Tag Archives: guide

Cookie – Stop GameMaker deleting skins when updating

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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

C:\Users\<Username>\AppData\Roaming\GameMaker-Studio

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

C:\Users\<Username>\AppData\Local\GameMaker-Studio

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

Cookie – Surfaces in GameMaker: Studio

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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.

surface_set_target(surf);
// 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)

surface_reset_target();‏

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.

Free Website Stumbling

Recently I went on an adventure to buy a domain name, rent a server and build my own website. After being with free hosting for the last couple of years, I was fed up with the MySQL database outages and DoS attacks on the servers. So it was finally time to move up to paid hosting. If you ever do want to have a crack at making your own website with a budget of $0 the best hosts/domains from my experience were;

000webhost – They are very reliable for a small website, but I did have a lot of trouble with the MySQL server though. They use a custom Cpanel that is very usable, with a couple ads for their parent company on it; your website though will have no ads on it though, which is very nice.


– x10hosting – They have full version of Cpanel 11 and have support for a lot more features than most low paid hosting. The catch is that they have penalties for overusing server resources, which seem unfairly low. The servers were fairly reliable; they did have a little downtime though. And like 000Webhosting, no ads.

Hosting is only half a website though; the other half is getting a domain name. I tried all the popular ones, like co.cc and the ones that x10 and 000 offer. But I managed to find some more decent and professional ones.


– uni.cc – They have a reliable little set up and I thought the domain name sounded semi-professional. They do ask that you put a small link to them on your website and that you get 10 visitors in 90 days, but you’ll probably end up visiting your site that much by yourself. [EDIT (20/2/2012): Uni.cc have disappeared off the face of the Earth/Internet, I don’t know what happened to them either, if you do know please leave a comment.]

dot.tk – An amazing service, they offer you www.yourdomain.tk for free. Best bit about their service is that if you earn enough “points” by putting a small banner on your website, you can buy the domain for 2 years. The reason though that I didn’t end up sticking with them was that I found their domain name control panel, spam e-mails and minimum hits a month a bit annoying. Though I believe they have improved immensely since then, so some of this might have changed.

Well that’s the end of my list, but I have heard lots of goods things about other free hosts/domains like 110mb and many many more.