Creating particlesThis functionality is only available in the Standard Edition of GameMaker.
Particle systems are meant to create special effects. Particles are small elements, represented by a little sprite. Such particles move around according to predefined rules and can change size, orientation, color, etc. while they move. Many such particles together can create e.g. fireworks, flames, explosions, rain, snow, star fields, flying debris, etc.
GameMaker contains an extensive particle system that can be used to create great effects. Because of its generality it is not simple to use so better read this section carefully before trying.
If this is too complicated for you, there is also a very simple mechanism to create different types of explosions, smoke, rain, and even fireworks.
Particle systems have many parameters and it is not always easy to understand how to create the effects you want. First of all there are particle types. A particle type defines a particular kind of particles. Such types have many parameters that describe the shape, size, color, and motion of the particles. Particle types need to be defined only once and can then be used everywhere in the game.
Secondly there are particle systems. There can be different particle systems in the game. A particle system can have particles of the different types. A particle system has emitters that create the particles, either continuously or in bursts. It can also have attractors that attract particles. Finally, it can have destroyers that destroy particles. Once particles are created in a particle system, they are automatically handled (updated and drawn) by the system.
Information on particles can be found in the following pages: