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  Your View on GameMaker?  (Read 12691 times)
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Offline matheus23

JGO Kernel

Medals: 138
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« Reply #30 - Posted 2013-06-10 15:23:02 »

I used to be brilliant at FP at university. In fact I think I might have been one of about 3 people in the entire year that seemed to understand it, and for that reason I think it's never going to go anywhere further than specialists. I wouldn't use it now, that's for certain, but mostly because in Java I've finally found a tool that does everything I could ever need in a way that's easy to grasp.

I don't understand how you could ever go back into a language that doesn't support passing functions, when you've ever tried out a function that supports that.  Clueless

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Offline princec

« JGO Spiffy Duke »

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Eh? Who? What? ... Me?

« Reply #31 - Posted 2013-06-10 20:20:52 »

I've never needed to pass a function... I've found that creating little anonymous inner class implementations of interfaces works fine for me.

See, as I don't design language frameworks or write compilers, most of this fancy stuff isn't really necessary to write perfectly normal code in real life.

Cas Smiley

Offline arnaud_couturier
« Reply #32 - Posted 2013-06-11 23:56:47 »

Reading this thread yesterday reminded me about tools like GameMaker.

I tried it a few years ago.
Downloaded it again yesterday, and boy it's so fast. By the time I setup a new java project in Netbeans, I already have a small running game in GameMaker, with a background, keyboard controls, collisions, moving characters, and score displayed.

I guess I'll play with it some more for the next days Cheesy
Might even buy it...

Though I love programming (especially in Java), I have to admit finishing a game in java is too hard for me: I get lost too fast toying around with OpenGL, physics and other fancy tech stuff.

With GameMaker, I could forget about technology for a while, and I could concentrate on the dawn game. That felt so good... Grin

I work as a coder during the day, using GameMaker is also more relaxing. Coding day and night gets tiresome after some time...
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Offline Nate

« JGO Bitwise Duke »

Medals: 167
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Esoteric Software

« Reply #33 - Posted 2013-06-12 00:11:41 »

Coding day and night gets tiresome after some time...

Offline arnaud_couturier
« Reply #34 - Posted 2013-06-12 00:33:47 »

"Tiresome" more in the sense "boring"
Offline ctomni231

JGO Wizard

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« Reply #35 - Posted 2013-06-12 07:50:46 »

I started in coding in Basic, but I have dabbed in GM a little bit.

Programming just has a lot of layers of abstraction when designing. You have a lot of things to think about when designing simple objects. Like to create an inventory (totally simplified example). In programming, I have to break it up into steps.

What technology do I need for the job?
Is there a library I can use that can do this efficiently?
What functions and primitive types do I need for the items?
Where do I put this in the game?

GM pretty much just cuts out the clutter.

Where do I put this in the game?

In GM, things are made a lot easier, but a whole lot less flexible. In programming, you get a whole lot of flexibility but you have to do a lot of the thinking yourself. Each of these tools offer a trade-off.

As for my thoughts, a tool is a tool. The hardest part is deciding what tool works best for the game you want to make. I took up real languages when I got really frustrated at GM limitations. I was willing to switch when I felt the tool wasn't meeting my requirements. I do agree that "making a game" is the hardest part. Going into GM first is a good starting point to see if you are up to the challenge. It has a very very high "instant gratification" ratio that can't be found in programming.

Programming needs a very patient mind and dedicated will to create good results. There is a high requirement to search for your own solutions in order to obtain results. Programming always is working to challenge you to get the best possible result. That is why, when jumping into games, it is totally advised to head for libraries.

GM is just a layered script over a real language, and is just as beneficial for learning to make games. It is when you start to feel limited, then it is probably better to move to a language.

Offline arnaud_couturier
« Reply #36 - Posted 2013-06-18 23:21:46 »

I played a bit more with GameMaker (GM), and I have to say it's very capable !
I bought the standard edition, and I'm satisfied so far.

Here are the views from a 10-year experienced dev, after a week of toying with GM in the evening:

The bad:
- commercial, need to spend at least 50 bucks if you want to get rid of the limitations of the free version
- primitive UI. The many popups are annoying. Usable nonetheless.
- lack of true IDE: we're very far from Netbeans, Eclipse & co
- after lurking on the internet, it seems Yoyo games (the owning company) has a bad reputation of being just lazy and milking the product, but they're getting better with the Studio edition
- it seems GM (the editor, not the final exported player) is not well supported on Mac. But I'm using a PC, so I don't care
- GML is primitive, you feel it very quickly (though not as ugly as many pretend): not OO (the bigget OUCH!), inconsistent syntax, can define functions but you have to create a "script" for each one, etc... but for a seasoned developer, it's just another so-so language. You can write like C code, and you're done. Being a developer helps a lot here, otherwise it may be confusing for a newcomer, especially memory management of dynamic resources allocated on the heap. Also have to be very careful with the scope of the variables: global, local to the script, or instance variable. Also a lot of people say GML and GM are encouraging bad coding practice. Maybe true for non developers, but you can write manageable code in GM. The only problem I'm seeing for bigger projects is if you want to rename resources (objects, sprites, rooms, etc...) then you have to rename it in your code too, which is spread in multiple places. That is a major drawback.

The good:
- it does what it pretends: to quickly prototype and make 2d games
- The pathfinding functions are great and easy to use
- The engine is fast, you just have to make sure you're not wasting computing power, like in any other language/engine. I don't believe anyone now saying GM is slow, they're just using it wrong.
- can export to iOS, HTML5, Android, Mac, PC, Ubuntu, though each module is expensive (more than the engine itself). Mac and PC are included for "free"
- lots of useful functions for drawing, gameplay, collision checking etc... for example you can draw offscreen on volatile surfaces, you can do in-app purchases and use analytics
- gives access to low level 3D (Direct3D, OpenGL) functions, which is cool for someone who already knows 3D programming
- not too restrictive licensing: can activate the product on 3 machines at the same time
- shaders are on the way!
- good documentation, and good tutorials
-- LLVM on the way

Compared to Unity (I'm no expert at Unity, only have completed one simple 2d game in it, and many 3d prototypes with the free 3.5)
- GameMaker is much faster to develop with and also much cheaper for 2d games. No need to spend $1,500 and to look for extensions in the asset store, the good ones being easily above $100, more than the pro edition of GameMaker
- for 3D games, well Unity is of course a saner choice, though in GM you can play with low level Direct3D functions, which can be more than enough for "simple" games
- unity is a lot more polished, professional, and modern than GM, with a capable IDE, and a choice of modern languages

Compared to Construct 2 (only used it to prototype a single game 6 months ago):
- GM is more powerful, because I can code if I want. For instance, I can't live without Perlin noise, fractals and other random goodness, so in construct 2 I'm screwed
- Construct2 is easier for beginners on small projects: it's fully drag'n drop, BUT this approach quickly shows its limits for larger games, with more complex logic. It's less readable than code, and takes longer to change with lots of mouse cliking.

Overall, the word that comes first to me when using GameMaker is "enjoyable".
One more tool in my toolbox!
Offline doos

Senior Devvie

Medals: 2
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« Reply #37 - Posted 2013-06-21 19:53:13 »

I did a game design course which used Gamemaker exclusively for prototyping new stuff and exploring different scenarios that make games fun.. It was pretty quick to change basic stuff, and very useful for working out how characters moved or should be controlled.
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