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It used to be that making a game in Game Maker was a badge of dishonor for some game developers. Thankfully, the potential for a developer to suffer that stigma seems to be getting smaller every day, thanks in part to developers like Zack Bell and Greg Lobanov who have pushed what the the engine can do in surprising and exciting new directions.
Wandersong, Greg’s upcoming game, integrates singing mechanics in a way that few games have ever attempted. Like John Cleese once said, engaging in play can free us to experience potential epiphany in ways that that few other activities can. In other words, singing to a cloud just may take you to heaven, but only if you give it a try. And who’s that bald man selling candy? He looks like I feel.
As for Zack, he’s in an interesting place in his career, having gained a name for himself by helping other aspiring Game Maker developers get more out of the tool, while never reaching a point where he was truly satisfied with his own work. From the sounds of it, that may change with the release of Fara and the Eye of Darkness. The top-down action exploration game seems to actually impress this otherwise un-self-impressed young man. I can’t wait to play it at GDC in a few months.