Game Maker

Game Maker

Infobox Software
name=Game Maker
logo=


caption=The Game Maker user interface. An example of the sprite properties, object properties and script editor are visible.
developer=YoYo Games, Mark Overmars
released=November 15, 1999
frequently_updated=yes
programming language=Delphi
operating system=Microsoft Windows
language=English
genre=Game development/program development
license=Proprietary
website= [http://www.yoyogames.com/ YoYo Games]

Game Maker is a proprietary software application written by Mark Overmars in the Delphi programming language. Overmars released the first public version on November 15, 1999. It is currently at version 7.

Originally, Game Maker was named Animo, as a graphics creation tool, and eventually was programmed into an easy development tool for programming specifically for inexperienced programmers.

Game Maker's primary development interface uses a drag-and-drop system, allowing users unfamiliar with traditional programming to intuitively create games by visually organizing icons on the screen. Game Maker comes with a set of standard action libraries, covering such things as movement, basic drawing, and simple control structures. To extend the drag-and-drop functionality of Game Maker, users can use custom-built action libraries to add new actions (drag-and-drop command icons) to their games. These can be created (generally by more advanced users) using the official [http://gmc.yoyogames.com/index.php?showtopic=172 special library builder] tool.

This program is designed to allow its users to easily develop computer games without having to learn a complex programming language such as C++ or Java. For experienced users, Game Maker contains a built-in scripting programming language called the Game Maker Language (GML), allowing the user to further customize their game and expand features. Games can be distributed under any license subject to the terms of Game Maker's EULA, in non-editable executable .exe files or as .gmk (Version 7.x), .gm6 (Version 6.x), .gmd (Version 5.x and 4.x), and .gmf (Version 3 and below) source files. Users of Game Maker are allowed to distribute and even sell their creations as long as they comply with the terms of the Game Maker EULA, which prohibits a number of illicit programs such as those which involve unauthorized use of copyrighted material or those which are unlawful in general.

Game Maker is becoming more widely known and used. It has attracted many users, mainly because of the program's accessibility to beginners while allowing complex tasks to be done by more advanced users. It is not as narrow in game creation as some other programs, as it allows the creation of many types of games, including platform games, first-person shooters, third-person shooters, massively multiplayer online games and construction and management simulation games. It is also possible to create standard applications with Game Maker.

Features

As of November 2007, Game Maker is at version 7, released on February 28. It still incorporates the use of Direct3D, allowing the use of limited 3D graphics, and adds limited support for simple 3D models. Converters make it possible to use more popular 3D formats such as .3ds, and .obj for use in a 3D project. It also supports the ability to create particle effects such as rain, snow and clouds.

Game Maker is available as an unregistered version ("Lite") free of charge and a registered version ("Pro"). The registered version, which costs 15, $20, or £10, extends the features available, such as the ability to incorporate DLLs, and use Direct3D, particles and advanced drawing functions. The free version displays a small Game Maker advertisement during the loading of the game, while the registered version removes this.

The new website from which Game Maker can be downloaded is [http://www.yoyogames.com YoYoGames.com] . Game Maker's runner program has improved over the years and gained wider functionality, particularly in the graphics area, allowing for easy alpha adjustments and blending settings for sprites and other shapes. Starting with version 6, Game Maker has adapted to use DirectX 8, making some of these effects possible, though it has led to an increase in the system requirements.

Game Maker itself is not limited to the functions and abilities included in the Game Maker Language. Game Maker games can load and utilize DLLs for additional functionality. The community has developed a variety of DLLs to extend Game Maker with things such as socket support and MySQL connectivity. As of version 7, the new extension mechanism allows users to include DLLs, GML scripts and action libraries in pre-built extension packages.

There are many tools for Game Maker including the Library Maker, a program to create libraries of drag-and-drop functions, and the Extension Maker, which allows for the creation of scripts and functions in GML. Several resource packs can be downloaded on the website. The older versions are also available for download.

prite editor

Game Maker has its own sprite editor which can be used to make and edit sprites for games without using an external program. The basic version includes pencil, line, circle, rectangle, free-form line and rounded-rectangle tools, true color format, and custom color palette creation. The advanced form includes gradient-fill and clear image tools. At the startup screen, special effects can be added to images, including adding alpha, blurring the image, rotation, resizing the canvas, stretching, and skewing. Animation tools include fading and colorizing, rotating and resizing, translation effects, merging images, and overlaying animated images. The built-in runtime drawing functions can be used as an alternative to colorizing or scaling through the sprite editor. Sprites can also be dynamically edited at runtime using the built-in drawing functions.

Game Maker Language

The Game Maker Language (GML) is a scripting language in Game Maker which allows for users to further enhance and control the design of their game through conventional programming as opposed to the drag-and-drop system. The syntax of GML borrows aspects from other languages such as C, C++ and Pascal. This has led to some confusion and caused some to believe such languages can be used directly in Game Maker.

Originally, GML was designed to supplement the drag-and-drop interface, allowing more advanced users to add additional functionality to their games or programs. Newer versions of Game Maker actually use GML as their base, with all of the drag-and-drop functions coming as pre-written GML scripts.

GML is an interpreted programming language instead of a compiled language. When Game Maker creates a stand alone game, all GML (including drag and drop functions) is packed into the game executable. Every time the generated program is executed, an included interpreter carries out the commands indicated by the GML code. Being an interpreted language, GML is generally slower than compiled languages such as C++.

GML also includes support for loading and using DLLs. This allows functions and routines to be written in other programming languages such as C++, Delphi, Pascal and others.

YoYo Games

On January 26, 2007, Mark Overmars announced he would be working with a UK company named YoYo Games. [ [http://forums.gamemaker.nl/index.php?showtopic=271847&view=findpost&p=1887670 Public announcement] from Mark Overmars, Game Maker Community] The company, headed by CEO Sandy Duncan (ex Vice President of Xbox Europe), [ [http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2007/biz2/0707/gallery.web_world.biz2/16.html YoYo Games] on [http://money.cnn.com/ CNNMoney.com] ] was founded to support future development of Game Maker, and develop a community for developers and casual gamers. The motive behind the cooperation is it would bring faster and better development to Game Maker and provide a better website for its users. The website is a community where users can upload, share, and play their created games and those made by others, while being able to review and discuss them, and games in development on the website. It will also provide an extended help system and support for sharing resources. YoYo Games is recreating the Game Maker Community (GMC) and has published Game Maker 7. As of April 28, 2007, the YoYo Games website has been officially released to the public. [ [http://gmc.yoyogames.com/index.php?showtopic=294173&st=0&#entry2057941 GMC post] by Mark Overmars officially announcing the renewed opening of the YoYo Games website] Their involvement provoked mixed views within the community, causing many users not to move to Game Maker 7.Fact|date=August 2008

YoYo Games provide a free hosting service for Game Maker games. By early October, 2008, approximately 24,000 user generated games had been uploaded. The website also has an Instant Play feature to play games online, as well as downloads on all content (unless the game designer specifies otherwise). As of April, 2008 the Instant Play feature became the primary method for playing games from the website, due to fear of the Game Maker Decompiler. Downloading games is still possible, through a "Play Offline" feature.

On January 10, 2008, YoYo Games concluded its first Game Maker competition, [ [http://www.yoyogames.com/gamemaker/competition01 YoYo Games Winter Competition] on the YoYo Games website] awarding $1750 in prizes to the three winning developers, and has promised similar contests in the near future. On 1 February, 2008, YoYoGames announced a second competition, based on the theme of "ancient civilizations", with prize money of $1750. The third competition is based on a cooperation theme with, again, $1750 in prize money. The fourth contest is based on a Save The Earth theme and was announced officially by the staff fairly recently.

ystem requirements

The following specifications reflect the system requirements of Game Maker's exported executable files. The Game Maker tool has unspecified, but significantly lower requirements. [ [http://www.yoyogames.com/gamemaker/docs The official Game Maker documentation] ]

System requirements for Game Maker 7.x:
*Windows 2000, Windows XP or Windows Vista
*DirectX 8 or later
*DirectX 8 compatible graphics card with at least 32MB of video memory
*Pentium or equivalent processor
*DirectX 8 compatible sound card
*128 MB of memory or greater (noted only in official Game Maker help file documentation)
*800×600 or greater screen resolution with 16-bit or 32-bit colors

System requirements for Game Maker 6.x:

*Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows XP or Windows Vista (Only for Created Games, Through the Vista Converter)
*DirectX 8 or later
*DirectX 8 compatible graphics card with at least 16MB of video memory (32MB or more recommended)
*Pentium or equivalent processor
*DirectX 8 compatible sound card
*64 MB of memory or greater (noted only in official Game Maker help file documentation)
*800×600 or greater screen resolution with 16-bit or 32-bit colors

System requirements for Game Maker 5.x:

*Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT 4, Windows 2000, Windows ME, Windows XP or Windows Vista
*DirectX 6 or later
*Pentium or equivalent processor
*800×600 or greater screen resolution with 16-bit or 32-bit colors

Versions 6.x and the .exe files from those versions do not work with the Microsoft Windows Vista operating system, due to an incompatible compression implementation in its creation of executable files. Version 7 of the program, however, works correctly with Vista, as well as most supported functions in versions 5.x and prior. As of June 24th, 2007, Mark Overmars made a program to convert .exe files created with version 6 to work on Windows Vista. [ [http://gmc.yoyogames.com/index.php?showtopic=308173 The topic where Mark Overmars released the converter] ]

Educational use

Game Maker was written by Mark Overmars, a professor of the University of Utrecht, partly as a teaching aid for his students. It is gaining recognition as a useful teaching tool in primary and secondary schools because of its easy entry and sophisticated scripting language.Fact|date=August 2007

Game Maker Community

The Game Maker Community (commonly abbreviated "GMC" by its users) is an online forum with over 70,000 members, made for the discussion of Game Maker. The current forum was created by Mark Overmars on September 18, 2003, a month after the first release and is now a subdomain of the official YoYo Games website.

Lite and Pro editions

When downloading the software, only the Lite Edition is freely available. In the Lite Edition of the software, fewer functions are available and some demo games, such as "Asteroids", do not work as they use functions that are only available in the Pro Edition of the software. The Lite Edition is free but displays the logo of Game Maker and gives a limited availability to all the functions written on the Game Maker software. The Lite Edition of the software lacks some functions, such as basic 3D game making, playing music from a CD in the CD drive, extended graphic options such as transforming the image to a new size/shape, and creating a particle system which gives the option to create some effects such as rain, explosions, fireworks and sparks without downloading third-party extensions and scripts.

Upgrading to the Pro Edition costs $20 USD, £10 or €15. One license works on three user accounts on one or different computers, but an extra $9.95 can be paid to get a backup CD for running the Pro Edition on any computer with the CD in the drive. There are a number of [http://www.yoyogames.com/help known problems with the upgrade, including a tendency for the Pro mode to revert to Lite mode] .

Extension Packages

Game Maker supports the use of both specially programmed DLLs and specialized Game Maker extension files created with a [http://www.yoyogames.com/extensions separate editor] which can contain DLLs, Libraries, GML scripts and any other desired resource. This allows users of Game Maker to add new features and functions to the program using GML or a compiled language such as C++ or Delphi. Several websites have been created since the addition of extensions in version 7.0 of the program to let users upload and share their extensions including a dedicated section of the [http://gmc.yoyogames.com/index.php?showforum=33 GMC] and also a section of [http://www.yoyogames.com/resources/browse/8 YoYo Games] .

Macintosh version

Sandy Duncan recently announced a port of Game Maker for Mac OS X. A beta version should have been running by the end of March 2008, was delayed until sometime in late April, and is now delayed because of problems with the software they were using to program it with.The problems they were having with the software they were using have been resolved and progress is continuing from where they left off. Although they have stated recently that the time until the Beta has been delayed considerably. Sandy Duncan apologized for the "wishful thinking" he had said in the YoYoGames Glog, the reports saying that the Game Maker Mac port would be ready in April, then in July, and now it is October. They have stated that it may be a few more months until a beta is released. [cite web|url=http://glog.yoyogames.com/?p=80|author=Sandy Duncan|accessdate=2008-06-02|title=News June Update|work=YoYoGames Glog]

ee also

*Game Maker Language
*Mark Overmars

References

External links

* [http://www.yoyogames.com/ YoYo Games] – Official website
* [http://gmc.yoyogames.com/ Game Maker Community] – Official forum
* [http://www.gamemakertech.info Game Maker Technology Magazine] – Game Maker Technology Magazine


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Look at other dictionaries:

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