Interview

How YoYo Games aims to make GameMaker Studio 2 more accessible than ever

How YoYo Games aims to make GameMaker Studio 2 more accessible than ever

GameMaker: Studio is one of the most widely used game engines in the industry and is a particular go-to tool for 2D game development.

It's no surprise then that the team at YoYo Games is working on GameMaker Studio 2, with plans to improve on all aspects of the tool to make it more accessible, easy to use and even more powerful than before.

To offer more details about what exactly awaits developers ahead of the release of the engine, YoYo Games' Patrick Kelly discusses the new features, pricing, release date and more.

What are some of the key new features you’ve added into GameMaker Studio 2?

Here is a brief high level list of some of the core feature in GameMaker Studio 2:

  • Layer-based level editor
  • Level inheritance - to easily create different level biomes
  • Reduced runtime size on mobile (we start at 3.1Mb on iOS and 2.6Mb on Android)
  • Re-designed layer-based image editor
  • Tile system – with auto tiling, tile animation and brushes
  • Re-envisaged drag and drop, enhanced and faster
  • Real-time animation editing
  • Multi-column, tabbed code editor
  • Backwards compatibility with GameMaker: Studio projects
  • Multiple workspaces with intuitive design
  • Rapid search mechanism to open resources instantly
  • Powerful debugger to save time and effort
  • Git integration

More in-depth info can be found on the website.

What will the pricing model be for GameMaker Studio 2?

  • Free: GMS2 Trail
  • $99.99: Desktop
  • $149.99: Web (HTML5)
  • $399.99: UWP
  • $399.99: Mobile (Android/iOS)

We also have an upgrade path that our existing users can benefit from.

For more detail see the product page on our website.

How important is making the engine more accessible than ever to YoYo Games? And how have you gone about this?

Accessibility has always been one of GameMaker’s strong points, it was very important to us not to lose this key strength when designing GameMaker Studio 2.

At YoYo Games we’ve always believed making games is for everyone, novice through to pro and we have designed GameMaker Studio 2 in line with this belief.

There are several key areas where we have taken this forward from the last product; firstly we have made the transition from installing GameMaker Studio 2 to completing your first tutorial as seamless as possible, we’ve aimed to direct new users into tutorials and the IDE where they can pick up the product quickly and have the best experience.

Secondly, for those who come to Gamemaker who want to make games with no code or scripting background, we have revamped our Drag and Drop system making it cleaner, more intuitive, without losing any of its powerful feature set.

Finally we have improved the whole work flow within GameMaker Studio 2, making it more streamlined so developers, novice to experienced, can realise their ideas quicker and have rapid iteration allowing developers to push the quality of their games higher.

Just how big a leap is GameMaker Studio 2 from previous iterations?

It’s a very big leap. We have written the IDE from the ground up, revising and improving on all the core areas of GameMaker Studio 1.4, on top of that we have integrated new more powerful features whilst keeping the essence of GameMaker, so not to alienate our existing users.

We have kept the effort required to transition to GameMaker Studio 2 minimal, our user survey feedback has found that once you’re in the new IDE, it doesn’t take long to feel the benefits.

What platforms is GameMaker Studio 2 ideally suited to?

There are two ways to answer this question. Firstly, GameMaker Studio 2 has all the components to allow developer to make great games on desktop, mobile, web and console.

At YoYo Games we have always looked for new technologies and opportunities that allow our developers to truly express themselves on as many platforms as they wish. Our goal is to develop and continue this strategy.

The second answer to the question is that GameMaker Studio 2 will run on multiple platforms, we have a Mac version of the IDE in development at the moment, it’s looking great, and we’re really excited about this news and for our dev community who have been wanting a new Mac version for some time and have been really patient.

When do you plan to release it?

Launch is planned for Q1 2017.

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