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Thinking of moving to GameMaker, a few questions...

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by Kevin Bradford, Jan 31, 2020.

  1. Kevin Bradford

    Kevin Bradford Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2020
    Posts:
    5
    Howdy! I have a portfolio of about 20 games built on Corona SDK. For a variety of reasons we're considering moving platforms for future game development, and porting most of our games to a new engine. I've been playing around with GameMaker and am impressed so far, but had some questions I hope the community could help with.

    A bit more detail about our games, they are all 2D games. Most of them contain "mini-games", where one app would have 25 mini-games inside them (small racing games, angry birds clone, matching, etc). Our business is 95% mobile (iOS, Android, and Kindle). Web is a very small portion and we have 0 console/desktop apps.

    My questions:

    - What is the overall health of the GameMaker platform and community? Does it seem to be growing, shrinking, stagnating? We are coming from an engine who's support and development has slowed down greatly and don't want to make that mistake again.

    - We want one build to work on a variety of screen sizes. For example, we want a single iOS build that will fully fill the screen of iPhone X, iPad, or iPhone without any scaling or stretching issues. From what I've read that sounds doable, but in practice is it fairly straightforward and easy?

    - Apple has deprecated OpenGL, and it could be removed from Apple devices as early as this fall. Has GameMaker made changes to goto Vulkan or Metal yet? I couldn't find any references to this on the roadmap.

    - Above I described how our apps are generally structured with 15-30 mini-games inside them. Is that a good fit for GameMaker? Based on the tutorials I've done, each game sounds like it would be a Room?

    - What are the limitations of GameMaker? What are the most complained about things you CAN'T do in it?

    Thanks to anyone who takes the time to answer!
     
  2. NightFrost

    NightFrost Member

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    Jun 24, 2016
    Posts:
    2,101
    Well from my subjective point of view, the community is strong, and seeing how GMS-made games are being put out, clearly there are indie devs working on the platform (my facourite being Hyper Light Drifter). The platform should be getting a hefty 2.3.0 update this quarter, and the developers have laid out a roadmap and a pony list of features that have no set timetable.

    GMS can easily read screen size and alter its display properties on the fly, if that's what you're asking. The basis of operation is room which is a space to contain game world. Then you have a camera view setup which defines a positionable window into the room that can be seen at once. The view content can then scale up or down in size to conform to device display. Supporting varying aspect ratios adds more considerations, unless you decide stretching to fit is good enough.

    For a minigame collection, a room for each game would be the cleanest setup, as it makes logical separation of game elements. You'd have several persistent helpers for things like controls, which then would be accessed by various games' elements as necessary.

    My experience is strictly desktop so I can't answer any mobile-specific questions.
     
  3. Rayek

    Rayek Member

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    Jun 27, 2017
    Posts:
    217
    The devs have mentioned that they will be providing Metal support for Mac at some point:
    https://forum.yoyogames.com/index.php?threads/apple-depreciating-opengl-on-macos-10-14.48433/

    This is not mentioned on the roadmap, though. It's anyone's guess when the move to Metal is completed.

    Vulkan is not supported at all on Apple platforms. Metal was (I believe) Apple's response to Vulkan, and MoltenVK (a wrapper of sorts) will be necessary to run Vulkan on Apple machines. The question on everyone's mind is whether Apple will allow such a wrapper to work on iOS. Apple is known for their rather abrasive and closed-off mindset to these wrapper-type solutions.
     
  4. NightFrost

    NightFrost Member

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    I forgot to link to this article that goes over strengths and weaknesses of GameMaker.
     
  5. Kevin Bradford

    Kevin Bradford Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2020
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    5
    Thank you both for the info! It sounds like it could be a good fit for us. Moving 15-20 apps over is just a bit of a daunting task but gives us a lot to think about.
     

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