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Game Maker is an application designed to facilitate the construction of videogames.
Game Maker uses 2D games, but there are functions for 3D functions. While this version of Game Maker had a built-in scripting language, which was not as complex as in more recent versions, it and the next few versions of Game Maker did not have DirectX support, a separate runner to run games independently from Game Maker, or the ability to compile games into executable files.
Each major release of Game Maker added substantial new features and improved stability, while gaining steadily in popularity. In 2001, version 3.0 implemented DirectX support for the first time, while version 4.0 (released July 2001) was rewritten from scratch, changing the interface significantly. Version 5.0 was released in April 2003, adding support for external data files and time lines. In version 6.0, released October 2004, Game Maker's graphics engine was rewritten using Direct3D as a base, allowing for more complex operations such as easier alpha transparency and sprite rotation, as well as introducing 3D graphics functions. Overmars began work on version 7.0, which introduced the ability to extend its functionality, around the summer of 2006, and released it on February 28, 2007, through YoYo Games. Game Maker 8 was released on December 22, 2009, adding new features such as a revamped script editor window, improved image editor, and the ability to import and export resources from game source files.
Starting with Game Maker 7 RC2, game data created with the program was encrypted, due to concerns over decompilation.
Lite and Pro Editions
Two versions of the Game Maker software are offered on Windows and Mac. The Lite versions are free to use, while the Pro editions require purchase. Lite locks out several advanced features and functions which are available in Pro, including the ability to use DLLs, particle systems, advanced drawing functions, 3D graphics, and networking multi-player.
On Windows, the Lite version contains most of the functionality that allows users to create games and share them either by creating stand-alone Windows executable files, or publishing them on YoYo Games' website. Games created with the Lite version display a small Game Maker advertisement during the loading of the game, while games made with the Pro version remove this.
On the original Game Maker for Mac, a trial version with all features unlocked could be used for ten hours before it required activation; there was no Lite. However, as of December 8, 2010, Game Maker for Mac Lite was released as a free download. The Mac Lite utility contains most of the Mac Pro version's functionality, but it prevents users from creating stand-alone Mac executables. (Therefore, in order to share games for free, a user would need to give the openable GMK source file to other users who have downloaded and installed Game Maker for Mac.)
Until Game Maker 7.0 was released, functions for Extension Packages were available. The Lite locks out the use of Extension Packages.
Extension and Library Action Maker
The Extension and Library Action Maker were available for download when Game Maker 7.0 was released.