I recently attended a TxDLA (Texas Distance Learning Association) session on Games Factory 2 called, Game Design in Your Pajamas by Pamela Dooley, and wanted to share, briefly, my opinion on TGF2 vs. GM8.1.

  1. Both can be downloaded from the Web and used for FREE
    TGF2: to create an .exe (executable file) you must have full version
    + GM8.1: an .exe file can be create from the Lite or Pro version
  2. Both programs are fairly affordable:
    TGF2 = $59
    + GM8.1 = $25 (changing to $40 June 1, 2011)
  3. Both incorporate a graphical user interface for programming
    + GM8.1
    : programming interface is more simplistic and organized in an
    easy-to-understand, logical manner than that of TGF2 (*opinion1*)
  4. Both contain an internal graphics library with minor editing features, simple animated graphics, as well as allows you to upload your own graphics
    + TGF2 has much higher quality graphics available in its internal library
  5. TGF2 sells a converter to change your program executable files into flash/SWF files for posting and playing finished games on the Web (TGF2 + Converter = $123.37); GM8.1 does not
  6. GM8.1 is a flexible interface that allows users to program visually only, or add additional functionality through GML code-based programming when they are ready to move to the next level; TGF2 does not have coding capabilities

Please understand, these are facts from the software maker’s websites, as well as my opinions based on my experience (GM8.1), observations (TGF2 & GM8.1) and discussions (TGF2 & GM8.1). The TxDLA conference sessions I attended were only 50 minutes long, and not hands-on. Ms. Pamela Dooley did an exceptional job putting together a cohesive and successful DL game development curriculum using TGF2, in which I gained valuable knowledge regarding the software, best practices and course sequencing.

If you have opinions on these two pieces of software, or thoughtful/constructive comments on what I have posted, please share them as this can help others decide which software would be best for their students.