On top of that Gamemaker now has a subscription payment model which, luckily, I don't have to use as my own permanent license still appears to be valid. Who knows how long that will last though.
I do find this odd though, Gamemaker as an engine has barely changed in the last decade and looking at their roadmap, the new features they are planning on adding are... unambitious, let's just say.
I don't see how any developer is going to look at Gamemaker now, considering the price of the subscription model and the features that Gamemaker has, and think "yeah this engine seems like it's worth it".
It used to be in the past, a single one-off payment for an engine that was the pinnacle of 2D games development. But that was years ago, now there are so many options out there, many of which are completely free to use or offer more versatility and Gamemaker just seems stuck in its own little corner, never budging, never moving with the times.
Personally for me I started realizing that my journey with Gamemaker had come to an end when I started experimenting with 3D in Gamemaker. Obviously the engine isn't really made with 3D in mind but considering where Gamemaker's long lasting strengths lie, in Gamemaker Language and in its fast workflow, I don't see why Gamemaker shouldn't be a 3D engine. Speaking of the lack of ambition in their current roadmap, I do feel like more 3D support like a 3D viewport and built-in 3D model importer should have been right up there.
All of this is what lead me to Godot, an engine that is very much built for 2D and 3D.
It's has been an interesting few months. Godot turned out to be a lot easier to use than I initially imagined. It clearly takes a lot of inspiration from Unity (unfortunately) but doesn't shy away from adding its own improvements, or its own way of doing things, where it feels like they can be made.
Many of the things I struggled with in Gamemaker like pathfinding and quickly doing some UI design are a walk in the park in Godot, super easy. Other things that are very easy in Gamemaker can be a little tricky to figure out in Godot, like multi-dimensional arrays for example. Godot script is no Gamemaker Language unfortunately but I feel like I'm getting the hang of it.
For the past month my mission has been getting the familiar with the engine and making all the things I never could I Gamemaker. For this project I've basically been trying to re-create one of my favourite games, Rainbow Six: Vegas 2, in Godot.
I started out by adding a basic movement system and re-creating a map from the game in Blender, then porting it into Godot. The map I chose was CQB training for no particular reason other than that it was small and fairly symmetrical and therefore not a lot of work to build:
With a map to play around with though, I could start adding some gameplay. I added some basic enemies, pathfinding, interactive elements like hidden doorways for easter eggs and over the next month I kept adding any feature I could think of. Kind of sticking to the original game as a framework but I'm not trying to create a particularly faithful re-creation of RS: Vegas 2, for now it's anything goes.
After one month of progress I had added a bunch more weapons, a weapon attachment system and customization menu. There are some basic load-out options, save-games, rank and leveling, stats tracking and some basic sound effects:
I also want to try adding some LAN multiplayer just to see how that works in Godot.
The last few days however I've had to pause this project for a bit as my computer started developing some OS related freezing issues, so I had to re-install Windows 10. I took this as an opportunity to try out the Win 10 Ameliorated version, a project set up by a group of people who wanted nothing to do with Microsoft's tracking and data-gathering that comes built in to Win 10. The process of "ameliorating" Windows isn't very straight forward but after three or four tries I succeeded in getting it up and running in a way that I felt comfortable worked.
This new Windows experience is actually quite a lot like older windows versions, reminding me of Windows 7 and XP. It's a bare-bones Windows experience that feels out-of-place in 2022, but in a good way. It's a reminder that software nowadays often has a dual-purpose, to serve you and to gather data on you. Windows that only does the basics of being an operating system feels like a breath of fresh air and there isn't this nagging feeling that Windows is spying on you in the background with everything you do.
It is also MUCH faster, start-up is really fast and right-clicking used to take ages on my old install where Windows Explorer was doing whatever it was doing in the background before showing you the menu, now it's instant. You do need to make sure you install anti-virus and such because of course Windows Defender isn't there either, same with Windows Update.
Overall though I'm very happy with this new install of Win 10 and I'll keep using it for a while I think.
That's it from me. Check out my next blog to see how progress on my Godot Rainbow Six remake project is going.