A lazy GameMaker game archival project

A shot of instance_archive's collection.

instance_archive is a ragtag collection of freely available games programmed in the GameMaker platform pre-Studio era. These games are becoming unplayable on modern systems via traditional means the older they get; games made in anything pre 6.1 is a crapshoot, with attempts at running them (and earlier versions of GameMaker itself, funnily enough) on a modern 64-bit Windows 10 machine resulting in them instantly crashing.

So we run them in a virtual machine instead. instance_archive is a virtual machine already set up with VMware that contains several hundred GameMaker games. The idea is that you install VMware Player, import the machine, and use that to play the majority of the games. Some games won't work inside the virtual machine, but 98% will. VMware was picked over something like VirtualBox due to its 3D acceleration support, something GameMaker games of this era need.

While the organizing and testing is mainly a solo effort, thanks need to go out to Dri0m, who helped me unpack the ArchiveTeam's efforts to backup the YoYo Games Sandbox, and the ArchiveTeam for doing that backup effort in the first place. Sources include that backup,,'s automated grabs of zips, and a few other, smaller websites.

This collection is technically curated. There are a little over 880 games in here; the notable ones include a selection of the most played games on the Sandbox, all the Featured games on the Sandbox, all the highly rated games on, the full collections of a few notable authors, and a couple of other miscellanious ones (like the old site's showcase). I don't guarantee the quality of anything here, but at the same time, they probably had to have been well liked to get in here.

At the moment, instance_archive is, I'll admit, pretty slapshod. I did originally keep small amounts of metadata on everything that was going in the collection, but after a while I just gave up on the idea, and went for a "make sure it works then throw it in" approach. If you have complaints, please, tell me when I don't have both Flashpoint and instance_archive to work on.

Read the Readme.txt in the zip file after you download!

You can download instance_archive by clicking on this sentence. (Or use this mirror). Last updated 16/11/2019.

You can join us on our Discord where I sometimes can work on this project; I generally beep people when I have time to update it.

More coming soon.