GameMaker is a series of cross-platform game engines created by Mark Overmars in 1999 and developed by YoYo Games since 2007. The latest iteration is GameMaker Studio 2, first released in 2017.
GameMaker accommodates the creation of cross-platform and multi-genre video games using a custom drag-and-drop visual programming language or a scripting language known as Game Maker Language, which can be used to develop more advanced games that could not be created just by using the drag and drop features. GameMaker was originally designed to allow novice computer programmers to be able to make computer games without much programming knowledge by use of these actions. Recent versions of software also focus on appealing to advanced developers.


GameMaker is primarily intended for making games with 2D graphics, allowing out-of-box use of raster graphics, vector graphics, and 2D skeletal animations along with a large standard library for drawing graphics and 2D primitives. While the software allows for limited use of 3D graphics, this is in form of vertex buffer and matrix functions, and as such not intended for novice users.
The engine uses Direct3D on Windows, UWP, and Xbox One; OpenGL on macOS and Linux; OpenGL ES on Android and iOS, WebGL or 2d canvas on HTML5, and proprietary APIs on consoles.
The engine's primary element is an IDE with built-in editors for raster graphics, level design, scripting, paths, and shaders. Additional functionality can be implemented in software's scripting language or platform-specific native extensions. In GameMaker Studio 2, you can choose whether to export the game as an NSIS installer, or file containing the game, the file, and any files added under the "Included Files" tab in the editor.

Supported platforms

GameMaker supports building for Microsoft Windows, macOS, Ubuntu, HTML5, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Microsoft UWP, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One; support for the Nintendo Switch was announced in March 2018, with Undertale to be the first such title to be brought to the Switch.
In past, GameMaker supported building for Windows Phone, Tizen, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita.
PlayStation Portable support was demonstrated in May 2010, but never made publicly available.
Raspberry Pi support was demonstrated in February 2016, but as of May 2018 not released.
Between 2007 and 2011, YoYo Games maintained a custom web player plugin for GameMaker games before releasing it as open-source mid-2011 and finally deprecating in favor of HTML5 export.

Drag and Drop

Drag and Drop is GameMaker's visual scripting tool.
DnD allows developers to perform common tasks without having to write a single line of code. It remains to be largely aimed at novice users.
While historically DnD remained fairly limited in what can be comfortably done with it, GameMaker Studio 2 had seen an overhaul to the system, allowing more tasks to be done with DnD, and having it translate directly to code.

GameMaker Language

GameMaker Language is GameMaker's scripting language. It is an imperative, dynamically typed language commonly likened to JavaScript and C-like languages.
The language's default mode of operation on native platforms is via a stack machine; it can also be source-to-source compiled to C++ via LLVM for higher performance. On HTML5, GML is source-to-source compiled to JavaScript with optimizations and minification applied in non-debug builds.


GameMaker was originally developed by Mark Overmars. The program was first released on 15 November 1999 under the name of Animo. The first versions of the program were being developed in Delphi.
Subsequent releases saw the name changed to Game Maker and software moving towards more general-purpose 2D game development.
Versions 5.0 and below have been freeware; version 5.1 introduced an optional registration fee; version 5.3 introduced a number of new features for registered users, including particle systems, networking, and possibility to extend games using DLLs.
Version 6.0 introduced limited functionality for use of 3D graphics, as well as migrating the runtime's drawing pipeline from VCL to DirectX.
Growing public interest led Overmars to seek help in expanding the program, which led to partnership with YoYo Games in 2007. From this point onward, development was handled by YoYo Games while Overmars retained a position as one of company's directors. Version 7.0 was the first to emerge under this partnership.
The first macOS compatible version of program was released in 2009, allowing games to be made for two operating systems with minimal changes.
Version 8.1 sees the name changed to GameMaker to avoid any confusion with the 1991 software Game-Maker. This version also had the runtime rewritten in C++ to address performance concerns with previous versions.
September 2011 sees the initial release of "GameMaker: HTML5" - a new version of software with capability to export games for web browsers along with desktop.
GameMaker: Studio entered public beta in March 2012 and enjoyed a full release in May 2012. Initial supported platforms included Windows, Mac, HTML5, Android, and iOS. Additional platforms and features were introduced over the years following; Late 2012 there was an accident with anti-piracy measures misfiring for some legitimate users.
In February 2015, GameMaker was acquired by Playtech together with YoYo Games. Announcement reassured that GameMaker will be further improved and states plans to appeal to broader demographic, including more advanced developers.
November 2016 saw the initial release of GameMaker Studio 2 beta, with full release in March 2017. This version spots a completely redesigned IDE and a number of new editor and runtime features.

Digital rights management

In early 2013, a version of GameMaker: Studio was that would import games and destroy all image resources for some customers of the software by superimposing a pirate symbol on top of the image. This was due to a fault in its digital rights management implementation that was used to combat infringing copies of the software. YoYo Games publicly stated they would remove the DRM at a later point in time, but that other less-invasive DRM techniques would remain.


The program currently holds a rating of 8.5/10 on Mod DB based on 223 user reviews; many cite its flexibility and ease of use as positives and instability, crashes, project corruption and outdated features as negatives. Douglas Clements of Indie Game Magazine wrote that the program "implifies and streamlines game development" and is "easy for beginners yet powerful enough to grow as you develop", though noting that "resource objects have to be gathered if unable to create" and that licensing between Steam and the YoYo Games website is "convoluted".