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State of GameSalad on 2-27-2014

CodeWizardCodeWizard Posts: 1,143Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee
edited February 2014 in GameSalad Kitchen
Sorry for the delay in posting this, folks. :)

We continue to turn the crank on fixing bugs and shoring up 0.11.0 for release. Here's the current at-a-glance status as of this morning:

image

We've closed out 20 bugs this week and continue finding more during our testing. I'm having the team to a bug triage today to make sure we're focused on only the most critical issues for release. I'll post another update once that's done.

I see quite a bit of frustration on the forums as of late. That's entirely understandable and I'm going to take the remainder of this post to discuss why this release is taking as long as it is. I've covered most of these issues in past posts but it never hurts to reiterate. :)

The first thing to understand is that release 0.11.0 contains some major changes to the code. We've done some major reworking of internal code structure and cleaned up a bunch of stuff. We've replaced things like how we load images, how we manage rendering, how we load Lua code, how we build the code, etc. This kind of work is risky business. It causes all manner of bugs and issues to arise. This is unavoidable when refactoring a large codebase. That's the main issue here.

Secondarily are the additions of major features like Chartboost & Revmob. These have been straightforward to implement but we are running into odd compatibility issues with various versions of Android that need to be sorted out. It's proving a bit more complicated than expected to get these systems to "just work."

There's also a handful of smaller issues that have recently derailed efforts on 0.11.0. Apple rejecting apps based on advertising identifier usage is a great example of this. This caused us to have to step back and fix some issues in 0.10.4. Versions of Creator / engine previous to 0.11.0 are using an older and less reliable system. It's quite a bit of extra work for us to build and maintain the older versions of the engine. Simply getting our old build server to reliably create binaries for testing is a risky task. But, all that aside, the true problem with this Apple rejection issue is that it forced us to add ad-hoc support for more engine binaries on the web publishing side. And that's been proving a messy system to update. We're tracking more versions of the game engine on the web and that system was not originally designed to handle this complexity. This has taken attention of several developers for a while to resolve.

It's critical for you to understand the importance of this code refactoring that we're doing. It serves as the basis for all work moving forward on current Creator.

Once we've release 0.11.0 to you then we'll turn our attention to smaller releases on a more rapid cycle. The high-level code restructure that we've been polishing up is the last major refactor coming to Creator for quite some time. Once it's stable and available we'll focus on smaller feature releases and targeted bugfixes & optimizations.

I also need to apologize for not having a stronger presence on the forums. I'm neck deep in my management work and a full-time coding load. I'll do my best to increase my presence here and will definitely ensure my weekly posts are more detailed than they have been as of late.

On a really positive note, we just signed on a 18-year game engine veteran that will be dedicated full time to working on Creator (Mac & Windows).

I'll update you again once the bug triage is complete. Sorry it's taking us so long, but the work we're doing to shore up the code and get our house in order is critical work.
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Comments

  • mactds10mactds10 Posts: 63Member
    Good to hear. Can't wait for 0.11. Been using the Nightly builds, and going to try to submit a build to Apple with them. Tested it a bunch, and fingers crossed.

    As a side note, does anyone know how to add Chartboost to Gamesalad in the nightly builds? It's not a behavior, so I'm a little stumped.
  • BBEnkBBEnk Posts: 1,764Member
    I'm glad you guys are fixing the bugs for the next stable release. because once thats done then it's just a matter of keeping a bug free nightly, I would think. but of course I'm sure Android,Apple and Etc will toss in a few monkey wrenches here and there.

    Anyway Awesome.
  • FallacyStudiosFallacyStudios Posts: 970Member
    edited February 2014


    Once we've release 0.11.0 to you then we'll turn our attention to smaller releases on a more rapid cycle. The high-level code restructure that we've been polishing up is the last major refactor coming to Creator for quite some time. Once it's stable and available we'll focus on smaller feature releases and targeted bugfixes & optimizations..

    I appreciate your hard work and it is good to see that you plan to implement stable builds in a more precise manner. The method in which GS has been doing it historically is appalling. Having bug fixes and fewer polished features released every month is FAR better than waiting 6 months for a slew of broken features and bugs. In my opinion anyhow.

    I know I express my frustrations from time to time on here, but I honestly appreciate the hard work and I do understand that fixing that disgusting code base they called an engine must be riddled with migraines for you guys. My main frustrations have really just been centered around the fact that the ad networks (Mobclix specifically) have been known to be falling apart and all I wanted from you guys PRIOR to fixing the entire engine was simply to complete and release Revmob/Chartboost prior to taking on that enormous task. That way we could have had ad revenue tiding us over while we wait for you to finish this monstrous undertaking. In any case, when you finally finish 11.0 (hopefully very soon as I really am still very impatient at this point), I won't have any need to complain as I do now. You are simply withholding my most desperately needed feature (ads) which results in my complaints.

    In any case, great work, keep it up, and please get 11.0 out in a clean and timely manner.

    PS: If you guys could start providing accurate timelines in those cleaner and smaller stable builds that would be great. For many of us it is a business, and if we have no indication of a time frame it makes timing our projects and giving estimates to customers more of a challenge as well. Even if you guys can't meet that timeline, simply letting us know before then and being open about why goes a long way with morale and our support.

  • FINNBOGGFINNBOGG Posts: 1,810Member
    Ah they decided to start from scratch and this time build the house on a nice strong firm concrete foundation. Good Job GS. Cant be worrying about the roof, if the walls are wobbling on dirt.
  • Makes sense. Sounds great. I would actually rather have them working on the things they are than working on ads for Android. Know that is not the case for others, but I think it is important to know that is not everyone's priority and GS has to decide what is more important at the time for the user base as a whole.
  • ArmellineArmelline Posts: 4,829Member, PRO
    Thanks for the update! I think a bit part of why there has been so much frustration is that people have got used to rapid and clear communication from the GS team, so when a major issue came up and the communication stopped, people got... testy :D

    Looking forward to the stable release!
  • ArmellineArmelline Posts: 4,829Member, PRO
    No group of consumers is ever patient :D But wise words nonetheless!
  • natzuurnatzuur Posts: 304Member

    LOL @CodeWizard‌ I completely read that last bit wrong, and was thinking, 'Man, that 18 year old kid must be a coding prodigy!'

    Rofl I did the same thing. Had to do a double take.
  • Ij10281Ij10281 Posts: 35Member
    Very excited... So maybe 0.11.0 in 2 weeks?!!
  • WbokoWboko Tennessee, USAPosts: 621Member, PRO
    Ij10281 said:

    Very excited... So maybe 0.11.0 in 2 weeks?!!

    Yep, still did not see anything about a time frame for 0.11.0

    My other question is from what I see about "Ads" that seems to be a server side script that is implemented when we publish and not on the client side, so I am missing the mark on why we would need to wait for 0.11.0 anyways to place "Ads" in Android games.

    Just asking.... Still great work!

  • CodeWizardCodeWizard Posts: 1,143Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee
    I hesitate to give timelines because I'm not clear / sure on them myself. :)

    0.11.0 has client-side changes to support Chartboost & Revmob. You enable them on the web-publishing side but the client changes are required for that to work.

    I can take responsibility for making the call to put Chartboost & Revmob in the new 0.11.0 development branch. We needed to make the feature cut somewhere because it's a huge pain in our butts to maintain both versions. So I made that call.

    Bug triage should be done soon and I'll post an update on this stuff.
  • Ij10281Ij10281 Posts: 35Member
    edited February 2014
    I think we definitely need to give it up for all the hard work at Gamesalad Headquarters!!!
  • NimbleBugNimbleBug Posts: 483Member
    Thank u for the hardwork :)
  • NimbleBugNimbleBug Posts: 483Member
    edited February 2014
    Awesome Goodwork :)
  • NimbleBugNimbleBug Posts: 483Member
    edited February 2014

    I have 1 thing...to ask is there any chances to increase...the capacity of your Gamesalad servers.Because number of users growing every year , and servers are too busy to connect..it is too slow and not able to connect in peak times....showing.. server not found...or connection time out...while signing up and publishing time.

    Thanks
  • WbokoWboko Tennessee, USAPosts: 621Member, PRO
    Thank you @CodeWizard, This update has been the most information I have seen in a long time!

    Look forward to Next week!
  • Shadow_DevelopmentShadow_Development Rocklin, CA. United StatesPosts: 85Member
    Many thanks @CodeWizard , your update is much appreciated. Keep up the good work! I'm both excited and curious on how the 0. 11.0 experience will be like.
  • daaddddaaddd Posts: 116Member
    cant believe we will have android monetization , nice work
  • clee2005clee2005 http://Donkeysoft.caPosts: 194Member
    Great work. Thanks for the update!

    BTW, I used the new table search feature to replace the 80 attribute dictionary hack (80,000 words) I was using for word games. It's fantastic. If anyone is interested I have a 180,000 word dictionary (about 2megs) that can check words instantly. One of the nicer new features for sure!
  • Braydon_SFXBraydon_SFX Posts: 8,981Member, Sous Chef, PRO, Bowlboy Sidekick GameSalad Employee
    edited February 2014
    Excellent work, as always, GameSalad! Thanks for the detailed post! I miss those. ;)
    clee2005 said:

    Great work. Thanks for the update!

    BTW, I used the new table search feature to replace the 80 attribute dictionary hack (80,000 words) I was using for word games. It's fantastic. If anyone is interested I have a 180,000 word dictionary (about 2megs) that can check words instantly. One of the nicer new features for sure!

    Ohhh! You have the 180,000 word dictionary set up in the table? I could use that table - it'd save me tons of time I'm sure. May I have? :D
  • iamcarteziamcartez Houston, TexasPosts: 648Member
    clee2005 said:

    Great work. Thanks for the update!

    BTW, I used the new table search feature to replace the 80 attribute dictionary hack (80,000 words) I was using for word games. It's fantastic. If anyone is interested I have a 180,000 word dictionary (about 2megs) that can check words instantly. One of the nicer new features for sure!

    May I have it as well!
  • clee2005clee2005 http://Donkeysoft.caPosts: 194Member
    Sure here you go. I kinda feel like I stirred up that last firestorm about Android monetization, so hopefully this demonstrates that I'm not out to do harm. :-)

    Cheers,
    Chris.

    btw, it is bigger than 2megs... 7.9 in the project. Compresses nicely though. You could easily export the table, remove the 10character + words to reduce the size if you wanted.
  • Braydon_SFXBraydon_SFX Posts: 8,981Member, Sous Chef, PRO, Bowlboy Sidekick GameSalad Employee
    @clee2005‌ - You sir, are awesome. Thanks!
  • iamcarteziamcartez Houston, TexasPosts: 648Member
    Wooooooooo thanks.
  • Tiny_IdeasTiny_Ideas Posts: 326Member
    I am really liking the graphic to demonstrate what you have done and what's left. Keep up the great work, it's happening all so fast.
  • tenrdrmertenrdrmer Posts: 9,934Member, Sous Chef, Senior Sous-Chef
    Looking good @CodeWizard‌

    It's not my fault I never learned to take responsibility for anything. ;)

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