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Performance issues in Development and on Devices

proteus375proteus375 Posts: 0Member
edited June 2012 in Tech Support
We've released our first game (YEAH!!) for the iphone, ipad, android, and amazon markets! But we noticed several issues during development, and now with post-deployment. These issues are as follows:

1) In development, keeping the GameSalad Creator on for extended periods of time (several hours) significantly reduces the performance of the machine, ultimately requiring a reboot to reaquire resources. Having done some game-engine development before, it seems to me that GameSalad still has some memory leaks.

2) In development, as the game became larger (or closer to completion), the simulator would present strange sound 'ticks' at regular intervals in the game. This 'tick' was not present in testing on devices, so it points to some programming issue within the simulator itself.

3) After deployment to the markets, we have noticed that our app does not release data as other apps do on the iphone and ipad when the Home button is pressed. The performance of the device remains unchanged (thank God), but when the user tries to play the app, the game jumps and performs extremely slowly. Again, I think the issue may be a memory leak.

4) After deployment, I observed that downloading the Android version of the app to a Android Phone (for example) resizes the layout of the game as if the device was for a tablet. Granted, we anticipated only releasing to the Android tablets; so we were quite surprised to see the app available to Android Phones. Doing research we discovered that there are 4 options embedded in the manifest file (SMALL, NORMAL, LARGE, XLARGE) that dictate what devices/layouts the app can be used on. Nowhere was this option available when publishing the app through GameSalad. Android does have a setting when posting the app for review where the developer can exclude devices, but if you have 200+ devices and no real means of differentiating phones from tablets, its a useless feature.

5) After deployment, it was observed that in older devices (3GS), an issue arose with timers. From the user's perspective, the screen would go black (because of fade-out object) and become unplayable. Luckily we identified this issue during BETA-testing, but we were not able to completely mitigate it. When we published through GameSalad, we specified only the latest ARM7 processor, and our iPhone version did not have fade-ins and fade-outs. Still the problem exists where the timers on the fade-ins and fade-outs dont work as expected.

6) While some releases of the Creator do improve performance over other releases, the memory leaks still persist. About a year ago, for example, the memory leak issue was bad enough that we were forced to reinstall GameSalad; whereupon all the game data (a year's worth of development) was disassociated with GameSalad and became unrecoverable. Since then we implement a seperate backup per development session in case it happens again.

7) I was excited about the inclusion of the Windows GameSalad Creator, but the biggest setback (among many) is that I can only save the project once. The application will not let me overwrite the gameproj file, nor can I move the gameproj file to my Mac. Strangely, I can move all the assets that are in the Windows version as individual items (even zip them to move them as a group) but the Behaviors folder in the Windows machine doesnt get populated and produces a corrupt version of the app on the Mac.

8) One last thing. We went Pro and included Kiip in our game. Thankfully it works, but we have not been able to monitor the statistics through the Kiip website. Now this could easily be user error, but I think it would be cool to have a link within the GameSalad Developer website were we could see the statistics of the Kiip sales (etc).

I know the issues described above are lengthy, but I was wondering if other developers experienced the same issue(s)?

Best Answer

Answers

  • zgd12zgd12 Posts: 7Member, PRO
    I am experiencing some serious issues with GS 0.9.94 as well-- in ad-hoc built on iPod touch running iOS 5.1.1. I am not sure what is actually causing it, but suspect it is still a memory leak in GS. After a few runs/reset of the game, it slows down to a crawl. I have been able to reproduce the issue every time either the embedded browser is launched, or tweet sheet. If it isn't launched no noticeable slowdown.

    Need some feedback from GS team. I saw a similar slowdown in GS 0.9.92 on iOS 5.1.1 device.
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