Author Topic: What do you think of Scratch/GameMaker/etc.?  (Read 5080 times)

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Offline Spyro543

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What do you think of Scratch/GameMaker/etc.?
« on: July 01, 2014, 11:44:58 am »
Since the topic of using Scratch and GameMaker came up on The Red Fly thread, I decided to make a dedicated thread about it.

So, what do you think of these tools? Are they a good thing to learn as an intro to programming/gamedev? Do they have any merit outside of just learning/education? How do you use them?

Offline ben_g

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Re: What do you think of Scratch/GameMaker/etc.?
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2014, 01:08:10 pm »
I have used Game Maker, and I think it's a very good tool to get started with progamming. There are a lot of tutorials online, for the complete beginners, for the experts, and everything inbetween. But I wouldn't reccommend it for full games, especcially if they rely on complex mechanics or 3D graphics, because the performance is not that good. But since it's very quick and easy to get some basic things working, it's still very usefull to test algorithms for games. (the performance of Game Maker Studio (the current version of Game Maker) can be improved by upgrading to the pro edition though, as it has the ability to compile it's normally interpreted included scripting language, but this is very expensive and still doesn't handle 3D very well, so if you need more performance, you're better off using a different programming language anyway.)
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Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Re: What do you think of Scratch/GameMaker/etc.?
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2014, 03:12:15 pm »
I think there was already a thread about this in the Game Maker forum or somewhere else, but I don't know its name anymore so I can't find it. But I used some pre-made engines before and they can be handy if you want to make a game quick without having to code or for projects that are only noted on game design. However, if you want freedom, want to optimize and/or want your game to be cross-platform, then you better use a standard programming language instead.

The most common programs like this are Game Maker (a free version with watermark at the start is available), Multimedia Fusion (used by Crystal Towers 2 for example), The Game Factory and RPG Maker/Tsukuru.

Regarding RPG Maker series, since I used them a lot, there are MANY versions available, including on the SNES and Playstation 1 and 2: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RPG_Tsukūru#RPG_Maker_series_timeline

The most popular ones are the following:

-RPG Maker 2000: Dragon Quest style battles and SNES style maps/menus/resolution. Most fonts are not compatible with Clear/TrueType mode.
-RPG Maker 2003: Identical, but with side view battles like Final Fantasy and more options/event commands. Most fonts are not compatible with Clear/TrueType mode.
-RPG Maker XP: 640x480 instead of 320x240 and Dragon Quest style battles, but fewer options, forcing you to code a lot yourself (which kinda defeats the point of using a pre-made engine, IMHO). Not Vista-compatible, unlike the three others.
-RPG Make VX: 512x384, Dragon Quest style battles, more options, but still able to code extra ones yourself. It's my 2nd favorite after 2003, although I never wrote a full game in it.

EDIT: Maybe a staff/mod should move this topic to http://www.omnimaga.org/game-maker-rpg-maker-toolkit-etc/ .
« Last Edit: July 01, 2014, 03:23:04 pm by DJ Omnimaga »
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Offline Eiyeron

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Re: What do you think of Scratch/GameMaker/etc.?
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2014, 06:05:47 pm »
Meh, I had the chance to touch to VX Ace, the scripting system looks very messy. It's hard to read VX Ace Ruby code --" I wanted to hae a A-RPG engine to see if something is doable in one of my projects, but hell, where do I begin?!

Offline aeTIos

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Re: What do you think of Scratch/GameMaker/etc.?
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2014, 06:10:19 pm »
Scratch was my first experience in 'real' programming! It's really easy to get started in and I really recommend it if you want to learn people how to code. Its drag-and-drop interface encourages experimenting because you can see what's in store. Only 2 days after I first got Scratch I already made a program that made you click at moving targets. I did that without any documentation and I was 11 back then!
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Re: What do you think of Scratch/GameMaker/etc.?
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2014, 08:49:04 pm »
Meh, I had the chance to touch to VX Ace, the scripting system looks very messy. It's hard to read VX Ace Ruby code --" I wanted to hae a A-RPG engine to see if something is doable in one of my projects, but hell, where do I begin?!
If I am gonna have to code anything, I prefer just writing an entire game from scratch or something. That said, with VX you can actually create a good RPG without ever writing a single line of code, because it comes with plenty of built-in commands. It just won't necessarily be as original as certain of the more elaborate RM games. The same is true with RPG Maker 2000 and 2003, especially with all the available mods and hacks out there, but with 95 and XP it's a different story.
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Offline Streetwalrus

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Re: What do you think of Scratch/GameMaker/etc.?
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2014, 08:07:33 am »
Protip : learn to program on a calculator, it's better.
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Jk lol, that's what I did, I never used this kind of premade stuff except for flowcode (PIC programming stuff).
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Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Re: What do you think of Scratch/GameMaker/etc.?
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2014, 11:45:33 am »
On a side note this is what a rudimentary RPG Maker 2003 game (or at least one that is your first RM2K3 project ever) would look like:

https://myspace.com/dj_omnimaga/video/rm2k3-mysterious-cities-of-gold-azimus-optional-boss-fight/25121077
https://myspace.com/dj_omnimaga/video/rm2k3-mysterious-cities-of-gold-intro/25118395
https://myspace.com/dj_omnimaga/video/rm2k3-mysterious-cities-of-gold-evil-kitty-side-quest/25121873

(I would post Youtube links but in 2008 Youtube took all my MCO/MCoG vids down for copyright violations)
« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 11:52:05 am by DJ Omnimaga »
In case you are wondering where I went, I left Omni back in 2015 to form CodeWalrus due to various reasons explained back then, but I stopped calc dev in 2016 and am now mostly active on the CW Discord server at https://discord.gg/cuZcfcF



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Re: What do you think of Scratch/GameMaker/etc.?
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2014, 12:16:56 pm »
Myspace? What is this, 2007? :P
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Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Re: What do you think of Scratch/GameMaker/etc.?
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2014, 12:23:24 pm »
Indeed. To be fair, though, back then, they were the only video upload service that allowed videos longer than 10 minutes. :P
In case you are wondering where I went, I left Omni back in 2015 to form CodeWalrus due to various reasons explained back then, but I stopped calc dev in 2016 and am now mostly active on the CW Discord server at https://discord.gg/cuZcfcF



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Offline Princetonlion.tibd

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Re: What do you think of Scratch/GameMaker/etc.?
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2014, 11:05:30 am »
Since the topic of using Scratch and GameMaker came up on The Red Fly thread, I decided to make a dedicated thread about it.

So, what do you think of these tools? Are they a good thing to learn as an intro to programming/gamedev? Do they have any merit outside of just learning/education? How do you use them?
I never got all of it, and prefer writing the code :P
Lot's of people claim they're programming while using it, and brag to me :P

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Offline Keoni29

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Re: What do you think of Scratch/GameMaker/etc.?
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2014, 11:23:53 am »
Gamemaker is great for getting you started. Most of the tools it comes with are kind of crappy though. After you tinkered around with it for a couple of years should start piecing together your own toolset.

You will need:
A programming language you like to work with.
This can be lua, C, C++, java, whatever you want. Just don't care about what people say about these languages. It only matters if you can do something in it.
A GOOD editor!
The editor that comes with gamemaker is terrible. Use notepad++, sublime, kate or equivalent editors. It sucks to work with a text editor that makes the indentation jump all over the place. It also helps if you can install plugins and customize every little detail including the tab width and color scheme.
Set up your compiler/whatever your language requires to be converted into an executable.
If you use C/C++ you want to use either gcc/g++ or anything that will do the job. It's usually a good idea to select the compiler that is closest to the standards of the language.


As for graphics, sound etc.
Famitracker is great for creating NES style music. It is free and open-source.
Renoise is a tracker for mod-style music. It is a more modern tracker with all the features you would expect from an industry standard music editor. Best part is: there is a free version that includes all essential features. More features than you'll ever use!


Graphics gale is great for making animated pixelart. There is a free licence.


As for map editors:
Any text editor will do in most cases.
If you need a graphical map editor I'd suggest either making one yourself specific for the game or using someone elses. It's not weird to make your own tools. I make a lot of my own tools for converting and editing files. Most people suggest using a scripting language to make tools because it's easier to work with.


So there you have it

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Offline ClrDraw

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Re: What do you think of Scratch/GameMaker/etc.?
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2014, 11:29:01 am »
That's good advice. I read it all.... Awk :P

Quote
I never got all of it, and prefer writing the code :P
Lot's of people claim they're programming while using it, and brag to me :P
It really depends how complicated your game is. I used GameMaker for about a year making simple 2d games without any code, but the moment I wanted to make a fps, I had to start learning code.
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Offline Streetwalrus

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Re: What do you think of Scratch/GameMaker/etc.?
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2014, 12:08:42 pm »
I totally agree with you Keoni, having a good toolset that you tailored to your preferences is way more efficient than working with a premade one which is incidentally of lesser quality. ;)
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Offline Sorunome

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Re: What do you think of Scratch/GameMaker/etc.?
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2014, 12:18:21 pm »
Python is also pretty good with pygame for games
Or Lua with löve

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