Installing Game Maker

What Is It?

Game Maker is an object-oriented programming engine designed to enable anyone to learn how to create video games. Object-oriented programming means that you are using a graphical interface to program rather than writing out your code by hand in a command line interface. Game Maker comes in two versions, Lite and Professional. The Lite version is free and is fully functional for all of the tutorials we'll be doing in class. The Pro version, which runs $25, gives you a few more bells and whistles and enables you to create and produce some really professional looking projects. An in-depth list of the features available in the Pro Version can be found on the YoYo Games site.

At the moment, Game Maker is only available for Windows machines but rumor has it that a Mac compatible version will be ported sometime over the summer of 2010.

How Do I Get It?

  1. Go to YoYo Games and download the free version of Game Maker
  2. Open up your download folder and run the gmaker80.exe file
  3. When the install is done, crack it open and start programming!
    1. Ok, maybe it's the programming isn't that easy, YET! So try this...
  4. Visit the YoYo Games site and check out their tutorials.
  5. And this is the most important step, HAVE FUN!

While you're at it, you will probably want to download the Game Maker Documentation. As you start to explore, you'll be curious what the buttons do. This document will tell you just that, and at 292 pages, a whole lot more. The only down side to this document is it's lack of quick navigation, so learn how to search PDF documents - it's a good skill to have anyway.

What Next?

There are two critical aspects of game design, practice and imagination! As you start exploring the tool, think about your favorite video games, or maybe even some of the classics. Examine how the designers put it together. What are the rules? What are the goals/objectives? How might you change the game? An open and curious mind is a valuable asset for any game designer.

See you in class!