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Welcome GM News Article - Creating Games that Sell - Part 1 Review - D & D to GML Converter Review - Ninjavity Review - Grid Blast Review - Puck Preview - Battleships Forever Preview - Hang on to your Ghoulies Worth a Look - Free Applications Comic Preview - Conflict: Online (0.5) EXCLUSIVE! Interview with RhysAndrews EXCLUSIVE! Review of Conflict: Online - New Demo EXCLUSIVE! Conflict: Online - Screen Book Worth a Look - Websites and Games GM Examples - Head 2 Head Preview - GM 7 BETA Closing Comments 3 3 4 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 18 20 25 26 27 31
Written by rup13
Hello and welcome back to the second issue of GM TECH. Since our last issue we have been busy trying to gather lots of content to try and make the second issue an even bigger success than the first one, we received over 250 downloads. This issue we are proud to bring you some exclusive content that can’t be found anywhere else. Firstly we have the massive new exclusive from GameCave about their work in progress game, Conflict: Online. We have played the new demo before it is due to hit the Internet and compiled a great article for your enjoyment. You’ll also find an interview with RhysAndrews, which may be interesting and informative for you. Finally we have the usual Head 2 Head competition and lots of reviews and previews, including a review on both the community’s and our own comments on the new Game Maker 7.0 beta. Enjoy the content we have provided for your reading and let the joys of 2007 begin.
Written by rup13 & gamez93
With the release of the new Game Maker 7 BETA, everyone has been testing out the new features and posting their views. Of course many topics have been closed for inappropriate content to the GMC but it comes as standard, when many people gather in one place to get their views heard. Mark Overmars has been listening to the bugs reported and has been working to fix the flaws which made them appear in the first BETA which is currently available on the main Game Maker website for registered people only. Mark has announced on the GMC that the extension system will be changing in several aspects for example, multiple files can be stored (e.g. both DLL and GML), the package will come as a single executable which will need to be installed once by the user, a program will be available to aid in the creation of these packages, and much more. Most changes can be viewed in the GMC topic which is located here: http://forums.gamemaker.nl/ index.php?showtopic=264743. Another slightly more interesting change is nothing to do with the performance of Game Maker or use of it. This is the changing of the names unregistered and registered version. They will now be known as Lite and Pro. Lite will be the free version which everyone knows as the unregistered version, and Pro will be the paid, fully functional version which we currently see as the registered version. The BETA runs in Pro mode which is why only registered users are allowed to test (also the fact is that it should be used to look for bugs and not for creating anything). Also on the subject of the GM 7 beta, a new beta was released - that can be found here: http://forums. gamemaker.nl/index.php?showtopic=266467 We shall see what other news come available over the period of January and we’ll update you in our next issue.
Article - Creating Games that Sell - Part 1 Creating Games that Sell - Part 1
Written by rup13
There are lots of people now in the game development community who have a dream of creating a top selling commercial game and making lots of money off of it. However the fact of reality is that many games you see on the shelves in stores are made by massive teams of developers in the time of a few years. Though this said, it doesn’t mean that your games are completely out of the question from being able to make some money, just don’t expect you to get them in major retail chains or other stores. Once you have realised this, you are ready to start. Creating a game that will sell is quite hard and you need to think about some factors before creating the game and throughout the creation process. One important thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter how glossy the graphics are or how many songs you have made for the game, many sales come down to yourself and how good of a salesperson you are. Your game could have average graphics, no sound and poor packaging, but if you can put in a good sales pitch to somebody, then you could earn yourself a sale for a reasonable amount of money. One factor which enables you to be able to do this is good research. We have established that we aren’t multi-millionaires and haven’t got a team of developers at our disposal for creating this fantastic game of yours. Therefore you’ll understand that we don’t have to pretend we are and try to mimic our well known game developing companies to earn some cash. Identifying your target market Young children, teenagers, adults, these are just a few of the most basic things to identify when producing a game to sell. Knowing the type of people you want to sell to is what we call your target market. This is the first step towards your path to selling your game you wish to create. By this stage you should either have not started designing your game or should be on the first stages of design (see ‘The Short Game Planning Document’ in Issue 1). This is because you need to know all the factors of selling as you go along making the game, we can’t have our public being disappointed with a bug filled game that doesn’t work on their computer. Also it may be too late to change something which could cause problems if you came to sell it how it is. Anyway, you must understand that the target market is not who will only buy it, as there will be other people who will be interested, however using your research into how you game will act and play, game certificates maybe if needed, you will be able to narrow down the market which you are trying to aim to buy your game. Here is an example of a short document I put together outlining who my target market would consist of: TARGET MARKET Gender: Unisex (both Male and Female) Age Range: 14-21 (Teenage to Young Adult) Short and sweet, you may complain that there isn’t enough information but I feel something like this is perfectly fine for the first stage. After all we aren’t rushing to get our game completed and released; everything has to be perfect for a perfect sale. Designing the Game Next we have to begin to design our game which we shall produce for sale. Some parts of planning are different from normal when selling a game, as, for example, you have to make sure all graphics are made entirely by yourself and weren’t collected from sources which allow you to use them in commercial products. Also you need to present the game in an organised fashion that includes menus and settings which makes it more users friendly. They say a picture is worth a thousand words so make sure that all the graphics fit together well in a consistent style (e.g. cartoon pixel art) so when you show off a screenshot, it shows a game which looks like it works well. Of course you can try and generate sales just by the cool graphics and effects it looks like to have, but if it doesn’t play as well as it looks, you could find some people asking for refunds.
Article - Creating Games that Sell - Part 1
Technically you should have ideas for your game already and have a basic plan already put together of what you want to create. See Issue 1 for my article on The Short Game Planning Document if you are currently stuck on starting off your ideas. Now this is where you have to write a game design document, taking into account the target market which you decided on above and other aspects. Programming to perfection When creating a game that will sell you have to realise that you have to iron out almost all the bugs you can possibly find in your game to make sure it is completely playable. Every time a feature is added, you should have a play testing session, where you focus completely on playing your own game, analysing it from the player’s perspective and noting down bugs, errors and any other things which can be improved. Remember, if you don’t enjoy playing your own game, you can’t imagine a lot of people will want to play it either, and even less will want to give cash for it. Organising any scripts with comments and paragraphs is often a good technique, as well as indenting. You may not see this as beneficial as it has nothing to do with how the game is played, but I find it good practice and a good habit to have. Along with that it also helps when you end up with bugs or errors, you can search through organised code and spot errors quicker, rather than try to read a mess. Some people don’t realise how they can easily forget what a piece of code does once they make their game bigger, and variables are most commonly forgotten. Try sticking a handy reminder next to them so that you can remind yourself when reading over the code. Advertising Getting nearer to completing your game which you feel will blow the world away. Okay maybe not the whole world but other gamers out there who look for a good game to play. A way to get yourself and your upcoming game known is to advertise, and this can come in many forms. One way would be to buy a domain name and set up your own website, as it shows you are willing to spend money to make money. This is a common rule which people must realise; sometimes you must make that loss in life, before you can turn it into a profit. Another way to advertise would be by using the GMC, and using your signature and the Work In Progress forum to get further views and constructive criticism, and a nice bunch of people interested. Using this method means you get further people which have not been working on the game to play test it so they can help iron out further bugs and tell you things that need to be improved. When advertising, or providing a demo, make sure you give a clear description of the game, and other factors you would think people would want to know. Controls are often posted to so that people can see the initial controls, but if your game has the option to be able to change them, then that is good too. Screen resolution, full screen/windowed mode and file size are a few of many more details that can be posted. A good logo at the top to introduce the topic, and clearly written paragraphs to introduce the game and each section are often good. However if using your signature only, make sure you add a catchy phrase which will draw the potential player in, plus use an image if you have room which either gives some visual representation of the game or is a logo. Conclusion (for now) This is where part 1 of this article comes to an end. This has been a basic introduction providing tips for each section to help you maximise your game’s quality and quantity (of content). In Issue 3 I shall continue with tips of selling to the public over the Internet and around your area. Plus you’ll find more programming and resource making tips to ensure that when your game is ready to be sold, it is been made to its best quality possible that the creator can supply.
Review - Ninjavity
Game Info: Title: Ninjavity By: syth184 Topic: http://forums.gamemaker.nl/index.php?showtopic=242477 Rating:
Graphics: 3/5 | Sound: 4/5 | Gameplay: 5/5 | Replay Value: 3/5
Written by gmjab
Ninjavity, yes it sounds weird but I can see how it gets it's name from the character and gameplay. Ninjavity is like a platform game but you don't jump and crouch and collect tokens. In Ninjavity you play as a ninja character and your mission is to get to the red button to unlock the elevator to the next level, now you may be thinking "sounds like a n00b game to me" but when your using gravity its far from it. The graphics are fairly basic and small, you will also notice some of Game Maker's built in effects which actually suite this game quite well. Also the menu for the game could use some improvement, because the images are not correctly transparent. The game has some pretty catchy music that in a way sounds like mission music, but I only noticed 2 songs. The game didn't have any sound effects that I noticed so that could be an improvement point. When trying to get to the button it's quite hard when you got spikes and laser beams that kill you if you hit them. But I did find one sort of way to cheat, that is if you press the [UP] arrow then the [Down] arrow really fast, if you do this correctly you will find that the player will move slower which allows you more time to concentrate on where you got to move. The gameplay was quite good, I found no bugs and I never got stuck anywhere during the game. Ninjavity comes with over 90 levels of fun and even includes a level editor, but I noticed you could not save your levels and play them again later. Also It took me a while to get used to how to control the level editor, so these two things could be improved. I do think more obstacles and possibly some sort of enemy could be added to enhance the game, also making some levels that have to be unlocked by playing the previous level instead of being able to play any level you want at any time would make tha game even more challenging. Overall this game was quite catchy, fun and really hard in some levels, I recommend that people give this game a go. Here are some improvements that could be made: - Fix up the text image transparency on the menu - Add more music - Add more obstacles - A easier to use level editor - Ability to save and play your saved levels - Possibly a enemy Here is a comment given by walford on this game: "Excellent! I think I could be playing this one for a long time. :) edit: you wanted a rating.... 9/10"
Review - D & D to GML Converter
Game Info: Title: D&D to GML Converter By: ChipChamp Topic: http://forums.gamemaker.nl/index.php?showtopic=254272 Rating:
GUI: 2/5 | Sound: 1/5 | Usefulness: 5/5 | Reuse Value: 4/5
Written by gmjab
On first glance on the topic for this program I thought that all this program would do is show you the GML equivalent action to the Drag and Drop actions in Game Maker, but after downloading D&D to GML Converter I found it did much more. D&D to GML Converter doesn't just show you the equivalent, it also lets you enter in arguments as well and it displays both the icon and the GML equivalent at the same time which is very helpful to anyone that uses drag and drop and wants to know the equivalent in GML. The GUI(Graphic User Interface) was very simple, in fact I think it lacked a good GUI. The GUI was simple to navigate but I didn't like how the program started in fullscreen and how it had a black background. The controls could have been more organized, but that could be a future improvement. I noticed there was music in the background of the program which I think is the worst thing you can ever put in a program, not to mention it was MIDI music. In a future version I think it defiantly needs to be removed. But you can turn the music off from the options if you like, which was great. D&D to GML Converter is very useful to the drag and drop game creator to even a person who uses GML. D&D to GML Converter easily displays the equivalents, which is great for a person learning GML. I think this program has quite a bit of reuse value since it a great tool for converting drag and drop but to a person who uses GML all the time it doesn't really have a use. Overall I give this program a 3/5 and I suggest any person who uses drag and drop to try this out as fast as they can to learn GML. D&D to GML Converter is a simple great tool that will be used for some time to come. Here are some improvement that I would suggest: - Removing music altogether - Adding a professional GUI - Organizing controls neater - Making it start in windowed mode instead of fullscreen Here is a comment given by bounthunter about D&D to GML Converter: "I believe it has a real cool concept. its a good idea and it works awesomely. There is one problem but it’s probably easy. 1) Make it have a cool looking background.
Review - Grid Blast
Game Info: Title: Grid Blast By: Retrofied Topic: http://forums.gamemaker.nl/index.php?showtopic=258871 Rating:
Graphics: 3/5 | Sound: 2/5 | Gameplay: 4/5 | Replay Value: 2/5
Written by gmjab
At first, Grid Blast sounds like a cool arcade game and for once I guessed correctly, it is! Grid Blast is like a Space Invaders re-make, but it hasn't got spaceships in it, nor does it have anything to do with the invasion of planet earth. In Grid Blast your task is simple, shoot and destroy the enemy arrows for as long as you can hold them off to get the highest score. Grid Blast has some well made graphics and particle effects to suite the overall game style. It has a trail effect for the ship and nice explosion effects. I did think that the trail effect for the enemy arrow didn't always look right. I noticed that the background had little arrows or lines that moved in a direction and I think it makes the background look much nicer. Grid Blast didn't have very much sounds, all the sound I heard was the music, which only contained 1 song that looped over and over. But the music suited the game a lot and I don't have any compliant about the type of music chosen. It would be nicer if more songs where added and it also would be possibly better to have a sound effect for a bonus/power up. Grid Blast's gameplay was very smooth and is bug less as I tested it. It was very good how you could upgrade your gun but I did feel there was a lack of bonuses. While playing I figured that the easiest way to stay alive was to hold keys [W], [A], [S], [D] and the left mouse button down at the same time so the bombs keep going off and the ship keeps shooting. Also submitting your score online was a great additional feature. The game did get harder but I was able to stay alive to well over 60000 points. I felt that the game needed more, like harder levels or something new like a boss because after playing the game once I didn't really feel like playing it again. I guess I got bored with constantly shooting, but it's a well-done game and you should be congratulated. Some improvements could be: - Bonus Sounds - Possibly a boss - More music - More weapon types
Review - Puck
Game Info: Title: Puck By: Elmernite Topic: http://forums.gamemaker.nl/index.php?showtopic=181448 Rating:
Graphics: 4/5 | Sound: 4/5 | Gameplay: 4/5 | Replay Value: 3/5
Written by gmjab
Puck!, sounds like a ice hockey game, and in a way it is. In puck you have to use your mind and figure out a course for you puck to travel in order to get to the goal. This may sound easy but it can be far from it when you have a big map and lots of obstacles. Puck's graphics weren't spectacular, but suited the game and the music. Everything was coloured correctly and there wasn't anything super random. Also the fonts used in puck suited the game. One point I liked about the game is how the text zooms in and out when you move your cursor over the text. The music was excellent and really suited the game. I especially loved the second sound track "Stuck Puck" and a good feature the game has was being able to change the music at any time during the gameplay. There where no sound effects, but I don't think there are necessary for this game, so maybe in the next version more music could be added. The gameplay was very good, I found no bugs or errors during the game which was excellent to see. I noticed if you made a course that made the puck loop around or backwards and forwards, the solving never ends and the puck keeps moving, so maybe that could be changed. The designer was a excellent feature that was added so the users can make their own challenging levels. The game was easy to navigate and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I played this game quite a few times because it can get really hard at times. Its a great game that everyone should play, well done. Here is 2 improvements I think it needs: - More Music - Stop the puck if the course is unsolvable. Here is a comment given by PurpleFussy: "Excellent game. Well-crafted, smooth, nice and original music and graphics... those are the ingredients for a real winner right there. Congrats ;)"
Preview - Battleships Forever
Game Info: Title: Battleships Forever By: th15 Topic: http://forums.gamemaker.nl/index.php?showtopic=139677 Rating:
Graphics: 4/5 | Sound: 4/5 | Gameplay: 5/5 | Replay Value: 5/5
Written by gmjab
After playing Battleships Forever for the first time it immediately became one of the best games I've played on the GMC. Battleships Forever is a RTS game which was inspired by and loosely based on Warning Forever by Hikoza.T.Ohkubo. Battleships Forever has excellent graphics to suite the game an there are tons of effects for explosions, particle effects, smoke, lasers and more. Battleships Forever is one of the most detailed game I have ever seen on the GMC, it has sounds for all different guns, it has effects for all different guns and it has all different guns on the ships. The sound was another great feature. There where sounds for almost all the effects like explosions and lasers. One thing I should say is that the first song I thought didn’t match the game because its a futuristic game and the guitar didn’t sound right. As I played the game I felt “in the game”, I felt like I wanted to play it more. I also felt drawn because of how amazed I was with the game and how much detail is in the game. When in combat you can get your ships to fire at certain parts of an enemy ship, including the guns. There are health bars for the guns and you can see when the guns fire on the HUD. Also parts of the ships blow up before the ship actually gets destroyed. The minimap was also a great feature, you can right click on the minimap and the unit will move to that position in the room and you can also left click on the minimap to move the view. Battleships Forever contains so many feature which some people leave out in a RTS. I was amazed at how great the gameplay was, for so many ships and effects the game stayed stable with no slow down, I also experienced no bugs while playing and the game can be get quite hard at some stages. I thought I should also mention that the controls where quite easy to use for me, but I noticed in the topic some people had difficulty. In the future this game will become a widely popular GM game. There are so many more things I could say about Battleships Forever but I got to cut them down. Here are some improvement tips: - Ability to get more ships - Add a super ship that shoots massive missile or something - Screen Shake - A menu to suite the ship graphics style - More music Here are also 2 nice comments by: Tarik and 3D2DGAMES Tarik - “That was amazing, great work. I'm really exited about this project, if you can keep this up it'll be one heck of a strategy game. It would be sweet if you could build your own ships, and even program them.”
3D2DGAMES - “nice work... i give it a 10/10, :) keep up the good work”
Preview - Hang on to your Ghoulies
Game Info: Title: Hang on to your Ghoulies By: Mindtrick Forefront (Inecom4000, toenail) Topic: http://forums.gamemaker.nl/index.php?showtopic=252896 Rating:
Graphics: 5/5 | Sound: 0/5 | Gameplay: 4/5 | Replay Value: 2/5
Written by gmjab
Even though this game is basically a 1 level engine and doesn't feature alot, I gave it more than just a engine rating because it does feature very good things. Hang on to your Ghoulies is a platformer, halloween game where you play as Fred Bones to save halloween from the evil pumpkins. Hang on to your Ghoulies's graphics were excellent and they were even enhanced more by the motion blur as Fred walked. The HUD was very simple and it only had a bone health bar and it showed the FPS. There where no sound in the game, but I will expect sounds to be in it in a later version. The gameplay was very smooth on the polygon terrain for the is platformer and the collision checking was quite good. The only problem I noticed was when you killed a pumpkin, sometime the pumpkin doesn't seem to sit on the ground. Instead they sometime sat like 20 pixels into the air off the ground. I suppose when this game is done allot of people will play it, but at the moment I gave it a replay rating of 2 because it's just 1 level. Here is a user comment by KasperK: "hey.. downloading now.. looks awsome! id say you should go with the realistic though.. fits much better... Ill play it now and edit later.. [EDIT] wow.. must say that this is cool.. one level only? that would be nice.. is the skeleton made out of more than one object?? it looks like that.. if so, really good programing there... the graphics are also neet... but again.. you should go with the realistic background."
Worth a Look - Free Applications
AWIcons Lite 9.4 ============================================================= Homepage: http://www.awicons.com/
AWicons is the basically your solution to all your icon making needs. AWicons not only has a stunning GUI, it contains basically all your painting tools you'll need to make a professional icon for you game. AWicons Lite features: Multi language, Supports sizes up to 32x32, Make/save/load icons and cursors, Edit exe Icons, Icon Libraries, Icon Transparency, Many drawing tools and effects, All colour formats supported and tons more. If that isn'tz enough, then you can purchase a standard or pro version which includes heaps more advanced features and effects. This product is worth the download and exceeds many icon makers.
Programmers Notepad 2 ============================================================= Homepage: http://www.pnotepad.org/
If you like to program your GML scripts externally rather than use GM's built in script editor, than you might want to take a look at this program. Programmers Notepad is a free and open source programming pad that has many good feature like: Syntax Highlighting, Clean GUI, Line numbering, Bookmarking, Making projects, many programming language schemes, Has a MDI(Multi Document Interface), Plug-in Tools, Textclips and a few more features. Programmers Notepad is a nice clean and simple script editor and shouldn't be overlooked.
HelpNDoc 1.9 Free Edition ============================================================= Homepage: http://www.ibe-software.com/
For all those people who have wondered how to make compiled *.chm help files, than this program is for you. HelpNDoc is easy to use and has a clean smooth interface, it also has many features like : Built-in word processor, spell checker, topic manager, keyword manager and a few other little features. HelpNDoc is very simple to use and contains no adware or spyware. Do note that to be able to compile a help file you will need to have installed Microsoft's HTML Help Workshop which is available on Microsoft's website.
Preview - Conflict: Online (0.5)
Game Info: Title: Conflict: Online By: (Company) - GameCave Topic: http://forums.gamemaker.nl/index.php?showtopic=180551 Rating:
Graphics: 5/5 | Sound: 4/5 | Gameplay: 4/5 | Replay Value: 2/5
Written by gmjab
Conflict: Online, probably one of the biggest TDS games in the making by GameCave. Conflict: Online is set to be eventually a online TDS game, which you can expect it to be good, they have even set up it's own website and you can even donate to the project. Conflict: Online 0.5 has many features, some of those are: - More than 15 weapons - Excellent graphic effects - On field weapons - Account management system - Ability to hide from enemies (E.G. In bushes) - Reflective water effects Conflict: Online has nice detailed top down graphics that all tied in together. I especially liked the detail and size of the trees, I also liked how the water was reflective and had waves. The graphics effects are amazing in this game, some of these effects include: Massive explosions, shell shock, gore, bullet effects, flame thrower, top down rain and much more. One other effect that I liked was when you shoot there is a lighting effect below the character and if the bullet hits a solid object it has a spark effect. Version .5 also contains grass and snow terrain in 2 of it's maps. The sound and music where good, but there was only 1 gun fire sound effect that I noticed and there were no sounds for the different weapons firing and no sound effect for the flame thrower. I noticed it has 1 song for the menu, which is decent but I do believe music during the game would wreck the style, so good job there. Gameplay was very good and very smooth, my fps hung around the 45, 46 mark out of 30 so that is quite good I guess.One point I liked about firing was how the aiming cursor scaled up, which is a feature in many shooters today. The AI is programmed quite well by the looks of it and surprisingly the AI can actually kill you first which is a surprise since in a lot of games the AI is easy to beat. A great feature in the game was being able to hide from the enemies in the tree's, but I do wounder how this will effect the game when it's online. The current version wasn't all to addictive because there's not much you can do, but it is a WIP so I'll cut it some slack. This game has a lot to offer in the future and when the first version is released it will be very popular. I have only mentioned some of the many features Conflict: Online 0.5 has and I'm sure there are still some other great features I missed. A excellent game in the making. Be sure to check out our exclusive preview of Conflict: Online (0.6) on page 16, and also our screen book which can be found on page 17 -20
EXCLUSIVE! Interview EXCLUSIVE! Interview
Written by gamez93 & RhysAndrews
RhysAndrews is a well know GMC member who over time has post a lot, made many examples and has just generally been a good guy, he allowed us to do this exclusive on him, his team and Conflict Online’s new engine.  To begin, please tell us about you and your talented team members? I personally have been around the GM Communities for around 3 years, 7 years if you count the few years break I had between using GameMaker. Since 2003, I've been actively visiting the GMC, 64Digits, and other communities, striving to help beginners, advanced users, and even experts to solve their problems and build their knowledge base of GM I also started GameCave Productions in 2003, in hopes of producing a few popular games and engines. This didn't happen for around a year, when I released "Bounce Arena". Since then, my team has evolved and changed into what it is now; A team striving to improve the communities around GM with engines and help, as well as designing games on the side.  You and the rest of your team are working on a lot of things, including the New Conflict Online engine, which you have allowed us to exclusively review, (page 18) what other projects are you working on that you have not yet revealed? Besides Conflict: Online, I am presently working on the new Effects Engine (3.0); which is going to be a major step up from the previous version. However, that's beyond secret. GameCave is working slowly but surely into its new phase. This includes returning to purple, after our year of being blue. This is as a result of many people missing our original twist of using the purple colour. This includes a new GC Website (including a home-made forum/community, and blogs for each GC member), a new logo, and hopefully will include the release of Conflict: Online (or at least the new demo), and/or the new Effects Engine. Looking into our future, there are a few projects we're drooling over. They have had concepts on various features done, and it all points towards a success in the projects. The first project is attempt #2 for the third edition of the GameCave Console, which would be worked on by myself and Alex Riebs (Arcalyth). Our second project, though we can't reveal too much of it... Is going to be our next major project, possibly larger than CO. I am not revealing anything about it's genre, however, it will include an original, professionally recorded soundtrack (including a brilliant guitarist I know of, a bass guitarist, a drummer, and maybe others), and it will also include a very commercial-quality artificial intelligence. Sprites and effects will make your monitor sparkle, and will be, hopefully, the closest thing to a proper commercial game that GM has been able to produce. However, don't get your hopes up. Myself, and other cherished members of my team, may be moving on from GameMaker and the GMC by the time we get to this project. Well you heard it hear first, not only is Game Cave going back to there original much love purple, there is going to be a new website, with blogs for every member and a new logo – and maybe the release of the Conflict: Online. If you can’t wait for the next demo (0.6) then check out our exclusive review. (page 18)  People consider you as a Legend (as they put it) many people who know you will probably say the same but how would you consider yourself? I consider myself a matter of opinion. I cannot give a fixed label to myself, as there are those who love me, and those who hate me. And I personally believe there is no right answer. As everyone has flaws, some people may think of my flaws when they think of me, or they may think of my qualities when they think of me. It all depends on their first impression, and of course just how their minds work. Nobody is right, nobody's wrong; and for that I try not to take sides when someone offends me for my workings or negatively comments me (as much as it may be tempting). My opinion on myself is that, I do work to improve the communities’ quality in my own ways, but I do understand I have my flaws. The people I feel really are the legends, are Mark Overmars, Carl Gustafsson, and "Mr Chubigans" as they have been around as long as I have, if not longer, and thus I consider them role models more than anyone else. However, whether I am a legend or not, depends on the standards each individual has.
with RhysAndrews (continued)
 Your really do make a lot effects engines, would you say this is something that you enjoy doing? And what made you decide to make engines for people? Of course I enjoy doing it... It's the motivation, inspiration, and encouragement that have helped me to design engines; but that motivation, inspiration, and encouragement wouldn't do much without me actually enjoying it. I have found that working on engines is much easier to stay attached to, and then games. As with games, you test it over and over, it's like playing a real game and getting bored of it. I believe my first engine was the Effects Engine, and I created it mainly as an experiment with my particle-effect design; I currently had no projects to implement my "new toy" to, so I thought about releasing the source in a little engine. Since then I've had attempts at other engines, though, the Effects Engine seems to stand at being the most successful, still improving.  What would you say to everyone who wants to follow in your footsteps? Don't make game design and computers revolve around your life completely. Though they're great hobbies to get respect and reputation with, it's important to get out. Use GameMaker as either a hobby you do in your spare time, or a step towards a great career in IT. But, you need to remember there's much more to life than the people around you in the GM Community. There's a real world too. If you ever get stressed about a project, take it easy. If you never release it, it's not going to affect many people too much. But, saying that put all your effort into the project when you're working on it. If you're stressed, pulling at your hair won't fix the problem. Take a hot bath, sleep, do whatever that makes you relieve yourself, and then get back to the problem. And finally, obey the GMC Rules, and speak professionally on the forums. It's good practice for when you get commercial or you have a job.  I personally think that your Conflict: Online is going to be your best creation, however I am sure that it has taken many months to get it to this stage – was their a point where you wanted to give up on the game, but still carried on? What would you say to anyone who is working on a game but is thinking about giving up on it? Yeah, well, one year has flown fast. However, I've definitely found stages in which I wanted to give up. Most cases was just an "I'll do it, relax" but really getting nothing done. The thing stopped me from giving up with the initial response from the community. Seeing their constructive criticism, re-releasing a demo with the suggestions considered, and then looking at their response once again. It motivates you even more, and keeps you fired up for the game. For anyone working on a game but wanting to give up on it... Release a BETA. Get a response. If the response is really bad, it might motivate you to improve it, or make you want to give up even more so (in which case, I hate to say it may be a good idea to give up on your project). If the response is good, I assure you you'll want to work on it more. And don't worry, the more game's you make, finished or otherwise, the longer it'll take before you lack motivation.  What made you want to make Conflict: Online? What was you inspiration? For a few years, I was addicted to America's Army. In fact, I managed to scoop up my best friend from playing AA. This, as well as ChromeGod's "Battlefront", inspired me to try something a bit more mainstream. Though it was originally a test to see how well my team and I could work on a mainstream project, it's surprisingly grew into something much bigger.  You enjoy playing the Guitar, Web Design, Game Design, Graphic Design and Music, but what do you like doing the best out of them and who inspired you to do that? Guitar/Music. In this modern day, Music is something all of us can sometimes hold onto, when our lives are dependant on a thin thread. I have been blessed to have a very wide taste of music, everything from Classical, to Heavy Metal, to Blues, to Jazz, to Big Band. Because of this, music has overwhelmed me so much. And though I feel all instruments provide extensive amount of emotion, Guitar seems to have the ability to provide the largest range of emotion. And because of that, guitar is my instrument. People such as Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi), John Petrucci (Dream Theater), Joe Satriani, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Leslie West, have inspired me greatly, enough to study music and guitar thoroughly in my spare time. Though graphic/game/web designs are all other hobbies of mine, music is always there, and always will be there.
with RhysAndrews (continued)
 A member recently left your team, does that mean there are any jobs open for people to join? How good do they need to be and what skills do we need? As of the moment, GameCave isn't looking for any more people. Our Graphic Artist has rejoined the team, and though he takes on a full-time job, he spends his spare time happily doing sprites here and there, mainly for Conflict: Online. Jake Rogers also left the team, however we always found his skills as a large bonus, not so much a necessity. That, or his skills can be accomplished by anyone in a novice manner (just like anyone can ride a bike, but there are those that do it professionally) and so we have it covered until we decide his extra bonus is needed again.  You have given us the demo to try out two weeks before anyone else, did you find it hard to keep to deadlines? But still remain to your high standards? For some of us, putting up an official deadline got us scared, because we knew if we didn't make that deadline, people won't be happy. But for the rest of the team, they actually found it easier to force themselves upon doing their tasks with a deadline; because they had something to work towards. So, in effect, the deadline has really sped up our working time. As for remaining in high standards - we were able to do that, however as it may be obvious, online gameplay still isn't available. And of course we regret that, as everyone has been pleading for an online demo and we had it all worked out to do so until both personal and technical problems arose and it made it very difficult for us. Online gameplay is still available for the Developers, as we have gotten progress - but not enough to release it into a demo.  The beta of GM7 has been released earlier this month, what do you think of the changes that have been made by Mark? I thought it was nice. I understand lots of people are a bit angry about it, as if it's not good enough.... But I thought Mark's ideas and implementations were very nice - anything that Mark does I'm going to appreciate, of course, because it's improving GM. The only issue I have with it, is that the security vulnerability was not fixed, even after he'd stated he'd fixed it. This could be a large problem for CO; but hopefully Mark will fix it in time for the final version. Well there you have it, hopefully this interview has given you a deeper look into RhysAndrews.
of Conflict Online (0.6)
Game Info: Title: Conflict Online By: (Company) GameCave Topic: http://forums.gamemaker.nl/index.php?showtopic=180551
Demo NOT released to 14-Jan-07, or after.
Check out our screen book from page 20 - 24, for exclusive screen shots of the new demo. - Public Release Date: 14th-January-2007 -
Graphics: 10/10 | Sound: 3/10 | Gameplay: 9/10 | Replay Value: 8/10
Written by gamez93 and gmjab
Me (gamez93), and head of reviews/previews (gmjab) where all lucky enough to be classed as VIP’s, we were give the latest demo, 0.6, two weeks before anyone else so that we could review it and also showcase it in our magazine. Its been a long wait to get this demo but, but let me tell you it was worth the wait. We complied this information into this packed review for you to see, filled with our comments, improvements and of course our ‘screen book’ – which is filled with screenshots from the demo. So from here on you will read, and see our comments and screenshots from the demo. Enjoy. After receiving Conflict: Online 0.6 to review I instantly started up the game and I can tell you now it's very much worth the download. The first thing I noticed about Conflict: Online 0.6 is the menu, it has completely changed and is a lot more professional than the previous versions. For me the menu in the previous demo (0.5) was way to lagy for me, it seemed that I will move my cursor and then I will have to wait another 3-5 seconds for image to move with it, this of course was annoying for me and probably other people whose systems are slower than mine. In this version they have decided to scrap the menu system and create a overall simpler system which for me I always say simple works best, if you implement it right and I have to give them credit, from the smallest detail of a animated cursor to the largest of fading in images, moving seamlessly background and many others – this is really a good design. As in everything they are a few things that I feel set you up for something complete different to a fighting game, one main thing is the menu text – the menu text shows no sign of fighting it for me shows a fun platform game maybe and so does the logo, the only thing that sets you up for a war, guns, weapons and fighting is the images that are displayed once you roll the mouse over a menu option, which if I can say is wonderfully implemented. Another great new thing is the HUD and how the game has so many new obstacles and also how it actually has levels and game modes such as: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and Warrior which makes the game a whole lot funner to play. In addition to that there are lots of game options for graphics, sound, gameplay and it also includes a FPS testing feature which tells you your FPS rating and recommendations to increase the FPS. There was nothing new for the sound, it was just the same background music as before for the menu. One thing has change though and that is the gun fire sound has been removed. I gave it a low rating here because the game only really contains one sound, but I'm sure more will be added in future versions.
of Conflict Online (0.6) (continued)
The graphics is one of the best things about Conflict: Online, this is because there are so many beautiful and realistic effects for just about everything. Not only is the effects great, but the HUD is very nice to, it is also very simple and easy to understand. There are even more effects in Conflict: Online 0.6 and they are some of the best effects I've seen made in GM. Some new effects that I noticed are: Spawn effect, Plasma Cannon effect, Mini Gun bullet glow and it also seamed that bullets have a shadow now. Also the water has been completly changed to fit the terrian well. There was also the nice HUD, which looks great and very professional, it also has a ammo circle bar which changes colour to red when running low on ammo, but I would like to see some sort of radar to show where the enamies are. The menu was also a change, which looks much nicer and one great thing I like about it is how it also has a nice picture on the right to represent that menu item, I have seen this in many commercial games. The gameplay has change somewhat in the AI area. The AI is a lot more smarter and hard core than before. In the previous version you could hide in a tree and the AI wouldn't see you... Not anymore, the AI may pause for a second or two but they can find you in the tree. Also you cannot hide in the buildings, the AI will come after you and even open the doors to get to you and the AI even jumps on to the inbuilt guns and starts firing at you. The AI is no longer easy at some area's, you really do need to fight for your life when in death match mode because the AI is fast, maybe too fast. There was only one problem I noticed with the AI and that was how if you stood still, sometimes the AI will jump around you and shoot in every direction possible which is funny to watch. Conflict: Online 0.6 is one major leap forward since the previous version. The team has really worked hard and should be congratulated for there effort in such a big and visually beautiful game. This version has really boosted it's replay value and if you played 0.5 a lot than you'll be playing with this a lot longer. Well done GameCave. Be sure to check out our screen book, which is filled with exclusive screenshots that we took while playing the game. The screen book can be found on the next page. And may I end by saying – a quote that we all here at GM TECH MAGAZINE believe is true... ‘You can't get much better than this.’ —————————————————————————————————————————————————— A note from RhysAndrews... "I hope you all enjoy the new Conflict: Online demo as much as I enjoyed developing it and seeing it progress. My full apologies for not being able to get this demo online - it'll get done. Thank you especially to all the VIP's, including the guys at GM Tech, who agreed to do an exclusive on the game. I much appreciate all the support and comments given by the community. -Rhys"
Conflict: Online (0.6) - Screen Book
Conflict: Online (0.6) - Screen Book
Conflict: Online (0.6) - Screen Book
Conflict: Online (0.6) - Screen Book
Conflict: Online (0.6) - Screen Book
Worth a Look
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GM Examples - Head 2 Head
Tutorial Info: Title: Topdown Vehicle Physics By: Radnom Games Topic: http://forums.gamemaker.nl/index.php?showtopic=172109
Written by rup13/ Medieval
This example contains many different, smaller examples which could be taken and applied to games. It looks over many things that would be needed in a racing game like skid marks and acceleration and teaches you methods of creating them without much hassle. Tutorial Info: Title: Vehicle v2 By: mesenberg Topic: http://www.64digits.com/games/index.php?cmd=view_game&id=1167
Written by rup13/ Medieval
It isn’t much to look at but this example contains its own features which includes getting in/out of the car and interaction between the player and car. It is in the top down view and allows driving around a map.
Racing is one of the popular genres of games which people enjoy playing. However not many people enjoy developing, especially 3D versions, due to the amount of physics that have to be programmed for it to act realistically and play well. Well we found two tutorials which attempted to help you with making your physics much easier, and we’ve put them up against each other to see who is victorious. We have ‘Topdown Vehicle Physics’ by Radnom Games versus ‘Vehicle v2’ by mesenberg.
Topdown Vehicle Physics - by Radnom Games Good points: Good use of commenting to provide easy understanding for novices. A lot of extras which are also explained carefully and appropriately. Settings for the controls and physics are easy to change. Helps explain some of the basics which aren’t necessarily connected to the racing genre. Good collisions. Nice drifting implemented as well as visual effects. Bad points: Slope function only affects the image of the car (scales it up). Mainly only the acceleration system can be used in the cars which are ones which belong to civilians or opponent racers. Score: 9/10 Vehicle v2 - by mesenberg Good points: It shows how to enter and exit the vehicle. Good use of features for a top down GTA game. Bad points: Movement can be quite slow and buggy almost. Can be quite hard for novices to edit and change for their own perfection.
With the massive difference in the scores, we can see that the winner in our eyes is the physics engine by Radnom Games. For anyone serious about trying to program a good physics system for cars, we suggest you browse through Radnom Games’ example and play around with it to see whether there are any bits you can improve significantly which go towards an advantage for yourself. Also whether you learn anything new to start you off when you are creating your game. Well done to Radnom Games.
Preview - GM 7 BETA
Game Maker 7 BETA
Written by rup13
After countless members requesting more information on the release of the Game Maker 7 BETA over the period since Game Maker 6.1 was released, Mark Overmars finally released it to the public on the 9th December 2006. Once released, hundreds of members flooded to the GMC topic to catch up on the latest and to give their views on what they found. However many members seemed rather disappointed at the lack of features they claimed Game Maker 7 was currently missing. In this article we shall explore more and also give you our review of the Game Maker 7 BETA as we take it for its test drive. Initial Responses Of course the most expected initial responses were once the topic was posted, the GMC had an increase in traffic as everyone fought the server load to post their replies and view what Mark had to say. But maybe something that wasn’t expected was the amount of users which started to complain why they couldn’t use the BETA even though they claimed their registration was legitimate on previous versions. Mark Overmars is always updating the blacklist of illegal keys which he finds; this list prevents the key from being used to register a copy of Game Maker on your computer. Possibly these people who were complaining, all had illegal keys, or had modified something in their system’s registry or elsewhere which has caused the BETA to believe that the user hasn’t got a registered version of Game Maker installed already. The Main Interface The main interface hasn’t changed much graphically wise, but there are some new toolbar buttons which link to the latest features in Game Maker 7. Also in the tree view there is an extra option which is for viewing the available and installed Extension Packages. Other features found are the new button for publishing a finished game to the Game Maker official website (not available in the BETA), and also there is a logo located at the bottom of the tree view panel which is a link to the official Game Maker website. We sent our very own gmjab in to test out the new BETA and present his findings to us, and here is what he had to say about it so far: “It has been said a few times on the GMC that in Game Maker 7 they expected more and it seems more like Game Maker 6.2 than Game Maker 7. But it seems that people don't know how much of an improvement Game Maker 7 is compared to Game Maker 6.1. Game Maker 7 contains many important and advanced new features for example; Extension Packages, Faster loading bar display, globalvar expression to initialize global variables, compatibility with Windows Vista and lots more. The extension packagers for instance is a huge improvement which allows you to add new collections of actions to Game Maker or add new functions using DLL's or GML files. A dialog has even been added to select extension packages to your game. In a way extension packages are like plugins for your games. There are also new functions for data structures, for example you can now shuffle data structure lists along with writing and reading data. Another main upgrade is the extended options when including files. You now can store the files in the gm6 and there are many new options for exporting the files. There are even new GML functions for exporting included files. I have only mentioned very little of the many new things in Game Maker 7, there are heaps more great new functions for everyone to try and a lot of people don't know of these many new features. It is very sad and annoying that people do not appreciate what Mark has put into Game Maker 7 BETA, and how they are so privileged to have access to an extremely cheap developing program which is worth a lot more.”
Game Maker 7 BETA (continued)
So there you have it. That is what gmjab found on his basic test drive of the BETA. Below we have included some pictures which we took during the execution of the BETA version. —————————————————————| Screenshots |—————————————————————
The main interface – The BETA runs in Pro edition as that is what Registered has been renamed to
Global Game Settings – Includes more features in most of the tabs, for example, Other, Constants, Include, etc.
Game Maker 7 BETA (continued)
The New Include File Dialog – Shows when adding a new file to include, offers many more options.
Extension Packages – The Extension Packages manager, shows which packages are installed and which are being used. More information can be found on using extension packages at the link: http://www.gamemaker.nl/extensions.html
Game Maker 7 BETA (continued)
The Image Editor – Editing made slightly easier with this new version we found.
A message you’ll encounter when using the BETA, as remember anything created with version 7 so far shouldn’t be redistributed until Game Maker 7 is released properly. The warning screen, with information to make sure you understand the true purpose of the BETA. Provides a link which gives more information which is http://www.gamemaker.nl/beta.html Conclusion We hope you have found this article interesting to read, especially our own comments and screenshots. The extension packages are probably the biggest and most interesting feature new to Game Maker. However I would like to see how the publishing feature will work, just like many people will. As noted in our GM News (see page 3), the extension package system is going to change and a program will be available to help make creating extensions much easier. Happy BETA testing!
Goodbye for now!
Written by rup13 & gamez93
Phew, this has been an issue and a half to write, but it was worth it. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading all the content the second issue has to offer you and that you look forward to reading future issues. In the next issue we’ll provide you with yet more reviews and previews that we have spent time searching for. Remember with every issue that is released, we aim to try and improve it as we go along, using the suggestions you send to us as a starting point. We hope you have had a great Christmas and a good start to 2007. May it bring us many more wonderful games to our monitors! There has been ups and downs with Game Maker this year, and also ups and downs with this magazine, but we are still here, and we are hoping to be here for some time - we are looking for anyone who wants to join us as a researcher, you can join by visiting here - http://www.gmtech.invisionplus.net/