How to Create Animated Sprites in Game Maker

Written by doug vintage
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Game Maker is an integrated development environment (IDE) developed by Yo Yo Games and Mark Overmars for Windows and Mac OS X operating systems. Game Maker allows game designers without programming experience to make games quickly and easily by integrating complicated functions into drag-and-drop icons. Graphics are controlled by objects and represented by sprites within Game Maker. Sprites can be displayed as a single graphic as well as a series of animated images. Game Maker contains a fully-featured graphics editing tool for creating animated sprites.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Right-click the "Sprites" folder in the left windowpane and select "Create Sprite." New sprites can also be created by selecting the "Create Sprite" option from within the Resources drop-down menu on the main tool bar.

  2. 2

    Click "Edit Sprite" to display the Edit Sprite menu. Click "File" on the Edit Sprite tool bar and select "New."

  3. 3

    Enter the width and height of the sprite in pixels and click "OK." A new image named "image 0" is added to the sprite editor.

  4. 4

    Double-click "image 0" to open the Game Maker Image Editor.

  5. 5

    Use the various image editing tools to draw the first frame of your animated sprite. Alternatively, you can import an image by selecting "Open" from the File drop-down menu. Save the frame by clicking the green check in the upper left corner of the Image Editor window.

  6. 6

    Hold down "Shift" and press "A" to add a second frame to the animated sprite sequence. Double-click the newly added frame to open the Game Maker Image Editor. Draw the second frame of the animation and click the green check to save the sprite.

  7. 7

    Click the "Show Preview" box on the left side of the Edit Sprite menu to view the animation sequence. Continue adding new frames to the animation until you are satisfied with the appearance of the sprite.

  8. 8

    Click "File" from within the Edit Sprite menu and select "Close Saving Changes."

  9. 9

    Click "OK" to return to the Game Maker main menu.

Tips and warnings

  • Highlight the image you want to copy and select "Copy" from the Edit drop-down menu to copy an image from one frame to another. Select "Paste" from the Edit drop-down menu to paste the image as a new frame in the sprite animation.
  • Animation frames can be reordered by clicking the blue arrows located on the Edit Sprite tool bar.

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