First of all, what's a rhythm game? Well, pretty much a game where you must follow a beat, which can be constant, or can be determined by specific notes or an instrument. This can translate as a game where you must press a key every second, or a game where you must press a key every time the drums play. Music-savvy people are probably screaming because I got it all wrong, but still, I think you get the idea. So, the first thing you need for a rhythm game is a song, or just plain music, providing a track marking the "press key now" moments. I'll call these moments "track points" from now on. So now you need a way to properly read those track points, and then synchronize them with the game, including safeguards to correct small slips on the fly before they pile up and break the game-music synchronization. You also need to determine the lapses of time where the user can press the key. In my case, to give you a detailed example, I want to make a game where: The track points are marked by an instrument, meaning they aren't constant. So you'll be kinda following the song. This will mean some parts will be slower or faster. You will be able to perform one action per track point. Each action has an animation, that ends right before the next track point. This means these animations (and their gameplay effects) will have to be slowed down or speed up depending on the distance to the next track point. I could have different animations for a single action as well. If animations are to be chained, they need to have a delay, so that the character isn't idle when you press the next action. So you'll use the next action while the previous action's animation is in progress, and your last action won't start playing automatically, waiting for the previous one to finish. This is where things might get ugly. You won't be following the same instrument during the entire song, so the game needs some kind of visual notification for the track points. Its UI representation can vary, but the problems here could come when synchronizing it properly with the rest of the game, and on how to correct the slips without making the UI confusing. The music needs to be looped properly, without breaking the synchronization. Well, there it is. If you don't understand it too well, think about a dancing game, where actions are dance moves, and you need to dance with the music while using the dance moves you want. These moves will affect the scenario, but they aren't connected to the music in any way, you can play the ones you want no matter what, just respect the track points when activating them. So, the topic is about how to make rhythm games. The major problem is the music-game synchronization, but things can get uglier if you add more factors like in my example. I've seen stuff around the web, but there's no clear best method. I didn't find anything for GameMaker either. Would love to hear ideas and suggestions about the topic, specially if you've worked with rhythm games before .