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Updated Roadmap

SFSF Posts: 35Executive Chef, Member GameSalad Employee
edited October 2012 in News from the Dev Team
Hey everyone,

We just wrapped up planning with the team and have some details to share around our near-term roadmap. As always, there’s the disclaimer that things may shift around, but we wanted to let you know what we’re working on now and what we plan to release over the coming months.

First off, let me provide a little more background on two major tent pole projects we’ve been working on for a while now:

Native Code Engine– this one’s been a beast of an undertaking, but it’s getting close to a public release. For those unfamiliar with this project, we’re getting rid of our Lua-based engine and replacing it with a new engine that compiles down to native code, dramatically improving performance and load times. We’re targeting to release an initial batch of Ice Cap games running on the native code engine starting this month. We’ll continue to optimize the engine as we add more games and then eventually open it up to a subsection of the Pro community starting in November. If all goes well with the testing, we’re targeting early next year for a public release to our Pro community.

New Mac UI – this involves some changes behind the scenes to how the Mac UI works. We initially designed GameSalad so you could make tweaks to your game logic and see it reflected in real-time in the preview player. To do this, we integrated the Lua engine directly into the Mac Creator UI, which required more time to implement features and debug. The New Mac UI is a Lua-free version that relies on a Core Data-based system, which allows us to take advantage of Apple’s frameworks. As a result, we’ll get access to Apple OS-level features like iCloud saving, Auto-Restore, etc. which proved to be overly complex to incorporate into the old tool. Going forward, we’ll be able to adopt new Apple OS features and iterate on new game features much faster than before. You’ll also notice that the Mac tool will generally feel much faster and more stable.

Both the Native Code Engine and New Mac UI projects create dependencies that affect the prioritization of features we will be releasing. Features that require deep integration with the Mac UI or Apple’s frameworks will come after the launch of the New Mac UI. Features that involve significant engine specification changes will come after the launch of the native code engine. As a result, we will prioritize features that aren’t heavily dependent on the new UI or engine first, and then roll out the dependency-based features as the New Mac UI and Native Code Engine are complete.

Now that you have some context into the dependencies affecting development, let’s move on to the roadmap. We recently conducted a survey to determine the top feature requests from our Pro community and here’s how the Top 10 shook out: 1) better engine performance, 2) universal binaries, 3) custom fonts, 4) polygon collision, 5) bug fixes and polish, 6) joints, 7) social integration, 8) monetization options, 9) snap-to-grid, 10) attribute editing/organizing (folders).

Taking into account the top requests from the Pro community, the relative size of the features, as well as the UI and engine dependencies mentioned previously, here’s the near-term roadmap in approximate order:

Mac Creator

iPhone 5 and iOS 6 Support
Aspect ratio independence
iPad Mini Support
Kindle Fire HD Support
Nook Support
Project Mint*
Universal Binaries
New Mac UI
Playhaven for Android
Auto Saving**
Multi-Select**
Scene Editor Zooming**
Hot Keys**
Full Screen Mode**
iOS 6 Social Framework**
Monetization options**
iOS 6 GameCenter Support**
Native Code Engine
Android In-App-Purchase
Layers – Locking/Unlocking, Hiding/Showing**
Navigation via Hand Tool**
Snap-to-Grid**
Attribute Editing/Organizing (Folders) **
Project Hops*
Copy/Paste between Projects**
Tile Painting Tool***
Custom Fonts***
Searchable Tables***
Joints***
Polygon Collisions***
Asynchronous Multiplayer**

* These projects merit their own post and detailed explanation. I’ll follow up separately to address each one in a new post.
** New Mac UI dependency
*** Native Code Engine dependency

Windows Creator
Multi-Select
Alignment Tools
Zoom
Hotkeys
Monetization Options
iOS Publishing Solution
Android In-App-Purchase
Layers
Custom Fonts
Searchable Tables

* Note that some of the features listed in the Mac Creator roadmap also apply to Windows Creator.

Web Support

Updated Portfolio Page
Improved Web Publishing Flow
Updated HTML5 Arcade

Windows Store Features
Share Charm
Advanced Live Tile Tools
Custom Snap-to-Scene
In-App Purchase
MS Surface Support

We’re going to do our best to work through all the features as quickly as possible, though we can’t say with certainty when we will be releasing a specific feature. Using the two tent pole projects as relative guidelines, we’re targeting to get the New Mac UI complete by the end of the year and the Native Code Engine released publicly by early next year.

For those of you really itching to get access to the Native Code Engine now, your best bet is to submit your game to Ice Cap Games for publishing consideration (I’ll have a follow up post on the types of games we're interested in publishing). Otherwise, we’ll be gradually rolling out the new engine to Pros over the next few months while we finish testing the engine, and then a full release to the entire Pro community early next year.

I realize that many of you have been waiting a while for some of these features on the roadmap and we’re super excited to finally get these out the door and into your hands!

Cheers,

Steve
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Comments

  • jonmulcahyjonmulcahy Posts: 10,376Member, Sous Chef
    With windows8 and now this, it's an exciting time to be a GS developer.
  • jamie_cjamie_c ImagineLabs.rocks Posts: 5,520Member
    edited October 2012
    Sounds like lots of exciting updates/changes. Can you elaborate on what "project mint" is, I'm aware of that.

    Jamie
  • SaladStraightShooterSaladStraightShooter Austin, TxPosts: 3,081Member, Chef Emeritus
    @Jamie_c - we'll be elaborating more on that soon.

    Why do you keep using that word? I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • ChobbifaceChobbiface Posts: 491PRO
    edited October 2012

    With windows8 and now this, it's an exciting time to be a GS developer.

    +1.

    Cheers for the post SF!

  • Braydon_SFXBraydon_SFX Posts: 9,103Member, Sous Chef, PRO, Bowlboy Sidekick GameSalad Employee
    edited October 2012
    Awesome! Thanks for taking the time to post this, @SF!

    Just goes to show that GameSalad DOES care, not that I had any doubt!
    Well done guys! I'm a happy GS Camper.

    ...And what's this about iPad Mini support?!
  • vikingviking Posts: 322Member, PRO
    Impressive!
  • ChakkuChakku Posts: 1,513Member
    edited October 2012
    First of all, THANKS for the update. Been eagerly waiting for months now.

    My question is which features from the post are Pro-only?

    I specifically mean "We’ll continue to optimize the engine as we add more games and then eventually open it up to a subsection of the Pro community starting in November. If all goes well with the testing, we’re targeting early next year for a public release to our Pro community."

    I think I'm just being paranoid as it wouldn't make much sense for GS to limit the engine itself to Pros only (that would be devastating) as the new engine is needed for many other features, but I do want clarification.

    Which features will be Pro-only?

    PLEASE clarify...@SaladStraightShooter

  • MarkOnTheIronMarkOnTheIron Posts: 1,447Member
    Thanks SF for the great update on the GS schedule.

    SF said:

    iPhone 5 and iOS 6 Support
    Aspect ratio independence
    iPad Mini Support
    Kindle Fire HD Support
    Nook Support
    Universal Binaries

    Since all these features are somewhat related and the next release will surely include iPhone 5 support, could we assume that Universal binaries will be there also? =P~ [-O<


    It's a pity that we will have to wait for Native Code Engine to see custom fonts I really hoped to have them sooner.


  • gyroscopegyroscope I am here.Posts: 6,577Member, Sous Chef, PRO

    Terrific stuff! An exciting product (the Mac GSC) to become even better...

    As for "iPad Mini support"... of course, I'm sure you meant to add... "if it arrives on October 23rd... ;-)

    ""You are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike." - Zork        temp domain http://spidergriffin.wix.com/alphaghostapps

  • pinkio75pinkio75 Posts: 775Member, PRO
  • uptimistikuptimistik VenezuelaPosts: 3,598Member, Sous Chef, PRO

    New Templates Daily At The Official GameSalad Marketplace GSHelper.com

  • carlblanchetcarlblanchet Posts: 755Member
    Thanks @SF for the update! This is going to be great! I can't wait! :D
  • SaladStraightShooterSaladStraightShooter Austin, TxPosts: 3,081Member, Chef Emeritus
    edited October 2012
    @Chakku - realistically, the Native Code engine will be likely be initially released to Pro users only and for all intents and purposes will likely stay in that realm. This doesn't mean the Free/Basic engine will be deprecated, but it does mean that it will potentially be a perk of those investing in a license for more performance. Given the investment GameSalad is making in this, it does make sense.

    It doesn't eliminate your ability to make a great game or even sell it.

    Several of the features listed herein will likely be Pro-only as well. (especially those reliant on the Native Code engine) We'll be able to clarify more on this when they arrive closer to release.


    Why do you keep using that word? I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • wanegroupwanegroup Posts: 84Member, PRO
    Great to see the roadmap! This is probably a dumb question, but I am just starting my first game, and wanted to clarify that we will or won't be able to submit an app to the app store for iOS 6 and the iPhone 5 until the Mac Creator is updated with this feature or is that just for iPhone 5 sizing and special iOS 6 features?

    iOS Apps/Games: Factoids | SkyGunner | TriSideX

  • SaladStraightShooterSaladStraightShooter Austin, TxPosts: 3,081Member, Chef Emeritus
    @wanegroup - support for the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 will be included in the next (upcoming) release, so you won't be able to effectively submit an app for iPhone 5 (and by extension iOS 6) until that time, though it's on its way.

    Why do you keep using that word? I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • ChakkuChakku Posts: 1,513Member
    edited October 2012
    @SaladStraightShooter

    Ok I understand...I have 3 quick questions about specific features.

    1. Will the Mac UI be available for everybody (I'm specifically inquiring about snap-to-grid)?

    2. Will Universal Binaries be available for everybody?

    3. Will "Project Mint" and "Project Hops" be available to all?

    I do plan on going Pro if my 1st game goes ok, but would like to know the answers to these questions for the time being.

    Thanks you for your time
  • SaladStraightShooterSaladStraightShooter Austin, TxPosts: 3,081Member, Chef Emeritus
    @Chakku - yes, the new Mac UI will be available to all, Creator-wide. I'm unclear at this time where snap-to-grid will fall in that, however. Universal Binaries, from what I understand at this time, will be available to all as it will be an iOS feature. More information on Hops and Mint will be forthcoming for clarification.

    Why do you keep using that word? I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • ChakkuChakku Posts: 1,513Member
    edited October 2012
    Glad to hear we can all get the new UI and all of the iOS features.

    Thanks! @SaladStraightShooter
  • POMPOM Posts: 2,599Member
    Is there any info about icecap?!
    Do we share revenu?

    Roy.
  • RUPASRUPAS Posts: 823Member
    Wooow yes , Asynchronous Multiplayer is fantastic, when release this feature? Good works!!
  • robertkdalerobertkdale USAPosts: 912Member
    I can't wait for joints and searchable tables!

    Big Smile Games Play Happy!
    Check out our other GameSalad exclusives.

  • robertkdalerobertkdale USAPosts: 912Member
    Multiplayer sounds awesome as well!

    Big Smile Games Play Happy!
    Check out our other GameSalad exclusives.

  • RUPASRUPAS Posts: 823Member
    But Facebook integration I need now... :(
  • chaplinchaplin Posts: 13Member
    Steve,

    How do we go about submitting a game to Ice Cap Games for publishing consideration?

    Do we need Ice Caps UDID for provisioning profiles?

    Thank you for your help.
  • FallacyStudiosFallacyStudios Posts: 970Member
    Put me in the "subsection" Pro's that get it before general pro release PLEASE! If you need a reason Steve... we have the same name! That's reason enough right :).

    It all looks good. All I want most is the Lua free engine. Looking forward to it all :)
  • AcceleratedGamesAcceleratedGames Posts: 201Member
    edited October 2012
    Happy to know what's coming next and to know that you are working hard to please your customers.

    Just three quick questions:

    What does Aspect Ratio independence mean?

    Would you be able to support any other new screen size with ASI?

    Is this how you would be able to support a screen size that we don't know the specifications of (iPad mini)?
  • imGuaimGua Posts: 1,089Member

    the Native Code engine will be likely be initially released to Pro users only

    You'r post made this panda sad.

    image
  • DeadlySeriousMediaDeadlySeriousMedia ArizonaPosts: 838Member
    edited October 2012
    Maybe you guys can toss "Custom loading graphic" in there some where. ;)

    But so far, I like were your heads are at. :D
  • ultimaultima Posts: 1,207Member, PRO
    could I sign up to be the first few tester of native engine?
This discussion has been closed.