Further to the first glimpse of the new site, we've had a number of responses to this both good and critical. This is good. The reaction to restrict uploading games to the YoYo site to version Standard 8.1 was illuminating. We know whatever we do, some of it won't be popular but in line with the purpose of creating a new site, we feel strong change is necessary. Let me try and explain where we are coming from...
Our new site is long overdue, the current site has become too busy to maintain properly since its very first conception back in 2007. At the time it served the purpose of being a 'YouTube' of GameMaker games and is still very busy with around 150 games being uploaded a day! It was popular and it was great. Back then. But today, it doesn't fit with what we are trying to do now. So, the reasoning behind making a new site a priority is to do 2 things;
1. To showcase GameMaker as the primary focus.
As a company, we have been ambitious with our growth over the last year and a half thats even surprised ourselves at how much we have managed to achieve. Compared to others that have a lot of investment and bigger teams, we have surpassed expectations for such a small company. We work at a constant fast pace momentum and have a great team together that work very closely together. We debate, we laugh and argue, but mainly over who ate all the biscuits, it's not pretty ;) GameMaker is our focus for the company and we believe keeping the momentum on improving this tool right through from entry level to serious developers, is critical for GameMakers future.
Publishing games with GameMaker is another priority. We want to show what can be achieved at a professional level and this in turn will attract serious developers to GameMaker. With the release of GameMaker HTML5 coming, this is a important product both for YoYo's future and for developers. More on this later. We recognize that creating games is not just about good game design also about the hard part of marketing and selling and we want to provide a service that helps developers get their product to the right markets.
2. Better navigation, present a more professional image.
The current YoYo site is a colourful, busy place but it has (unfairly) earned a reputation as a kids play site. You and I both know that this isn't so, however, the general public perception of YoYo and GameMaker is that it is for hobbyists and amateurs. Those landing on the homepage for the first page are bewildered and hit in the face by a maze of games and its not obvious what they have landed on or where to go next. As our community grows, we need to keep abreast of what you need from it.
Website: We heard your concerns about losing the site in its entirety so we are pleased to confirm that this will NOT happen. We will keep this site alive and will upgrade it in parts so everything works again. As explained, the amount of time maintaining this is no longer a top priority and we are working hard on various new versions of GameMaker and there just isn't time to do anything with Instant Play. As this takes valuable time away from YoYo with so many browser revisions happening so quickly and it's impossible for us to keep the instant Play plugin source up to date. We have came to the conclusion that making Instant Play server and Plugin open source is the simplest of solutions for everyone.
Games: We have been listening to the community on making game uploads restricted to Standard 8.1. Again, there are good reasons for this as I will try to make clear. Those buying Standard 8.1 pays for the website. Fact. Without the support of those buying the full version we simply cannot exist and that would mean no more GameMaker. While we understand that there is a great many users of GameMaker 7 and Lite, we cannot place priority on supporting these over the latest (full) version users. However, as we still making GameMaker 8 and 8.1 available, it makes sense to have both of these be allowed to upload from. On checking the upload logs, there is hardly get any GM7 games uploaded recently so there shouldn't be any complaints on this at all. We get a lot of requests for being able to host your games elsewhere so we also intend to make the code available for hosting all versions of GameMaker on other websites aside from YoYo.
We hope that by explaining a little more about what we are doing here creates a bit more understanding. Remember, we aren't faceless, greedy corporate suits - we're just like you, a bunch of geeks carving out a niche amongst the bigboys :) We have pretty big ideas on where we are going and where we want to be, and a lot of collective experience behind us BUT ... it isn't easy (if it was, we'd all be millionaires!) so bear with us while we navigate some uncharted waters and keep helping us to improve in every way!
The YoYo Team