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 thoughts on “a place to download game maker 8”

  1. 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)…

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. “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.

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. (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.)

  14. 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.

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


  16. 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.

  17. 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! :)

  18. 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!

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