Category Archives: GameMaker

[Marketplace] GMH: Canvas Companion

For almost a year now I have maintained the GameMaker: HTML Extension, I’m very excited to say that it is now available from the GameMaker Marketplace under “GMH: Canvas Companion”.

Wait a second, does this now mean that it costs money? Nope! As promised I have kept the extension 100% free and the source code is still available on GitHub if you are into that sort of thing.

So what does it do? Canvas Companion allows you to add snippets of HTML code (Such as a YouTube video) directly into your project without ever leaving GameMaker.

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Cookie – Stop GameMaker deleting skins when updating


GameMaker’s auto-updater has its issues, but deleting your customs skins shouldn’t be one of them.

One of GameMaker’s hidden features is that it has two folders on your computer. The first folder stores the main program that gets overwritten when you update. The second folder is where you can keep all your skins, tutorials, extensions and DnD libraries safe from the evil auto-muncher.

So the folder where the main components of the IDE are is located at


Don’t store anything here, it won’t survive. The place you should put it instead is:


Which will save you from ever having to worry about it disappearing again!

Cookie – Surfaces in GameMaker: Studio


Getting started with drawing to a surface in GameMaker can be scary, especially when you see all the warnings and mystical properties that are associated with them.

The good news is that in reality, there isn’t really that much to them. In the latest release of GameMaker 1.3 the main draw area IS a surface. So you’re working with them already, you just don’t know it.

The main thing you have to remember about surfaces is they aren’t guaranteed to be there, just like biscuits in a biscuit jar, so you have to check they exist before drawing (or eating).

So to get started with surfaces you have to create one, if it doesn’t already exist that is!

 if (!surface_exists(surf))
     surf = surface_create(width, height);

Then you set the target, all drawing after this will be done to the surface.

// Here you just draw as normal
// i.e draw_sprite(sprite, subimg, x, y);

Then once you’re done set it back to the application surface. (The standard draw area)


Finally you draw the surface to the screen.

draw_surface(surf, x, y);

You can download a example of this from GitHub, just navigate to the page a click “Download Zip”.

So really drawing to a surface isn’t difficult, it just takes a little getting used to. Still have a question? Leave a comment or go ask the very helpful folks at the GameMaker Community.

Just 21 – Release

‘Just 21’ is a game I started working during the middle of last year as a mobile HTML5 game, however I hit a couple technical difficulties at the time and set the project aside. I recently came back and re-worked the project for Android and iOS. At this stage I’m not planning on releasing a HTML5 version, though it certainly is a possibility for the future.


Initial Prototype


Final mobile HTML5 version









When updating the game I thought that by using the existing codebase I wrote last year would help save time, which in hindsight was a mistake. When I worked on the project last year my goal was to finish it as quickly as possible which meant most of the code was uncommented and had magical properties.

‘Scipt’ what was I thinking?
If I ever see this comment in a project again I might build a time machine, go back in time and drop a brick on the person that wrote it.
The rest of the project went fairly smoothly though, I increased the resolution of the assets, added in an online highscore board and a nice help screen.

Final release mobile version

You can go get it now on either Android or iOS:

Android app on Google Play

If you have any thoughts please take a moment to let me know on Twitter or leave a comment below.

GameMaker: ThreeJS Extension & Demo!

Those of you that follow me on Twitter will know that I’ve spent the last week working on integrating the ThreeJS (r58) library with GameMaker: Studio. Now if you are already bursting with excitement you can skip to the end of the post for a link to the working demo!

The most awesome thing about this extension is that you can still do all your input control, AI and GUI though the GameMaker canvas. I’ve done this by using the CSS attribute z-order to “stack” the GameMaker canvas over the WebGL Renderer, I’m not sure this is the most conventional way to achieve this but it was easy to implement and seems to work fine.

At the moment you can draw cubes, spheres and create lights however I plan to extend the extension over the coming months to allow custom models (.obj) to be used and textures. This is going to take a bit longer as I don’t have a huge amout of free time at the moment, so I decided to release it as-is and as the extension isn’t minified you can tweek it untill your heart is content or I release a update.

At the moment the following functions have been integrated, you’ll notice that some of them still aren’t complete. e.g. Lights don’t have a id yet so they can’t be deleted which I plan to add at a later stage, once I work out a solution to clearing scenes without creating memory leaks.

Finally my personal favourite the ability to still be able to use GameMaker’s room editor for level design, here is what the current demo level looks like:

That about wraps up everything, so how about trying out the demo? (Requires: Google Chrome)

GMC Game Jam, GooglePlay, Future Projects

At the start of this week I entered the 9th GameMaker Community Game Jam, my entry wasn’t as good as it could of been, in the end I only spent a small amount time working on it. However I had a lot of laughs making it and got some really helpful feedback, which I’ll take with me when I go into the next Jam in three months.

Dev Shot – Defend the Doughnuts from native wildlife

You can go see the entry here.

I’m wrapping up development of the ‘The Glass is Falling’ 1.2 release and I’m aiming to release it on GooglePlay by this weekend. Originally I was planning to have paid and free versions of the game, however I’ve decided for the initial release just to have a free version and if people like the concept I’ll add a premium version with extra content later.

The main reasons for this decision are:

  • I don’t want to have to deal with refunds; I’m probably going to face a few bugs and glitches I don’t want to also have to be dealing with refunds.
  • Game Content; I had planned to offer paid customers first access to paid content, but with the other projects I’m about to start to working on I’m not sure when I’ll get a chance to work on the expansion pack.
This release includes:
  • Android Support
  • [Protoype] Online Highscores (Has some limitations, only displays the top ten highscores)
  • Bug Fixes
I’ve got three planned projects coming up:

1. HTML5 Port of ‘The Glass is Falling’: Thanks to some help and advice I received from MonkeyMaw, I only have one bug/glitch left to fix before it’s ready to publish. Planned Release: Mid 2013 via Kongregate.

2. HTML5 – Project Unnamed: This was my original concept for the GMC Jam, but it wasn’t going to happen in the time I had, so I decided to postpone it till I had a chance to work on it properly. Planned Release: March 2013 via Kongregate.

3. Mobile HTML5 Card Game: After reading TrueValhalla’s new book ‘Making money with HTML5‘ I want to explore making and selling a mobile HTML5 app, it will probably be a one off project, but if the results are interesting, I’ll make sure I post them here.

The Glass is Falling – Release

‘The Glass is Falling’ is a game, well more mini-game, that I’ve been working on in the background for the last week. The goal of the game is simple, stop the glass from hitting the floor. It’s available now on the GM:S Steam Workshop, so if you want to have a play before reading on go ahead!

It was the first game that I designed & planned before I started development and I was extremely happy when the final product turned out like the concept art.


Concept Art


Final Build










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Game Maker 8.1 Lite

GameMaker 8.1 (Single word now) has received mixed reviews on the Game Maker Community, while a lot of members have given it thumbs up, many are upset that it has broken their code and is not compatible with certain extensions/DLLs. Personally though not only does it run all my games perfectly, it also runs them a lot faster than Game Maker 8.0 (Two Words).

YoYo Games made lots of noise about the new zoom feature in the room editor, while this is great (bit buggy though), the big thing new feature for me has to be the upgraded font rendering! Now all my games have sharp as crystal text. When Mike Dailly first brought up the whole font improvement, I just didn’t get it, I couldn’t even tell the difference between the two images he put up comparing the new and the old. But now I get it and I am going to rush out and buy the standard edition tomorrow (Literally).

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