After I got burned by RPGMaker which seemed fine what with the semi-open Ruby-like engine until you encountered some nasty surprises like the draconian resolution limitations etc., I've become more cautious.

I've heard a lot of good things about Game Maker and that it is now more flexible towards developers who actually want to get into the nitty gritty and push the limits, but I've also read that their scripting language GML isn't yet capable of things like object oriented design patterns.

I don't really want to get burned again by spending cash on something that may possibly not meet my expectations, and I feel I might be suckered in by the pretty wrapper.

That being said, while I'm feeling currently more comfortable in Java, the question about whether or not libraries such as libgdx and slick2d can offer me more freedom than game maker would be silly and rhetorical, instead what I ask is, is Game Maker currently up to snuff to hold a candle to more-programming-oriented libraries such as libgdx or slick2d?

Also, if I try out the free version of game maker would it accurately reflect the possibilities and perhaps even the limitations of the full priced product?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, but we decided that "which technology to use" questions are generally off-topic here because they are always based on personal opinion. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philipp
    Jul 11 '14 at 10:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Look up shawn spaulding on youtube and then you can make an educated opinion on how flexible it is. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 16 '18 at 12:39

Short answer: no.

Long answer: Game Maker's performance are really bad. If you are a good programmer, you will find yourself hitting the performance wall more than once or pay for the YYC (Yoyo COmpiler) which unlocks decent performances at a price. Libraries like libGDX, slick2D, LWJGL or any other will beat GameMaker by a lot.

Object oriented patterns in GameMaker are not so bad. You can create instances that derives from another and most of the basics of OOP are present. Still, it is not as flexible as the other options you stated and does not cover the whole OOP capabilities.

On the flexibility side, it is poor too, but performance and flexibility has never been the goal of Game Maker. It was an engine made for beginners and for those who want to learn how to program. Other libraries like libGDX, LWJGL or Slick2D are more complex to get working and to program but offer a lot more flexibility. On the other hand, GameMaker wins for the simplicity and by far.

The free version is nice and easy to use and, yes, you will have a good idea of the general product with it. They released a new free Game Maker Studio: Standard with all resources unlocked, which is nice.

In the end, GameMaker can compete with libGDX, LWJGL Slick2D or any other library, but only for beginners or people who want to simply make a game without complicating their lives with libraries. If you want performance and flexibility and can afford the complexity added by libraries, I would avoid GameMaker.

Source: 10+ years of programming in GameMaker 5, 6, 7 and 8. When I tried Studio, it didn't look that different to me, sadly.

  • \$\begingroup\$ "If you are a good programmer..."? I imagine you mean to say, "If the project you are working on requires deep optimizations in areas that GMS handles for you..."? ;) (Additionally, I'm not sure if they've just been pumping money into the product or what, but they've been optimizing/clarifying/bugfixing like crazy over the last six months/year. Or maybe I'm biased.) \$\endgroup\$
    – Maple
    Jul 25 '14 at 15:09

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