Optimization priorities?

CodeWizardCodeWizard Inactive, Chef Emeritus Posts: 1,143
Hi everyone!

I have a question for you experienced GameSalad users. In your opinion, what should the team's first priorities be when choosing where to optimize the engine?

Is it load times? Timer performance? Spawning performance? Or something else altogether? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
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Comments

  • mounted88mounted88 Member Posts: 1,113
  • KangavarkKangavark Member Posts: 62
    I'd say Timer, then Spawn, then loading time.
  • SocksSocks London, UK.Member Posts: 12,822
    edited March 2013
    I'm not sure if this falls under the area of 'optimization', but I'd like to see all the glitches and bugs killed off first . . . . but like I say maybe that's not 'optimization' ?

    Otherwise I think load times would have the greatest impact.
  • Zenith_GameworksZenith_Gameworks Member Posts: 310
    I would have to say, hands-down, loading times.
  • HoneyTribeStudiosHoneyTribeStudios Member Posts: 1,792
    Greetings and thanks for asking us all :)

    So here are my requests:

    My games tend to use a lot of RAM in any one scene and I build the with the intention of working on ipad1. The 0.10.2 engine update wasn't so great for me so I'll stick with 0.10.1

    I can understand the decision to implement better load times/frame rate at the expense of extra RAM usage. I can see from forum posts some peeps are getting great results with the update. But I'd like it if a solution could be found to go back to using less RAM.

    On a different note, when using resolution independence, being able to manually import the smaller set of images would be good. I'm sure not everyone will want to but an option would be good.

    Backgrounds with gradients have a lot of banding when auto resized in GS. For the full size image you can use the 'layer of 1 pixel at 1% opacity' trick to force the image to be displayed as 24 bit to avoid banding. But then the auto resized smaller image *does* have the banding.

    After GS processes the images the file sizes seem to increase too. (Like a lot of peeps I use Image Alpha on the majority of images to reduce file size). We have it easier these days since Apple increased the over-the-air download size from 20mb to 50mb. But still, some games have loads of images. I think staying within whatever the limit is at the time is a good policy for any mobile game.
  • MSEagle2MSEagle2 Member, PRO Posts: 98
    If at all possible garbage collection optimizations. I read somewhere on here that due to the lua interpreter garbage collection will be less than desirable, but it would be great if GS could try something. Currently one of my games completely locks up after an increase of 20-25MB of game engine ram (regardless if it started at 5MB or 75MB - tested this), and then will either do garbage collection after 5-10 seconds or stay locked for good. Or, allow for more game engine ram to be used before lockup.
  • PBEmpirePBEmpire Member Posts: 676
    Timer performance. I have not experienced load time issues so far. But there really must be improvements to the timers. it could save us messy attributes of how to avoid timers to improve performance.
  • guillefaceguilleface Member Posts: 997
    spawning actors without increasing the ram, that way i dont have to find ways of how to recycle actors.
  • capitalcarnagecapitalcarnage Member Posts: 371
    Playing devils advocate a little here but............ isnt this all a little redundant on the basis that we are all lead to believe LUA free excludes all of this and future development for the current engine?.
  • CodeWizardCodeWizard Inactive, Chef Emeritus Posts: 1,143
    edited March 2013
    @capitalcarnage
    It could be a little redundant. But it sure is helpful for me. Regardless of the delivery date of the "lua free" engine, we still need to support you guys until then.
  • 3itg3itg Member, PRO Posts: 382
    The engine size growing and crashing would be my highest priority.
  • creativeappscreativeapps Member Posts: 1,770
    edited March 2013
    image Loading Times For Sure
  • jonmulcahyjonmulcahy Member, Sous Chef, PRO Posts: 10,402
    I'd have to say loadtimes, especially switching scenes. I've worked some real magic before putting everything into one scene to get around it, but it would be SO much easier if I didn't have to worry about that.

    I'd also like some more control of the images GS uses. It would be nice if we had the option to manually import the different resolution images instead of relying on GS to do it for us. As game development for everyone I realize this is an important step, but for those of us who want the extra control it would be a nice feature.
  • creativeappscreativeapps Member Posts: 1,770
  • ChimoruChimoru Member, PRO Posts: 137
    I would say optimizations to the RAM used by the game engine, I've been working on a big project for months that I've done all the optimizing I can with without sacrificing quality, and it still is a huge ram hog, which also has a big impact on the fps. So I would say FPS and RAM, though they are pretty much interrelated...
  • natzuurnatzuur Member Posts: 304
    Ram usage for sure. Without lowering this gamesalad is not capable of certain types of games without crashing. Even though it may be a smaller segment of developers encountering these issues. The new load times are much much faster after LuaJIT anyway. Spawn performance would be my second.
  • ChirpinGamesChirpinGames Member, PRO Posts: 214
    Loading times, I cannot stand the little preloader that appears when you do something as simple as pause the game. It looks really awkward.

    I experience a little bit of tunneling in my game due to performance but its not to bad and I can work around it, where as load times I dont really have any control over!
  • MarkOnTheIronMarkOnTheIron Member Posts: 1,447
    Yes, definitely loading times.

    I also agree with some of the users above me on the ability to let us import our own smaller set of images. I'm not always happy with the ones resized by the GS servers in terms of file size and quality and in some cases they come out awful, especially with pixel art images that would need a different resizing algorithm than the one you use.

    Also if you could put some expression editors in more places (i.e.. sound behaviour) it would be really nice.

  • shakur81shakur81 Member Posts: 1
    image Loading Times For Sure
    +1
    Definitely loading times!!

  • The_Gamesalad_GuruThe_Gamesalad_Guru Member Posts: 9,919
    I would like to see the move to behavior addressed. It's a common issue with not being able to get and actor to consistently move to a location and stop upon arrival or to keep firing until it arrives at the values. Most games rely on movement and the current set of tools to achieve good controlled movement are limitied. I'm not so worried about load times except maybe between scenes. Most games take time to load. I think the reason people were excited about LUA free was the idea the features, new behaviors et.. Would be easier to implement as we were told. We need more behaviors to help us create great games. Load times are nice but I think we've been to obsessed with this and it's been years since we saw any new behaviors related to physics and such.
  • LumpAppsLumpApps Member Posts: 2,878
    +1 for Loading times.
  • TheGabfatherTheGabfather Member Posts: 633
    edited March 2013
    Load times also :) and a solution to Creator's slow downs / RAM usage, soon after if possible.
  • RefQRefQ Member, PRO Posts: 3
    Loading icon looks really bad.
  • gyroscopegyroscope I am here.Member, Sous Chef, PRO Posts: 6,598

    Hi @CodeWizard +1 from me too re: scene loading times; also would be great to see optimised interpolate algorithm especially when applied to Alpha; and optimised timers in the Animate Behaviour. Cheers. :-)

    ""You are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike." - Zork        temp domain http://spidergriffin.wix.com/alphaghostapps

  • TheGabfatherTheGabfather Member Posts: 633
    I second @RefQ 's comment :) ability to upload a custom icon would be sweet. But not exactly an optimization request.
  • beefy_clyrobeefy_clyro Member Posts: 5,390
    Hmmm ... I'd actually say timer, spawner and then loading times. Sure I want my game to load as quick as possible but i'd rather give the user a slight delay and then the scene plays as best as it can as opposed to the scene loading quickly and then things like spawning and timers causing stutters!
  • DanielDoeDanielDoe Member Posts: 307
    edited March 2013
    There are about 10 things that are repeated every time at least for the last 2 years... (loadings, joints, collision shapes, dynamic layers, Creator UI) e.t.c... not all of them are about optimization...
  • Braydon_SFXBraydon_SFX Member, Sous Chef, PRO, Bowlboy Sidekick Posts: 9,238
    Loading times!
    I'd have to say loadtimes, especially switching scenes. I've worked some real magic before putting everything into one scene to get around it, but it would be SO much easier if I didn't have to worry about that.
    +1 +1 Double Points!

  • SolarPepperStudiosSolarPepperStudios Member Posts: 754
    Definately timers... Then loading time and then anything else. :)
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