Here is a collection of tutorials and other links that I think will help beginners (and maybe even advanced users) with GameMaker:Studio.
If you’re reading this, you probably want to learn how to make games with GameMaker:Studio. This guide is aimed towards beginners to help them get the ball rolling on their game and learning how to use GameMaker:Studio. Even if you aren’t a beginner, I’m sure you can still learn from this guide and maybe use it as a sort of cheat sheet for resources.
Now before I get on to listing any tutorials, I want to list the #1 resource to us game developers. Can you guess it? Did you guess? It’s google.com. Yes that’s right. Google. I get lots of messages asking about simple things and if these developers typed their message into the google search bar instead of emailing me, they would have found the answer immediately. Most of these tutorials could have easily been found with Google searches, but I’m putting them here anyways for people who have no idea what to even search for.
This guide will always be updated with new links whenever I find good ones. If you have any to recommend, message me!
So you have little to no experience at all with GameMaker. That’s OK! Even if you are a master programmer, GameMaker isn’t entirely a coding environment so you will need to learn how GameMaker works and what everything does.
Here are some great tutorials by Shaun Spaulding that cover the basics:
Once you’ve gone through these I also recommend checking out the Demos that come with GameMaker. You can find these by clicking on the “Demos” tab on the GameMaker startup window shown below. I don’t think you should do every single one, but check out one or two Beginner/Intermediate Demos.
You should now have a very basic understanding of the GameMaker interface and workflow. Let’s move on!
Now that you sorta kinda maybe understand how GameMaker works, we can jump right into trying to make a game.
Before I list any links I want to say something. I have a very big bias against using Drag’n’Drop to program things in games. I feel this limits you greatly and you should learn how to code. While GameMaker does have a lot of DnD (drag and drop), the important parts can (and should) be done with code. So the point I’m trying to make is that I highly recommend minimizing GameMaker and learn the basics of programming. There are tons of free online courses that you can take and are really great. KhanAcademy for example.
If you’d rather just keep working in GameMaker, flexaplex wrote up an article to help beginner’s understand GML coding.
Let’s make your first game now yea? Here are some tutorials that really helped me out:
Derek Yu (creator of Spelunky) wrote some GameMaker tutorials for beginners, and though they were written in 2008 for GameMaker 7, I believe a lot can be learned from them. NOTE: since it was written in an ancient version of GameMaker, some functions/features might not exist anymore. But remember our #1 resource Google and you should be able to easily fix any problems.
- GameMaker For Beginners: Part I (Article)
- GameMaker For Beginners: Part II (Article)
- GameMaker For Beginners: Part III (Article)
- GameMaker For Beginners: Part IV (Article)
Shaun Spaulding created a Your First Game! video series that is listed on the official GameMaker website. He also wrote article versions.
- Your First Game!: Series (Video)
- Your First Game!: Part 1 (Article)
- Your First Game!: Part 2 (Article)
- Your First Game!: Part 3 (Article)
- Your First Game!: Part 4 (Article)
HeartBeast created a Flappy Bird clone series with downloadable resources.
If you have completed at least one of the tutorial series above, I believe you’ll be ready for these intermediate tutorials that cover slightly more advanced things.
Shaun Spaulding created a Platformer video series that is listed on the official GameMaker website. He also created some other neat tutorials that could be useful to you.
- Platformer Tutorial: Series (Video)
- Text & Signpost Tutorial (Video)
- Screen Shake Tutorial (Video)
- Enemy AI Tutorial (Video)
HeartBeast created several platformer tutorials, a Make an RPG series, and a RTS series.
diest created a Pixel Perfect Camera tutorial.
Nocturne wrote a neat article on Arrays.
Now these tutorials will range in terms of difficulty but I believe the topics they cover are for people looking to do more specific/advanced/complex things in their games in comparison to the tutorials shown so far.
- Random Level Generation: Series (Video) HeartBeast
- Networking: Series (Video) HeartBeast
- Name Input Tutorial (Article) diest
- Advanced Dialogue Box Tutorial (Article) diest
- Advanced Dialogue Box Tutorial Part 2 (Article) diest
- GML Math Functions Explained (Article) Nocturne
- Particles Explained (Article) Nocturne
- Automatic Tiles Tutorial (Video) Shaun Spaulding
- Inventory Tutorial (Video) Shaun Spaulding
- Saving & Loading Tutorial (Video) Shaun Spaulding
- Inventory and Shop Example (Project) thegame
- Dungeon Generator Tutorial (Article) Flobster
- Sprite Skewing For Procedural Animation (Article) Zack Bell
Here are some links to articles that don’t really have to do with GameMaker, but I believe you should read if you’re serious about becoming an independent game developer.
- Finishing A Game – Derek Yu
- Making it in Indie Games: Starter Guide – Derek Yu
- Indie Game Design Do-s and Don’t-s: A Manifesto – Edmund McMillen
Thank You For Reading!
Hey thanks a lot for reading, I hope you found this guide enjoyable and I hope it helped you in some way. If you have any tutorials to recommend or see a problem with the guide, don’t hesitate to message me!