Pixel art games

Can anyone shed any light on why 99% of game maker games are pixel art games? There are plenty of posts out there in the wild suggesting that 'of course game maker is a propper language', 'of course you can make 3D games', 'of course, you can make professional games' and of course you can.

My question is why don't people do that. What is the best example of a game made in-game maker that's let's say for argument sake made more than $1M.

Is this considered a professional platform or not. Don't get me wrong I love game maker but I don't think I can put this on my CV.
 
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FrostyCat

Member
This has been discussed many times before, and this has been my reply every single time:
Rather than accusing GM users of sticking to pixel graphics, I prefer looking into why people who use other graphics styles tend not to use GM. Look at GM's support for vector, skeletal, extra hi-def raster and 3D-modelled graphics. How well are they maintained, developed and supported?

Diversifying the style of products produced by GM requires diversifying GM's support for techniques and technologies that underpin them.
The "of course you can" comments come from the perspective of technical possibility, i.e. whether someone can hack together something resembling support with time and skill. The reason it isn't attempted at production level comes from the perspective of a lack of vendor-side support, i.e. built-in functions and other engine-level features that YoYo actively supports and keeps sufficiently up to date. The Spine integration is regularly up to half a year out of date, the workflow for extra hi-def raster still has no real community consensus, and 3D support is so bare-bones that it could be entirely discounted for anything non-experimental.
 

kburkhart84

Firehammer Games
I don't know about games making how much money. I know there are plenty but I don't know actual amounts for the purpose of discussion.

I DO know however that Gamemaker is simply built around pixel based graphics much more than other game types. Like FrostyCat says, the support for other types of graphics is either typically behind, or very bare-bones. They have in the past even removed features in order to make things more performant for HTML5 and mobile. When they went from 8.1 to the new GMStudio, they actually removed colliders and changers from the particle system, in the name of performance. I guess we are lucky they have provided some things that help as far as 3d. We have full control over the drawing matrices, and can create and submit batches of vertices directly to the GPU. So they have provided a very bare-bones amount of what is needed to get 3d going. But they have stated multiple times that they are not at all interested in adding 3d features, and that all the features they will be adding will primarily be to make 2d games better.
 

pixeltroid

Member
Can anyone shed any light on why 99% of game maker games are pixel art games?
Perhaps its because most Gamemaker games are created by solo developers whose strengths lie in programming, as opposed to art. Creating good quality non-pixel art and animation (for example, like in "Rayman" or "Cuphead") requires incredibly high amounts of artistic skill. In contrast, pixel art is relatively easy to create. Even people without an art background can learn to create decent looking art. Another thing is that the pixel art "look" is simply more 'video-gamey' and aesthetically pleasing.
 
This is what I have experienced. I can code reasonably well I like to think but as far as design goes I'm less than a beginner. This is kind of confusing to me because I play a lot of games and understand what makes a good game, but actually making one is hard and requires different skills as part of a team effort. I see a lot of posts on the forums saying 'I need a graphics artist help!'.

I'm in this boat. That makes sense. I get by using paid-for royalty-free assets. Eventually, this will be a problem as it will become obvious that my creations have pinched assets left and right.
 

Nocturne

Friendly Tyrant
Forum Staff
Admin
I wouldn't say 99% percent of GM games are pixel art... Maybe 99% of beginners games, or hobby developer games are, but a large part of published commercial-grade games are most definitely not:


... and I could go on!!!

I also don't necessarily agree with what FrostyCat says either (to an extent, but I don't think the situation is as black as they paint it). Yes, there are some things (like 3D) that GM isn't known for and that require hoops to be jumped through, but games with high quality, high definition graphics are more than possible, and I'd say that while a LOT of the games that are on the SHowcase are indeed pixel art games, it's no where near 99%. More like 60%? As to why this is, I suspect it has more to do with production budgets and time than anything else. Pixel art is usually easier and faster to produce - or cheaper to buy or contract or even find for free - and so is far more accessible to small teams and one-man developers. I'm not saying good pixel art is easy (as it's most definitely not), but it's not quite as work intensive as higher resolution art and requires fewer frames etc...
 
Thanks for those links. Definitely inspiring. Still what I would call 'smoothed out pixel art games' but In all honesty that's what I like. Castle crashers for example (Not a GMS game) gave me a great number of hours of enjoyment.

Thank you for those links.
 

pixeltroid

Member
I get by using paid-for royalty-free assets. Eventually, this will be a problem as it will become obvious that my creations have pinched assets left and right.
Are you allowed to modify the art assets that you buy? Because if you can, then you should do so. Modifying purchased assets would make it look more "original", and less like it was purchased from an asset store.
 
That's exactly my problem. I have no graphical skills what so ever, I just like to program. I wish I could but it's just a whole other dimension of learning that would take me away from my projects.

It takes a very talented person to be a programmer, an artist a designer, creator, director, producer, sound engineer, marketer all in one. I know they exist I'm just not one of them sadly. I just program. :(
 

Yal

🐧 *penguin noises*
GMC Elder
A good style (and some basic design theory) goes a long way even if you don't have the skills needed to produce high fidelity assets. SuperHOT has untextured low-poly assets that you could slap together in 10 minutes in the System Shock level editor, but it still got a lot of praise for its visual style thanks to its, you know, style. Thomas Was Alone is a game where everything is a rectangle, and it somehow got a lot of praise for its storytelling merits. Instead of trying to make "good graphics" by only going for high fidelity assets, try to find a style that works with your abilities' limitations.
 
A good style (and some basic design theory) goes a long way even if you don't have the skills needed to produce high fidelity assets. SuperHOT has untextured low-poly assets that you could slap together in 10 minutes in the System Shock level editor, but it still got a lot of praise for its visual style thanks to its, you know, style. Thomas Was Alone is a game where everything is a rectangle, and it somehow got a lot of praise for its storytelling merits. Instead of trying to make "good graphics" by only going for high fidelity assets, try to find a style that works with your abilities' limitations.
I seem to be agreeing once again. It's my brain it just won't let me. I do disapprove of my thinking brain.
 

pixeltroid

Member
Even if you can't draw, you can surely take a photograph.

Take photographs of textures and turn them into tiles. Take photographs of scenery and use them as backgrounds. Take photographs of people and use them as sprites (like it was done in the '90's). Of course, you will need to do a lot of planning and post production work, but you'll end up with something interesting.

You don't have to limit yourself to pixels and drawing software. Research classic animation methods, stop motion, puppetry, clay sculptures and what not. Computer graphics are all based on classic forms of arts. For example, "skeletal animation" software that many game artists apply is based on puppetry!
 

Yal

🐧 *penguin noises*
GMC Elder
Taking photographs and turning them into textures? You could just cut out the middleman and go to https://www.textures.com/ , formerly known as CGTextures. Interestingly, Heavy Rain has skyboxes which still are watermarked with CGTextures logos, so even commercial AAA studios get their textures from these guys (and sometimes just use the free samples instead of paying for the premium stuff).
 

kburkhart84

Firehammer Games
Taking photographs and turning them into textures? You could just cut out the middleman and go to https://www.textures.com/ , formerly known as CGTextures. Interestingly, Heavy Rain has skyboxes which still are watermarked with CGTextures logos, so even commercial AAA studios get their textures from these guys (and sometimes just use the free samples instead of paying for the premium stuff).
That's hilarious! I don't know if they downloaded the watermarked higher resolution versions or what. The lower-rez versions are typically legal for use commercially, but maybe they just really wanted the higher-rez versions and just kept the watermarks out of the view to get away with it. Also funny though, they could have just edited the damn thing to completely remove the water mark since that part of the texture wasn't visible in the game under normal circumstances anyway.

Seriously though, I see no issue using pre-made assets as long as its legal. The best thing you can do however is make them your own(not legally but spiritually) by modifying them for your game, adding to them, using them to modify other things, etc...
 

Yal

🐧 *penguin noises*
GMC Elder
The Heavy Rain skybox watermark was hidden by a lot of effects and also wasn't in the "actual image" part of the texture, so it's not particularly intrusive... I'd guess they just didn't care about removing it since the skybox was just used for one scene and they just grabbed a random skybox for it.

Here's the source for my claims, if anyone's interested.
 

kburkhart84

Firehammer Games
That's the video I saw as well. I'm not sure what you mean when you say "actual image" though because if it wasn't there, it wouldn't have been found by moving the camera. It is also part of the UV space of the drawn model, or it wouldn't be there. Now, it was indeed covered up completely in the actual game as far as I know simply because other geometry was blocking it, and the only way to see it was to move the camera to a position that was not intended on by the developers. But it was certainly still in the image or we wouldn't have been able to see it at all.
 

dannyjenn

Member
I don't think it's fair to say that "99% of game maker games are pixel art games". There's plenty of variety... some use vector art, others use high-res raster art, and others use 3D models.

The best example of a GameMaker game is probably Undertale, which did use pixel art yet nevertheless was a pretty cool game and extremely popular. (Perhaps overrated, but still a great game.)

I also don't think it's fair to equate "pixel art game" (or even "2D game") with "non-professional". It's simply a different art style / different gameplay style. And seeing as GameMaker's strong point is 2D rather than 3D, it makes sense to find more 2D games out there than 3D games.

As for pixel art versus other kinds of 2D art, I think it's often a matter of preference. Pixel art is usually more stylized and more abstract. It enhances the game experience because it provides enough details to get the point across but not too many details to the point of drowning out the player's imagination. Newer games and newer art styles don't have that. Their goal is to show the player exactly what they want him to see, without leaving anything up to his imagination.

In some cases the use of pixel art might be out of laziness or lack of art skills, but this shouldn't be taken as representative of all pixel art. Good pixel art isn't just thrown together in 5 minutes by someone who can barely use Paint. Good pixel art takes much time and skill and planning. It requires a completely different skillset than 3D models or vector drawings.

As far as putting it on your résumé, I don't think it would hurt. Unless the employer is vehemently against GameMaker, more game engine experience can only work to your advantage. Especially if you have a well-polished GameMaker project or two in your portfolio.
 
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Yal

🐧 *penguin noises*
GMC Elder
I'm not sure what you mean when you say "actual image" though
The image has a picture of some clouds ("actual image") and a border along the bottom with the copyright info ("useless bonus content" or whatever). If the watermark had been a traditional "superimpose text across the entire image", it'd been much easier to notice it in normal gameplay.
 

kburkhart84

Firehammer Games
The image has a picture of some clouds ("actual image") and a border along the bottom with the copyright info ("useless bonus content" or whatever). If the watermark had been a traditional "superimpose text across the entire image", it'd been much easier to notice it in normal gameplay.
Gotcha. When I say "image" I'm thinking the literal whole thing, as it appears when you open it in an image editor for example. When you say it, you are referring to the part that is actually meant to be seen, the clouds in this instance. You exclude the border and watermark from that definition. Cool, we agree then.
 

Khao

Member
The way I see it, it's not so much that Game Maker is only well-suited for Pixel Art, but that there's simply a massive overlap between the kind of people that are attracted to Game Maker and the kind of people that are attracted to Pixel Art.

Game Maker is super easy to learn, and it's one of the best engines for 2D games in terms of development efficiency. Like, everything can be done quickly.

It's easier to make Pixel Art look... presentable than other types of art, because the art form in general (especially the more simplistic styles) relies a lot on the imagination of whoever's looking at it. Like, a huge chunk of creating Pixel Art is way more abstract than some people realize.

So assuming that they're interested in 2D gaming, Game Maker is appealing for new aspiring game developers, and pixel art is also appealing for new aspiring game developers. Even though Game Maker is capable of other types of art, generally speaking, it simply attracts more of the kind of people who are interested in making pixel art games. A lot of people who start using Game Maker don't even question if it can do other things, because they don't even want to. I've actually had people look at my current game and be like "you did this in freaking game maker like what the hell?!" and I'm like... I'm not even doing anything out of the ordinary or using tools in any way outside of their intended use. Aside from actually having to consider memory, doing HD 2D in Game Maker is seriously no different to doing pixel art from a development standpoint. (Unless you're being like, REALLY ambitious, and yes, you're gonna run into issues then).

As for 3D, anyone that wants to make a 3D game is not going to look at Game Maker and think it's their best option, even after looking at some of the nicest-looking examples of 3D in Game Maker. As much as people say that 3D can be done with Game Maker, the most shockingly impressive 3D stuff made in Game Maker are kinda... still below the base standards of engines like Unreal and also required 20 times the work.

In any case, "Pixel Art Game" and "Commercially Successful Game" are not mutually exclusive by any means, even today.
 
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NightFrost

Member
Game Maker is super easy to learn, and it's one of the best engines for 2D games in terms of development efficiency. Like, everything can be done quickly.
Since I've been looking into C# recently I also looked at a certain game engine that uses it for scripting, and it is... interesting to see the hoop jumping required to make 2D pixel games with it. One of the more interesting commentary on building with the system was, you have to tweak it until it works. You have to TWEAK it until IT WORKS. So the guy was implying an undefined amount of gotchas and edge cases in the process that may come to bite you without warning, and you have to just accept it. (That, or he wasn't very good at it.)
 

HayManMarc

Member
Just gonna throw this out there. Minecraft is basically pixel art in 3D format. It's not gamemaker, but maybe you get my point even tho its a little off base.

Pixel art is just an art style. Sorta like choosing between realistic or cartoon.

Gamemaker lends itself to pixel art very easily. Maybe that has something to do with it.
 

Yal

🐧 *penguin noises*
GMC Elder
still below the base standards of engines like Unreal and also required 20 times the work.
Unreal's essentially the engine when it comes to make snazzy 3D lightning, so comparing GM with it might be a bit unfair. I've heard of several cases where games were made in Unreal specifically to make screenshots look impressive in order to woo people over for easy money (the System Shock remake being one of the more notable examples... though there's been no official confirmation in that case, only educated guesses/accusations).
Obligatory other engine bashing: the Hat in Time dev specifically avoided Unreal 4 because the new licensing terms were too restrictive, instead sticking with the obsolete Unreal 3. Chances are 5 will continue this downwards trend, and the stinky bloodsucking fiends over at Epic Fail don't need to care thanks to their army of brainwashed dancing children providing them with a steady stream of their parents' credit card money.



Anyway, let's switch back to something relevant to keep the topic going, I guess?

Hypothetically, what would be the "least viable effort" changes UX-side to make GM go from "here's a brick mold now go build a building lol" to "actually sort of okay" 3D support?
I've always reinvented the wheel without questioning in my code, and every attempt at trying another engine has made me run away in disgust, so I've not really thought of this on a serious level. But now there's pretty good support on an engine level (native desktop shader support on top of the cross-platform GL ES, dimension-agnostic camera system, raw vertex buffer support) and the main obstacle is on the UX side (the whole "you need to reinvent the wheel" business).

Off the top of my head, the two biggest limitations are "no WYSIWYG 3D room editor" and "no support for standard 3D model formats and associated skeletal animation", and a bit further back there's "lack of cool built-in 3D lighting shaders" and "still uses that old thing instead of material-based rendering" with a bit less impact. I'm deliberately ignoring 3D collisions since it's a pretty big box of worms; I personally would stick with a "built-in collisions are only 2D, and you need to code 3D collisions yourself" policy and only add 3D room previews as the main functionality. (That's mostly since I have no idea how the cool hot stuff in 3D collisions work, I just use cubes and hashmaps to limit unnecessary iterations and it's working well enough, but... details). Perhaps some convenience functions that check if a 3D point is inside a basic 3D shape like a cube or cylinder (or even inside a closed shape defined by a model) could help, but that's the-extra-mile stuff.
 
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Xer0botXer0

Senpai
Like discussing why one music genre is better than another.
Matter of agreed upon perspective, and it sells.

What is interesting to me is why a person chooses one genre of music over another at some point in their life, perhaps later they add more..
Or why people prefer a particular brand of car.

Say you're at Musica or some store that sells CDs, the store categorizes and stuff like that.
Tim goes to the rock section and finds something that feels familiar
Steven is just buying a gift.
Marco took a recommendation and purchased a particular CD
Sarah browsed through a variety of sections and took out a few CDs based on the cover images, she only took one because the song titles on the back seem cool
Ted the alien heard a song before, had deep meaning to him, he went and bought the cd because of 3 minutes of pleasure. He might never listen to the rest of the content or know about genres and so on.

As a consumer we consume for a variety of reasons.. that lead us to our purchase.

As (Creators)musicians, if you have control over how your CD visually comes out, you'd try to have your CDs cover look like it belongs in the correct genre I suppose.

As indie devs that choose pixel art, here's the point ..past experiences have brought us to use Pixel art.
There's nothing linear about human decisions unless it's under script that the plural of human follows.

I for one have never tried vector art, haven't had the opportunity(and If I have, some experience had caused me to skip), haven't taken the opportunity to learn it either.
I am curious about 3D art, I've dabbled but.
When I work on an new game it's how I imagine the game, it's the thought processes I go through, as an individual without a Game design document and perfect plan as a team might have, I don't consider everything, perhaps with a new game I just imagined 2D pixel, with a certain camera perspective, it didn't even pass internal narration as to which form of art this game will be in. As it would when working on another game in another time.

Why is pixel art an option, possibly engraved in mind ? because it comes with the package of being here, using GMS. Had I taken a different path, then maybe I'd be using Vector art, or what not.
How did it become an option ? No bad experience with pixel art games, it's aesthetically pleasing because I appreciate the work that goes into choosing the correct hue, saturation and contract from millions of colors, placing that down into a dot, then finding how the next dot will validate the previous dot, and how they and those to come will portray the artists vision on screen of an object, a scene, an action, effect, in a manner that the general population from a variety of paths can perceive, that this table I drew is in fact a great representation of one found in the 1800s in a specific area during a specific time, and that the light reflecting onto it, and the shadows cast, put it into the scene.
Suppose as long as we continue to validate pixel art, it will continue to be a form of art that's continuously used in video games and other manners that will be appreciated by others.

Thanks for the thread, had fun writing this. xD now im hungry
 

Rayek

Member
...and there are indeed game jams (and games) intentionally going for an 'ugly' or 'programmer art' style.

Nothing is off the table! As long as the game is imminently playable and original, that is. Just like art, as a matter of fact. As long as your players accept the visual style for what it is, really.






 

Yal

🐧 *penguin noises*
GMC Elder
Ooh, Space Funeral! It's a shame that game is so forgotten these days, the ending twist is a much better deconstruction on asset flipping / stock resource regurgitation vs doing something original than Getting Over It and also is the perfect critique against RPG Maker / Degica's business model :p
 

Niels

Member
Thanks for those links. Definitely inspiring. Still what I would call 'smoothed out pixel art games' but In all honesty that's what I like. Castle crashers for example (Not a GMS game) gave me a great number of hours of enjoyment.

Thank you for those links.
Castle crashers was originally made in flash, which uses vector art. Gamemaker can do vector art
 

Khao

Member
Hypothetically, what would be the "least viable effort" changes UX-side to make GM go from "here's a brick mold now go build a building lol" to "actually sort of okay" 3D support?
I've always reinvented the wheel without questioning in my code, and every attempt at trying another engine has made me run away in disgust, so I've not really thought of this on a serious level. But now there's pretty good support on an engine level (native desktop shader support on top of the cross-platform GL ES, dimension-agnostic camera system, raw vertex buffer support) and the main obstacle is on the UX side (the whole "you need to reinvent the wheel" business).

Off the top of my head, the two biggest limitations are "no WYSIWYG 3D room editor" and "no support for standard 3D model formats and associated skeletal animation", and a bit further back there's "lack of cool built-in 3D lighting shaders" and "still uses that old thing instead of material-based rendering" with a bit less impact. I'm deliberately ignoring 3D collisions since it's a pretty big box of worms; I personally would stick with a "built-in collisions are only 2D, and you need to code 3D collisions yourself" policy and only add 3D room previews as the main functionality. (That's mostly since I have no idea how the cool hot stuff in 3D collisions work, I just use cubes and hashmaps to limit unnecessary iterations and it's working well enough, but... details). Perhaps some convenience functions that check if a 3D point is inside a basic 3D shape like a cube or cylinder (or even inside a closed shape defined by a model) could help, but that's the-extra-mile stuff.
I'd say that for it to be actually... "viable" as a 3D engine (like, to the point of choosing Game Maker over Unreal or Unity without being a little bit crazy) it'd need all that, 3D editor, support for models + animations, actual lighting, materials (just modern rendering in general) and yes, I think 3D collisions would be necessary, as well as other 3D functions equivalent to what you have in 2D (like distance checks, all the separate collision types, basic pathfinding, all the junk GM already does for 2D but in 3D). Also built-in 3D physics are definitely a must. If they wanted to go a bit further and actually have the full Game Maker workflow but for 3D, they might want to look into a super basic model creator/editor complete with the ability to rig them and do UV mapping, but that's definitely not a must if importing models is not painful.

Of course, I don't expect this to ever happen, and I don't think it should either. 2D is what Game Maker does best, and arguably better than other engines (depending on what you want, anyway). If they want Game Maker to improve, aim to make it unquestionably the best ****ing 2D engine the world has ever seen in every single way possible. Not an engine that does literally everything but not very well.
 

Niels

Member
I'd say that for it to be actually... "viable" as a 3D engine (like, to the point of choosing Game Maker over Unreal or Unity without being a little bit crazy) it'd need all that, 3D editor, support for models + animations, actual lighting, materials (just modern rendering in general) and yes, I think 3D collisions would be necessary, as well as other 3D functions equivalent to what you have in 2D (like distance checks, all the separate collision types, basic pathfinding, all the junk GM already does for 2D but in 3D). Also built-in 3D physics are definitely a must. If they wanted to go a bit further and actually have the full Game Maker workflow but for 3D, they might want to look into a super basic model creator/editor complete with the ability to rig them and do UV mapping, but that's definitely not a must if importing models is not painful.

Of course, I don't expect this to ever happen, and I don't think it should either. 2D is what Game Maker does best, and arguably better than other engines (depending on what you want, anyway). If they want Game Maker to improve, aim to make it unquestionably the best ****ing 2D engine the world has ever seen in every single way possible. Not an engine that does literally everything but not very well.
The problem with gamemaker at the moment is that it really lacks tools for 2D that other engines have (animation timelines, visual shaders, ui design tools, a decent physics system that handles collisions (something like cinematic/dynamic/solid bodies), a build in lighting system) to be able to call it the best 2D engine.
Thankfully 2.3 will bring some improvements...
 

Yal

🐧 *penguin noises*
GMC Elder
I'd say that for it to be actually... "viable" as a 3D engine (like, to the point of choosing Game Maker over Unreal or Unity without being a little bit crazy) it'd need all that, 3D editor, support for models + animations, actual lighting, materials (just modern rendering in general) and yes, I think 3D collisions would be necessary, as well as other 3D functions equivalent to what you have in 2D (like distance checks, all the separate collision types, basic pathfinding, all the junk GM already does for 2D but in 3D). Also built-in 3D physics are definitely a must. If they wanted to go a bit further and actually have the full Game Maker workflow but for 3D, they might want to look into a super basic model creator/editor complete with the ability to rig them and do UV mapping, but that's definitely not a must if importing models is not painful.

Of course, I don't expect this to ever happen, and I don't think it should either. 2D is what Game Maker does best, and arguably better than other engines (depending on what you want, anyway). If they want Game Maker to improve, aim to make it unquestionably the best ****ing 2D engine the world has ever seen in every single way possible. Not an engine that does literally everything but not very well.
I've always seen the ease of use as GM's main strength... it's easy to glue anything together thanks to the lack of separation between objects (and global's existence), objects being intended to be used as physical entities in the game world lowers the abstraction level to basically zero, and a lot of the framework to just make **** happen on the screen already is built into every object (speed, gravity, friction etc). It's not built to let you make pretty things, it's built to let you hack things together quickly without having to worry about boring cruft like which one of the four rendering pipelines would work the best for the project you have in mind. If you're competent enough, you can make anything look pretty by just slapping enough shaders on top of that.

Thinking like this, having support for a fully 3D workflow seems overkill. Custom 3D physics especially... basically every game you boot up these days has a Havok splash screen, nobody writes their own 3D physics system anymore and it would be a colossal waste of resources for Yoyo to try to compete with them. But making 3D support go to a level where you can at least import and preview standard resources (like with all other resource types) without having to write your own code from scratch would go a long way from turning the 3D support from essentially useless unless you're obsessed with pushing limits, to conveniently usable. Cameras already are dimension-agnostic, and there's a lot of reasons to throw transformation matrices around these days, so the back-end support keeps trickling in. Having the ability to turn the room editor 3D might even help in 2D development, with the ability to visually separate layers from each other?

While I'm regurgitating my wishful thinking... being able to pick a modern version of GL ES that's less compatible (being able to support all desktop targets with a single shader but giving up on some mobile support) could also do wonders for graphics fidelity, since 1.0 misses a lot of now-standard features like shadow cubemaps (higher precision-per-byte than a normal texture) and access to hardware sampling gradients (essentially, getting smoothly interpolated texture samples for free) - GM's build integration seems to be limited to being bundled with a shader compiler which gets to have fun with the shader script string on-build, so this appears to be pretty firmly in the realm of feasible changes.
 

dannyjenn

Member
The problem with gamemaker at the moment is that it really lacks tools for 2D that other engines have (animation timelines, visual shaders, ui design tools, a decent physics system that handles collisions (something like cinematic/dynamic/solid bodies), a build in lighting system) to be able to call it the best 2D engine.
Thankfully 2.3 will bring some improvements...
But in some ways, the "best" engine is whichever engine works best at getting the job done. So if the game you're making doesn't need all those features, then GameMaker isn't any worse of an engine than one that includes those features. Part of it is a matter of personal preference, but I know that I personally don't enjoy working with software that includes more features than I know what to do with. Because it's overkill and non-streamline... extra features usually clutter up the interface and make the software more difficult to navigate, and they needlessly steepen the learning curve.
 

Joe Ellis

Member
I think the reason 99% of gamemaker games are pixel art is cus pixel art is the biggest trend in 2d graphics at the moment and gamemaker is a 2d engine.
Of course the graphics engine is technically 3d, as it's just using directx, but by default uses projection matrices with no perspective and facing downwards which looks 2d but allows depth sorting.
You can of course create professional games with it. It's alot more capable than whatever they used to program the old nes\sega\dos games.

Gml is a different subject to the gamemaker program, it's a very powerful\able language if you learn how to make it do powerful things.
I think it's more capable than standard java\c# on their own because there are so many situations you can take advantage of the fact that it's already rigged up to a graphics engine and (credit to mark overmars) an incredible\unique logic engine.

I can't really see any negatives, you're only limited by what you can do with it.
 

dannyjenn

Member
whatever they used to program the old nes\sega\dos games.
All you need is a text editor lol (seriously... that's how they did it. A text editor both for writing the code (usually in assembly language) and for managing the program... maybe a few extra tools to help with the graphics/maps/sound/other data (all of which technically could be done in the text editor too, though additional tools made the process quicker and easier)... and an assembler to compile the ROM)

Joking aside, yes, GameMaker Studio is a full-fledged game engine, more than capable of producing "professional-quality" 2D games (even by modern indie standards).
 
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