GDevelop Vs. GameMaker: An Easy And Free GameMaker alternative

Today, we talk about GDevelop Vs. GameMaker, and how GDevelop might be a good tool for your project.

When it comes to game creation tools and game engines, there are plenty of choices. For example, you might have heard of GameMaker, and how you don't need to code with it, and you can export everywhere. Have you heard of GDevelop? Today, we'll look at GDevelop Vs. GameMaker and why GDevelop might be a good tool for your project.

Ease of Use

GameMaker appears easy to use, and you don't need to code to make games. These are great features, but some users have reported having issues making the most out of the drag-and-drop system that powers a lot of it.

GameMaker's programming language and drag and drop editor.

Also, they use a proprietary development language (GML), so a lot of the programming skills you learn with GameMaker, you won't be able to carry over to other applications.

On the other hand, GDevelop uses a very easy event system, where you really don't need to do any programming at all. The system is very intuitive, and has been created so that even a newcomer to game making can jump right in and start making games.

GDevelop's intuitive Event system.

And if you do choose to add to your game via programming, GDevelop uses JavaScript, one of the programming languages that power the modern web. So anything you learn in JavaScript by using GDevelop, you can carry over to anything that employs web technologies, like building websites or even apps. Neat! This bout of GDevelop Vs. GameMaker goes to GDevelop!

Cost

Since 2020, you can use GameMaker to create your games for free, and publish them to their own marketplace, GXC. But every other export platform will cost you money. GameMaker also no longer offers a lifetime license. You need to buy a subscription. And if you want to make full use of GameMaker, it can cost you up to $79.99/month.

You'll need to be a licensed Nintendo, Playstation or XBox developer in order to make the most out of the Enterprise plan and export to consoles.

If you want to get the same functionality that GDevelop offers you for free, you need to pay $9.99 a month for an Indie GameMaker license.

GameMaker's costs.

GDevelop is a free and open-source tool. This means that you can use its full set of features without any cost at all. You can use the app to create games, and then export your game to Windows, Linux, Mac, Facebook Instant Games, Android, and even iOS. And you don't need to pay for any exports.

There is, however, the possibility of supporting the project by purchasing one of the Premium subscriptions: Indie for €2 per month, or Pro for €7 per month.

They both allow you to disable and customize the GDevelop splashscreen, and both come with more daily one-click exports:

  • Free: you can automatically export twice a day to an Android app and twice a day to Windows/macOS/Linux. You can automatically export to HTML5 locally an unlimited number of times.
  • Indie: you can automatically export 10 times a day to an Android app and 10 times a day to Windows/macOS/Linux.
  • Pro: you can automatically export 70 times a day to an Android app and 70 times a day to Windows/macOS/Linux.

Those are the only differences between having and not having a subscription. Amazing tools like the Debugger, Live Preview, and more are always free, and always will be. With a subscription, you also help to pay for the hosting, server, and bandwidth costs for the packaging and other online services. Finally, you're also supporting the development of an open-source game engine accessible to everyone!

GDevelop also comes bundled with over 170 examples to get you started straight away, and an asset store full of free assets for you to use in your games, even commercially! GDevelop Vs. GameMaker, what a tough thing to decide!

Community and Learning Resources

Both GameMaker and GDevelop have plenty of tutorials available, as well as a robust community welcoming newcomers.

We have the GDevelop Academy with plenty of game development tutorials, as well as an incredibly helpful community of fellow creators ready and willing to give you a hand. There's even a full crash course over at the freeCodeCamp YouTube Channel:

GDevelop's open-source nature means you can join countless collaborators who have made GDevelop what it is today. And you'll always be able to ensure the code has no malicious bits in it. Neat, huh?

So Which One Is for You?

It will always depend on your project. Both GDevelop and GameMaker have their pros and cons. They're both fantastic tools. Which one you decide to go with is up to you.

If you want to use a tool that doesn't get in your way and simply lets you make the game of your dreams, try GDevelop today. After all, it's completely free!