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In this article we are going to cover some "best practices" for when you are using the GameMaker Language (GML) to code your game, and at the same time explain a little bit about the inner workings of GameMaker: Studio. Before we continue, however, it is worth noting two very important points:
The GameMaker: Studio IDE comes with a number of handy shortcuts and features that are often overlooked by both new and veteran users of the product. Some of these are purely convenient ways to do things, while others can significantly increase productivity and change the way you work, so here we give a list of the most over-looked, yet most useful methods for using GameMaker: Studio to its fullest.
The 1.4 update to GameMaker: Studio is perhaps the most important to date. Apart from greatly increasing the UI stability and adding new features, it also marks the official launch of the GameMaker: Marketplace! Most of the new features and changes being introduced have been discussed in previous tech blogs and were available in the Early Access version of GameMaker: Studio. However, since most users don't use the EA version, in this article we'll give you a brief run-down of what to expect from 1.4 and link to any relevant articles so you can find out more.
Quite often we have people enquiring about what they see as odd results using surfaces, most specifically to do with unexpected transparent effects when drawing surfaces to both other surfaces and to the screen. This often crops up when people want to do things such as capture the current contents of the display for use as a pause menu background, for example.
The Early Access version of GameMaker: Studio (from version 1.99.177 upwards) has seen some changes to the Image Editor based on common user feature requests. These features will later be added to the regular version of GameMaker: Studio with the next 1.4 update.
Extensions for iOS and Android were first introduced in the 1.3 beta version of Gamemaker: Studio. With the advent of the 1.4 version, the process for creating them has changed somewhat to make things easier and more streamlined. So, in this Tech Blog, we are going to take you through the steps required to make an extension for those platforms. It is worth noting that you will be required to have a working knowledge of Objective C for iOS extensions and Java for Android extensions as well as a good working knowledge of GML (the GameMaker Language).
This week we saw the launch of the YoYo Games Marketplace and an update to the 1.4 version of GameMaker: Studio. This update permits you to create content for other people to buy (or get for free) through Marketplace. To do this, you will need to be able to create asset packages, which are GMEZ style files containing the assets from a project for distribution, and they can include sprites, audio, scripts, extensions... basically anything that goes in your games resources tree can be packaged up and added to Marketplace.
In the previous article that we published on blend modes, we covered the simple blend modes that you can use in your games, and gave an overview of how they work. However, to really get the most from blend modes you have step away from the general ones that GameMaker: Studio supports and start to use the extended blend modes.
If you've been using GameMaker: Studio for any length of time, you will almost certainly have come across blend modes, and probably even used them in your games. Blend modes are a great way to change how something is drawn to give interesting and specific graphical effects, but do you know how they work? This is a subject that can confuse people and so in this and the following article we hope to dispel some of the mystery surrounding blend modes and enable you to use them to their fullest extent in your games.
We've released the new and expanded version 2 of all the ad provider demos. If you already have an earlier version, delete your downloaded copy from %localappdata%\GameMaker-Studio\demo and then download the demo again to get the new versions - GameMaker won't automatically update your existing copy.
With the update to the 1.3 version of GameMaker: Studio, certain changes have been made to the way that apps are built for iOS. Previously you were required to use the Application Oven to build the YoYo Runner for testing and for building a final IPA for submission to the store. This is now no longer necessary, and the toolchain has been simplified.
When submitting your game to the the Google Play store, you will see that it currently limits the upload size of an individual application to 50MB. However there are larger games out there that you can download and they get around this limitation by using APK Expansions.
Please be aware functionality has been changed and expanded greatly in a more recent v2 of this demo which can be accessed here.
This tutorial is for those users that have progressed beyond the Drag'n'Drop interface and want to start using code to create their particle effects. As such, you should have a basic understanding of how to use GML (The GameMaker Language). If you want to use particles using Drag'n'Drop, there is a basic tutorial included with GameMaker: Studio which can be accessed from the Start Up splash screen Tutorials Tab. There is also an example GMZ available here to accompany this tutorial.
The original intent of the article that you are reading was to help people who wish to create games for the OUYA console optimise the draw pipeline and get the best performance possible from some (let's be honest here) low end hardware. However, that's not to say that the techniques shown here are only for that platform... They most definitely are not! You can use the optimisations that we will discuss on almost all target platforms, and you will get an FPS boost from them, although the optimisations will be most noticeable on low-end mobile devices.