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For a lot of developers, this week will be a fun week. GameMaker Studio 2 launched and is officially out for devs everywhere, including on Steam, to begin building their games. GameMaker may sound familiar, since the original dev tool has been around since 1999, and plenty of notable games like Cook, Serve, Delicious, Hotline Miami, Hyper Light Drifter, and Gods Will be Watching have used it. The new GameMaker Studio 2 will set you back $99 for the PC suite, and increases in price for extra tools for mobile or console game development.
The new version upgrades quite a bit and comes out at a time when new consoles and a brighter indie scene make new game engines difficult to release. So I reached out to YoYo Games, the makers of GameMaker, to see what’s new and how the launch was going:
Michael (VGCC):What are the main improvements/changes with GMS 2?
YoYo Games: I’d say the main improvement would be a complete re-write of the IDE – GameMaker: Studio 1. X was built on Delphi and lumped with the existing code that ran back a decade with the original GameMaker… This made updates and changes quite difficult and was the reason it looked so dated and would often act slow. 2 is built from the ground up in VS with a new UI/UX flow and it’s so much faster for us to iterate and address issues. It also means it’s a portable IDE so we are able to have macOS version in the future (we’ve just announced a beta for here: yoyogames.com/blog/414). Other improvements include a largely improved Room Editor throwing out a lot of the problems with 1.X’s and introducing layers. All other editors (Image, Code, Sound) have had many improvements as well.
Michael: Have new consoles, and consoles iterations, made it more difficult to create GameMaker Studio 2?
YoYo Games: Consoles are a fun one — being able to announce those for 1. X was a great day and we’ve said that support for those consoles will continue in 2. It’s a tricky subject and obviously the big one right now is Switch — we are exploring our options with that but have nothing to say at the moment.
Michael:How excited are you to finally launch?
YoYo Games: VERY excited! It’s so nice to have the weight lifted a little, however we are hitting the post release support right away as we look towards future point releases and new things like the Mac version mentioned before.
Michael:What has been most difficult about launching new development tools?
YoYo Games: Surprisingly, things have not been as difficult as a ‘full re-write’ initially sounded. There’s been lots of ups and downs during development and core to that would be trying to make things ‘new’ with version 2 but also keeping things familiar enough to Studio 1.X users and most importantly keeping compatibility with 1.X projects – as users can import their existing projects into Studio 2 (and with some compatibility changes) get it up and running pretty fast!
Michael: Why do you keep this Ross fellow around? (Note: Ross is a fellow moderator with me over at GiantBomb.com)
YoYoGames: I’d really struggle to come at this one from an unbiased opinion but it’s got to be the beautiful face he brings into the office everyday.
It really seems like a clean slate for YoYo Games and GameMaker. I’m personally very excited for Cook, Serve, Delicious 2 and anything that brings that closer to my eyeballs is good in my book.