Interactive Media & Game Development
Worcester Polytechnic Institute


IMGD 1001: The Game Development Process
Project 1: Making Games with GameMaker

Due date: Friday, August 24th, by 11:59pm


This will ensure you have GameMaker skills even if tasks in later projects are more partitioned.

This project is actually a series of three smaller assignments with the primary goal of getting you up to speed with GameMaker. Each assignment works through a GameMaker tutorial with an additional custom piece on the end. Completing all three assignments will put you in good position to develop a game from scratch using GameMaker.

Details: Upon completion of each tutorial, and before turning them in, you must extend the basic game you have made in some creative fashion. This means adding code or art to extend the game by 10%. The actual extension is up to you, and you will indicate what you have done with a short README document when you turn in the assignment.

Please note, it is not enough to simply cut-and-paste the code into the proper place to complete the tutorials -- I assume you know how to cut-and-paste. The point is to learn the material, so even if this seems easy for you, please make sure you are completely comfortable with GameMaker after doing this assignment.

The assignments are:

  • A) The first assignment is to complete the Your First Game tutorial from the GameMaker pages. Download the complete tutorial by clicking on the link and extract the contents. Either print or view online the "first game" PDF included. Refer to the sample code as needed. Note, for this and other GameMaker tutorials, the resources (art and sound) needed for the tutorial are supplied under the "Resources" sub-directory. Once done, you might consider extending the game by one or more of: additional goals needed to complete the game (such as time limits or scores), other clown types with different behaviors, or alternate rooms with the above. This list is by no means the only way of extending the game.

  • B) The second assignment is to complete a GameMaker game from scratch. The game to complete is a classic, Pong, chosen because of the simple art yet compelling game play. Refer to the Pong.pdf file for the instructions. Since this game is from scratch, no additional external assets are needed. Once done, you might consider extending the game by adding more-complex ball behavior depending upon where it hits the paddles, or scoring mechanisms and increasingly challenging behavior. Again, this list is by no means the only way of extending the game.

  • C) The third assignment is to complete, and then extend, another GameMaker tutorial. Here you have a choice of either A Scrolling Shooter or A Maze Game. A slightly more advanced tutorial that can be tried is A Platform Game. Extract the tutorial as you did for the first assignment and proceed from there. Refer to the end of each tutorial for a few suggestions on how to extend it. The choice of the tutorial doesn't really matter (you might do all three if you have time, but only turn in one), but can be selected based on your interest in the game type. Important! Before starting project 1c, you should enable "advanced mode" in GameMaker (if you have not already). In the "File" menu option, select "Advanced Mode" directly under it. This will show some advanced features for GameMaker, useful for many games.

What to Submit: All assignments (A-C) are to be submitted electronically via turnin by midnight on the day the assignment is due. Each turnin will include the GameMaker source file(s). For GameMaker Version 7.x, this is a file with a ".gmk" extension. For Version 8.1, a file with a ".gm81" extension. Also, you should submit a short README document clearly describing the additional 10% contribution. Make sure your name and login is included in the README file.

When you are ready to submit, zip everything up into a single archive file. Name the file

You will use the Web-based "Turnin" facility to submit your work. Information about submitting can be found here:

Use your WPI user ID to login, and you should have been emailed a password.
The Turnin assignment ID is proj1.

Remember the policy on Academic Honesty: You may discuss the project with others, but you are to do your own work. The official WPI statement for Academic Honesty can be accessed HERE.

Grading Guidelines
Tutorial 50% Doing each tutorial without any additional customization is worth 1/2 the grade. While you will have learned a substantial amount about GameMaker, you will not have demonstrated your understanding of the principals enough to apply them in a creative fashion.
Customization 50% Extending or modifying the tutorial game with custom work is worth the other 1/2 the grade. Doing so will begin to flex your creative muscles and show mastery of the basics taught in the tutorial.


For a presentation summary, you might check out the slides (PowerPoint, pdf) for this project.

The GameMaker home page.

Compiled GameMaker Tutorial Games (zipped), showing the range of games GameMaker supports.

There is a Wiki devoted to GameMaker, that includes background information and some possibly useful links at the bottom.

Back to course page.