GameSalad

State of GameSalad on 12-1-2016

ForumNinjaForumNinja Posts: 492Key Master, Head Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee
edited December 2016 in GameSalad Kitchen

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday! You guys are definitely overdue for an update, so here it is.

Developers

Update 1.25.x: We’re putting this on hold to put most of our focus into creating the new web tool (below). Even though the updates are going to come slower for awhile, there's a ton of benefits for both education users and you guys!

The current test build (1.25.77) has a couple blockers still, but it has a lot of quality of life improvements, and is mostly stable. If you’d like a copy to use pm me and I’ll hook you up with a download / a list of the most notable known bugs to look out for.

Android performance: We've received some test projects and are in the process of trying to reproduce the poor Android performance you guys have been reporting.

Education

GameSalad Curriculum: The last two units of the new curriculum are set for release this week, which is very exciting!

For those that don’t know what’s included:

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.

Computer Science Education Week: Computer science education week is coming up next week and we’ve been hard at work putting together resources so that teachers can run a successful hour of code activity with GameSalad in their classrooms.

Both

Increasing Staff: As you may have already heard, we’ve recently hired a VP of Sales & Outreach (Gretchen Thompson). She’s really excited to be here and some of her responsibilities will free up Carlos (previously hired developer) so that he has more time to work on programming.

She’s very knowledgeable of the education market and fits in well with our current team. I’ve asked her to give an introduction over here on the forums for you guys, but if you’d like to read her bio it’s up over on our team page.

In addition to Gretchen, we have Braydon on part time to help with the customer service side of things to free up Alexandra and myself more.

Web Version of GameSalad: Perhaps the most important part of this update. Here's a little more info about our ideas for the web tool and how it'll be good for everyone.

HTML5 Rocks

The technical team has been wanting to make this move for a while now and a few things have come to pass to make this possible:

  • The aforementioned Chromebook market in education.
  • The explosion in Javascript technology improvements and frameworks and their massive performance improvements.
  • HTML5/Javascript is cross platform.

So yes, things are going to slow down in terms of the current native Mac and Windows tools until the HTML5 tool is done. We won't be removing the current native tools until we get all of the functionally built into the new tools. But once we finish it, it's going to replace the two other tools as our main code base for tooling and this is an awesome thing:

  • Updates are going to happen much faster since we don't have to do everything twice.
  • New OS releases won't require us to do massive updates (think this years long update cycle due to macOS memory management updates).
  • Tutorial videos will only have to be filmed once!
  • The tool will be backwards compatible with the existing game engine, because we don't want to rewrite the existing game engine at the same time as building a new tool.

We also have the opportunity to build in a few things that are required of a web tool that will be immensely helpful in your development.

Tan is looking at ways of storing your games on our servers that will let see the entire undo or save history (I'm still working out the storage and performance implications of how fine grained that storage will be). This means you get something akin to online source control for your games.

Since your game changes are being incrementally uploaded and saved online, you'll also no longer need to wait to upload your games during publishing, they'll be available to our servers immediately!

And while it won't be available in initial release, the manner in which we'll be streaming changes to the server will hopefully allow us to do google docs style simultaneous editing. I'm not gonna promise that one because editing a "word" doc is very different from editing a game.

A web based tool opens so many interesting opportunities for GameSalad Creator.

The freeze in existing tool development doesn't mean we'll stop working on the game engine. The HTML5 engine is going to get a lot more love because it's going to be your main "preview" engine. So it's going to have to match the "native" engines.

As for the "native" engines, we'll be able to add certain types of features that don't require a tool updates. For instance, Google Play Services support can be added (I'm working on that now on the weekends).

These kind of updates will be slower as the team focuses on the new tool, but engine maintenance and under the cover features will continue to happen.

Bugs that result from new versions of iOS and Android will be looked at. Anything that doesn't require us to change the tool like loading time improvements, ad networks (unlikely but it's the kind of thing that's possible) will be looked at as well.

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Comments

  • KevinCrossKevinCross London, UKPosts: 1,889Member
    edited December 2016

    Any chance of setting up a mailing list for when new versions are released please? With all features/fixes listed in the email or a link to a page on your site with the full list?

  • ForumNinjaForumNinja Posts: 492Key Master, Head Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    @KevinCross said:
    Any chance of setting up a mailing list for when new versions are released please? With all features/fixes listed in the email or a link to a page on your site with the full list?

    I can look into a mailing list, sure. You can currently view all the previous updates / list of changes here: http://gamesalad.com/download/releaseNotes/creator

  • KevinCrossKevinCross London, UKPosts: 1,889Member
    edited December 2016

    @ForumNinja said:

    @KevinCross said:
    Any chance of setting up a mailing list for when new versions are released please? With all features/fixes listed in the email or a link to a page on your site with the full list?

    I can look into a mailing list, sure. You can currently view all the previous updates / list of changes here: http://gamesalad.com/download/releaseNotes/creator

    Thanks. I mention it as I think it'll help inform the users that aren't active on the forums, and those that have moved away from GameSalad for whatever reason but might come back at a later date, once you've released that one special update that meets their needs.

  • jamie_cjamie_c ImagineLabs.rocks Posts: 5,314Member, BASIC

    @bobarino, no need to spam the forums. Use the blue button in the bottom right corner of your browser window. This will contact support directly.

  • Kevinw026Kevinw026 Posts: 30Member, BASIC

    Yes I had a huge issue late last night. Every time I would try to access my tables it would crash....Unfortunately I had done quite a bit of work before this happened and I didn't happen to make a save because I was working later than normal. I was too tired to upload screenshots of exactly where I encountered it. But It was just when I was typing in text on table, it closed out GameSalad every time. I cant bother with support anymore, they just not replied back to a message I sent 2 weeks ago about a log-in issue that I thankfully got fixed.... I am just more worried about how long Gamesalad will continue to be around as everyone is....I love this client and it's so easy to build up a nice looking game with time from countless hours of video. I have been spending tons of hours working on a Toddler Learning Activity Game and its 1 part of a huge app I would like to complete.

    On another note, @jamie_c I have watched all of your vids and have downloaded your tuts over and over. You have made my life so much easier on learning how to do things I need!

  • birdboybirdboy Posts: 281Member, PRO

    @ForumNinja said:

    Update 1.25.x: We’re putting this on hold to put most of our focus into creating the new web tool.

    Web Version of GameSalad: As stated before, this is critical for the education focus, and we’ve got plans to get this out before the start of the next school year.

    Sad but exactly what I expected. I'm glad that I didn't prolong my subscription. With any new features frozen and fixing of bugs taking months to years this product is no longer even close to being worth its price for me.

  • SocksSocks London, UK.Posts: 12,711Member

    @ForumNinja said:
    Web Version of GameSalad: As stated before, this is critical for the education focus, and we’ve got plans to get this out before the start of the next school year.

    When is the start of the next school year (in the US) ?

  • AlchimiaStudiosAlchimiaStudios Posts: 833Member, PRO

    @Socks said:

    @ForumNinja said:
    Web Version of GameSalad: As stated before, this is critical for the education focus, and we’ve got plans to get this out before the start of the next school year.

    When is the start of the next school year (in the US) ?

    It varies by state, but usually around July-August

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  • SocksSocks London, UK.Posts: 12,711Member
    edited December 2016

    @AlchimiaStudios said:

    @Socks said:

    @ForumNinja said:
    Web Version of GameSalad: As stated before, this is critical for the education focus, and we’ve got plans to get this out before the start of the next school year.

    When is the start of the next school year (in the US) ?

    It varies by state, but usually around July-August

    Thanks ! It's September here in the UK, so a month or so later than the US . . .

    . . . but anyhow as @Hoodloc alludes to, as the the focus is on the Web Version of GameSalad, and the aim is to have that out by ~August next year, then it looks like there will be no further development of GS at least until late next year . . . and even here logic dictates that if the education push is viable there will be little reason to return to the non-web version / the non-education market (?).

  • SocksSocks London, UK.Posts: 12,711Member

    @Kevinw026 said:
    . . . . if they get their deals done because of it, its going to be 100% education oriented.

    This seems like the most obvious logical progression to me too.

  • RossmanBrothersGamesRossmanBrothersGames Posts: 648Member, PRO

    @ForumNinja what kind of attention can we expect the creator to get as things like iOS requirements change? Will it receive maintenance priority to still function properly as we need it to, to finish our current projects and keep our published games updated and working on the App Store?

  • ForumNinjaForumNinja Posts: 492Key Master, Head Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    @RossmanBrothersGames

    I would expect Creator to receive maintenance priority for any unexpected iOS requirements etc, yep. We're also looking into having a 3rd party group come in and work on updates for Creator while we're working on the web tool, though we haven't reached a major decision on that front yet.

  • PhilipCCPhilipCC Encounter Bay, South AustraliaPosts: 1,243Member, PRO
    edited December 2016

    @ForumNinja said:
    I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday! You guys are definitely overdue for an update, so here it is.

    I'm afraid there is not much joy in this for us long-term, loyal, paying customers. :(

    I don't usually gripe on this forum, although I often agree with others' sentiments, so I won't start complaining now.

    The current test build (1.25.77) has a couple blockers still, but it has a lot of quality of life improvements, and is mostly stable. If you’d like a copy to use pm me and I’ll hook you up with a download / a list of the most notable known bugs to look out for.

    @ForumNinja Will a final build of 1.25.78 be released when the "couple of blockers" are fixed?

    Otherwise it looks like Trey might get my business in 2017.

  • mhedgesmhedges Raised on VCS Posts: 633Member, PRO

    @ForumNinja , so what happens to users who just renewed their subscription? Do they get a refund if they cancel?

  • KevinCrossKevinCross London, UKPosts: 1,889Member

    I'd imagine they'd start listening if everyone just put there subscription on hold for a few months...

  • IceboxIcebox Posts: 1,413Member, PRO
    edited December 2016

    I started using another game engine a month ago and was able to re create my game with it , so like others said time to move on as well. Even if we wait till the web version comes out who knows what your next decision might be.I cant even tell if you guys will stick to the education focus or stick to the web version , it literally takes a night for you to change your priorities. Anyway , was nice using GS for learning the basics of game logic, thanks to it making a shift to another engine was much easier.

  • ToqueToque Posts: 958Member, PRO
    edited December 2016

    Web based sounds like a total rewrite of GS?
    Maybe it will have all the features we've been wanting in 1.25? They should start a feature request for it........

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