GameMaker – Should you buy it?

I’m a one man wolf pack when it comes to development. I generally squeak in a couple of hours in a night when the kids have gone to bed. My time is very precious, in order to get anything out the door i know it’s going to be months to tick all the boxes. GameMaker has probably halved the time it would have taken to get my games out, that coupled with the fact that you can easily and rapidly prototype mechanics to see if they’re fun or not is a massive bonus.

GameMaker Dev Environment
Apple Bin in progress

The deployment options are amaizing, i bought the full suite when it came on sale recently. I’d previously been just working with the android / windows export options but once i had the additional modules i selected HTML5 and there it was
my game over the web! For me to actually code that from scratch would have taken months. I’ve been able to pop this on dropbox and have friends check out the new levels and do QA testing for free muhaha. Is it perfect? Well no, there are some quirks with the HTML5 physics engine, my GUI crashed once and i lost a nights work but you able able to submit bug reports and see how they’re tracking. There haven’t been any show stoppers so far and it seems like the support guys are making progress on the bugs I’ve submitted. The only other major drawback is the debugging, you’ve got to use a show message box dialog to determine what a variable’s value is which can be a pain in the ass. I believe that this is marked to be improved in a future version though.

The other option i considered was unity, this is also an amazing tool but seemed like it was a bit of overkill for the 2D games i had planned. That and the cost is almost double. When you’ve got a shoestring budget (if any) this matters.

So, should you buy it…yes!