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Let's talk about image formats...

CodeWizardCodeWizard Posts: 1,143Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

All:

The GameSalad rendering engine is getting a major upgrade soon, folks. One of our developers has been doing some really amazing work on this over the past several weeks. We're basically revamping the engine to use what's known as a megatexture to store all of your graphics in one big texture. The advantage of this approach is that we can draw your entire game scene in a single draw call versus the way we do it now -- one draw call per actor. Our internal tests are showing some massive improvements to rendering performance (especially scenes with lots and lots of actors).

To achieve this, we'll be automatically tiling all of your images into smaller bitesize chunks for drawing. It's a bit complicated to explain but it's frigging awesome.

As we release this feature you're going to see some changes in how GameSalad handles images. We're officially dropping support for some of the more obscure and difficult image formats to work with (non-standard PNGs being one of the most obvious one of these.) Tools like pngcrush, etc. end up creating images that are non-standard and really hard to load reliably in all cases.

To get the best support moving forward, your images should be stored in standard PNG formats.

With the latest release candidate, you'll start seeing some of these changes to how we load images. We've added a new custom and optimized image format to help improve load times. This format, cleverly called "gsimage," stores your images in an optimized way that makes loading and processing super fast. We only apply this image format when you publish your game through our servers. At least for now... one day we may do it in Creator.

What does this mean? Well image loading is faster with published builds than otherwise. Also, if someone gets a copy of your published game, the images are pretty much useless to them. Unless they know how to turn "gsimage" files into "png" files, that is.

Be sure to test your game with adhoc builds or through the publishing process to make sure it works well. If you're using a non-standard PNG format you may notice issues in a final build that you don't see otherwise. We'll do what we can to support popular image formats but some of them are just not suitable for rapid loading in an optimized image.

Keep an eye on coming nightly builds for our improved renderer soon! It's getting closer every day.

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