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.