In other news, Project 87 will probably be my last Game Maker game for a while. Game maker has been a great tool to teach me the fundamentals of building games, but at the same time, it is fairly limited in what it can do. It has 3D capabilities, but they're quite weak and require a lot of workarounds to do basic things (lighting, for example). Also, I realize that I have been using Game Maker for almost a year now, and I have grown increasingly more comfortable using it. So much so, in fact, that I have almost gotten bored with using it simply because there are no more challenges. If I want to make any gameplay mechanic (in 2D), I can. While this is an exciting prospect, I have to acknowledge that although my Game Maker skills have come a long way, my skills in other, more practical game development areas are lacking. If I'm comfortable, I'm not learning. I need to get out of my bubble and teach myself something new.
So it's time to move into uncharted territory: Unity. Unity has built-in 3D support and a physics engine, and it beautifully handles all kinds of crazy things that I don't even understand yet. And it can create games for almost any platform! To use Unity, I'll have to learn C#, which is going to take a fair amount of work.
The plan from here on out, then, is to finish Project 87 in Game Maker, submit it to the Indie Games Festival, and then dive headfirst into learning C#. I recognize that C# is going to be way more complicated than what I've been dealing with, but I fully intend to plow through it and start using Unity within a month after I start learning C#.
As a side note: Skybrawler is not scrapped -- I will be rebuilding it in Unity. This will allow for much better gameplay and graphics in the long run and will be well worth the transition.
Wish me luck!