why gamemaker

tldr: familiarity.

I love having control over things. I like knowing exactly how my game works. game engines like Unity (ignoring their questionable business practices), Godot, and Unreal are out of the question by default. what does that leave me with?

I’ve toyed around with making custom game engines in the past, in D and TypeScript. I believe that I’m sufficiently skilled enough to build a simple workable game engine in either language (especially the latter). and despite the effort required to build an engine, I would honestly have a lot of fun doing that, even if it distracts from building an actual game. why not go for that then?

nullstars was created almost entirely on a whim. or rather, it was a project a long, long time coming after I released Ejow. hell, after I released Ejow, I already had notes on what I could do to replace Ejow. even then, in my eyes, Ejow was meant to be “replaced”. forgotten, for something superior. honestly most of that came from a profound disappointment in what Ejow was.

what happened some months ago was that I was getting frusterated and burnt out with ardent shot (then named “BSB”), and I needed to make something. I needed to make a game I could make, something familiar and comfortable. a platformer! the moment I opened that new project, I ditched all my preconceptions for my imagined “Ejow 2” and named the project file “redemption”. reasoning being, this wasn’t going to replace Ejow, because whether I like it or not, Ejow is something I made, and I should embrace it. this project was just going to be what I could do. nullstars was created on a whim that afternoon, and it needed to be created quickly.

I could have made a custom game engine, or I could have started working on a game. GameMaker does a lot behind the scenes, but that stuff doesn’t do stuff for me. I get to have my little illusion of control plus actual control over what matters. the choice was obvious then.