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a place to download game maker 8

game maker is an incredibly valuable tool for non-programmers and non-professionals who want to explore game-making. discovering it in 2004 was life-changing. in 2011 there are other easy-to-use game making tools, but game maker still occupies an intersection of versatility and transparency that few other tools can lay claim to. unfortunately, yoyo games, the company that was founded to distribute game maker, is more interested in spinning it as a product for professionals and small studios than for hobbyists, dabblers and non-professionals. the new release of game maker being marketed on yoyo’s site, game maker 8.1, comes with a forty dollar price tag. at least, the “standard version” of game maker does. yoyo has always maintained both a pay version of game maker and a free, “lite” version. the real problem is that the alternative to the forty dollar purchase, game maker 8.1 lite, requires an author to stamp an ugly “made in game maker” watermark on every screen of a finished game. hell of a way to kill pride in someone’s very first videogame.

mark overmars, the creator of game maker and founder of yoyo games, suggested to me that people who are interested in making game maker games without a watermark can just use older versions of the free program, like game maker 8.0 lite, which “can still be found on the web.”  this version just displays a “made with game maker” banner on the game’s loading screen, but doesn’t interfere with your precious game itself. and while game maker 8 can still, yes, be found on the web, it can’t be found at yoyo’s own website, and i don’t trust the third-party download links scattered around the web to stick around. so here, then, a permanent home for game maker 8. click here to download game maker 8 lite, and make games with mark overmars’ blessing.

26 comments

  1. Noah wrote:

    Thanks for this. GM8.1 also has a fairly common and serious error related to running out of video memory when loading lots of assets at start-up, which means that many games that worked in 8.0 just won’t run in 8.1.

    Now if only we could be sure that Softwrap will still authorize purchases of 8.0 in the future (or even the present, who knows if they still support 8.0 right now)…

    8/22/2011 at 1:28 pm | permalink
  2. auntie wrote:

    mark told me that they’re not going to continue to support game maker 8.0 and earlier – that means no one will be able to buy the “pro” version. but as far as free versions of game maker go, i’d pick 8.0 lite over 8.1 lite anytime.

    8/22/2011 at 1:36 pm | permalink
  3. Andrew wrote:

    If I just I’ve u forty bucks would you buy the pro version? Seriously, that dude deserves cash.

    8/23/2011 at 7:03 am | permalink
  4. auntie wrote:

    i’ve actually purchased game maker 8.0 at least three times because the awful company yoyo games uses to manage its online purchases – softwrap – straight up refuses to give you a new registration code if you lose yours or move to a new computer. so i don’t feel like i have any particular debt to yoyo games.

    8/23/2011 at 2:34 pm | permalink
  5. Steingrimur J wrote:

    “i’ve actually purchased game maker 8.0 at least three times because the awful company yoyo games uses to manage its online purchases – softwrap – straight up refuses to give you a new registration code if you lose yours or move to a new computer. so i don’t feel like i have any particular debt to yoyo games.”

    I had no problems when I got my new computer. I just e-mailed them and explained my situation (new computer, Game Maker wouldn’t activate), and they reactivated my purchase.
    It’s a lousy way of doing things though (limited installs and activations), and no one in their right mind could fault you for “pirating” software you’ve already paid for.

    8/23/2011 at 4:11 pm | permalink
  6. auntie wrote:

    i did the same thing, and they refused to reactivate me.

    8/23/2011 at 4:12 pm | permalink
  7. Sean wrote:

    Fantastic. Thank you for hosting this, and for reminding me that I haven’t even tried to use Game Maker yet.

    8/23/2011 at 9:44 pm | permalink
  8. Tembac wrote:

    I was in the same sittuation as you, Auntie, but I never receive an answer. I bought GM several times :(

    I hope for an open source GM project. Meanwhile, I´m migrating to flixel.

    8/24/2011 at 4:25 pm | permalink
  9. Noah wrote:

    That’s weird. As annoying as Softwrap is, they’ve reactivated GM8 for me several times as well.

    Tembac, if you’re transitioning from GM to Flash you might want to give Flashpunk a look too. Supposedly they make use of a lot of the same concepts, such as rooms and events.

    8/27/2011 at 1:32 pm | permalink
  10. YIN wrote:

    TEMBAC: There is an open source GM-sorta-thing, isn’t there? It’s called Construct and looks nice. I’ve never used it or GM though, so I can’t verify how similar/good it is.

    And yeah, like NOAH said, I believe Flashpunk is a lot more like GM than Flixel is.

    8/28/2011 at 7:12 am | permalink
  11. matt w wrote:

    Yin — The only development tool I’ve ever used is Inform 7, so I’m not an expert — but Jonas Kyratzes had some trouble developing in Construct. It may be because his game was so large, though.

    8/28/2011 at 9:41 am | permalink
  12. Tembac wrote:

    Thanks for the sugestions!

    I´m getting used to flixel. Luckly, there is a comunity using it in Argentina.

    8/30/2011 at 6:13 pm | permalink
  13. Matthew wrote:

    While I’ve never found much success with Game Maker over the years, seeing your mention of it and generous hosting of it makes me want to give it an Xth shot.

    9/7/2011 at 3:10 pm | permalink
  14. muteKi wrote:

    Matt W (#11)

    I’ve used Construct a bit. I’m absolutely awful with it but I’ve seen plenty of promising demos, making me want to do more with it. But I haven’t really ever used Game Maker (aside from a very brief testing to see if I could get it to work), so I wouldn’t know for sure.

    Unlike Game Maker I don’t think there’s any sprite or sound library (that is, you have to bring your own art and music to import, generally), which does make it slower/more frustrating.

    It seems to support more advanced features than GM did from what I understand (or at least from my experience with game maker games), but it’s not incredibly intuitive how a lot of that stuff works, and there isn’t a lot of documentation with the program.

    There are a number of demo projects and tutorials out there hosted on the site, though.

    9/12/2011 at 12:34 am | permalink
  15. Hipkondo wrote:

    Game Maker has been huge for me as well, absolutely life changing. Without my portfolio of GM-made games (editmodegames.com) I would never have gotten my first studio designer gig.

    I mainly use Actionscript (flashpunk library) these days, but will always have a place in my heart (and my harddrive) for GM7.

    9/30/2011 at 8:00 pm | permalink
  16. Keiji wrote:

    Personally I take pride in having bought Game Maker before the stupid sellout.

    Though I no longer actively use it, I have Game Maker 5.3a still installed, activated, and no later versions. I still keep a bunch of .gmds around and load them up from time to time for nostalgia’s sake.

    10/5/2011 at 3:10 pm | permalink
  17. xot wrote:

    Many thanks for hosting this.

    1/18/2012 at 10:37 am | permalink
  18. nobody wrote:

    (Aw, linking in the signature also got caught by the spam filter. In case neither earlier post goes through, if you google “gamemaker 8.1 to 8.0 converter” (without quotes) the first result may be what you’re looking for.)

    2/20/2012 at 12:14 pm | permalink
  19. nobody wrote:

    update: apart from stumbling upon a couple functions that worked in the free version of 8.1 but require the premium version of 8.0, the only hiccup I’ve seen in going from 8.1 to 8.0 using the converter is the character range values of fonts sometimes getting messed up. No error will be thrown up, but upon reaching any gamestate that calls for use of the font, the process will simply hang. Solution: open up the font and change the negative number in ‘character range’ to something reasonable like 32.

    3/6/2012 at 8:01 am | permalink
  20. cindy konits wrote:

    do you have a version of this for mac? If not, can you suggest something else?

    4/25/2012 at 5:07 pm | permalink
  21. scott wrote:

    hi there, i’m trying to download 8.0 for a mac? tried the link but the .exe file wont open…

    cheers

    5/25/2012 at 5:50 am | permalink
  22. leee wrote:

    found a link to the mac version 7.5 here. works on my mac. http://game-maker.en.softonic.com/mac/download

    6/27/2012 at 10:53 pm | permalink
  23. soyyo wrote:

    Thank you for this. GM changed my life, made me discover game development. Now my friends are downloading GM 8.0 from here, and the cycle starts again.

    1/31/2013 at 11:18 am | permalink
  24. George Washington wrote:

    Hello, which latest version is free?

    Thanks

    3/5/2013 at 7:46 am | permalink
  25. Thanks! Gang Garrison 2, a multiplayer game made with GM8 Pro, cannot be ported to GM8.1 due to bugs with 8.1. As a consequence, we still rely on 8.0, so I must thank you for posting this! :)

    8/12/2013 at 12:00 pm | permalink
  26. sum1 wrote:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! I’ve been having the same problem of FINDING a trustworthy copy of GM80. I’m passing the word on to my friends too!

    1/4/2014 at 9:33 pm | permalink

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