How to Make The Most of Your Free Access to GameMaker


Making games should be fun, so let me guide you in the right direction by telling you what you can do, where to look for help, and answer some questions. First, GameMaker Studio 2 is free to learn. The free version allows you to download it on Windows or Mac and use the powerful features without limits... Yes, you can add as many objects and custom functions as you want… Plus, you have all the time in the world to experience, learn, and develop your projects before choosing any option to export your game to a platform.

GameMaker Tools

GameMaker games can be created in two ways: using Drag and Drop (DnD) or GameMaker Language (GML). If you do not have previous coding experience, you can use Drag and Drop. This feature allows users to choose from our extensive library of actions and events to help you construct the game you want! However, when you decide to learn how to code and use the GML language, Code Preview can help you, as it allows you to see the code behind the events and actions you use in your game. BUT, what is GameMaker Language? Simple! It is a programming language, although similar to others, it is easy to learn, so even a beginner without previous experience can easily catch up!

But what can you actually do in GameMaker? What tools does it have? The answer: We have tons of tools. However, I have chosen the best 8 as I find them to be the most essential when starting your journey with GameMaker!

  • Workspace Editor: Exactly what you are thinking: this is your space to work on your assets. Customize it the way you want and your project needs!
  • Image Editor: Do you want to create your own art? We have got you covered... in brushes.
  • Sprite Editor: As all the graphics in games are sprites, it is always good to have a place to edit and manage them.
  • Object Editor: Do you ever wonder how you can make ghosts in games that pass through walls or is it just me? Well, here is where the magic happens.
  • Tileset Editor: Where sprites transform into tiles, so you can design levels quicker!
  • Room Editor: Lights, camera, action! Made to help you manage and edit your levels.
  • Sequence Editor: Where you create engaging content that brings your game to life! Impressive animations, powerful cutscenes, or just cool menus… Make a lasting impact on your players!
  • Lastly, the Debugger: Bugs and errors, who likes them? Debugger loves... to find them for you!

    Now do not forget about the music and sounds! Games without audio are like the Spelunky guy without his whip...So you should add some in your future games! For that reason when you sign up with GameMaker, AudioHero gives you 10 FREE downloads, redeemable when you use the Promo code GM19860416 here.

    But how do you learn?

    Now... You are probably wondering how you can learn to use all this? Let me tell you about our Tutorials. GameMaker has hours of free tutorial content waiting for you at made by our in-house team and award-winning developers. However, our GameMaker community has also developed and posted amazing tutorials online that are definitely worth watching with examples such as GameMakerStation - Matharoo, Slyddar and Shaun Spalding on YouTube. From blogs and tutorials made by us and the community, you will be able to learn the fundamentals of game design, how to use our tools, create animations, use Drag and Drop or GML, tips and tricks and much more!

    The guest blogs

    Our connection with developers gives us the ability to bring you inspirational tales like the Nerdook and Dale Turner stories. The opportunity to make a living out of creating games is not an easy task, and both these developers brilliantly describe their obstacles and successes for you to read in their guest articles. However, this is just a part of what you can learn from our guest blog section! From guests such as PolyCrunch GameslazyeyeZack BanackGurpreet Matharoo and many more… You have the opportunity to learn tips and tricks such as making beautiful grass, or even use 3D cameras in your 2D games.

    Learn while making games

    Most times you can actually learn while making a game! YES, while making a game. In less than an hour, Fire Jump, designed by our in-house team, allows you to create a game from start to finish, while learning Drag and Drop, how to make a playable character and menus, and generate infinite obstacles. All this happens while you create a firefighter that saves civilians from a burning building without himself becoming a roast. Another great example is Space Rocks. This asteroid shooter game is made to teach you basic game components such as gameplay design, logic and movement. In this tutorial, you will begin by learning how to set up, move the player Ship and asteroids and design collisions between them. Further, into the tutorial, you will make the player's score and lives values. The final step would be polishing your game with sound effects and make your game more interesting!

    The GameMaker Community

    However, sometimes you will have questions that no tutorial or blog post answers…Then why not try our Community? Let me tell you more about them. First, we love them, of course. Secondly, it is global and just keeps growing... From our GameMaker Community Forum to Discord and Reddit you will find beginners just like you or masters of GameMaker that with all their wisdom travel throughout these platforms looking to help others. Meet people, network, ask questions, brainstorm ideas or just talk about your hopes and dreams. Our community is there for you at any stage, and so are we.

    Hopefully, I’ve given you some ideas of things to do with GameMaker, but the only limit is your imagination! Remember GameMaker Studio 2 is not just for industry professionals, or for the hobbyist that needs a creative escape, but for anyone who loves games. It is for making projects that you revisit when you feel like it, and for the ones that help you make a living. GameMaker is for helping make it happen. GameMaker is for everyone.

    P.S. If you've been paying attention then you will know that soon, users on the free version will have the chance to share their games with family, friends and 9 million hungry gamers!



    Written by Isabel Marinho
    Isabel manages the website content at GameMaker. Originally from Portugal, she loves hiking, playing with her cats, and listening to pop albums while playing monster-slaying games.
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