Setting up GameMaker builds on the RPi

Getting the equipment

The first step is to acquire a Raspberry Pi. There are many models available, but the current recommendation is to get the Raspberry Pi 4 with 4GB RAM; game builds take a bit more resources than playing them so a Pi 4 with 4GB RAM gives us plenty of space to do that. Players can play with a lower-specced Raspberry Pi (depending on your game of course).

  1. The Raspberry Pi itself
  2. A Micro-SD card (at least 4 GB)
  3. A USB-C power adapter (recommended 15W or above)
  4. A micro-HDMI cable for your monitor
  5. OPTIONAL: a case for the RPi 4
  6. A monitor
  7. Mouse and Keyboard
  8. Micro-SD card reader
  9. OPTIONAL: ethernet cable for your wired internet (you can use Wifi otherwise)
The RPi bundle you can get on Amazon (Source: Amazon)
  1. The Raspberry Pi itself
  2. A Micro-SD card
  3. A USB-C power adapter
  4. Ethernet cable (which can be removed later once wifi is set up, or continue using over wired network)
  5. A Micro-SD card reader

The Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a small single-board-computer, originally built to be as low-cost as possible while still operable as a full linux computer, intended for educational purposes. Its low cost and ubiquity drove its popularity with hobbyists, leading to a lot of projects, examples, guides, and hardware being made.

Step 1: Setting up your Raspberry Pi

Once you’ve received your Raspberry Pi, put it together with whichever case you purchased (if you did purchase one). Before you power it on, we need to prepare the Micro SD card.

Unless you have better plans, “Download ZIP” on the first one
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Step 2: Configuring stuff

If you’re setting up the RPi like a computer and wanting to play games on it, plug the newly flashed MicroSD card into the RPi, connect up your monitor, mouse, and keyboard, and network cable if you have one, then plug in the power. Your RPi will now boot up, you can set up your network, and any other preferences. Open up a terminal app, you’ll run the commands from the next steps in the terminal.

Logging in using SSH client on WSL or cmd.exe
logging in using PuTTY

Step 3: Installing the required packages

Either inside the terminal app when you’re piloting the RPi from keyboard, mouse, or monitor; or over SSH if you’re doing it over the network, first update your system’s package registry using sudo apt update, then issue a sudo apt upgrade to install updates on everything; it’s good to start with an updated system.

sudo apt install build-essential clang libssl-dev libxrandr-dev libxxf86vm-dev libopenal-dev libgl1-mesa-dev libglu1-mesa-dev zlib1g-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev zip

Step 4: Set up Gamemaker

From the build-target menu inside GMS 2.3.1 or later, select “Ubuntu”, “YYC”, and click on the Device Editor button.

Step 5: Build your game!

Once you’re ready, hit build. If all things go well, you should after a few moments, have a game built! You can watch the CPU load go up on the RPi while you build by using the htop command

Known issues and workarounds for 2.3.1 beta

Ubuntu icon incorrect

Currently with 2.3.1 beta, sometimes, the Ubuntu build icon is invalid, you will need to grab a 64x64 png image to use as a game icon before it’ll build

Backslashes in filename

Currently with 2.3.1 beta, the last few steps of the build process will fail due to backslashes in the file path. Subsequently, the build will not provide you with a game zip. This can be worked around manually

mv 'GameMakerStudio2\game_project\game_project.zip' game_project.zip
unzip -o game_project.zip game_project
chmod +x game_project
zip -g game_project.zip game_project
rm game_project

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Yuan Gao (Meseta)

Yuan Gao (Meseta)

🤖 Build robots, code in python. Former Electrical Engineer 👨‍💻 Programmer, Chief Technology Officer 🏆 Forbes 30 Under 30 in Enterprise Technology