Packaging and Distributing your GM Game

by jeremymaharg

When you are ready to distribute your game, use an archiving utility such as DropStuff to create a .zip or .sit archive that can be uploaded to your own website. Make sure the archive utility you use preserves the resource forks.

Packaging your game
An easy method of packaging your game that doesn't require any third-party software is to use Disk Utility to make a disk image. Create a new folder, and place the folder containing your game and its files into it, for example:
My Game Install Disk (this will be a folder at this point, but will become the name of your disk)
:My Game (your game folder, possibly with a custom icon)
::App (Your app)
::Other DATA

The reason for the double-packaging is to make the disk image contain only one item for the user to copy over. The user then installs your game by dragging the game folder to a location of their choice. When all of the files are ready to package, open Disk Utility and choose File Menu > New > Disk Image from Folder... and choose the folder named "My Game Install Disk". Press Image, and save your disk image as a compressed or read-only image. Upload this .dmg disk image to your website, and it is ready for users to download and play!

Supporting older versions of MacOS
If you want to allow your game to also run in Mac OS 9 or older, a better choice is to use DropStuff (version 5.5 for OS 9 tends to work best for .sit files) to make a .sit or .zip archive. You will need an older version of GameMaker that compiles for the platforms you want to support (3.5 supports the widest range, from 68K to Carbon). Compile your various versions of your game, giving them appropriate suffixes (68K, Classic, Carbon, OS X, etc.), and place them all in your game folder. Open DropStuff, and add your game folder to the archive. Upload this archive to your website for users to download and play on their older Macs!

Making your game available for download
If you do not currently have a webhost, sign up for a GMG Hosting account. You will be given a username and password to access your website using an FTP client such as Fetch or Cyberduck.
Enter the following in the appropriate fields to log in to edit your website:
Username: your username
Password: your password (don't forget your password!)
Click Connect, and you will see a list of files and folders. Open the one that looks like "". Copy all of your webpage files and game archives into here.

It is also possible to use file hosting websites like rapidshare, but some of these sites only make it available if it continues to be downloaded. If noone downloads your games after a certain number of days, your game will no longer exist and it will no longer be available. Some file hosting sites also only allow your game to be downloaded a small number of times, meaning it is gone after, say, 10 people download it. It also tends to be more inconvenient for downloaders because these sites make heavy use of javascript and very annoying advertising.