Game-Maker Source Release Jam / KotM #85

Danni's picture
Sat, Jul 19 2014 04:00 PM
07/19/2014 - 16:00
07/19/2014 - 18:00

The source code to Recreational Software Designs' Game-Maker has been released! To celebrate, let's make games using Game-Maker!

Since Game-Maker is DOS-based, fire up a DOS machine - use DOSBox and set the cycles to 16000 (or use a real machine if you have one!).

You can get Game-Maker here! The "runtime" folder has a working installation of Game-Maker that is ready to use. The "cd" folder includes some extra resources if you need those.


The Demo game provides a tour of some of Game-Maker's features.
This video walks through the different editors.
The Tutor example game demonstrates different block (tile) effects.

Game-Maker is not a tool but rather a suite of tools, each one editing the individual files that make up a Game-Maker game. Instead of loading/saving an entire game from the Game-Maker menu, you open the necessary files (such as palettes and blocks) every time you open a tool, and then save the file when you're done with the tool. You should generally use the tools in order from left to right:

- The Palette editor lets you edit individual colors from a 256 color palette.
- The Block editor lets you define the game's graphics and change the behavior of background tiles (such as whether they are solid, and what to do when the player collides with them).
- The Monster editor lets you create animated "monsters" from the Monster Blocks (images) you've made, and define their movement and other properties, such as the power level - a higher powered monster will defeat a lower powered one.
- The Map editor lets you design levels, which are each made up of a 100x100 grid of tiles that wraps horizontally and vertically. You zoom in by clicking on the Z button and then the section of the level you want to view.
- The Character editor lets you define the player character's animations, controls, and movement. Controls work by playing animations for each assigned key/joystick movement. To create movement, place animation frames away from the center.
- The Image editor lets you import images for use as a title screen, intermission graphic, etc.
- The Sound editor lets you define sounds that are played by the Character for certain animations.
- The Integrator lets you connect the different levels together and define entrance/exit points between levels, creating the game's structure.

Let's see what you make with Game-Maker (or anything else for that matter)!

Feel free to join us on IRC! When you're done, click here to upload your game!

Games made for Game-Maker Source Release Jam / KotM #85

NameCreatedsort iconByScreenshotComments
Blipp in: Power Panic!07/25/2014 - 15:41DanniBlippy.png1
TERROR TOWER07/20/2014 - 07:48Blueberry Softterrort.png9
PersiaTron07/19/2014 - 20:25aderackpersiatron-s.png0
Teatime game07/19/2014 - 18:25ShiaLaBoufOfficialtea_000.png3


aderack's picture


Here are another few links.

Check out Alan Caudel's Advanced Techniques Demo, a showcase of various high-level concepts and applications that may not be obvious at first glance. (It also includes an NES/Famicom palette file, if you want to go the pastiche route.)

You will also find some maybe-useful notes on the design tools (and some common third-party tools) here.

Grab AdLib Visual Composer, the only really workable tool used to write music for Game-Maker games. This is the same thing that Dan Froelich used to write for Jill of the Jungle and Solar Winds and what-have-you.

You will also need ROL2CMF. Visual Composer outputs in the .ROL format, which uses a separate instrument file. CMF is slightly lower-res format, but it includes all of its own instrument patches.

Once you get your CMF file, you then need to reformat it in Game-Maker's Sound Editor utility. I think it syncs the clock speed to RSD's engine or something. You don't do that last step, the music won't play.

Johny L.'s picture

Can't wait for the 86th

Can't wait for the 86th KotM, i'll be trying to make another surreal game there in 2 hours as possible.

Both 3 characters shown on my avatar are copyright Black Squirrel, Jonny Smeby and Nintendo.

Blueberry Soft's picture

I'll probably start an hour

I'll probably start an hour or two late, but I'm keen to finally try this thing.

aderack's picture


Still working on the logistics, as my daughter has bedtime around 7:00 EST, but I'm going to figure something out.

Also haven't taken part in one of these here, so that may take a little twiddling to orient myself.

Blueberry Soft's picture

Oh gosh. This thing I'm

Oh gosh. This thing I'm making is probably my first proper trainmess I've made in ages. I can't seem to get my palette right, and mostly it's an edit of the tutorial game.

This program is ace.

It makes me want to install the old DOS point and click game making tool Game Builder (Lite).

everythingstaken's picture

lol Today I just tried to

lol Today I just tried to figure out DOSBox and GitHub for several hours. 8-)

Blueberry Soft's picture

In case it's not clear: you

In case it's not clear: you don't have to do anything with Github, just use the 'Download ZIP' button in the column on the right (or just grab the 'runtime' folder).

Danni's picture

Oops, sorry about that! I

Oops, sorry about that! I should have given more instructions.

Yes, you'll want to click on the Download ZIP button. Inside the ZIP, you're looking for the runtime/run/GM folder. Extract that GM folder somewhere on your hard drive.

Open DOSBox and press Ctrl + Shift + F12 until the cycles reading is around 16000. Next, type the following:

mount c path/to/folder/containing/gm
cd gm

aderack's picture

You can also make it easier

You can also make it easier on yourself by just downloading a frontend like D-Fend Reloaded. That makes it all drag-and-drop, mostly.

Johny L.'s picture

What are the tools where you

What are the tools where you can make graphics and export for Game-Maker, then the tool where you can import a sound you want and export into a file for game-maker?

Both 3 characters shown on my avatar are copyright Black Squirrel, Jonny Smeby and Nintendo.

Danni's picture

You should be able to import

You should be able to import GIFs right within Game-Maker. It might be a bit quirky, though:

As for sounds, any tools that can export to the SoundBlaster .VOC format should work.

aderack's picture

Regarding .GIF files

Specifically, all you need to do is save your .GIF file in a 320x200 resolution, copy it to the game directory, then integrate it into the menus or level transitions through, well, Integrator.

I would suggest avoiding transparencies.

You can also create .LST files in Notepad or any other ASCII text editor. The Wiki entry that Dattorz linked goes into the syntax slightly. Again just save the list files to your game directory then load them up in Integrator wherever you want to insert a multimedia playlist.

As above you can sort of crop larger files with the Graphics Image Reader tool, but... that's not really the best way to do things. Best to just save things in the correct resolution to start with.

Regarding .VOC files, you can use any of a number of audio tools to record them. Just make sure you save them in 8000kHz, mono. And make them short.