AuthorTopic: Game Creation Software for quick prototypes and portability  (Read 7788 times)

Offline Atnas

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I'm curious if any members here have experience with different game creation packages such as game maker or construct 2, etc.

I have programming experience and have made my own engine using ruby and some gfx/sound libraries. I have around a dozen fully functional tech demos in different genres. But that was when I was a teenager with a lot of free time.

I would rather spend my time on art and game design rather than programming these days. I am also attracted to the concept of HTML5 and porting for console and mobile. With ruby I was limited to Windows, Mac, and Linux.

I have a couple of them installed, namely GameMaker and Godot (a new opensource Unity alternative), but I'm apprehensive to pour time into learning one of their custom languages and more importantly, their interface. In the past my hobby time was spent 95% on coding and 5% on art, I want that to flip.

I'm deciding between Construct 2 (native Spriter scml format support!!!) or GameMaker (powerful because of gml and 3d support). If anyone has used these or dipped their toes into these waters I'd love if you could share your insights.

Offline Probo

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Re: Game Creation Software for quick prototypes and portability

Reply #1 on: February 16, 2014, 08:28:43 pm
Im not a programmer, but ive been learning code using GameMaker: Studio and its very user-friendly. I think the language is similar to C and its derivatives, if you have experience with those i imagine youll be right at home. My friend who used C+ at uni saw some of my code and recognised pretty much all the syntax.

Its got a thriving community on the game maker forums where help is really easy to get in my experience, and theres tonnes of tutorials and stuff around whether its forums or youtube etc

Unfortunately i cant compare to other software for you, as ive only really used GM:S

Offline Carnivac

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Re: Game Creation Software for quick prototypes and portability

Reply #2 on: February 16, 2014, 08:32:05 pm
I'm a total idiot when it comes to coding and stuff yet I've learnt enough using Game Maker (been using it for years and am currently using Game Maker:Studio) to get my projects going and anything I struggle with I simply ask at the actually very helpful forum.   I haven't really thought about the export module options to Android, iOS and all that yet but if I ever feel like making some silly game that doesn't suck to play with touchscreen phones then I'd probably purchase one and hopefully have it pay for itself in sales.
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Offline Indigo

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Re: Game Creation Software for quick prototypes and portability

Reply #3 on: February 16, 2014, 08:51:35 pm
if you want a super quick game *programming* tool, then use unity.  If you want a super quick game *scripting* tool, then use gamemaker.  At least that's my opinion.  And what do i mean by programming tool vs game scripting tool?  Unity allows you to define your confines as it exposes it's guts to you in the form of a raw compiled programming language (several actually) - whereas making a game in gamemaker you are confined to the boundaries it gives you.  Scripting is not as flexible as programming, but often faster to prototype.  So it just depends on the complexity of the project you're setting out to do.

Offline Carnivac

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Re: Game Creation Software for quick prototypes and portability

Reply #4 on: February 16, 2014, 09:13:46 pm
whereas making a game in gamemaker you are confined to the boundaries it gives you.

You might have to explain what you mean about boundaries :P
I mean cos Game Maker is capable of a lot these days.  Is reasons why many GM games have started appearing on PSN and XBLA and such.   :lol:
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Offline Atnas

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Re: Game Creation Software for quick prototypes and portability

Reply #5 on: February 16, 2014, 09:17:31 pm
Thank you for all the replies!

Game maker is closest to what I was using before, I had written my own map editor and had a sort of event system going. GML is not confusing at all. I nabbed it when they were offering it for free a few months ago.

I looked around in Construct 2 and I can't see using it for anything other than quick mobile games. Oh well, I guess I'll have to wait for good scml implementation in other engines.

I'm downloading Unity at the moment. I remember reading someone on TIGS say they've used GM for the past 8 years and would recommend Unity to new game devs.
--------------------

I have an angel investor interested in funding my startup studio at the end of the summer and my potential programmer is graduating with Unity experience. Perhaps it would be best to learn that, then, even if game maker is the better personal choice. However because of these circumstances I am still working as a freelancer in most of my time, and if I want to concentrate on actual game development Game Maker seems to be the better option.

So thank you Indigo, I'll spend some time with GM and Unity tonight and see how easy it is to get a little guy moving around and interacting with objects. Likely I will go with GM for my actual development and experiment in Unity to make sure I know my way around it, but we'll see.

I have played around in Godot, which is apparently extremely similar to Unity, and I really liked it. It's still in beta so I'm not using it for anything real. Anyone into open source and 2d/3d game dev should check it out: http://www.godotengine.org/

Offline Probo

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Re: Game Creation Software for quick prototypes and portability

Reply #6 on: February 16, 2014, 09:35:52 pm
yeah if youve got cool prospects involving unity on the horizon, it seems like common sense to get a head start on getting comfortable with that software. and yeah you can use GM for quick prototyping. I remember seeing a post on TIGS by derek yu of Spelunky fame, espousing the merits of using GM for just that.

have you thought about entering some game jams like ludum dare in the meantime?
« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 09:37:49 pm by Probo »

Offline yaomon17

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Re: Game Creation Software for quick prototypes and portability

Reply #7 on: February 16, 2014, 10:14:52 pm
C2 is super simplified. A bit restrictive but is capable of the basic stuff. It is still pouring out patches so maybe you can wait a bit to see. Idk about GM, never used.

Offline Indigo

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Re: Game Creation Software for quick prototypes and portability

Reply #8 on: February 16, 2014, 11:17:50 pm
whereas making a game in gamemaker you are confined to the boundaries it gives you.

You might have to explain what you mean about boundaries :P
I mean cos Game Maker is capable of a lot these days.  Is reasons why many GM games have started appearing on PSN and XBLA and such.   :lol:

I'm not suggesting Game Maker isn't capable in the slightest.  More and more it's becoming a commercially viable tool.  I simply mean you have to code within the box - and this is true for even Unity (since it's basically a game engine in itself) - the box is just bigger.  As far as I know, game maker doesn't give you access to lower level stuff.  You can't really control how things are rendered to the screen under the hood (draw batching, shader tech), or do proper memory management (how efficient objects are made and utilized throughout your code), or create your own object types or "classes", etc etc.  You have to very much play by their rules and their roles only in a very rigid system.  You're trusting them that they're doing it right.  One other thing to note is I haven't been very impressed with game maker's cross-platform stability.

Unity handles a lot of this stuff for you too, but it's still exposed for you to do it a different way if you like.  In that sense, Unity is a much more flexible engine - not to mention you have the option of going 2D or 3D

Offline Probo

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Re: Game Creation Software for quick prototypes and portability

Reply #9 on: February 16, 2014, 11:46:28 pm
One other thing to note is I haven't been very impressed with game maker's cross-platform stability.

do some of the available platform port options result in buggy software? id like to hear more about the trials and tribulations of exporting to android/ios etc with GM if you have time, as thats something id interested in doing down the line.