When and how did you discover Game Maker?
I think I searched for "game maker"..
Have you used any other game creation programs?
I had used RPGMaker2000 before. I made a couple of games with that, but there was a lot of stuff you couldn't do with it.
What games or other projects have you made with (or for) Game Maker?
I've made a ton, but these are the good ones:
Ant Apocalypse 2
Learn To Drive 4
You can get them from http://www.bigmound.com/buttonman/games.shtml
I've also got a lot on the way.
Wally: Land of the Wallows
What are your favorite Game Maker games?
What are your favorite games NOT made with Game Maker?
Battlefield 1942 - PC - Awesome online game. Great with the Desert
Counter Strike - PC - Nice team based online shooter.
Crimson Skies -PC - I like flying games..
Halo - XBOX/PC - Whee.
What advice would you give new Game Maker users or those who would like to improve?
Find about 10 good examples then get friendly with the "merge" button.
You should actually read up on all the things you can do with gamemaker and learn to use scripts. I wasted a lot of time when I started out coding all these complex actions because I didn't know that there was one function I could use to do that thing...
What elements of a game are most important to you and why?
Gameplay is the biggest. Your engine has to be flawless. Don't bother making 100 levels for your game if your character sticks to walls, no one's going to play them. Also, don't make a game where the goal is to just stay alive and you get points for every step you do so.
Why do you make games? What is your primary inspiration, motivation, or both?
I do it because it's fun. I like all the old SNES games and I use some things from them. I look at Yoshi's Island a lot for games like Green Cow and Wally.
Do you have other artistic pursuits other than game development? If so, what?