Game Maker is a proprietary software application written by Mark Overmars in the Delphi programming language. Overmars released the first public version on November 15, 1999. It is currently at version 7.
Originally, Game Maker was named Animo, as a graphics creation tool, and eventually was programmed into an easy development tool for programming specifically for inexperienced programmers.
Game Maker's primary development interface uses a drag-and-drop system, allowing users unfamiliar with traditional programming to intuitively create games by visually organizing icons on the screen. Game Maker comes with a set of standard action libraries, covering such things as movement, basic drawing, and simple control structures. To extend the drag-and-drop functionality of Game Maker, users can use custom-built action libraries to add new actions (drag-and-drop command icons) to their games. These can be created (generally by more advanced users) using the official special library builder tool.
This program is designed to allow its users to easily develop computer games without having to learn a complex programming language such as C++ or Java. For experienced users, Game Maker contains a built-in scripting programming language called the Game Maker Language (GML), allowing the user to further customize their game and expand features. Games can be distributed under any license subject to the terms of Game Maker's EULA, in non-editable executable .exe files or as .gmk (Version 7.x), .gm6 (Version 6.x), .gmd (Version 5.x and 4.x), and .gmf (Version 3 and below) source files. Users of Game Maker are allowed to distribute and even sell their creations as long as they comply with the terms of the Game Maker EULA, which prohibits a number of illicit programs such as those which involve unauthorized use of copyrighted material or those which are unlawful in general.
Game Maker is becoming more widely known and used. It has attracted many users, mainly because of the program's accessibility to beginners while allowing complex tasks to be done by more advanced users. It is not as narrow in game creation as some other programs, as it allows the creation of many types of games, including platform games, first-person shooters, third-person shooters, massively multiplayer online games and construction and management simulation games. It is also possible to create standard applications with Game Maker.