Game Maker Generations

I was on Youtube this morning looking for new Game Maker related videos, and something very interesting caught my eye almost immediately.

A father and son have decided to get together and make a series of Game Maker video tutorials online. Jackson was only 7 years of age when he began using Game Maker. Now, at age eleven, he is filming videos online with his dad to help others get started programming with the software.

Such video tutorials are not a new concept, but it is practically unheard of for generations of family members to be working together on Game Maker projects. I thought this was a very interesting perspective of how the world has changed, where father-son bonding activities have turned from fishing and camping to computer programming and online video making.

Be sure to check out their Youtube channel here:

So far there have been 11 videos made in just a few days, which is a lot more than I can say for other video tutorial makers (such as I recommend taking a look through and subscribing to their channel, and I believe the videos are good quality and have a great potential.

Related Discussion topics:
– Do you know of any other Game Maker users who share the hobby with their parents?
– Is this a glimpse of the future, where parents and children will socially interact and bond through the digital computer world, rather than ‘real life’?
If so, do you feel this is for the better?
– Do you think computers and technology will play such an active role in our lives in the future that children will have to be taught computer programming from a young age (e.g. as a compulsory subject in primary school) in order to get by and ensure success in the real world?

GM8 Suggestion Box

Since September of last year, a certain topic on the YoYo Games forum has grown considerably and is now the hot topic of discussion for the whole community. The topic? Features YoYo Games should include in the next release of Game Maker. Many of the suggestions are well thought out and in many cases should cut-down on game development time and improve functionality considerably.

For example: Kyle_Solo, the topic’s author, suggests that Game Maker should include features such as zooming in the room editor. This would make it possible to accurately position objects easily and detect those almost unnoticeable problems such as small gaps between wall sprites. Kyle also highlights the fact that even simple changes can really save a lot of time and mistakes from happening such as expanding the number of undo actions in the sprite editor. Another feature of interest that Kyle mentioned is the addition of a particle effects resource that includes a visual effects particle generator with a preview window.

One feature Kyle posted later on was the introduction of an object template system, allowing one to create a new object from a basic template that includes the basic functions of that object type (e.g. basic movement, hover/mouse over effects for button template), and perhaps the option to create your own templates to use at a later date or in another project.

Kyle was not the only one to contribute some interesting ideas, out of the 70 people who posted in the topic, here are just a few that are definitely worth further consideration:

  • Block based code editor in which sections of code (such as a loop, if statement, etc.) can be retracted or expanded to help keep the code clean, easy to read, organized and simple to follow. This feature is already found in many other programming languages / code editors. (lap1994)
  • The ability to easily view array and data structure contents through the debugger (Chaos In …)
  • A way of automatically opening the help file and displaying exact function you requested help on (rather than the current method of opening the help file and using the search/index feature to locate the page with the function on it, and then scrolling through the page / using the find tool to locate the details of the function.) (icuurd12b42)

On the other hand, not everyone’s ideas were on par with the others and probably need a bit of re-thinking…

  • “GG (Game Genarator this makes the game for you and you don’t need to do any work but you can’t claim the game as your own and say that you made it and you can’t sell it if it made the game for you)”
  • Spell check for the sprite editor
  • “a 3d button like switch to 3d or something like that”
  • “just click 2 create mode so it’s really everything you can do in d&d and code or anything else you can do in d&d entirely… make models with just a few clicks of your mouse”

Leave a comment, and let us know what you think the next version of Game Maker should have.