GM8: Incoming Improvements of Awesome!

Mark Overmars has confirmed that Game Maker (used to power our games) will have a special feature that I’ve been wanting forever in GM8, set for release this summer.

And that’s PNG transparency. YEAH! So what is PNG transparency, you say. Let me show you what I’ve had to do for Game Maker 7, and why Game Maker 8 will make this process so much better.

Below is a nice explosion cloud I found on the internet:

Notice how the cloud is semi-transparent. It looks really nice. Now, I’ll just import that image into Game Maker 7 and…

Gah! As you can see, Game Maker 7 does not support transparency information from PNGs, resulting in a mess of colors. There are ways of getting GM to recognize the transparency using masks and alpha blending, but it’s fairly complex and takes up lots of processor power for something that really shouldn’t be all that hard to do. So, what I’ve normally done is transform the PNG into a GIF file. GIF files only contain 256 colors, but it’s transparency is recognized by Game Maker 7. The problem with GIFs is that colors are either transparent or not. There’s no middle ground like PNG images, resulting in this type of image in Game Maker 7:

That works if I were to put in some alpha transparency and such, but you’ll agree that the image is nowhere near as nice as the original PNG we started out with. Game Maker 8 is set to deal with this limitation by allowing PNG transparency. Here’s a shot of what Game Maker 8 will do with the image:

Ahh, so much better. It’s one less thing I have to worry about in Game Maker, and it makes games look so much more awesome. GM8 also includes Mac support, which is something I’ll get into later. Needless to say, I’m excited about Game Maker 8’s release…and you should be too.



  1. Ironfruit says:

    I’ve always wanted something as simple as this, and finally it’s here. Should be good for that Kablooey game your making.

  2. amidos2006 says:

    Nice Feature ­čÖé

  3. joe_042293 says:

    I haven’t used Game Maker seriously for a long time. Perhaps I should get back into it.

  4. UltimateAgent says:

    Yeah, we (I) talked about it on Skype some days ago. Nobody seemed interested though…But I am! I wonder how easy it will be to transfer projects from 7 to 8.

  5. marioandluigi206 says:

    i was interested
    we talked about it a bit while you were offline/ejected ­čśÇ

  6. Yeah, read about this last Wednesday. Very cool indeed, GameMaker’s ability to use transparencies is lousy at best so this is a much welcome update.

  7. Garion says:

    Why couldn’t GM8 be Windows 7’s equivalent to Vista?

    With all respect, for the work thats come out of Yoyo Games, I could achieve more by myself.

    For nearly 2 years, Yoyoy have been around and in that time we have seen 1 update to Game Maker, 1 price rise to Game Maker, and a crappy site thats both slow and outsourced (If I’m correct)

    I think its too little too late.

  8. minmay says:

    At least this version actually HAS NEW FEATURES unlike GM7.

    However, for two years of work they’d better have put a crapola of a lot more stuff in it.