A page dedicated to Mark Overmars'
When and how did you discover Game Maker?
interesting question, as I have only a vague grasp of the passage of time,. a quick look in my GM directory shows some files created back in 02,. and if I recall correctly it was ver. 4.3 of GM at that time.
Have you used any other game creation programs?
sure, any I could get my hands on!., just before I found GM I was working with a similar program called 'The Scrolling Game Development Kit' [ http://gamedev.sourceforge.net/ ] I build a little platform game called 'the Poles' it was just a demo and I never really finished it, as I found GM just around that time. GM has a bit of a nicer IDE and OO structure that I really enjoy working with. As far as game making,. I had worked on some Half Life levels that never where released., although I did learned a lot from doing the work. and I have been modeling 3d stuff with Milkshape 3d [ http://www.swissquake.ch/chumbalum-soft/ ] for quite some time.. including some prototypes for simple 3d games that will hopefully one day be worked into fully playable games. I also used MS3d models in the 3d chess game that can be found on the iteration GAMES site,. however the game was programmed in C++ by a guy called Oliver Lightfoot who lives somewhere in the UK. ( that game is un-finished )
What games or other projects have you made with (or for) Game Maker?
'LockOn' is my biggest release,. that is the most downloaded. I have been totally blown away by the response to it.. it is currently around 25,000 downloads, just from my site. And I've noticed that ppl tend to re-post free games on other sites as well, making it difficult to really keep track of how many ppl have played them... The next to most popular game I have created with GM has been the remake of the classic Joust, created for the Retro Remakes competition in the summer of 03. [ http://www.remakes.org/ ] I had always loved that game in the arcades in the 80s, and thought the concept could go further so I expanded the game play to make it a re-mix of the originals instead of a straight up remake. I only found out about the contest half way into their time frame and therefore I was only able to work on the game for a few weeks,. surprisingly the game won the most faithful remake category in the compo and has been downloaded from my site well over 10,000 times! Both of these games can be had from iterationgames.com. and for the hard core there are a couple of 'works in progress' on the site ( that I may some day get around to working on some more ) a puzzler and a turn based strategy net game, as well as 'Seeds - the Three Birds of the Apocalypse' a little A-life system. Kind of a game with the only goal being the setting up and observation of interactions between some crazy little digital creatures.
What are your favorite Game Maker games?
seiklus - cly5m ( for the original art,. and pure adventure design of it )
skull squad - bofrazz aka gabe brooks ( capcom quality original graphics! hard game play )
eerie lights - ??? ( lost my copy in a HD crash,. still looking for a link! great original game )
macky and pentell - baby bonnie hood ( very fine, intense shooter )
medieval clash - karel pool ( fun game, nicely presented )
What are your favorite games NOT made with Game Maker?
I enjoy games with some original elements and quality presentation,. these are some I like;
Z.O.E. the second runner ( crazy fast giant robot combat, hi quality anime story )
the Mark of Kri ( stealthy mission based combat, super fine animation, great sound )
Gandam Federation VS Zion & DX ( 2 on 2 deathmatch, online, sick sick sick! )
Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram ( fast disorienting mech combat, very original game play )
Shenmue ( life sim/adventure/kung-fu, vast scope and ambition )
Final Fantasy Tactics ( turn based strategy, great effects and story )
Klonoa: Door to Phantomile ( 3d side scrollin' platformer, pure art! )
and many more,.
What advice would you give new Game Maker users or those who would like to improve?
just keep trying! making games is like any other artisan art form,. persistence pays off. Also study and learn what you can from other ppls examples.
What elements of a game are most important to you and why?
this is really hard to answer, as different games attract me for very different reasons.. I do appreciate original designs both in game play and art,. as re-treads and face lifts to old ideas rarely are interesting,. the presentation has to hold some artistry and the game must be fun or very interesting.. as there are a lot of draws on my time and I can only give it to a game that has invested some soul in its creation.
Why do you make games? What is your primary inspiration, motivation, or both?
I make games because I like playing games. I think games are and art form that require active participation,. I remember playin SimCity back in the day,.(amiga ver.!) and being struck by how it got me thinking about the place I lived in and how it was actually designed and run. I see that type of consciousness expansion as something that can come from a great game. I make games because selling them could make me money at some point and ppl always tell you to do the work you enjoy,. and I make games for the kids. I just want to rock the kids. Yo!
Do you have other artistic pursuits other than game development? If so, what?
I have been making experimental music for some years now,. under a few names,. one was '.,and the earth died screaming' [ http://mp3.com/ateds ] and another newer one is called 'Zug Island' [ http://subverseco.com/zugisland ]
Any other comments?
Thanks Cly5m for building such a great site and hosting all these interesting interviews. The GM community needs more quality sites like yours to help ppl get to know each other and find all the good games that are being made with GM! Respect to Mark Overmars for creating such a brilliant tool that actually teaches good game design principles as you learn to script and build games.