Timing Guide


Timing is all about making things happen when you want them to, measuring time, and placing an amount of time between one event and another.


The Step the the basic unit of time in Game Maker. In simple terms, a complete Step happens once per frame. The Step event happens before a frame is drawn.


Alarms are useful for when you want to count down, for example, to create a countdown timer, time limit, waiting time, or delay. An alarm can also useful for putting spaces between shots in a bullet stream. Every object in Game Maker has 12 alarms built in.

Time Lines

Time Lines are useful for making a series of events happen in a specific order in at specific times. While an alarm is good for a single timed event, a time line can be used to make a cut scene or an advanced intro screen. Time lines can also be used to create enemies and specific times such as required in horizontal or vertical shooter.


An interval is the time between one moment and another. The term interval usually implies a repeating interval accomplished by looping an alarm by having it reset itself. Intervals can be regular or random.

Regular intervals happen at evenly spaced moments. Random intervals are… random.

To Do

  • artificial time
    • day / night system

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