GameMaker:Studio seems like a good way to learn how to program. I was reading some advice on making games when I saw that an indie artist-turned game-programmer had made the first version of a game called "Spelunky" with GameMaker, and after seeing some success he was able to make a much nicer version for the XBox. http://www.yoyogames.com/gamemaker/studio
Main ideas: - The Unity editor is 32bit and thus limited to using ~3gb of ram, so they were getting lot of crashes when they ran out of memory. - They felt like Unity wasn't responsive enough to their requests for help - Unity is dev-focused, so their artists felt like second-class citizens - It would take 45 mins to load the project, and if they wanted to avoid that they would have to pay an extra $500 per team member. - "The real issue was that Unity seems to have been built for very small development teams." - UE4 seems to be going after Unity's market: they used to charge 25% of gross over $50,000, but now they just charge $20/mo plus 5% of gross. - It looks way better than Unity, it runs great on iOS, you can build straight to iOS. - A big reason they hadn't used UE before was that there was no Mac version, but this was fixed with UE4. - UE4 introduces a new visual programming language called Blueprint which is apparently really easy to use and powerful.