On the Shoulders of Giants: Game Maker’s Toolkit

A few months back I wrote this blog post about one of my biggest influences, Egoraptor. And since I’m currently drowning in finals, now feels like a good time for another short shout-out post. This time I wanted to share Mark Brown’s Game Maker’s Toolkit. I’ve mentioned his work a few times before in my rant about Mindtrap and in my blog post on genres, but given how much of an influence his work has been on me I wanted to take the time to give him the attention he deserves.

Game Maker’s Toolkit (GMTK) is a YouTube channel that focuses on game design. Their videos cover a wide range of topics including level design, difficulty, narrative structure, and game mechanics. I’ve watched every video they’ve made, and I find myself revisiting their older videos from time to time. I appreciate how clear and accessible Mark’s videos are, and how you can jump into any of them even if you don’t know anything about the topic he’s discussing. They are all well researched, engaging, and easy to follow. I’ve learned a lot from GMTK and incorporated many of their lessons into my own games. I even cited one of their videos in a paper I wrote for Games in Society last semester (this one if you’re curious). If you’re at all interested in learning more about making games, I highly recommend giving them a try.

This one is the first in a series about designing for disability. It really opened my eyes to how implementing some small adjustments can make your game more fun and accessible for everyone.

This one is part of GMTK’s Boss Keys series, in which Mark breaks down the level design in the Legend of Zelda. He’s also since branched out and started looking at the level design in other franchises, such as Metroid and Castlevania.

And finally, this one is about Roguelikes and progression. While I don’t personally agree with everything he says, the video still offers a really interesting perspective on the genre.

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