Glog – GMWeekly – ‘Amazing Code’

The YoYo Games Glog received an official update today. Boasting an updated version of WordPress, the blog will open up to a broader range of topics including those previously reserved for Mark Overmars’ (no longer in use) personal blog.

Records of user registrations have been wiped clean, so all users will have to re-register for posting however for the time being users can post after having their comment approved by a moderator of the glog.

Gm Weekly is a new Game Maker magazine start-up which promises hopes to release a new edition every Friday of each week. The magazine is more like a small newsletter, with only 2 1/2 pages of content, it is no wonder DPoole, the author, is able to keep up with the weekly schedule. This first issue contains various recent GM news items as well as a small tutorial on creating a simple ‘pause game’ function. The publication has mixed reviews, but for a first release – who’s complaining?

GmMkr, a user on the YoYo Games forums, has posted a topic called ‘Josh’s Amazing Codes‘ which essentially is a challenge for Game Makers to decipher an encrypted string of characters. The prize is not too note-worthy, but I know a lot of Game Makers who enjoy a good thinking challenge, and I thought I might pass it on.

P.S. Josh has rated his puzzle with a difficulty of ‘EVIL’, so be warned 😉

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GMTech – Exclusive Interview

Elmernite writes to tell us of an exclusive interview he had with GMTech Magazine’s founder, gamez93.

The interview covers a whole series of questions ranging from the beginnings of the magazine to what should be expected in upcoming issue 13.

Below is a copy of the interview transcript (which can be sourced here):

1) Why did you decide to start GMTech?
I had been part of several other magazines in the past, and saw them all fail. I believe that I had more determination to make it work. So I went for it, this is my second attempt at making a Game Maker magazine and this time it worked out well.

2) You have quite a team, how well do you all work together?
The team is built up of people I have worked with before and people I previously never heard of. ‘gmjab’ and ‘rup13’ are two key team members, I had worked with them before on a magazine and have helped get the magazine to this stage.

There are a lot of newer members who are part of the team. All of whom do a great job in making sure that magazine is at a top quality stage.

3) Do you see GMTech extending into other areas? A news show (Like GMTV) or a news blog. You already have a wiki.
GMTech can be used for pretty much anything we wish to. We have a GMTech Magazine, we could turn around and do GMTech Hosting. For now I will stick to just a magazine, but if a good idea comes around I will think about it.

4) How far ahead do you normally run? When issue 13 comes out are you already working on 14? 15? Perhaps even 16?
We are always a few steps ahead. Things like exclusives have to be sorted out and these can take around two months to sort out. Currently Issue 13 is nearing competition and work has already began on Issue 14. I am already planning for Issue 15.

5) On to issue 13, do you feel that this one is better than the last issue?
Issue 13 is going to be smaller than Issue 12 in terms of content, however just as good in quality. We always try and reach a good balance of quality content and enough content, to appeal to all the readers.

6) Could you give us a rough release date for issue 13? (It can be as vague as you wish)
As I am going on a short holiday, it will be released early next month. While I am away the rest of the team will be working hard on the issue, so it will be as good as the rest.

7) GMTech has come a long way from it’s early magazines. (Of which I have all of them) Do you see this trend continuing farther into the future.
The longer the magazine is around the better, I am hoping that we will continue to achieve new achievements and excel with the magazine. But the only way to do that is if we have content, which is why we are constantly looking for new team members to help and make the magazine even better.

8) Do you ever see the possibility of actually becoming a printed magazine? Would you do it if you had enough pledged subscribers?
If enough people really want it, we can look further into doing it. It would take a lot more work to get right, so don’t expect anything so soon.

9) Anything else you wish to say about GMTech, issue 13, etc..?
Issue 14 – We are proud to be the first GM publication to present a feature length exclusive with YYG. If you can think of some questions you’d like asked, simply make a topic in the special “YoYo Special” sub-forum on the main GMTech forums.

Markup 14

MarkUp, a popular Game Maker magazine, just had its 14th issue released today.

The Magazine – available here – contains 54 pages of high quality and visually appealing content (up from its 26 page predecessor) that covers everything from:

– Exclusive previews (Sixty Five Million and One BC)
– Editorials
– Tutorials
– Reviews
– Interviews
– And more

Although this issue was just made available by the GMKing team, it is intended to be an August release.

For those of you who are interested, MarkUp is another magazine looking for contributors and offers a free in-magazine advertisement for every 400 words you can contribute.

May News Day

To make up for time lost in our venture to improve our other Scorptek services, we have compiled a list of news items to cover the past couple of weeks.

GM Tech Magazine Issue 12

Issue 12 of this popular magazine was released earlier this month. It includes 50 pages of content covering all aspects of Game Maker, including quality articles, exclusive interviews, game reviews and more. It’s a great read, and is visually appealing. We highly recommend the magazine to any Game Maker user.

For those who don’t know, Wyatt (bendodge), one of the principle writers for GMNews also contributes to some of the magazine’s content.

You can visit GM Tech site and download the issue from here.

GMHC – The GM Hacker Challenge

uuf6429, a well known user of the GMC forums has posted a new challenge for all Game Maker developers to take part in. It is an effort to help improve the security of Game Maker games so that hacking games (for example with the use of a decompiler) becomes very difficult.

While this is potentially a good idea, it also means further security exploits could be exposed in the software, and until YoYo Games fixes them in the next release of Game Maker, it could result in exactly what the project hopes to avoid, easily hackable games.

Unfortunately the challenge was not as successful as previously anticipated. Uuf6429 was taken by surprise when Smarty (former GMC Administrator) was able to recover a script from the game yesterday without “even [starting to decompile] either the game or the DLL.”

Game Maker Games – This Game is Art Competition

Game Maker Games has come out with a new competition just a few days ago called ‘This Game is Art’.

Unlike many other competitions, this one has no pre-defined theme or picky requirements. In fact, it is just the opposite. The competition encourages expressing yourself in an artistic form through your game either as an individual or a team.

For more details and entry requirements for the competition, see this page.

C++ Runner Almost Ready

According to an interview conducted by GM Fetch earlier this month, the C++ runner for Game Maker is nearing completion. This will help to enable Game Maker to run on different computer platforms (e.g. Mac) and should improve the overall performance of Game Maker game executables.

See their website for more information, and for the full interview.

MAG: Russell’s Quarterly 2

The second issue of Russell’s Quarterly was released earlier today. This particular magazine differs from its competition by providing articles on a broader range of topics that may not necessarily have anything to do with Game Maker specifically, but pertain to game makers in general.

In terms of visual design, the magazine reads more like a newspaper (not that there is anything wrong with that). Just a word of caution to prospective readers: it is a bit heavy on the text side with about 80 pages worth of content. An odd graphic insert can be found here and there, but not on every page.

It is also worthy to note that the writing in this particular magazine sets a high quality of standard for the competition, and in that sense, reads more professionally.

Click here to download Issue 2

MarkUp 13 & No GM Patches?

MarkUp 13, an ongoing popular Game Maker magazine has just released its 13th (unlucky?) issue.

With 26 pages of comprehensive content, it is a quality magazine worth the read, although not nearly as large as some of it’s competitors.

It comes in 3 formats which can be downloaded here:
High Quality, Low Quality, XPS

An interesting and valid point this issue brings up has to do with YoYo Games’ (and I would say also Mark Overmars’) inability to patch current/previous versions of Game Maker to correct security or performance flaws.

So far YoYo Games has yet to show any evidence of working on a patch for Game Maker 7 that could render the current decompiler tool inoperable or at least help prevent or secure the executables from such exploits.

Two other examples involve Game Maker 6. It was a well known fact that GM6 contained a serious precision bug which caused it to be so imprecise with calculations that for some users, GM5 was the only feasible option. Mark & Xot discovered the reason behind the precision bug while working on Game Maker 7, but never released a patch for version 6 of the program.

The second example is when the final Vista RTM release was made public. It was obvious at that point that Game Maker 6 was not going to run on Vista. To this day however, GM6 has not been patched to work with Vista. Finally, after much demand, a converter to make GM6 executables Vista compatible was released, however it still left GM6 incompatible with the new OS.

What are your thoughts on this? Should YoYo Games change their (non-official) policy of ‘We don’t update Game Maker, you’ll just have to wait for the next release’ to be more accepting of the fact that many users won’t always want to (or be able to) use the latest version of a program?

Hat tip to Xot for providing more information about the precision bug.

Mag: MarkUp 12

The GMKing team announced a new milestone today, making them the first Game Maker magazine to mark their 1 year anniversary with a release of their 12th issue.

MarkUp is a well renowned magazine amongst the Game Maker community, known for its in depth look on everything ‘Game Maker’. From troubleshooting GM Vista errors, to reviews, previews and tutorials, this magazine is bound to have it.

Unlike Russell’s Quarterly announced earlier this week, this magazine appeals more to your visual senses and is considerably smaller in size, making it an easier read. Still, it has plenty of content to fill up 50 pages worth of quality material and can still fit in those extras like interviews with YoYo Games Winter competition winners.

Check it out here: High / Low Quality