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GameSalad 0.9.80 Beta: Loading, Performance, & In-App Browser

LaurenSaladLaurenSalad Posts: 650Inactive
edited November -1 in News from the Dev Team
Late last week, our CEO Steve Felter announced a shift in priorities for the next release of GameSalad. Based heavily on valuable feedback from our community, we moved to dedicate more resources to improving the performance and power of the GameSalad engine. Today, we're pleased to announce the first part of those improvements with the launch of GameSalad Creator 0.9.80, available now.

Included in this release are the first of two major behind-the-scenes revisions to our engine's asset and memory management. We've also introduced a new, powerful feature that allows developers to choose pre-loaded assets and, when used efficiently, can bring loading times down to almost nothing. We also managed to sneak in a new feature to our OpenURL behavior that means never having to leave your game, even when directed to an external URL.

The new Asset Loader allows developers to select which actors will be pre-loaded into a project. The interface is a simple boolean switch, located in the attributes section of each actor. When "Pre-Load" is on, the actor will be loaded into memory at when the game launches. If "Pre-Load" is off, the actor will be loaded when it is called within the game.

This feature, when used efficiently, has the power to virtually eliminate loading times for GameSalad games and will greatly improve the experience for all of our Community's players.

In conjunction with the Asset Loader, we've also completed the first part of our asset manager refactoring. This modification is deigned to produce better performance in-game, and prevent crashes due to memory usage. Combined with the Asset Loader, developers should be able to see a noticeable increase in the performance of their titles.

Finally, we have our new In-App Browser. This feature enables developers to keep players inside their app, even when directed to an external website through our OpenURL behavior. Previously, GameSalad apps and games would have to go into multitask mode when an OpenURL behavior was activated. Now, when OpenURL is activated, the link will open via our In-App Browser. This will help keep players in-game longer and provide a better overall play experience.

We're very excited about GameSalad 0.9.80, and about the improvements we've been able to make to engine performance and load times. At the same time, there's lots more to come, and we're going to continue improving the engine and making GameSalad even more powerful as we make this final march out of Beta and toward GameSalad 1.0.

Where Do I Go Now?

1.Download GameSalad Creator 0.9.80
2.Download GameSalad Viewer
3.Asset Loader Best Practices
4.GameSalad Marketplace
5.GameSalad Cookbook
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Comments

  • MagoNicolasMagoNicolas Posts: 2,090Member, PRO
    Time To test It!
  • SparkyidrSparkyidr Posts: 2,033Member
    Woo. Wasn't expecting any new features (other then the memory stuff)....but the in-app url stuff sounds cool.

    Looking forward to getting stuck in :)
  • StormyStudioStormyStudio United KingdomPosts: 3,987Member
    Cool. Will take a look tomorrow . Exciting times
  • MagoNicolasMagoNicolas Posts: 2,090Member, PRO
    Best Practices Links not working for me :(

    Edit: Now You don't have the link, LOL.
  • DigiChainDigiChain Posts: 1,216Member, PRO
    Yes Mago - I logged in to point out the exact same link issue... and then as if by magic - gone!
  • zombieaddictzombieaddict Posts: 213Member
    hmm. am i the only one thats getting a constant crash whenever i try to get a scene to work? ive tried opening different versions of my game and even other games ive made. keeps crashing whenever i attempt to preview
  • pnolandpnoland Posts: 36Member
    Sweet! I can't wait to try this out for my next update. :) The new in app URL feature could be quite interesting!
  • MagoNicolasMagoNicolas Posts: 2,090Member, PRO
    When we destroy an Actor, Should Ram Memory Go Down?
  • DigiChainDigiChain Posts: 1,216Member, PRO
    A quick test of my project using the viewer seems to shows no performance improvements for me (and unfortunately no frame rate improvement either) - but thankfully all seems to be running fine after the update.

    I look forward to giving the Asset Loader a go though - hopefully will see a difference then.
  • ChunkypixelsChunkypixels Posts: 1,113Member
    Yup...was just rummaging through the new build...trying to figure out where we do the new asset management stuff and noticed the "plug-ins" tab too.....

    Darren/Wayne... you got anything to do with this? :)
  • UtopianGamesUtopianGames Posts: 5,686Member


    Strange bug...this happens every time i open the project.

    Darren.
  • LaurenSaladLaurenSalad Posts: 650Inactive
    The plug in tab is the reflection of some groundwork we are laying internally for future features additions. We look forward to sharing more with you as soon as it's ready.
  • tenrdrmertenrdrmer Posts: 9,934Member, Sous Chef, Senior Sous-Chef
    tshirtbooth said:
    Ya this is why they should have given us a test build :(
    not sure why they didn't this time.

    ill try my games and see what happens

    cheers

    Ditto.

    I think it will show as a mistake on their part. Prob trying to rush it to quell the impatience around here. ;)

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

  • BackUpAndDownBackUpAndDown Posts: 685Member
    Will the performance improvements automatically be applied to games that have already been made? or do we need to remake the game in 0.9.80?
  • tenrdrmertenrdrmer Posts: 9,934Member, Sous Chef, Senior Sous-Chef
    Im causously optimistic with the asset loader too. It sounded like when steve talked about it you would have a lot more control. Not just pre-loading somethings once on the app loading.

    In my head it should have been we can basically create a rule in a level so that when a certain point is reached in the level you can start loading some of the larger stuff for the next level to come before its needed. Time will tell I guess.

    The in-app browser sounds like a big help though. Will be really nice for sending ppl to Facebook or twitter pages and still get back to the game easily.

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

  • quantumsheepquantumsheep Posts: 8,188Member
    MagoNicolas said:
    When we destroy an Actor, Should Ram Memory Go Down?

    Could you post a pic of the In-App browser please?

    Cheers,

    QS

    Dr. Sam Beckett never returned home...
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/Quantum_Sheep
    Web: http://www.quantum-sheep.com

  • tenrdrmertenrdrmer Posts: 9,934Member, Sous Chef, Senior Sous-Chef
    quantumsheep said:
    Could you post a pic of the In-App browser please?

    Cheers,

    QS

    Well Apparently you cannot use OpenURL in preview mode anymore. I wonder if it will still function on a mac version. Or the HTML5 since I remember they said that was fixed.

    image

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

  • quantumsheepquantumsheep Posts: 8,188Member
    I meant on the device!

    QS!!!

    Dr. Sam Beckett never returned home...
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/Quantum_Sheep
    Web: http://www.quantum-sheep.com

  • PhoticsPhotics Posts: 4,172Member
    ...and people say I'm cranky with every update. This one is actually pretty good.

    If the In-App Web Browser worked with local files, I could make The Unofficial GameSalad Textbook with GameSalad!

    Anchors should not be overlooked. I'm thinking this is an easy way to do parallax scrolling. There is much to test here.

    Still missing important features though...

    • Universal binaries
    • Game Center Achievements
    • In-App purchases

    I'm surprised something like that didn't show up. A lot of these features are unexpected... like the new functions.
  • POMPOM Posts: 2,599Member
    Thanks for the update guys ,

    Even after reading the 'best practice' , i still didn't fully understand it , do we need to uncheck preload art on all of our actors? even the backgrounds that you instantly see when the seen is loaded?

    if we have an actor that is unmovable and has no rules , means it acts just as graphic actor ,
    and you see it as soon as the scene start , do we need to use the 'null' and uncheck 'preload art' on it? will it make any load times difference in this case?

    Roy.
  • _Belial_Belial Posts: 19Member
    Is there a full change log somewhere? Did they fix the iPad splash screen bugs?
  • tenrdrmertenrdrmer Posts: 9,934Member, Sous Chef, Senior Sous-Chef
    quantumsheep said:
    I meant on the device!

    QS!!!

    Im working on that. But in the past OpenURL worked in preview mode. So why would they kill it now? Does it no longer work on Mac Apps?

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

  • CannonFodderCannonFodder Posts: 230Member
    Thanks for the update guys.
  • BlackbirdStudiosBlackbirdStudios Posts: 493Member
    This looks interesting. Can't wait to test it all out! I am with you guys though, cautiously excited. And really don't understand how the asset loader is going to work either. But good to see that some of the internal problems with the GS engine have been fixed.
    -Matt

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  • PhoticsPhotics Posts: 4,172Member
    Bummer... the anchor setting is not a numerical value.
    ...and I don't see where the in-app browser is.

    Heh, I'm starting to feel grumpy about this update :)
  • quantumsheepquantumsheep Posts: 8,188Member
    tenrdrmer said:
    Im working on that. But in the past OpenURL worked in preview mode. So why would they kill it now? Does it no longer work on Mac Apps?

    I guess my main fear is that it's a GS branded browser thingy - flying this update in under the radar, without us looking at it, just fuels my conspiracy theory excuse for a brain!

    QS :D

    Dr. Sam Beckett never returned home...
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/Quantum_Sheep
    Web: http://www.quantum-sheep.com

  • old_kipperold_kipper Posts: 1,420Member
    As the memory management now scrubs unused graphics (if I read the blog correctly), does this mean it reloads from a cached image in the app memory or from the app resources stored on the device?
  • expired_012expired_012 Posts: 1,802Member
    @QS, this is how it looks on a device
    I think it works pretty well. When tapping close it instantly goes back to where you left off in your game.

    Photobucket
  • quantumsheepquantumsheep Posts: 8,188Member
    artonskyblue said:
    @QS, this is how it looks on a device
    Photobucket

    OH MY GOD!!!

    IT'S GOT GAMESALAD ALL OVER IT!!!

    ;)

    Thanks for the post, arton!

    QS :D

    Dr. Sam Beckett never returned home...
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/Quantum_Sheep
    Web: http://www.quantum-sheep.com

  • old_kipperold_kipper Posts: 1,420Member
    Yes sheepy, and it means you can put useful images and links in your apps, or even updates of weather reports for your sunshine game
This discussion has been closed.