Enigma r3 Released

The much anticipated revision three release of Enigma has just been made publicly available.

The Enigma project is an effort to make Game Maker project files compilable into native executables which can run on the end user’s operating system without the need of a runner to interpret higher level coding.

Native executables also bring many other advantages/benefits to the table that would otherwise not be possible with Game Maker. To name a few:
– Reduced file sizes
– Significantly increased speed
– Easier to port to other platforms
– Much less processor/resource use
– High protection from decompilation

Enigma is an open source project and can be downloaded directly from SourceForge or the official Enigma forum (with release notes) here.

For a full list of Game Maker functions Enigma can work with, please see this page on the official Enigma development website.

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Hat-tips – Enigma & GMToolbox

We would like to give a welcome hat-tip to Caniac and Elmernite who have both contributed many news tips in the past weeks. For the rest of you, be warned there is some serious competition for this month’s GMNews prize, but there is still time to catch up.

Here are a couple of the interesting news tips we received:

Elmernite wrote to tell us about an exclusive interview he organized with Enigma’s project leader, Josh Ventura. The interview, found here, hints toward the near release of Enigma R3, a more stable and useable version of the compiler. Enigma could potentially be used to convert GM Games to native compiled executables (non-interpreted), significantly increasing speed, performance and opportunities for multiplatform development.

Caniac also wrote to tell us about a very useful site called GMToolbox. As the name suggests, it is your dream toolbox with resources and tools for just about anything you need to accomplish with Game Maker. As of now, it is more geared toward extending Game Maker’s capabilities through Dlls and Extensions, nevertheless it is one of the better and more comprehensive databases around.

ENIGMA First Release

A build of ENIGMA was released to the public for the first time today. It is a project by JoshDreamland and others designed to be open-source, cross-platform competition to Game Maker.

ENIGMA uses LateralGM (by IsmAvatar and others) as its IDE, but it is currently only an alpha release that doesn’t do much of anything. LGM opens and edits Game Maker files, and they can then be compiled with ENIGMA. ENIGMA parses GML into C++, which will supposedly allow it to be a drop-in replacement for GM.

Currently only scripts, objects and rooms have any functionality, but even this seems to have caused considerable buzz among the project’s rabid fans over at 64Digits. Note that we’ve talked about both ENIGMA and LGM in the past.

GM Competition Update

In the PR flap following the release of Game Maker 7, several independent projects were started as Game Maker replacements. Despite a considerable amount of skepticism, some of them have made noticeable progress. Here’s a report on their status.

G-Creator

The current incarnation of the abandoned G-Java project, G-Creator plans to allow users to make Java games through an easy function set similar to Game Maker’s. Written in Java by TGMG and some others, it plans to support nearly every platform imaginable. Although it is not currently possible to compile a game with it, the IDE is nearly complete. It is currently at “Milestone 1”, which is a buggy demonstration of the new interface.

Screenshot of G-Creator Aurora Release

ENIGMA

Much fuss was generated on 64Digits about this project by JoshDreamland, DFortun81 and others. It has the distinction of having actually compiling a game, which, although it was non-interactive, executed at a very respectable clip. It’s development seems rather chaotic, but it currently has objects, variable classes and a GML parser. A release of some sort is expected in late March.

ENIGMA is modeled closely after GM with an almost identical Win32 interface (which will most likely be replaced with a GTK interface) and GML support. Its biggest feature is that it translates GML to C++, so it can produce compiled games and users can edit their games directly in C++. ENIGMA plans to have Linux support.

ENIGMA Game Screenshot (No interface screenshot because the current GUI uses GM’s icons, which are copyrighted.)

Azíel

Not much is known about this project by GearGod, codenamed Azíel. It will probably be XNA-based, which would make it Windows-only, unlike the other projects discussed here.

Screenshot of Azíel

Lateral Game Maker (LGM)

Although this isn’t exactly a competitor to GM, IsmAvatar and TGMG’s cross-platform IDE supports reading and writing of Game Maker’s editable files. Most of the work on this to date has been focused on the file formats, and other projects have been built largely upon IsmAvatar’s documentation of GM’s file formats. This is not the only attempt at a third-party IDE, but it is the only one with a chance of being released anytime soon.

The GUI is mostly done, the file formats are completely done, and the program is very usable (the sprite editor is the most noticeable exception). The creators “do not believe in a release date.”

Screenshot of LateralGM 1.5.7.1

Although these projects are infants compared to Game Maker, they will certainly make for an interesting year.