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Legacy GM [SOLVED] Learning GML: Where To Start Reading From On Help File?

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RetroGameFan

Guest
I just took a look at the Help file that came with Game Maker Studio 1.4, and I'm a little bit unsure of the precise point to start at, as I want to learn GML step by step beginning with the basics. I have a fairly good idea of the workings of Game Maker (particularly sprites, objects, and rooms), but between none and very little knowledge of GML itself.

The Help File is divided into four sections: Introduction, Using Game Maker, Advanced Use, and Reference. It seems to me that the place to start is the Reference section, but I'm not quite 100% sure. Am I right on target, or is there a better approach? Any feedback will be appreciated.
 

Fabseven

Member
Hello
First you should eat some tutorials on youtube and then experimente the things you are interested in.
Second, some more tutorial and testing based on the type of game you want to create (develloping a TRPG , RPG or plateformer is not the same thing)
Third, polish your skills : how to code collision ? how to move something ? how to make something die ? how to make a gui ? use of with, use of timeline, etc...
Third, Try to do a first projet not to embitious, think of it as a training test but something more real than following a tutorial
Then you will probably think your first project is **** (like was my first one) and build another one of a better level !
 
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Hadin

Guest
I agree with Fabseven. I tried jumping the gun after getting a few basic mechanics down only to find that once I got to something i didn't already know, I was completely stuck with no real recourse for figuring it out myself. I've been working between three different prototypes just to learn how it all works and stringing bits together (since after a certain point, it becomes very difficult to keep stringing easy if statements together to make a real working level). I'm not saying it can't be done but it takes a good amount of ingenuity and skill to logic out how it all corresponds to each other. So read as much as you can process and experiment with that you learn til you can do it without referencing back to some tutorial then learn more. Find the mechanics and subjects that you like and would wanna implement but don't make those your only focus. Chances are you'll need a bit of everything to get a working model of your vision. Good luck.
 
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RetroGameFan

Guest
I give great thanks to both of you for your help and consideration! I really appreciate it! :)

The only major concern I have at the moment is that I got a set of replies to a previous thread that sort of conflict with what both of you are saying. Most of the members who replied to me there tend to think that tutorials aren't the best way to do it, and rather suggested I read the Help file. Please refer to the following thread to be able to understand my confusion: https://forum.yoyogames.com/index.p...nded-gml-tutorial-for-beginners-solved.18791/. Have any further suggestions?
 
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Kyle Rider

Guest
You can download a demo on the marketplace for free, look at that code and then use reference to understand what they are doing. I don't think tutorials are evil, you just need to cross reference the code.
 

Shawn Basnett

Discount Dev
Some people learn differently, I would watch some tutorials before looking at the help file just yet. I personally learned with Shaun Spalding's tutorials, I watched Heartbeast on things Shaun hadn't covered. Give them a shot for awhile, then move on to doing it by yourself, when you feel comfortable doing so. Shaun does a nice job explaining what each function does. Goodluck.
 
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Hadin

Guest
I'm not advocating using only YouTube or similar video tutorials by any means. I don't find them all that helpful when it comes to really understanding new pieces of code or functions. Most of the "teachers" teach a 'copy word for word' method without adequately explaining why what they're doing works. That aside they are there and plentiful. Use what works for you.
 

Tornado

Member
I would say you can do both because both of it cover the stuff differently:
The help files provide a lot of information but of course sometimes they are too dry and do not explain well how something is really used. Also some examples there are too theoretic, but at least there are some.
The tutorials show you the practical use.
I also watched Shaun's and Heartbeast's tutorials and I'm thankfull that they are there to spicy up the dry stuff.
But for me it is easier than for you, I already know many concepts I'm a software developer for more that 2 decades now, new to this game dev stuff . But nevertheless those tutorials are great help also to me in that sense that I can see what is possible to achieve, how and what are the pitfalls. You just learn the principle from there, because anyway often you can't use it 1:1, you have to modify it to your needs.

You can choose a topic one after another and do both on a topic: help file and tutorials. One will fill in where the other one comes short. You take for example a couple of day or week for arrays and try many things out, then stack, then lists, then maybe views, etc... just pickup something on your level with a bit of challenge and dive bit by bit into it. You will notice the progress the next day(s).

You can also google for some general tutorials for beginners when it comes to arrays and data structures, they are pretty same in every language only syntax differs.
 
Just kinda skimmed over everything, so this might have been mentioned, but reading the Manual isn't going to really teach you how to use GML, as its just a reference after all. However, I would definitely suggest looking through the entries and reading up on any functions that look interesting to you. While you won't remember everything, it'll give you a good idea overall what you can do with GML. This is something I do every few upgrades to see what has changed, in case I've missed it in the update notes.
 

RangerX

Member
I think that step zero is to understand what a language is. Then you will understand the manual much more anyways.
Those are basic concepts that are shared in many prog languages and you can learn about it easily thanks to our buddy Google! :)

- Variables (bool, real, string, array, constant, etc)
- Syntax (conditions, accessors, operators, etc)
- Loops (do, for, with, etc)
- Functions (creating a script)
- Objects
- Data structures, tables

Those are the basic concepts that will let understand what a language like GML is. And you will become better MUCH faster and learn more easily.
 
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RetroGameFan

Guest
@Hadin - Thanks for replying here yet again! :)

To everyone else, of course, I give equally as much thanks! :D I guess I'll start to get cracking now. This topic is hereby solved, but I'll make sure to post another thread here if I'm having any further trouble. ;)
 

Fabseven

Member
You can also read the forum you might found some solution on problems you might have.
I donot recommand reading pro code, it's too much optimised to understand it quickly and something not even commentated ... tryied to read the code of a tower defense i got with GM on humble bundle : kind of hard.
Well in GM you there are multiple solutions to do something so in the dev doesnot use something you would use it's sometime kind of hard to understand.

Another comment : It's hard (espacially for me) but you wont get a lot of graphical ressources so your game might look a bit horrible but in the beggining it's not what is important. Better try to make a functionnal game for now that to make a great looking game.
 
It might help everyone if you described your experience with programming (other languages, how much time spent, etc...).

If you are completely green, no development experience, the video tutorials will help for sure. But, when you are faced with something not covered, you probably won't really know where to go with it. I am not sure were to recommend someone with no previous development experience to start.

I am a web developer, fairly experienced (IMO) and I still struggling to learn GML. That said, I have a fairly strong understanding of code structures in general, which is important. I use a combination of tutorials (started with Shaun Spaulding's and Heartbeast) and just sort of gone from there testing things out. I had a pretty complex 2D game started from his tutorials, though I am probably going to let it die as there is a lot of mess going on in it. Starting something new now, trying to make my code more efficient this time around.
 
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