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@pianotm: I share the same mindset. With Java Script, I didn't know where to start to actually temper with code and experiment. This is what I meant by high level of entry. I couldn't figure out where to start and how to start experimenting. My motivation therefore waned as even though I understood more and more, I was still unable to implement anything.

99$ is a bit expensive but Game Maker Studio 2 does seem designed better than RPG Maker and generally more user-friendly (to me anyway).

I'd rather use something free like Unity but I find Unity were hard to get into as well. It also has options 3D options which I don't need for my own project. I guess it feels like it'd overkill.

@Ramshakin: I've heard pretty dismal comments about Fusion. I mean, it wasn't very encouraging.
The TM is for Totally Magical.
Not so much. I understand that you may feel like Unity's too powerful an engine for 2D, but it's actually got a really good 2D set up. You just have to decide what you want to do with and remember that Unity has a default gravity setting for 3D (which is fine if you're doing top-down 2D, but you'll want to change it for a side-scrolling platforming). I wouldn't push Unity so hard, except that it's free for non-commercial (and you only have to pay if you actually get sales and you pay based on sales), it's the second-most powerful engine that an indie dev can get into (that honor goes to Unreal, but that engine actually is terrible for 2D. I was told by someone a long time ago that CryEngine and its derivatives, such as Lumberyards are very difficult to work with.).

I don't do Java Script personally. I do C# but that's fine. You might have problems finding plugins that work with JavaScript on Unity (but despite what you'll probably hear, a lot of plugins you might go looking for can only be found in JavaScript, so you'll end up having to write your own stuff with either one.). Java Script is definitely simpler, which some people say limits JS, but I have no personal experience with that since I don't know JS, so I can't confirm whether that's actually fact or opinion. I've seen the types of games you make and Game Maker Studio is definitely set up for that type of game. When I was playtesting GMS2, I made a Galaga type space shooter in it and I had a functional level in less than a day. It took me more time to set up the sprites, which I admittedly had a tough time doing my first time in, but once I figured out what I was doing wrong, it was really simple.

For Unity, it definitely takes longer to initially set up. The big thing with Unity is it's designed on the premise that you build your own editor for your own needs. You start with a basic editor with basic functions, and the idea is that you add to that editor with every function you write. Once things are set up to your needs, though, everything knocks down like dominoes.

Okay, if you try Unity again, just start with the first thing. You don't how to implement anything? Start by thinking of what you need to implement. I need a ground for my character to walk on. Well, that's simple. Put down tiles, make sure they have colliders attached and set your gravity based on what you want to do. If it's top-down RPG style, the gravity's already fine. If it's side-scrolling, set gravity to 1. Next, you need the character to walk on the ground. That's not as simple. You have the sprite, but Unity needs you to animate it and you need a way to control it. How did I handle that? I asked Youtube, and Youtube gave answers. Setting up sprites is about the same difficulty in Unity as it is in GMS. Getting them to actually do what you want when you push a button, though; that's going to require a character controller.

That's how I figured things out. I thought about what I needed, as I needed it. Using that system of doing things, what I do is I plan what I want my game to be able to do. I still don't know how to do a lot of it, but following step by step, I still manage to figure out how to make it done. I built a pretty nice, adjustable health system in Across the Universe having never done anything like it before.

What I think may be stopping you is that when you start, it doesn't look like you've made any progress for a while. Systems like RPG Maker reward you with a nice map and a working character after minutes of work. In Unity or GMS, it can take days to get to the point where you're ready to make your game look like something, and that can be very off-putting. You can start to feel like you're not accomplishing anything, and it's a big reason why one of the first things I do is lay down tiles (which you can do immediately for both), even if I don't necessarily know where I'm going with it, and immediately get to work on getting a functional player character sprite in the game. Once I feel like I have something to show for my work, I start to feel better about development.

It's like anything else. If you're having a problem getting into Unity, you're going to have a problem getting into GMS, and it's because you're used to whatever you're using now. You need to get into a new rhythm for any new thing you try. I don't know how well this will work for you, but maybe it's something you can use as a guide: set up a list of stuff you need to do and then do it. Don't worry about how you're going to do it. Realize that the info exists freely on the interwebs, and just have the mindset that you can do it.
I still think Unity seems less beginner friendly than GMS. We'll see as I'll buy the latter.
GMS2 was what got me into programming, I think it should fit your needs pretty well based on what you said you were looking for. If you went through the javascript tutorials, you should have no issue learning scripting in GMS2, it's pretty similar. You basically just need to practice and get good at some of the coding fundamentals (conditionals, loops, arrays, functions) and I think you can code just about anything 2D in the engine.

If you find that the hard part is getting started on how to code something, I recommend doing the design first in a format that you can see (maybe drawing your idea out on a whiteboard). You can then break things down to smaller, specific pieces. After that, just focus on coding that one small part first. It will take constant practice to get better, but just imagine a year from now, you'll be coding whatever you want with few limitations.

Another thing I would advise, once you learn the fundamentals, might be a good idea to practice writing clean and manageable code. GMS2 is great for beginners and smaller projects, but if the project gets to be large/complex, you will need to code in a way to handle the complexity. As an example, when I was first starting out, I did a ton of tutorials on a single platformer/rpg project. Since a lot of tutorials you will find use different conventions and styles, my project became super mixed up. Lots of different naming conventions, too much object coupling, codebase that was barely readable. The project ended up being abandoned, but I learned how important maintainability is. And finally, two essential non-coding skills I would recommend getting good at is documentation, and learning how to use a workflow management board.
I think my big issue with the way MV uses JS is that knowing the language isnt enough, you kind of need to work out HOW the engine is using Java on a case by case basis in order to manipulate it. Somethings are a lot easier to modify than others but still, its not exactly friendly.

The upside to building something in an engine like GMS2 is while yeah, you need to learn how to code it, once you HAVE learn't how to do that you will also know exactly what parameters to hit up in order to change or modify things.
The most beautiful user on RMN!

Unity is okay. Following a couple of tutorials I was able to make a sphere move with WASD keys. Can go up that ramp and if I place the sphere right, I can drop back down to the first level.

I think my big issue with the way MV uses JS is that knowing the language isnt enough, you kind of need to work out HOW the engine is using Java on a case by case basis in order to manipulate it.

Pretty much, yes, this is what I was trying to put into words.

I was checking some tutorials online yesterday on youtube and I was under the impression that it was indeed very similar to JavaScript. Everything felt similar. There seems to be a lot of documentation to tie in game making and GML scripting which is what was always missing for me for RMMV.

I don't know if it's a budget thing but I feel like the coding is sort of there as an afterthought for users. Not so much in the sense that it's not well implemented, but more like in the sense that it's not implemented in a way which is easy for users to get into when it comes to coding for an actual game. It gives me the impression that coding is an option for people who have background knowledge but out of bounds for newcomers.

One thing I deplore about RMMV games is the lack of diversity but that, I think, is also due to the engine's limitations. You're strongly encouraged to make a game which funnels down a certain archetype. Steering away from more classical design often requires plug-ins which means even the game who are more diverse than the rest will often end up using shared plug-ins.

That's my take on things anyway.
Stand back. Artist at work. I paint with enthusiasm if not with talent.
@toaster Maybe the documentation we lack that explains how MV's unique javascript works is so precious that gamedevs can get secretive with their found secrets? I've no real interest in investing much in MV so idk.

If the take of the last paragraph was that using a begginner-level engine which what I believe has the lowest barrier to entry when it comes to game development, makes one's game feel the same as the rest of the hundreds of others who use it because of that reason (because even when you expand it's capabilities in plugins it still has to follow a central "core") then yeah, I totally agree. Being "unique" enough to make your game NOT feel like an rpg maker game, does nothing to evade the fact that it is a game made in rpg maker in the end.

I can't help stifling a little "duh" though because personally when I got into game development I started with game maker (i think version 6) and tsukuru2k3 at the same time, and even way back then I quickly learned there are various kinds of engines, the type that lets you do all you want, but you have to build everything on your own with a fine set of well maintained tools (like game maker, unity, godot, etc), and engines that give you a gigantic toybox with shiny action figures with lots of buttons (rm2k, 2k3, simrpg95), which ALSO includes a few sets of custom-made lego bricks to let you build "whatever" you want as long as you can fit the pieces together in the specific way they were built (RM XP and above, tyrannobuilder, that simrpg95-like modern strategy engine on steam which name i forgot).

But idk. I've used many engines and RPG Maker will always be in my "perfect for making graphic and audio portfolios lazily" engines list. Doesn't take the fact that MV as well as the rest of the makers have huge potential for amazing projects, but talking about heavy customization, if you find it a lot easier in any other engine, then totally aim for that.

And you guys made me consider opening up GMS2 again lol. At least for the memories.
Toaster, try Love2D

It's really simple to make 2D games with, can release on any platform, and has even had games on steam that are made with it.

Check out some of the cool stuff people have made.

If you have questions, pm me on here or discord, I'll gladly help you out.

It's REALLY SMALL (no installs), simple to use, powerful, and a lot of fun!
Wolf RPG Maker is one I can recommend.

It seems quite superior compared to MV.
Just to let you know I decided to purchase GMS 2. I'm currently watching tutorials on youtube. Just have to approach this a little at a time.
Enjoy, man! I wish you the best.
Thanks, I have a good feeling about this. I think it'll work out ok.
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