GameGuru

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GameGuru
GameGuru.jpg
This engine is, unfortunately, not for everyone.
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows (7 and later)
Older versions also supported Windows XP & Vista
Release: December 13, 2013 (initial release)
May 19, 2015 (out of early access)
Developer(s): TheGameCreators
Publisher(s): TheGameCreators
Series: FPS Creator, GameGuru
Successor: GameGuru MAX


GameGuru (as GameGuru Classic on Steam) (formerly FPS Creator Reloaded) is a game engine created by TheGameCreators as the successor for FPS Creator.

History

GameGuru was promised to be a high-end indie game engine and a successor to a popular game engine FPS Creator. It failed its promised Kickstarter campaign with around 36% of its intended goal[1], yet it was launched anyway in late 2013. The launch version had severe limitations (very poor performance and only around 50 objects could be placed at a level before the engine memory ran out). It costs 30$ for the basic Bronze version and up to 100$ for the Gold version, where you were supposed to get a boxed copy.

On December 13, 2013, FPS Creator Reloaded was added to Steam Greenlight and it was greenlit on March 5th, 2015.[2]

However, after it was released on Steam, it was not called FPS Creator Reloaded anymore, but instead. it was rebranded as GameGuru: The Easy Game Maker and the price was lowered to 20€. Thankfully, the user that paid for FPS Creator Reloaded got GameGuru activation keys for free, amongst more GameGuru keys and upcoming DLC packages, depending on the pledge.

On May 19, 2015, it got out of Early Access, however, it had still severe performance issues and missing many basic features, that are expected from modern engines (and games). That didn't stop some developers from making commercial Steam games with it, such as GDNomad's My Bones, which was launched just over two months later[3]. As a response, instead of fixing many issues, TheGameCreators undercut GameGuru value by putting it in a Humble Bundle, where you could buy it for 1€[4] and added a warning to the Steam main page, that it was not yet finished, or even used for releasing commercial games.[5]

In early 2016, two-thirds of the development team left to work on other projects and Lee Bamber, CEO of TheGameCreators was alone to fix any and all of its problems. Only very few features from the voting board were added; those were the ability to save in a standalone game, headshots, and a broken FBX importer. Promised Easy Building Editor was delayed until early 2017, while other issues such as AI not able to walk more than 5 cm above the terrain, was ignored. There was also a slowdown in bug fixing. Then community members discovered, that Ravey (former developer of GameGuru that have left) was creating a sandbox game called MyWorld, which has not been made in TGCs engines, due to missing basic functionality, but in Unity and had many features, that would be useful in GameGuru, that could be sold in DLC packs instead.[6]

In 2017, after EBE was added and AI was fixed, GameGuru was being converted to DirectX 11 renderer and PBR support was going to be added. In April of 2018, it was finally converted, however, it strained the ongoing 32-bit limitations and it also raised graphic card (memory) requirements. Despite the new renderer, there was still not basic functionality, such as dynamic lights, casting real-time shadows, and real-time or even static global illumination. The response from the lead developer was to use competing game engines, such as Unity or Unreal Engine 4. This time GameGuru was also rebranded again to GameGuru: Game Making for Everyone.

in 2019, there was another slowdown in a GameGuru development and developer silence, despite he promised six months of bug fixing. It was found out, that there is yet another project going gold, this time it was an improved version of AppGameKit called AppGameKit Studio. At that time, the user asked Lee to convert inefficient GameGuru core to AppGameKit Studio one, as that would fix many ongoing issues. The response was even worse than they could imagine[7] and it was even betraying its own branding. Also to add insult to the injury for FPS Creator Reloaded backers, GameGuru was given away for free on Steam itself[8] and completely undercutting its value again, despite promising not to do so.

In that year no major improvements were made, as the six months turned into a year. And to finally snap the neck, Lee Bamber and other community members went under NDA. The NDA project was a VR simulation for educational use and a paid upgrade for GameGuru. On the discussion forum, there was a debate about it, yet wizard of id and rabid fanboys saltily called dissatisfied users entitled defended this decision. Normally professional CEOs would publicly shame those type of users, yet Lee itself agreed with them, asking why they are still here and didn't leave.

After the GameGuru MAX announcement, customers raised valid concerns about GameGuru future, yet the same fanboys, particularly wizard of id claimed that there are promising WIPs (basically vaporware, that will be never released, more for that in WIS), and whined in typical fake journalist way, that they are "crying and moaning", which was hilarious, because he did the same thing when other users called TGC store items were priced "smidgen too high", despite that same person it selling 3D assets in the TGCs Asset Store and thus would benefit from the more usable engine. In other thread, he even claimed that GameGuru has a EULA, that is not listed on the Steam page, where it's written that it's sold "as is" and blindly damage controlled any mistakes made by TGC employees.

As now, they gave over 200,000 more activation Steam keys for free to presumably boost review score.

Why It's Not a Guru

  1. It's basically the Yandere Simulator of game engines; overpromised and underdelivered. Also it's designed like a live service, promising "better future someday", that will likely never come, unless you pay again.
  2. When "FPS Creator Reloaded" GameGuru hit Steam, it was categorized as a game, not as a software.
  3. Early engine development was decided by random users via "voting board" and not via proper development roadmap.
  4. Many requests by the community were either ignored or acknowledged, but never implemented.
    • Others were promised, like DirectX 11 Volumetric Particle System, but were scrapped.
  5. In some aspects, FPS Creator, that was abandoned for GameGuru have some features, that are still not there.
  6. It lacks basic functionality like the numeric editor for moving entities or setting the position of Sun's shadow in real time.
    • Other basic functionality, which can make or break your game are considered as an "Enhancement" and ignored, no matter how small or important they are[9].
  7. Many variables require full restart of the engine to be applied, that includes setup.ini and even entity .fpe files, where you can edit basic things, such as which collision shape will be used (box, polygon...)
  8. Despite claiming that it's the WYSIWYG (What you see it's what you get) type of the editor, this is not entirely true. Editor runs in the "very low detail" mode, with the black void instead of the sky, grass representing as a green color, water representing as blue blob, simplified lighting and no post-processing. To get the real result, users must run test game or save it as a standalone.
  9. The dynamic lighting and particle system will make your eyes bleed, and static lighting doesn't interact with dynamic entities including your weapon's viewmodel. The "PBR" system lacks real-time reflections and displacement mapping. As for 2020, the development team is claiming that this is done to make this engine accessible to lower-end and integrated graphics cards, which is not true, as some developer managed to implement similar features to FPS Creator and it required only Shader Model 3.0-compatible graphics card (2005 era).
    • Despite this, it has mandatory DirectX 11 Shader Model 5.0 requirement, and it "recommends" a graphics card with 2 GB of memory and a Passmark score of 4500 and above, and claiming that users below that should upgrade their cards as they are "falling behind"[10]. Even CryEngine V and Unreal Engine 4 have lower system requirements.
    • Even if you meet or greatly exceed those specifications, GameGuru and any games made with it can still run slowly as even a simple games like The Last Patient takes more than 4 GB of video memory and because it always run at your desktop resolution and there is no way to change it outside of lowering it, which can possibly mess up your desktop.
  10. The sky is basically a texture with sun painted on it, instead of the sky-dome or the sky-plane, so shadows and light rays don't line up (see WIS 6).[11]
  11. If you don't have Shader Model 5.0-compatible graphics card, it will create "Runtime Error: 0 : Cannot initialize DirectX 11 ()". This led to confusion, as they would think that their DirectX libraries are corrupted.
  12. It can't export 64-bit executables, only 32-bit executables. Yet other projects from this company have (support for) 64 bit executables: RPG World and AppGameKit/Studio. This limits what you can do with it along with limiting the game to use 3.5 to 4GB of RAM depending on executables.
  13. Memory leaking; if you play a multi-level game made with it, it will gobble all your graphic and system memory sooner or later, and eventually crash the game or display green or black screen.
  14. It's associated with the vilest trash on Steam, such as Suicide Simulator[12], yet no significant games were made with it.
  15. No games using this engine have a good amount of graphic settings, only three graphic presets affecting shader quality. No resolution options, V-sync, post-processing, key binding, mouse sensitivity and subtitles (everything is hardcoded). Yes, even less that unpatched version of Batman: Arkham Knight or 3D software rendered DOS games.
  16. As previously mentioned, many thing are hardcoded in a GAME ENGINE. Any developer that is trying to make anything decent in this engine will constantly have to do time-consuming workarounds.
  17. Some gamers experienced motion sickness during gameplay due to poor lighting, textures a performance, such as Zaxtor99, when he was playing Father's Island.
  18. The developer of Steam game Affliction said that his game failed because of the use of this engine, stating inadequate development team and persistent issues.[13]
  19. If you play any GameGuru game (provided that you have opened Steam and have GameGuru in your library), it will count as using it, basically you need GameGuru to be installed to play.
  20. The "Work in Progress" page on official GameGuru forum is a literal graveyard of unfinished games, that could not be released due to many engine limitations. Most developers of those games jumped ship and left for good.
  21. Lee asked the community, that they should pay 500£ as a donation to implement dynamic shadows from spot lights only (no dynamic shadows from point lights)[14], despite selling over 200 000 copies of this engine at that time and still selling today, and many DLCs too.
  22. Also he asked for features, that he promised, but never delivered. When users found them, he was trying to make excuses, that those was never promised or implemented in the 2015 out of early access version, despite his claims, that GameGuru was not finished. This was done so they can be sold in MAX as main reasons for paying again.
  23. When you launch GameGuru for a first time as a installation on a new computer or reinstallation, it will show and ad to buy DLC packs, despite you paid full price for it or even 100$ as a FPS Creator Reloaded Gold backer. Those ads were silently implemented after it was given away on Steam. Now, after GameGuru MAX announcement, you will get ad for that, telling you, that you should preorder it.
  24. Some of the DLC packs contain entities, that you get in other packs too.
  25. Out of the box, third person functionality is very basic; those game are essentially broken due to lack of directional fire and only one weapon due to engine limitation. Therefore, this created twitching in games like Drudes Sandstorm[15].
  26. Other users, and even lead developer, have tendency to tell dissatisfied developers that they should use competing engines, like Unity or Unreal engine, claiming that GameGuru is designed as a recreational tool. However, they don't realize, that using competing products makes this thing pointless in any way, as Unity or Unreal have different workflow, comparing to GameGuru. Even most GameGuru entities are in now deprecated .x format, requiring to be converted to be used in anything today.
  27. Some community members will damage control any faults, defend it like a homeland and even to compare only GameGuru to GameGuru itself. Most common non arguments are "being developed by a single person" and "it's so cheap now". This resulted in vast majority of things written on this list.
    • Other users claim that it's a "world creating tool" and not a game engine. However, they don't realize, that GameGuru is sold as an game engine and CryEngine 2 sandbox (shipped with every copy of Crysis) works much better for creating worlds, plus you will get Crysis game.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Despite all of this, developers can create a functional game, that will not get overwhelmingly negative criticism. Zaxtor99 gave game Hunted: One Step Too Far score 8/10, however, he stated that DK Productions could do better in better tools like Unity or Unreal.[16]
  2. They do have list of previous versions of GameGuru listed in the beta versions tab, including last DirectX 9 version for those, that have DirectX 11 error or wanted to play on older version of Windows/older graphics card that doesn't support DirectX feature level 11 and/or Shader Model 5.0.

List of games powered by GameGuru

Note: It will be impossible to name them all, as there is simply too much of them. This list focuses on more interesting ones related to the theme of this page.

All games listed there share many of issues listed above in WIS category. Many of them have even worse graphic, optimization and gameplay compared to default levels, as the developers didn't care about gameplay. Some developers, like BUNCHOD00DZ and Sun Lucky didn't even change those levels and uploaded them straight to Steam in a process called as asset flipping.

  1. Kimulator: Fight For Your Destiny
  2. AIDS Simulator (asset flip of default level "Morning Monday Stroll")
  3. Father's Island
  4. Suicide Simulator
  5. My Bones
  6. Affliction
  7. Hunted: One Step Too Far
  8. Glitch Simulator 2018
  9. Ivan VS Nazi Zombies
  10. Protascope
  11. The Lasi Patient
  12. Nazi and Nazi 2
  13. Other single level survival FPS games in similar vein as Nazi and Nazi 2
  14. All games published by Texas Interactive

Reception

From gamer or even game developer perspective, GameGuru is considered one of the worst game engines ever made. Zaxtor99 gave it a 1/10, literally begging other developers to not use it for games released on Steam[17], while other game reviewers like IamPattyJack or Soda Bread Gamer considers it as the worst of the worst, mostly for junk, that was created with it, and sold on Steam.

The only people that gave it a positive review never tried to make game with it or got it very cheap or free.

Trivia

  • The median use time by Steam users of this engine is only 31 minutes, with average of 21 minutes [18]

References

  1. [1] FPS Creator Reloaded Kickstarter Campaign
  2. [2] FPS Creator Reloaded on Steam Greenlight
  3. [3] My Bones, first GameGuru game on Steam
  4. [4] Humble Game Making Bundle
  5. [5] Choosing Your Game Engine GameGuru is not designed to compete with professional development tools such as Unity, Unreal, and CryEngine, which are ideally suited to producing commercial apps and games. GameGuru is a recreational game maker, not a professional tool, and is still very much in development. GameGuru is unsuitable for serious game development projects at this time, and we highly recommend you visit the forums and ask many questions before you make a decision on the game making tool for you.
  6. [6] Discussion about MyWorld in GameGuru official forum
  7. Hi, There are no plans to rewrite GameGuru in AGK Studio as it would probably take years (GG took over 3 years and that was with FPSC code already existing). You can imagine the task of creating it from scratch :) I believe the binaries created with AGK are 64 bit for iOS and Android, not sure about Windows and other desktop, so a good question for the AGK forums or direct TGC support system where it would go to our AGK coder to answer. It's fair to say GameGuru is not for everyone, and it's unlikely it will achieve the performance or graphical visuals of Unity and Unreal as we are a very small team in comparison.  We are doing some cool things with AGK Studio, however, so feel free to check out the product when we release in June and its new snazzy Vulcan renderer. Best Regards, Lee.
  8. [7] CultOfMush reporting, that GameGuru was given away for free
  9. List of "Enhancements" on GitHub
  10. GameGuru System Specification Help
  11. https://github.com/TheGameCreators/GameGuruRepo/issues/485
  12. [8] Gameplay of Suicide Simulator
  13. [9] Developer blaming this engine for it's failings
  14. [10] I wish I was kidding
  15. Gameplay of Drudes Sandstorm by Jim Sterling[11]
  16. [12] Zaxtor's review of Hunted: One Step Too Far
  17. [13] Zaxtor's review of GameGuru
  18. https://steamdb.info/app/266310/graphs


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