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GameSalad and Android — My Story So Far!

PhoticsPhotics Posts: 4,172Member
It's been about 2-3 years since I messed with Google's mobile platform. Around the time I learned about GameSalad, I lost interest in Android publishing. But now that I can quickly publish my GameSalad games to Android, I felt that I should check things out.

It's also good material for The Unofficial GameSalad Textbook! :)

So yeah, that's my main motivation. If I can update the textbook with Android information, it's suddenly viable to two huge development communities.

And right away, it seemed pretty cool. A lot of the big challenges I had resolved years ago... like installing the Google SDK and generating a Keystore. Yet, there were some issues. Apparently, the first version of Android publishing through GameSalad is a bit buggy. I read something about sound issues.

That's when I realized something... how am I going to test my apps?!

Since it's Android, I know that my apps are going to be a tough sell. If they struggle on the iTunes App Store, Android customers are probably going to be even less likely to part with their money. So... I'm considering releasing my apps for free on Android.

Yet, I'm supposed to be a super-smart book author. I can't launch broken apps and expect it to build up my reputation as a mobile development expert. As tempted as I was to just chuck my apps out there, I decided that I should do some testing first.

I took a trip to Best Buy, to see if I could find an inexpensive solution. I already have an iPhone, so I don't need another mobile phone bill. As for the tablets, they seem expensive. They were around $450. I'm not crazy about the Nook or the Fire... but I did like the Samsung Galaxy Player. It's like the Android version of the iPod touch.

I was fairly impressed at how quickly I could get this device up and running. It's a lot easier to install the GameSalad viewer on an Android device... especially when there's a file browser.

Here are some of the things that I noticed...
There's a letterbox issue when porting an iPhone. I think GameSalad should have custom publishing sizes... as that would make HTML 5 more useful too... and the camera should adjust to fill in the screen. A side-scrolling game could expand to fill the screen.

There is a sound bug. Effects don't sync with the action and loops have a problem.

That old image loading trick doesn't work well with Android.

Performance is sketchy... Arch Fiery ran a little slow on a 1GHz device.

I'm thinking that the "Preview on Android" button should be the Green Android icon.

I'm surprised that AdMob is not supported.
Ultimately, I didn't publish any apps today. I don't feel that Android publishing through GameSalad is quite ready. There are some bugs to fix. Although, it's pretty close. Impressive!

Maybe the next update to GameSalad might resolve these minor issues.

Comments

  • Rob2Rob2 Posts: 2,402Member
    Good read, Samsung make great kit.. which model did you end up with ?

    This has to be the Android bargain of the month however :-

    image

    Same price as a Fire with all that 10" goodness and cameras...ouch.. I missed it :(

    edit: TSB's Android phone 4 sale was probably the deal of the year :)
  • ericdg123ericdg123 Posts: 156Member, PRO
    The letterbox issue you mention is because the devices have different aspect ratios. I think it would be great if game salad automatically detected all the different resolutions of android devices and adjusted the games accordingly, but that doesn't happy with any sdk that I know of.

    If you use the nook/fire profile it fits much better than the iPhone profile. You'll still have to do some work on your project but you'll have to do that even if we could select custom resolutions, unless you want everything stretched which looks terrible in my opinion.

    The iPhone is 1.5 to 1 ratio, and the nook is 1.7 to 1 ratio, which is much closer to the 1.66 to 1 ratio of your galaxy mp3 player. The other popular ratio on all the new phones is 1.77 to 1, or 16x9 as most commonly know it. So the nook profile works pretty good on almost all devices.

    The iPad ratio is 1.33 to 1, so you'll definitely have some work to do to port your iPad games, unless you like huge black bars or lots of stretching.
  • ericdg123ericdg123 Posts: 156Member, PRO
    I think your apps or anyone's for that matter may actually have a better chance selling on the various android stores, because of the huge decrease in the number of apps. Of course if your high up on the charts then the Appstore is the place to be, but many people are not, so they will benefit from less competition.
  • PhoticsPhotics Posts: 4,172Member
    Rob2 said:
    Good read, Samsung make great kit.. which model did you end up with ?

    I got the Samsung Galaxy Player 4, which was $189 at Best Buy. Wow, Amazon did have an aggressive sale... but I'm still happy with the Samsung Galaxy Player. I'm primarily using it as a testing device. When not in use, it's probably just going to sit on my desk.
    tshirtbooth said:
    they have a fix there working on for the sound bug. but unfortunately it will not fix for android 2.2 witch the nook and fire runs on.

    But i sent them this video that clearly shows it can be fixed so maybe they will find the answer.

    Yeah... I figure that I should just wait for the next update to GameSalad, so I can launch my games without a sound issue.

    I watched the video... but I'm having trouble with looping music files too. There's a pause in the music between the loops.

    I'm not sure if converting sound effects to music files is the answer, but 2.2 is still a popular version of Android. I don't think GameSalad should let this one slide...
    http://developer.android.com/resources/dashboard/platform-versions.html
    ericdg123 said:
    The letterbox issue you mention is because the devices have different aspect ratios. I think it would be great if game salad automatically detected all the different resolutions of android devices and adjusted the games accordingly, but that doesn't happy with any sdk that I know of.

    Support for multiple screen ratios can be done... a certain SDK does come to mind. :)
    ericdg123 said:
    I think your apps or anyone's for that matter may actually have a better chance selling on the various android stores, because of the huge decrease in the number of apps.

    It's still something I'm thinking about. There are just so many free apps on Android.
  • The_Gamesalad_GuruThe_Gamesalad_Guru Posts: 9,906Member
    Just thinking out loud, but I wonder if it has anything to do with the file type?
  • The_Gamesalad_GuruThe_Gamesalad_Guru Posts: 9,906Member
    okay tried a series of different file formats all returned the same delay.
  • Rob2Rob2 Posts: 2,402Member
    It would be crazy if the sound is not fixed for the Fire (2.3.4)
    Nook Color is 2.2 but the new Nook Tablet is 2.3.3
  • HymloeHymloe Posts: 1,651Member
    I have a question regarding these different resolutions.

    I haven't yet run Game Salad viewer on my device, so thought I'd ask...

    Can you use "Device > Screen > Size > Width and Height" to get the ACTUAL resolution of ANY device the project is running on? Or just it just access the resolution of the project type you have selected?

    If I use it on iPhone, it gives back 480 x 320, so that's great. It also returns 1024 x 768 on an iPad project, and 1024 x 600 on a Kindle project. Fantastic.

    But if I were to run it on another Android device, would it return the actual device's screen resolution, or would it just return the project dimensions?

    I'm hoping it gets the actual device resolution, so I can implement Android projects that adjust their presentation with rules, to make the HUD, Camera, Aspect, etc, all work correctly for that device.

    Cheers!

    - Murray


This discussion has been closed.