System Requirements

There has been quite a fuss lately about Game Maker no longer running on Windows 98 as previous versions did. It is important to consider that a significant majority of Game Maker users may be using low-end PCs with limited capabilities and older Operating Systems mostly due to age and financial restrictions. Unfortunately there is not much that can be done about the Windows 98 requirement, as that is SoftWrap’s doing.

SoftWrap is a company managing the DRM piracy/software theft protection mechanisms in Game Maker 7 and many other programs. SoftWrap was introduced for the first time in the 7.0 release late last month and works by interfacing the actual software with its own code to check for proper product licensing and to allow users to purchase and activate a new license if they don’t have one.

Unfortunately the code SoftWrap has introduced to the Game Maker software has now limited Game Maker’s compatability to only Windows versions 2000 and later. As bad as that sounds, its not the the only system requirement new to GM7 that may require users to dish out quite a few bucks.

The Game Maker 7 help file (aka manual), now says:

 A DirectX 8 (or later) compatible graphics card with at least 32MB of memory is required for most created games.

AND

When designing and testing games, the memory requirements are pretty high (at least 128 MB and preferably more, also depending on the operating system).

Mark may be assuming that since it is a Game Making program, that a lot of its users will have gaming / high-end PCs. Unfortunately that is far from the truth, and there are many Game Maker users with limited computer resources who will be affected by these new changes.

When compared to the Game Maker 6 requirements, it is found that the computer memory and video memory requirements have doubled in version 7. In short, Game Maker went from working on most older computers running Windows 95 with basic onboard graphics cards with as little as 8mb of video memory to only working on 2000, XP, and Vista with twice the system requirements in only 3 years.

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18 Responses

  1. BUT now comes the fun part:
    SoftWrap has already been hacked!! So contracting all that extra anti-piracy stuff was entirely in vain. Now we (the normal community) are put up with higher system requirements because of software that does not help at all!

  2. i can confirm that, i can even give links! wich i wont ofcourse.. i think these are HUGE downsides on the new gamemaker. as well as the large file size these are things i cannot use in gamemaking!
    gamemaker 7.0 pro?
    pro? i dont think so.. i can hardly imagine games get published made by gamemaker 7.. system requirements too high.. compression too low. i hope this will be fixed soon. cuz i dont wanna learn a new language to produce quality games..

  3. there was a discussion like this on the GM forums.

  4. Patience is a virtue.

    We need a lot of that.

  5. That is good to know, I notice no difference. Anyways, please don’t start complaining…

  6. Actually, from what I’ve read the compatibility isn’t with softwrap but with a different library that is being used. From the softwrap site it tells it only works on 32 bits windows which is from 95 and onwards.

    It’s ofcourse far more fun to blame everything on Softwrap/YoYo games but the issue is with a change Mark made.

    As for commercial products, they are almost all bundled within an installer which compresses them so downloading isn’t an issue. Yes, the software requirements are issues for certain people, just like GM6 requirement for a 3D video card but technology moves on. Following Moore’s law computers get more powerful and by letting Game Maker use more of this power we get more functionality.

    As far as Game Maker users having low end PC’s. Taking a sampling from the visitors of my Game Maker site I get:
    XP, 91,27%
    2000, 4,32%
    98, 3,46%
    So less then 4% off the people will have problems. For those people who really care about compatibility, they can however still keep using Game Maker 6. They can ask someone to save the game again in GM7 which should work almost without problems so you have a Vista version and an earlier version.

    Yes, Game Maker moves on and with that the system requirements move on. But so does the computer power and so does the avarage computer of people.

    0,03% of the visitors on my site use Windows 95 so does that mean Mark should have stopped developing Game Maker after version 5.3a? Progress can only be made with change.

  7. I already provided GM6 and GM5 builds when possible, since some video cards don’t play nicely with GM6. In the downloadable business, covering the older computers IS important.

    However, I do expect GM development to move forward, and am not surprised that some old support has been left behind. My only worry is that with the banning of projects like g-java, no one will be able to make a gm7 to gm6 converter to facilitate version portability.

    No one expects the newest version of microsoft word to run on windows 95, but they do expect it to be able to save a document that can then be opened in win95’s word.

  8. GM7 stand-alone executables show an error on Windows 98SE and close. Stand-alone executables have nothing to do with SoftWrap.

    Why complain that there’s no GM7 to GM6 convertor? GM7 has built-in a perfect GM6 to GM7 convertor.

  9. Because if there is no gm7 to gm6 convertor, then if you want to release projects in both formats, you have to have decided this before you begin and built the whole project in gm6 rather than gm7, and wait until the last minute to port it over to gm7.

    If there is no convertor, then if someone makes a great game in gm7 and someone with a computer that can’t run gm7 games asks to play it, there’s nothing that can be done for them.

    It really makes no difference to me as it’s against my personal policy to upgrade a project-in-progress anyway unless absolutely necessary, and my current project was always intended to be my last Game Maker game. But for the sake of anyone who makes a game and later wishes they could make it more available, a convertor should be developed.

  10. Hey, guess what? Old software is for old PCs. Should Valve have downgraded Half-Life 2 so it would have run on DOS? I’d hope not. If you have an 8 MB graphics card, your PC is simply obsolete for recent gaming. That’s just the way it is. Upgrades are good.

  11. @{DS} Upgrades are expensive 🙂

    The problems is that Game Maker build it’s community when it still had low system requirements. Now everybody wants the new version.

    You don’t have this problem with a game. A game builds it’s community out of the people that have the sys specs to run the game. A game will never need higher system requirements then when it was released.

  12. @Simon Donkers: I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  13. Joerdgs, Game Maker still has very low system requirements. This is 2007, Windows 98 is almost a decade old. I’d rather not be limited by people who want to play games, but not upgrade their PC like everyone else.

  14. I think that if people can gamemake on a Windows 95 computer, they also can gamemake with a older version of Gamemaker. As long as the old versions isn’t removed, it’s okay to let Gamemaker evolve with all other programs. Windows 95 and 98 is old operating systems, and people who got these should upgrade if they want to gamemake.

  15. How much more are the memory and requirements than that of GM 5.3?

    Hopefully G-Java will still be made for GM 6 users.

  16. i just purchased Game Maker Pro 7.0, and now Game Maker refuses to let me into it -.-

    If anyone from Softwrap reads this, let them know that they have to fix this. If any programmers or Mark Overmars from Game Maker is reading this, make sure they know; I want to get my Game Maker going properly again, my 15 Euros back, or ill bloody SUE THEM!!

  17. I’m running Windows 98 on a two year old computer.
    Mainly because my copy of Windows XP killed itself.
    I can run all my old Game Maker 7 game just fine.. better then on Xp. Is there a way to make Game Maker 7 to work on Windows 98? I’m sick of Game Maker 6.1 lite.

    I’m running 1024MB of ram, a 256MB video card and a 2400+ mother bord.

    I would just buy Xp, but I live in a redneck town so $$$ is hard to get if your under 18.

    So is there a way to trick GM7 or hack 98 to look like Xp?

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