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new user - DND or GML?

S

SobeDiver

Guest
Hi there

I've done a few tutorials showcasing both some Drag and Drop and GML. I'm ready to start trying some things out on my own. I have a design background but limited coding experience and it would definitely be easier to start by using DND.

My concern is that I may learn habits I need to unlearn or relearn if I want to get more advanced later.

So my question is, can you start with DND and transition to GML later or is it better to start off with GML, even if it's slower going at first? My instincts say the latter but I'd like to hear from people who have experience.

Thanks for any input!
Steve
 

TheouAegis

Member
All DnD functions have GML equivalents, but some DnD actions are actually 3 or 4 lines of GML code. If you plan on learning GML eventually, just start with GML. But you can do lots and lots of things with DnD... if you also know GML. lol
 

Binsk

Member
You can transition from one to the other. If you do a DND project you actually are provided with a "code" DND icon where you can still do code when you wish.

That said, if you have experience with designing software / games / what-have-you then I'd just go straight to GML as it is significantly more flexible. If you don't have this prior experience then DND is great for learning how to structure a game and how the flow of code works in GameMaker.
 

Toque

Member
I like the idea of DND but the problem will be when you get stuck.

If your using GML there are lots of tutorials and many many nice people here that can help you out.

DND help will be more limited.
 

PlayerOne

Member
GML no question. From my time using DND in the past (GM7) it's mostly just a shortcut. While good for creating prototypes on the fly. It wont be very good to use when your game becomes more complicated as it progresses.
 

sylvain_l

Member
I like the idea of DND but the problem will be when you get stuck.

If your using GML there are lots of tutorials and many many nice people here that can help you out.

DND help will be more limited.
I'm going to second that.

GML is easier to copy-paste into a forum code block to show your code properly. (screenshots of DnD can be a mess to show if it's more then a screen and if someone want to help; going to be a pain to rewrite all the DnD graph for a small correction) and most importantly the majority of active & advanced coders that are around that forum are using only GML so it's much easier to get answers.
 

Neptune

Member
Id be surprised if you could find a wellmade /popular game that is created using drag and drop anything.

Id just start with GML and youtube and you'll be sailing before you know it!
 

Toque

Member
Id be surprised if you could find a wellmade /popular game that is created using drag and drop anything.

Id just start with GML and youtube and you'll be sailing before you know it!
I’ve seen many apple featured games made with drag and drop.
 

samspade

Member
Short answer: GML.

Long answer: While drag and drop is slightly faster to learn it has three major limitations. First, it is just more limited than code. You can't do all the same things and many more advanced things are actually harder. Second, there aren't as many resources for learning it. Third, most people on the forum don't know it (or know it well) and, therefore, can't help you troubleshoot. Also, it really is only a little easier than GML. There's still a bunch to learn and it won't all transfer over, which you will need to do at some point if you want to make a game of any great size or complexity.

I would say spend a couple hours with both. If DND clicks instantly and GML seems like the worst thing in the world, maybe stick with DND for awhile. Otherwise, GML.

If you decide to go with GML, see the link in my signature for some good starting tutorials on it (not by me).
 

TheouAegis

Member
I'm going to second that.

GML is easier to copy-paste into a forum code block to show your code properly. (screenshots of DnD can be a mess to show if it's more then a screen and if someone want to help; going to be a pain to rewrite all the DnD graph for a small correction) and most importantly the majority of active & advanced coders that are around that forum are using only GML so it's much easier to get answers.
You should never use screenshots, period. Game maker has the ability to make DnD copy-pasteable for debugging.


DnD is quite flexible, but by the time you know enough to take full advantage of what DnD offers, you'll already he able tocode entirely in GML. Furthermore DnD is bloated in terms of many of its functions. Eventually you'd get it down to Set and Test Variable and Test Expression actions, then you'd eventually get it narrowed down to just using Execute Code...
 
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sylvain_l

Member
Game maker has the ability to make DnD copy-pasteable for debugging.
thx learn something (not used much DnD so didn't even no there was such thing)

edit: how do you copy-paste an object graph or at least a full event graph
(only found for a unique node how to do it or a few if not nested or anything complex;
and it's buggy in term of compatibility didn't work to paste in notepad; did manage on the edit post of the forum... but only while the windows pasteboard was empty - after cuting a word of my edit... it was always pasting that word, even if the copy pasting of the node is ok inside GMS2)
 
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Neptune

Member
I’ve seen many apple featured games made with drag and drop.
It says theyre made with drag and drop? All i know is the project im working on now would have taken an extra 4 years or something to get to where i am now, and at that point it would be incredibly inflexible and a fustercluck of logic. Im pretty sure there are well over a hundred or so scripts of which many are over 1000 lines of logic... And i dont want to imagine trying to do that with drag and drop lol

I can imagine DnD works fine for games that dont rely on heavy amounts of code or complex mechanics. But otherwise, you wont regret learning to code...
 

Electros

Member
Hi there

I've done a few tutorials showcasing both some Drag and Drop and GML. I'm ready to start trying some things out on my own. I have a design background but limited coding experience and it would definitely be easier to start by using DND.

My concern is that I may learn habits I need to unlearn or relearn if I want to get more advanced later.

So my question is, can you start with DND and transition to GML later or is it better to start off with GML, even if it's slower going at first? My instincts say the latter but I'd like to hear from people who have experience.

Thanks for any input!
Steve
If you find DnD easier to start out with whilst learning the ropes, go for it. I found it a useful way to get off the mark whilst getting to grips with the IDE and terminology (plus re-learning how to code, better this time around!). If you are then at some stage finding DnD very cumbersome and needing to move to GML (which you most likely will sooner rather than later, depending on what you are trying to build), then that's also good thing. :) As others have noted, you will likely find a lot more help available on the forums for GML compared to DnD.

We all have to start somewhere - this was my first completed (but not released) game, a horrible mish mash of DnD + awful GML, terrible graphics, gameplay and controls - but I learnt a lot even from that, and was proud to have actually finished something!

FirstProj.png
 
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