In a nutshell
Lots of talk about it being the best thing since sliced bread, not much has been shown to prove it. I've yet to see any sort of fangame use Stencyl as its IDE of choice. Probably not good for fangames at this stage.
I've not seen Construct in action either, but the thing that's most noticable about those YouTube videos is that they've clearly got fantastic artists and musicans on board. No IDE will offer you these things, which suggests the people producing the content are highly skilled. Highly skilled programmers can work with anything, so it's not neccessarily a sign that Construct is "good", but I've not used it so I may be wrong. The fangaming community as a whole doesn't use it, so support would be limited. It's unexplored territory. Perhaps worth exploring, but perhaps not.
Game Maker is widely used by "newer" fangamers. I have this theory that the reason for this is because people put in stupid search terms in google (I.e. they wanted to "make" a "game" and thus "game maker" popped up). Game Maker is reasonably powerful - it can do some impressive things, but it is flawed in many, many aspects. It's slow, it creates bloated applications, and as far as actual programming goes... well... you can throw pretty much anything at it and it'll probably function. And because it doesn't demand semicolons at the end of lines or the "==" operator, you get a community that can't really
Or rather, if you then shifted over to something like C/C++ or Java, half your code probably wouldn't work, because Game Maker doesn't train you to write code that's "good", it trains you to write code that's "good enough".
Sonic fangames don't seem to use Game Maker. Mario fangames do. There'll be pros and cons as to why, but essentially, it depends on your game. I don't like the bloated nature of Game Maker - it doesn't "feel good" to work with, whether you're a programmer or a user. Yes you can get around some of this stuff, but nobody ever does. I don't personally recommend Game Maker on the basis I don't personally like running Game Maker games, but others don't care.
Mario fangames are relatively easy to make as opposed to Sonic ones, because a Sonic fangame needs fancy 360 degree engines. It's more of a struggle to do those in Game Maker. But it's also more of a struggle to get the same level of precision needed with Mario in MMF2.
MULTIMEDIA FUSION 2/THE GAMES FACTORY 2:
MMF2 and its watered down cousin TGF2 tend to be used by Sonic fangamers. Little actual programming involved, and a community that's existed for a good ten years or more thanks to previous similar Clickteam products, and so the knowledge is spread and yada yada Sonic Worlds. An MMF2 application can do amazing things, but Clickteam have never been ones to get with the times, so it's "2006 amazing" as opposed to "regularly being updated to keep it cutting edge, amazing". You have to dish out cash to produce games, which is the major downfall. People used to pirate the older stuff (I.e. MMFE, TGF and MMF) but the older stuff is hideously broken
and built with Windows 98 in mind
, so don't do that.
really it depends on what you're comfortable with. I think history pairs a lot of people with Clickteam products, but emerging technolgies should be much better. And of course your pros will tell you to ditch them all and learn C++ or whatever.
I've stressed for a while that the best way forward would be to hack the hell out of the old TGF, kill a lot of the built-in limiters, fix the numerous bugs and leave it at that, though the legal concerns that surround it and the willingness for technical experts to do such a thing are pretty big obstacles. If you wanted to make your hardcore stuff it wouldn't be appropriate, but I think it would be the best choice for beginners and those who just want to make games for fun, quickly. Because Game Maker will give you crap and MMF2 will hurt your pockets if you're only wanting to make something "simple".
and "simple" is good in this situation. Spending years on building a fangame from scratch that won't guarantee you income needs a certain frame of mind. That's why you don't see many completed Sonic platformers.
This post has been edited by Black Squirrel: 15 August 2011 - 11:37 AM