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 Studio 2's Free Limitations

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Drenathor

Member
Hi YoYo Staff,

Is it possible to get some official responses that explain why Studio 2 is so much more restrictive than Studio 1? I’ve seen a number of questions about this on other sites but without knowing of any official posts on this topic I haven’t been able to point them to any useful information on this topic.

I think we all know that you guys need money to continue making such great software (and it’s only fair considering the hard work you all pour into this project day in and day out), but I wonder if putting these restrictions on Studio 2 will actually hurt your business model in the long run. I’m sure you all have given this some considerable thought so I’d love to hear your reasons, but without knowing them here’s why I think this might not be a good model.

First, lots of people out there are interested in programming and I think we can all agree almost nothing teaches programing quite like game programming since it’s fun, rewarding and instantly engaging. Additionally your DnD system offers a unique way to make everything far more accessible to people wanting to learn but feel learning to program is something reserved for brilliant individuals who have computer skills far beyond theirs. Putting these restrictions into Game Maker Studio 2 means that a lot of tutorials and classes that have been very well received over the years for Studio 1 can no longer be completed in Studio 2. I’ve seen lots of comments on Udemy classes for instance from students really excited about Studio 2 but frustrated when they run into all the road blocks only to find that they either have to pay $99 or start the class over in Studio 1. Sadly in many cases these people just give up in frustration at this point. I feel like this approach cripples the ability to learn for people interested in game design which is a shame since even in its beta state Game Maker Studio 2 is the best programming studio in the world for 2D Games IMHO. It feels bad to have to preface tutorial videos now with a disclaimer to students that they either need to pay $99 to be able to finish this lesson or downgrade and not use Studio 2.

Please don’t misunderstand, I don’t think you should give your hard work away for free but perhaps you could offer similar functionality to Studio 1 but make it impossible to export your games for Windows or any other platform unless licensed to do so. In other words, people have to pay you to make money, but not to learn.

The second group of people that this model seems like it potentially hurts is market place content creators. Lets say that an artist wants to create tile sets to sell on the market that are already fully set up and configured, or an individual would like to release a new shader etc. Some people like to create a single aspect of game content and have no intention of actually selling full games. Forcing these users to buy a $99 license and then have perpetual royalties collected from them in makes them seem like 2nd class citizens of YoYo Games since someone like Toby Fox could pay $99 and sell millions of copies of his game without owing you another penny, but someone selling a shader for instance has to pay $99 to program it and then a percentage of every single sale from that point on. If there’s one group of people that you’d like to offer a deal shouldn't it be the ones who a) make you money on every sale and b) offer resources that increase the functionality and selling point of your software? I.E. a thriving market place full of incredible resources is a HUGE selling point and fostering that seems (to me at least) like a good idea.

Again, don’t get me wrong. I’m happy to pay the $99 for the ability to export to Windows. I think it’s only fair and will likely be back to purchase additional exports once they are available. But telling students they should downgrade to Studio 1 so they can learn to use Game Maker and make an informed decision, seeing content creators for your market place indicate that they may not release versions of their shaders for Studio 2 because it’s not worth the $99 up front investment to them (since they will never export a game to Windows), and seeing some educators on YouTube torn over whether to continue teaching Studio 1 since it’s more accessible to their viewers or limit their audiences by moving to Studio 2 is a shame.

Anyways, that’s just some initial thoughts that I had as well as my limited experiences talking with educators, students and content creators (for whatever it’s worth). I’m sure your market research is far more complete than my small circle of friends, but like I said at the beginning I’m mainly posting this so I can find out what the official reasons are so that I have something to share with people who ask me why they have to downgrade to Studio 1 other than "I’m sorry, I don’t really understand that decision either".

Thanks so much for your time. I love Studio 2 and would like to see it have far more adoption :) Hope it’s highly successful for you guys in every way!

-John
 

Mike

nobody important
GMC Elder
Sorry, we won't comment on internal business decisions.

As to the marketplace. First, only people who have purchased can create marketplace assets. So this doesn't effect then. (this was the same on 1.x)
Second, people with free licenses do not, on the whole buy anything - they go for free stuff. So again, they just aren't effected.

Lastly...I did several streams making almost complete games using the trial version, so you can do a huge amount with it, so I personally don't really consider the limitations to be "that" limiting; especially not for just trying a program out.

Aside from that - we can't comment. Sorry.
 
S

Skywolf

Guest
This reads worse then it probably is.

But begs the question, where the hell is the manchild you hired specifically for social media workings? Shawn balding? Seems alot of these questions are/should be directed towards him? Haven't seen the little tiger in months.!
 

Drenathor

Member
Sorry, we won't comment on internal business decisions.

As to the marketplace. First, only people who have purchased can create marketplace assets. So this doesn't effect then. (this was the same on 1.x)
Second, people with free licenses do not, on the whole buy anything - they go for free stuff. So again, they just aren't effected.

Lastly...I did several streams making almost complete games using the trial version, so you can do a huge amount with it, so I personally don't really consider the limitations to be "that" limiting; especially not for just trying a program out.

Aside from that - we can't comment. Sorry.
@Mike,

Thanks for the reply. It’s feels bad I need to tell people I help out online that the official response to these questions is “no comment” but that’s just the way it goes I guess.

Since getting some sort of official response was my primary goal I won’t spend much more time on this thread, but I felt I should point out that I think you misunderstood both of my points above.

First Game Creators pay once. Marketplace creators pay twice (once for the license and then royalties in perpetuity for every item sold). So it actually does affect them and I’ve talked with and seen posts on YoYo forms by these people saying they may abandon projects listed in the market place for this very reason. I know this is how it worked in 1.x but that’s not really important right? After all, Studio 2 is far more restrictive and that’s not how it was done in 1.x either. Just as an idea though, since your licensing is all online perhaps you could tie that into the marketplace so that only people with a paid for license could offer free items. People without a license would have to offer their items at a cost (or maybe even a cost of $5 or more so that you can guarantee yourselves some royalty payments). Again, the point is what encourages a thriving marketplace community while still getting yoyo games the money they deserve for their hard work.

As far as the second point goes, all I can attest to is what I’ve personally seen. Right now the #1 class on Udemy for Game Maker can not be completed in Studio 2. And there is 0 indication of this to people downloading it and trying to use it for the first time. After they hit the limit for scripts (followed shortly by the limit for sprites) they are forced to either shell out $99 to finish the course or to start from scratch with studio 1 (and either one is frustrating since it’s unexpected). This can be avoided if instructors warn students not to use Studio 2 but isn’t that the exact thing that you don’t want to happen? Yes there are simple games that can be made without hitting those limits, but the almost 16,000 students in the “Become a Game Maker with GameMaker Studio” class on Udemy can not use Studio 2 because of these limitations (and this isn’t the only class on there with this issue).

Anyways, like I said I’m not here to convince you or start an argument. I was hoping to get some reasoning behind your decisions for when I run into people asking these questions. The only reason I even tried restating them again now is because I felt like you missed the point in your response and realized I probably didn’t do a good job explaining myself (sorry about that).

Thanks again for your time,
-John
 

rwkay

YoYo Games Staff
YYG Staff
out of curiosity (I have not seen the class from Udemy) what would the limits be for that... that would be an interesting conversation to have.

Russell
 
S

Skywolf

Guest
You should probably consider mike,

Lastly...I did several streams making almost complete games using the trial version, so you can do a huge amount with it, so I personally don't really consider the limitations to be "that" limiting; especially not for just trying a program out.
The difference between yourself, an experianced programmer, whom knows how to manipulate code to get the most, whom built and knows how to manipulate Studio to get the most out of the limitations...
And someone (one of the 16k on Udemy, OR others) who's not experienced..

That quote is a little bias then..

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for playtech making their money. I'm just of the belief that there's a better way to limit your users.
 

Mike

nobody important
GMC Elder
Marketplace. I'll just say again... like 1.x, you have to buy a license in order to publish on there - this isn't different, so again doesn't effect them. This has helped hugely in keeping the quality level of the Marketplace up and isn't going to change. I fail to see why anyone who "might" upload to the marketplace "something" should effectively get a free copy.

As long as there's no ranting of flaming - it's a discussion not a rant :)


Don't get me wrong, I realise I'll probably get more from the trial version than any new comer, I'm simply pointing out that as a trial version, you can do a lot in it as it stands....

That said.... a discussion on "limits" isn't a closed book. What would still work as a trial without "giving away the farm" as it were is something that we can discuss - as @rwkay as said.
 

Drenathor

Member
Hi guys,

@rwkay,

In that particular class, the first limit hit is with the scripts and the second is with the number of sprites. Since the sprite limit is easy to image how and why it’s hit I’ll just talk about the scripts.

In his class he uses an approach for controlling objects and players called states and each state is controlled by a script. For instance when a player is walking on the ground the up, down, left and right keys would have different effects than when the player is swimming (as an example). Essentially the step event calls the appropriate “state” and all movement and animations are then controlled via the appropriate script. This means that there are a few scripts for the player, and one or two for each enemy type. He also is a big proponent of reusable code so anything that is used in multiple places he teaches should be put into a script for ease of maintenance. So he also ends up with a few “helper” scripts.

If you want I can look up exactly how many resources his class requires his students to create. (although that’s obviously just one class of many)

@Skywolf,

Personally I'd love to see a model where a free license allows you to SELL content on the market place and learn Game Maker while a commercial license would allow you to sell or distribute games and unlocks the ability to offer free resources on the market place. I think this guarantees that any time we make money they are getting a fair cut, but if someone is just wanting to learn they aren't told to downgrade to studio 1. Obviously there needs to be some incentive though to upgrade to studio 2 and I think advanced functions should be gated behind a pro license. Things like Spine support, or even add on modules in the future. I've heard that Studio 2 is extendable so maybe in the future a paid license would

@Mike,

All I can say is what I read on your forums. For instance here's a quote from the maker of Glare Engine (which I'm under the impression is one of the better shader based lighting engines).

Thanks for your reports,
But i don't have GMS2 so i can't fix. I don't know yoyogames plans about supporting or not the old extension on the new GM
I hope in a free GM version for asset creators (yoyogames already takes a cut of the revenues) without executables export because i don't make games with it. I can't spend 99$ only to maintain this extension.
I know this is how it worked with Studio 1, but again it feels like it treats content creators as second class citizens since they end up essentially giving more money to YoYo Games than anyone else. Although the comment about quality is a very fair concern and not being a marketplace creator I have no idea what you all do to vet items there or if it's 100% automatic and you keep a hands off approach. But that's an interesting point I hadn't considered before.

-JohnS
 

Mike

nobody important
GMC Elder
I know this is how it worked with Studio 1, but again it feels like it treats content creators as second class citizens since they end up essentially giving more money to YoYo Games than anyone else. Although the comment about quality is a very fair concern and not being a marketplace creator I have no idea what you all do to vet items there or if it's 100% automatic and you keep a hands off approach. But that's an interesting point I hadn't considered before.
This is (almost) like saying we're stopping folk make money on Android because it costs. Sure... there's the 30% cut thing, but it's not like the Marketplace generates millions or anything. If content creators want to make money selling their content, then they should invest in the product. If we suddenly allowed those who uploaded to the marketplace free licenses then we'd end up with 1,000,000 sprite assets that consisted of a colour square. I'll also point out again, that keeping it a "paid for" item increases the value of the product AND keeps the utter dross away. Look a the old Sandbox. How much crap was on there? How many "Catch the Clown" versions were uploaded?

It HAS to stay as a paid for feature, this won't change. If you want to make money from our services, then invest in the product that lets you do this.
 

Drenathor

Member
@Mike,

As I stated before, it wasn't my intention to get into an argument over this. It sounds to me though like the biggest problem in this regard is that the marketplace isn't curated (but perhaps that can be added as a suggestion?).

I don't know what you all do for sales or not but using glare engine as an example again I think it's safe to assume that YoYo has made more than $99 off of those sales (even by the most conservative estimates possible). Assuming he generated similar sales with Studio 2 it would mean he would pay double what I would (at a minimum) by using Game Maker and yet between the two of us, he would be adding more value back into game maker and the community. Obviously we think about this differently but to me, a marketplace item that generates more money than a standard license for YoYo Games and is well received by the community is investing back in the product IMHO.

But you're 100% right. If YoYo Games can't moderate their store then trying to incentivize growth would be a horrible idea. I didn't know this though when I suggested it so I can drop it now as further discussion on this front seems like it would be pointless.

-John
 
I think GMS2's free version's limitations are going to help YoYo much more than they hurt them.

That said, maybe they could let you use the program limit-free for a month or so, and then lock it down until you buy the full version? Or not. They'd catch more serious customers that way, but they'd probably lose some impulse buyers.
 

Drenathor

Member
I think GMS2's free version's limitations are going to help YoYo much more than they hurt them.

That said, maybe they could let you use the program limit-free for a month or so, and then lock it down until you buy the full version? Or not. They'd catch more serious customers that way, but they'd probably lose some impulse buyers.
@RichHoplessComposer I actually agree with you to a point. Personally I thought that Studio 1 was far too open and shouldn’t have allowed users to create and distribute executables on the free license as that meant people could literally use it without ever having to pay a penny and still profit off of it. I don’t think that was fair to YoYo Games at all and I’m glad to see them crack down on this area. I just feel they might be going overboard a bit.

Personally I think if it were up to me I would limit all exporting to licensed only customers but would keep the same level of functionality that Studio 1 had. (Keep in mind that studio 1 also had limitations on it when it came to advanced programming functionality).

I think a great way to encourage people to purchase the full studio would be to turn quality of life aspects of studio 2 into features of the full license. As an example, consider the new image editor in studio 2. It’s one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while and I absolutely love it. In fact it’s the sole reason I shelled out $99 to get a BETA key. That said, is it needed to make games? No. Users have gotten by just fine with 3rd party editors prior to Studio 2 and many tutorials often come with sprites for their “students” to follow along with. So it wouldn’t cripple game development to have it as a feature for licensed customers only and would be a HUGE incentive to upgrade. Perhaps the same with the tile sheet system. People can paint the tile sets manually but the new automatic brush system could also be a paid for incentive to update.

The point is, there’s a lot that they could gate behind a license that would offer huge benefits to paying customers without crippling basic game development for educational users. Personally that’s the direction I’d like to see them take. Saying you only get x number of sprites and then you’re done seems overly harsh and a reason to downgrade when studio 1 offers unlimited freedom in these areas. Saying you can get a really cool image editor and automated tile set features unlocked with your license however is actually a cool incentive and turns upgrading into a positive experience.

But that's just my feelings on this.
-John
 

FrostyCat

Member
@Mike, I still have the impression that you don't understand the arguments being presented, so I'll deliberate more.

Don't get me wrong, I realise I'll probably get more from the trial version than any new comer, I'm simply pointing out that as a trial version, you can do a lot in it as it stands....

That said.... a discussion on "limits" isn't a closed book. What would still work as a trial without "giving away the farm" as it were is something that we can discuss - as @rwkay as said.
YOU can do a lot. So can I or any of the oldies. But for those of us who remember learning from scratch, many also know how the current resource limits won't sufficiently accommodate a satisfying first project implemented in newbie-friendly ways, and thus aren't conducive to new sales.

Tutorials, course projects and proof-of-concepts tend not to inspire purchases on their own. A fully completed first project inspires purchases. Here is a partial screenshot of mine (GM5):

firstproject.png

For all its flaws and its insignificant scope, it still cleanly blew through every GMS 2 limit except for scripts. It took a project of this size to inspire my purchase and continued use of GM. I would have walked out if Overmars did back then what GMS 2 is doing now.

You can make resources go further with sufficient technique, but for the Free Version's target audience this is counterproductive. Teaching advanced techniques without backing it up with basic understanding is increasingly a plague on the GM tutorial scene, causing a generation of novices that can only YouTube their way around things. My opinion is that they can learn the craftier hacks later, but often they need to learn the more resource-intensive basics to grasp the mechanics in a production-level capacity. That needs to be accommodated by a higher resource limit, or lifting it altogether in favour of limits elsewhere.

Having a forced splash, no extensions/shaders/included files and not being able to publish to mobile is itself a sufficient limit by today's standards. You could lose more sales enforcing the current limit than getting sales out of it, and also continue losing market to Scratch and the like in the education sector.

This is (almost) like saying we're stopping folk make money on Android because it costs. Sure... there's the 30% cut thing, but it's not like the Marketplace generates millions or anything. If content creators want to make money selling their content, then they should invest in the product. If we suddenly allowed those who uploaded to the marketplace free licenses then we'd end up with 1,000,000 sprite assets that consisted of a colour square. I'll also point out again, that keeping it a "paid for" item increases the value of the product AND keeps the utter dross away. Look a the old Sandbox. How much crap was on there? How many "Catch the Clown" versions were uploaded?

It HAS to stay as a paid for feature, this won't change. If you want to make money from our services, then invest in the product that lets you do this.
We understand that the cost barrier serves as a quality gate, and until now it's keeping the right people out. But the Glare Engine example is evidence that it might now be too wide a brush. The policy is now hitting people who have proven their ability to contribute to the Marketplace's income and create quality offerings, but with needs that don't warrant investment in the form you expect from them (i.e. buying exports).

If you are willing to offer discounts on GMS 2 exports based on existing GMS 1 purchases, then you should at least offer discounted GMS 2 Marketplace publishing rights to GMS 1 extension developers whose income model doesn't involve final game products. Consider this an investment in continuity.
 

Mike

nobody important
GMC Elder
YOU can do a lot. So can I or any of the oldies. But for those of us who remember learning from scratch, many also know how the current resource limits won't sufficiently accommodate a satisfying first project implemented in newbie-friendly ways, and thus aren't conducive to new sales.
You miss-understand. I was agreeing that. Yes, I will manage to do more than most folk. However, as a trial version you don't have to do as much as I have - which is pretty close to a full game - to try the product out. I think the limits let you do that reasonably well, but as I also said above... it's not a closed book on how many resources are actually available.

As to tutorials. Personally, I'd prefer to see new ones. The new tutorial system allows for videos to be added, and along with that the tile system is now integral to how you should (probably) make your game. Most tutorials currently out there will either not do/use either of these, or will use 1.x tiles and that will give the wrong impression. Also, if a tutorial was written for any other version, then the UI is totally wrong, so again it's not something I'd really like to see a big import of old stuff for.

But the Glare Engine example is evidence that it might now be too wide a brush
Again... I have to disagree. You're basically saying anyone who has made a reasonable amount on the Marketplace - over $400(ish) we should give them a free copy. Why should we equate the 30% fee for selling as a substitute for buying the product when it's more a cost for the service of selling. The servers and maintenance (not just machine, but ongoing development both Web and IDE) costs - a lot. While I've not done the maths on it, I'm pretty sure that the 30% from the few who make over $400 won't even come close to paying for that. So.... tell me again why we should put all the so-called profit from the marketplace into giving them more free stuff?

And why should we give even more discounts to users - who will get at least a 40% discount already (since to publish they must already own GMS1.x) - even more, for something that probably doesn't even cover the costs of all the development that's gone into it, never mind the actual running costs. The Marketplace is a nice feature for users, but it's a looong way off from being a cash-cow.
 

Samuel Venable

Time Killer
If we suddenly allowed those who uploaded to the marketplace free licenses then we'd end up with 1,000,000 sprite assets that consisted of a colour square. I'll also point out again, that keeping it a "paid for" item increases the value of the product AND keeps the utter dross away. Look a the old Sandbox. How much crap was on there? How many "Catch the Clown" versions were uploaded?
I'm afraid we already have a square character on the marketplace, and I definitely don't want to see more of those. I won't link to it though, I don't want to offend the guy who shared it. For the reasons Mike has mentioned, I whole-heartedly agree with him. We don't want the marketplace to be like a new sandbox trainwreck.
 

Drenathor

Member
@Mike,

The problem as I see it is that YoYo Games has released Studio 1 which allows the creation and distribution of entire games for free. Releasing Studio 2 and filling it with restrictions to entice people to try it out and to pay money sounds to me like a poor approach considering where you’re coming from (an amazingly open and powerful first experience to a highly limited one). Personally I think Studio 1 offering a free windows exporter was a mistake as it almost encourage many people not to buy, but this is where things stand and Studio 2 is the chance to do things right/better.

Forgetting for a moment that you or I personally can create entire games in Game Maker Studio 2, if I was new to Game Maker I honestly wouldn’t bother with Studio 2 because of how restrictive it is. Why waste my time on a highly restrictive program when there is a free version that does way more (on a free license) and even lets you export and sell games right away? If I wasn’t ready to commit to $99, what reason would you give to persuade me to not go with the version that offers WAY more functionality for free?

Considering that I’m not new to Game Maker however I had a different problem. I couldn't import projects. I’m guessing that’s because with the limits the way they are you guys know that most games won’t import successfully. This means that the only way I can try it out to see if I like it is to start something brand new (assuming I have the time for that). But until I spend $99 to test it out I won’t know if existing projects work or not. Isn’t that a poor approach to insist that developers buy a full license to see if their games break? If everything works for a current developer what reason would you give them to convince them to part with their money before testing their code when everything they have already works?

Creating educational content is in an odd spot right now too as you don’t know if a user has purchased a license or not. If Studio 2’s one big restriction was a lack of a Windows exporter I (and many others) could safely create educational content for a larger audience instead of not knowing if content will be relevant or not for our viewer base.

Again, please understand this; I am not arguing that Studio 2 should be restriction free. I’m arguing that perhaps the restrictions would be best put towards other areas of the software. Rather than crippling development why not gate features of the new tile set tools and image editor (and other quality of life improvements) behind the license paywall? Students can learn, educators can teach, programmers can test existing games, and more without fear of hitting walls. The lack of an exporter would ensure that users have to pay to make money themselves and the time saving features of the image editor and other tools would be huge enticements to upgrade without making it impossible for people to use while they make up their minds.

@Samuel Venable,

Since @Mike pointed out that there is essentially little/no quality control on the site and that free users would just saturate the site with junk I’m inclined to agree that it’s a bad idea. And it sounds like you have proof of it :p

Or at the very least, a bad idea until if and when YoYo Games starts to manage their marketplace. Something I think they should do as a smaller store with better quality is more enticing than a large store with lots of junk to sift through. So at this point I’m simply arguing for a different type of restriction set on studio 2 in an effort to make it more appealing to a larger group.

-John
 

Mike

nobody important
GMC Elder
Okay... so lets ignore the Marketplace for now, and how much GMS1 gave away. wasn't our choice, and theres nothing we can do about it now.

These are very much personal opinions BTW... (takes off the YoYo hat.....)

First, any current GMS1 user - free or not, knows what the software does and how to use it, pretty much. That means they can easily get a feel for what the new one has to offer using the trial. So really, while not being able to import is a little irritating, it's not a blocker. You can see from the responses around the forum and community at large (and from the various live streams and videos), that importing and backwards compatibility is pretty good. So again... a little research, and the restrictive version I'd say was probably fine.

If we allowed importing of 1.x projects into 2 to "try it", then we'd have to throw away ALL limits, from basic limited numbers to extensions because if we didn't some - or many - projects wouldn't load in anyway, and that's an even poorer experience in my book. It's hard enough to message basic limits, never mind the various things we allow you to import or not, and how many of each. For a medium to large project, that's horrible and these are exactly the types of developers who would want this. So again...I don't think it would work anyway.

The trial I guess when you get down to it, is probably mostly for new users. We've made sure our tutorials can be done with the trial version, and have nice demos for that as well. So they've certainly enough to see the possibilities.

Also remember, 1.x free is going away - this was announced late November. So any new users will only have access to the trial version and the (better) up to date tutorials and demos.

Also... while education is a major factor for me, to be blunt...why should there be a totally free version that has so few limits? Who here spends years making something and then just gives it (or most of it) away?

Software these days is so undervalued it pee's me off massively. Games that are 0.99 or 1.99....the assumption that everything should be free or close to it. GMS2 will give you YEARS of entertainment. You spend £10 on a movie ticket for a couple of hours entertainment, or £40 on a game for a few weeks worth. Why is $99 for years worth - where you "might" actually make some of it back - wrong?

sorry.... getting a bit ranty my bad. :)

I think everyone can see that GMS1 gave away too much. Most users really just wanted a windows export and once they had that, probably needed nothing else. You'll notice with GMS2 we're saying it's a trial - not free. Free as it stood didn't work - we can all see that. Not only did users use it, but so did many schools and as a company that's just no good.

If everyone who used free in the past had bought it after, I doubt very much if we'd be having this conversation.
 

Drenathor

Member
@Mike,

Thanks for the response :) I hope by now I’ve made it abundantly clear that I’m not trying to devalue Game Maker Studio and that I’m in fact very much in support of YoYo Games earning their well deserved money. Which is why it honestly irritates me so much to have to tell someone they either need to use studio 1 or pay $99 to do what they want to do because I know that most people are going to opt for the free version (and why wouldn’t they?). And as a fellow developer myself (primarily PHP web apps) this race to the bottom approach for software value and the attitudes some communities have towards developers are infuriating at times, so I totally get that.

But I think I finally understand where you’re coming from after that last response. I’ve been approaching this topic from a standpoint of how do we get as many people into and using GM 2 from 1.x or other competing apps with the expectation that enhanced tool sets and exporters would be enough to convince people to buy. But it sounds like you’re interpretation of the situation is that if people can make games as a hobby without the ability to export many won’t buy it because the fun for some is just the process of creation and they wouldn’t buy to be able to export. And if that’s true, then I think I agree with you since you guys do deserve to be paid for this app.

I guess the real question then at this point is are people more likely to buy something to un-cripple software or to unlock time saving and cool features? Personally I would fall into the later camp (but I don’t even pretend to know what the majority of users would do). For myself, I’m the kind of guy that likes to be 100% confident in what I’m purchasing up front. So the more feature rich a trial is the more I can decide if it’s for me or not. If it’s too restrictive I tend to become somewhat suspicious that perhaps things don’t work as smoothly when you get farther into it (I know I’m something of an eternal pessimist at heart). For instance I’d rather pay more for a screen capture app that gave me a full featured unlimited access trial but stuck water marks all over my video than a cheaper app which was watermark free but only recorded for 5 min as I’d at least know the first was capable of running longer without performance issues or memory leaks.

Again speaking personally, if you offered a version that was virtually restriction free but locked away time saving features and exporters I would be more impressed with your “we have nothing to hide” attitude and be far more likely to upgrade. But if I’m a minority user and most GM users are hobbyists that wouldn’t give 2 cents for the exporters then I agree, lock it down because you should get paid for people to use it.

-John
 

Mike

nobody important
GMC Elder
Don't worry... I realise you're not advocating a give away the farm version.

There is a very fine line between something that drives users to buy, and something that gives them everything they need to "play". The restrictions should let you mess around with the product, get to know how it works and get you interested in it, but also then irritate you just enough to make you want to buy it. This is the goal of ALL trial versions. What these limits are, as I said before is something that can be discussed. But.... you'd need some pretty specific examples as to why it would tip the balance, otherwise it's just giving more resources "because" - if you get what I mean?
 

Drenathor

Member
@Mike,

There is a very fine line between something that drives users to buy, and something that gives them everything they need to "play".
How much “play” are you hoping to offer? Depending on what you see as an optimal balance this would be my proposal of restrictions with the goal that users could “play” (to an extent) and learn without hard limits but balanced against “irritations” to encourage buying and hard limiting things so that they MUST purchase if they want to make money.

Here’s what I propose should be locked/limited in a free “trial” (This list isn’t exhaustive but just a starting point for the same of discussion)

No Access:
  • Advanced functions (basically the same thing Studio 1.x does - I’m thinking of functions like mp_grid).
  • Exporting projects to any OS
  • Creating Extensions
  • Included Files
  • Spine support
  • Adding items to the marketplace (unless at some point in the future it becomes a hand moderated store)
  • Git Integration
  • (and more…)

Limited Access / “Irritations”:

Image Editor:
Perhaps this could be gutted to only allow users to import images / strips requiring that all edits use a 3rd party program or purchase a license to gain full access to the new image editor. The idea is that educators can provide sample images that could be imported and people who really want to learn on their own could experiment while using something like MS Paint. It doesn’t cripple development but it would be a huge benefit to paying customers.​

Tile Set Editor:
Free users could import tile sheets but that would be it. Upgrading to a license would grant access to features like animated tiles and auto tiles. Again, it doesn’t cripple development but it greatly speeds up level design to be a paying customer.​

Room Editor:
The ability to create paths directly in the room editor would be disabled for free users. Disabling the use of asset layers might be another option but I’m not sure what the implications of that would be if any… Here the thought is that free users would still be able to do things the old way, but these would be major improvements to workflow that would be offered to paying customers.​

Start Screen:
Every time studio 2 is launched a random splash screen could showcase a huge benefit of upgrading (like the image editor) with a link to purchase a license to unlock and that can’t be prevented from showing on launch. Hopefully seeing the time saving / cool features they are missing out on would be an incentive. Maybe they would have to wait 10-15 seconds before dismissing it just to help ensure they really do have to see it?​

Audio:
I haven’t used studio 2 enough to know if there is anything that could be limited here, (I typically do the audio last when building games) but if we imagined that in the future you also offered a basic audio editor inside game maker (like your new image editor) that could be gated behind a license as well.​

IDE extensions:
This is future for sure, but it’s my understanding that Studio 2 is built to be extendable and that most of the items in it are “extensions” of a sort. While I’m sure this will be a long way off (if for no other reason than the sheer amount of documentation that would need to be written first), 3rd party IDE add-ons could also be a premium feature.​

———————————————

Anyways, as stated before the idea behind this structure of limitations is to:
  • Prevent users from making money from GM without first paying YoYo Games
  • Removes obstacles from both educators and students in terms of what is taught without worrying about hard limits
  • Locks away conveniences and quality of life aspects of the studio (editing images, better tile management, etc) to entice people to purchase

Anyways, that’s just my thoughts.
-John
 

Drenathor

Member
@Lonewolff,

I'm sorry if that wording wasn't clear. My point is that a user has to pay YoYo Games if they want to make money in any way shape or form (on the marketplace or from selling their games). Hence "... they MUST purchase if they want to make money".

But hopefully in addition to that, the restriction proposed would encourage users to purchase licenses even if they don't want to make money just for the quality of life upgrades.

Believe me I want to see YoYo Games make their money (I'm a developer myself). Hope that clears it up a bit.

-John
 
R

renex

Guest
Most free android games make you want to buy them by constantly nagging you with timeouts.
 

Posh Indie

Member
...Look a the old Sandbox...
If I could like this more than once, I would. Allowing the marketplace to become like the Litterbox Sandbox would devalue the product for people making actual games. Then where would we be? People would do the same thing they did back then and use the marketplace as a representation for all that is made with Game Maker Studio and as a representation of the community. The stigma would return regardless of the awesome content delivered with it. We do not need that.
 

Mike

nobody important
GMC Elder
So the problem I see with just removing features is...

1) If you remove too much, new users can't really evaluate the product properly
2) Things like the image editor are fundamental to beginners, and I don't want to lessen their experience either.
3) Start screen nagging doesn't really work as you just leave it running and so you'd have to have a pop-up every now and then. And I think that crosses the line with the irritation factor.
4) Room and tile editors are the same as 1 and 2... It's such a fundamental part of the product now, that removing it would again cross the line - or give an invalid experience of the product.
5) Lastly.... removing features in no way encourages users to upgrade - unless they are DESPERATE for that feature.

I do have some data to qualify item 5.... in the past - GM7/GM8 (not 8.1) days, things like image angle were removed. This is a pretty basic feature, yet free users went out on a limb to generate pre-rotations rather than spend the $15 to get the program. If they refused even $15 back then.... then they'll certainly work around them again. Also, while these kinds of things may (over time) encourage users to upgrade, that could be YEARS. I know many users in the past took several years to actually bite the bullet and upgrade, and frankly, that just doesn't work for me. Not only would I hope we can speed up the cycle a little (a 5 year product is a little much...) meaning they'll hope from one free one to the next without the need to upgrade, but really... we need a better, faster commitment from users if the company is the benefit.

So while we've obviously removed some of the higher end stuff - source control, spine, shaders and the like, I think that's probably about as far as I would go (and to be honest...some may make a return for reason 1). But even removing these.... I see no reason to remove/increase the limits at this time because of the above. As I said..... it's a fine line. So unless there's a REALLY good reason, I don't see the issue.
 

Posh Indie

Member
...I know many users in the past took several years to actually bite the bullet and upgrade, and frankly, that just doesn't work for me. Not only would I hope we can speed up the cycle a little (a 5 year product is a little much...) meaning they'll hope from one free one to the next without the need to upgrade, but really... we need a better, faster commitment from users if the company is the benefit...
Be very careful with wording like this... if I ever get the feeling you guys just want us to pay to upgrade on day one so you can shell out a hypothetical "GMS(n+1)" in record time while preparing to phase out GMS(n) within 2 years... I will gladly ride the Unity train at that point. The biggest reason I choose GMS over the alternatives is YoYoGames does not treat us like cash cattle (I guess I should say "Yet" as you make it sound like that will change soon).

The company cannot benefit if your userbase loses faith in the meaningfulness of their purchase and leaves.
 
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Mike

nobody important
GMC Elder
Only by moving to new major version can LARGE changes take place. You really think we should have exactly the same product for 5 or more years?
 

Posh Indie

Member
Only by moving to new major version can LARGE changes take place. You really think we should have exactly the same product for 5 or more years?
No, but trying to fleece your customers year after year is going to make them "very happy". Go ahead and do it, that's your choice. The second I sense it I will move on (That's my choice, I am aware).

By your logic, the only way we will get any decent updates at this point is if we are going to throw money at you continuously in rapid succession. At that point we might as well just pay monthly for Unity (I cannot believe I actually said that. I never thought the day would come that I would be given a reason to support a monthly fee model).

You made it sound like the best course of action is the fastest possible way to make us throw our money at you.

...we need a better, faster commitment from users if the company is the benefit.
Way to make it sound like the customers matter. Sounds nothing at all like, "Who cares, just pay us." If this is how you want it, then at least give us what we ask for instead of saying, "If we don't think it's necessary, we won't add it." If YoYoGames wants money the way you make it sound, then we better get the things we want to make it worth it (It's a two way street).

I cannot think of a better way to market a tool that is consistently flaunted as a learning tool. "Buy our software so you can buy it again very soon."

Definitely feeling the impact of the new ownership by a gambling company. This is not how the old YoYoGames was. Sad to write this after many years of strongly supporting you guys and advertising GM to friends as "the best 2D game creation software".
 
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Posh Indie

Member
GMS2 worth every cent you spend on it. It's a very low cost to play to be GOD, a game GOD ;) Today We spent €88 on a restaurant... that's a crime, not this... come on!!
I never said GMS is bad (I have been using GM for a very long time and hope to continue supporting it), but "worth every cent" has an upper bound (Not only for GMS, but for anything). I still like GMS regardless of my expressed distaste in a very specific potential (who knows what the future really holds) outcome.

I am just expressing my opinion on something that does not sound good and I do not expect YoYoGames to really care what I think (I do, however, expect to have the torches and pitchforks raised in my general direction for expressing my personal concerns). Looks like PlayTech might be the ones rolling the die at this point.

For what it is worth, GMS is great software and very capable. The issue being an alternative that has a relatively low yearly cost, does both 2D and (High quality) 3D, has some features I have been requesting here for years, and has more exporters (Including Nintendo systems)... if GMS costs (Highly dependent on how quick releases requiring full repurchase occur) even come close to their yearly fee I will have to move along. You would have to be crazy (or financially irresponsible) to willingly pay more for less. I know what these upgrade discounts really are (As much as I appreciate them).
 
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No, but trying to fleece your customers year after year is going to make them "very happy". Go ahead and do it, that's your choice. The second I sense it I will move on (That's my choice, I am aware).

By your logic, the only way we will get any decent updates at this point is if we are going to throw money at you continuously in rapid succession. At that point we might as well just pay monthly for Unity (I cannot believe I actually said that. I never thought the day would come that I would be given a reason to support a monthly fee model).

You made it sound like the best course of action is the fastest possible way to make us throw our money at you.



Way to make it sound like the customers matter. Sounds nothing at all like, "Who cares, just pay us." If this is how you want it, then at least give us what we ask for instead of saying, "If we don't think it's necessary, we won't add it." If YoYoGames wants money the way you make it sound, then we better get the things we want to make it worth it (It's a two way street).

I cannot think of a better way to market a tool that is consistently flaunted as a learning tool. "Buy our software so you can buy it again very soon."

Definitely feeling the impact of the new ownership by a gambling company. This is not how the old YoYoGames was. Sad to write this after many years of strongly supporting you guys and advertising GM to friends as "the best 2D game creation software".
100usd every two years is like 4usd a month to support GameMaker. I'd happily pay for a new version every year it meant a bigger team and faster development.

We're still waiting on Switch support! A hundred bucks every two to three years is not a lot of money. Like Alberto says, its less than the price of ONE GOOD MEAL for something you'll use for two to three years. Or the price of one videogame and some DLC for it. I think it's worth it.

And GM is not "more for less." Go try making a 2D game in Unity, lol. It's a lot of fun, I promise. That engine wasn't made for 2D, and it shows. Doing 2D in Unity is like doing 3D in GM.

Edit: also, yes, Mike's wording was awful. No tact at all, haha. :'D
I do agree with PoshIndie that if YoYo wants more money, they should change some things, too. Features roadmap please!
 
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Posh Indie

Member
...Edit: also, yes, Mike's wording was awful. No tact at all, haha. :'D
That is all I was originally getting at. Should have been preceded with "Trigger Warning" because it pretty much sounded like we have become cash cattle to YoYoGames, which kind of struck a chord with me. I have been a strong supporter of YoYoGames because they were one of the very few companies left that seemed to actually care about their customers. I do not want that part to change.

But yes, $100 is not bad, but the purpose of the upgrade discount (Limited time, which I am alright with... unless it becomes an insanely fast upgrade cycle) is to get people to buy fast and complete as soon as possible. Then it becomes $500+ and that is where the situation gets sticky. $500 is nothing... until you consider the alternative has more of everything (When compared as a complete package) for $395/yr. Upgrade timeframes for GMS will need to undercut that, and they will need to undercut it by quite a bit to make it worth sticking around.

Again, I like GMS, and I like it a lot. I am also prone to following the better option (which, for 2D, is why I have stuck with GM for so long).

@Mike I will even apologize if anything previously said came off as overly hostile. I understand GMS will need to be upgraded again in the future. I am not against that. I just hope we still get nice big updates for GMS2 and the upgrade timeframes make it worth our while with respect to alternative option pricing schemes.
 
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Mike

nobody important
GMC Elder
No I get what your saying... no apology required. and Im not saying we should churn out little updates every 6 months and call it a major revision either. But I do personally think 5-6 years is too long for a program to update major versions, which is all I said. (and no... Im not going to say what it should/will be, this is my opinion, not yoyo policy). I do agree you should get value out of the product you bought, and while $100 isn't a lot to rebuy, it gets a lot more expensive once you start getting modules - I get that.

LOL - still waiting on switch support..... its not even out, how can you still be waiting on it!

Also...as to trying to make new users commit quicker... I don't see the problem there. If they take 4 years to buy, then as far as any company is concerned, that's a lost sale. A lot can happen in 4 years, and you can't just sit there thinking, "oh its okay...we'll be getting some new sales soon from these free users." And while Education is really important to us outside of any monetary value we might get one day from it, we're not a charity, and we need sales to survive. If everyone quite happily sat using the trial version, we'd disappear pretty quickly.

As I keep saying... there is a very fine line between encouraging users to upgrade/buy, and to pissing them off so they leave. Too little and they leave, too much and we basically lose a sale.
 
LOL - still waiting on switch support..... its not even out, how can you still be waiting on it!
I can still be waiting for it because Unity and Unreal announced their support a long time ago. :p
I know you guys will be doing it sooner or later, too, but not having official confirmation is going to be a small worry in the back of my mind until you guys finally get around to saying "yeah, we're doing it."

I bought into GMS2 based on comments from YoYo Staff. I hope you guys come through soon! =)
 

Mike

nobody important
GMC Elder
Unity and Unreal announce things at the drop of a hat. I remember when Unity announced their windows 8 module. Took them over a year to deliver, we ended up beating them. We'll announce if/when something actually happens :)
 
Unity and Unreal announce things at the drop of a hat. I remember when Unity announced their windows 8 module. Took them over a year to deliver, we ended up beating them. We'll announce if/when something actually happens :)
Make it happen soon, and call it GMS3. I'll gladly pay the upgrade price again, heheh! ;)
Looking forward to what you guys come up with, Mike! =D
 

Posh Indie

Member
Make it happen soon, and call it GMS3. I'll gladly pay the upgrade price again, heheh! ;)
Looking forward to what you guys come up with, Mike! =D
Switch support is something I am indifferent on. What I am waiting to see, in respect to the Switch, is how much it ends up costing with all the little attachments and all that. There is a point where their target audience will fizzle out (I mean... come on. It is Nintendo... generally family oriented. Much of their playerbase is going to require parent permission to purchase things for it and I already saw what they did with the controllers... the ones that can actually be reasonably charged cost $75. Not sure how this is going to go for them).

Nintendo needs to stop with the gimmicks as it has not worked for the last two console generations. I hope it works for them someday (I like Nintendo), but with how they are babying their titles (Mario Kart and Mario Party... the "random chance" in those games is garbage as of recently. The goal of those games is to be losing until the last lap/round.)... they need to focus on delivering games worth paying for. Otherwise the console itself is worthless.

(@RichHopelessComposer By the way, I liked that because it was humorous, not because I think the Switch is a good candidate to be a vessel to a new major version... Just clarifying, haha)
 
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ShaunJS

Just Another Dev
GMC Elder
We recognise that moving from a model where we had previously opened up GM:S 1.x standard, fully featured, to everyone for free, to a model more reminiscent of our older strategy seems like a step backwards to many of our users. We also recognise the opinions that this will negatively affect certain markets. Believe me when I say these views and views similar to these on all sides are and have been represented and discussed at length over a long time. This wasn't a move taken lightly or capriciously and is part of a long considered strategy based on our very unique product and very unique position in the market, especially when compared with our many different competitors. We believe our approach with GameMaker Studio 2 offers the greatest long term sustainability for our developers, who will need the tool to continue to grow and improve alongside a game development environment which is rapidly evolving in often unpredictable ways.

As a developer who advocates (and will always advocate) for democratisation and accessibility of game development I am also saddened that we can no longer offer a free, feature complete version of our flag-ship product. But the simple truth is we no longer feel we are in a position to offer this.

That's really all there is to be said on the matter, if you have further concerns or questions feel free (and encouraged!) to get in touch directly.
 
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