GameMaker is an Abomination

Take the worst user experience you can think of, and make it slightly worse—that’s GameMaker. Clicks and keystrokes that frequently don’t function as expected combine with notably limited levels of undo with predictably unpleasant consequences. Instability abounds, and losing work is common.

To make matters worse, GameMaker is short on essential features, and does not provide, among other things, generalized tweens, profiling, or in-game gui, and its otherwise built-in utilities are largely broken beyond usability. I want an engine to solve problems for me, not make them.

Room Editor

I could think of better names for the room editor, but they have nothing to do with editing rooms, because it definitely can’t do that.

Try to drag a group once, nothing moves. Try to drag a group again, one thing moves.

Language (GML)

A joke language, teeming with undocumented and inconsistent behavior, tied to a truly obstructive object model. I don’t know if it’s even fair to compare GML to a real language, but it’s there, and every serious developer uses it, and it sucks.

Sprite Editor

Don’t even think of editing sprites in this monster. It’s basically useless, except as the world’s worst pixel art editor.

I draw a circle over a sprite and try to save the changes, but the sprite remains unmodified.

My Favorite bugs

GameMaker is bug-ridden to the core. Every update fixes a few things and breaks a few more. I've frequently had to roll back updates in favor of bugs that were less bad. The following bugs are my most memorable, and have wasted more than just a few hours of my time. Some have been fixed, others are new, and more will surely follow.

A sound with a previously stored volume reverting to full volume after cancelling the edit dialog.
What more can I say?

I'm not saying that you can’t make good games with GameMaker; if you learn the graceless way it all works, put up with its bugs, and avoid the parts that truly suck shit, you can coerce the engine into working for you, but why bother? You could make a game with a potato as your engine. GameMaker is marginally better than a potato, but not nearly as good as potato salad. It’s just a renderer, I/O, and an awkward object model, fronted by a shitty children’s scripting language and a clunky requisite GUI. Is it something worth paying for? No. Is it worth bothering to use even if it was free? No. You can do much better. Try Construct2 or Stencyl. I haven’t used them, but they really can’t be worse. That’s my endorsement. GameMaker is an abomination.

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