Yes, I know, the best way to make an indie game is to learn to code. I've got some scripting experience, but I want to do worldbuilding with already-existing tools (and communities surrounding those tools), and I've been really impressed with games like An Untitled Story that were made with pre-packaged toolsets at their core, like Game Maker. :)

So I'm planning to make my game using either Game Maker or something like it.

The basic parameters of my planned game:

  • 2D platformer.
  • Physics/speed akin to Sonic the Hedgehog.
  • Large, non-linear world, flowing as seamlessly as possible -- think Super Metroid, but without the forced screen transitions.

The first two points have me leaning toward Game Maker -- Plenty of 2D platformers have been made with it, and there are serviceable, openly available Sonic-the-Hedgehog-style physics engines for it that could be adapted to my needs with minimal muss and fuss.

But the third makes me antsy -- from what limited information I hear, Game Maker has problems with large levels/boards/screens/whateveryoucallthem, thus necessitating transitions between screens.

I want to avoid that if at all possible -- it would, I believe, fundamentally alter the flow of the game. I understand that generally speaking, the more you have loaded into memory the more things are going to chug (especially for a one-size-fits-all game development platform that isn't a model of efficient coding), but I'm hoping there are systems that can un-load objects that are sufficiently far offscreen and thus better produce seamlessness.

Any thoughts, people? :) The sooner I can get a basic pre-fab physics engine and world-building program up and running, the sooner I can start prototyping areas and generally tooling around. Should I be looking at Game Maker, or elsewhere?

(My current plan is to more-or-less build the game prototype-style, then worry about art and sound at the very end once the damn thing is playable.)


To ultifinitus: I might pick up C# for a separate project.

I'm familiar with game dynamics and game design from past projects (Projects that used OOP scripting languages).

The amount of work I'm willing to put into my project is directly proportional to what I can do with what's already out there.

This is where a system like Game Maker appeals to me. :) I've then got the level editor, the physics, etc. all more-or-less taken care of, and the software has a giant enthusiast community that provides various modules, advice, etc.

If I can get most of my game done that way, then once I've got a functional prototype I can happily shell out the cash to pay artists to make the game actually look like something worth a damn.

This is why I'm looking for something like Game Maker. I'm just wondering if Game Maker (or another such system) is the most suitable for what I want to do.


closed as off-topic by Nicol Bolas, MichaelHouse Jul 18 '13 at 13:18

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  • "Questions that are about "which tech to use" are outside the scope of the site. For more information, see this meta post" – Nicol Bolas, MichaelHouse
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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm thinking about using Construct, the more I learn about it. Anyone used it? \$\endgroup\$ – Joe Mar 12 '11 at 21:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Game maker would be "suitable" but it won't really get you very far (in my experience) you would probably be better served to learn some basic programming (like c#[which I dislike btw]). Python or something would probably do well also. But in general you could easily set up your project in gamemaker swiftly and easily. But it won't get the same performance, and you won't have as much flexibility. \$\endgroup\$ – ultifinitus Mar 20 '11 at 5:30

I think you might wanna try Unity3D. I haven't dive in it much, but I knew that Unity comes with level editor (and it's 3D, by the way). Game programming is done using javascript (CMIIW). Another good thing about unity is that it can be played in browser (provided you have the unity player), so your game can reach players easily. Kongregate hosts unity games, you may want to check them out.

Other platform that I'd like to suggest is Flash (using ActionScript 3.0, to be specific). I believe flash can make your game up and running quickly. It doesn't have native level editor (it's not even a game engine anyway), but there are ways like this to do just that. Physics are mainly done using third party library called Box2D, and there is also box2d game level editor available to use. There are also frameworks that builds on top of AS3, such as flixel and flashpunk, that helps a lot when developing 2D platformer game.

Hope that helps.

  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 for flixel. Here is a complete example game and source by it's creator called mode \$\endgroup\$ – Snow Blind Aug 5 '12 at 8:09

You might want to check out XNA. There is a lot of resources online showing how to create games in XNA, and there are a lot of people on here who know a good deal about XNA, C# and .NET.

You might have to step outside of your comfort zone of game maker, but if you really want large levels with good performance, you are going to want real language, and proper GPU acceleration.

XNA is much more suited to create 2D games than Unity, but XNA excels at 3D games as well. XNA is completely free and has no limitations, while Unity is free, but for some of the more desired features like color correction and other post processing, you would have to buy the full version which is not cheap.


You didn't specify the platform in your question, but since you are leaning toward Game Maker that clearly means you are developing a Windows game. There are of course many many tools you can use to make PC games, with lots of different pros and cons. Using XNA is an option I would strongly consider, but another great looking tool I recently learned of is:


It uses Lua for doing the programming, and I have fallen in love with that language because I'm using Corona to develop an iPhone game.


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