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Any opinions on gamemaker v games factory 2?

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by LinW2010, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. LinW2010

    LinW2010 New commenter

    Both systems are available at school, but I have little or no experience of either, and thought I'd ask opinions before deciding which one to focus on. Does either program actually teach anything useful other than pure games stuff, or is Scratch a far better option than either?
    I know Scratch fairly well, and to my mind it's a good introduction, but the kids just didn't seem to get on with it that well, which surprised me.
    Any tips/opinions/advice welcome :)
    Thanks.
     
  2. cj3

    cj3

    I have not used Games Factory - but have used Game Maker and have found it very successful. There is a text book - Payne Gallway - which is good - and there is also a scheme of work which you can buy for £80 from teach-ict.com - very good value. Scratch is also excellent - I used a pacman game as my first intro to Scratch and again kids loved it. As for what kids learn - well at the very least they learn to sequence instructions - they also get to create a game, rather than just play them - and they have to consider good game design and usability. That should be enough to justify it. Scratch of course introduces them to formal computer programming concepts - and Game Maker does too, though less overtly.
     
  3. Have not used Games Factory in a teaching context, but if I had the option it would be the one I would choose. It is much more closely matched to the real world and if any should choose to go into games development after they finish - it is definitely much more realistic and Game Maker totally pales in comparison though it is what the majority will use simply because they do not have the time to put the effort into Games Factory. Sad but true. So in conclusion, if you want your students to be more useful after they finish, go with Games Factory. If you want the easy (yawn) route, go with Game Maker.
     
  4. Really? I would have thought the ability to actually code in Game Maker using GML would have put it above Games Factory in terms of real world development.

    Given that games like AMR2 (http://metroid2remake.blogspot.com/) can be made with Game Maker, I wouldn't call it the 'easy' route.
     
  5. Whoops my bad. Just double checked and you are right. It wasn't actually Games Factory I was meaning at all, it was Game Studio I was referring to. Completely different and altogether more tricky.
     
  6. Ah.. Game Studio, that makes a little more sense...
    In that respect, the OP may want to consider Alice as it comes with teaching materials AFAIK: http://www.panda3d.org/
    Game Maker is pretty decent from what I have seen allowing users to use a GUI drag and drop interface but also has the functionality to let users code bespoke behaviour.
     
  7. You could also have a look at Stencylworks http://www.stencyl.com/ . You can make iOS and flash games with it and the kids can use it at home since it's free. Works very much like Scratch. I've had a quick go with it myself but it's too tricky for all but one or two of the kids I've got so I have not persevered.
     
  8. LinW2010

    LinW2010 New commenter

    Actually I've done a little more digging, and while it sounds like Gamemaker is slightly more versatile with the GML language, it exports only to .exe format, while for Games Factory 2 you can get an extra to export to .swf format. Now embedding flash files into a webpage seems a far more useful option than having exe files, if it comes to kiddies wanting to share/show off their work.
    If I've got reasonably low ability kids, they're unlikely to get as far as the GML anyway, which means to my mind GF2 has probably slightly more of an edge.
    It certainly gives me an idea of which one to focus on for now :)
    I've looked briefly at Alice, but didn't get very far. What sort of reaction does that get with kids?
     

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