Which Game Maker Version is best with Mega Engine?
#1
I noticed it has 3 versions, for different versions of Game Maker. One for Studio 2.0, one for studio 1.4, and one for Game Maker 8.1.

Question is, do any of these have limitations that I need to worry about for making my own 8-bit Mega Man fangame?  Should any of these suffice?  And if not, which would work best?  Do I need the full $1,500 Studio 2 to produce a half-decent Mega Man Game?

The reason I ask this is because I don't feel like sinking money into Studio 2.0 if it isn't necessary, but I would hate to go with 8.1, only to find out, after, say, 2 years of development, that it is bug ridden and has limitations that wouldn't be an issue if I went with Studio 2.0.

Any feedback would be appreciated.
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#2
The pro version of all Game Maker versions all have no limitations on how much game can you build, but if you make something huge then you're bound to run into problems. MaGMML2, which was based on the Mega Engine, started on 8.1 but had to move engines because there were memory issues in 8.1. However, Studio 1.4 had another problem, which was the ridiculously huge compiling times. In any case, each version has its own quirks and problems. In addition, they aren't fully compatible with each other so stick with what you start with.

Regarding the Mega Engine itself, I haven't particularly compared the three versions so I don't know which one is better, but I'd argue that you should just use the one that you like the most. Everyone has their own personal opinion but here's what I think: Don't use 8.1, it's terribly outdated, insecure, and has way too many problems, including being limited to exporting to Windows, and having barely any controller support. Personally, I've used Studio 1.4 for my semi-secret fangame/parody (which uses a custom engine that I made), and it's generally been a good experience, aside from the long compile times, which can be avoided if you keep your game small or optimised. As for 2.0, I haven't used it intensely, but while the interface seems really good, I've heard bad things about it.

All of them will most likely do a decent job. 8.1 is not sold anymore, so you're pretty much forced to resort to piracy (though it is easy to find). S1.4 is not sold either, but there is a free version which I think doesn't have any limitations (but I might be wrong) other than a forced splash screen. The only one you can buy is S2.0 but come on now, it's not $1500. A permanent licence with desktop export (which is pretty much the only thing you'll need) is $100, or alternatively $40 per year for exporting only to Windows. Turns out there's also a free version, which I don't know the limitations but I think the only thing you can't do is export. Some time ago there used to be Humble Bundles where you could get a Pro licence for S1.4 for $6. If you're willing to wait multiple years, then maybe there will be a cheap licence for S2.0 eventually.

In the end there's no objectively 'superior' version so stick with whatever's best for you.
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#3
(Yesterday, 01:53 AM)Garirry Wrote: The pro version of all Game Maker versions all have no limitations on how much game can you build, but if you make something huge then you're bound to run into problems. MaGMML2, which was based on the Mega Engine, started on 8.1 but had to move engines because there were memory issues in 8.1. However, Studio 1.4 had another problem, which was the ridiculously huge compiling times. In any case, each version has its own quirks and problems. In addition, they aren't fully compatible with each other so stick with what you start with.

Regarding the Mega Engine itself, I haven't particularly compared the three versions so I don't know which one is better, but I'd argue that you should just use the one that you like the most. Everyone has their own personal opinion but here's what I think: Don't use 8.1, it's terribly outdated, insecure, and has way too many problems, including being limited to exporting to Windows, and having barely any controller support. Personally, I've used Studio 1.4 for my semi-secret fangame/parody (which uses a custom engine that I made), and it's generally been a good experience, aside from the long compile times, which can be avoided if you keep your game small or optimised. As for 2.0, I haven't used it intensely, but while the interface seems really good, I've heard bad things about it.

All of them will most likely do a decent job. 8.1 is not sold anymore, so you're pretty much forced to resort to piracy (though it is easy to find). S1.4 is not sold either, but there is a free version which I think doesn't have any limitations (but I might be wrong) other than a forced splash screen. The only one you can buy is S2.0 but come on now, it's not $1500. A permanent licence with desktop export (which is pretty much the only thing you'll need) is $100, or alternatively $40 per year for exporting only to Windows. Turns out there's also a free version, which I don't know the limitations but I think the only thing you can't do is export. Some time ago there used to be Humble Bundles where you could get a Pro licence for S1.4 for $6. If you're willing to wait multiple years, then maybe there will be a cheap licence for S2.0 eventually.

In the end there's no objectively 'superior' version so stick with whatever's best for you.
Tell me a little more about these memory and controller limitations.  Did these memory limitation effect game saves, framerates, or just extraneous stuff that most wouldn't bother with (such as having 20 teleporters in one room)?  Is the controller limited to Xbox360 controllers (my exact reason for abandoning XNA Game Studio)?  Or is it just that it can't map to more than 12 or so buttons (which shouldn't be needed for an 8-bit style MM Fangame anyway)?
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#4
(Yesterday, 12:20 PM)Crazy_Hand Wrote: Tell me a little more about these memory and controller limitations.  Did these memory limitation effect game saves, framerates, or just extraneous stuff that most wouldn't bother with (such as having 20 teleporters in one room)?  Is the controller limited to Xbox360 controllers (my exact reason for abandoning XNA Game Studio)?  Or is it just that it can't map to more than 12 or so buttons (which shouldn't be needed for an 8-bit style MM Fangame anyway)?

Regarding the memory issues. In case you didn't know MaGMML2 had about 80 user-submitted levels of various sizes, and aside from that tons of other content. Because Game Maker loads the entire game into memory at once, this caused issues in 8.1 which AFAIK made it crash on start up. If you have a regular-sized game, this honestly shouldn't be an issue unless your game is gigantic. Obviously if you're fairly new at game development you shouldn't make an overly large game, and if you're making a MM fangame smaller or slightly larger than an official game, this will not be a problem.

Regarding the controller support, basically 8.1 has this horribly old and outdated joystick support designed for the old DirectInput interface on older Windows, that's not adapted for modern controllers at all. Setting up 360 support is an absolute pain in the ass but I did manage to figure out how to do it, albeit with a tons of limitations still. I still have the code so if by some chance you go with 8.1 I can send it. Studio introduces actual good controller support that's VERY easy to work with, and carries on to 2.0.

By the way, you mentioned that lack of controller support beyond Xbox 360 controllers was a problem. Could you clarify as to what controllers do you intend to use? Keep in mind that Windows only supports two controller APIs: DirectInput and Xinput. As mentioned before DirectInput is really old, but some controllers such as the PS4 support it. Xinput is much more modern but is only supported by 360 and Xbox One controllers, although others can be used using a wrapper of some kind (a software that makes it look like a 360 controller). I believe Studio primarily uses Xinput but I think DirectInput is supported too, but I'm not exactly sure. Anyway, it's a bit complicated even for me, but controller compatibility will generally be limited to the operating system and the controller API that is used, but if you're making a Windows game you shouldn't particularly aim for non-Xbox controllers.
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#5
(Yesterday, 09:59 PM)Garirry Wrote: By the way, you mentioned that lack of controller support beyond Xbox 360 controllers was a problem. Could you clarify as to what controllers do you intend to use? Keep in mind that Windows only supports two controller APIs: DirectInput and Xinput. As mentioned before DirectInput is really old, but some controllers such as the PS4 support it. Xinput is much more modern but is only supported by 360 and Xbox One controllers, although others can be used using a wrapper of some kind (a software that makes it look like a 360 controller). I believe Studio primarily uses Xinput but I think DirectInput is supported too, but I'm not exactly sure. Anyway, it's a bit complicated even for me, but controller compatibility will generally be limited to the operating system and the controller API that is used, but if you're making a Windows game you shouldn't particularly aim for non-Xbox controllers.

What I meant is that I hope it supports more than just the Xbox 360 controller.  Like, as long as I can program in support for ANY controller that's compatibility with windows.

So from what I gather, 21 levels and 6 characters shouldn't be an issue, or may I want to consider switching?

Edit - As I understand it, the first Level contest used Blyka's engine, so I take it a Bullet Hell boss or even weapon shouldn't breach the RAM limit?  Cus Bright Man had a LOT of objects on the screen IIRC.
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#6
(Yesterday, 10:13 PM)Crazy_Hand Wrote: What I meant is that I hope it supports more than just the Xbox 360 controller.  Like, as long as I can program in support for ANY controller that's compatibility with windows.

So from what I gather, 21 levels and 6 characters shouldn't be an issue, or may I want to consider switching?

As I said, the only officially supported controllers on Windows are Xbox 360 and Xbox One controllers. Depending on the interface (DirectInput/Xinput), it may also support DualShock 4 (PS4) controllers if the game engine support DirectInput, but that's about as much non-Xbox compatibility you're getting. If you're like me and use a DualShock 3 (PS3) controllers on Windows, you'd use a software to map it as an Xbox 360 controller. It works with literally all games I've tried, including the one I'm working on in Game Maker Studio 1.4 (which was designed for Xbox controllers). It pretty much comes down to how difficult it is to implement support - as I said GM8.1 has trash controller support, but Studio has great controller support. The compatibility on non-Windows systems (macOS and Linux) is a different matter altogether, but I believe Studio supports them in one way or another. 8.1 only exports to Windows, as mentioned previously.

21 reasonably-sized levels (although in my opinion kinda overambitious) should not cause any problems regardless of the Game Maker version. What do you mean specifically by switching? Also, I'd just like to point out that if you choose to stay on XNA, I'd recommend you check out MonoGame, as it is a more up-to-date version of it (if I understand correctly, that is), and it supports platforms other than Windows and Xbox 360. I know nothing about it though so you should do your own research a bit.
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#7
(Yesterday, 10:43 PM)Garirry Wrote: 21 reasonably-sized levels (although in my opinion kinda overambitious) should not cause any problems regardless of the Game Maker version. What do you mean specifically by switching? Also, I'd just like to point out that if you choose to stay on XNA, I'd recommend you check out MonoGame, as it is a more up-to-date version of it (if I understand correctly, that is), and it supports platforms other than Windows and Xbox 360. I know nothing about it though so you should do your own research a bit.

Good, I did look it up and it seems non-xbox controllers CAN be made to work, but it's tricky.  TBH I'm okay with that, because programming is a constant challenge to begin with.  

But one last question though, will Bullet Hell type stuff breach the 800 MB RAM limit?  Cus if I have to get studio to do that, I will.
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#8
(Yesterday, 11:06 PM)Crazy_Hand Wrote: But one last question though, will Bullet Hell type stuff breach the 800 MB RAM limit?  Cus if I have to get studio to do that, I will.

Doubt it, the RAM limit is really only a problem regarding game resources. So I imagine a 512x512 sprite with one instance in the level having that sprite would take more memory than a hundred instances with identical code and the same 16x16 sprite. Anyway as I said I recommend starting with Studio regardless, but it's up to you.
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