In May of this year, the Animation Career Review ranked the University of Utah’s Entertainment Arts and Engineering (EAE) graduate and undergraduate degrees as second on the list of “Top 50 Game Design Schools and Colleges in the US-2017.” The Princeton Review ranked the U’s EAE graduate degree as third grad program in the nation and the undergraduate degree as third undergrad program in the nation on their “Top 50 Undergraduate Schools to Study Game Design for 2017.” The U has not only embraced the brave new world of video games but taken it by storm. Among many things the EAE does, one of them is Summer Camps designed for pre-teens and teens to get them involved in the career field. A resource used for these camps is called GameMaker Studio 2, an easy to use program for first time and seasoned game creators, by YoYo Games.

GameMaker Studio 2 takes out the fuss of coding and gets down to the fun bits of creating a 2-D video game. YoYo Games has a special patented Drag and Drop system (DnD) to make the ease of use possible. If developers want to code and not use the DnD that is also available, this tool is versatile for beginners and pros. In the past, this software was intended for personal use and could get rather expensive in an education setting, such as the EAE Summer Camps, but this is no longer the case. GameMaker Studio 2 is now available in bulk at a reduced price to give schools and students access to the program. The educational version also comes with some upgrades friendlier for students just learning the universe of game creation.

James Cox, the general manager of YoYo Games, said “We want to give educational institutions an easy and affordable way to engage students with their passion for game development – no complications or fine text.” If an institute is unsure whether or not GameMaker Studio 2 is the right fit for them and their program, YoYo Games is offering a free trial version to universities or associated faculty with no time limit or pressure to purchase.

GameMaker Studio 2 is also able to publish games across different platforms such as Android, iOS, HTML5, PS4, Xbox One, Windows Desktop, OS X, Ubuntu, and Windows UWP. Some of the more popular games that used the program during all or part of creation are “Spelunky”, “Hyper Light Drifter”, “Undertale”, “Hotline Miami”, “Nidhogg”, and “Downwell.”

Though the U is not officially affiliated with GameMaker Studio 2 or YoYo Games, both the U and YoYo Games seem to be in the middle of today’s popular medium. Due to the U’s high ranking in game development, GameMaker Studio 2 was excited to share this announcement with students, faculty, and graduates.

With this exhilarating new adventure emerging GameMaker Studio is also celebrating its fifth anniversary. Happy Birthday GameMaker Studio, who have come so far in such a short time. To learn more about GameMaker Studio 2 for private or academic use check out www.yoyogames.com

h.vasic@dailyutahchronicle.com

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