GameSalad

Gamesalad software Ui and other improvements

evertevert Posts: 209Member, PRO
edited December 2016 in Miscellaneous

Hi all!

While i was working in GS i noticed the Ui could be much better in many ways.
for instance, the layers tab is always 3 clicks or more away. But i happen to use this a lot, so its a pain in the ****.
what if this tab (together with the attributes tab) is on the right of the screen. You will see the attributes first with the layers under it. So you can always see them, and they are always open (a bit like photoshop). This gives u acces to the layers, attributes, actors and library with no extra clicks and in eye sight.

Also make the interface black (like unity, all the adobe software,...). There is a good reason they make it black.
Its less painfull and exhausting for your eyes when working many hours in a row and at night.

Also your graphics would come out better, it gives a better indication how it would like and gives a better view to polish your work. (and it looks more pro)

Device and scene settings could be on top, in the header.
Scenes could be done like illustrator does with artboards. This also makes it more accessible.

I'll be making some Ui &Ux sketches soon for this. But i think the workflow of GS would be much improved by things like this.
Better workflow = more clients = better games = more exposere for GS as a company

What do you guys think of this?

Older Game: FLUNKY

Comments

  • JapsterJapster Posts: 303Member, PRO
    edited December 2016

    In my experience, only a couple of the suggested UI improvements have made it into Creator, in literally years...

    We've now got BOLD 'otherwise' condition areas, at least, if they're not blank, and multiple UNDO's, and I think that's about it...

    Here's what's still missing, in addition to the (frequently requested) ones that you've mentioned...

    1) SORTING of actors, attributes, etc... How much time do we waste trying to constantly scroll to find the ones we want?

    2) Widening the attribute selector window/tabs in the expression fields, sound sample fields,etc - very hard to find the right attribute, sound file used, etc as the field truncates.

    3) The ability to actually TYPE in attributes, possibly, with a 'push' type prompting drill-down - manually selecting each and every one, right from the start - Actor, attribute, etc... take more time away from productive coding...

    4) Mac Creator remembering where we were, and putting us back there, like the Windows one does. How much time spent trying to open up the actor, scene, etc, we were just this second in, before previewing?

    5) REALLY useful - colour coding, or at least SHADING, next levels of logic, to ensure when you've scrolled down 2 pages of logic in a rule or child rule, you're actually viewing the correct rule's code/behaviours? - This CANNOT be hard guys?! (Additional note- The Windows Creator is looking GREAT, so was almost ready to use that instead, then found that THAT bug (the one where it blurs child rules/behaviours more and more the deeper you nest/layer them) is STILL there - Completely unworkable, not to mention dangerous on the eyes! - and no, forcing NO Interpolation or AA options on my gfx card didn't make a difference - it's obviously something GS does internally...

    ...and many, many more, but I really haven't the time to list them.

    Some, admittedly, will take work, while some seem blatantly easy fixes / improvements, but I've given up waiting for anyone to pick them up and actually DO them.....

    Basically, I'm saying it's a GREAT idea, one a lot of us have had some of regarding GS's UI etc, but honestly, I wouldn't hold your breath... I no longer do. :frowning:

  • evertevert Posts: 209Member, PRO

    I started to create some ui designs here in my spare time :)

    Older Game: FLUNKY

  • KevinCrossKevinCross London, UKPosts: 1,888Member

    Based on the recent update post from GS it sounds like the Creator will probably only be updated going forward when operating systems are updated on our computers and devices (so necessary fixes to keep the software working so that they can continue taking monthly and yearly subscriptions from everyone).

    Any UI updates will probably be made to the web version which may or may not ever see the light of day.

  • evertevert Posts: 209Member, PRO
    edited December 2016

    @KevinCross said:
    Based on the recent update post from GS it sounds like the Creator will probably only be updated going forward when operating systems are updated on our computers and devices (so necessary fixes to keep the software working so that they can continue taking monthly and yearly subscriptions from everyone).

    Any UI updates will probably be made to the web version which may or may not ever see the light of day.

    Does this mean they are giving resources back to Graphine?
    If they do not update the GS creator the subscription base will drop pretty fast as other kinds of similar software becomes cheaper with more functionality and better UI.

    I'm a big fan of GS and will keep working with it, but things like buildbox are catching up really fast. The biggest + for me to GS and no other creation software can at this moment compete with it is the community that is really good in helping and support for other GS devs

    Older Game: FLUNKY

  • KevinCrossKevinCross London, UKPosts: 1,888Member

    @evert said:
    Does this mean they are giving resources back to Graphine?

    I was a member on the forum but wasn't an active user around the time of Graphine. I found out about it after it was shelved so I know very little about it. All I know is that they're creating a HTML5 version of the Creator. The information can be found in the very first post here: http://forums.gamesalad.com/discussion/93806/state-of-gamesalad-on-12-1-2016/p1

    @evert said:
    If they do not update the GS creator the subscription base will drop pretty fast as other kinds of similar software becomes cheaper with more functionality and better UI.

    You would think that would happen but there's a lot of stubborn/determined people here that won't let go.

    @evert said:
    I'm a big fan of GS

    It probably doesn't sound like it but me too. But at the moment (for me) it's not worth paying a monthly subscription for something that will probably never change. Will wait and see what new direction and hope they try and sell us in a few months when the HTML5 version is shelved.

  • evertevert Posts: 209Member, PRO

    Is there a need for a html5 version?
    I'm not really waiting on that..

    Apps like buildbox are getting really big now (mostly thanks to the colorswitch game).
    I tried buildbox but its to limited right now and overly expensive for what it is.

    But, they have a great Ui, and the presets are pretty good. GS has some pre games installed when you start the creator, but it will attract a lot of new staying and paying users when adding a similar concept of presets. Basic shooting game, flappy style, avoidence,...

    I think the GS community will be happy to create and share those presets to get installed from the very beginning when you first launch GS.

    Older Game: FLUNKY

  • jamie_cjamie_c ImagineLabs.rocks Posts: 5,312Member, BASIC

    @evert said:
    Is there a need for a html5 version?>

    The HTML5 version is being developed due to Gamesalads focus on the education market, apparently a lot of schools like to use Chrome books so the it is being developed for use in that market. Once the HTML5 version is complete it sounds like the Mac and Windows versions will be killed off and GS will focus 100% of their efforts on the web version.

    There is lots of info about it in this thread:
    http://forums.gamesalad.com/discussion/93806/state-of-gamesalad-on-12-1-2016#latest

  • KevinCrossKevinCross London, UKPosts: 1,888Member
    edited December 2016

    @evert said:
    Is there a need for a html5 version?

    No, but doing so probably got them more investments/money. When that money disappears before they finish it there will probably be another tool in the pipeline to get more money and to keep people subscribing. Rinse and repeat.

    While buildbox is probably a good piece of software (I haven't tried it recently) their pricing isn't attractive to hobbyists or someone that releases the odd app and makes like 20 odd pence on ads (i.e. me). GameSalad is! I've no problem with the GameSalad pricing as a hobbyist but when the software is no longer being updated one does have to consider looking elsewhere and you're right there's plenty of competition out there that do it better for a more attractive price, be that monthly subscriptions, or a one off payment.

  • evertevert Posts: 209Member, PRO

    @KevinCross said:

    @evert said:
    Is there a need for a html5 version?

    No, but doing so probably got them more investments/money. When that money disappears before they finish it there will probably be another tool in the pipeline to get more money and to keep people subscribing. Rinse and repeat.

    While buildbox is probably a good piece of software (I haven't tried it recently) their pricing isn't attractive to hobbyists or someone that releases the odd app and makes like 20 odd pence on ads (i.e. me). GameSalad is! I've no problem with the GameSalad pricing as a hobbyist but when the software is no longer being updated one does have to consider looking elsewhere and you're right there's plenty of competition out there that do it better for a more attractive price, be that monthly subscriptions, or a one off payment.

    Buildbox is not a better piece of software at this moment, but they are catching up, and they do some simple things like i said before and that makes it great.

    A html5 version for schools is not a bad idea, but it kills of your community in a way.
    I personally hate html5 software because it is much slower (much more depending on your connection. I even rather have the online publisher integrated into the GS creator.
    you have to do this and that and blablabla, its not good for UX.

    Older Game: FLUNKY

  • adent42adent42 Posts: 726Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    @evert A lot of your concerns are addressed in the Windows UI, which is the basis for the new HTML5 tool

    @Japster I'm actually looking to implement search/filtering for behaviors, actors, and assets. The reason we don't have sort in the current tool is because the order of attributes is directly bound to how they're stored in the engine, so many of them can't be reordered.

    The HTML5 tool will be separate from the engine, so sorting will be possible though I'm going to focus on filtering first as I think that's a bigger bang for the bug.

    As for all other concerns, all I can say is work is happening and I'm optimistic. Hopefully we'll have something to show you sometime early next year.

  • KevinCrossKevinCross London, UKPosts: 1,888Member

    @adent42 said:
    The reason we don't have sort in the current tool is because the order of attributes is directly bound to how they're stored in the engine, so many of them can't be reordered.

    Did you not see the third party tool that sorted attributes in the XML file? Something that some probably do manually too.

    Neither broke the engine

  • ToqueToque Posts: 868Member, PRO

    I was wondering this.

    Im not tech web savvy. But if GS is rebuilding the engine to work on web then it would make sense to add the UI things everyone has wanted over the years?

    Discussing some of these things on the forums over the next 8 months would add some positive optimism. Dare even excitement?

  • adent42adent42 Posts: 726Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    @KevinCross

    It's more about how the UI is bound to the data. The windows tool would be easier to edit in this way as it edits the XML independent from the engine.

    The Mac tool uses a copy of the engine as the "source of truth" for a lot of things, so we'd have to add the ability to reorder attributes into the engine itself. It's part of what makes certain types of changes harder to do in the Mac creator.

    @Toque yes indeed. Discuss away! Also remember, we're rebuilding the tool, not the engine. So for this first pass, we're not going to add features to the engine to, just recreating the tool and making some spot improvements.

    Also, to help guide future discussion, it's a good idea to state the problem you are trying to solve first, then your proposed UI solution. The idea is to allow everyone who is interested to propose alternate solutions to the root problem and let give everyone a metric to judge how well a proposed UI feature would solve the problem.

  • ToqueToque Posts: 868Member, PRO

    I think I understand. So not rebuilding the creator engine. Just changing the interface for online interaction to the engine that would exist on a server.

    Hmm. So changing UI may not be as easy as I had envisioned as you would still have to change the creator engine which has caused many neurosis to GS coders over the years.........

  • adent42adent42 Posts: 726Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    Well it's kind of different things.

    The HTML5 tool will allow editing of the game project files online and offline (HTML5/Javascript is just the UI tech we're using). For the online version, your game will be stored in an online database. For the offline version, it will write to files as expected.

    When you preview a game, it will run the on a copy of the engine. The new tool will not directly tie into the engine, which will make everything cleaner.

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