YoYo Games was originally released in 1999 by game creator Mark Overmars and have been downloaded more than 5 million times. GameMaker has a community of half a million registered users and is offered in more than 5,000 schools and Universities worldwide.
According to news from VentureBeat :
The company said today it is working with Microsoft to offer support in its cross-platform game development environment GameMaker: Studio for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.
That means developers will be able to use GameMaker: Studio to create their games and quickly publish them on Microsoft’s PC, smartphone and tablet operating systems. GameMaker can take the same code and easily export the games to other platforms, including Android, iOS (Apple’s iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad), Facebook, HTML5, and the Mac, said Sandy Duncan, chief executive of YoYo Games, in an interview with GamesBeat. The cooperation with Microsoft is a big sign of growing support for GameMaker, which has been around for a while but has recently been revamped for cross-platform development.
The activities based on GameMaker range from technology summer camps (see for example the Childrens Technology Workshop) and elementary schools, to highschools and universities (for example the course on Game design at Utrecht University). On this wiki page you could find information and links that are useful for educators. The shared teaching materials are for learners from age 11 to college students.
- Steven Isaacs, Middle School teacher, teaches Video Game Design to 7th and 8th grade students and online professional development web 2.0 technologies. He has been teaching GameMaker for over 10 years and has shared Tutorials (GM 8.0) : http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/channels/c661FeVje.
- First course for children age 11-13 (in Dutch) – This site contains a first introduction to Game Maker for children of age 11-13, written by Ben Buitenhuis. Very clearly done. (in Dutch)
- Course materials for secondary and primary – This site contains tutorials, demonstrations and challenges written by Tony Forster, Bill Kerr and Al Upton who are all using Game Maker in Australian schools.
- Game Maker guide for highschool students – This guide, that includes videos of the basic steps, was written by Margaret Meijers (Taroona High School).
- Game design course lecture notes – Here you can find information about the course about game design taught at Utrecht University, including a complete set of lecture notes. Note that this is an advanced course.
YoYo Games has been actively involving in educational programs, such as :
- National STEM Video Game Challenge: There are two annual competitions – focused on both playing and designing games for STEM learning. The Youth Prize, with $50,000 in prize money, will be for student designers from 5th to 8th grade, and will target outreach and opportunities for students in high-poverty schools from underserved urban and rural communities. The Developer Prize will be open to anyone and focus on STEM games for early learners, pre-K to 4th grade, with special emphasis on developing technologies with the greatest potential for effectively reaching underserved communities. For this competition there is a special category for GameMaker with a curriculum built around GameMaker called Activate!. It is a community where kids can play games and learn to make them, too. The games on Activate! are about getting active and solving problems on your street, in your town, and in the world. (teacher resources available)
- GameDesk: Developed out of The University of Southern California, GameDesk has been implementing it’s PLAYMAKING programs – whereby students learn by playing and by making games. GameDesk’s (www.gamedesk.org) game-making curriculum uses GameMaker to teach underserved students critical math content(MathMaker), and to build their identities as producers and engineers. This video is a good overview of what they have done and are continuing to do with GameMaker. This month, GameDesk just launched its game-based learning school in LA. We’ve written about its pedagogy : Math Learning Embeded into Game Design.