I wrote a book!

Yes, I did! It’s called Game Development with GameMaker Studio 2, it’s published by Apress and it will be available by September!

The book covers all the stages of game design and development using GameMaker Studio 2 and GML (GameMaker Language). The selling feature of this book, is that it shows you how to create games while teaching you a lot of other things like game design theory, software engineering principles, games’ history and of course how to use GameMaker Studio 2 and how to code with GML.

The book is project oriented. Every project is a game belonging to a specific game genre. You will create 6 different games belonging to 6 different genres, which is cool because it allows you to overcome very different challenges enhancing your problem solving skills and experience in gameplay programming, and it will also help you out building a cool and diverse portfolio of games!

It was a hard job and I’m very proud of what I achieved.
I hope that this book could be useful to everyone who is starting their journey into game development.
I know how it can be hard to kickstart into this wonderful career (and I’m still at the beginning of the journey), but I assure you that it’s worth! Please don’t give up!

I wrote the book between November 2018 and June 2019. It was my first experience writing a whole book from start to finish and I’m very happy it was on GameMaker, which is the first engine that introduced me to Game Development along with RPG Maker 2000, which I discovered some months later.
Speaking of which… wanna hear the whole story? Go on reading, then! 😛

How I met Game Maker

In 2002 I read about Game Maker (at the time it was spelt in two separate words and the logo was the one below!) in a magazine I found somewhere (can’t really remember). The magazine was for grown-ups, so I was totally uninterested to its content, except for that article that said “Create your own games!”. I was totally hooked by that title and I still remember the excitement I felt thinking about that I could create games using that software! Until then, I was sure that it would have take me decades of study to be able to create games (I had no idea how game development worked at the time… and actually it was harder then it’s now).

The current Game Maker logo

If I’m not wrong, at the time I was using Game Maker 4 (can’t remember the minor version, probably 4.3)… it was totally another software!
The engine allowed you to import sprites, create game object with drag and drop and attaching them scripts, create tile-based levels, etc. It was pretty complete and allowed you to create nearly any 2D game with relative ease.

Risultati immagini per game maker 4.3
This is what Game Maker 4.3 looked like on Windows XP.

The only problem I had with Game Maker was that it was general purpose, so it was harder to learn than RPG Maker because it had less pre-made things and needed a lot of additional work to get something working. I had a hard time figuring out all those logic and coding concepts, without any knowledge about computer science and programming. It took me a fair amount of time and effort to finally create some playable things. I still remember as it was yesterday the excitement I felt playing the Klonoa sequel I created with Game Maker one year later! I used the sprites ripped from the Game Boy Advance game Klonoa – Empire of Dreams – which I think it’s the best after Klonoa – Door to Phantomile

Playing that short Klonoa sequel made by myself, gave me a sense of accomplishment so big, that it suddenly it became extremely clear to me that my destiny was to create games.

To be fair, I lived this “I WANT TO CREATE GAMES” moment, many times in my life… and I still live it in some occasions. It’s great when you have a passion so big that you still feel goosebumps when you think about it!

Long story short, I never abandoned Game Maker (aka GameMaker or GameMaker: Studio or GameMaker Studio), even when I focused more on other engines and technologies (like RPG Maker, Dark Basic, id Tech, Irrlicht, OGRE, Allegro, MUGEN, SDL, SFML, LibGDX, XNA, UDK, Unity, Unreal Engine, Löve, Cocos 2D, Phaser, etc. – damn, didn’t realize I tried so many engines!).
I am very attached to GameMaker because of the fact that it was my very first game engine and, as I said, I’m very happy that it was also the topic of my very first book!

Anyway, even if I’m emotionally attached to GameMaker, I can think rationally and understand its limits. Anyway, even if it’s not always the best choice, it’s still one of my favorite engines thanks to its simplicity and ease of use. When I work with GameMaker, I can totally forget about a lot of technical details and concentrate on the actual design because the software take cares of them for me, so it’s very good not only to develop games in small teams, but also to create quick prototypes with very little effort.
I think it’s a great piece of software that will continue to do wonders helping indie developers to create wonderful games as it did until now (just think about two of my favorites of all times: Undertale and Spelunky).
As a one-man game studio, GameMaker it’s gold to me. I use it everyday and everytime I want to experiment, try out a feature or prototype an idea. It’s really a powerful and good tool and I’m sure that my opinion won’t change in the future, since GameMaker never let me down in 17 years… damn, I’m old!

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