A Snapshot of the GB Studio Community

Earlier this year, we posted a survey and asked our readers to participate. This was a way to peek into the community and see what kind of people are interacting with us and our site. 100 people participated, and while we know that only represents a small fraction of our readership, it still gave us some insights. So how does it all pan out? Read on.

Let’s begin with a simple question, have you used GB Studio?

Have you used GB Studio?

Out of 100 people, 95 have used it prior to the survey. No surprises here, as our publication is geared towards GB Studio users, but good to know that non-users get something out of the site too. The next question, for those who said “yes”: Is GB Studio the first Game Development Tool you used?

Is GB Studio the first Game Development Tool you’ve used?

For 36.8% of people who used GB Studio, it was their introduction to game development! I wasn’t sure what this would look like before putting the survey out, so it’s interesting to see how many people have used other development tools prior. It’s also great to know people have tried making a game for the first time thanks to GB Studio. Next question is, what version of GB Studio did you start with?

What version of GB Studio did you start with?

It appears this has an even more diverse makeup. 36.8% were there from the beginning,  41.1% began using it after the first major update, GB Studio 2 and 22.1% started their journey just recently, with the release of version 3! It’s great to see more people continue to learn about the tool and join in the fun of making games as the tool evolves. Next up, have you collaborated with other community members?

Have you collaborated with other community members to develop as a team?

This shows that the majority of GB Studio devs work as solo devs, and that’s understandable given the nature of the tool. Still with 14.7% collaborating with other members for projects, it’s definitely doable. We next asked if the GB Studio users have released their project on Itch or elsewhere.

Have you released anything made with GB Studio to Itch or another Platform?

53.7% released their projects to Itch or other similar platforms! This is great, because it’s really hard to finish a game and get it out there, but that’s when we get to play those games! Happy to see more than half of people are seeing their games out there. Finally, we asked GB Studio users if they entered their games into any Game Jams.

Have you entered into any Game Jams using a GB Studio Project?

47.1% of those who released something made with GB Studio took part in a Game Jam. We knew that Game Jams were a great motivator for getting your work out there, and this information aligns with that.

Now, let’s talk about games, the genres GB Studio users have tried:

What genre of games have you made with GB Studio?

Almost 40% made RPG/Adventure/Exploration games, the classic GB Studio game type. The second most popular genre is platformer, which became a possible in GB Studio 2. There was some nice additional genres submitted like Visual Novels and Art Reels, and we’re hoping to see more game genres or a larger distribution over time.

How did you find out about GB Studio?

The majority of people found out about GB Studio from Social Media or YouTube. This makes sense, as several projects made with it were featured in several large gaming channels.

For the last section, we asked participants if they wanted to add anything they wanted to say about their experience with GB Studio. Here are some anonymous comments:

Can you tell us what your experience with GB Studio has been so far? Anything you’d like the community to know?

It’s simple to use, but that simplicity can feel limiting if you want to do more complicated projects outside the scope of what the Game Boy can do, like non-chiptune music or higher image resolutions. But in my experience, what GB Studio really has going for it is its passionate community. It’s really cool to see what other people are up to on Discord! If Godot is the indie version of Walmart, GB Studio is that cool little video game hobbyist store on the corner that you hang out in afterschool with your friends.

I’ve tried game development before, but I think it’s good to advertise the specifics of why GB Studio is (in my opinion) the most accessible engine. Most other engines feel overwhelming. Even if I learn how to make something simple, I’m still somewhat discouraged because it will often look pretty bad visually and feel wise be a little bit off. The restrictions of the Game Boy means that even your worst attempt at pixel art will be exciting because the cohesion that the GB’s limited options bring make any project feel like something that is properly formed. I found this to be extremely encouraging in terms of reaching step one of actually completing an original project (which I never did with modern engines). Next, after I committed to making something simple because I knew I could at least make something that I’d actually be proud of putting together (which again, was crucial to actually sticking with a game dev project for me), I began to see just how in-depth and finely tuned I could make the project. Every project that I’ve made in GB Studio (1 completed, 1 put on hold and 1 about to be released very soon) has without fail grown in scope. This was very exciting because I was determined to make the best that I could in a project and that meant something really simple and small because that’s what I knew I could do with this engine and still have it feel like a strongly designed experience. So when I say that I steadily began to add more in, it was exciting because I only did that knowing that it was something I could actually do! Before I knew it, I learned so much about game dev through GB Studio, things that I thought I could only learn through a modern, “more serious” engine. If I were to attempt the same game in a modern engine that I’ve made in GB Studio, I would’ve felt discouraged because it’d feel like I somewhat sloppily put together some ideas I had into a mess of code. But with GB Studio, the limits made me eager to find out just how closely I can achieve what was in my imagination, and finding the ways to do so has been very rewarding. With this, I feel more confident that I am equipped with more knowledge and a better perspective to create a good game in a more modern engine! That being said, I will continue to enjoy GB Studio as a way to craft potent ideas into refined experiences, something that I very much value about the engine and the community surrounding it.

I’m very new, but I wouldn’t have been able to get started without GBSC’s beginner articles making it all click for me. No amount of quick/easy tips & tricks videos can replace a well-written explanation of the fundamentals. As soon as I read and understood the article on variables, it was like my third eye opened and suddenly I had tons of ideas I wanted to open up GB Studio to try and test. I love this website and think it’s one of the best resources this community has and deserves our support.

I love how easy it is to get into and the limitations of it breeds so much creativity!

It’s so easy to use and the community is incredibly friendly and helpful!

Huge thanks to everyone who participated, you were super helpful! We’ll be keeping in mind your feedback to improve GB Studio Central!

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