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I'm Considering Giving GameSalad Another Shot...

PhoticsPhotics Posts: 4,172Member
edited May 2012 in Working with GS (Mac)
I haven't made a new game with GameSalad in a while. But today, I started using GameSalad for a new project. I'm excited about it, as I think it could be a great game. Plus, the recent improvements with GameSalad are encouraging...

• $299 for Pro, that's fairly competitive
• Supposedly the Android sound bug has been resolved
• Game Center Achievements — Finally!
• Forum Signatures — It makes me happy!

However, I do have some apprehension about using this software again. There are some big missing features that ruin the fun...

1 - Universal Binaries (I think this can dramatically improve sales/ranking)
2 - Where's AdMob support? (I'm not crazy about Kiip or PlayHaven.)
3 - HTTP Post/Get... to break out of the sandbox!
4 - HTML5 (Exporting features should be better. Project Size lacks customization and hosting on GameSalad.com shouldn't be required.)

Those are the four major features that I think GameSalad is lacking. It's not a long list. Yet, I'm not sure when that list will improve. I'm concerned that choosing GameSalad could limit the potential of this game. Sure, there are lots of ways GameSalad could improve, but those are major issues for me.

My most successful app is a universal binary. I think AdMob makes more sense for a cross-platform iOS/Android game. HTTP Post/Get can be used to add cross-platform features. HTML5 could be awesome, but it's not professional level. Last I checked, I couldn't even make a 320x480 game... and I don't want my projects tethered to GameSalad.com

Yet, I am pleased with something else — SPEED!

I was able to create a somewhat involved control scheme in a short amount of time. I was trying other software, but I kept failing. With GameSalad, it was ridiculously easy. What good is having a bunch of features if I can't even build the most basic of functionality? At least with GameSalad, I know I can build the game I'm

So now, I have a project with exactly the control scheme I was looking to create. That's great, but now I have to decide... continue to fight with the other software — until I can get the control scheme I want — knowing that I'd have greater freedom in the future... or trust that GameSalad will keep improving to the point where my four major issues are resolved or irrelevant.
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Comments

  • IsabelleKIsabelleK Posts: 2,807Member, Sous Chef
    edited May 2012
    Universal Binaries are not a good idea now - with the new iPad, and huge resolution graphics, universal games will be enormous huge, and this can affect sales.
    Just imagine - graphics for old iPhone resolution, retina iPhone graphics, old iPad graphics, and retina iPad graphics.
  • AppTekAppTek Posts: 152Member
    @TheMoonwalls Apple is ready for that stuff, they know that developers are going to have bigger files because of all the retina displays. Also, Apple changed the download limit for 25mbs to 50mbs not too long ago. Apple knows this is going to happen, and I doubt that you will lose customers.
  • PhoticsPhotics Posts: 4,172Member
    Universal Binaries are not a good idea now - with the new iPad, and huge resolution graphics, universal games will be enormous huge, and this can affect sales.
    Just imagine - graphics for old iPhone resolution, retina iPhone graphics, old iPad graphics, and retina iPad graphics.
    File size could be a problem. However, my game uses tiles. I think I could keep it under the 50 MB over-the-air download limit. Also, the workaround could be to support retina display for iPhone but not iPad.
  • butterbeanbutterbean Posts: 4,315Member, PRO
    All good points Photics, I'm wondering where universal binaries are as well... I think it's great because it's less clutter in the app store, and you're giving the customer the iPhone, and iPad app for one price.

    Universal binaries is defo at the top of my list!
  • IsabelleKIsabelleK Posts: 2,807Member, Sous Chef
    As a customer, I love universal binaries, but I'm not sure if I love them as a developer.

    BTW, I've heard that it's harder to get into top paid apps with universal games, don't know if that's true, though.
  • bazookaBenbazookaBen Posts: 318Member
    it's actually easier to get into the top with universal , because all the ratings and rankings are concentrated.
  • PhoticsPhotics Posts: 4,172Member
    edited May 2012
    @Photics the four features your after I'm afraid will be a long ways away if ever.

    1 - Universal Binaries - this is a huge feat for GS and i don't even think its on there radar at this point.
    It's as if GameSalad has their own agenda and they're willing to sacrifice Developer happiness to stick to their agenda.

    I'm surprised that GameSalad lacks Universal Binaries support, as I think it could be easy to implement...

    If iPad, play scenes 1-3
    If iPhone, play scenes 4-6

    GameSalad has pretty good scene scaling. There are lots of tricks that can be done with the camera, so I don't see the technical limitations here.
    2 - Where's AdMob support? Now that there is kiip and PH i don't think we will EVER get admobs since GS makes money on PH and Kiip from us.
    That's what I'm worried about. I think AdMob is better, as I haven't seen any PlayHaven or Kiip success stories on this forum. At least with AdMob, I could toss in a few house ads... which would be good to promote my other Apps/products.

    You and Darren would also seem to benefit from house ads.
    3 - HTTP Post/Get... this was not even on there 2 road map that were posted so it must be far away.
    The open URL behavior could be more powerful. With Post/Get, I could use PHP/MySQL to create my own Arcade. Yet, that would conflict with the GameSalad arcade... so what's the incentive for GameSalad to add such features.
    4 - HTML5 - i think this will be much better once they drop lua,
    I've been waiting to see what happens to GameSalad after the custom engine goes live. It could be awesome. If GameSalad opens up HTML5 support, it could go beyond game development software. It could be powerful web development software. (That's where stuff like POST/GET is useful.)

    But, it comes down to the same old situation... waiting and hoping.

    I went back to the original software I was using and figured out the limitation. It's really frustrating compared to the ease GameSalad... and I have a lot of experience with GameSalad software that's no longer being used. Yet, I think this extra work will make my game more successful

    It's a sad situation.
  • beefy_clyrobeefy_clyro Posts: 5,390Member
    Does Stencyl support the following and if so, does your latest project use the following;

    1 - Universal Binaries (I think this can dramatically improve sales/ranking)
    2 - Where's AdMob support? (I'm not crazy about Kiip or PlayHaven.)
    3 - HTTP Post/Get... to break out of the sandbox!
    4 - HTML5 (Exporting features should be better. Project Size lacks customization and hosting on GameSalad.com shouldn't be required.)

    If not, and you can achieve what you want for your game in GS and much quicker, I don't see why you don't use it .... You know the waters always warm.
  • JustMe74JustMe74 Posts: 542Member, PRO
    edited May 2012
    There is no dev tool that does 100% of what you need. Either GS fits most what you need or it doesn't. That's a decision you'll have to make on your own.
  • PhoticsPhotics Posts: 4,172Member
    edited May 2012
    Does Stencyl support the following and if so, does your latest project use the following;
    Stencyl has Universal Binaries.

    It doesn't have AdMob, but I think I can add it myself since I should be able to edit with Xcode... and Jon seems more helpful/flexible with customizations... especially if the game could increase the reputation of the software.

    It has "HTTP Requests"

    It doesn't have HTML5 yet, but it exports to Flash. (No crap either... no splash screen... I don't even need to touch the Stencyl server.) Currently, I think Flash is far better and more consistent for web games. Unfortunately, I think Flash is dying.
    If not, and you can achieve what you want for your game in GS and much quicker, I don't see why you don't use it .... You know the waters always warm.
    Well, it's a bit of a Catch-22...

    With GameSalad, I could easily build this game. Yet, I would ultimately be crippling my game because I can't add customizations.

    With Stencyl... wow... even making sensor actors is tedious and difficult. Yet, if I can figure it out, I can add the missing features... HTTP Requests, AdMob, Universal Binaries... and eventually Android/HTML5 too.
  • PhoticsPhotics Posts: 4,172Member
    edited May 2012
    But we do know the value of enticing developers to utilize our toolkit for their success, and would hope that you do so.
    Inconceivable!

    (Nice quote in your signature.)

    Ha, actually, I could picture myself using GameSalad, but what about those missing features? The roadmap seems to have disappeared.

    • Is it right to assume that AdMob will not appear because Kiip and PlayHaven support exists?
    • Is it right to assume that universal binaries is a long LONG ways off?
    • Is it right to assume that HTML5 support will always be tied to GameSalad.com?
    • Is it right to assume that GameSalad will prefer Easy over complicated like HTTP POST/GET

    (POST/GET is not something that every GameSalad developer would want or understand.)
  • jonmulcahyjonmulcahy Posts: 10,380Member, Sous Chef
    i know those are important features, and I'd love a UB, but not a single one of those features will prevent you from making a great app. some of them could possible enhance your apps, but your apps success would never ride on them.

  • ZoytZoyt Posts: 374Member
    @Photics - Just a warning, if you read the forum terms and conditions you will notice the banning of advertising other competitors. Your getting a little close in my opinion. But anyways:
    All but the AdMib support are probably my most wanted (especially universal builds). For universal builds, just have a tab for the iPhone and iPad version of the screen at the tool the editor. I REALLY need universal binaries. Also HTTP get/post would be absolutely amazing and we might be able o make our own leader boards for android. And advanced HTML features would be great. I think I share the same wishes.
  • LiquidGameworksLiquidGameworks Anchorage, AKPosts: 956Member, Sous Chef
    @Zoyt The rules prohibit discussing pricing or adding links, and Photics hasn't done that. He only mentions Stencyl as a response when asked.

    I think that Photics is often seen as someone who stirs the pot.... but sometimes that's what the pot needs. :)
  • BSideGamesBSideGames Posts: 392Member
    I have to say being someone that doesn't want to make apps but web games, I wish the HTML5 was much better. If they could make it so we don't have to host on arcade, and fix the tons of bugs that come with each different browser running the game I would never complain again ;)

    That other game making program is as Photics said much stonger in some ways, but lame in ways that making simple thing much much hard. I have tried and tried again to use it and it just fights me all the way, unlike GS that feels like it works with me :)

    So in short GS has some things to work out, but is still a much better program to start to learning and to continue to grow with.
  • butterbeanbutterbean Posts: 4,315Member, PRO
    edited May 2012
    @jonmulcahy put it perfectly, and while UB would be wonderful, it's not deterring anyone from making a great app, nor are any of the other features you mentioned.

    I think GS has done a tremendous job this year, and will continue to do so.

    I'm having deja vu right now... ;)
  • beefy_clyrobeefy_clyro Posts: 5,390Member
    @Photics Ok cool, thanks for the response, i don't know much about Stencyl. I had a peak once it first came out but just couldn't get a long with it and I just didn't want to commit enough time into learning it .. I mean, what is it? 6 months now and you still don't have a complete project? Its all a tradeoff and I do wonder if you're going the correct route ... Sure theres a ton of extras I would like in GameSalad but guess what ... Its not perfect and neither am I and the games I create!
  • LeonardDeveloperLeonardDeveloper Posts: 4,630Member
    @zoyt
    No Thats only pricing, and "Honouring" competitors, We can discuss them, I Personally don't like the way stencil works, GS is My favorite, And I think its one or the other really,
    As @butterbean said, GS has done a tremendous Job with bringing out the christmas prezzy's this year and It does keep getting better and better, I'm personally hoping for Universal Binaries, Maybe soon it may be addressed, Pitty we don't have a roadmap thats more "enlightened" then SF's end of year letter.

    @photics
    I think it would be great if you got into GS again, I been these are just small little features, That could may well come in the middle of your game, WIth the change of Lua - to - native code, We're all ready faster than corona apps and I think Stencyl apps (Correct me if I'm wrong about stencyl)
  • beefy_clyrobeefy_clyro Posts: 5,390Member
    WIth the change of Lua - to - native code, We're all ready faster than corona apps and I think Stencyl apps (Correct me if I'm wrong about stencyl)
    You don't actually know this so no point really saying that as an argument towards GS. All you've seen is an iPad 1 early test, I'm sure it'll be sweet when it arrives but try to avoid talking it up like you already have it :)
  • LeonardDeveloperLeonardDeveloper Posts: 4,630Member
    @beefy_clyro
    As mentioned by SF in his end of year letter Native code is 10x faster then lua
  • beefy_clyrobeefy_clyro Posts: 5,390Member
    In there benchmarking tests it was 10x better, its obviously a good thing but you're bragging over competitors with a feature we don't have yet ... you get me?
  • LeonardDeveloperLeonardDeveloper Posts: 4,630Member
    @beefy_clyro
    Yes I do, I didn't mean it as "Bragging" more of a sort of yeah lets go with bragging, ;)
  • LumpAppsLumpApps Posts: 2,868Member
    Hi @photics
    Glad you are considering GS again. Your points make absolute sense.
    I have been looking around for a while as well but GS improves good. There 'listening skills' improved a lot last half year. Lauren and SSS did a great job and they might be the reason I stay in board, next to GS developing in a way I like. Not being a able to program I think this is the best option.
    I learned to take GS the way it is and try not to get upset anymore by its flaws and work around it.
    In my opinion you are one of the most critical persons here on GS and that is good. You come up with stuff I don't even think about but can be very helpful. And I hope GS listens to what you say. Perhaps not honor all of your wishes but at least consider it. I'm pretty sure they do.

    Short: I hope you stay on board. You are a valuable part of the community.
  • beefy_clyrobeefy_clyro Posts: 5,390Member
    @LeonardDeveloper Haha, @Photics Sorry as you were, didn't mean to start taking your thread off topic :)
  • LeonardDeveloperLeonardDeveloper Posts: 4,630Member
    @Photics
    I apologize for dragging this off topic,
  • UtopianGamesUtopianGames Posts: 5,686Member
    Well i hope you come back, i really miss your posts.

    Daz.
  • PhoticsPhotics Posts: 4,172Member
    not a single one of those features will prevent you from making a great app. some of them could possible enhance your apps, but your apps success would never ride on them.
    Well, after careful thought about how to be successful in this business, I thought of a strategy. It may not be the best strategy for everyone, but I think it's a good strategy for me. Part of that strategy... and something of a life goal... is to turn Photics.com into an online arcade. That's where HTTP requests and HTML5 exporting become critical features.

    With HTTP requests, I can do some pretty amazing tricks. And without improved HTML5 exporting, I can't even publish my game to the web with GameSalad. It's 320x480.

    I learned to take GS the way it is and try not to get upset anymore by its flaws and work around it.
    I'd like to be more relaxed about the progress of GameSalad, but app development is incredibly competitive. If I don't push my games to be better, they won't get noticed. Part of that is about my skills... becoming a better designer... becoming a better developer. But also, it's about good tools.

    Well i hope you come back, i really miss your posts.
    I haven't really left. I've mainly been looking for unanswered questions... posting answers when/where appropriate.

    I mean, what is it? 6 months now and you still don't have a complete project?
    Yeah, that's not really a great stat for the competition. To be fair, I haven't been doing this full-time. I've been busy with web development. I thought I would have been much further along by now though.

    It took me just three weeks to create my first game with GameSalad. Again... to be fair.... that game wasn't very good. HA HA. I'm more critical of my work now.
  • jadjad Posts: 135Member
    I would give anything for Universal Binaries
  • PhiliePhilie Posts: 240PRO
    @jad - you should rethink that statement, haha, next thing you know you'll be offering your soul for UB.
This discussion has been closed.