How I Use It
Make games from simple to complex; adventure, platform, or puzzle type games, via drag and drop action sequence or hand coded games in 2D. Design, develop, and build any game that can be imagined. Some games my students have made are a racing car game and similarly a boat evading obstacles in river style game. My students also create level games in which the first level must be completed before a player can get to the next level. Maze games like a Pacman style are simple and fun to create. Sound, music and challenge information can be added to up the ante on complexity and game features. Most recently a final project included an educational game that required the player to answer questions for points and rewards. When students are ready to move on to a more robust game designing program, Gamemaker should be a top consideration.
Gamemaker is definitely worth the time if you want your students to move to higher level of programming. There is a learning curve that will occupy the first several days of starting a game, but students quickly learn to watch tutorials then practice and build and then watch the next tutorial video and practice and build. The discipline of the learning process is a great benefit that Gamemaker Studio offers students.
Gamemaker Studio is an excellent tool to use for programming once students have moved past basics of Code and Kahn Academy, Scratch, or other basic programming tools. What's unique and wonderful about Gamemaker Studio is games can be designed at many different levels, and, that the action block programming can be used or GML (integrated scripting language) hand-coding to really tweak your games.
Gamemaker meets the level of the student and provides the opportunity for students to challenge themselves and think at a higher level in terms of programming and design because with Gamemaker Studio the possibilities are near endless. It is a creativity creator and the creation is limited only by the limits of the imagination.
The Official YoYo Games website will provide users with the basics for learning to use Gamemaker Studio as well as many game ideas. However, there is an abundance of tutorials online along with several channels that provide video series tutorials that walk users through the basics of getting started with Gamemaker Studio and setting up requirements in your game .
As with all classroom programming curriculum, teacher established requirements and criteria for the finished product are necessary. Students must think through how they will meet those requirements and criteria and what they will create to do so.