GameMaker Manual - (2024)

When you start GameMaker the following form is shown. Note that theform might in reality also show some GameMaker news and the tutorialmight be visible at the right side.

GameMaker Manual - (1)

(Actually, this is what you see when you run GameMaker in simplemode. In advanced mode a number of additional items are shown.) At theleft, you see the different resources mentioned above: Sprites, Sounds,Backgrounds, Objects, Rooms and two more: Game Information and Global GameSettings. At the top there is the familiar menu and toolbar. In thischapter we will describe briefly the various menu items, buttons, etc. Inthe later chapters we discuss a number of them in detail. Note that manythings can be achieved in different ways: by choosing a command from themenu, by clicking a button, or by right clicking on a resource.

File menu

In the file menu you can find some of the usual commands to load and savefiles, plus a few special ones:

  • New. Choose this command to start creating a new game. If the current game was changed you are asked whether you want to save it. There is also a toolbar button for this.
  • Open. Opens a game file. GameMaker files have the extension .gm81. You can also open old .gmk or .gm6 files. (If you want to open .gmd filescreated with version 5 of GameMaker you must select the appropriatefile type at the bottom of the dialog. These might though notwork correctly in the new version.) There is a toolbar button for this command. You can also open a game by dragging the file into the GameMaker window.
  • Recent Files. Use this submenu to reopen game files you recently opened.
  • Save. Saves the game design file under its current name. If no name was specified before, you are asked for a new name. You can only use this command when the file was changed. Again, there is a toolbar button for this.
  • Save As. Saves the game design file under a different name. You are asked for a new name.
  • Create Executable. Once your game is ready you will probably wantto give it to others to play. Using this command you can create a stand-alone version of your game. This is simply an executable that you cangive to other people to run.
  • Advanced Mode. When clicking on this command GameMaker will switch between simple and advanced mode. In advanced modeadditional commands and resources are available.
  • Exit. Probably obvious. Press this to exit GameMaker. If you changed the current game you will be asked whether you wantto save it.

Edit menu

The edit menu contains a number of commands that relate to the currentlyselected resource (object, sprite, sound, etc.). Depending on the type ofresource some of the commands may not be visible.

  • Insert resource. Inserts a new instance of the currentlyselected type of resource before the current one. A form will open inwhich you can change the properties of the resource. This will be treatedin detail in the following chapters.
  • Duplicate. Makes a copy of the current resource and adds it.A form is opened in which you can change the resource.
  • Delete. Deletes the currently selected resource (or group ofresources). Be careful. This cannot be undone. You will, though, be warned.
  • Rename. Gives the resource a new name. This can also be donein the property form for the resource. Also, you can select the resourceand then click on the name.
  • Properties. Use this command to bring up the form to editthe properties. Note that all the property forms appear within the mainform. You can edit many of them at the same time. You can also edit theproperties by double clicking on the resource.
  • Set Tranparency Background. Here you can indicate how the transparent area of the sprites should be shown in the sprite editor. You can either use a customizable block pattern, or a color that you can change by clicking on the color box.

Note that all these commands can also be given in a different way. Right-click on a resource or resource group, and the appropriate pop-up menuwill appear.

Resources menu

In this menu, you can create new resources of each of the different types.Note that for each of them there is also a button on the toolbar and akeyboard shortcut. Also you can change the game information and the globalgame settings.

Run menu

This menu is used to run the game. There are two ways to run a game.

  • Run normally. Runs the game as it would normally run. The game is run in the most efficient way and will look and act as in an executable game.
  • Run in Debug mode. Runs the game in debug mode. In this modeyou can check certain aspects of the game and you can pause and stepthrough it. This is useful when something goes wrong but is a bitadvanced.

Once your game is finished, you can create a stand-alone executable ofthe game using the command in the file menu.

Window menu

In this menu you find some of the usual commands to manage the differentproperty windows in the main form:

  • Cascade. Cascade all the windows such that each of them ispartially visible.
  • Arrange Icons. Arrange all the iconified property windows.(Useful in particular when resizing the main form.)
  • Close All. Close all the property windows, asking the userwhether or not to save the changes made.

Help menu

Here you find some commands to help you:

  • Contents. Use this command to show this help file.
  • Tutorials. Use this submenu to show the different tutorials that are provided with GameMaker to teach you how to make your first games.
  • Upgrade from Lite Edition. You can use this command to upgrade from the Lite Edition of GameMaker Online. Standard Edition hasmany aditional features.
  • Enter Activation Code. If you purchased GameMaker before (and hence, have an activation code or a previous purchase reference) you can use this command to enter your code. You will be brought to a webpage where you can either enter your activation code or your purchase reference from your previous payment.
  • News. Here you can see the most recent news about GameMaker.
  • More Tutorials. This command will bring you to a location on the website where you can download some more tutorials.
  • Website. Connects you to the GameMaker websitewhere you can find information about the most recent version of GameMaker and collections of games and resources for GameMaker.
  • Forum. This command will bring you to the forum where users help each other with many aspects of GameMaker.
  • Wiki. This command will bring you to the GameMaker wiki where you can find plenty of information about the use of GameMaker.
  • Report a bug. While we make every effort to make sure GameMaker is bug free, in a program as large as GameMaker, it's actually an impossible task. So, if you find something you think is a bug, then please use this link and report it to us, and we'll do our best to fix it.
  • About GameMaker. Gives some short information aboutthis version of GameMaker.

The resource explorer

At the left of the main form you find the resource explorer. Here youwill see a tree-like view of all resources in your game. It works in thesame way as the Windows Explorer, and you are most likely familiar withit. If an item has a + sign in front of it you can click on the sign tosee the resources inside it. By clicking on the - sign these disappearagain. You can change the name of a resource (except the top level ones) byselecting it (with a single click) and then clicking on the name. Doubleclick on a resource to edit its properties. Use the right mouse button toaccess the same commands as in the Edit menu.

You can change the order of the resources by clicking on them with themouse and holding the mouse button pressed. Now you can drag the resourceto the appropriate place. (Of course the place must be correct. Youcannot drag a sound into the list of sprites.)

« The global idea | Defining sprites »

GameMaker Manual - (2024)


What are the directions in GameMaker manual? ›

You supply the direction value from 0° to 360° - where right is 0°, up is 90°, left is 180° and down is 270° - and you can also set the relative flag to add/subtract the value you give to the current direction.

Is GML similar to C++? ›

While it has its own scripting language called GameMaker Language (GML), which is similar in syntax to C, GameMaker itself is not primarily programmed using C++. However, GameMaker does provide functionality for more advanced users to extend the capabilities of their games through the use of "extensions".

Is GameMaker still worth it? ›

Overall: I definitely recommend this software if you are looking to start somewhere in the indie game industry and are familiar with a little coding or still learning. A lot of professional programmers on our team love it and we have produced a couple of very well-received titles using it.

Is GameMaker hard to learn? ›

Is GameMaker good for beginners? Yes! GameMaker Studio is relatively easy to learn compared to other game engiens like Unity or Unreal, as you can make a game without very much code or scripting. However, the games made in GameMaker are geneallly not as complex as with other game engines.

What coding language does GameMaker use? ›

What language does GameMaker use? GameMaker uses its very own coding language known as GameMaker Language (creative name, right?). GameMaker Language, or GML for short, comes in two different flavours: GML Code, and GML Visual. GML Code allows you to write your own code and take full control of your creation.

What is GameMaker coded in? ›

GameMaker Language (GML) is GameMaker's scripting language. It is an imperative, dynamically typed language commonly likened to JavaScript and C-like languages.

Is GML like Python? ›

GML is designed specifically for GameMaker and shares some similarities with languages like C and JavaScript, but it is not Python. However, it's possible to use Python or other programming languages for certain tasks within a GameMaker project by using external libraries or DLLs and interfacing them with GML.

What does ++ mean in GML? ›

++, -- are used to add or subtract one (1) from a value. It is worth noting that placing this before or after the value to be added to or subtracted from will have slightly different results. For example: ++a will increment the variable and return the incremented value.

Is GML based on Java? ›

NO, gml is a scripting language that only run in game maker. Gml dose not have high level programming language features like java,c,cpp.

Is GameMaker 100% free? ›

Yes - all versions of GameMaker are completely free to download. You'll only need to upgrade to a paid GameMaker package if you'd like to export your games to certain platforms.

Is GameMaker or Unity easier? ›

For a beginner, small 2D games are easier to build in GameMaker Studio than in Unity, yes. Complex, visually-heavy games are better handled with Unity — but it isn't easy at all. (But it's fun.)

Is Unity better than GameMaker? ›

GameMaker Studio suits best for 2D games development, for small teams and games, and for developers who like the simple UI of the tool they're using. Unity is great for creating 3D games and sophisticated projects. Also, you can find out in our article a deep comparison of Unity and Cocos 2Dx engines.

Is Unreal Engine better than GameMaker? ›

When assessing the two solutions, reviewers found GameMaker easier to use, set up, and administer. However, reviewers preferred doing business with Unreal Engine overall.

Can you make money with GameMaker? ›

You'll be in great company if you do decide to monetise your GameMaker titles: some of the most successful indie games of all time were made with GameMaker, including Undertale, Hyper Light Drifter, and Hotline Miami.

Is GameMaker 2D or 3D? ›

Yes, GameMaker Studio does support 3D, although it is primarily designed for 2D game development.

What is the direction of speed in GameMaker? ›

By default the speed value will be added to the direction vector - so if you set speed to 2 and the direction to 45° the instance will move up and right 2 pixels every game frame - but you can also click on the direction field and select either Horizontal or Vertical speed.

What is the difference between step and end step in GameMaker? ›

GameMaker updates all built-in variables between the Step and End Step. So, if you want something to happen after the variables have been updated, then choose End Step. If you want something to happen before the variables are updated, then choose Begin Step.

What are variables in GameMaker? ›

Variables in GameMaker Language (and in other programming languages) are used to store information in memory. Once a piece of information (or value) is stored, it can later be accessed and manipulated; this helps create code that is easier to understand and maintain.

What are the camera functions in GameMaker? ›

Cameras can show different parts of the same room and can be activated and deactivated as well as assigned to view ports at any time, meaning that you can use cameras to draw HUD elements or to have split screen effects, or to create cut-scenes for example.

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