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Status Update on GameSalad 0.9.80 Release

SFSF Posts: 35Executive Chef, Member GameSalad Employee
edited November -1 in News from the Dev Team
Hi everyone,

We're closing in on the end of September and I know everyone is excited about the upcoming 0.9.80 release. I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on the timing of the release and give you a heads up on some of the changes we made to the rollout of our scheduled features.

After posting an update to our roadmap in August, there was an outpouring of valuable feedback from the community. While everyone was very excited about the additions of quality features like In-App Purchase, Joints, and Tables, many felt we weren’t dedicating enough attention to another serious matter — engine performance and game loading times.

We took a long look at the underlying causes and decided that we needed to address some of these critical performance issues before introducing more features. For the past month, we’ve made engine performance and load times a top priority for the GameSalad team. I think you all will be glad to know that we’ve come up with some solutions that will dramatically improve performance.

We are going to introduce these performance improvements over the next two releases. In the upcoming 0.9.80 release, we’ve restructured our engine’s asset manager in order to provide better performance on iOS devices. We’ve also created a new feature for improving game load times. GameSalad’s new Asset Loader will allow developers the ability to specify when certain assets should or should not be loaded. This means that you can choose which assets absolutely need to be loaded at the launch of your game. When utilized properly, developers should see significant improvements in game load times.

The second phase of performance improvements will be included in the 0.9.90 release. This is a big, hairy project that involves some retooling of our engine architecture. This will result in dramatic improvements to performance that will make slow load times a thing of the past for GameSalad games. Needless to say, we are all very excited for this long overdue improvement to our engine.

Now that we’ve covered performance issues, let’s talk a bit about some of our upcoming features. If you recall, I’ve been pushing hard to get Tables introduced as soon as possible. Tables are essential to creating many popular styles of games that are currently difficult to produce with GameSalad, if not impossible. It also turns out that the new Tables architecture is essential for integrating certain features like In-App Purchase and Game Center Achievements. As a result, we had to move Tables from our planned winter release up to 0.9.90 in order to incorporate IAP and Game Center Achievements. The good news is that Tables is coming out a whole lot sooner than anyone expected, meaning you can create all kinds of cool new games that weren’t possible before. The drawback is that we had to push IAP and Game Center Achievements back a release so we could get the Tables architecture in place first. So look for 0.9.90 to have the new Tables architecture, along with IAP and Game Center Achievements among other things.

There are also a couple of other cool features we’re going to try and squeeze in to 0.9.80, but we need to make sure they pass QA first before we can commit to them. I’ll post an update as soon as I have more news. In terms of timing, given all the performance improvement work, we needed to push back our release date an additional week to allow for sufficient QA. If everything clears through QA, we should be on track to release 0.9.80 some time next week.

With the next few releases, including the upcoming 0.9.80, we’re taking major strides to make GameSalad a first class professional game development environment. In addition to the significant improvements in engine performance and loading times, you can also expect to see other powerful features, such as Tables, Joints, and IAP. We’ve also been working on some major revisions to the user interface of the Creator itself, providing a more streamlined, intuitive, and powerful development tool.

Our push toward 1.0 continues and we’re really excited about where we’ll be in the coming months. With 0.9.80 coming next week, GameSalad enters the final stages of our Beta. This has been quite a journey and it wouldn’t be the same without all of you. We’re glad to have you on board and on behalf of the GameSalad team, thank you for your continued support.

Cheers,

Steve
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Comments

  • aarioaario Posts: 256Member, PRO
    Awesome!
  • osucowboy18osucowboy18 Posts: 1,307Member
    Sounds great Steve! Thanks to the entire GameSalad team for constantly striving to produce the best tool possible. I look forward to what's to come in the following weeks and months!

    - Alex
  • GraphicWarehouseGraphicWarehouse Posts: 927Member
    cmon iap keeps getting delayed
  • GamesDrinkGamesDrink Posts: 17Member
    When will 0.9.90 be released then - estimate??

    (...slightly disappointed IAP has been pushed back when most thought we would be getting it this week even though Tables are indeed important)
  • beefy_clyrobeefy_clyro Posts: 5,390Member
    The best news you could give :) For me personally, i don't care if its delayed a week, i don't care that iAp purchasing has been pushed back, the fact that you've seriously addressed performance and are looking to make it a true professional tool is awesome. Great games can be made without things like iAp and that has been proved countless times and some have had huge successes. The 1 thing that always let things down was performance and slow loading times, to have this dramatically reduced has made me do a little sex wee ;)
  • UnicornifyUnicornify Posts: 118Member
    So IAP and Game Center Achievements won't be in 0.9.8?

    -Matt
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  • osucowboy18osucowboy18 Posts: 1,307Member
    Apptigr said:
    So IAP and Game Center Achievements won't be in 0.9.8?

    That would be correct. They are just focusing on engine enhancements on 0.9.8.

    - Alex
  • YodapolloYodapollo Posts: 447Inactive
    @Matt

    That is correct. The refocus on engine performance and current work on our tables architecture have pushed IAP and GC to 0.9.90, which is the "October Release" on the current roadmap.

    --Yodapollo
  • tenrdrmertenrdrmer Posts: 9,934Member, Sous Chef, Senior Sous-Chef
    Thanks Steve, Glad to see a shift in focus. Me personally I don't really care about IAP before a lot of other features, Like Performance, Joints, Achievements and Tables So Im glad. you guy have shifted focus to performance first.

    It's not my fault I never learned to take responsibility for anything. ;)

  • PhoticsPhotics Posts: 4,172Member
    This is good news and bad news. The delay of Game Center Achievements is disappointing. Yet, performance is one of the things that is hindering the success of GameSalad. So, this is also good news for two reasons...

    1 - Improving the performance of GameSalad is important.
    2 - This is good communication.
  • SparkyidrSparkyidr Posts: 2,033Member
    Steve and the guys.... cheers for the update about the updates.

    I for one am happy about hearing (and soon seeing) the engine improvements....and really not too fussed that iap is pushed back a month or so.

    Looking forward to 0.9.8
  • GamesDrinkGamesDrink Posts: 17Member
    Yodapollo said:
    have pushed IAP and GC to 0.9.90, which is the "October Release" on the current roadmap.

    Well another Month is OK with me, I will upgrade to Pro as soon as I know IAP has been completed. Not that IAP on its own makes better games, (and sure Tables/Improved memory as standalone features are better for games), but I would like to monetize my games later and release them for free which I feel is a much more important growth option.
  • ChunkypixelsChunkypixels Posts: 1,113Member
    ooh yes :)

    sounds like the GS team are finally concentrating on my wish list items...

    Tables/Arrays, Editor interface improvements, engine & loading optimizing (especially the Asset loading manager). So everything sounds good.

    Would like to hear how the Tables are going to work though, and if we'll be able to import large chunks of pre-formatted data, and if so, what file formats will it be compatible with... or is it going to be a more basic system?

    But yup... certainly sounding good for these next couple of updates! :)
  • dmilinovichiiidmilinovichiii Posts: 620Member
    Sounds great! Glad to get status reports from GS. Could someone explain exactly what tables are to me?
  • gariantrollgariantroll Posts: 219Member
    Yoda,

    Does this mean that we can load and unload things to make sure we control our RAM at any time? I ask this because the problem has always been that RAM never dumps in my game.

    Alexis
  • IngDesignIngDesign Posts: 7Member
    Sweet!

    I'm very cool with this. Crossing my fingers that achievements arrive in Oct.

    I could really use those come Nov...
  • MagoNicolasMagoNicolas Posts: 2,090Member, PRO
    Omg, I Love this post.

    I Really Think asset Loader is important for Performance and Loading times.

    And finally we will have good performance and loading times improvements on 0.98 and 0.99.

    :D

    Hope you guys have 0.99 ready On Otober (Even last day of october wold be perfect timing for me :D )

    Cheers.
  • SlowboySlowboy Posts: 329Member, PRO
    All sounds great, thanks for the update ;]

    I must say, I think it's honorable that you are still calling this beta. I've been using GS for a year and a half now, and other than the well publicized bugs and a few quirks, I have considered it complete and far more than adequate since day one!

    If I was doing the version numbers I reckon this would be at least version 2.5 by now!
    Saying that, the way things are going, version 2.5 will have the great idea, design the game and make it for you!

    Keep up the superb work, thanks for a truly great tool.
  • steve86steve86 Posts: 806Member
    SF said:

    The 0.9.90 release. This is a big, hairy project that involves some retooling of our engine architecture. This will result in dramatic improvements to performance that will make slow load times a thing of the past for GameSalad games.

    Steve

    This right here is the BEST paragraph I've seen in months :)
  • MagoNicolasMagoNicolas Posts: 2,090Member, PRO
    steve86 said:
    This right here is the BEST paragraph I've seen in months :)

    +1
  • MarkOnTheIronMarkOnTheIron Posts: 1,447Member
    Thanks for the update Steve! It's good to see you guys focusing on performance. However I hope that some performances improvements will also be for the Creator because with projects with many scenes it becomes really slow. On the game I'm working I have 217 scenes and it takes about 4/6 minutes to open the project and about the same time to save it.
  • EbreezeEbreeze Posts: 481Member, PRO
    This is great...thanks GS
  • MarkOnTheIronMarkOnTheIron Posts: 1,447Member
    By the way have you managed to fix the various GC Leaderboards bugs?
  • calvin9403calvin9403 Posts: 3,190Member
    so IAP and GC ach and Tables on 0.9.9? that will be a big step towards the update

    so I guess 09.8 is going to be preformece fix mostly?

    Calvin
  • RumiRumi Posts: 343Member, PRO
    I've heard about tables through the other posts. But how could they be used in games?
  • mu-kowAPPSmu-kowAPPS Posts: 233Member
    With these performance upgrades, will spawning be "fixed" also? I currently have about 40 prototypes for bullets for recycling purposes.

    Thanks!
  • LumpAppsLumpApps Posts: 2,868Member
    Kadeng! (the break after my earlier drumrol).

    Great, sounds good to me.
    So if possible can some one som up what there is new in 0.98?
    Or is it 'just' performance improvement.

    Thanks Steve for the long post! And the rest of the GS team of course!
  • GraybayGraybay Posts: 114Member
    This is great news, I think you are doing the right thing to focus on performance before substance. Keep up the good work.
  • gizzi93gizzi93 Posts: 64Member, PRO
    Is android publishing still set for oct.?
  • EatingMyHatEatingMyHat Posts: 1,246Member
    gizzi93 said:
    Is android publishing still set for oct.?

    +1

    Every developer knows that putting unplanned items in the October release will come at a cost... I hope that cost is not Android, but still - a better GS is better.
This discussion has been closed.