Using Source Control Management with GameMaker: Studio

Once you have everything setup correctly, GameMaker: Studio has its own set of tools for working with Source Control.

When working with your game in a source controlled setup, it is important that you follow the same steps all the time when creating, committing or reverting files in your game. To make things easier, below you can find a brief overview for the three main procedures that you will need to work with.

Adding New Files

When creating a new resource for your game (whether it be a room, a sprite or a time line), there are a couple of steps that you should always take to ensure that it is correctly versioned in your source control repository:

Now that you have added your resources to the repository, you can continue working on them as before, with each save or test run of the game updating the files to be added to the repository. however, just adding them does not actually commit the changes. This is explained in the following section.

Committing Files

Adding files (as explained above) only marks the files as "to be added" to your source control repository but doesn't actually save them there. So we must now commit the files in order for the repository to hold these files. This step is very important as without it, your repository will not be up to date and you cannot use any of the source control features.

To commit files to the repository, follow these simple steps:

Now that you have done your initial commit, the process should be more or less the same from now onwards, with you editing something, saving the project and then committing the change(s) to the repository, either using the commit all or simple commit commands from the right click menu of the resource tree. Note that you can right click on files in the list and revert, if need be. This is useful when files become missing because of conflicts, or even just accidental modifications. Also note that the actual status information is dependent on the SCM system being used. The ones mentioned above are specific to SVN but may not match up with Git or Mercurial.

Reverting Changes

One of the principal uses for source control is the ability to "roll back" your game to a previous state and undo any changes that have been made. This can be of particular importance when you have added something that breaks the game or have made some design changes that you want to go back and add in. in situations like this you will need to use the Revert option.

The following steps outline how to revert to the last committed version of a file stored in the repository:

Please note that this is not reversible, unless you are reverting from an already committed change. If you make some changes without doing a commit and then revert, once you have reverted there is no going back to your non-committed version.

The GameMaker: Studio Interface

Once your game file has been added to your source control repository you will see that a new set of icons have been added to each resource on your resource tree. These are the GameMaker: Studio source control indicators and are used to give you a graphic representation of the versions of each of your resources and while working on your project will look a bit like this:

Obviously the exact icons you see will depend on your project and what you have been working on, but you still need to know what they all mean! The list below shows each one and explains their significance:

       Updated: This shows that the resource is updated to the current version as stored in the repository.

       Added: This icon means that you have created a new resource and it has to be added into the repository. This will happen automatically when you save your progress.

       Modified: When you change a resource in any way this icon will appear beside it to let you know that it is now different to the last version in the repository.

       Not Versioned: If you see this icon it means that the resource is not recognised by the SCM solution and should therefore be added to the repository. There is an "add" command provided for this in the right-click menu from the resource tree.

       Conflict: If you get this icon it means there is a conflict between two resources. This can only usually happen when two or more people work on the same source and cannot be resolved through GameMaker: Studio. For that you will have to use your windows SVN Client to merge the two files or manually edit the *.gmx files.

You can work on your game as normal, creating, changing and adding resources as necessary knowing that these changes are only being done to your local copy of the game, not the versioned copy stored in the repository. As mentioned in the sections above, a game with source control active also has an extra set of commands available from the right click menu of the resource tree. These new options deal with source control and look like this:

As you can see there are two most common actions that need to be performed:

Below those actions, you also have a further sub-menu titled "Source Control". There are further actions that you can perform listed here:

It should be noted that there is no option to rename any resource as this is handled internally. So, when you have source control enabled and you rename (for example) a sprite, GameMaker: Studio will automatically change and update your local copy of the project without any need for your intervention. these changes will then be added to the repository on the next commit.

Also note that you can add your own commands to this menu at any time through the Source Control Preferences.


If you have any conflicts when committing your added files, you can select the Edit Conflicts option from the context menu (see the section above). This will open up the Conflicts Editor, where you can decide what to do. This editor will list the conflicting files on the left and present you with a number of options for what to do, available from the buttons on the right:

When finished you can close the Conflict Editor and then re-commit the conflicted files as normal.

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Next: Getting Started With Source Control
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