Do It Yourself With The Humble GameMaker Bundle

We may have, at times, given you the impression that all video games are made by a many-armed, many-faced god named Ian Video Games. You probably imagined a deity like a Bayonetta boss or something. We may have misled you. Just a tad. In truth, video games are made by people. Simply people, like you or I. And you or I could even make games ourselves. Not from dust either – from electricity, using computers.

GameMaker is fine software for making games and right now it’s mega-cheap too. Packed into the pay-what-you-want Humble GameMaker Bundle is a haul of game-making software plus actual games and source code too. (Infinite arms not included.)

I’ve found GameMaker a friendly introduction to making things, having fiddled with a few odds and ends myself, but it is also the foundation of some proper great games. These include Hotline Miami, Hyper Light Drifter, the original Spelunky, Nidhogg, Nuclear Throne, Gunpoint, Downwell, Undertale, Cook Serve Delicious, and many other things you likely wouldn’t have known were made in GameMaker. Good stuff!

This bundle’s core is obviously GameMaker itself, with GameMaker: Studio’s Professional Edition and a load of platform modules split across the tiers. Source code to several games is included too, so you can see how they’re put together.

It’s the usual Humble Bundle approach. Paying anything will get you GameMaker: Studio Pro, the games Uncanny Valley, Ink, Shep Hard, and Angry Chicken: Egg Madness, plus source code for two games.

Pay more than the average price ($12.15/£9.10 as I write this) to add GameMaker’s HTML5 module for exporting webgames, the games Home, Solstice, and Galactic Missile Defense, plus more source code for more.

Last, pay at least $15 (£11.23-ish) to also get Android, iOS, and Windows UWP modules, along with the game Flop Rocket, and even more games’ source code.

That’s all pretty great! A few decent games and a dandy tool. GameMaker: Studio does have a limited free version but this is hardly expensive.

What to do once you have GameMaker? Gunpoint creator Tom Francis has made a video tutorial series titled ‘Make A Game With No Experience’, which is what he’d done.

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  1. horrorgasm says:

    Usually priced at $150. Nice.

    • Premium User Badge

      JiminyJickers says:

      Absolutely, it is an awesome deal. Well worth grabbing.

      I have been dabbling with the free version but will definitely be playing around some more now!

  2. TeePee says:

    I’ve gone and taken the plunge. I’ve always wanted to make games, but I have literally zero coding knowledge (as in anything above basic HTML tags), so it’s always been a case of not knowing where or how to start. I’m guessing that this is about as easy an on-ramp as I’m going to get.

    Now, if only I could register to redeem my keys… it would appear the weight of RPS’ collective consciousness has melted their login server. :(

    • Ooops says:

      While you can make little games without coding, any project larger than tiny will need some coding in their house programming language GML. Which resembles many familiar languages and is not that difficult to learn.

      • TeePee says:

        Oh yeah, I’m not naive enough to think I was going to be able to make a game without doing any coding at all. It was more a case of just not knowing where or how to start.

        At least with this I can make sure I’m actually learning and using my time as productively as possible – I know it’ll be pretty limited (although the number of awesome games that have been made with it is nice reassurance that any ideas I have will at least be possible in some form or another), but I’ve got to be prepared to crawl before I can stagger, let alone think about walking or running! ^_^

        • SBLux says:

          I was in exactly the same position as you about 6 months ago. I am now making my first game using Game Maker and I am loving it. There are loads of good tutorials on Youtube but I advise starting with the ones that use code only to set a good precedent (I recommend Tom Francis & Heartbeast) . Try to do everything with code and if you can’t or don’t want to for some reason then use the inbuilt ‘drag & drop’ system as a last resort/quick option.

          I started with no coding experience whatsoever and am learning a bit more every day. One I day intend to move up to one of the more complex languages and expand my game making horizons further.

          • TeePee says:

            Yeah, I’m going to run through the included ‘beginner’ tutorials to start with, then move on to Tom Francis’ tutorials, mainly because I freaking love Tom Francis and his work. From there I’m guessing I’ll have a better steer on what I want to learn, so I can go from there.

            Good to know that I’m walking a path that’s been well-trodden and that there’s a degree of success to be had!

      • apa says:

        And the bonus here is once you learn to do something with one language, the rest are more or less the same in the end. As Bob Martin just wrote: The Lurn

    • ButteringSundays says:

      Best of luck! The good thing with learning a coding language is that you’ll find most of the concepts, and often even the syntax, is quite interchangeable between languages. So you can feel confident doing beginner c# or even PHP tutorials and feel that you’re learning valuable information. It’s a fun and useful skill to have too! It’s the digital equivalent of learning carpentry :)

      Because I’m a horrible pedant I feel the need to mention that HTML is a markup language though, not coding, as it contains no logic :)

    • Premium User Badge

      Vandelay says:

      Not too long ago I had a little play around with GameMaker, being in a similar places as you with no coding skill. Followed a couple of tutorials and always tried to code, rather than use drag and drop. It was surprisingly easy to get my head around and I was able to make a basic Asteroid game and Breakout game without too much difficulty.

      Unfortunately, my complete inability to draw anything on a computer that looked better than a 5 year old’s doodles in Paint was a far bigger stumbling block for my use of GameMaker.

      Since then, I have had a look at the Unreal engine and I would actually recommend giving that a go too, once you have a basic grasp of some of the programming concepts. It uses the far more complex C++, but it would clearly open up many more possibilities if you really do want to make some games. I would imagine Unity is similar, although I’ve not tried it.

      From looking at this, I have started to play around with Blender, in the hope to create some assets that I can use with Unreal and I’m actually finding modelling much more interesting and accessible compared to drawing the sprites required for GameMaker.

      • TeePee says:

        Cool, thank you for the info – that’s something I’d wondered myself, as I’m not the most artistic of folks. However, I’m in the relatively fortunate position of having a tame graphic designer for my other half, so if I managed to get something working with my placeholder art (which I’m guessing would be very similar to yours by the sounds of things!), I can always go downstairs and volunteer to do the hoovering for a month in return for a few sprites. :p

  3. Drib says:

    Oh good, another thing I can spend $15 on, then let it sit there on my digital shelf, never used and forever collecting dust.

    • geldonyetich says:

      It’s even better when you’ve dipped your toes into game development, because then you’ll let even more games gather dust because you know you ought to be trying to make one.

      • MajorLag says:

        Yeah… not that GameMaker would help in that regard anyway. It suffers from the Inner Platform Problem. It might seem to make my life a little easier at first, but ultimately it is just learning another programming language. I know plenty of those, and things like LibGDX make 2D game development, of the kind GameMaker makes simple, almost as simple and a lot more versatile. And it’s free.

    • TeePee says:

      I have no idea what you’re talking about, sir. What kind of… of… MONSTER would purchase games and never play them? It’s almost as if you’re trying to suggest that these Humble Bundles are some kind of evil plot to ensure that we never, ever clear our backlogs!

  4. Ooops says:

    Word on reddit says Gamemaker Studio 2.0 is fast approaching with some people having received beta invites already.

    However, you’ll get to keep the perfectly functional current version forever and I expect current owners will get an upgrade discount, so it’s probably still definitely worth it.

    • TeePee says:

      If that’s true, this is a really smart piece of marketing;
      throw the old product out there at a hefty discount on a highly visible platform – ensure that everyone knows you exist, and make sure that everyone who might want a copy has one, and then drop the shiny exciting new version while everyone’s still fiddling with the old version and full of hope for a future career as John Romero (he’s still big in videogames, right?).

  5. King in Winter says:

    Although GM2.0 is indeed approaching, I’ve been using the current version quite a bit, even participated in some game jams with it, so I think it appropriate to finally throw some money in the way of YoYo games and their corporate overlords.

  6. geldonyetich says:

    Just to cast a spotlight on the elephant in the room, I’ll mention that I’ve dabbled with both GameMaker and Unity and have a current opinion on their difference.

    GameMaker is easier, Unity is more powerful.

    Don’t interpret “easy” as a bad thing when it comes to game development. It means quicker prototyping and may make the difference between finishing the project and not. If you are one-manning it, GameMaker is a good place to settle.

    Don’t overestimate “powerful” as a neccesarily good thing. Unity executables run a bare minimum of about 15 megabytes, which means you will want to have game enough to justify that overhead, and it’s a bit of a speed bump for mobile development.

    That said, the strength of Unity is that its C# integration puts all the power of a real object oriented language at your fingertips. If you’re a picky developer who has high concepts you want to see to exact completion, Unity will bring you closer than GameMaker with aplomb. The quasi-OOP approach of the current GameMaker us extremely limiting, as is wrapping my head around the limitations of their “Rooms.” Look at Undertale as an example of a game that harnessed the outer limits of what GameMaker can do, and know that Unity has a far greater scope if you have the time.

    • Czrly says:

      I am not going to criticise GameMaker – it has helped a lot of people enter the world of game development and brought a lot of things into existence that wouldn’t exist without it – but my advice to anybody with a will to write games is to download Unity (free until you’re monetising your game) download Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition (completely free beer) and then spend your dosh on this Unity + C# course: link to

      C# is one of the best compromises between power and approachability that you can find in the programming world and the pairing of Unity and C# is excellent.

      • TeePee says:

        Out of curiosity, I checked out the like you mentioned, and the very first thing I noticed was under the requirements: “Either some experience of coding, or the will to do self-study.”

        That’s the barrier to me. I have no idea where to start with coding. I’ve tried a few tutorials here and there, but many fall into one of two traps – they’re either so restrictive that they teach you nothing beyond the contents of the tutorial, or so open-ended that you don’t really know how or where the knowledge fits in the grand scheme, and you’re a bit lost.

        That’s why I’m looking at GameMaker – I’m incredibly aware that I’m not going to be remaking Crysis using GM, but it’s a starting point. It’s the kiddy float that lets me dip my toe in the swimming pool, and it lets me get ‘hands-on’ with things in a way where I can see some real progress without having to learn a whole new language from scratch right out of the gate.

        (I am also aware that you went out of your way to not criticise GameMaker, so please don’t think I misunderstood you, I was just clarifying my position :))

        • TeePee says:

          Just as an aside, thank you for the heads-up, though, that is one hell of a deal at £30 for that course. I’m half-tempted to just stump up for the course and save it for later.

      • DinoSteak says:

        Wow thanks Czrly for the advice, seems solid to me! I’m going to take the plunge soon. I’ve been storyboarding a post-apocalyptic 3rd person action-adventure in the Pacific Northwest for a while now… I should probably get on it.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Aitrus says:

    I’ve been stuck on the “processing” screen for an hour.

  8. Stopsignal says:

    All those modules for just 15? That’s awesome, really!

    I really say everyone trying this should follow Tom Francis’ awesome tutorial.

    Make A Game With No Experience: link to

    It’s thanks to him that I have the full version of the game (I participated in his game competition of the tutorial)! I can say game maker is really great to start coding. It’s easy to read and write. Now I’m studying actual programming in a university, and it’s all thanks to his tutorial.

    If you don’t think about it pretty much, the tutorial is quite basic, it only tells you how to make a certain kind of game, but when you realize the capabilities and all the flexibility you can do after it you’ll branch off amd have your own projects in no time.

    I have a few projects already I need to finish, the game for the competition, another one which is a mixture of smash bros and Joust, and a really tiny “who is the killer” game. I swear, it’s so satisfying to do this.

    • TeePee says:

      I spent a few hours last night following Tom’s tutorial, and I second this whole-heartedly. He starts a little slowly, but once he gets into his stride, he’s easy to follow, and moves at the ‘right’ pace – he moves through things nice and quickly, but doesn’t cut corners – if he needs to dedicate 15 minutes to something tedious, he’ll do it and explain why (all the time complaining about it too, which I found hilarious – Game designers are people, just like you and me! Who knew?!).

  9. MadTinkerer says:

    Oh sweet, there’s no such thing as too much Game Maker source code!

  10. AmazingPotato says:

    Gamemaker is brill and for $15 there’s no harm getting the full version, though the free one is more than enough if you’re just dipping your toes in the murky waters of game development. The fact that it’s relatively easy to get the hang of is both a blessing and a curse – I’ve found myself with several *almost* finished games that I suddenly decided needed something AMAZING in them, then realised I haven’t got a cat in hell’s chance of figuring out how to implement those ideas haha

    I’d like to second HEARTBEAST for beginner tutorials (as well as a few more advanced ones) as well as some of SHAUN SPALDING’s vids.

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