» contents

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Welcome GM News Worth a Look - Free Applications Review - Skeleton 1.1 Review - Pixelfish Review - CJ's Adventure Review - StarBord: The First Front (BETA 7.5 – low fi) Review - ZFGC: GangWars Worth a Look - Websites and Services Preview - Prehistoric Pets v2 EXCLUSIVE! GM Awards 2007 – Coming Soon! Signatures of the Month - Something for all Game Maker Engines Head 2 Head Article - Creating Games that Sell - Part 2 Closing Comments

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» welcome
Welcome Readers!
Written by gamez93 and rup13

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Hello and welcome to the third issue of GM TECH MAGAZINE! We have released yet another issue, and are happy to announce we have designed our final layout. The layout you see now will stay throughout our upcoming issues! Also, some of you may remember our exclusive review of Conflict: Online in Issue Two - it was released a couple of weeks ago, so make sure you check out the demo! (http://forums.gamemaker.nl/index.php? showtopic=180551) This issue we bring you the usual issue exclusives and comments for you to indulge into. The first month of 2007 has passed quickly, bringing us yet more reviews and previews of the games you, as a community, have created. We conclude our two part article of ‘Creating Games That Sell’ and offer our current update on all the Game Maker News. We have two new members which joined us (RhysAndrews & davidp222). Sadly we have said goodbye to our comic artist (-0NL1N3-), but we wish him the greatest luck for any future projects. We have tried to boost the satisfaction of our readers yet again by improving on quality and quantity. Our Head 2 Head this issue is between two platform engines which should be interesting (read up on it later in the issue). We filled the GM News section with all the latest Game Maker news that we have read up on just for your reading pleasure. Enjoy reading the third instalment of GM TECH magazine.

GM News
Written by rup13

As we draw to the end of January and start on February, we realise a lot has been happening for Game Maker behind the scenes. Recently we were notified by Mark Overmars of a deal he had signed which is to change the future of Game Maker forever. Those who are registered at the Game Maker Community will soon migrate to a new forum which will be run and maintained by Mark and YoYo Games. As I have mentioned, the company Mark is teaming up with to bring future versions of Game Maker is called YoYo Games. Not much solid information is known yet to what the outcome of all this change will be, but we can safely say we are sure it will make a massive impact on Game Maker, whether for good reasons or bad. Their website, http://www.yoyogames.com is still under construction. This change affects Game Maker 7.0 as well, because YoYo Games is where you will be able to publish your games to (using the button found in Game Maker 7.0). The website will provide facilities for comments to be received and reviews to be made, as well as a tagging system. The announcement topic can be found below as well as a link to another topic in the Community forum with an ongoing discussion into several views and opinions on the new announcement. Expect to find a some more details and news on that subject in the next issue. Official Announcement: http://forums.gamemaker.nl/index.php?showtopic=271847 Discussion Topic: http://forums.gamemaker.nl/index.php?showtopic=271853 Game Maker 7.0 is due for release sometime in February when the new YoYo Games website should be completed and available for access. Once this happens, the Game Maker Community will be put into read-only mode, so you will have to register at the new community to continue your usual routines. Is this an end of Game Maker or the beginning of something great? There are going to be dislikes and likes, but only time will tell the general outcome. But after years of being at the current Game Maker Community, I am sure people will find it strange if not slightly sad to be moving away from there to somewhere new and starting fresh (if they choose to).

» worth a look - free applications

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Inno Setup ============================================================= Homepage: http://www.jrsoftware.org/ Always wanted to make nice and flexible installers for your games?, then this program is the answer. Inno Setup is a code based setup compiler but it's code is INI styled. If you don't want to write your installer you can always use the setup wizard which does all the hard work for you. Inno Setup is fairly easy to use and it creates nice, professional looking installers. Inno Setup also comes with a decent amount of examples, and it also supports dll's! Some key features of Inno Setup are: Supports all windows versions, 64Bit support, Creates a single EXE installer, Support for registry and passworded installers and lots more. Inno Setup is completely free even for commercial use and is the best free setup creator I have seen.

IZArc ============================================================= Homepage: http://www.izarc.org/ Most of us have come across downloads on the GMC that are zipped into a RAR or another format file but don't want to buy programs like WinRAR just to open the file. IZArc is the answer to all your compressed file needs. It supports many formats like ZIP, RAR, ISO, 7-ZIP, and can also repair ZIP archives and encrypt them. IZArc has support for creating self extracting archives and can convert CD images to different formats. Other features include: Virus Scanning, Archive splitting, themeable toolbar and lot's of little other things. This program is defiantly my replacement for WinZip and WinRAR — and the best thing is that it's completely free.

PhotoFiltre ============================================================= Homepage: http://www.photofiltre.com/ PhotoFiltre is a great and simple image editor. PhotoFiltre contains many editing features like: Auto Crop, Skew, Transparency Masks, Flip, Rotate, Icon Export, grid and much more. PhotoFiltre also has many effects like Photoshop such as: Crystallize, Smudge Stick, Fog, Motion blur, Twirl, Ripple, Aged Effect plus heaps more effects. PhotoFiltre is a great replacement for paint and it's all free as long as it's for private use. You can also download many packs for PhotoFiltre on it's website to expand the possibilities. PhotoFiltre is a great tool that I have used for quite sometime and it has been really handy.

Do you have something to say about this magazine or Game Maker? Then why not email us?
That’s right we are now allowing you, our great readers to write in and have the chance of getting your email published. It can be informative, about GM, its changes, and the lot - we just want to here from you. You can write to us at: gmtech.magazine@googlemail.com
GM TECH MAGAZINE

» review - Skeleton 1.1
Game Info: Title: Skeleton 1.1 By: Tahnok Games Topic: http://forums.gamemaker.nl/index.php?showtopic=225528&hl= Rating:
GUI: 4/5 | Sound: N/A | Usefulness: 5/5 | Reuse Value: 4/5

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Overall: 4/5

Review
Written by RhysAndrews

‘Skeleton’ is a very well-thought out GM-application, focusing on making the stress of animating sprites much more eased out. Though it may be focused on sprite-design in GameMaker, Skeleton could easily become useful for developers outside of the GameMaker community. The design is meant to be simple, but easy to use. Saying that, it takes a lot of time and patience to make an animation with Skeleton, especially while building the figures, and if you’re making them accurately for your own project. Some great features about Skeleton, is the ability to spline (making the motion between two key-frames generate automatically). There are many options for altering the UI to fit your animation needs – such as choosing a background image to test your animation on, and plenty more little features here and there – mostly controlled from the tool-bar at the top. Skeleton allows you to export individual frames to BMP files, as well as exporting the whole animation as a GIF file, to implement into GameMaker, or for any other use you may have for your animation. The GUI was easy on your eyes, and enough to keep the GUI easy to use (though takes a bit of time to get used to the structure of animation-making) while keeping your eyes drawn to the animation itself. A very considerate project, designed solely to help GM Users. Everything it was designed to do did as it should.

» review - pixelfish
Game Info: Title: Pixelfish By: Kapser Topic: http://forums.gamemaker.nl/index.php?showtopic=214616 Rating:
Graphics: 3/5 | Sound: 4/5 | Gameplay: 4/5 | Replay Value: 3/5

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Overall: 2/5

Review
Written by gmjab

Pixelfish is an interesting game and I haven't seen a game like it for sometime now. In Pixelfish you play as a fish and you use your cursor to move the fish around. The object of the game is to travel as many pixels as you can with the fish while collecting as much money as you can. Pixelfish sounds like an easy game until you add in the bubbles, enemies and blocks. Before I played Pixelfish I had the idea that the graphics would be pixel styled, but in actual fact it isn't. Pixelfish's graphics weren't fantastic but they were reasonable. Some of the game graphics look like they have been drawn quickly with MS Paint, but it looks better than it sounds. Pixelfish used Game Maker's built in effects for when you collide and when you’re moving through the water. Even though I did say Pixelfish's graphics were only reasonable, I do believe they are better than other graphics I have seen - but the graphics could be improved very easily just by smoothing the sprites. Normally the sounds in a Game Maker game are the downfall of it's quality, but it's the opposite for this game. The music was great and fitted just nicely with the rest of the game. When downloading the game you will notice that the version with music is 30mb! But the 2 songs make up a total of 29min of music. Other than those songs I only noticed 3 other good sound effects. The gameplay was fairly easy until you get blocked by a heap of bubbles, but thats when you can left click to dodge the bubbles. I noticed that you can cheat a bit by moving the fish off the screen either at the top or bottom, this enables you to avoid a lot of the bubbles but not all of them. One thing I didn't like about the game was when you moved behind a bubble you cannot see the fish, this makes it very hard when moving through a maze of blocks. A great feature that some people will like about the game is the ability to submit your scores online. I played the game 4 times for about 5min (20 min total) before I got bored with it - so I think the game needs something to make the player feel as if he has achieved something. Even though the replay value isn't the greatest, it's still a very good game. Thanks for providing a simple a decent game Kapser! A few suggestions: - Make the bubbles get transparent when moving under them Do you think we should make changes to the way we review/preview games? Then why not have a say by voting at our forum via this link: http://www.invisionplus.net/forums/index.php? mforum=gmtech&showtopic=80 All you have to do is register, vote, and maybe leave a comment.

» review - cj's adventure
Game Info: Title: CJ's Adventure By: CJ Master Topic: http://forums.gamemaker.nl/index.php?showtopic=228461 Rating:
Graphics: 2/5 | Sound: 3/5 | Gameplay: 3/5 | Replay Value: 2/5

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Overall: 3/5

Review
Written by gmjab

CJ's Adventure is a funny game, but I'm not sure if it's meant to be funny. In CJ's Adventure you play as a pacman ghost and the goal of the game is to get his stolen double jump token back by collecting gems. CJ's Adventure's graphics weren't the best and the ghost was out of the resource pack. Some sprites were ripped but the sprites went together nicely (except for the robot in the ship which looked totally random). As for the sound, there was only music which changed in each room. It was funny how the music stopped and started so suddenly when moving between rooms and the songs that were played were funny. Again the music was out of resource packs, so there nothing special. The gameplay was a bit buggy when moving up polls to get into the next room, but there was some good platformer features like: Ladders, Polls, springs and jump-through platforms. There was only one level in the entire game which only took me about 3 minutes to finish. So if your unhappy I recommend you play this, it just might lighten your mood and shouldn't make you stressed. Improvements that could have be made: - More levels - Better graphics - Harder levels

» review - starbord: the first front
Game Info: Title: StarBord: The First Front (BETA 7.5 – low fi) By: Mgamerz Productions Topic: http://forums.gamemaker.nl/index.php?showtopic=226725 Rating:
Graphics: 2/5 | Sound: 3/5 | Gameplay: 4/5 | Replay Value: 1/5

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Overall: 3/5

Review
Written by RhysAndrews

Graphics: 2 – Most sprites were not original, some even from resource packs supplied on the GM Website. On a good note, the style was persistent and there were plenty of colours flying around. Unfortunately though, there were many graphic ‘sillies’. For instance, the arcade-style star effect (spaceships flying past stars as if they really are white dots), as well as stars in the far background moving faster than approaching planets. A mass-destruction game such as this deserves and needs some insanely eye-praising visual effects, but the game seemed to lack it. Sound: 3 - I did not try out the high fi version, and thus there was no sound. The music however was present – simple midi sounds. Nothing too special, but they did their job, and they were simple. It was a shame there was no option to disable them though, as I was listening to my own music at the time. Gameplay: 4 – Quite enjoyable. It was an old arcade genre of game, but with some new twists, such as a more modern story and an epic feel to it. It got a little eye-aching with all the bullets flying around and very difficult to avoid bullets – near impossible (but then again, that raised a good realism point). It got straight into the action as soon as the game started. The dialog at the bottom was hard to read, and you were never sure of when it would change, so I never got a hold of the storyline. Replay Value: 1 – Not much chance of another try anytime soon. But definitely a higher rating when some more demos come out. I’m sure if lots of work is done, this game could be rather brilliant. Overall: 3 – Lots of high points, but lots of low points too. 3 Stars is my rating, because I feel it’s come along way, but has a long way to go. The game was slightly buggy, but that’s what you get for a BETA, and I can see lots of work has been put into it. StarBord is an arcade-style space-shooter, with some twists. Most space-shooters have a fixed story that doesn’t progress, but just tells you to go out and shoot as many ships as you can – with a score-based concept. However, StarBord has its own progressing story that, though unfinished, will give you something to shoot ships for! The game also has much more action in it than classic standards, as there are bullets flying everywhere (but, the bullets give little damage, to make up for the overly insane number of them present at once). You also have two (or 3?) companions in their own ships, flying around and shooting with you. As the game is a BETA, it is very full of bugs and errors - Some including some missing sound errors when you die, and some graphical ‘sillies’, such as stars going faster than planets and a fake loading-bar status (‘loading enemies’ ‘loading guns’ on the loading bar. Very silly). But of course, this is mentioned many times, so the creator has got good intentions on these problems. Such a game requires brilliant visual effect quality, to keep the eyes peeled. Unfortunately, this game is yet to have such great graphics, but I’m sure once they are implemented, the game’s potential will be achieved. Saying that, the current graphics are persistent in style, so though it is not the best of quality, it is definitely acceptable. I would definitely like to see the game a little tidied up, and polished. There’s no doubt that once the tidiness and graphical look has been worked on, this game will be a favourite around the GMC.

» review - zfgc: gangwars
Game Info: Title: ZFGC: GangWars By: Drewdelz Topic: http://forums.gamemaker.nl/index.php?showtopic=240976 Rating:
Graphics: 4/5 | Sound: 4/5 | Gameplay: 4/5 | Replay Value: 5/5

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Overall: 4/5

Review
Written by gmjab Before I start the review I would like to advise people who intend on downloading ZFGC: GangWars that it contains high swearing and mild violence and I wouldn't recommend this game to anyone under 13. ZFGC: GangWars is a special game you don't get to see too often. ZFGC: GangWars is a RPG where you are apart of a gang called the "Cold Bloods". The game is said to have 3 different endings: Gold, Silver and Bronze. ZFGC: GangWars is not really a game you would finish in just one sitting, I played it for a few days before I completed the game. When the game ended I received a Silver ending which was sad because *spoiler* the main leader, Drewdelz, was killed. *spoiler*. ZFGC: GangWars graphics looked to be rips, but all the graphics flowed excellently together. There are quite a few nice effects like flash grenades, explosions, lightning and rain which where nicely done. The sound was in my view very good, there was enough different songs in the game not to annoy you while playing. Some sounds effects sounded fishy because some didn't sound like they would in real life, but nevertheless the were still great. The gameplay was good with no bugs that I noticed. The only thing I could complain about is the shooting. The shooting wasn't very easy because you could only shoot in four directions while AI can shoot in 8. Some good features about the game were: a few different weapons (mines, grenades, chain, guns and a few more), Quite a few cheats for the game (Found in the list below) and different game endings. After finishing the game I didn't want to play it for a while but during the game it was fun and I enjoyed coming back and playing more. The only down side to this game, I thought, was the swearing—there was at least a swear word in every second sentence, thats why I wouldn't recommend this game to anyone under 13. Also I didn't like having to see all the credits before the game started. In the end I thought the game is well polished and I congratulate all who played apart in the development of this game. As always, we push the boundaries and that is why we have not only reviewed this top game, but we have also given you some cheats to help you in the game, here they are… Game Cheats: Enter Cheat mode by pressing [Backspace] during gameplay. [cantstopme] = Infinite health [fullclip] = Large clip (16 shots) [heavyshit] = Infinite bullets [nobiggie] = No reloads + Infinite ammo [wheredidyougethis] = Zombie needle [gettech] = Exploding Shells [godspeed] = Semi-auto trigger [artist] = Infinite Paint [firestarter] = 10 Cocktails [coldburn] = 10 grenades [offthewall] = Bouncing bullets [toofast] = Slow motion [spooky] = ghost minigame [goodguy] = Cleaning minigame [freebrains] = Zombie minigame

» worth a look - websites & games
If you want advertising space then visit our forums and post there: http://gmtech.invisionplus.net

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(http://www.igcentral.net/)

(http://clix.to/mtf-adventures)

(http://mami.hoogetech.com)

(http://www.covac.co.nr/)

(http://aninoasaproductions.frih.net)

email: (burgerboy@mts.net)

» preview - Prehistoric Pets v2
Game Info: Title: Prehistoric Pets v2 By: Xenomorph Topic: http://forums.gamemaker.nl/index.php?showtopic=265356 Rating:
Graphics: 4/5 | Sound: 3/5 | Gameplay: 3/5 | Replay Value: 2/5

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Overall: 3/5

Preview
Written by gmjab

Prehistoric Pets is a mini virtual pet game where you have to look after Prehistoric animals. Prehistoric Pets is a decent pets game which, even though it's a work in progress, is still better than other pets game I've seen on the GMC. Prehistoric Pet's graphics all tied in well with each other and looked quite good. I noticed not all the animals were animated but the ones that were looked good. I notice a nice star effect for when the dino's hatch which I think looked quite nice. I particularly liked the GUI and the dialogs for the pet properties. The dialogs look as if they have been coded well and the colours also look great with them. The game’s sound was good because it contained different sound effects for each animal which makes this pet game a whole lot better. There was also sounds for the incubator but I thought none of the sounds suited it, in fact I think it should have no sounds for it. Prehistoric Pets had lots of nifty little features such as: naming your pet, playing with your pet, different room themes and mood and health status. I thought that it was also a good feature how you can move the animal properties dialog around and how you could also put your pet up for adoption. There was, however, a few problems I noticed. The first was that when you quit the game your pets are not saved so you have to start all over again. Second, when you put up the "Adopt a pet" menu then click "Actions" the adopt menu stays up. Because the game didn't have a lot of pets, didn't save on game close and lacked activities it lost it's re-play value. Prehistoric Pets is a nice little mini game and I recommend that anyone who likes virtual pet games to take a look at it. Here are some suggestions: - Add more pets - Add more activities like: games... - Add a shop - Get the game to save when exiting

» GMA 2006 - coming soon!
Game Maker Awards - Coming Soon!
Written by gamez93 & Roach (creator of GMA)

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Game Maker Awards - (GMA from now on) was started by Roach (http://forums.gamemaker.nl/index.php? showuser=3850) a couple of years ago, GMA is basically an award ceremony, but its online, and you can submit your game, program or even yourself, you can been volunteered in by other people or even nominate yourself for a chance to grab some of the top prizes available. Categories include BEST EXAMPLE MAKER, MOST HELPFUL IN NOVICE Q&A, MOST INTERESTING POSTS and many, many others that you can win. Roach, Cynical, and RhysAndrews will hopefully continue to work on this for a long time, but right now here is how Roach started things up... ‘GMA (Game Maker Awards) is an annual ceremony to recognize outstanding creations and users of the Game Maker Community. It started when I was bored a few years ago. It went off great, and people seemed to enjoy it, so I've been doing it every year since then. The difficulties setting it up included trying to come up with an antifraud system. The only other difficulties were the large amount of man-power we have needed to sort out the nominations, votes and stuff like that. In recent years, we've automated most of this process.’ As you can see, there have been changes over the year to make this very unique, GMA is a semi-official, so it is not affiliated with Mark Overmars (the creator of Game Maker) so contacting him wont be any useful. Roach and his team of trusty volunteers have been making GMA 2007 since late last year and have made many changes to improve your overall experience. There have also been talks about the possibility of money being awarded to contestants will very high votes, however this is only possible if you contact Roach with either a donation or some money towards advertising space. Roach spoke to me around some changes—here is what he had to say…’During the years, we've experimented a lot. This year, we're using a GMC topic for nominations and voting to ensure maximum voting fraud protection. We're bringing in some new categories and removing some old ones. We'll have categories for many types of creations, such as games, engines, and DLLs. We'll also have categories for the people who create them, such as best game maker, best engine creator, best DLL maker, etc. On top of that, we'll have things such as most helpful, best moderator, and other things like that.’

» GMA 2006 - coming soon!

(continued)

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This years GMA will be held late February, so get posting and start making your games, programs and examples, to be in a chance of winning something. Not only that, but all of us here at GM TECH MAGAZINE and GMA are offering you the chance to win free advertising space on GMA’s website, for more information on that subject please visit http://www.gmtech.x10hosting.com/survey/survey.php for terms and conditions. For those of you who did not catch last years (2006) winners, here they are for you...
-- BEST SIMULATION -1st: Sandbox of God by Mr.Chubigans 2nd: Ore no Ryomi 2 by Mr.Chubigans 3rd: Light Saber Training Camp by FGFK -- MOST HELPFUL IN SOUND & MUSIC -1st: RhysAndrews 2nd: HolyCause 3rd: cool_fish_000

-- BEST OVERALL GAME -1st: Ark 22 by Srehpog 2nd: Sandbox of God by Mr. Chubigans 3rd: Wubly by 2Dcube

-- BEST DLL MAKER -1st: roachofdeath 2nd: Xception 3rd: Smarty

-- MOST ORIGINAL GAME -1st: Wubly by 2Dcube 2nd: Liquisity by Mr.Chubigans 3rd: Bounce Arena by RhysAndrews

-- BEST PUZZLE GAME -1st: Castle of Elite by ultimortal 2nd: Bacteria by Simon Donkers 3rd: Pyramid by tsg1zzn

-- BEST LIB MAKER -1st: roachofdeath 2nd: - nobody 3rd: - nobody -

-- MOST INTERESTING POSTS -1st: CPS 2nd: GearGod 3rd: Jodder

-- BEST GAME GRAPHICS -1st: GM Battle Arena by scream681 2nd: Wubly by 2Dcube 3rd: Hard Hat 3 by Damaged

-- BEST STRATEGY GAME -1st: Bacteria by Simon Donkers 2nd: Gythol Granditti by GZ_Storm 3rd: Hovendall Tactics by Sander Florissen

-- BEST AVATAR --- MOST HELPFUL IN NOVICE Q&A -1st: darthlupi 1st: RhysAndrews 2nd: S-Chuck 2nd: hpapillon 3rd: Burning Sheep Produc3rd: t3mp3st tions

-- BEST GAMEPLAY -1st: Ark 22 by Srehpog 2nd: Ore no Ryomi 2 by Mr. Chubigans 3rd: Wubly by 2Dcube

-- BEST 3D GAME -1st (tied): Zims by gww1 1st (tied): Twilight Zone - Eye Of The Beholder by DrMoreau 2nd: - nobody -

-- BEST MEMBER TITLE -1st: YoMamasMama 2nd: SleepinJohnnyFish 3rd: Jodder

-- MOST HELPFUL IN ADVANCED Q&A -1st: ragarnak 2nd (tied): hpapallion 2nd (tied): GearGod

-- BEST GAME MUSIC -1st: Jumper Redux by YoMamasMama 2nd: Ark 22 by Srehpog 3rd: Ore no Ryomi 2 by Mr. Chubigans

-- BEST ENGINE -1st: GameCave Effects Engine by Rhy- -- MOST KIND/FRIENDLY -sAndrews 1st: KC LC 2nd: GameCave Platform Engine by 2nd: RhysAndrews Fox-NL 3rd: ThatGamesGuy 3rd: MMORPG Engine by 39ster

-- MOST HELPFUL IN 3D TECHNIQUES -1st: ThatGamesGuy 2nd: - nobody 3rd: - nobody -

-- BEST GAME SOUND EFFECTS -1st: The Cleaner by darthlupi 2nd: Ark 22 by Srehpog 3rd: Jumper Redux by YoMamasMama

-- BEST DLL -1st: GMPhysics by coderchris 2nd (tied): SOC v2 by THE Stefan 2nd (tied): GMSQL by Smarty

-- BEST ONLINE GAME -1st: - nobody 2nd: - nobody 3rd: - nobody -

-- MOST HELPFUL IN EXTENDING GAME MAKER -1st: roachofdeath 2nd: CPS 3rd: - nobody -

-- BEST RPG -1st: Ark 22 by Srehpog 2nd: Gythol Granditti by GZ_Storm 3rd: - nobody -

-- BEST ACTION LIBRARY -1st: Elite N00b lib by roachofdeath 2nd: Email & Error Reporting Lib by pythonpoole 3rd: - nobody -

-- MOST HELPFUL IN GAME DESIGN -1st: Takagi 2nd: cbdman25 3rd: mccow28

-- MOST HELPFUL IN DISTRIBUTING GAMES -1st: hpapillon 2nd (tied): AlasdairDF 2nd (tied): Wilco

-- BEST PLATFORMER --- BEST EXAMPLE MAKER -1st: Jumper Redux by YoMamas1st: ThatGamesGuy 2nd: RhysAndrews Mama 2nd: Hard Hat 3 by Damaged 3rd: SleepinJohnnyFish 3rd: Wubly by 2Dcube

-- BEST SCRIPT MAKER -1st: IsmAvatar 2nd: - nobody 3rd: - nobody -

-- MOST HELPFUL IN GRAPHICS -1st: NeoN 2nd: HolyCause 3rd: Darchangel

» signatures of the month
Signatures of the Month
Written by gamez93

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I began my search for this new section Signatures of the Month, by taking a stop in the Community section, and to my surprise that’s where 90% of the signatures have come from. You get your usual surprise of ‘70% of people on this forum have made a game, If you are one of the 30% who hasn’t, Put this in Your Sig.’ So that’s where I will begin… ——————————————————————————————————————————————————– 98% Of all Users Have a Signature, If you are one of the 2% who doesn't, Put this in Your Sig. (LostOverThere) Put this in your sig, if you hate messages like "If you love <whatever>, put this in your sig" (YopYop) <people post wrong-thought-up-nonsense statistics, they do this to continually annoy people, SO SHUT UP!!> never copy the above to your signature, OR ELSE. (fogger) Do you really think we want to know some absolutely random numbers about the progress of your game? (YopYop) ——————————————————————————————————————————————————– And to end up, a quote from a signature that I think we all will find in handy soon enough, its in the sig of Gmmarine (http://forums.gamemaker.nl/index.php?showuser=42685), he joined 16-January 06, yet has a great mind. Here it is.. ‘Game Maker has grown so large that every day a veteran GM user leaves. It will continue to happen, but they don't have to talk trash about GM. This will happen to me some day as well, but I will leave in peace. Game Maker has accomplished more of what we really need. Game Maker is a step stone to real game development, and that said, Mark Overmars is continuing to develop Game Maker. You people do not have to be so rude to Mark, or misleading to other members. So calm down, instead of bashing GM think of how it has helped you and the good points about it, not the bad points. So leave GM in peace, to save the Mods a topic they will have to close.’

Have you checked out our competition, where you get the chance to win free advertising space on Game Maker Awards 2007 website? If not then why not take part? You can visit the contest via this link: http://gmtech.x10hosting.com/survey/suvery.php Remember to check out the Terms and Conditions, and remember only two people will win the prize, if you are not one of them you can get paid ads by checking out the information in the Terms and Conditions.
GM TECH MAGAZINE

» game maker engines - head 2 head
Tutorial Info: Title: Tile Dragon Platform Example By: Beam Link: http://64digits.com/games/index.php?cmd=view_game&id=2404

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Written by rup13/ Medieval

This basic platform engine looks quite interesting once you run it. However looking into the source code, we see that things get more interesting, but not all for the good. Looking for a piece of code can be almost as tedious as trying to rewrite the engine sometimes, especially if you don’t know what you are looking for. Tutorial Info: Title: Platform Example By: Fire Dragon Link: http://64digits.com/games/index.php?md=view_game&id=1903

Written by rup13/ Medieval

Despite the bugs in some actions, this seems like quite a nice little engine for people to build upon. It contains a lot of features like our competitor and looks much easier on the eye in the source code. Some bits are unfinished but that isn’t a problem as they can be finished just by completing the code. Remember the good old Mario games on the Nintendo? Those platform games were widely recognised and played throughout the world. But making a platform game which is both effective and has lots of features is hard work, especially when working with basic physics. However in this Head 2 Head, we are putting two basic platform engines against each other to see which one comes out on top and which one we then recommend using.
Tile Dragon Platform Example - by Beam Good points: • Nicely commented. • Different types of floors that might come in handy. • Shows an easy way to make different kinds of (a bit lower quality) floors. Bad points: • Slightly confusing code. • Nearly impossible to find out where the code for the different floors is kept. • Quite basic movement, which mostly isn't really what all people want. • Hard to modify the low moving speed. Score: 6/10 Platform Example - by Fire Dragon Good points: • Some objects that people often want in their games (elevators, bounce pads, etc). • Easy to modify. • Well commented. Bad points: • Unfinished ice blocks. • Slightly bug-ridden wall collisions(if it's only one block, it'll end up on top of the block).

Score: 7.5/10

Overall Platform Example - by Fire Dragon wins because the Tile Dragon example has basic stuff but very confusing and hard source code. This could cause problems for beginners seeing as this is a basic platform engine. Where as, Fire Dragon has used good comments and made the source code a lot easier to understand and much more practical for editing.

» creating games that sell - part 2
Creating Games that Sell - Part 2
Written by rup13

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Back in Part 1 (Issue 2 – Page 4), we explored many elements of helping you get into the right mind on selling your games. We understood there has to be a certain amount of quality to make it attractive to a possible buyer. Now you should have created a game that is good in quality so we can continue on our quest of selling successfully. All resources should have been created by you to avoid conflicting with copyright laws and other laws. Packaging Whether you are planning to sell to the public via CD or other physical methods, or over the Internet, you are going to have to package your game in some way. When dealing with selling around your area or other locations, you will need to seal your game into some sort of packaging so they are not just holding a CD-ROM in their hands. You can just buy a set of empty CD cases or DVD cases to sell your game in. Remember to make money, you must invest, this is where many people fall down as they expect everything will just come to them. Selling over the Internet Firstly one of the most common things to have when starting to sell something is a place to sell. Now one common method is to use eBay with a combination of PayPal to sell your games. Not only is this pretty quick to set up, but you don’t have to deal with any order system set up or make it manually. However this isn’t for everyone, so making a website with a built in button linking your PayPal account also works good if you can get traffic to your website. One way to do this is to advertise which links with some things I mentioned in part one about making demos for people to try and generally build up interest. There are a lot of tutorials online for finding out more information about connecting your website and PayPal account by adding a Buy It Now button to your website. Finally another method is to look for a publisher who is willing to sell your game for you and take a percentage of the profit. However this is a rare occurrence, especially within the Game Maker Community, so do not hope to move straight into this field without some knowledge of dealing with business and sales before. There may be some websites around which offer to sell but make sure that you check them out thoroughly so you do not miss any fine print which may be crucial to damaging your sales. Selling in Person This is slightly easier in a way as you can approach a potential customer, and with a good sales pitch, win a sale from them. However it comes with downfalls as well. For a start you can’t start knocking on people’s doors and get them to buy something, for there could possibly be a law against it in your country or state. However you can sell it to family and friends which is the easiest way to make money with your games. If you plan on making some serious money, then you need to venture out of that box as you can’t make your ‘serious money’ with only the sales from friends. You could ask at a local shop for permission to place your game in their shop as a product giving them some of the profit. However this may not work or may need further work into a contract or agreement. Again laws of the country or state will come into play so you’ll need to consult someone who knows what is legal and what isn’t. This way you won’t find yourself getting into trouble over trying to sell your games. Ensuring your game sells One way to make sure that you can get at least some sales, is to make sure that you keep everything looking professional and you know your own game. It may sound strange but you need to know everything inside out so that when it comes to writing effective descriptions, you can describe them exactly and efficiently. If your presentation or sales pitch isn’t up to scratch, then people will start to doubt the game as well. Do some research into making sales pitches and learn some important aspects about business as this will boost your knowledge into this field.

» creating games that sell - part 2

(continued)

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Copyright and other Laws Unfortunately there could be lots of things you wish to do, but you can’t if you wish to stay legal. It may seem so much easier to ‘borrow’ one sound file or a graphic thinking no-one would notice, but it is still against the law, especially to make money off of it. Of course laws differ from state to state, or country to country, which is why you have to contact someone before you experiment with your attempt at selling. You have to make sure that everything in your game is made completely by you so you cannot get sued or ‘punished’ for illegally making money off of someone else’s work. Conclusion Developing and designing a game is hard work, and a mission on its own, especially creating an effective one. However creating a game that would sell is a mission on its own. You need to remember that the quality of the outcome has to high so it meets your target audience’s expectations. With this advice I encourage everyone who wishes to do so, to go out and attempt to make money off of their own hard work. Just make sure you abide by the laws of your country or state, and know what you are doing throughout, so you don’t become confused and end up with unsatisfied or upset customers.

Closing Comments
Written by rup13

A little shorter than our previous issues but we hope you have still enjoyed it anyway. Next issue we look forward to more exclusive interviews with developers and exclusive content. Hopefully we will have gone through some more updates to make everything more interesting, so look forward to what we have still to come. As usual this couldn’t have been made without the help from all the team pulling together and getting their work done, big thanks goes out to them and to you, our reader. Please use the magazine’s forums to post your suggestions and ideas and we’ll see whether we can fulfil them for you. We hope to see you next issue!

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