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Tech

What's New In 2.2.3 (Now in Beta!)

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Posted by Mark Alexander on 5 June 2019

GameMaker Studio 2 update 2.2.3 is now in Beta. In this article, we'll be discussing the changes, bug-fixes and features in this update. As well as a number of new features, it also contains multiple important stability and quality of life fixes that we think you'll all appreciate, as well as a brand new target platform: Apple's tvOS!


IDE Bug-fixes And Error Reporting

To start with, we have a fix for the white-screen / crash-on-load issue that has affected Windows users. This issue would give you a white screen if you opened the Marketplace or the Manual, or it would cause the IDE to lock up if you tried to open Explorer. It also fixed a number of startup issues at the same time, meaning launching GMS2 should be a far smoother and more reliable process now.

We've also added in improved debugging for IDE crashes and a new one-click crash reporter tool. Now, if the IDE has a fatal error on startup you will be shown the following window:

IDE Crash Report

This window gives you the option of sending us a crash report and including details of what was happening at the time of the crash. This feature streamlines the error-reporting process, as previously you would be required to file a Helpdesk ticket with a lot of back-and-forth communication as we asked you to attach files, etc. This new system makes things far quicker and easier for everyone, as now it's simplified to only one click from you and we'll get all the info we require sent to us automatically in the first message. You can find the exact details of what is being sent and further info in this Helpesk article: Submitting a Crash Report - What Does This Contain


tvOS

As mentioned in the introduction, 2.2.3 includes a new target platform for your games tvOS from Apple, and this is now included as part of the Mobile plan:

Apple TV

Creating and building for the tvOS target is remarkably similar to the process for working with iOS, but also enables you to access the innovative "Siri" controller that tvOS uses in your game. This controller can be used as a touch screen, a mouse pointer and a gamepad, so you may need to do a bit of adapting to existing projects to get them working correctly, but - in general - if it runs on iOS it'll run on tvOS! As part of the addition of this platform, we've introduced new gamepad functions - gamepad_set_option() and gamepad_get_option() - that help with the setup of the Siri controller.

To get you started with this new platform as quickly as possible, we have created the following helpdesk articles:


Other New Features

The 2.2.3 update also brings with it a number of other minor features and additions:

  • Desktop targets can now disable the file sandbox from the Game Options for each platform (Windows, macOS and Ubuntu). This permits you to save and load files from anywhere on the target system (within the limits of the OS and any antivirus or other file-permission restrictions on the local machine).

  • The function surface_depth_disable() has been expanded to include all target platforms. This switches off the depth buffer for surfaces, which will reduce the memory overhead. For 2D games, especially on mobile, this is very useful - although for 3D you'll probably want to leave it enabled. For more information see the manual.

  • You can now create Local Asset Packages from resources in your projects. This means that you no longer need to go through the Marketplace to create YYMP files, enabling you to create your own local asset packages of scripts, objects, etc.... You can access this new feature from the Tools menu in the IDE, and the full details can be found in the manual inside the 2.2.3 IDE.

  • New constants have been added to GML for NaN and infinity, as well as new functions to check these values, is_NaN() and is_infinity().

  • Drag and Drop™ users can now add comments to their action scripts. This option is available from the Right Mouse Button menu in the active workspace.

  • The resource tree has new options for sprites and sounds to quickly add one or more resources to a texture page or an audio group - accessed through the Right Mouse Button menu.

  • A new option in General Preferences > Compiling to disable subst drives. When disabled, GameMaker Studio 2 will not create any virtual drives when compiling most platforms.

  • Strings now accept 4 byte wide Unicode characters, allowing you to decode and encode Unicode characters in the upper bounds of the standard (including, but not limited to, emoji). This may adversely affect some users who have been using the \u escape character (see the manual for more information).


Bug-Fixes

Apart from some of the bug-fixes listed in the following changelogs (IDE and Runtime), the following issues have been addressed:

  • Mipmap generation and rendering has been fixed to work correctly on the HTML5 target. Note that it is not guaranteed to work on every WebGL 1 compliant browser. This means that the HTML5 runner will query the browser for the appropriate extension, and if it is present then it will allow the usage of anisotropic filtering. If it is not present, it will fall back to linear or point mip-filtering modes.

  • Persistent objects and particle systems weren't being correctly assigned to a layer when going from one room to another, and so were reporting as on layer -1. This issue has been addressed and some new behaviours for persistent objects/particle systems have been defined, so see the section Properties > Persistent in the Object Editor section of the manual for full details.

  • For users on the Windows platform and enabling Steam for their game, there is a new option in the Windows Game Options, "Use alternative launcher for Steam application". This addresses an issue where games launched from the IDE were using the wrong application ID, and should only be enabled when running GameMaker Studio 2 from Steam.


SDK Updates

Finally, for those of you that build games for the different consoles, the 2.2.3 release brings updates to the PS4 SDK and the XBox One SDK. These have now been updated to versions 6.500 for the PS4 and July 2018 QFE6 for the Xbox One. This update should have no consequences for anyone and is purely an internal runtime update.


Summary

That's about it for the 2.2.3 release. We had "IAP Extension Revision on All Platforms" listed on our Roadmap but this has slipped to 2.2.4. We hope that this update improves your workflow and increases the stability of GameMaker Studio 2, especially on the Windows platform.

We're particularly excited to see what you do with the new tvOS target, and we're excited to see what games you'll be making! Don't forget to submit your game to the YoYo Games Showcase!

Also note that, as usual, there will be a thread on the GameMaker Community Forums for this release, and we would request that any initial feedback or help request be discussed there. Any bugs that you find should still be reported to us through our contact us page.

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