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Why Do People Love GameMaker So Much?

Discussion in 'Community Chat' started by OliverSB, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. Misty

    Misty Member

    Jun 22, 2016
    I love Game Maker because it does exactly what you code. There is no middle man between the code and you. If the code doesn't work only you are to blame. Only you are the limit to how good your games can be.
  2. bunny

    bunny Member

    Jun 10, 2019
    I guess my take on this might not be taken as serious since I'm entirely new to the medium but I'll throw it in anyways.

    I think the accessibility of it is huge. It's beginner friendly in that it doesn't require programming experience to make something. At the same time, GML gives more experienced developers the tools needed to take things even farther. It has a sizable community that beginners and more experienced individuals can turn to when they hit a wall. It's extremely affordable. When you look at professional grade tools of the trade in other industries, they either have large price tags or monthly subscription fees (DAWs for music production, Adobe software for visual arts). That trifecta is a really good one to get people to come and keep people around.
    tsm likes this.
  3. Rattlejaw

    Rattlejaw Member

    Jun 24, 2017
    Perhaps you're in the minority though. You sound like you're very knowledgeable on things like C++ and more complex coding languages. I think it's a safe bet the most who use GM aren't. They, as well as myself, view it as a powerful tool that can help their game ideas come to fruition, without having to be coding experts. I mean, I understand that you like the GM engine, but you sound like someone who could actually code their own engine.
  4. dadio

    dadio Potato Overlord Forum Staff Moderator

    Apr 15, 2016
    It's the easiest thing *for non-programmers* to pick up and make good use of to bring their ideas to life.
    I feel that about sums it up for most.
    There are a few game creation apps that are even easier - but they are far more restrictive/ much less flexible/ powerful.

    It's easy to sit back and criticise... lets say gaps and oddities in GML as an experienced coder familiar with other languages...
    but in doing so you're really missing the point.

    The original vision for GM (Overmars era) was to make game creation possible for non-coders and to introduce them to basic coding concepts.
    Early YoYo era broadened that vision a lot and gave a lot of creative / non-coder types the chance to become indie superstars.
    Supporting them directly, promoting them at events, adding more exports and powerful features etc.
    (Imo, this was GMs "Golden Era".)
    Now, I feel, with the march of time (into the current PlayTech era) that original vision has been somewhat diluted (GMS2 in particular seems more targeted at coders, educational settings and professionals - and in doing so has actually taken a few steps back in terms of intuitivity/ creative type appeal)...
    *but* it's *still* to this day the easiest, most flexible and fastest way to go from "idea" to "playable game".

    It's a fantastic tool for rapid prototyping.
    That's maybe it's greatest strength.
    And the ability to (easily) export to just about every relevant platform is really nice.

    Just my 2 cents.
  5. Misty

    Misty Member

    Jun 22, 2016
    I have a relatively large monitor but even I don't have a big enough screen. I think you need 3 monitors or IMAX to use Gm studio 2 as it was intended. The amount of the population with screens that big is very few. I think Playtech's business model was to focus on getting rich people to buy Game Maker. But I think they'd make more money if more poor people bought GM. However, there is an important problem. If a large volume of people buy Game Maker, that means more competition for indie devs and more spam and low quality games. Thus there is a crisis, I call it the game maker paradox.
    dadio likes this.
  6. rIKmAN

    rIKmAN Member

    Sep 6, 2016
    I agree with @dadio's point about rapid prototyping being a huge strength for GMS, and with the GML improvements coming in Q4 hopefully it will become a lot easier to develop and maintain larger projects using it too.

    I also think the pricing is one of it's strengths, and although I might be in the minority here I think a licence that starts at just $39 is exceptional value for what the software offers, and that scales upwards to the various platforms as you get more experienced and serious about making money from your games to recoup the cost. Also no royalties.

    It's not about the size of your screen it's about the resolution and screen real estate, it's no good having a 32" screen if it's max resolution is 1280x1024.

    To your point - the IDE does feel much nicer on a 4K screen there's no doubt about that, but I feel like that's the same with any application really. I actually size my GMS2 window to around the size of a 1440p screen and have no issues when using it with other stuff open around it on a 4K screen.

    I just wish it would remember it's size and position like other apps instead of opening full screen and having to resize and reposition it every time I open it, but I filed that and it's going being added at some point.

    I didn't personally have many issues when using it on a 1080p screen either but I didn't use 1.4 for long and so don't miss anything about it, but I understand other users got so used to it that GMS2 feels wrong to them.

    I'd guess most of the people struggling with the IDE are using laptops where a common resolution is 1366x768, so I could see that being a problem - but I think that'd be a struggle for anything other than basic web browsing and general use too.

    Have you tried GMEdit to see if that might feel a bit better for you?
    YYG - targettng "rich people" with their $39 Creator Licences since 2017! :D
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
    Japster and Nocturne like this.
  7. Kirbyrocket

    Kirbyrocket Member

    Jun 11, 2019
    Honestly, there wasn't really anything that got me into it except the fact that I found out almost all my favorite games were made in GameMaker and all my least favorite games were made in alternative engines. At that point, I just assumed as a child that GameMaker was just the objectively superior option.
  8. nacho_chicken

    nacho_chicken Member

    Jun 21, 2016
    To be completely honest, up until a certain point, GameMaker was objectively the superior option in nearly all respects. That's why I picked up GM in the first place. The other engines were - by design - very restrictive in the types of games you could realistically make.
  9. Nocturne

    Nocturne Friendly Tyrant Forum Staff Admin

    Apr 13, 2016
    This is a topic about what you LOVE about GameMaker, and yet certain people seem determined to steer it in a more negative direction... we have enough of that elsewhere on the forums, so I'd appreciate it if we could keep just this one topic positive and uplifting, and so I've tidied the topic (again, that's twice now). Please, lets make this a positive discourse about what GameMaker has given you, and in turn you'll all give me a happy place to come to when everywhere else is going to hell. :)

    PS: And on topic... I love GameMaker because it got me back into programming without the need for text books or going back to school, and in doing so opened doors for me that I never even knew existed. I remembered making games with BASIC on the Spectrum when I was a kid, and plugged "Making Games" into Google over 10 years ago and up popped "GameMaker". So I got it and was blown away by just how simple it was to get really small and fun stuff happening. In the space of a couple of years I'd made 3/4 games and then joined the GMC, where I met some amazing people (Xot, FredFredrickson, Sinaz, Icuurd, GearGod... ah, nostalgia!) and where I was eventually made a moderator and where YYG saw how active and enthusiastic I was and offered me a job. Then here I am today, still here on the forums (admin now), still working with YYG and still loving every second of using GameMaker.
  10. Luigi1000

    Luigi1000 Member

    Mar 16, 2018
    Probably that because it is relatively simple to make what you want and also learn how to use. My self already having both self taught and formal education in multiple programming languages helped hit the ground running and even join another project to help grow it.
  11. Bitl

    Bitl Member

    Aug 8, 2016
    I love the ease of use when it comes to level design and object creation. I also like that you can use DnD and GML at the same time in a game, or settle on one only.
    Japster and SilentxxBunny like this.
  12. JJohnson

    JJohnson Member

    Jun 27, 2017
    It's a good beginner's program I think
  13. R69NIX

    R69NIX Member

    Jan 22, 2018
    The HUGE community.

    The HUGE amount of documentation, books, tutorials, video guides etc. etc.

    The HUGE and impressive and inspiring catalogue of games that were made with GameMaker.

    That’s my take from a perspective of what attracts new non programmers who want to learn and choose GM to try and created their first game.
    Japster likes this.
  14. Azure Knight

    Azure Knight Member

    Nov 29, 2018
    I personally enjoy using game maker simply because it allows me to make almost any 2D game Id like to make. Platformer, RPG, and Top Downs are typically my favorite. . . and the games I make are normally like tech demos or me fooling around. I don't actually make many full games in game maker mainly because it's easy to get lost in it. Maybe next time I'll have a full plan to using game maker to its fullest!
  15. RefresherTowel

    RefresherTowel Member

    Jul 13, 2016
    The ephemeral dream ;)
  16. tsm

    tsm Member

    Feb 25, 2018
    I like Game Maker because I don't actually know how to program. I like designing games, but the actual task of coding them is honestly very tedious to me. GML is the only language I've ever tried to learn that allows me to be half-assed about how I approach my coding.

    I'm not saying it's a good reason to like Game Maker, but at least it's truthful. ;)

    Edit: Should add that I've been using it on and off since I was 10 years old (17 years ago, yikes), so it'd be honestly a little weird to try using anything else at this point.
    SilentxxBunny likes this.
  17. rongcongame

    rongcongame Member

    Jan 9, 2019
    simple and effective. GML is the most easier language code in the world.
    Japster and SilentxxBunny like this.
  18. Desert Dog

    Desert Dog Member

    Jul 30, 2019
    SilentxxBunny likes this.
  19. Khao

    Khao Member

    Jun 22, 2016
    I've been using Game Maker since GM6, so the biggest deal for me is how much I know about this thing and how it works. At this point, it feels as if I can very easily create anything I can imagine in a relatively short amount of time. If I understand how it works on an abstract level, I can make it happen. Game Maker is the only software I can use to this level, and I'd say that reaching that level is far easier than in countless other engines out there. And hey, while there are limitations, in most cases they're irrelevant for the kind of games I'm interested in making.

    If I ever feel the need to create a 3D game, though, I'll throw GM out of the window before even trying. I know there's 3D functionality (I've even used it for kicks and giggles a few times), but it's not worth the effort imo. For nearly everything 2D, though, Game Maker is simply the most effective engine out there. It just takes little effort to do exactly what you want, and everything in the program is perfectly set up for you to just start making **** as soon as possible. If you have a simple idea, you can prototype it in mere minutes.
  20. SilentxxBunny

    SilentxxBunny Epsilon

    Jun 21, 2016
    I love GameMaker because I was able to successfully design my first computer game in the fourth grade (something that I'd always been told would take a college degree, a large team, and millions of dollars to do.) I've been in love ever since. :D
    ParodyKnaveBob likes this.
  21. LesbianJellyfish

    LesbianJellyfish Member

    Jul 31, 2019
    To me, it's because of the knowledge of working with the same engine as my favourite indie games like Nidhog, Katana Zero, freaking Undertale (my fav game ever!) but it's mostly because I don't want to be a coder I just wanna make games and spew them out and see what the public likes. Which idea that I have can make other people happy, and then I put it in the game. Plus most game maker games I've seen are either gorgeous and visually beautiful or have an interesting story. I love games that have artistic value and Gamemaker along with RPG maker can make a creator just create without a second thought. All you have to do is learn key commands and chains and it's smooth sailing especially if you know how to manage your own time.
  22. Dather32

    Dather32 Member

    Aug 17, 2019
    Game Maker has been 'just that engine' for years. The community too has been sustained throughout all the releases but I wonder if it's self-sustaining?
  23. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

    Jun 20, 2016
    Too grumpy and tired to actually read any of the previous replies, but there's my 5 cents:
    • Essentially no abstraction. Things are what they are. It makes GM easy to learn when you're starting out, and easy to work in later (because who wants to THINK constantly lol :p)
    • WYSIWYG room editor that works really well for things that are boring to code, like menus (just place menu objects in a room: bam, done)
    • Really fast to work in, letting you prototype things easily and be as sloppy as your future self can endure... mostly thanks to point 1.
    • Integrated level and graphics editor, always handy for quick edits
    • People on the GMC are helpful and nice and stuff (me being the obvious exception) so it's always fun to learn new tricks
    ParodyKnaveBob likes this.
  24. elsi11

    elsi11 Member

    Sep 18, 2019
    For me, it was easy to get into it with those drag and drop icons that let you learn coding logic. The GM Language (basically javascript) just clicked with me because it was easy and logical, but with the good structure of having to use parantheses. The learnign curve is just not as steep as Unity or Unreal. You open those, you are introduced with a 3d system with preconfigured variables in objects, and you gotta use weird archaic languages. That's just off-putting. I don't need my screen littered with options and variables I don't need. I'd rather just initiate or edit them myself via code. I still have no idea what I'm looking at, no matter how many Unity or Godot tutorials I watch. With GM, I make everything myself, so I know what everything is for and how it works.
  25. Didjargo

    Didjargo Member

    Jun 21, 2016
    I've been fiddling with GameMaker since it's early incarnations back when I was a teenager. So I grew up with the program as it evolved into what GMS2 is today. What I like most about it is how inviting it is to learn by starting off novice users with the drag-n-drop system. As you get used to the workflow and you feel comfortable with the language, you start to expand bit by bit beyond the drag-n-drop system by writing your own scrips. Eventually you leave the drag-n-drop behind entirely and are writing GML code confidently. More programs should look to Yoyo for how to teach their users about programming language in a self motivated way.

    Aside from that, I find that GML is the most intuitive and straight forward programming language I've encountered. It cut out a lot of the grunt-work, which means less errors, less clutter, and more inviting to learn and experiment.
  26. KONGEN

    KONGEN Member

    Aug 4, 2019
    I think its a combination of good UI and the feeling of 'easy to use, hard to master'.
  27. Japster

    Japster Member

    Aug 5, 2017
    Hmmm.... I'll tell you why *I* love it so much... (You might wanna grab a coffee)....

    Unfortunately, this will require a comparison, as my experiences with other engines/tools are important as to why I DO love GMS2 (and YoYo) so much... (I know that some users are perhaps unhappy with GMS2 regardless, for their own reasons, and others ONLY have experience of GM products, and maybe can't compare them easily...)

    I've actually tried (and at length) 3 different dev systems - Unity (+plug-ins, PlayMaker etc), GameSalad (Which I gave a chance, for 5-6 years!), and GameMaker Studio 2.

    Compared to either GS or Unity, GMS is a breath of fresh air for me...

    1) Unity proved a real pain to make a simple 2D game in for me - I was able to make a random 3D landscape in minutes, and have a sphere rolling around on it, but 2D was waaaaaay more work than it should have been. Plus, I found coding in it less straightforward. Of course, it's free for playing around with, but as the 2D was generally Z-plane limited 3D, faking 2D, it's also got a performance hit compared to native 2D. I even bought PlayMaker, and '2D friendly' plugins, but nope, never really turned out to be as straightforward as I'd hoped. An uphill struggle for me.

    2) Back when it was a great product (and I owe GameSalad a lot for showing me the basics), GameSalad was (like GMS), VERY quick to prototype, and you can actually produce some fantastic games in it, despite 95% of what's associated with it being dross (an unfortunate side effect, and no-one's fault - of empowering pretty much ANYONE to create a 'game' / app - most 'code-less' engines (yes, even GMS2) will produce varying quality output from their users) - but horrendously slow to actually finish a game in (no importing, copy/paste code / behaviours, no editing of code, no parents, etc) - I cannot stress how slow it makes finishing a game in it - great tool for what it is, and I managed to release 3 games using it, but never again. Also, the 'subscription model is extortionate for what it is - $300 a year, every year, if you need to release stuff, on a broken and still realistically unfinished system.

    Add to this that unfortunately, over the last few years, it is CONSISTENTLY broken time and time again, crashes a LOT, has build and publication-breaking bugs that have been around for quite literally YEARS, has NO Windows executable target, Steam support etc, and so yeah, I was very frustrated with it when it all went wrong with the product QA and company (as far as I can tell, just ONE poor guy is maintaining it, and GS were bought out by a guy with a different agenda, and on the road to being an 'educational' tool instead, plus they're fixated on a 'web-only' tool route - not for me...)

    ...Which brings me nicely to GMS2. :)

    Coming from the above, I cannot stress what a FANTASTIC change it is, to have a product what's really intuitive, stable, GREAT support, and a whole host of built-in functionality just, well, THERE.... (I know some features aren't implemented still, but I am constantly amazed at how much functionality (that I was expecting to have to code from scratch) is either already in GMS2, or easily accessible via add-ins...)

    1) The UI is superb, fast, and comprehensive, the language (although some don't like it) is imho fantastic, especially coming from a bare-bones 80's coding culture...

    2) NO Subs option - WOW! - Yeah, I paid for a PC/MAC/Linux target permanent license - it cost LESS (way less) than a year's GS 'sub'. I also paid the one-off fee for unlimited mobile publishing - and yeah, it was all combined, STILL less than a quarter of what I've paid just for yearly 'subs' to GameSalad.

    3) LOCAL Publishing! - I can build WHAT I like, WHEN I like, on my OWN PC... GS, for example, makes you rely on 'publishing servers' that frequently do NOT work, or the build functionality on them is broken (sometimes in ways you can't even see until you release)...

    4) EDITABLE, PASTE-ABLE / IMPORTABLE CODE - Yes, most systems have this, GS doesn't - so coming from that, this is wonderful... See an example, paste it in, see it in action - pull the code out of an event, whack it in a dedicated script, I can do what I want, instantly.

    5) TILES and SURFACES... To do some of the stuff I can do in GMS2 easily, was damn near impossible in other tools, or incredibly long-winded... Just being able to use tiles, and surfaces, makes it so much easier to implement so much more ambitious stuff, and types of games - Plus, they (YoYo) didn't just let you do this - the functions for checking tiles compared to an object's position are GREAT - Again, I thought I'd have to keep track of an array, sub-tile movement, etc myself, but no, it's all there... Surfaces are used in my own game, for effects ranging from outlines, to saving preview images - great stuff!

    6) GREAT community! (For help and advice at least) - although I do find that we're all so busy on our own projects, posts about other GMS'ers releases don't seem to get as much input / feedback as desired, but hey, all forums are like this...

    So yeah, I've managed to release a game (TetraLogical) already, on Steam, using it - had my basic game prototype (which isn't a simple game - there is a LOT of logic in there) running within a week of starting to use GMS2, and I can honestly say that I *LOVE* using GMS2...

    Case in point about how easy GMS2 makes it - I started writing a gravity based space game in GameSalad, years ago - it was going great, but was a *real* uphill struggle to piece it together, behaviour by behaviour (code statements in GS) worked on it for over a year, and had to stall development - constant issues with GS - and NOT be able to release it on Windows / Steam - If anyone is interested in seeing it at the point where I got to, it's:-

    Anyway, I fired up GMS2 last night, spent about 2 hours, and now have a working, flying ship, with gravity, a test level, good physics, great collision logic, background and nice thrust'y particle effects already...

    ...and this speed and ease of testing / development ^^^ is another reason I absolutely love GMS2 - I honestly think that YoYo have every right to be extremely proud of what they've created - coming from the other 2, I was so disillusioned, I was ready to give up game dev... ...Now I'm KICKING myself for not getting, on board with GameMaker YEARS ago...

    There are honestly loads MORE reasons I love it, but I think I've already made this post too long... :)

    Finally (and thanks all for bearing with me so far), some users have mentioned that it's unfair/biased to ask only why we LOVE it on this thread, but I don't see the issue - we're here, and it gives us a chance to drop some praise back where it's deserved, and give real-world examples of why we DO love it.

    Yes, we could also mention things that frustrate us with it (although in all honestly I don't really have anything that's a big frustration with it, personally), but there are plenty of other threads for that, and tbh, people in general, everywhere in life, are quick to complain about stuff, but VERY unlikely to give praise where it's due, simply because if something's good, there's no NEED to take time out to feedback - whereas if something isn't, then you NEED to highlight/complain in order to try to bring about (beneficial) change - it's the nature of the beast...

    Whew! - sorry guys... :D
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019 at 11:51 PM
    IndianaBones, Yal, rIKmAN and 3 others like this.
  28. IndianaBones

    IndianaBones Member

    Jul 5, 2016
    @Japster Great write up Japster, with good examples, well worth the time to read.

    I like the point about negative comments. Often people only need to post when they are stuck or something is not working right, so it's not often the chance or reason to post positive stuff when everything is hunky dory, which can skew the perceptions of what is mostly a good product.
    Japster likes this.

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