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Game Maker 8.1

Game Maker Game Maker 8.1

Screenshots of Game Maker

Game Maker Editor's Review

As great as the emergence of modern consoles has been, it does mean the 1980s era of children happily writing their own game programs in computer code is long gone. GameMaker is a great way to kickstart such creativity without the need for learning code.

The tool works in a similar way to some of the more popular website design software. You can create your games simply by dragging and dropping icons that represent what it is you want to do, such as add a sound effect, create a maze or set a time limit, all without ever seeing any code.

However, you can also reveal the code that has been used behind-the-scenes to make the game work. This makes it much easier to understand how the code works and you can even try tweaking the code directly yourself.

It must be admitted that the games you can produce aren't particularly complex or sophisticated, but there is a lot of scope for imagination and producing games that are very different to one another. You will need to put some thought into planning your game before you start work, but that's part of the educational process of the tool.

One particularly welcome aspect of the software is that the user retains full rights over the games they create using the tools. While it's unlikely you're going to come up with the next Angry Birds, it's nice to know you can try selling your work without legal problems.

The main downside for younger children is that making a mistake in creating a game can create a frightening sounding "fatal error", so you may need to warn them this is something that can be fixed!

Pros: Relatively simple to use; great variety of possibilities.

Cons: Can be tricky to work out why your game has a bug.

Conclusions: Harnesses creativity without the frustration.

Game Maker Publisher's Description

Do you want to develop computer games without spending countless hours learning how to become a programmer? Then you've come to the right place. GameMaker allows you to make exciting computer games, without the need to write a single line of code. Making games with GameMaker is a lot of fun!

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