My Thoughts: GMIndie Magazine Issue 8 / by Allison James

Welcome to a new segment I call "My Thoughts". Every now and then I'll post my thoughts, either in a little summary or, in this case, as a review, on a non-game item. This will be a little like my old website "Talast". Reviews of games made in Game Maker will continue to be posted on the Game Maker Blog instead.

Despite earlier statements that the magazine would be coming to an end to make way for one of a new purpose by the same team, GMIndie Issue 8 was released earlier to the public. At 18 pages it’s much larger than previous instalments, which have generally clocked in at around eight. Given a note at the start of the magazine claiming a new release schedule of “Every 3 weeks” it would appear the move is permanent.

The magazine contains reviews of RC Aerobatics and The Wizards Apprentice, which are kind of well written, though hold the occasional misspelling/grammar error. Oddly, the introduction to the review for “The Wizards Apprentice” is the same size as the rest of it, and contains no capital letters whatsoever. Something that made me giggle was Frederick’s statement embedded in that review: “My favorite is the snow level with the snowmen that throw snow balls and ice at you.”

Following the reviews comes a slightly poor full-page advertisement for self-rating system TIGRS, then a page devoted to an eBook called “Game Maker Geek”, which did nothing to catch my attention other than perhaps nicking the avatar YoYo Games moderators use for banned members.

Another review afterwards, for “Western Shootout”. Just noticed that there’s no mention on the page of who made the game, though it clearly states who wrote the review. Again, it’s a fairly simple affair that gets its point across with some unnecessary mild swearing and no conclusion.

Then comes the interview with Landon Podbielski (superjoebob on the GMC amongst other places). The interview is thorough and well written, which makes a change from some of the previous segments where all the interviewees’ text speak and misspellings were left unedited. It’s a two pager and covers a lot of interesting ground.

Following the interview is a massive seven page tutorial in learning online multiplayer. Knowing absolutely nothing about creating this I took a look at the tutorial – it seemed complicated but in general will surely benefit some people. What I didn’t like is the way they announced it would be continued in the following issue – they did it mid-sentence. The beginning of a chapter was just four lines before the cut off point so it would’ve made sense to end it a tad earlier.

A small segment comes after this, which is poorly written (whoever wrote it needs to learn that, being a name, “Game Maker” takes capitals, and that calling something a “nice cool feature” really doesn’t work). On the other half of the page is a fairly unfunny comic in which whoever is writing demonstrates exactly why emoticons have no place in a written publication. The final page is an outro where said emoticons become abundant (all but one of the paragraphs have one in) and a final statement “Much regards from the GMIndie team” before a nice chunky GMIndie logo is put in.

On the subject of the magazine’s design – although it’s generally consistent and looks good enough, I find the constant use of seemingly random WordArt effects for titles ugly and unprofessional. Although the magazine is very, very Calibri-heavy it’s superior to slapping fonts around like crazy. In my opinion, if they ditch the odd and inconsistent titles the design will be very pleasant.

On the whole, GMIndie Magazine Issue 8 is definitely an improvement over its predecessors. It appears to have greatly benefitted from the lengthened development time and, though still certainly holds room for further improvement (no emoticons, proper English at all times, fix the design of article/review titles) it’s a magazine worthy of your download. Hopefully in three weeks’ time Issue 9 will be released and take the torch from the seemingly finished bodies of GMTech and MarkUp.

Download GMIndie Issue 8