I don't remember if I posted here... Hmmm.
I spent weeks testing engines and "makers", as I had my heart set on making my very own Zelda game. I was 14.
After a few hours of searching how to make Zelda games, specifically, I stumbled into something called Zelda Classic.
It hasn't been updated in a very long time, but it basically lets you either rewrite the first Zelda game's story and design new maps and stuff using the ol' NES GFX, or you can meticulously make your own art and import it.
I tried for a few days to get a handle on it, but it seems like it was made in the early Windows days, it has an almost DOS feel to it.
After chucking that in the bucket I found RPG Maker, but this was before it had the free version, so I chucked it fast.
Then there was the usual list, DarkBasic, Unity, and Platinum Arts Sandbox. I messed with that Alice thing from the Scratch people too.
None of them were easy to learn. So I didn't.
I found Construct (Still classic if I remember correctly!), and it had promises of being easy to learn and really intuitive... LIES! I still can't comprehend making games in Construct, I think it may be too simple for me to understand? That sounds pompous, but I like to learn complicated things, not be babied by software.
GameMaker was actually the last stop on my travel through the dump of Engines.
I made around 8 games with pure DnD, oh GOD the DnD! I can't even look in those projects anymore, they are a confusing mess of blocks!
I moved to GML after Studio came out, not because it took that long to learn, but all the games I had been working on were already DnD, and apparently mixing DnD and GML in older versions of GM actually made like a Frankenstein's Monster of a build and could run slower.
Since GM:S 1.1 I've been pure GML for everything except particles, but I finally nailed that a few months ago. Kicked that nasty DnD habit.
I have been a GM user for almost 5 years I think? 5 years in May.
My first copy of GM was 8.0 Lite, but I bought it just as 8.1 was released, so I got 8.1 for like $25 or something like that.
I haven't touched 8.1 for anything serious since I got Studio, but I keep it installed anyway.
Wow, this turned into an essay...