturne

Friendly Tyrant
Forum Staff
Admin
Moderator
could be a sign that cross-platform GMS is gonna be a thing...?
GMS is already cross-platform as it has a MacOS IDE... ;)

I am a little disappointedat how vague the roadmap is, 3 refactoring and 3 consolidations don’t really tell me much.
Well, there's not really much that can be said about those things... Refactoring is generally related to internal stuff for the runner to optimise and improve the compile times and final game performance when compiled. So, there are no real details that can be given about that. Consolidation is the same, only it's more of a "lets fix ALL THE BUGS and improve the UX as much as possible", so again, there isn't really much they can say in the way of details. Personally, I think both these things are really important, as GMS2 isn't the most performant or stable platform and I'm happy to see YYG hold back on adding yet more new features in favour of tidying things up and improving stability and efficiency first. Long term, it should mean that when new features are added, they'll have less issues and that your games will be better optimised and run better.
 
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gnysek

Member
I hope that Asset Inspector isn't the only feature, as other things on roadmap are rather "optimizations" that "new possibilities" (like particle editor, morphing sprites on sequences, sprite font in-IDE support, SVG support, etc.).

1613130273096.png
 

JeffJ

Member
I just submitted my 9th question so far.

To follow Frosty's example of full disclosure, here's mine so far (paraphrased from memory):

1: Will you consider selling console modules as onetime purchases?
2: Will you consider premium/paid support subscription? (To offset ongoing console support costs currently being the reason for the recurring price model)
3: Can we expect more transparent/open/free communication than during previous ownership?
4: Did you drop plans for IDE plugins?
5: What are your plans to support studio/enterprise/professional users?
6: Will YYG get more staff and/or resources?
7: Will you be updating Spine in 2021?
8: Will you consider letting us "unchain" objects within the IDE?
9: Will you consider providing SDK updates (for consoles, mobile etc.) separately from non-related runtime updates? Right now, if you're trying to certify for console release, you could easily be in a situation where the most recent SDK update required by MS/Sony/Nintendo also carries with it nonrelated runtime changes that breaks stuff specific to your project, and you can't update SDK without also getting those runtime bugs because you currently bundle general runtime updates (affecting collisions, GML and many other things) with vital SDK updates. Will you please let us separate these in the future?
 

Yal

🍋 *lemon noises*
GMC Elder
I hope that Asset Inspector isn't the only feature, as other things on roadmap are rather "optimizations" that "new possibilities" (like particle editor, morphing sprites on sequences, sprite font in-IDE support, SVG support, etc.).
I'd rather have fewer things that are stable than hundreds of cool new features that don't work half the time... :p

I've basically given up on the "drag files onto a GM window" import strategy since they get added to the end of the resource tree instead of the indicated dropoff point and need to be manually renamed and lose the actual imported asset as a result of that rename, it's much faster to create X placeholders and manually import files through the sprite/sound asset windows instead... and just the other day I had a weird bug where the resource tree lost sync with the actually present assets so I couldn't set asset-valued variables through the GUI because the new sprites I added didn't show up in the list (so I had to change them to expression-valued instead and just paste the name).

Having to figure out workarounds for things like this isn't a super-big deal (you should see some of the crap the build system in my day job is pulling!) but if a feature is so buggy you can barely use it, all the effort that went into making it half-functional basically was wasted... you get the same result as if it wasn't there, only it took manpower away from other things.
 

kburkhart84

Firehammer Games
I'm glad so many of us are posing the questions regarding these things(like the IDE plugins), but @Yal has a good point that stability on current features is also important. I guess this way though they will see how important the features are since they are going to have so many duplicates.
 

kburkhart84

Firehammer Games
- Why was Metal chosen over Vulkan for 2.3.3? GMS 2 is a cross-platform development tool, so it seems odd to exclusively prioritize a graphics API that only works on Apple devices.
from the roadmap
Metal - An Apple graphics API that they will require all Apple devices to use in the near future
By this statement, it seems that it's being forced on them by Apple, like they aren't going to let us keep using OGL/ES.
 

JeffJ

Member
In the roadmap, " Workflow Improvements - A new (optional) way of working in your projects that does not use workspaces or chains "

There is that, but you might be thinking of something different. I don't know if you already saw this.
I did not see this when I looked! That sounds very intriguing! I'm just hoping it's not basically a glorified fullscreen code editor - I would like to keep the idea of object windows, but without the need to always have the main part of the object and the events list open, and without the constant auto refocus every time you do anything (50% of my time spent in the IDE is repositioning the "camera" after it auto positions itself into a very suboptimal position)

EDIT
That made my 10th question. Thanks for pointing it out!

10: Can you elaborate on this roadmap point "Workflow Improvements - A new (optional) way of working in your projects that does not use workspaces or chains" - this sounds very promising, but will you be taking community feedback before committing to one design you think will work, so we won't be stuck with something that is too late to change once again?
 

gnysek

Member
New Workflow Chain sounds great. Opening 5+ objects/sprites causes chaos, so that's good there are plans to fix it.

Optimally I would like to see every quarter:
- one totally new feature (like particle editor)
- one improvement/extension to existing feature (like Inspector add-ons)
- one optimization/replacement of existing feature (like OpenTK or Metal, new workflow)
- bugfixes
 
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