Optimization priorities?

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  • gyroscopegyroscope I am here.Member, Sous Chef, PRO Posts: 6,596
    edited March 2013
    @gyroscope
    Well, timers are based off of the system clock. It's just how the code deals with elapsed time that can cause problems. :)
    Got it, OK, thank you, @CodeWizard. :-)

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

  • ChakkuChakku Member Posts: 1,513
    @CodeWizard

    This wasn't specifically on the roadmap, but do you think that it's feasible for GameSalad to add OPTIONAL coding support? I don't mean, at all, to change the current drag and drop setup, but if we could add custom code to our games, then we could add (potentially) add in anything we wanted to our games, and specific features before GameSalad is able to add a behavior for that. The reason I ask this is that there are a lot of good APIs, and it'd be foolish to think that GS would be able to support them all! Everybody needs specific APIs depending on the app, and GS won't (shouldn't) spend time/resources implementing something for just a few people. However, this feature would allow those people, and users in general, to apply their own APIs.

    Thanks
    Chakku
  • CodeWizardCodeWizard Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO Posts: 1,143
    edited March 2013
    @Chakku

    I'm sure the ability to extend the engine is on the coming road map for more advanced users to take advantage of. We'll share more news of this as we work out the details.
  • SnapFireStudiosSnapFireStudios Member Posts: 1,603
    edited March 2013
  • PBEmpirePBEmpire Member Posts: 676
    I am starting to love this wizard. Come, I salute you. ^:)^ and clap for you because you seem to have that I want to make this even better attitude =D>
  • ChakkuChakku Member Posts: 1,513
    He SEEMS promising, I'll say that. However, I'm not going to praise him until I see tangible results ;)

    Chakku
  • MSEagle2MSEagle2 Member, PRO Posts: 98
    He SEEMS promising, I'll say that. However, I'm not going to praise him until I see tangible results ;)

    Chakku
    Indeed.

    *cracks whip*
  • CodeWizardCodeWizard Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO Posts: 1,143
    April 1st is coming. I wonder if I'll end up being a cruel joke. :)
  • GSAnimatorGSAnimator Member Posts: 312
    @CodeWizard

    Is the Loading time difficult to fix in Lua engine ?

    Or

    Is it possible to fix Loading time in Lua engine?
  • artfishartfish Member, PRO Posts: 369
    Make GS truly amazing for me? 2 things would do it. Change scenes instantly and enable actors to directly change any actor in the scene/game's attributes when choosing functions-create a function that lets us do this "When touch is pressed change actor.scene.track.car.self.speed to 50 " :)>-
  • imGuaimGua Member Posts: 1,089
    Haven't experienced problems with loading times. So for me, priority is:
    1. Better FPS in general
    2. Spawning performance
  • CodeWizardCodeWizard Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO Posts: 1,143
    @zhongmincan
    Yes, I think that load times can be vastly improved in the existing engine. And I don't think it'll be that hard to do so.

    I'll have a lot more to say about load time optimizations shortly. :)
  • ChunkypixelsChunkypixels Member Posts: 1,114
    edited March 2013
    Loading times is probably going to be the optimisation that gets most votes... its forever being requested.

    As a long time GS user though.... I'd just love for once, to see the editor get some long overdue attention. By this, I mean specifically spending time on things like multiple selecting/dragging of actors in the editor, better visibility and editing of actor co-ordinates instead of having to fully open up the actor whenever you just want to check/edit a position co-ordinate, and things like better layer editing and functionality, snap to grid etc, etc, etc

    Most of those things have been requested, over and over again during the 3 years Ive been using the software, but never been touched... with GS development always seeming to prefer spending time on trying out and implementing yet more failed attempts at adding more monetizing options... GS Direct, GS Accelerator, Kiip and more recently Playhaven (now looking rather shaky too)... rather than spending time and resources on improving and building on the heart of GameSalad... the editor.

    I'd just love, for once, for the GS engineers to spend a month solely working on core editor improvements... the result would be leaps above any of the updates weve received for the past year or 2.... lots of little things that help us to make better games would be much more welcome than most of the bigger "projects" that GS usually hypes...

    Improve the core tool... rather than just trying to expand its publishing options... its what a lot of your more professional users would prefer to see.

    But so far, seeing your background, and from everything your saying, I really have a lot of hope in you CodeWizard... I just hope your intentions marry well with the corporate side of GS, as theyve proved to push the software in some rather questionable directions at times.

    But yup... any improvements and efforts to that end that you can bring to GameSalad is always going to be welcome by the users... :)
  • CodeWizardCodeWizard Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO Posts: 1,143
    @Chunkypixels
    Hearing you loud and clear!
  • quantumsheepquantumsheep Member Posts: 8,188
    Just going off what chunky said, something I and my dev partner have been wanting for a long, long time, is:

    Some sort of indication that there are rules in the 'otherwise' section of a rule.

    Seriously, just changing the colour of the 'otherwise' tab would help give you an 'at a glance' bit of useful info, especially when debugging/bug hunting.

    In programming/logic terms, it seems so simple. If there are behaviours in the 'otherwise' section of a rule, change colour to red :D


    Other than that, I'd have to go with Load times and fonts.

    Load times I think most people can appreciate.

    Using your own fonts though is something 'small' that gives big advantages:

    *Better performance (theoretically) - Instead if using graphics to represent menu items, score etc, it's all done with the font. You're literally just using the display text behaviour that already exists. It also would potentially reduce the size of your game.

    *Localisation - you can add localisation options as you're just referencing text values, as opposed to having to make graphics for all the text for every language you use.

    *Points earned - Any game where points appear over an enemy you've destroyed. In my own 'Attack of the Kraken' I had to make the potential score fixed so that I knew what the figures would be coming off the top of a hit/destroyed enemy (+10, +30 etc etc). This all had to be pre-planned and was 'expensive' in terms of resources/performance.

    A revamped display text behaviour would be nice too I guess, so it has a more WYSIWYG feel to it. But that can wait for a bit!

    Garbage collection would help too. There are work-arounds of course like pooling bullets/enemies.

    But I'd rather the spawn just worked effectively so you can concentrate on making a fun game instead of battling with the system.

    Another thing I'd love to see would be allowing the user to define what goes into an actor's 'default' state.

    Currently you have all sorts of things associated with actors. Can they move? What physics are attached to them.

    I get the feeling this makes actor's kinda 'heavy'. If we could strip out what we don't need so that the actor never has to check on 'am I moving' - 'do I have any physics attached' - that might help again with performance.

    Overall though, I think that there should be an eye kept on 'easy wins'. Small things that are relatively easily/speedily added.

    Not that the big wins should be ignored. But hey, if you can do something quick with that 'otherwise' thing, why wouldn't you? :)

    Thanks for reading!

    QS :D

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

  • MarkOnTheIronMarkOnTheIron Member Posts: 1,447
    @CodeWizard To add to what @Chunkypixels an @quantumsheep said you can also check this thread: http://forums.gamesalad.com/discussion/comment/333662/
    There's a lot of suggestions to improve the creator experience.

  • vikingviking Member, PRO Posts: 322
    Dramatically lowering the load times between scenes is in my opinion the biggest optimization that you can do right now. Then make the loading icon only appear after 3 seconds (or whatever the requrement is from Apple) if the next scene is still loading. That way we can work on eliminating the loading icon altogether without breaking the rules from Apple.

    I have been making games for 25 years now, but one thing never changes. Developers don't want players (or press for that matter) to know which engine we are using. It does not matter if we spend $500,000 on an Unreal Engine license, which a lot people consider the best engine in the business. My studios licensed Unreal in the past and we did everything we could to hide it from players.

    With faster load times and hopefully the option of turning off the loading icon (or make it customizable) if our scenes load quickly is the last thing required to make GameSalad a true professional development option. Please make it happen as soon as possible.
  • ChunkypixelsChunkypixels Member Posts: 1,114
    @quantumsheep

    ...your "otherwise" indicator is a sublime example of simple editor improvement that makes using the editor so much easier/less tedious. Cant begin to count the times Ive had to go through a long list of rules, opening each one just to track down one "otherwise" rule.

    Because it really should be rather simple to implement, compared to most other requests, Im going to hedge a bet on it being in the next update... theres just no justice in the world if it isn't... :)

    There should be a handful of small (yet very useful) improvements like this with every update....
  • BBEnkBBEnk Member Posts: 1,764
    if we are talking small annoying things one of them is in the preview screen were you can edit and add a custom resolution which I like using too test overscan screens in my game to see how they look, but every time you back out its lost and you have to enter them again why can't it save those values.
  • SparkyidrSparkyidr Member Posts: 2,033
    I'm quite surprised at so many people still saying loading times.
    I personally don't think the loading times are "too" bad, when compared to games like the newer angry birds for example....but anyways

    For me, these few things would be nice : (not all optimise type stuff, but worth mentioning)

    1. PLEASE can we see/edit the X/Y value of an actor without having to open it's properties. That would save me hours and hours of clicking and waiting. (also, when you drag a new actor into a scene, I'd love it if it "snapped" to a whole number. I, personally, have never felt the need to have an actor at 123.8574 X 98.5647. I have however felt the need for them to be at 123 X 98. ;)

    2. General framerate/performance improvements would be great (if poss). It's much much better then it was in the olden days, but get more than 7 or 8 things moving around with physics, and dropping from 60fps to 45-50 on a 4th gen iPhone, seems like the engine is struggling a bit.

    3. Some sort of visual cue as to if otherwise is used in a rule would be a massive help when looking for rogue things causing probs.

    4. Fonts fonts fonts fonts. Mark, who is the other half of Flaming Mitten is always on the hunt for design choice without resorting to making loads of ".png fonts" every time we wanna do anything out of the ordinary.

    5. A really cool feature (that actually exists in Stencyl, that I found very useful) would be.....If you copy/paste a rule from one actor to another that references a "self." attribute. If that attribute doesn't already exist in the actor you are pasting into, then the attribute gets created....would make attaching a whole chunk of behaviours to an actor from say....a previous project, much more helpful. As it stands, it's very hard to re-use code from previous projects (imo)

    They are my 4 main gripes (today) :)

    Sparks.
  • ChakkuChakku Member Posts: 1,513
    edited March 2013

    1. PLEASE can we see/edit the X/Y value of an actor without having to open it's properties. That would save me hours and hours of clicking and waiting. (also, when you drag a new actor into a scene, I'd love it if it "snapped" to a whole number. I, personally, have never felt the need to have an actor at 123.8574 X 98.5647. I have however felt the need for them to be at 123 X 98. ;)
    Agreed, I always round my positions to the nearest pixel, but it'd be awesome (and I think easy to implement), if GS did that for you.

    I mean seriously though, why would someone want to put their actor on 517.8576 vs just 518?

    Chakku
  • MSEagle2MSEagle2 Member, PRO Posts: 98

    1. PLEASE can we see/edit the X/Y value of an actor without having to open it's properties. That would save me hours and hours of clicking and waiting. (also, when you drag a new actor into a scene, I'd love it if it "snapped" to a whole number. I, personally, have never felt the need to have an actor at 123.8574 X 98.5647. I have however felt the need for them to be at 123 X 98. ;)
    Agreed, I always round my positions to the nearest pixel, but it'd be awesome (and I think easy to implement), if GS did that for you.

    I mean seriously though, why would someone want to put their actor on 517.8576 vs just 518?

    Chakku
    Well if I make a grid that is 7 actors wide and fills 600 pixels each actor is 85.7142857 wide and I would need that extra precision (otherwise it will have that ugly 1 pixel spacing). Of course this is a very specific case, but the point is give us a toggle option to force rounding/not force in creator. Better yet just give us a grid that actors snap to and we can adjust the size of the grid to anything we want.

    Also fix the ugly 1 pixel space bug. So annoying when the math says all the pixels are set up correctly, and yet there are 1 pixel spaces between actors.
  • CodeWizardCodeWizard Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO Posts: 1,143
    @MSEagle2
    This raises the question of subpixel precision in the engine. If that's not handled "just so" then you'll end up with gaps and whatnot. Adding it to my list of things to have investigated.

    @Sparkyidr
    All nice suggestions. :)
  • ChakkuChakku Member Posts: 1,513
    @MSEagle2
    This raises the question of subpixel precision in the engine. If that's not handled "just so" then you'll end up with gaps and whatnot. Adding it to my list of things to have investigated.
    @CodeWizard
    If that is not a relatively quick/simple fix, (I think) the community can agree that it should be very low on the priority lists, as we (I, although many others feel the same way, I'm sure) prefer other things over that.
  • SnapFireStudiosSnapFireStudios Member Posts: 1,603
    I feel like the GS team could spend 30 minutes coding in a notice when something inside the otherwise section and immediately skyrocket their approval rating :D
    It really is true though...
    - Thomas
  • contrasthallcontrasthall Member Posts: 131
    i honestly never thought of the load time as unusually long for a game until i got into coding in objective c, i know its a different situation but if i were to make a app in xcode that loads a webview and loads one of my games in a embedded window the time between clicking on the app icon and game play is incredibly shorter and that is with having to load through the internet connection. I know you guys are taking thing in a new direction and i love working with game salad i just hope the future brings the ability for more advanced control as i grow as a game designer.
  • The_Gamesalad_GuruThe_Gamesalad_Guru Member Posts: 9,914
    I think one thing that would make our builds more solid is when we do a save as it does a complete new file based on the current status of the file. It seems many times we are left with ghosts in our files even when we do a save as. Even if it takes time during a save as it's worth it to be sure we are getting a clean file. It doesn't seem to work quite that way now.
  • mrpacogpmrpacogp Member Posts: 400
    Separate layer for HUD with x,y constrained included when we are using overscan to make our games compatible with all screens.
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