When I created the first version of Game Maker in 1999, I naturally had no idea that it would achieve its current status of the most-used game-creation package in the world. The program was still rather limited. You could only create very simple games with it and the package was downloaded only a few hundred times per month. A lot has changed over the past ten years. New versions of Game Maker were released that made it possible to create sophisticated stand-alone games. The number of downloads rose to over 150,000 per month, and the company YoYo Games was formed that now develops and distributes the program. The site of YoYo Games (www.yoyogames.com) has already collected close to 100,000 games made with Game Maker and this number is rapidly increasing. But one thing has not changed. Most of the games created with Game Maker are still very simple and do not use many of the advanced features that the program offers. They also often lack sophistication in their gameplay. One of the reasons for this is that there was no text book for the more advanced Game Maker users. That is, until this book came along. A book dedicated to those that have already created their first games and want to learn more.
Way back when Mario was still a mere twinkling in Miyamoto’s eye, I was the proud owner of a state-of-the-art Commodore 64 microcomputer. It came with a game development s- tem called “The Quill,” which allowed anyone to create their own text-based adventure games. It may have been incredibly crude, but it suddenly put at my fingertips the thrill of enterta- ing my nearest and dearest by devising “interactive challenges” of my own. Unfortunately, I knew little about game design, and rather than easing my players into a new and alien world, I treated them as opponents that had to be defeated before they could reach the end. Their sp- its crushed, they left, never to return . . . It took me years of playing a variety of good (and bad) games to eventually learn how to treat the player to the game-playing experience that their investment of time and money deserved. It took just hours of reading this book to wish I’d had its invaluable guidelines and the accompanying Game Maker tool to help me take my own first steps into game devel- ment all those years ago.