1: GameMaker is available on Steam.
I saw GameMaker: Studio originally in a PC Gamer article I saw a few months back, where they showcased some indie games and what they were built in. Fast forward to now, where I have some more free time (I was doing 4 hours of travel everyday for a while in December!!). I found that it’s now available on Steam and there’s a light version that you can just play with … getting it through Steam also means you can submit to Steam.
So my 8-Bit Clothing Closet and Space Shooter! Ultimate Deluxe Version can be updated and subscribed to for anyone on Steam who wants to play. It’s a super nifty option and gives *you* a chance to take a look at what else is out there.
2: Start with the Tutorials…
Definitely take a look at the two starter tutorials that they have available: the clown tutorial and the scrolling shooter tutorial. These will get you settled with the program.
3: … but take time to break away.
I found that there were some things that didn’t make sense to me in the tutorials that could’ve been done quicker and simpler. So, I did that. Breaking away from the tutorials with the “Why don’t I do it like XYZ?” is a really great learning opportunity! It also gets you more familiar with the Drag n Drop buttons.
4: Read the forums.
The GameMaker forums should be one of your first stops for questions. If you have a specific question, go to your Google search and use this: “ site:gmc.yoyogames.com question” — basically search the forums for your question to see if it’s already been answered somewhere else.
There’s a LOT of really good information on the forums, seeing as they’ve been around for quiiiite a long time.
5: Just Play!
Make games. Get frustrated. Read answers. Play your games, play other games, get ideas.