GameSalad

State of GameSalad on 10-26-2016

ForumNinjaForumNinja Posts: 415Key Master, Head Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee
edited October 2016 in GameSalad Kitchen

It’s been a little while and you guys are overdue for another update:

Education

Teacher Dashboard: This was something that a mentioned in the last SoGS, and I’m happy to announce that since then it’s been pushed live to all our educators and we haven’t received any negative feedback! It’s worth mentioning that this was one of the most requested features teachers wanted (alongside curriculum).

GameSalad Curriculum: The new curriculum we've been building is nearly done, and we’ve still been receiving loads of positive feedback from educators.

It’s structured so that students learn important concepts while having fun building some tutorial games. The games range from a super basic maze game to a space themed platformer, and have detailed tutorial pdf’s to walk the students/teachers through how to build the games as well as introduce them to the different computer science concepts and how they’re utilized in GameSalad.

In addition to the pdf’s, there’s a set of videos that cover each part of each unit for students that fall behind, or in case people prefer watching videos to reading.

Developers

Update 1.25.x: I still don’t have a precise date for this release, though I do have an important heads up. It’s come to our attention that some of the changes to make this build work cause GameSalad to not function properly on OS X Mavericks (10.9). This is due to some of the updated commands that we’re using that Mavericks doesn’t have support for.

To fix this would be a large headache and take a lot of time, so we will be dropping support for OS X Mavericks in this new build. Those who are still using Mavericks will need to update their OS, or stay on this current GameSalad version.

Plans

As some of you may have read recently, our new education focus has been doing well for us and we received some more funding recently (hooray!).

Increasing Staff: One of the most obvious things we need to do is increase the number of people we have so we can cover more ground. If you’ve looked at our jobs page recently, then you’re already aware that we have open positions for an Inside Sales Rep, a Director of Sales, and a Customer Service Rep (I believe the Inside Sales position has already been filled).

Product: The next large product plan we have is a web version of GameSalad. This is very important for the education focus, as a ton of schools use Chromebooks, and without Chromebook support, they’re completely out of our reach.

As for increasing the amount of development resources we have, we’re noodling a few different options, though we haven’t come to a decision as of yet.

That’s all I have for the update for now, though there is one unrelated thing I’d like to mention. There’s a library that is running a class and is looking for a GameSalad developer who is available to Skype in and talk to the kids about game development and assist with project troubleshooting (this would be a paid gig).

More details are below, but if you’re interested, shoot me a PM and I can get you in touch with them!

I am looking to have them Skype into the lab space we are creating. They will be able to use the screen share feature of Skype to work with the students and what they see in front of them.

Their role will be to help guide the students through some of the ins and outs of video game design, provide editorial feedback from someone who has experience in the video game design industry, instruct the students as a whole group on any special techniques or coding skills needed to help move the game along, and to individually troubleshoot with the students issues with the functionality of their game.

I want the developer to come in after the students have a fair to good amount of exposure to GameSalad and its curriculum.

I am anticipating somewhere between 30 and 40 hours will need to spent with the students.

In terms of availability I would need to have the developer have a general availability during the hours of 3:30 and 5:30 Pacific Time on Wednesdays and Fridays. We can work with schedules and arrange things in advance, but if those hours are consistently occupied with other work, then a developer would not be of much use to us.

Part of the overall purpose hiring a developer to work with the students is so that they can get some professional feedback from someone with industry experience on their projects. This project is about building life long skills, and access to someone in the game industry is an important part of making these skills ‘stick’ and be impactful in the lives of the students.

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Comments

  • Braydon_SFXBraydon_SFX Dallas, TexasPosts: 8,746Member, Sous Chef, PRO, Bowlboy Sidekick

    Nice update. Thank you!

  • RossmanBrothersGamesRossmanBrothersGames Posts: 615Member, PRO

    Glad to hear things are financially going better with the education push, looks like we don't need to worry about Gamesalad disappearing. Also cool that a classroom is looking for a game dev, cool way to bridge the education and pro gap.

  • Machinist+AppsMachinist Apps Posts: 44Member, PRO

    Only good things can come from this. Thank you for the update!

    Please use some of that extra funding to bring HTML back up to speed. The "display text" behavior does not display the same as an Android or iOS app.

  • ToqueToque Posts: 633Member, PRO

    Great update. Thanks.

    Please make it obvious for people downloading the new update about it not working properly with Mavericks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Maybe the problems are minor and most people would not notice?

    Its just the professional, courteous thing to do.

    Thanks again.

  • PhilipCCPhilipCC Encounter Bay, South AustraliaPosts: 1,128Member, PRO

    @ForumNinja Thank you for the update.

    Many of us will breathe sighs of relief. :relieved:

    Now I will dust off my pending projects and get cracking, with renewed enthusiasm, to get them finished and up by the holiday season.

  • blobblob Posts: 127Member, PRO
    edited October 2016

    More Funding is amazing Important news.!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D
    What GS does with the funding is even more important....
    I just wish the Non educational users will get some love too, at some point <3

    Even though, many of us are non educational users, I think it's fair to say we are nevertheless very interested and involved in the progress GS makes in the Edu market.
    Because non educational users' future with GS depends on the educational push success as well. We are all rooting for GameSalad.
    With that in mind, we need to be kept in the loop at the very least.

    We know Non educational users are on the back burner and whether we like it or not, we understand the strategy GS has adopted.

    GameSalad is focusing mostly on sells and results in terms of revenue at the moment...
    Not really software growth.

    Hopefully, with the new funds, they can start doing both (marketing and serious software development) like any healthy company

    Maybe, the new funds will allow GS to acquire the resources to fix misalignment, loading, loading wheels, crashes, viewers, google play etc....or even open sourcing...
    (wishful thinking, i know :p )

    However, I guess the new funds will probably go almost entirely into educational marketing/sells for now...

    We will see.

    At least GameSalad isn't disappearing anytime soon :)
    So this is great news for everyone.

    Thank you for the update @ForumNinja

  • freneticzfreneticz SwedenPosts: 537Member, PRO

    @ForumNinja thanks for the update :) but we need "state of GS" more often before everybody get pessimistic and even little afraid... like me ;)

  • jamie_cjamie_c ImagineLabs.rocks Posts: 5,246Member, BASIC

    Interesting to hear about the web version of GS.

  • gizzi93gizzi93 Posts: 20Member, PRO
    edited October 2016

    @ForumNinja Can we please get some sort of ad mediation? Using just one ad network is not the best way to maximize revenue.

  • ForumNinjaForumNinja Posts: 415Key Master, Head Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    @Toque said:
    Great update. Thanks.

    Please make it obvious for people downloading the new update about it not working properly with Mavericks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    We most definitely will.

    Maybe the problems are minor and most people would not notice?

    Basic navigation is broken, rendering GameSalad practically useless, and on top of that you can't close the app without opening activity monitor ;)

    @Hopscotch said:

    What is lacking from the update though, is acknowledgement of, and anticipated resolution (or dismissal) of the defacing bugs plaguing the developers. Specifically rotation issue and Android crashes.

    We're currently investigating the Android crashes for Android 6, and have plans to look into the loading screen rotation bug after this build finally goes out.

  • AlchimiaStudiosAlchimiaStudios Posts: 771Member, PRO

    @ForumNinja said:

    @Toque said:
    Great update. Thanks.

    Please make it obvious for people downloading the new update about it not working properly with Mavericks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    We most definitely will.

    Maybe the problems are minor and most people would not notice?

    Basic navigation is broken, rendering GameSalad practically useless, and on top of that you can't close the app without opening activity monitor ;)

    @Hopscotch said:

    What is lacking from the update though, is acknowledgement of, and anticipated resolution (or dismissal) of the defacing bugs plaguing the developers. Specifically rotation issue and Android crashes.

    We're currently investigating the Android crashes for Android 6, and have plans to look into the loading screen rotation bug after this build finally goes out.

    Thanks for clarifying where these issues stand.

  • HopscotchHopscotch Posts: 2,531Member, PRO

    @ForumNinja said:
    We're currently investigating the Android crashes for Android 6, and have plans to look into the loading screen rotation bug after this build finally goes out.

    Thank you for the info! :)

  • CasualEvolutionCasualEvolution Posts: 178Member

    @Icebox said:
    Thanks for the update and im glad GS is moving forward o:)

    I'm just wondering , isnt it important to provide proper html5 ( without bugs) and native exe builds for both education and developers ?
    GS has been there for a long time i still don't get why the easiest and fastest engine doesnt have native exe publishing, it should have been the main focus by now , I dont know if it will ever happen but i hope it does in the near future. I see cool games on steam and i know its possible to make even better with GS , but all thats missing is EXE publishing. Mac Apps run really smooth without bugs , and highest performance with no loading time. if we can do the same with EXE builds it would be great, I hope education requires that so we get to see it some day. :)

    +10 :smile:

  • ValanValan Posts: 364Member, PRO

    The web version of GS sounds really interesting.
    If you're targeting Chromebooks then will iPads be able to use it also?

  • smurftedsmurfted Posts: 332Member, PRO

    Always good to get an update. But a little thin on features..

    What will these 3 jobs will bring "development wise" to us loyal followers?! (Inside Sales Rep, a Director of Sales and a Customer Service Rep).

  • mhedgesmhedges Raised on VCS Posts: 613Member

    @smurfted said:
    Always good to get an update. But a little thin on features..

    What will these 3 jobs will bring "development wise" to us loyal followers?! (Inside Sales Rep, a Director of Sales and a Customer Service Rep).

    It's not that difficult to realize that two are sales-related and the other is customer service, which will either require CS knowledge or channel things through.

  • BazookaTimeBazookaTime Posts: 1,252Member

    @mhedges said:

    @smurfted said:
    Always good to get an update. But a little thin on features..

    What will these 3 jobs will bring "development wise" to us loyal followers?! (Inside Sales Rep, a Director of Sales and a Customer Service Rep).

    It's not that difficult to realize that two are sales-related and the other is customer service, which will either require CS knowledge or channel things through.

    I took it that he was joking, saying what will three customer service jobs do for us development wise.

  • colandercolander Posts: 1,607Member

    @smurfted said:
    Always good to get an update. But a little thin on features..

    What will these 3 jobs will bring "development wise" to us loyal followers?! (Inside Sales Rep, a Director of Sales and a Customer Service Rep).

    Money. And money = development further down the road. We can all see how GS has shrunk over the years if they don't turn it around there won't be a GameSalad and therefore no new features or more importantly a decent code base to work with.

    They are hiring that is a good thing and hopefully the a lot of the new money is coming from sales to education institutes.

  • JapsterJapster Posts: 195Member, PRO

    @smurfted said:
    Always good to get an update. But a little thin on features..

    What will these 3 jobs will bring "development wise" to us loyal followers?! (Inside Sales Rep, a Director of Sales and a Customer Service Rep).

    I have to admit I did think the same... Sounded exciting, until I read the jobs were pretty much sales related.... :neutral:

    As for a sudden dropping of Mavericks, tbh - MORE than a little concerned at how quickly that decision was made? - if it's THAT easy to just say, sod it, Mavericks is no longer supported, then I worry about Yosemite also not being supported at some point in the near future?! - I have an older, but perfectly suitable Mac, that up until recently ran Mavericks just fine - upgraded to Yosemite under duress, but do NOT want to upgrade to El Capitain any time soon, simply because some education-specific update dictates it for all future builds and fixes...

    @ForumNinja - You guys need to be aware that not all of us devs have cutting edge equipment, and I haven't made ANYTHING back yet - still running at a huge loss until/unless things pick up with my apps, and if it comes to having to upgrade to a newer, much more expensive (but lower-spec) Mac, that'll definitely be the straw that broke the camel's back I'm afraid.... :frowning:

    Good news about the other fixes though, but yeah, feel like it's a case of basically 'tough' on the other stuff.... :frowning:

  • AlchimiaStudiosAlchimiaStudios Posts: 771Member, PRO

    @Japster said:

    @smurfted said:
    Always good to get an update. But a little thin on features..

    What will these 3 jobs will bring "development wise" to us loyal followers?! (Inside Sales Rep, a Director of Sales and a Customer Service Rep).

    I have to admit I did think the same... Sounded exciting, until I read the jobs were pretty much sales related.... :neutral:

    As for a sudden dropping of Mavericks, tbh - MORE than a little concerned at how quickly that decision was made? - if it's THAT easy to just say, sod it, Mavericks is no longer supported, then I worry about Yosemite also not being supported at some point in the near future?! - I have an older, but perfectly suitable Mac, that up until recently ran Mavericks just fine - upgraded to Yosemite under duress, but do NOT want to upgrade to El Capitain any time soon, simply because some education-specific update dictates it for all future builds and fixes...

    @ForumNinja - You guys need to be aware that not all of us devs have cutting edge equipment, and I haven't made ANYTHING back yet - still running at a huge loss until/unless things pick up with my apps, and if it comes to having to upgrade to a newer, much more expensive (but lower-spec) Mac, that'll definitely be the straw that broke the camel's back I'm afraid.... :frowning:

    Good news about the other fixes though, but yeah, feel like it's a case of basically 'tough' on the other stuff.... :frowning:

    If I'm not mistaken, I think the changes implemented that require a newer OS are actually the changes that benefit everyone, not the education only stuff (proper undo, remember scroll position, etc).

  • RowdyPantsRowdyPants Posts: 157Member, PRO

    @ForumNinja Thanks for the update. I'm really glad the Education side is flourishing. I think the academic market is a great place for GameSalad. Major value is brought to the school communities.

    Remember us devs, too! I really want to release some projects. The moment Android is happy I'll send you a virtual root beer float through the magic of ASCII

  • MonDieu72MonDieu72 Posts: 27Member

    When will the terrible sound lag on android be fixed? It lags by almost a full second and it has been like this for a very long time now. I've tried other software like Game Maker Studio and Clickteam Fusion 2.5 where this is not an issue but I would prefer to use GS. Investing some of the increased revenue into this maybe?

  • ToqueToque Posts: 633Member, PRO

    I forgot how old Mavericks was.......Can't expect GS to support old OS forever. They can put their resources to better uses......

  • mshannonmshannon Posts: 35Member

    I haven't been reading this forum for quite a long time, but I have to say that gamesalad has morphed into a pathetic wasteland. I stopped developing gamesalad apps about 18 months ago, because the app stores have become unprofitable for indie developers.

    Also, I was not paid on monetization in October or Novemeber 2012, brought it up to the goons working there and silence in return.

    Gamesalad should release the analytics from when they controlled the payments from 3rd parties so us developers can reconcile our books.

    Anyway, gamesalad has no future as a business because of mismanagement combined with under capitalization. This education focused initiative is just a bogus Hail Mary to stay alive. And don't come at me with some bullshit education ethical garbage, as gamesalad is a for profit business. They are just trying to sell it to schools because the dev community refused to be used by the corporate shill that gamesalad was becoming.

    There used to be good devs on this platform, but gamesalad mismanaged the **** out of their product and everyone left in droves. I doubt that even 1% of devs using gamesalad as their primary tool make even 1k per month. Highly doubt.

    Well, in closing, sweet update, I bet that inside sales guy will last a few weeks. Man, I can't wait for the next update, maybe we will know that you hired a new sales rep to take the others place.

    Peace out.

  • JapsterJapster Posts: 195Member, PRO
    edited October 2016

    @Armelline said:

    @Japster said:
    As for a sudden dropping of Mavericks, tbh - MORE than a little concerned at how quickly that decision was made? - if it's THAT easy to just say, sod it, Mavericks is no longer supported, then I worry about Yosemite also not being supported at some point in the near future?! - I have an older, but perfectly suitable Mac, that up until recently ran Mavericks just fine - upgraded to Yosemite under duress, but do NOT want to upgrade to El Capitain any time soon, simply because some education-specific update dictates it for all future builds and fixes...

    Apple made a lot of major changes to OSX with Yosemite - more than with El Capitan and Sierra. It's also worth considering that Mavericks is now 3 free upgrades behind and that Yosemite officially supports Macs dating as far back as 2007. Not only that, but El Capitan is faster on most Macs - including old ones - than Yosemite. I'd recommend upgrading to El Capitan if you're on Yosemite. It doesn't seem at all unreasonable for GameSalad to drop support for a version of OSX when there are three newer versions available.

    It's also worth keeping in mind that it isn't education specific changes which are driving this change. It's changes Apple have made to their OSes that make it extremely difficult for GameSalad to support 10.9 in addition to the markedly different 10.10, 10.11 and 10.12. This would be happening regardless of the educational push.

    It's a shame, but it's not a matter of "that easy," it's a matter of "Make the product better and stop supporting the OS released 4 versions ago" or "Don't make the product better." Seems a no-brainer to me.

    Fair point about the none-education angle guys, I'll give you that one, but as it was also mentioned they'd (inadvertently?) tied themselves into using newer features of the El Capitan OS when implementing that new functionality, and must have at least looked towards doing them in older-OSX compatible ways in order to actually dismiss redo-ing them, then it's a shame, but looks like it could have possibly been kept Mavericks-friendly with some more work?

    Like I say, I'm on Yosemite now anyway (Still a pretty up-to-date OS version!), but my concern was in losing THAT sometime soon, with the same seemingly-blase approach to canning legacy (but certainly established and TRUSTED) OS support. I'll check to see if all of the El Capitan issues I've read about (both GS-wise, and in general, with legacy devices etc) are now resolved, but given the people foaming at the mouth (quite rightly) when they couldn't even RUN it initially, after upgrading, you'll understand I'm still pretty reluctant to do so.

    PS - I'm using a 32GB ram, 2 x quad-core 3.2 Xeon Mac Pro 3.1 (which I don't think Apple support for the latest OS's? - they certainly don't support my older 2.1), and running a Radeon R290X, so it's GREAT for GS, and absolutely NO benefit to upgrading (downgrading) to a newer Mac, and I'm guessing if I DO allow the upgrade to El Capitan, a lot of headaches are going to come along with it, so I honestly feel it's a very valid point, from my perspective at least! :frowning:

  • ArmellineArmelline Posts: 4,309Member, PRO
    edited October 2016

    @Japster said:
    Fair point about the none-education angle guys, I'll give you that one, but as it was also mentioned they'd (inadvertently?) tied themselves into using newer features of the El Capitan OS when implementing that new functionality, and must have at least looked towards doing them in older-OSX compatible ways in order to actually dismiss redo-ing them, then it's a shame, but looks like it could have possibly been kept Mavericks-friendly with some more work?

    This is not new features they're needing to drop Mavericks for - it's fixing the core, fundamental performance problems and long-standing bugs. Apple made changes to the OS with Yosemite which caused MAJOR problems for GameSalad, and they "fixed" the problems in ways which weren't ultimately good enough. Fixing the problems properly, in a way that makes the software better - for everyone - and more futureproof is why they're dropping support. This would have happened even if GameSalad did nothing to do with education at all. Remember when Yosemite came out and GameSalad slowed to an absolute crawl? These are (presumably) the core issues being fixed, and GameSalad needs to use new technology introduced in Yosemite to properly fix these issues.

    The likelihood of Yosemite being dropped any time soon is very small. It was Yosemite that fairly drastically changed how OS X works, and there haven't been changes of that magnitude since, except for that one El Capitan point update that again fundamentally changed something beyond GameSalad's control. Apple aren't like Microsoft. When they change something they don't give the same support to the legacy method. They just expect developers to update. Which is what GameSalad are having to do.

    Like I say, I'm on Yosemite now anyway (Still a pretty up-to-date OS version!), but my concern was in losing THAT sometime soon, with the same seemingly-blase approach to canning legacy (but certainly established and TRUSTED) OS support. I'll check to see if all of the El Capitan issues I've read about (both GS-wise, and in general, with legacy devices etc) are now resolved, but given the people foaming at the mouth (quite rightly) when they couldn't even RUN it initially, after upgrading, you'll understand I'm still pretty reluctant to do so.

    By far the biggest issues GameSalad has had with an OS update so far was with Yosemite. Because of the raft of massive changes Apple made in it. Would you really rather keep support of older OSes and keep GameSalad a sub-par product? I think you're a definite minority if so. These changes will, hopefully, breathe new life into GameSalad and make future updates much more manageable. Bottom line, though, is that sometimes software needs to take steps forwards and drop support for older operating systems.

    El Capitan's issues were fixed in the first point release, and is widely considered more reliable and faster than Yosemite. There was one issue when Apple made a fairly major under-the-hood change without warning in a later point update, but GameSalad fixed that a while ago.

    It's not like you need to pay for upgrades either. And Sierra supports computers seven years old. It'll run happily on even older ones. Yosemite supports computers nine years old. You really want GameSalad to be forced to support an older OS just to allow computers made before GS even existed to still be supported?

    Add to that GameSalad's stated main educational plan - to create a web-based version of GameSalad. One that will run on Chromebooks. Computers less powerful than yours. So the educational push is actually looking like it'll HELP support older computers, rather than hinder it.

  • NKBDLNKBDL Posts: 9Member, PRO
    edited October 2016

    Thank you for the update. If there is a web version, that will be amazing! Seriously, I am having doubts these days, there seems to be little updates from GameSalad and as a paid subscriber and a tech guy, I feel the urge to explore more and to know if I am using the best tool in the market (at least one of the best) to develop my games on. Hopefully with your new funds we will see more updates and further developments!

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