This morning YoYoGames sent out an e-mail to all the people that purchased GameMaker: HTML5 inviting them to try the GameMaker: Studio Beta. As I am one of those people I’ve been tinkering with the Beta for some of today and thought I’d share with you my first impressions!

The first thing you’ll notice when you open GameMaker: Studio is the dark interface. This won’t be much of a shock if you’ve used GameMaker: HTML5, but if you’ll be upgrading straight from GameMaker 8.1 or below you might be taken back. This design is easier on the eyes during long coding sessions, but the D&D Icons all look rather a-like as they’re all the same colour. This is probably a bad thing for new users, but GameMaker veterans will enjoy not having their retinas burned by the coding window. Anyway – if you don’t like the skin you can change it in the preferences.

At this stage in the Beta Studio seems mostly aimed at Android, Windows and HTML5. All those urging YoYoGames to release now should hold back a little bit. Studio still needs a bit of work and I imagine YoYoGames are working as fast as they can. There are various obvious bugs in Studio that present themselves as soon as you try to run an unedited GameMaker 8.1 project from the import tool. Most problems are easily sorted by cleaning up lazy code, but some (Like MP3s not working properly on Android) definitely need fixing before GM: Studio can be released as a paid product.

Ignoring the bugs for a moment, GameMaker: Studio is an awesome product. One project I’ve been developing for a while in GameMaker 8.1 imported beautifully with only a couple of my sloppy code snippets requiring a change. I immediately ran the game on my android device and was amazed at how fast the game could run. At the current build the game has very sloppy, unoptimized code and uses a whole bunch of particle effects at the same time. Despite these obstacles the game ran at a smooth 30fps the same as it does on PC. That’d be impressive enough on a high-end device, but I was testing on a cheap (£80) device running Android 2.2 Froyo. Overall I can see amazing potential in GameMaker: Studio and when the current bugs are fixed I can see it going on to be the most used app development program in the mobile industry. I’ll certainly be buying a copy.

Watch this space for more GM: Studio news and hopefully news on new Wormintheworks game releases.