LateralGM: An Open Source Alternative to GameMaker

Published 2019-02-11


Let's face it, Game Maker (the one by YoYo Games) can cost a bit of money if you want to remove their branding when you publish a game. While some people are okay with having their branding on the game, others may wish to remove it without having to spend a fortune doing so. However, why pay for the software when there's an open source alternative already available that looks almost exactly like the original software. But why would you consider an open source alternative adequate?

Why LateralGM? Is it Stable?

With LateralGM, you get all of the features that Game Maker for free. On top of that, all of the code is public on GitHub. You can find all the code available here. Cloning the repository there to install the software is recommended, and is the best way we found to use the software. While it basically works just like Game Maker (8) would, there are some takeaways from using this over YoYo Game's version. Here is just some of the differences we found:

  • There are still some bugs that still need to be worked out. For instance, the built-in editor for working with in-game sprites doesn't function well. A workaround is to use an external program to work with the game's objects.
  • Your code will be compiled using C++ and Make. You can even read the output to make sure your game is not executing any bad code. This however will cost you some time to compile.
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  • The user interface will look a little different to what you are expecting, as the front-end uses JDK (Java Development Kit) to display the User Interface. While you can customize it a little, they are apparently working on a new solution that uses QT, the same framework that powers KDE (a desktop for Linux).


Whether to decide between open source software and paying for a commercial product is always a debate. We believe however, that consumers should this alternative first before going to pick up YoYo Game's version of Game Maker. You might just save a few hundred dollars if you decide this version is adequate for your requirements. Plus, you get to see all the code you are compiling before you release your project to the open world, which may get more users' trust.