Gamemaker was on sale recently for half off and I ended up purchasing a cheaper version of it so that I would have it. I wanted to give it a serious chance, and just in case it receives updates that I feel are important for me personally I wanted to make sure that I did not miss the opportunity to pick it up cheap.
At first when I discovered GML I was very excited. I love to code and I felt at home.. initially. As I began exploring what GML could and could not offer for me it became apparent that this language is very dated. Things can still be accomplished with work arounds etc, but the time it takes to work through these quirks easily surpasses any similar issues that construct's event editor may have.
Construct's event editor to anyone who has done coding before will unfortunately have a negative first impression. It is unavoidable, we have a mentality that if it is not straight code in a text editor it is a beginner's tool and nothing else. It takes some time to dive in to the event editor and find that it is extremely powerful. Also as you delve in to the event system you start to discover that there are places where you have manual control in some aspects. Recently functions were officially added as well, which really helps coders feel at home with the event system (personal opinion).
I have heard that with tricks and workarounds that game maker has the potential to handle its own performance wise, but as for the average user, the performance difference between construct and game maker is huge. Construct games just run fluidly, and can handle a ton of objects (instances in game maker).
( scirra.com/manual/17/overview )
Game maker feels extremely dated. They changed the color scheme to dark in hopes of fooling everyone with a new IDE. No matter what team you are rooting for you have to admit that Construct 2 is beautiful and smooth.
I realize there are plugins that can help alleviate some issues for people (google console plugin for example) but relying on plugins can be scary. Especially when you wipe a machine and reinstall construct and your backed up game file. When you go to run it and realize you are missing plugins etc.
Game Maker seems like a great game creation tool, unfortunately it does feel dated, and the language feels limiting out of the box. Construct is extremely powerful.
Lastly, the cost for game maker to allow its users to use HTML 5 is ridiculous, and that reason alone will prevent me from ever using it as a serious tool. HTML 5 really is the future, web gl is very very impressive.
If Yoyo was running updates and worked with the community like the developers do here, they would be huge. As it stands it feels, especially with the dated looking ide, that they are constantly trying to make a cash grab without pursuing the best software possible. That is why I call Scirra home.