OFFICIAL YoYo Games Round Up - Q&A and More

rmanthorp

YoYo Games Staff
Admin
YYG Staff


2021 has been busy for YoYo Games. It’s an exciting time now that we are part of the Opera family and following our Q&A live video (which you can view here) we’ve got a lot of news to share with you! We also want to use this blog to answer some of the many questions we received and detail those that we covered in the live video.

VERSION 2.3.2, NEW LOCALISATION, NEXT-GEN AND NEW JOBS
Version 2.3.2 is now available in beta and it is all about performance. It introduces the new nine slice support for your sprites, allowing you to create nicer-looking menu screens and HUDs in a quick and easy way, and the new animcurve library containing preset curves you can use to very quickly and easily apply common behaviours to your animations. We tackled a few memory/performance bugs in the IDE, reducing compile times (in the majority of cases), improving the garbage collector for a little more in-game performance and a lot more stability.

In other GameMaker Studio 2 update news, more localisations are coming. Russian, Chinese and Brazilian Portuguese are coming to the IDE soon. We will also be looking to extend the areas where we provide more localised content. Support documentation and tutorials are particular priorities, along with articles.

We will soon be bringing PlayStation®5 and Xbox Series console support to GameMaker! GameMaker’s Next-Gen console support is currently in closed beta, but the full commercial launch is expected in March 2021. Developers using GameMaker to develop games for these next-generation consoles and the PlayStation®4 or Xbox One generation will require either a GameMaker Studio 2 PlayStation, Xbox or Ultimate license. You can read more about console licences here.

Lastly, in news, we’re hiring! See our growing Jobs page for all the roles we are currently looking for. We can’t wait to grow the team and pour more support into GameMaker.

INSPECTOR WINDOW
The community have been asking for more teases so we’ve pulled together a sneak peek at the upcoming inspector window. Take a look:

game

Please be aware that these are mockups and may not represent the final feature.


QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
See blog..............

https://www.yoyogames.com/blog/600/yoyo-games-round-up-q-a-and-more
 

JeffJ

Member
Hm. So much text, and yet nothing that we weren't already told the last time around, maybe aside from debugging YYC, BB code and Fmod. I wish the inspectors would be elaborated on with more than just a mockup that doesn't really tell us much.

Also, this is now the third time during this Q&A that the question about the idea of paid support and the possibility of a permanent console license has been ignored.

So, was this the last batch of answers? Should we assume anything that was asked and not answered won't be?
 
Thanks for the updates! Really excited for the Inspector! Are you guys able to answer more questions with where it's headed? Are these pop up windows when you double click an object or sprite, or are they more like a property window we can keep open? Also, would we be able to change instance variables right from there without digging deeper into the menus?
 

Zhanghua

Member
Nice, thanks for the updates and continued work. So, when do we get an official 3D Engine?

^.^
YY has said they didn't focus on the 3d.

We may do some stuff on the 2.5d such as isometric view without complex tricks.... after that we can say GMS2 is a pure and pro 2d engine...

Thanks for the updates! Really excited for the Inspector! Are you guys able to answer more questions with where it's headed? Are these pop up windows when you double click an object or sprite, or are they more like a property window we can keep open? Also, would we be able to change instance variables right from there without digging deeper into the menus?
May refer the UNITY or GODOT...
 

gnysek

Member
Two now and good news from this post:

1) Inspector preview. I like it.
2)
Structs are great, but a huge problem with them is after typing "." the autocomplete with all of the structs variables don't show, which is very inconvenient. Part of our refactoring and consolidation is modifying our intellisense and syntax highlighting so they are directed by the syntax parsing rather than the current method, part of that will allow us to have a better presentation of the intellisense and autocomplete. A more complete solution with type inference and flow control will improve it further. We are working on these over the year but I think improvements will not be visible until later in the year.
So yeah, not in 2.3.3, but 2.3.4 or 2.3.5 would be great. It's getting annoying now, as for every constructor that I create, I need to write down all methods somewhere cause it's hard to remember dozens of them. That should be priority after 2.3.x changes in GML.
 
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rmanthorp

YoYo Games Staff
Admin
YYG Staff
Hm. So much text, and yet nothing that we weren't already told the last time around, maybe aside from debugging YYC, BB code and Fmod. I wish the inspectors would be elaborated on with more than just a mockup that doesn't really tell us much.

Also, this is now the third time during this Q&A that the question about the idea of paid support and the possibility of a permanent console license has been ignored.

So, was this the last batch of answers? Should we assume anything that was asked and not answered won't be?
Yes, this was largely a wrap up for the majority who didn't follow everything up to this point. We tried to squeeze out as many teases as possible for those that follow everything. Sorry if it wasn't quite enough.

RE: Questions not answered - that was us not wanting to repeat the 'This is something we've considered but don't have anything to say right now.' That is the case for paid support and permanent console licences and it's safe to assume that's the response to any question without an answer as we combed over them all. As soon as something changes on those. We'll let people know.
 
Wonder how the new inspector window would work .

When it appear and hid ?

And how it work with the script page ?
( Click the event item to open the event script in full screen editor as a Tab page ? or open a code window link to the object panel ? )
 
Hm. So much text, and yet nothing that we weren't already told the last time around, maybe aside from debugging YYC, BB code and Fmod. I wish the inspectors would be elaborated on with more than just a mockup that doesn't really tell us much.

Also, this is now the third time during this Q&A that the question about the idea of paid support and the possibility of a permanent console license has been ignored.

So, was this the last batch of answers? Should we assume anything that was asked and not answered won't be?
I also was a bit disappointed to not read anything about the possibility of the console licenses being either lowered or a permanent license. I know YoYo Games is probably tired of people bring it up, but I fully believe this would be a bold move on their part to gain even more users to GameMaker Studio 2.

I'll be honest in saying that this is a very reason why I've actually wanted to stop using GameMaker Studio 2 and learn a different engine like Unity or Unreal. But the thing that I've come back for, it not GameMaker Studio 2's pricing, but on how easy it is to make games and is where my experience is. I also believe that if YoYo Games would either lower the console license price or make it permanent, I think that would give GameMaker Studio 2 a HUGE leverage over other 2D game engines. Especially Unity2D.

I just can't see paying $1,500 or $799 a year upfront for a export module that I don't even get to keep if I stop paying for it. I could partly understand it if the yearly cost was significantly lower, but at the current price, it's almost like just giving YoYo Games $1,500 or $799 a year, since if the developer stopped paying, they would lose access to that export and wouldn't be able to release anymore patches. Currently the only one who would benefit would be YoYo Games because no matter if a developer was paying for 2 or 3 years, YoYo Games still gets their money, but then the developer has lost access to their export.

This is a long and extreme real world example I actually sent to YoYo Games in the Q&A, if anyone would like to read it and give their perspective on it. It's in spoiler tags since it's long.

To the people that would say "Just wait until your game on Steam makes more than $1,500 a year and then you can afford it." or "You shouldn't plan to launch a game on console first anyway".

To that I would say, will your game on Steam always be earning over $1,500 a year? If it doesn't and your console version doesn't either, the developer would either have to keep paying $1,500 out of what they don't have or be forced to stop paying the license.

I just wanted to provide a "real life example" of how I think GameMaker Studio 2 would benefit from either lowering the Console/Ultimate Licenses to draw more people in when compared to Unity or Unreal's console licenses.

Let's say for the sake of the example, I had released 2 games made in GMS2 that are on all 3 consoles (Switch, Xbox, PlayStation) and I'm paying the license cost of $1,500 a year.

While I'm actively using GMS2 and updating the console games made with it, all seems fine. But, then for some reason I don't use GMS2 anymore (it could be that I've moved on to 3D engines or have switched to a different 2D engine) Well, the bad part now, is that in order for me to keep updating my GMS2 console games (even if just bug fixes) I'm stuck paying $1,500 a year even though I'm not "actively" using GMS2 anymore.

Since this is also an "upfront cost" it doesn't matter if I'm making $100 a year or $10,000 a year in revenue with these games, I'm still stuck paying $1,500 a year because I need to keep access to release bug fixes to my GMS2 console games. So, if I'm not "earning any money" from these games, I still have to pay almost $2,000 a year just to be able to update them.

This is where I think that if the Console/Ultimate Licenses were either a lot lower like $300 a year (Defold Engine's Switch cost) or $100 a year (Stencyl's cost + 3rd party Switch export).

Or go the "cost by royalty way" like Unity's cost is user's need to pay $399 a year if:

"revenue or funding is more than $100K in the last 12 months" or $1,800, "if revenue or funding is greater than $200K in the last 12 months, you are required to use Pro".

The cost of Unity is determined by how much the user themselves are making to ensure that if the user is not earning any income (in the last 12 months) they don't have to pay anything.

The same is with Unreal Engine 4's royalty model. I'm not saying that the revenue threshold should be 1 million like Unreal is, but here's another example of the "cost by royalty way".

After a user has earned 1 million in revenue, Epic requires that they report revenue and pay 5% of revenue over $10,000 in 1 quarter if they don't earn $10,000 in 1 quarter, then they don't need to pay any royalties. As they say in their FAQ:

"In any quarter in which your product generates less than $10,000 USD, you do not need to report revenues. If your game or other interactive off-the-shelf product is no longer being sold, no revenue reports are due."

This also ensures that user's will have the revenue to actually pay for their licenses. The way the GMS2 Console/Ultimate Licenses is set up, could potentially bankrupt indie user's whose games are not earning over the $1,500 Console/Ultimate License fee.

If no revenue, users cannot pay. If users cannot pay, users cannot continue to update their console games, if users cannot update their console games, they are unable to update or provide bug fixes to their games which would cause uproars to people who have bought their games that the developer can no longer afford to pay the Console/Ultimate License cost to update.

I know this is an extreme scenario, but it's also a real life scenario and I FULLY believe this would benefit both YoYo Games, indie users and commercial studios. By making the Console/Ultimate Licenses more affordable or accessible both sides win. This in the long term I believe, would attract more users to the Console/Ultimate Licenses.

This is the main reason why I haven't paid the Console/Ultimate Licenses cost. Even though I'm approved for both Xbox and PlayStation releases. Please seriously consider everything I have said. As I truly believe this would be a fundamental big step in the future success of GMS2 and YoYo Game
 

gnysek

Member
Wonder how the new inspector window would work .
Inspector window isn't new, it's already in 2.3 and works for sequences, you can check it (Windows > Inspector). They just gonna add display for other resources. For scripts - it will probably work same as it works now - will display an empty space (or will display a script name to change).

if a developer was paying for 2 or 3 years, YoYo Games still gets their money, but then the developer has lost access to their export.
Sorry, but if your game needs patches for 2-3 years, it means it's a crap and will be rejected during certification by console companies. 1500$ to release games on 3 consoles isn't much - if you set price for 15-20$, then you need to sell ONLY 50 COPIES on each console. So, selling 150 copies on each of consoles is enough to pay for those 2-3 years you mentions. There's also no sense in making updates for 2-3 years for a game that sold in 150 copies during that time...

I wouldn't say that this license is expensive in any way. You don't need it from first day of game development, and in fact your application for developer account enrollment might be rejected by console companies without having some interesting prototype. Yes - you need to have developer account for every console (on their companies side) before you can apply for console exports. Don't forget you need to buy devkits, and you need to have your own company, pay all the taxes, insurances, and all that stuff. I'm having my own programming company and I'm paying more taxes every month, than GM Ultimate license costs, while having average salary. GM license is nearly no cost at all compared to everything else I need to pay before I can release game on consoles, and what I will pay after it's released.

My friend released game on PS4 few months ago. He used PS4 export only for two weeks, to adjust few things, like trophy support, and lack of touch screen (touchbar wasn't enough), and some fixes for saving. After two weeks his game was ready, as generally that's how GM works - properly programmed game should work out of box on every exporter. He don't need it for next year, or for another 2-3 years - that game works, it was already polished on Windows, and he just getting money every day. He needed just half a day to get money for devkit and licenses back. At end of day he got enough money for next 4-5 years of GMS Ultimate licensing.

Complaining about console export prices means only one thing - having no experience in releasing games at all, having no knowledge of taxes/insurances/side purchases, and having no business plan yet.

IMHO console exports are for those who want to earn at least 5000$ on each platform (but I'm sure that every GMS made game which was released on PS4/Xone/Switch earned lot more). You shouldn't think about them if you're not able to earn that.
 

Fanatrick

Member
GLSL Update? Could this possibly mean vertex texture fetching is coming?! That would make me (and like 12 other GMS users who care about VTF) very happy.
A mastapeece, awaiting somewhere in the distance. We did it!(?)
But hey, a dozen or less this is no small thing. The uninitiated don't even know what's up. It'll be up to us to show what has been missing.
 
@gnysek I think you missed the point of what I am saying.

No, it does not mean that a game is bad if it receives updates frequently. Also, by the term patch, I mean all updates.

The example you gave still isn't a good enough reason to purchase the Ultimate license or even a console license. If I'm going to pay such a large amount of money for an export, I will want to keep access to that export for as long as the platform the export is for will be around and even after. Because I will want to keep adding updates, new features to that console for many years to come to keep the community of gamers happy.

Think of having a fighting game on each console, where updates would be added regularly. Not because the game is bad and has a lot of bugs, but because the developers would want to keep adding new features all the time, like, new characters, new maps, new online battle modes, etc. Just because a game receives a patch, doesn't mean it's bad. If I have an export on a platform I want to be able to have access to that platform on a permanent basis because I would want to maintain the games I would have on that platform by providing updates, patches and small glitch fixes on a regular basis.

Also, I think there does need to be a more developer friendly way of accessing console exports, because for other reasons the Ultimate License is in a way, not a good choice money wise to some. Like, I won't be using the HTML export, or any of the mobile exports every time, I won't even be using the UWP export always. Plus, every export EXCEPT the consoles have a permanent license. For me the Ultimate License would be a waste of money.

I have already bought the Desktop License, the Mobile License and the UWP License. All these are a permanent license. The total price for these licenses was $497, but they're mine to keep. I don't have to keep paying $497 EVERY year.
I also don't have to feel rushed that I need to get a game out so it can be "worth my money."

I would actually be HAPPY, to purchase EACH of the consoles license on a permanent basis for $1,500 if they were permanent and I got to keep access for as long as I wanted to. To me, that would be worth my money. I also don't want to charge a higher price for a game to make up for the cost of a license. I want to charge a fair price for a game. not make the buyer pay for my license.
 

kburkhart84

Firehammer Games
I'm not really judging on prices...but I will say that there is a big difference between Desktop and Console. Desktop stuff can be "just for fun" like a hobby. Console on the other hand is pretty much all commercial stuff. That means that with Desktop, the typical user doesn't make much if any money off it(there are of course many exceptions). With Console, if you are doing it, you gotta be making money...complete flops don't generally happen because the vendors would not have let it happen due to quality control. Therefore, the value of the product is much higher with Console than with Desktop exports, which means Yoyo is understandably charging more, and making it time limited so they keep charging. I'm not saying the price is fair or anything as I'm not really in the game/fight/whatever...

Another point...the support structure for Desktop exports is basically forums and manual, its community supported, bugs aren't really that urgent to fix, etc... On consoles, there is much more backend to it. You are also paying for much more support. Yoyo has to keep paying that staff to keep supporting things, so that is part of why you have to keep paying for such support. You aren't paying so much for the software rather for the support behind it(as I understand it anyway).
 
I'm not really judging on prices...but I will say that there is a big difference between Desktop and Console. Desktop stuff can be "just for fun" like a hobby. Console on the other hand is pretty much all commercial stuff. That means that with Desktop, the typical user doesn't make much if any money off it(there are of course many exceptions). With Console, if you are doing it, you gotta be making money...complete flops don't generally happen because the vendors would not have let it happen due to quality control. Therefore, the value of the product is much higher with Console than with Desktop exports, which means Yoyo is understandably charging more, and making it time limited so they keep charging. I'm not saying the price is fair or anything as I'm not really in the game/fight/whatever...

Another point...the support structure for Desktop exports is basically forums and manual, its community supported, bugs aren't really that urgent to fix, etc... On consoles, there is much more backend to it. You are also paying for much more support. Yoyo has to keep paying that staff to keep supporting things, so that is part of why you have to keep paying for such support. You aren't paying so much for the software rather for the support behind it(as I understand it anyway).
I just wanted to respond to say that "flops" do happen. They happen for the majority of releases. Nintendo/Sony really will accept most anything onto the store as long as you have a semi-professional publisher (even ones that aren't worth more than the shoddy game they've brought to the table). So I'd argue many console devs don't earn as much as you'd suspect. There is very little quality assurance for any of the console platforms.

I'd argue the console license should be worth more regardless. $2000 would be a decent starting point. It would give YoYoGames a tad more income to work with and hopefully reduce how many support tickets they deal with in regards to consoles.
 

kburkhart84

Firehammer Games
I just wanted to respond to say that "flops" do happen. They happen for the majority of releases. Nintendo/Sony really will accept most anything onto the store as long as you have a semi-professional publisher (even ones that aren't worth more than the shoddy game they've brought to the table). So I'd argue many console devs don't earn as much as you'd suspect. There is very little quality assurance for any of the console platforms.

I'd argue the console license should be worth more regardless. $2000 would be a decent starting point. It would give YoYoGames a tad more income to work with and hopefully reduce how many support tickets they deal with in regards to consoles.
Yeah, it is true that flops do happen. But the difference is that it typically isn't due to lack of monetary investment and more about quality, bugs, and/or decisions made by said semi-professional publishers. So since the investment is there regardless, it makes sense for Yoyo to charge well for it(especially since the roof is so high on possible earnings for some people). I can agree with you that it technically could be higher than it is now, and likely would still sell almost as many copies.
 
Another point I would like to make is, if people think YoYo Games is charging $1,500 a year because they "have to", I really doubt that is the case. As in my longer Q&A question, I compared to similar game engine that are probably smaller in team size or about the same that charge WAY LESS than $1,500 a year for console releases.

This is where I think that if the Console/Ultimate Licenses were either a lot lower like:

Defold Engine
Defold Engine's Switch cost - $300 a year (actually paid $25 a month)
Defold is an open source engine where the Defold Foundation operates and maintains the Switch export and only lets approved Nintendo Developers use after paying the $25 a month ($300).
Defold is also a completely free engine to use except for the Switch export.

Stencyl
Stencyl's cost ($100 to $200) a year + Free 3rd party Switch export. A third party (a single person If I'm right) has created a Switch export for Stencyl that they give out only to approved developers.
Stencyl is also partly open source and like I said, I think only 1 person manages the Switch export.

YoYo Games is really the ONLY game engine that charges close to $2,000 a year for console exports and I don't know why. Other game engines either have free console exports (or based on royalties if you want to consider that) or console exports accessible for $300 a year or less. I really believe it would be in YoYo Games best interest to lower the Console License prices at least. To gain a lot more indie developers to their engine for console games and stay competitive with the mentioned game engines and other open source engines where Switch exports are either free or a lot less. YoYo Games could still have their yearly Ultimate License for people who do prefer that subscription model.

But, I truly believe, lowering the Console License or making them permanent, would be a game changer for YoYo Games and GameMaker Studio 2. I'm not saying this for just my benefit.
Something I go by when pricing, is that I would rather have 1,000 people buy my product for $1, than 1 person buy my product for $1,000. That is, I would rather have a lot more people buying and using my product at a lower price than having less people using my product at a higher price.

In the long run, lower prices on a product or service that people are actually willing to pay for could potentially be a lot better for YoYo Games. In fact, I would go as far as to say that there are probably less than 100 users currently subscribed to all 3 Console Licenses combined (not including the Ultimate License).

I'm only trying to make a logical argument out of this situation based on the pricing compared to other similar game engines. If they can do it why can't YoYo Games? If the Defold Foundation can do it for $300 a year, why can't YoYo Games? If a single 3rd party developer can make a Switch Export for Stencyl for free, why can't YoYo Games lower theirs?

If you really, just set and think about it, Like I said, YoYo Games is really the only game engine charging such a high price for console exports. Which really sets them out of the competition from the other mentioned game engines.

Not to bring up an old post again, but last year I did a poll about who would use the Console/Ultimate License if it was cheaper and more people said they would use it if it was cheaper than people who said they already are paying for

it. Of course, there was no way of actually verifying the results. This was a combined poll I did on multiple game Developer Reddit groups last year:

"No, it's too expensive" was voted 63 times
"I would if it was cheaper" was voted 22 times
"Yes, I do pay the the Console/Ultimate License" only got 4 votes

Those 63 + 22 (85) users, could be paying console customers. While only 4 out of the 89 who voted, said they did pay for a Console/Ultimate License.

If there was one reason to leave GameMaker for another engine, it would be only the fact that the console exports are so expensive.
 

JeffJ

Member
It seems people's recurring argument for the high annual cost of console modules keeps being the same - support. Which is fine, I get it - the level of work involved in supporting console devs is typically greater than for a lot of other platforms. But that raises the question - if the support is the problem, why not allow us to buy that separately? That way, YYG can more accurately allocate the exact amount of resources needed. And on the consumer side of things, if you don't need it, you don't have to pay for it, you can just use the module to do your development without bothering their support. If you do need it, you're paying for that as its own thing - based on those exact needs. It seems a lot more fair for everyone. But the question of separating that support keeps getting ignored, yet still brought up as a reason for the annual cost.
 
Exactly! I think that is somewhat how ClickTeam currently does their console exports with Fusion 2.5. They don't have a user accessible export per se, but, included in the cost is a year of support and patches.
In their upcoming Fusion 3 version they said: "When Fusion 3 releases we will work to provide an out-of-the-box exporter solution in addition to the paid conversion service, to fit the needs as of many users as possible."

I think this is what YoYo Game may need to do. Just like you said, separate the Console Licenses into 2 perhaps. 1 with just the exports and the other with full dedicated support with the exports.
 

kburkhart84

Firehammer Games
It seems people's recurring argument for the high annual cost of console modules keeps being the same - support. Which is fine, I get it - the level of work involved in supporting console devs is typically greater than for a lot of other platforms. But that raises the question - if the support is the problem, why not allow us to buy that separately? That way, YYG can more accurately allocate the exact amount of resources needed. And on the consumer side of things, if you don't need it, you don't have to pay for it, you can just use the module to do your development without bothering their support. If you do need it, you're paying for that as its own thing - based on those exact needs. It seems a lot more fair for everyone. But the question of separating that support keeps getting ignored, yet still brought up as a reason for the annual cost.
Exactly! I think that is somewhat how ClickTeam currently does their console exports with Fusion 2.5. They don't have a user accessible export per se, but, included in the cost is a year of support and patches.
In their upcoming Fusion 3 version they said: "When Fusion 3 releases we will work to provide an out-of-the-box exporter solution in addition to the paid conversion service, to fit the needs as of many users as possible."

I think this is what YoYo Game may need to do. Just like you said, separate the Console Licenses into 2 perhaps. 1 with just the exports and the other with full dedicated support with the exports.
As I understand it, the support is indeed the biggest issue when dealing with consoles. Separating the support from the software actually makes a certain sense. They could charge something either like the same price they have now, or even less, but keep it permanent, and then after the first year, start selling the support. As long as it is declared and understood up front, it seems like a fair way to go. I'm sure it is an accurate statement to say that some people are going to need more support than others, and so some select few won't need support at all beyond the first year. This would allow them to save the money.
 

angelwire

Member
I would argue that bundling the support with the software could be the best solution. How many novice users would buy the non-support license thinking "I don't need help", and then complain about the huge support price tag when they realize they actually do need help? And, in all honesty, I feel like those of us not successful enough as game developers to be able to invest in the console license are probably the same developers that would need the added support.

Regarding the Round Up, the concept screenshots for the inspector are neat, but I still don't see why you can't provide more information about it. Since you're teasing it, you must have a pretty good idea of what it's supposed to accomplish and how it's supposed to improve the user experience. "We found that users had trouble with X, so we're adding the inspector in order to aid with X by allowing you to do Y and Z". It doesn't seem like that would be promising too much since you've already committed to working on it for 3 quarters in 2021. I recognize the sentiment of "I use your product so I should know how you're improving it" can sound overly entitled, so I want to say that I do appreciate the openness that was shown in the Q&A. I'm definitely hyped for the future!
 
Like @kburkhart84 said
some select few won't need support at all beyond the first year. This would allow them to save the money.
Some people would be fine with only a year of support, then afterwards if they needed it, they could buy more dedicated support. I think that would be a good way of balancing between peoples experience and development needs. While not charging people extra who don't need the support.
 

gnysek

Member
If I'm going to pay such a large amount of money
That's not a big amount of money - as I said previously, it's 1500$ for 3 platforms, so earning 10$ from every game (which means it would need to be about 15-20$ in stores depending on taxes and store cut), you need to sell 50 copies on each platform, and you got money back. That's not much at all. Also, I don't see any sense in making free updates/expansions beyond 1st year, for a game, which sold bad (bad == below costs of development). It's better to work on another project then. As I said, GMS2 license cost is nothing compared to cost of having own company and getting devkits for all 3 consoles. In lot of European countries, VAT + income tax from selling games worth 4500-5000$ will result in more than 1500$. So, tax office will get yearly much more than YYG for it's license per year :) License cost should be in your bussines plan. For many games, graphics and music is also more expensive than licenses. Even hiring proper QA testers will be more expensive. I would say, that console export cost is just a drop in sea of other costs.

Prices for GMS2 exports are known before you buy it. So before you started to work on a game, and before you even chosen GMS2 you know the price, you know the rules. If you think that another engine is better, or have better prices - nobody forces you to use GMS2, you are free to choose other software. That's up to YYG how they value their work on console exports. It would be an issue, if you bought GMS2, wanted to make a game on consoles, and they incaresed prices for exports after some time - you could be angry, as you got different budget plans before. But it was clear from beginning, and since Ultimate license was introduced in 2017, it's price didn't changed, and it was always like this.
 

SnoutUp

Member
I feel completely out of loop with that inspector window thing. Is it just to see asset properties... in a different layout? How is it better than hitting CTRL+T and selecting an asset?

On a related note, will we ever see functions in quick asset search? Searching for script names is quite outdated.
 

gnysek

Member
Is it just to see asset properties... in a different layout?
They're planning to add new (optional) workflow, in which there won't be chains and those draggable windows on workspaces. I believe, that inspector will be then an important part of layout, so we gonna get one narrow column with asset explorer, one narrow column with inspector (prefarably opposite side of window), and then rest will be taken by code editor (for events, etc). Everything you open will go as tab on top.
Still, in current layout inspector will allow to change properties without double-clicking items.
So, that's a first step to add alternative layout.
 

TrunX

Member
Can the inspector window be used to change certain properties (like the origin point) of several selected sprites at once?
 
That's not a big amount of money - as I said previously, it's 1500$ for 3 platforms, so earning 10$ from every game (which means it would need to be about 15-20$ in stores depending on taxes and store cut), you need to sell 50 copies on each platform, and you got money back. That's not much at all. Also, I don't see any sense in making free updates/expansions beyond 1st year, for a game, which sold bad (bad == below costs of development). It's better to work on another project then. As I said, GMS2 license cost is nothing compared to cost of having own company and getting devkits for all 3 consoles. In lot of European countries, VAT + income tax from selling games worth 4500-5000$ will result in more than 1500$. So, tax office will get yearly much more than YYG for it's license per year :) License cost should be in your business plan. For many games, graphics and music is also more expensive than licenses. Even hiring proper QA testers will be more expensive. I would say, that console export cost is just a drop in sea of other costs.

Prices for GMS2 exports are known before you buy it. So before you started to work on a game, and before you even chosen GMS2 you know the price, you know the rules. If you think that another engine is better, or have better prices - nobody forces you to use GMS2, you are free to choose other software. That's up to YYG how they value their work on console exports. It would be an issue, if you bought GMS2, wanted to make a game on consoles, and they increased prices for exports after some time - you could be angry, as you got different budget plans before. But it was clear from beginning, and since Ultimate license was introduced in 2017, it's price didn't changed, and it was always like this.
About paying taxes. You don't just pay a large sum of taxes upfront without making money. That is my main point with the Console License. If the yearly amount was varied based on revenue, I would have no problem. But once a person is not making money from their games, it just becomes a big unnecessary expense just to be able to keep access to update games or add more content to them.

Also, do you pay annually for devkits? If you rent one, the costs would be recurring, but no. devkits are purchased and the developer can keep them as long as they are allowed. Microsoft even gave away free Xbox One devkits to approved developers (this is public knowledge. Not breaking an NDA).

So, if taxes are taken out from what you earn. You don't pay taxes without making money, you pay from what you earn and devkits are purchased once and then that expense is done.

Also, my yearly LLC fee is a FRACTION of a single console license price.

I'm also, not saying that YoYo Games should change their Ultimate License pricing per se, but at least make each console license permanent, where developers can purchase and keep full access as long as they want to keep their games on that particular console.

There has been some really good ideas of how YoYo Games could do this by, @JeffJ and @kburkhart84 and I hope YoYo Games would really consider them.

When you compare GameMaker's console access pricing to other engines of the same type, GameMaker's is just way higher than the competition.

Answer me this. How many GameMaker Games do you actually see on consoles? To me, I haven't seen very many. And I think it's because the access to console is way to high for the average indie without a publisher or large team already making a ton of money. It would seem like to me, that YoYo Games would want to give console access to as many as possible with as few barriers as possible, so more people and potential user could see the games on consoles and say: "wow, that game was made in GameMaker?" and "Maybe I'll give game making a try now!"
 
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gnysek

Member
How many GameMaker Games do you actually see on consoles?
I have a better question for you. Go to GameMaker Showcase website ( https://www.yoyogames.com/showcase ), find Windows-only games, and tell me why more that 50% of them aren't released on Mac and Linux WHILE THIS EXPORT IS INCLUDED IN DESKTOP VERSION, so it's additional cost is 0$, and there's no yearly license. There also games, which were released on android, but not on iOS, while again it's included in one lifetime license. You can also find games, that were relased on Xbox+Switch, but not on PS4, but that's for sure wasn't because of license price - separate licenses for those two are nearly equal to Ultimate. Keep in mind, that lot of developers only want to release games on platforms they like, and just skips others, cause it's up to them what they do with own game. If you got theory that people doesn't release games on some platform cause license is too expensive, then I just proved it have no sense.

But, to answer initial question, how many GMS games I saw on consoles - then at least:
- Forager
- Swords of Ditto
- Jet Lancer
- Cinders
- World of Horror
- Hyper Light Drifter
- Spinch
- Minit
- GEMINI ARMS
- Relic Hunters Zero: Remix
- Castle of no Escape 2
- Sea Salt
- Wandersong
- Drawngeon: Dungeons of Ink and Paper
- Levelhead
- The Eternal Castle
- Missile Dancer
- UNDERTALE
- Thy Sword
- Way of the Passive Fist
- Nuclear Throne
- Wuppo
- Death's Gambit
- Samurai Gunn
- Russian Subway Dogs
- Desert Child
- Xenon Valkyrie+
- Alien Escape
- Crashlands
- CYROGEAR
- Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!!
- Downwell
- Blazing Beaks
- Risk of Rain
- Demetrios
- Super Hyperactive Ninja
- You Died...
- Soft Body
- Ninja Senki DX
- Neighborhorde
- The Story Goes On
- Cyber Complex
- Nidhogg 2
- Symmetry
- BLACKHOLE
- Birdcakes
- Nidhogg
- JackQuest: The Tale of the Sword
- Alone With You
- Devil Engine
- Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight
- 10 Second Ninja X
- Fenix Furia
- Deadbolt
- kuso
- Hotline Miami
- Super Hydorah
- Orbit
- Duke of Defense
- The Walking Vegetables
- Maddening Overload
- and many more, as some games were released on consoles after they were submitted to showcase, and some aren't submitted at all.
I found 60+ games.

You don't pay taxes without making money
That works different in each country, in my country I need to pay 380$ of obligatory insurance (healthcare + pension fund) every month, even if I earn nothing, as long as I have own company (or are self-employed).

Your explanations are also so extreme that they won't count for a single person indie developer.
I know at least 4 single-person developers who released games made in GameMaker on consoles, for most of them license cost returned in 1-2 days, for one of them it returned in under 1 hour and he earned more than 1 million $ on all platforms in month.

When releasing game to consoles, you're not "garage indie" anymore, this requires you to be more official and legal, and that means costs. Export license is a minor one in long-term, even if it sounds expensive now.

Also - in my opinion, you're thinking about that pricing stuff too early and too pessimistic. Saying that it's too expensive and that paying for ultimate for 2-3 years would overcome incomes means you don't believe in your game, as I that would mean it will sell in less than 150 copies on each platform in 1000 days period. Your initial assumptions are bad.
Don't think about it in advance - first make a game, release it on desktop/mobiles, if audience will be happy then go with consoles. If not - except it's your dream - fix your game so audience is happy, or there's no point to release on consoles, instead it's better to work on another.
Remember that first step in releasing into consoles is to get approved as developer on Nintendo/Sony/Microsoft side, and they may want to see your game before that. Without going beyond that point, all talk about console export is useless, as many people got rejected for no reason, and that's why they didn't released their games - not because exports were too expensive. It's true that having publisher makes things easier in that case, as you don't need to think about what to do to not be rejected by them.


So, that's why YYG isn't talking about console export price. They believe, that people who are really into making games, and became their partners under NDA understand why it costs that amount of money, and why it's not permanent. This license target is little different than Creator and Desktop licenses, so it have different rules. It's not like with other exports, that YYG just "marks" in your account that you have console export and you can freely work on your game. They have separate builds for that, when there are bugs in runners you're getting PERSONAL BUILD in advance of beta and stable builds (and I mean days instead of months). They put totally different amount of work to manage this exporter, and it's not their target to lower price so "more people can use it" - as even if they gonna make this exporter free, as long as you don't face Nintendo/Sony/Microsoft you won't be able to use it.

tl;dr - Amount of developers which can use consoles exporter doesn't depend on it's price, but on how many gets accepted by console manufacturers.
 

Posh Indie

That Guy
Keep in mind, that lot of developers only want to release games on platforms they like, and just skips others, cause it's up to them what they do with own game. If you got theory that people doesn't release games on some platform cause license is too expensive, then I just proved it have no sense.
That must be it. They just have favorite platforms and nothing else plays a role...

Marketshare. I personally like Linux, but there is a reason your argument falls apart when you realize Windows is the common trend in which platform gets the focus (regardless of what platform the developer likes the most). Other platforms come with support as well. Is it worth the support hassle to support super small userbases? As a use case, let us study GMS2.3 Linux Edition. Oh wait.

You also preemptively defended against an assumed "theory". You are spiraling, my friend.

tl;dr - Amount of developers which can use consoles exporter doesn't depend on it's price, but on how many gets accepted by console manufacturers.
I need a citation for this claim. Cost to release on console is expensive and goes way beyond the cost of the exporter. Console manufacturer acceptance is a real thing, and that part I will grant you.

Unfortunately, I think you are biased in your reasoning and are applying your personal beliefs onto everyone (This is called "projection"). There is an infinite number of reasons people can (and do) choose limited platforms to release on... You are just focused on a paper thin slice and treating it as the entire cake.
 

gnysek

Member
Marketshare. I personally like Linux, but there is a reason your argument falls apart when you realize Windows is the common trend
So isn't that a "choice" if one decides, that game will be released only on Windows, cause others aren't worth supporting, even if theoretically one can export this game to those platforms with just one click from GMS? Maybe "like" wasn't the best word to describe it, but it comes to same conclusion - if it seems that on any platform sales will be minimal, or one feel that users on that platform won't play that game - it's not worth to release at all. Of course if someone want to risk - no problem, that's their time and their risk. But I think that it shouldn't work this way, that one wants lower price of licenses or hardware, to take lower risk. If someone just don't want game on some platforms - that's also OK. I just wanted to highlight, that most of licenses allow more than one export, but nobody complains they need only one of those and would like to pay 1/3 or 1/2 then.

Cost to release on console is expensive and goes way beyond the cost of the exporter.
That's true, and that's a good argument! I understand that we can both agree, that exporter cost in fact might be the least one among other costs, and when someone wants to release a game on console, need to be prepared for facing bigger expenses, and that's completely normal. But exporting game on consoles shouldn't be a "must have" target since day one of project, and for those who don't have any money saved to make such a big investement, it should be a post-release goal. Of course if game became popular before release, or it have successful kickstarter campaign - that's not a problem at all, everything can be done at once. Still, with those arguments I don't see why saying that license for consoles should be cheaper or permanent. I think it's adjusted to who it targets.

let us study GMS2.3 Linux Edition
Look, squirrel :squirrel:!
 

Juju

Member
For a sense of how expensive console release is, for a studio that is backed by a publisher and can afford it, I'll be charging tens of thousands of dollars per platform. If I was working absolutely flat out (which I don't do for many reasons) then the cost of a GM Ultimate License would just about reach 2% of my income for a year. It's less than my gas and heating bill per year. There is substantial money to be made in porting GameMaker games if you have the patience to get good at navigating console compliance, and there are many people doing the same work that I am.

YYG have to strike a balance between professional developers like me and semi-professional developers that make up the bulk of their serious do-it-for-money audience. I don't envy the people who have to come up with the pricing model for console targets because people like me could pay more but it'd lock out a lot of people for whom getting onto console is a struggle, financially and logistically.
 

Posh Indie

That Guy
I think you don't know what squirrel means in this context.
See my edited post above. There was context that had I been aware of such context... I would have taken that the RIGHT way! Again, I apologize to @gnysek.

In case anyone is wondering, I do feel like a jerk now, haha.
 
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Alice

Toolmaker of Bucuresti
Forum Staff
Moderator
Right. Just for the record, around YYG/GMC circles "squirrels" are often a stand in for, roughly speaking, "features/improvements that are in the making but haven't been announced to the wide public".

Which is to say, "Look, squirrel" meant something like "that feature you mentioned might be actually in the works".

(pointing this out in case someone else reads this, or if you are aware that "squirrels" are a code for something but don't know what exactly)
 

Posh Indie

That Guy
Right. Just for the record, around YYG/GMC circles "squirrels" are often a stand in for, roughly speaking, "features/improvements that are in the making but haven't been announced to the wide public".

Which is to say, "Look, squirrel" meant something like "that feature you mentioned might be actually in the works".

(pointing this out in case someone else reads this, or if you are aware that "squirrels" are a code for something but don't know what exactly)
"Squirrel" from my region of the earth means, "You are easily distracted.", and in context (From my personal view) was, "You went off topic. You are mentally running tangentially. No elaboration, you are just out there". That was my misunderstanding.

That is to say, "I was in the wrong completely and I am admitting that publicly".
 

gnysek

Member
I see there is mention of debugger for YYC, which I find interesting
The less interesting part is that fro what I understand since of how YYC works, GMS debugger cannot be used for this, and it won't be that readable in native tools. However, that might help to find more bugs and distinguish those in runner from those that we made :)
 
@gnysek I see there is no reason to argue with you since you're not YoYo Games and no matter how spot on my arguments about the Console License pricing is, it is up to YoYo Games/Opera whether or not they will take the communities views and opinions and change pricing.

I do agree that your argument is based on some form of personal opinion.

Amount of developers which can use consoles exporter doesn't depend on it's price, but on how many gets accepted by console manufacturers.
This is not entirely accurate either, as I'm approved for every console, Xbox One, PS4 (including Xbox Series X|S and PS5) except for Nintendo Switch, and the only thing stopping me from releasing on these consoles is the price. Not that I lack the support or ability, but the price of the Console export. And only to provide context, in theory, if I had a completed game in Unity or Unreal, releasing to these console platform would cost me NOTHING upfront, until I EARNED a certain amount in revenue.

Unity's cost:
$399 a year if "revenue or funding is more than $100K in the last 12 months"
$1,800, "if revenue or funding is greater than $200K in the last 12 months, you are required to use Pro".

Unreal Engine 4's cost:
After a user has earned 1 million in revenue, Epic requires that they report revenue and pay 5% of revenue over $10,000 in 1 quarter. If they don't earn $10,000 in 1 quarter, then they don't need to pay any royalties.
As they say in their FAQ: "In any quarter in which your product generates less than $10,000 USD, you do not need to report revenues. If your game or other interactive off-the-shelf product is no longer being sold, no revenue reports are due."

Technically, if I released a game built with Unreal I would not have to pay 1 penny, until after I had made 1 million in revenue PLUS only if I make over $10,000 in 1 quarter.

If YoYo Games would only do one of these pricing models, it would be a HUGE deal breaker.

in these pricing models, you pay from what you have earned. I'm only trying to explain that YoYo Games' competition in this area is what could send developers away to other 2D capable engines.

Not to speak badly of YoYo Games, as I really like Game Maker. But, honestly, ask yourself this question, why would you pay $799 a year for a single console export (or $1,500 a year for all 3 consoles) when you can just use Unity or Unreal and export basically for free?

On top of Unity or Unreal being significantly cheaper, they are both 2D and 3D capable and both provide a lot more capabilities than GameMaker Studio 2. But, YoYo Games charges a premium price for console exports for an engine with less capabilities than Unity or Unreal. And not only does GameMaker Studio 2 offer less, but developers are required to pay an upfront cost of $799 or $1,500 without even having their games out on the consoles to generate the revenue to pay for the license.

Like I said, I really like GameMaker Studio 2, as I have purchased 3 modules, but Unity or Unreal has them beat in pricing. GameMaker Studio 2's only advantage is that GML is easier to learn than C#, C++ or Blue Prints.

Like I have said before, YoYo Games has the only game engine that I know of that has this type of high console export pricing. Every other engine, even yearly, is $300 a year or less.
 
How many GM games have made $200k+ in a year? Heck, how many have made $100k+/y?. For a revenue-based payment model to be sustainable, you need the userbase to be absolutely massive, since only one in several thousand users are paying your bills. GM's user base just isn't the same size as other, more popular engines. Unfortunately, it just doesn't seem possible at the moment.
 
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