This Windows tab is split into three separate sub-tabs (accessible on the left of the window) to make changing and updating the information for your game clearer and less complicated. These tabs are explained in the following sections.
General tab for Windows games is where you should supply the
necessary information for Windows to display when your game has
been installed and is running. This information goes in the
Version Information section, and should be filled out
The other two sections of this tab are related to the way your final game is shown once started, with the Splash Screen being the graphic that is shown while your game is loading, which can be enabled or disabled using the appropriate check-box, and the Options controlling whether you should display the standard Windows cursor or not and the icon that your game should show. You may also choose where the game bundle is to be installed to, either the "%localappdata%" or "%appdata%" folders.
NOTE: Being able to change or enable/disable the splash screen is a Pro Only feature.
The final option is for setting the Windows Sleep Margin.
This option is related to reducing stuttering when running your
game on specific systems. Basically, if your game is running faster
than your room speed GameMaker: Studio will "sleep" for the
remaining time, but this sleep can be quite inaccurate and you can
often end of sleeping for longer than necessary, causing your frame
to take longer which causes stuttering. To get around this we can
sleep for less time, then sit in a tight loop for the remainder of
the time to make it more accurate - although the problem with
sitting in a loop is that it causes CPU usage to increase, which in
turn can cause your CPU temperatures to rise and your fan to run
faster. By default, this value is set to 1, and in 99.99% of the
cases you'll be fine with this, but for low end machines or for
machines with a lot of background processes running this may not be
an ideal solution and a value of 5 or 10 may be required. Note
though that this is very much a system specific configuration and
what works on your build machine may not be appropriate for another
user, and as such if in doubt leave it set to 1.
options are those that you should configure to determine how your
game will use the graphics card of your target Windows PC. The
following options are included for you to modify:
- Start in fullscreen mode - If this is checked, the game will start in fullscreen mode.
- Interpolate colours between pixels - Turns on interpolation, which basically "smooths" pixels. for crisp pixel graphics, it should be off, but if you have nice alpha blends and smoothed edge graphics it is better left on.
- Force software vertex processing - This forces GameMaker: Studio to use the CPU for all graphics and is only recommended if there are compatibility issues with older machines.
- Use synchronization to avoid tearing - This toggles v-sync on or off. Note, that if you have a game with a room speed of 120 and the player has a monitor with a refresh rate of 60, turning this option on will lock your game speed to 60 too. There is an alternative v-sync mode available should the game still have issues like stuttering or tearing even with v-sync on - see alternative synchronisation method below.
- Allow the player to resize the game window - Checking this permits the user to change the size of the game window.
- Scaling - Here you can choose to maintain aspect ratio (so a 4:3 room will be "letter boxed" on a 16:9) or to scale fully (stretching the image to fit the full screen).
- Allow Switching To Fullscreen - With this ticked the user can switch from fullscreen to windowed and back again using the standard Windows shortcuts.
- Borderless Window - Checking this will make your game run with a borderless window, removing the normal minimise, maximise and close buttons as well as the game title.
The following are considered advanced options for rendering to the Windows target module and should generally be left at their default values. However should you be experiencing graphics issues, in particular with older machines, then you may benefit from changing these:
- Create Textures on Demand - Checking this will make the windows target work like all the other targets, ie: texture pages will be loaded into memory on demand and can be flushed again when required. This can cause a few milliseconds of pause in your game as the texture pages are loaded, and so should be optimised such that the textures required for a level are loaded at the start of the room to minimise impact.
- Vertex Buffer Method - This option can be used to change the way that the game geometry uses the vertex buffer. The options are:
- fast - This is the default method and is the one recommended by Nvidia - it should give the highest performance.
- compatible - This is the deprecated method that GameMaker: Studio used to use before adopting the fast method - poorer performance on newer machines
- most compatible - This is the legacy method that was used in previous versions of GameMaker - performance is poorer than the other two, but it should be compatible with almost any machine.
- Alternative Synchronisation Method - Change the way that vertical synchronisation works to improve compatibility and resolve any issues with stuttering or tearing that the regular v-sync may show on older machines.
WARNING! Switching off the application surface will disable all the scaling options set in the Global Game Settings until it has been switched back on again. See The Application Surface for further details.
Finally there is the option to set the size of the Texture Page. The default (and most compatible) size is 2048x2048, but you can choose from anywhere between 256x256 up to a whopping 8192x8192! There is also a button marked View which will generate the texture pages for this platform and then open a window so that you can see how they look. This can be very useful if you wish to see how the texture pages are structured and to prevent having texture pages larger (or smaller) than necessary.
NOTE: Be aware that the larger the size of the texture page, the less compatible your game will be.
Windows games are created with an installer (previous versions of GameMaker just made an *.exe) and here you can define the various settings and graphics that GameMaker: Studio will use when creating it. First of all we have the graphical options which will define the look of the installer itself:
- Finished - The graphic that appears on the "Finished" page of the installer. Must be in *.bmp format and measure 164x314px.
- Header - The graphic that appears while the installer is running. Must be in *.bmp format and measure 150x57px.
You can also point to a specific License Agreement (an
example is supplied with GameMaker: Studio) and a custom NSI script
should you need one.