GameMaker Studio, Used For Games Like Hotline Miami And Hyperlight Drifter, Is Free

By Eugene . February 24, 2014 . 11:30am

GameMaker Studio: Standard Edition is free for a short period until March 2nd. What’s that? You’ve never heard of it? Maybe not, but you might have heard of games made using the engine—Hyperlight Drifter, Valdis Story, Gunpoint, Hero Seige, Hotline Miami…  the list keeps growing.


Yep, all of them made with a little-known piece of software. There’s a free version, but the Standard set comes with additional items and less of a hassle if you’ve ever wanted to try a hand at getting into gaming without knowing much programming.


How do you do it? Simply head over to this page and download the client. Once installed, you’ll be able to select the Studio Standard edition, fill in your email and wait for a license key to appear in the inbox of your choice.


If you like what you see (or happen to already have Studio Standard) you can upgrade to Pro for just $35 during the special promotion, off $15 from the usual upgrade price. Note that this offer does not work with the Steam version.

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  • Ooh, awesome timing! I’ve been trying to get acquainted with it little by little lately. This is quite a golden opportunity.

  • idrawrobots

    I already have the free version. I will upgrade. I wish I was better with it but in about 20 years I will finally finish my first game.

    • Try out the tutorial system! It helps you make a few clones of other popular games, too! With the techniques and tricks learned from them, you could at least get an idea and/or an inspiration on making (and hopefully finishing) your game!

  • TheExile285

    I’m really excited for Hyperlight Drifter

  • Caleb

    U-Nity or NOT to Unity?. That is the question.

    • Aristides

      If you’re working with 2D go game maker. 3D go unity (unless you’re a GM veteran)

      • Caleb

        but unity has all the new 2D stuff with the release of version 4.3! Now the decision is harder than ever.

        • Aristides

          Unity does have the new 2D support (I use it myself) however it just doesn’t compare to the 2D oriented nature of GM. In reality Unity does pseudo 2D, it works good for 2.5D games. GM functions however are tailored specifically for 2D making it more versatile than Unity in this department.

          • Caleb

            The other reasons I have considered Unity:

            + console support (Wiiu, and soon microsoft and sony)

            + the ability to use a “real” programming language instead of GML. C# has uses outside of game making and it’s easy to find documentation and help for developing in C#.

            My plan is to make a small project in each, and see which I like better.

  • Shane Guidaboni

    Might as well give it a try with all this free time I have.

  • This program is one of the Entry-Level Tools in the Contemporary Video Game Industry. All must own a copy of this engine! No excuses, kupo.

  • HassanJamal

    So if i make a game with this, do i have to pay fees of some sort and or does the cash i make from it go to me?

    • You can ask in the comments on the actual download page; a mod there seems to be actively answering the questions.

    • Aristides

      You own everything you make using this software. You don’t license it like traditional game engines. It’s export ready no strings attached.

  • Mind0105A

    *Taking a look at Valdis Story”


  • Jeffrey Thrash

    Oh shoot, Gamemaker Studio is a legitimate game-developing software?! I’d better get restarted on my Gamemaker RPG!

    • Yes, it is. Many, many, MANY games sold for PC and other platforms use this program.It is very well respected in many circles. More so than RPG Maker, from which very few games made with that Engine rarely sell well, or are taken seriously (Trivia: The original Corpse Party was made with RPG Maker 95).

      • Jeffrey Thrash

        That’s good to know. I definitely know how to use it, especially when concerning top-down games, it’s just that until I started seeing updates allowing me to export to iOS, Linux, and HTML5, I thought GameMaker Studio was a more free-form LittleBigPlanet clone.

  • Aristides

    Been using GM since GM7 was released way back. It’s an excellent game making software with the best entry level I’ve ever experienced. (I learned how to program thanks to GM, so the entry level is basically zero ) If you master this software you can make just about any 2D game your heart desires, the manual is super helpful as it explains in detail all the ins and outs of developing games using GM. The software is also very diligent allowing lightning fast prototyping and development times. It’s not far fetched for a single developer or a very small team to effectively complete projects on their own using GM which makes it perfect for upstart indies.

    I highly recommend this for anyone who want’s to get into game development or is curious about it. I owe this software a lot. :P

    • Arz

      Hmm….I’m planning to make 2.5D sidescrolling game.Or 3D game like Link Between Worlds.Of course my programming knowledge is zero,so should I use GM or Unity?

      • Aristides

        GM’s 3D functions are tricky unless you have experience with the software. For 3D games Unity is best for upstarts though some programming knowledge is highly recommended. If you want to start off with 2D though GM has you covered from the very basics.

        • Arz

          So I should start learning with 2d with GM then move up to 3d?

          • Aristides

            That would be wise, 2D is easier to program as you don’t have to worry about the Z axis or complex camera stuff. Start off simple then expand, that will give you and edge on later games.

          • Arz

            All right,will do. Thanks so much for helping!

          • Aristides

            No problem, best luck on your endeavors! :)

          • Arz

            Hey remember me? Anyway just finished my final papers so now i’m finally free to learn GameMaker. Any recommendation to where I should learn? I’m just watching tutorial videos on youtube now.

  • … Game Maker is little known?

    Regardless, I’ve been using it since GM4. It’s come a long way, both in what it can do and the respect it has gained, and they’ve earned all of it. Excellent tool, so long as you’re willing to invest the effort and don’t think you can just one-click your way into success or design templates.

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