When comparing GameMaker: Studio vs LÖVE, the Slant community recommends LÖVE for most people. In the question“What are the best 2D game engines?” LÖVE is ranked 2nd while GameMaker: Studio is ranked 11th. The most important reason people chose LÖVE is:
Lua is an embeddable scripting language designed to be lightweight, fast yet powerful. It is used in major titles such as Civilization as well as a lot of indie games. Lua is very popular because it provides "meta language" features. You can implement object-oriented structures, or pure procedural functions, etc. It has a very simple C interface, and gives the engine developer a lot of flexibility in the language itself. Artists tend to love Lua too because it's very approachable, with plain and forgiving syntax. Lua is free open-source software, distributed under a very liberal license (the well-known MIT license).
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Extremely easy to learn
GameMaker: Studio is incredibly easy to learn. It requires almost no programming knowledge which means that those without the technical experience, such as designers or artists, can create their projects without the help of a programmer.
Pro Gives developers access to a more fine-grained controle over the logic through the Game Maker Language
Game Maker Language (GML) is the primary scripting language that is interpreted similarly to Java's Just-In-Time compilation used in GameMaker. It is used to further enhance and control the design of a game through more conventional programming, as opposed to the drag and drop system.
Pro Extremely stable
GameMaker: Studio has been around since 1999 and has been used and maintained during all this time. This makes it an extremely stable game engine.
Pro Cross-platform multiplayer support
There is the possibility of creating games that interact with different platforms and is not that hard.
Pro Easy cross-platform shader support
Write your own shaders in one shader language and have it automatically ported to all platforms. You can even choose a specific shader language to wield the full power of the target device.
Pro Easy to find resources/tutorials/assistance
GameMaker: Studio has a huge following, tons of people put up tutorial videos, and it's just generally easy to find help. It has a huge community.
Pro Easy to use
Game Maker Studios simple interface allows for rapid prototyping, and easy development.
Pro It has an IDE used for loading all of the assets
It is very easy to manage all the resources you want to put in your game, the UI widgets for each assets (sprites, sounds, backgrounds, rooms, objects and shaders) are intuitive enough for when adding or even editing the properties of each your assets. The included editors are also good and easy to use (sprite/image editors, shader editor and room editor).
Pro Assets can easily be found in the official marketplace
Yoyogames website has a marketplace which opens up an opportunity for people to sell or giveaway created assets and resources (sprites, scripts, sounds, extensions, full source codes, etc.) for use in GameMaker. This benefits people who needs quality assets for their games, and for creative people to provide these assets for extra income. The Marketplace has a rating system so it can eventually increase the quality and competitiveness of the assets submitted.
GameMaker: Studio projects can be deployed to: HTML5, Linux, Windows, OS X, Windows Phone, Android, iOS and PS3/4/Vita.
Pro Supports 3D
There is also 3D support that doesn't interfere with the primary 2D focus.
Pro Uses the fantastic Lua for scripting
Lua is an embeddable scripting language designed to be lightweight, fast yet powerful. It is used in major titles such as Civilization as well as a lot of indie games.
Lua is very popular because it provides "meta language" features. You can implement object-oriented structures, or pure procedural functions, etc. It has a very simple C interface, and gives the engine developer a lot of flexibility in the language itself.
Artists tend to love Lua too because it's very approachable, with plain and forgiving syntax.
Lua is free open-source software, distributed under a very liberal license (the well-known MIT license).
Pro Active and very friendly community
The LÖVE forums are extremely helpful. With people checking the forums every day, it won't take long to receive answer to your questions on the Support board, receive feedback on games you post in the Projects board, as well as have a chat about the LÖVE engine while learning tricks to use in the very active General board.
If you need an immediate answer though, or just want to chat, there is a very active and helpful IRC channel.
Supports Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android and iOS.
Pro Great for prototyping
You can learn the basics very quickly and start making simple games in no time, even if you have no previous Lua knowledge. If you're a little experienced with LÖVE, you can prototype a 2D game with it in no time.
Pro Open source and free
The LÖVE engine is licensed under The zlib/libpng License (which is very short and human readable) which allows you to use the source code and even modify it as long as you do not claim that the original source code is yours.
You can obtain the code at this bitbucket repository and even help fix bugs and participate in the development of LÖVE.
Pro Easy to understand and use
Lua2D handles loading the resources, reading input, playing sounds and displaying stuff on the screen. Only the logic is left for the developer to write. It also removes the overhead of having to use and learn a GUI game editor. All you need is a knowledge of Lua and your favourite text editor or IDE.
Pro Very good documentation
The LÖVE wiki provides full documentation of its easy to use Modules, which are conveniently located on the side bar of the wiki. It only takes seconds to find the module for love.keyboard, which provided a list of all functions along with arguments and examples where the function could be used.
Pro Many examples and libraries with source code
There are plenty of open source examples of games or components built by the community that are ready to use or learn from.
Pro Can develop within Android
It is possible to develop games directly on a tablet or cellphone with the Android system by using the experimental Android branch.
Pro Very good for education
That is a great tool for teaching novice programmers. Creating a game on LÖVE, you have to think about developing, not about the syntax of the language.
Pro Cute name
So much love.
Pro C++ and Lua one of the best languages for gamedev
Because all professionals in gamedev use C++, and Lua the fastest scripting lang.
Con Exporting to some formats costs extra
You need to buy extra modules to be able to export to platforms like Android, iOS, HTML5 and others.
Con No built-in refactoring tools
There are no built-in refactoring tools - for example, you can rename a resource, but GM:S will not automatically change the mentions of it across the code to the new name. At the same time, however, all file formats are text-based, meaning that the effect can be achieved by simply doing "find & replace in files", which is a feature offered by pretty much every external code editor nowadays.
Con The scripting language used is quite limited
Language does not support actual objects, structs, real data types, functions, overloading, even argument naming. Developers generally have to code around the lack of these features in very tricky ways.
Con The cost to buy for development is outrageous
The cost for this tool is hindering for indie developers who have little money to work with.
Con Development has been and will be cosmetic
The change from 1.x to 2.x was cosmetic, the engine and language stayed the same. The roadmap for future development is also cosmetic and includes updating the sprite editor, adding an audio editor, and adding a "mini map" for the IDE.
Con Proprietary language forces expensive "lock in"
Because it uses GML, a very non-standard custom language, new users do not learn a transferrable language and become locked in.
Con Poor level editor
No marquee select, no layers, can be glitchy, no grouping, etc.
Con Destructive DRM
In late 2012/early 2013, YoYo Games released a version of their new Studio IDE for cross-platform development that would import games and destroy all of the image type resources for some legitimate purchasers of the software by superimposing a pirate symbol on top of the image. This was due to a fault in their digital rights management software implementation which they use as a method of combating pirated copies of the software. Though the false positives bug is reported to be fixed, the DRM is still in place and may affect placeholder graphics, etc. YoYoGames publicly stated they would remove the DRM at a later point in time, but that other less-invasive DRM techniques would remain.
Con Can't embed videos in game
Doesn't support embedding videos in a game.
Con Bad history of ignoring critical bugs
In the past, the developer failed to update the software for iOS and Android when game-breaking updates were made to those platforms.
Con Tends to crash or not compile games properly
Con Expensive for what it offers
There are several options with more flexibility, better learning resources, and a lower price point.
Con No GUI editor
The GUI must be hard-coded, leaving a lot of tricky calculations and jumping through hoops to accommodate different devices and displays; it's probably the least developed and hardest thing about GMS2 compared to comparable engines
Con Doesn't support the Switch
Console exports do not support the Switch. (Update: support for the Nintendo Switch is coming)
Con No way to activate or use existing modules
Support entirely focused on new iteration depriving even basic functionality of this version with any purchase that hasn't already been activated. It is still possible, thought not intuitive, to download this version on the trail screen for GM S 2. But no purchased (wildly expensive) module can be added any longer.
Con Poor accessibility and integration
Documentation and resources largely focus on proprietary scripting language, which is necessary for achieving full potential of the software due to poor drag and drop integration.
Con This is very flat for games
They are not beautiful - for example, Undertale.
Con Owned by a gambling company, Playtech
As opposed to other engines, which are open source or owned by game companies, GameMaker is developed by YoYoGames, which is owned by Playtech, a gambling software company.
Con Not very powerful
The engine has very few modules and only the really required one, you'll have to do almost everything from scratch.
Con The community seems juvenile
For example, some of the library include names such as HUMP, LUBE, AnAL.
Con Documentation is very dry and technical
The site has plenty of tutorials, true, but they all read very technical, and explain very little. This might be too much for beginners, even for coding purposes, because of the fact that the specifics aren't explained well enough to learn effectively. The docs can be found frustrating to understand even the basics, such as tables or the like, because of how poorly they are explained, and how few examples are given before expecting you to be able to use them.
Con Absolutely no GUI (no graphical interface)
This has no graphical interface at all, you have to know how to read script in order to know what you're looking at. After you've written the script for everything, you compile it to see the result. It's a very poor way to create a game, given how even most professional tools out there give you a GUI to work with and debug on the go. The lack of a GUI slows down the work by ten-fold, and it's just an inefficient use of your time.