YoYoGames Help Desk Performance

Sandy Duncan has said on the official YoYoGames Glog that the Help desk on YoYoGames has been answering 95% of submitted help tickets within 24 hours, which has improved drastically in the last two weeks.

Mr. Duncan also said that using Softwrap for DRM in Game Maker 7 is “high on [his] list of ‘things we should have done differently'” but its not going to change any time soon. This brings up past rumors that Game Maker 8 (or future versions of 7) might not include Softwrap or any DRM at all.


Looking at the GMNews Market

I just wanted to say thanks for the positive feedback on our previous announcement.

At this point we would like to evaluate the demand for Scorptek Internet and Phone services both domestically (in North America) and abroad.

If you are interested in signing up with our Broadband Internet or Phone services in the future, please indicate which services you plan on using and where you are located (State/Province, Country).

Thanks for your support.

A reminder to our readers that we are looking for applications for those who want to become writers for gmnews (e-mail me personally at pythonpoole/at/gmail/com/).

Important Announcement from Scorptek

Hello readers,

We appreciate your continued support of GMNews and we want to assure everyone that we have NOT abandoned this website. We understand that some users are concerned about the apparent lack of articles over the holidays and we want to put your concerns at rest. However I feel that in order for you to fully understand what is making it difficult for us to maintain this news blog, I must inform you of the major ‘behind the scenes’ projects that we have been working on over the past year(s) and what Scorptek has planned in store for the near future.

We realize “we’ve been busy” just doesn’t cut it anymore, but to be honest we have been; and here is why:

Over the past year or so, Scorptek has devoted significant time and effort into researching, planning and building business relationships with other companies so that we can begin to venture out into the world outside of Game Maker News and develop a profitable business model. Some of you may remember some time ago when we conducted a survey of your knowledge, experience and use of Internet and phone services. At the time, many of you were puzzled and were unable to see how the results would be beneficial to us. If you recall, I responded by saying that the simplest explanation is probably the best one.

That’s exactly right, the simplest explanation is the best explanation. Drum roll please….. Scorptek will be offering DSL Broadband Internet and Phone services across North America and possibly in other countries in the future. This is exciting for us, and hopefully for you too. We couldn’t have done this without the Game Maker and GMNews community and we appreciate your support.

As we get closer to offering our beta program, we of course will be looking closely here and at other Game Maker communities for users who are eager and willing to test our services at largely discounted rates. After the beta program has ended and our service is fully open to the public, registered members of the GMC, YoYo Games or GMNews will in most cases be eligible for discounts or rebates on the services we offer.

We are also in contact with a UL listed alarm monitoring company, and we may (if we can negotiate a contract/agreement) also be providing self-install home security systems and 24/7 monitoring services with dispatch. The monitoring services also work with your existing security system (if you have one) and are fully compatible with VoIP and broadband phone lines such as Vonage or our Scorptek service.

Finally we may also form a partnership and affiliation with Dish Network Satellite TV resellers to provide you with affordable TV services to accompany your Scorptek Internet, Phone and possibly alarm monitoring services.

So as you can see, this is really taking a large chunk of our time and we definitely hope it will be worth while. Please leave feedback on what you think of our business project and any questions you have. If you are interested in becoming a (volunteer) writer for GMNews, feel free to email me personally at pythonpoole /at/ gmail /com/ and include a paragraph about yourself and what Writing/English/English Lit. qualifications you have or a sample of your work.

Thanks for being patient, and we hope to serve you in the near future.
Please remember to leave comments.

– Benjamin Poole
Managing Director of Scorptek

InstantPlay Clones Come to the GMC’s Forefront

The growing popularity of InstantPlay clones, and the heated discussions surrounding them, has finally forced the GMC staff to take action. In the past few weeks a slew of InstantPlay-type plugins of wildly differing qualities have been promoted at the Game Maker Community. After several days of public fighting among rival developers and critics, longtime GMC mod KC LC hid all of the plugin topics and created a single topic with a notice explaining why they were removed and that the staff was discussing the issue internally. She said the reasons were “a general concern about security issues, errors, and the growing flame war among supporters.”

The worst offender in security issues, Revel Quick Play, had several proposed and working exploits demonstrated. The creator, Revel, seemed to largely ignore concerns and kept posting buggy new versions. Several members besides the Author (including Smarty and NakedPaulToast) called him out in this issue. Revel did not address the issues. This, along with other problems, prompted another member, Caniac, to declare that he would create his own rival plugin following the same flawed protocol handler model (despite much better existing alternatives). His solution never materialized, despite large amounts of promotion pre hoc.

After KC LC hid the topics and announced that a policy was being decided upon, an extremely vocal debate ensued in the topic between various plugin developers, critics, and members of the community at large. While there was near-universal agreement that a competitor to YYG’s InstantPlay was needed, many members expressed strong concerns about security. The general consensus among consumers was that they did not want a ‘collect-them-all’ approach with dozens of plugins. They wanted a simple plugin that would work outside of YoyoGame’s own website. As the topic degenerated into a large-scale flamewar, KC LC hid that topic as well and created another notification post today, this time in a pre-closed topic.

The staff have not yet published their official decision.

GMac Beta – Having Troubles

Unfortuantely I haven’t had a chance to test out the Mac version of Game Maker that arrived in my inbox this week, however there is word out that other registered testers are having difficulties running the program.

Brian Laclair reports:

The GMac Beta was released, with no luck.
It seems as if on Sunday morning (around 6:00AM EST), the GMac Runner beta was sent to around 50 GM users.  Everyone [unverified] has reported the application file has a bug which prevents the user to select which file to run.
This beta however does reveal that most of the program runs on SDL ( http://www.libsdl.org/ ) which in the future will allow the GM Runner to be ported to OS’s such as Linux, Windows CE, BeOS, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, BSD/OS, Solaris, IRIX, and QNX.
Sandy has yet to reply to any of the error reports on the glog. 
Another user who wished to remain anonymous sent an e-mail to let us know that

So far it seems that the runner is the only thing they released and I haven’t figured out how it works yet. I’ll let you know how well it works if I figure it out.

 I’ll try to test it out sometime this week and if I have better luck, I’ll be sure to report back with screenshots.

InstantPlay Exploit Published

InstantPlay Exploit

InstantPlay Exploit (image by sk8m8trix)

Today James Rhodes posted a comment on the YYG GLOG stating that he has constructed a GM game which demonstrates a vunerability in the way InstantPlay handles game launching. It allows the GM executable to silently install a Firefox plugin with no confirmation. This apparently should be an easy fix: the InstantPlay plugin need only change the way it handles the game’s launching.

It should be interesting to see how long YoyoGames takes to patch this, considering the seriousness of the vulnerability.

GMAC Beta – Signup now

Announced today on the YoYo Games glog was the upcoming private beta program for the highly anticipated Mac version of Game Maker.

The testing will start out as a closed private beta that users can signup for by e-mailing applebeta@yoyogames.com with their contact details, GMC and YYG usernames. The beta program is due to begin by the end of next month and it may be some time before a public beta or final version will be out.
The YoYo Games team is currently looking for those who have a Mac running OS X Leopard, Windows only users need not apply. As for hackintoshes and emulators, it couldn’t hurt to try but I doubt there will be any promising results.

Sandy Duncan also commented to say that although the Mac port should run well on UNIX based systems such as those running BSD, there are no current plans to provide support for UNIX or Linux at this time.