State of GameSalad on 4-24-2013

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Comments

  • dwibredwibre Member Posts: 192
    Hi @CodeWizard (Ive not welcomed you yet) so welcome to GS the work you (and the rest of your team) are doing at GS seams great. Loving the weekly updates. Im in the final stages of creating my first game (over a year in production) Ive not updated to 10.2 yet just waiting for the forum to start telling me its stable but seams like its almost there. I look forward to chatting with you and very soon will be showing GS what ive been working on. Keep up the good work
  • jamie_cjamie_c ImagineLabs.rocks Member, BASIC Posts: 5,726
    It's really great to see these posts and see this kind of attention being paid to Gamesalad, it's a great product that will only get better with this kind of attention! Fantastic! :)
  • CodeWizardCodeWizard Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO Posts: 1,143
    When will the general public get those features?
    Depends on which features you're talking about. If it's the 0.10.2b and 0.10.2c builds then everyone will get them at the same time.

    If it's the new Mac Creator improvements coming down the pipe then Pro users will get them first and we'll roll them out to everyone once we feel they're good enough.

    If it's the new features I outlined in the "What's Coming Down The Pipe" section then I can't really give any more details. We still have a bunch of work to do on the core codebase before moving on to those features. I'll post more information as I have it.
  • CodeWizardCodeWizard Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO Posts: 1,143
    No mention of Windows creator improvements. Any updates in the pipeline for us Windows users?
    The Windows creator is a bit of a puzzle that we're still working out. We definitely need to do some work on it. I expect we may have some critical changes for it in the near term as we clean up the code. I don't expect that we'll push major changes to it for a while though. We're still formulating our plan for the Windows creator. I'll post more info when I have it.
  • Braydon_SFXBraydon_SFX Member, Sous Chef, PRO, Bowlboy Sidekick Posts: 9,059
    Awesome post - I really agree with @uptimistik - Referencing a table cell inside a rule is going to speed up development. It's something I've wanted for a long long time...Keep up the great work guys, and thanks for everything you've done so far!
  • kaanukikaanuki Member Posts: 154
    No mention of Windows creator improvements. Any updates in the pipeline for us Windows users?
    The Windows creator is a bit of a puzzle that we're still working out. We definitely need to do some work on it. I expect we may have some critical changes for it in the near term as we clean up the code. I don't expect that we'll push major changes to it for a while though. We're still formulating our plan for the Windows creator. I'll post more info when I have it.
    Your windows post seems to reference the Windows Creator as if its an afterthought there at GS, which is disappointing . Has it been abandoned or even being considered for being dropped in the future?

  • CodeWizardCodeWizard Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO Posts: 1,143
    Not abandoned, but we're still figuring out how best to support it with our limited resources.
  • TheSkinTheSkin Member Posts: 74
    edited April 2013
    I suggest some improvements that I'd like to have (I'm sorry for my bad English):
    1 - function or subroutine: it would be possible to extend the "custom behavior" to build reusable and parametrizable functions?
    2 - allow to create functions, internal to the actors, called up from the outside. this would allow for better interaction between the actors.
    3 - print function: ability to print the behaviors code of an actor (in a text format and non-graphical)
    4 - ability to export an actor or a scene on a file ... so that we can import into another project (or the ability to have a multiproject repository of the actors)
  • TheGabfatherTheGabfather Member Posts: 633
    @CodeWizard Please never ever discontinue these State of GS threads! You truly are a "Keeper of Knowledge!" (just noticed your star now) :D
  • SnapFireStudiosSnapFireStudios Member Posts: 1,603
    @floydianspiral / @ycan - @CodeWizard has said that this is on his list. (By this I mean making access to playing sounds possible as floydian explained.) I personally can't wait for this! :)
    - Thomas
  • playbackappsplaybackapps Member, PRO Posts: 11
    @codewizard you are amazing bro.. you and the team are doing excellent work.. Any idea on when.... grid, snap to, copy/paste actors, groups, etc.. Are coming to the mac creator?
    Thanks dude.. :)
  • dmilinovichiiidmilinovichiii Member Posts: 620
    @CodeWizard
    I want to start by letting you know that you have singlehandedly renewed my faith in GameSalad. This is the first time in almost a year that I have been truly excited about GameSalad's future and it's all due to your State of GameSalad posts.

    Now for the questions. What the heck is automated texture atlas support and improved render batching? In your posts would you mind adding basic definitions for those of us with little programming knowledge beyond GameSalad? A wikipedia search usually just leaves me more confuse than when I started. Thanks :)
  • CodeWizardCodeWizard Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO Posts: 1,143
    edited April 2013
    @Mr_Rinoy
    Good thing I love explaining stuff, right?

    A texture atlas is just an image that contains a bunch of other images. I've attached an example atlas for your review from a well known game. Texture atlases are also known as "sprite sheets." Using texture atlases really helps the graphics hardware draw your game graphics more rapidly.

    Why? Because of how graphics hardware works. If you keep images as separate textures for the hardware then two things happen:

    1. You waste space because of the need to make textures a power of two in each dimension. This wasted space manifests itself as less memory to hold your images. Wasted memory that could be used to hold more images! :D

    2. You make the graphics hardware work harder because it's rather expensive to change images. Not horribly expensive, but more expensive than not doing it. Furthermore, each image change breaks "batching." And that's the big issue for great graphics performance.

    What the heck is batching? It's a process where the engine collects a bunch of images to draw and draws them in one big batch. More technically speaking, your images are drawn as textured rectangles. The graphics hardware can draw more than one textured rectangle at a time. To do that, the engine must be able to submit multiple textured rectangles to the hardware at once. This is only possible if the textures used by the engine have as many images on them as possible.

    In short, each time a texture change is required we have to stop batching and tell the graphics hardware to draw what's ready now. The engine currently does very little batching because each image is held in a separate texture.

    Read more about this here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texture_atlas

    Now, when I said "automated texture atlas support", I mean adding systems to the creator and engine to automate the creation process for you. It's kind of a drag to manually manage texture atlases. It would complicate the game creation process quite a bit. Automating that would help a lot.

    Once that's done then we can start taking advantage of the new image organization to submit more than one textured rectangle to the graphics hardware at a time. This will go a long way toward increasing FPS on games with lots of objects on screen. Ever wonder why having 100 images on screen is slow? It's lack of batching in the engine. Thus it's top on my list of things to add after we clean up the code and get some more general optimizations in.

    Make sense? :)
  • dmilinovichiiidmilinovichiii Member Posts: 620
    @CodeWizard
    Thanks a lot for the quick and very thorough explanation. I see why it's so important now and I hope to be able to see the benefits of the optimization soon :)
  • 921creative921creative Member, PRO Posts: 140
    @CodeWizard
    Would existing projects with lots of images on the screen immediately get the benefits of batching, or would the art need to be modified into a texture atlas?
  • CodeWizardCodeWizard Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO Posts: 1,143
    The idea is to automate the process so you don't have to worry about it. :)
  • SnapFireStudiosSnapFireStudios Member Posts: 1,603
    edited April 2013
    A texture atlas blah blah blah gobbledyglook and gab gab. Get it?
    Well, I'm sure it'll be helpful in some way ;)
    - Thomas
  • Cee3pee0Cee3pee0 Member, PRO Posts: 194
    Thanks for these updates, they are very much appreciated! These optimizations sound great too!
  • AsteroidBluesEntAsteroidBluesEnt Member Posts: 1
    It's awesome to hear you guys are continuously working on the Gamesalad engine and improving it! Thanks!
  • entersimonentersimon Member, PRO Posts: 270
    So excited for the texture atlases! It will be a strange switch for some and a bit of a learning curve for beginners, but oh, so worth it!
  • vikingviking Member, PRO Posts: 322
    @CodeWizzard I absolutely love the added transparency and flood of positive energy in the community that you have helped spark :)

    Quick question about scene changes: I used 0.10.2 to run a test on my iPhone 5 in AdHock. I have two scenes with one actor in each. No textures in any of the two actors and just one piece of logic: if pressed then change scene.

    It takes 0.4 seconds to change scenes back and forth with the absolute minimum amount of content in the scene and the loading wheel is showing. Why is it so slow? Can't be loading because there is nothing to load... If you could find a way to make scene changes almost instantaneous in this type of test case and then improve load times as well, then I would be a very, very happy camper.
  • SocksSocks London, UK.Member Posts: 12,822
    So excited for the texture atlases! It will be a strange switch for some and a bit of a learning curve for beginners, but oh, so worth it!
    @entersimon

    No strangeness, no learning curve:
    The idea is to automate the process so you don't have to worry about it. :)
  • entersimonentersimon Member, PRO Posts: 270
    So excited for the texture atlases! It will be a strange switch for some and a bit of a learning curve for beginners, but oh, so worth it!
    @entersimon

    No strangeness, no learning curve:
    The idea is to automate the process so you don't have to worry about it. :)
    I meant in terms of setting up your graphics before importing into GS. Not everyone around here is graphically savvy.
  • SocksSocks London, UK.Member Posts: 12,822
    edited April 2013
    @entersimon

    I meant in terms of setting up your graphics before importing into GS. Not everyone around here is graphically savvy.
    The idea is to automate the process so you don't have to worry about it. :)


    ;)

    I expect you simply import your images as you have always done, and GameSalad generates an optimized image atlas for you automatically (I suspect this would happen at the publishing stage).
  • RUPASRUPAS Member Posts: 823
    edited April 2013
    The idea is to automate the process so you don't have to worry about it. :)


    ;)
    I expect you simply import your images as you have always done, and GameSalad generates an optimized image atlas for you automatically (I suspect this would happen at the publishing stage).
    +1000
  • kaanukikaanuki Member Posts: 154
    edited April 2013
    @JGary321 / @uptimistik - I assume you are both aware of workarounds for putting table access on the left side? I can tell you how if you don't know. :)
    - Thomas
    Please tell me about the workaround - I am unaware

    Thanks
  • kaanukikaanuki Member Posts: 154
    Also,

    Can you tell me if IAP will ever be released for GS and will this be available for Windows users?
  • PBEmpirePBEmpire Member Posts: 676
    I need to salute @codewizard
    ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^
  • CodeWizardCodeWizard Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO Posts: 1,143
    @viking
    I'll add that to my list of profiling jobs.
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