2021 has been busy for YoYo Games. It’s an exciting time now that we are part of the Opera family and following our Q&A live video (which you can view here) we’ve got a lot of news to share with you! We also want to use this blog to answer some of the many questions we received and detail those that we covered in the live video.
VERSION 2.3.2, NEW LOCALISATION, NEXT-GEN AND NEW JOBS
Version 2.3.2 is now available in beta and it is all about performance. It introduces the new nine slice support for your sprites, allowing you to create nicer-looking menu screens and HUDs in a quick and easy way, and the new animcurve library containing preset curves you can use to very quickly and easily apply common behaviours to your animations. We tackled a few memory/performance bugs in the IDE, reducing compile times (in the majority of cases), improving the garbage collector for a little more in-game performance and a lot more stability.
In other GameMaker Studio 2 update news, more localisations are coming. Russian, Chinese and Brazilian Portuguese are coming to the IDE soon. We will also be looking to extend the areas where we provide more localised content. Support documentation and tutorials are particular priorities, along with articles.
We will soon be bringing PlayStation®5 and Xbox Series console support to GameMaker! GameMaker’s Next-Gen console support is currently in closed beta, but the full commercial launch is expected in March 2021. Developers using GameMaker to develop games for these next-generation consoles and the PlayStation®4 or Xbox One generation will require either a GameMaker Studio 2 PlayStation, Xbox or Ultimate license. You can read more about console licences here.
Lastly, in news, we’re hiring! See our growing Jobs page for all the roles we are currently looking for. We can’t wait to grow the team and pour more support into GameMaker.
The community have been asking for more teases so we’ve pulled together a sneak peek at the upcoming inspector window. Take a look:
Please be aware that these are mockups and may not represent the final feature.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
1. A lot of questions were feature requests. Firstly, I would suggest everyone uses the contact us form to properly submit any and all feature requests, this way they get reviewed properly. However, I wanted to pick out a few to discuss. 1. HTML5 Support and improvements 2. 3D Support 3. Plugins
1. We have been continually updating HTML5 if you have found a bug please file the issue and we will fix it. 2. For now, our focus is on 2D, we want to be the best 2D platform for games. 3. We are focusing on refactoring and the consolidation that needs to be done first.
2. There was a few questions asking for clarification on the Roadmap. We detailed the inspector and listed the workflow improvements. Do we have more details we can share? Should people be worried about OpenTK Removal?
We’ve shown a tease of the Inspector above. The workflow will be designed and include feedback from our community. OpenTK provided an interface to the OS but it is out of date now, we are replacing it so we can expand and improve OS integrations and improve IME and DPI handling.
3. Are Spine 4.0 and other Extensions updates coming?
Yes. We are planning on a Spine update for the new 4.0 release of Spine, which is still in Beta just now and when Esoteric finish the runtimes we plan on releasing it. We are looking to address all of our extensions to make sure they are up to date. We are currently looking for a new job role to work on these extension updates.
4. Are more official translations/localisations coming?
Yes. we are planning to bring on board a number of new languages, Russian, Chinese and Brazilian Portuguese are next on the list and will be coming soon. We will also be looking to extend the areas where we provide more localised content. Support documentation and tutorials are particular priorities, along with articles.
5. Will GameMaker have next-gen console support?
As detailed above. We are so happy to announce that we are bringing support to PlayStation®5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles.
6. We had a few requests asking us to speak on pricing going forward. Are we set on our current pricing model and are our current prices set in stone?
We understand people's concerns and preferences about pricing, what's worked in the past and what hasn't. We're always willing to listen as It's an important area for everyone. The general rule with pricing is that you can only charge what people are prepared to pay when they look at your product and other products that do the same thing. We are always evaluating our business model, though when we make a decision, we have to balance it on what works for the business, our customers and our strategy going forward. We have nothing to announce at this time.
7. Should developers be worried about personal and game players privacy?
We take data privacy very seriously and strictly follow GDPR, which is the gold standard for data privacy. You may have noticed in 2020 we reduced the personal data required to create an account and we delete all data that isn't absolutely necessary. We run monthly data purges to minimise the data we hold. Only a small number of people within YoYo Games have access to personal data. We don't collect game player data. Pre GDPR we used to collect some aggregate data from games made with GameMaker for analytics purposes, but the server has been decommissioned. and more recent versions of GameMaker don't collect this data.
8. Will you communicate more openly, and transparent to your customers about what's going on with GMS2 and what its future plans are?
We've never been prevented from communicating with our users by our owners. However, we are sometimes restricted by agreements we have with partners. Mostly though we are restricted because we don't want to make announcements until we are absolutely sure the thing we are going to announce is going to happen, the way we describe it. People make plans based on our announcements and we need them to be reliable, which means we can't get too far ahead of ourselves. We do hope to run more things like this to help communication going forward.
9. Will YoYo Games be getting more staff and resources?
Yes. Already since the acquisition, we have welcomed the legendary Gurpreet Matharoo on board and we plan to expand the resources available to YoYo Games in the areas of Core Tech - to increase production, more features and more stability. Web - we have lots of services that need to be managed, for example, the marketplace and give us resources to work on new projects. QA - increase stability and improved releases, and lastly, Education as this has been a growing part of the business.
10. Will we see any integration or forcing GameMaker user to use Opera's browser?
It's more likely to be the other way around! We are going to force Opera users to register for GameMaker! Seriously, we foresee there being much more information on the Opera GX site about GameMaker and games made with GameMaker, but we aren't going to force anyone to do anything they don't want to.
11. Is there a plan to update the GameMaker Marketplace and the YoYo Games website?
Yes. We recognise that this is long overdue. We are currently working on giving it a complete overhaul. It's going to be a lot of work and it is a goal to make it available this year. It doesn't feature on the roadmap because it's considered a web development task.
12. Are there more updates coming to the new features in v2.3. Sequences and more GML improvements?
Sequences are now an integral part of GMS2 and any new features added will be compatible with it, allowing them to be ‘sequencable’, we are evaluating new features but we are not looking to replace Spine. More GML improvements are coming.
13. Any big future plans for GameMaker that you can share?
We are always updating and evaluating GameMaker and we are considering some future plans but we really have nothing to announce at this early stage.
14. Why was Opera interested in buying YoYo Games and GameMaker?
We are really passionate about games at Opera. We see YoYo and GameMaker as an ideal acquisition to complement our global ambitions in gaming, along with our Opera GX gaming browser we are looking to grow this area of our business and can’t wait to support and expand GameMaker in all areas!
What are the next specifics short-term steps towards GMS? And what are the big plans for it? What should we, GM Devs, should expect for the future (short and long term)?
See our Roadmap.
Is the Sequences feature be expanded enough for us to use it instead of Spine? Not all Spine features, but at least skeletal animations?
Sequences are now an integral part of GMS2 and any new features added will be compatible with it, allowing them to be sequence-able, we are evaluating new features but we are not looking to replace Spine.
Given Opera's history of developing web platforms, what will Opera be bringing to the table in terms of developing HTML5 as a viable platform for publishing and playing games?
We have been continually updating HTML5 if you have found a bug please file the issue and we will fix it.
Can you please give us a hint at what "Inspector 1" and so on are that they are now on the roadmap?
Are there any noteworthy plans relating to shaders or rendering in general? Secretly, I'm hoping for a GLSL ES version update.
Yes. We have plans to upgrade graphics. No timeline currently, but we will keep you updated.
Is there any word on IDE plugin support in the future? It was mentioned years ago but nothing has came down the pipe yet.
We need to do the refactoring and consolidation first, plugin isolation is a big item on our list.
What will removing OpenTK allow us to do?
Improved IME and DPI support, better interfacing with OS and allow us to update to Metal on macOS.
There are many codeblocks missing that are possible within GML, but not in DnD without using execute code blocks and raw GML, so could that be an area of improvement going forward?
Please contact us to discuss more about what type of blocks you feel are missing.
Would it ever be possible to allow debugging with a YYC build?
This is a good idea and we will take it into consideration for Windows and other targets, you can currently debug YYC builds on various platforms, iOS, UWP and console platforms spring to mind as they use Xcode or Visual Studio when building. It would require technical knowledge to use though and would really only be useful for power users.
Will there be a REST API extension for GameMaker? Playfab and other useful services depend on it.
http_request already provides most of the support required to interact with REST API's. Please file a feature request for anything you find lacking.
BB code for text? When I got into GM, I assumed this was in the engine already.
Formatted text is something that we are looking into, it is further complicated with multiple language rendering support with ligatures and left to right/right to left support, so it is more complicated than first appears. It is not currently a high priority for us but is in our feature backlog.
Will there be any update to improve version control support which can be buggy to use?
File a bug and we will fix issues - we will be updating source control support later in the year, it is part of our consolidation and refactoring. We are aware of the changes coming for GitHub and we will be updating before these come into effect.
Structs are great, but a huge problem with them is after typing "." the autocomplete with all of the structs variables don't show, which is very inconvenient.
Part of our refactoring and consolidation is modifying our intellisense and syntax highlighting so they are directed by the syntax parsing rather than the current method, part of that will allow us to have a better presentation of the intellisense and autocomplete. A more complete solution with type inference and flow control will improve it further. We are working on these over the year but I think improvements will not be visible until later in the year.
Will GM now be considering support for audio middleware tools like FMOD?
The licensing situation is not so simple and we could not force users into using a specific audio solution, but we are planning on improving our extension support (with a dedicated engineer) and improving the extension interface itself to make it easier to make and maintain extensions (so others could create specific extensions more easily). In this way, we are looking to improve the overall support for third-party libraries, not just for audio middleware.