So I was feeling nostalgic for my days using Game Maker 5 and 6 back on Windows 98 and XP during the mid-2000s, as well as other low-code game creators, so I decided to go poking around what has emerged since I started learning general purpose programming instead. GDevelop was a genuine surprise to me, as I was able to prototype a primitive avoid the asteroids game in less than an hour without any prior experience (https://icculus.org/~graham/test/).
The underlying engine seems fairly performant too, is fully cross-platform based on HTML5, and I even discovered someone has written a surprisingly capable raycasting engine for it (https://mikhail-pomaskin.itch.io/gdevelop-5-pseudo-3d-with-camera-rotation-example), so it could even scratch my 2.5D itch.
I would have loved it if this had existed when I first switched to Linux when I was 14. Back then I tried to use Game Editor, which was not free software yet, but never got very far with it and I remember it being quite prone to crashing. So instead I leaned back into my earlier Visual Basic exposure and settled in on Gambas, which has been my main platform since (though I have dabbled with Python, HTML5, Lazarus and C++).
Just for comparison, I tried out the other options on Linux, which are Stencyl (free engine, but proprietary IDE) and the free web version of Construct (which has been proprietary since its second incarnation). While the latter is absolutely more feature rich, I actually preferred GDevelop's workflow, and I did not care for Stencyl much. GDevelop is also very fast at building a test build of your game, something I very much appreciate.
I think this is a real gem for people who want to get into game development or just want to make a quick prototype, and I absolutely feel its worth trying to encourage more users of this to make libre games. I also like that it has a supplied asset library, with much of it clearly licensed under CC0. Having never quite gotten into Godot, this was a nice alternative.