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State of GameSalad on 6/30/2015...

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  • FrantoFranto Posts: 779Member
    edited July 2015

    Unit is great and all, but I don't see why people think it's utterly superior to Gamesalad.

    It has some cons, at least when I was there. Incredibly steep learning curve for the base program. Yes, the strength to that is more flexibility and features, but if your a begginner, it takes hours to make a simple game that could be made in GS in less than an hour as a beginner. No, far less time than that, maybe minutes if you are a smart beginner.

    Unity and any other engine come with their own bugs as well. I've been to forums of various game engines like GS, and there was always people complaining about some game breaking bug, the only difference I could see is that unlike GS, no experienced user was there to help them out, at least not from what I saw, so some of the other communities are drastically different from the friendly one here. Some just have one or two people helping a bunch of others out.

    And if you want a measure of the learning curve, compare the video duration of tutorials for each game making program, that's what I did a year and a half ago. For some reason, GS has a lot of 3 to 5 minute tutorials for something like a sidescroller, while another engine, I can't remember the name, had like 3 seperate, 15 minute videos to do the same simple thing GS did in minutes.

    GS might be banking on the realization that it is the easiest, smoothest, and quickest way to make games in the mobile market right now.

    One more thing, GS primarily focuses on smartphone games, as far as I can tell, it is superior in that regard to any other game engine on the market. It's only drawback being that you can't pick ad services outside those listed, BUT, for the ones where you can pick the ad service of your choice, unless somebody has already prepared a plugin for it, you'll be hard pressed to do easily if you are a begginner. And if you DO rely on plugin, if the person who made it doesn't update it, then your washed up. With GS, you can rely on a team that is constantly updating and keeping up with the iOS and other systems.

    Has anybody even checked the footprints of the smartphone exports from each engine? I at least remember one comparing Construct 2 to Unity, and at a minimum, Construct 2 was able to go super light, I can't remember the number, maybe 3 mb, while Unity at a minimum, with barely any graphics, had a base of 15 mb to contain all the code from the engine? I might be wrong, or if I'm right, they might have updated already to something more efficient, if they haven't, then GS will still be superior when it comes to smartphone exports.

    So you see, each game engine has it's strengths, so whatever your focus is in the game industry, if your going with mobile, then GS is your best best. Unity's strength is heavy asset games{3D}, last time I checked anyway, Construct 2's strength is having the easiest way to export pure html5 games{although if you plan to sell to companies who want you to buy the fully editable code from you, they don't accept C2 games for that. Which in that case, you're hope is learning to code using a Javascript framework that although streamlines the process, is still 10 to 20 times more difficult than using a game engine. And if your thinking of learning javascript, that's about 50 times the difficulty of GS, not only that, but you might be stuck 2 years trying to make a SIMPLE app game, I've read stories about how a programmer had to spend weeks at a time trying to squish a bug for a single game, with $200,000 invested behind the game, and the return they got when it hit the market was a $10,000.}

    Yes, a lot of you might not be aware of the actual cost of game development for a simple app before GS was around. They have taken the brunt of that cost, and provided something streamlined, if any errors or bugs appear, they solve those problems of all the games made on it at the same time since all the games are ran by the same code. If iOS updates, they update all the games under them. Imagine all these games ran by individual programmers, that's a lot of money being spent for almost no chance of it for return. GS just saved a lot of people millions, upon millions of $, because all the games that exist under them, their actual development cost would be in that range if a small app is worth $200,000 in-house from scratch. Then 10 games by individual groups would be $2,000,000.

    Well, anyway, I support GS in their decisions, and with the new learn.gamesalad, they will at least see how things turn out, GS development for begginners might be even faster than it was when I or anybody first started out prior to this.

    I still say there should be either a very limited version of GS that shuts down or disables the drag and drop and rule making the moment you hit the small memory ceiling mentioned earlier per game, or instead of that, the $8 to $10 tier with limited rules/behavior list and no publishing.

  • gingagaminggingagaming FREELANCE GS DEV Posts: 1,583Member, PRO

    @jayleedesigns said:
    Just look at gamesalad as a nice sit down dinner with yourself. Treat yo self.

    The wisest words of the thread!

  • HopscotchHopscotch Posts: 2,782Member, PRO

    Good points @jayleedesigns.

    @Franto said:

    They have taken the brunt of that cost,

    Fully agree with your post @Franto.

    Only having experience in the other tools makes you appreciate the benefits that GS brings. GS needs to be a bit noisier about this.

    On certain projects I will easily drop some design features so it can be done in GS rather than spend 10 times the development time in another tool just to accommodate that feature.

  • stevejstevej Posts: 435Key Master, Head Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee
    edited July 2015

    @AlchimiaStudios said:
    BlackCloakGS CodeWizard dgackey

    So I have a question, kinda ties into my last post.

    Can we get an idea what is going to be worked on after engine crashes/optimization and the education website are wrapped up? The Roadmap hasn't seen some love in awhile.

    Are we still looking at a new rendering engine in 14 and .exe export in 15?

    Or is it not yet decided which direction things may go in the semi-distant future?

    I can't say for version numbers, but using the new rendering engine in Mac (it's already in Windows), and being able to create a standalone Windows .exe are still planned.

    We also still plan to bring Windows 100% in-line with Mac behaviors, including advanced features like networking and pathfinding AI (which, incidentally, will be available to all users).

  • jonmulcahyjonmulcahy Posts: 10,380Member, Sous Chef

    @stevej said:
    I can't say for version numbers, but using the new rendering engine in Mac (it's already in Windows), and being able to create a standalone Windows .exe are still planned.

    I just want to bold this for people who may miss it. Just think of all the things you could do with a standalone windows .exe

  • AlchimiaStudiosAlchimiaStudios Posts: 1,024Member, PRO

    @stevej said:
    I can't say for version numbers, but using the new rendering engine in Mac (it's already in Windows), and being able to create a standalone Windows .exe are still planned.

    We also still plan to bring Windows 100% in-line with Mac behaviors, including advanced features like networking and pathfinding AI (which, incidentally, will be available to all users).

    Awesome! Thanks for the update.

    Follow us: Twitter - Website

  • SocksSocks London, UK.Posts: 12,822Member
    edited July 2015

    @Franto said:
    I still say there should be either a very limited version of GS that shuts down or disables the drag and drop and rule making the moment you hit the small memory ceiling mentioned earlier per game, or instead of that, the $8 to $10 tier with limited rules/behavior list and no publishing.

    One issue with a demo version where functionality is limited is that it gives you a somewhat distorted view of the software, so for example if you limit the list of rules to just a few basics (move, rotate, collide and so on) you present a clipped version of what GS can do - when what you really want to be doing (when trying to show people how great the software is) is to show them everything it can do, and to its fullest degree.

    A way around this kind of thing is to place the limitations 'outside' of the main functionality - so for example an image editing program (ala Photoshop) that is being sold on its great range and type of brushes should not cut the 56 brushes down to 8 for the demo, but instead allow you full access to the brushes (to impress you) but not allow you to save any work you've created, in Logic X (audio) when demoing new plug-ins you can use them as much as you want (and be impressed by their full audio quality rather than have to listen to a less than impressive low bit rate version) but at random intervals there will either be a tone played or the audio will drop out for a few seconds, making them unusable for serious work, but you are still able to hear how good they sound when they are working.

    If you are going to sell a sports car, whose main selling point is that it can do 200mph, then clipping the 'demo' model at 40mph would be the wrong thing, instead placing the limitation 'outside' of the main functionality is the way to go, so for example, you can experience the full power of 200mph, but perhaps you are limited to the show rooms test track or even car park (if big enough) or maybe the engine cuts out after 10 minutes of driving.

    Which is what you would get if there was free version of GS that you could not publish with, people could play around with it as much as they wanted, explore all its features, learn how to use it, fall in love with it / get addicted to making games, but if they wanted to publish they would need to buy that right . . .

    Although even here there is an issue in that people could use this to develop a game with for a few months and then - after paying just $29 - publish to the App Store . . . so you could even go further and have a free version where you are unable to save the project, so you can open up GS, play around and explore how it all works, but you would be unable to save the project (or, of course, publish).

  • FrantoFranto Posts: 779Member
    edited July 2015

    @Socks You have a point there. In addition the idea of a version of GS that is fully featured in order to allow the user to explore it, but with the limitation that you cannot save is actually quite brilliant. That way, one day, a person could explore something of from the engine, and on another day, they could study a different aspect like expressions or loops, until they figure out that wether it's the engine for them, and then pay after learning enough to be invested in it.

  • ChunkypixelsChunkypixels Posts: 1,113Member

    @Socks @Franto @CodeWizard ...having a fully featured version of the software, but with no ability to save files is quite a common way of giving away a trial version of software products... so can't see why it wouldn't work for GS.

  • tmanntmann Posts: 278Member

    Yep.. since the first days of magazines with cover discs ;)

  • supafly129supafly129 Posts: 453Member, PRO
    edited July 2015

    @Socks @Franto now that I think of it, no ability to save/publish is actually the perfect solution for a Free, fully-functional tool. It also puts less pressure on both the GS staff and the user to teach and learn enough within a 15-day period.

    Without the ability to save or publish a project, the Free tool would really be strictly for learning purposes that would be shielded from abuse by those who are already familiar with the tool.

  • EireStudiosEireStudios Posts: 451Member

    Hi guys, I haven't been around for awhile and I just want to ask a few questions on this topic. Will we ever get to add our own code to creator like it was planned with graphene? Also is there any chance we could get a good clear update added to the roadmap as to what exactly we can expect over the next 6-12 months features wise.

    I think what ye are doing with the subscription is a great idea but I really wouldn't feel comfortable supporting ye until I know what we can expect over the next year, hopefully this won't be a case of we might add this feature, that feature etc.

  • app_sauceapp_sauce Posts: 206Member, PRO

    @supafly129 and then when you cant save and gs crashes think of how pissed you would be. You would be forced to put some money down ;)

    SocializeTwitter , **My Site ** **Play Loop Zen Free **iOS HERE, Google Play HERE

  • dgackeydgackey Austin, TXPosts: 699Key Master, Head Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    @EireStudios said:
    Hi guys, I haven't been around for awhile and I just want to ask a few questions on this topic. Will we ever get to add our own code to creator like it was planned with graphene?

    Not likely in GameSalad, simply due to the architecture of the product. Graphene was a separate product out of necessity, not convenience.

    Also is there any chance we could get a good clear update added to the roadmap as to what exactly we can expect over the next 6-12 months features wise.

    In the short term it's going to be product stability, bug fixes and the things that @stevej has already mentioned for Windows Creator: 100% cross-platform feature parity, Windows native publishing, etc.

    We'll put out a more comprehensive roadmap in due time, though ;)

    I think what ye are doing with the subscription is a great idea but I really wouldn't feel comfortable supporting ye until I know what we can expect over the next year, hopefully this won't be a case of we might add this feature, that feature etc.

    I'm curious why you wouldn't feel comfortable subscribing on a month-to-month basis based on the current features? That's one of the best things about this new pricing model. You can make your decision whether or not to use the product now based on the features we have now, rather than committing to a year based on some projected featureset in the future.

    Dan Magaha · COO · GameSalad, Inc · [email protected]

  • EireStudiosEireStudios Posts: 451Member

    Forgive me if I'm wrong here because it's been awhile since I fired up the creator, have you guys fixed all the major bugs and the creator unexpectedly shutting down? The reason I stopped using the creator is because it was just impossible to work on anything because of this and other very annoying bugs, if the software still contains bugs (which most software does) how do ye expect people to pay for it monthly, my main concern was the random shutting down of the creator

  • WebWarriorWebWarrior Posts: 62Key Master, Head Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee
    edited July 2015

    A lot of these suggestions seem to assume that learning GameSalad is part of the evaluation experience, rather than a valuable service in itself.

    What we've seen from our user research, though, is that the learning experience is actually a huge part of what makes GameSalad attractive, maybe even more attractive that what we previously assumed was our specialty, which is the ability to quickly create a game and publish it to mobile app stores (which is certainly a big deal for a lot of you, so we'll continue to make this a great experience). The trial needs to be enough to decide that GameSalad is worth learning, but if the "free trial" fully satisfies most of our would-be customers, we're right back where we started.

    I think the best approach here is to consider small tweaks to make the new model work well for our customers, rather than panic and reverse what was a very tough and thoroughly discussed decision internally. (And, I might add, a decision that seems to be doing exactly what we expected so far, judging by some early metrics)

  • dgackeydgackey Austin, TXPosts: 699Key Master, Head Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee
    edited July 2015

    @EireStudios said:
    Forgive me if I'm wrong here because it's been awhile since I fired up the creator, have you guys fixed all the major bugs and the creator unexpectedly shutting down? The reason I stopped using the creator is because it was just impossible to work on anything because of this and other very annoying bugs, if the software still contains bugs (which most software does) how do ye expect people to pay for it monthly, my main concern was the random shutting down of the creator

    That's certainly understandable, and one good reason the 15-day trial exists. Generally speaking, the feedback I've seen over the past 4-6 weeks has been that the product is faster and more stable than folks have seen in years, but as always, YMMV.

    I was more interested in your interest in future features as an incentive to purchase an annual membership now versus the relatively low risk option of subscribing for a month and simply canceling if the software isn't living up to your expectations.

    Dan Magaha · COO · GameSalad, Inc · [email protected]

  • tmanntmann Posts: 278Member
    edited July 2015

    @WebWarrior
    Isn't the Elephant in the room with the whole pay to learn game making idea that earlier versions with feature parity still allow indefinite use ?

  • EireStudiosEireStudios Posts: 451Member

    I just feel the creator could have a lot more features added to it that could gear towards apps rather than games, I know there have been plenty of good apps made with GS but I just feel simple little things like custom fonts which were promised so many times, but other things were added instead, also the network features that were added were the best thing I've ever seen added, would ye not consider building on more network features, for example I wanted to make a booking in app for my local gym but I think I ran into a roadblock with sending a time and date (not 100% on this) don't get me wrong I'm a massive fan of GS and the monthly subscription is fantastic but I just feel the creator could be much much more than just a game engine

  • ArmellineArmelline Posts: 4,764Member, PRO
    edited July 2015

    @WebWarrior said:
    What we've seen from our user research, though, is that the learning experience is actually a huge part of what makes GameSalad attractive, maybe even more attractive that what we previously assumed was our specialty, which is the ability to quickly create a game and publish it to mobile app stores

    Playing devil's advocate a little here, but it seems equally true that a huge part of what makes GameSalad so popular is how active and helpful the forums are and the huge wealth of resources the users produce to help each other learn. This has been bourne out in a lot of the comments in the past few days.

    If your focus now is on selling GameSalad as an educational tool to learn how to make a game, not just on a product that can make games, it would seem a large part of the value is being provided by the community.

    Now please do not misunderstand me here - people like @Braydon_SFX and @The_Gamesalad_Guru and @jamie_c and I who produce these educational resources do so willingly, freely and with no expectation to be paid for them. That said, GameSalad appear to be monetising these resources in a way they previously weren't. I'm sure all those producing now will happily continue doing so as they'll be happy to support GameSalad, but there's a fine line to be trod here between having a great community and relying on a great community.

    I have no doubt GameSalad intend to produce a lot of new resources themselves, and hopefully will utilise some of the members here who have produced literally hundreds of videos and tutorials to help other learn.

    I don't even feel any kind of reward system is necessarily needed, more than token "show off" features for the forums. Maybe a "Certified expert" badge or something, that's seen when a user posts. But I hope that if, for example, @jamie_c's tutorials are used, appropriate direction is also given to his new book. Then it's a mutually beneficial arrangement, not just GameSalad finding new ways to financially benefit from voluntary contributions.

    I kind of imagine there being a link to an "About the teacher" page for each contributor, listing the tutorials they've produced but also allowing them to self-promote a little, and a "You liked this tutorial? Try this book!" tag at the bottom of each video. But cleverer people could come up with better ways, I know for certain!

    Not entirely sure I haven't contradicted myself a little there, but I'm sure my broad point is clear.

  • WebWarriorWebWarrior Posts: 62Key Master, Head Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee
    edited July 2015

    @Armelline said:
    If your focus now is on selling GameSalad as an educational tool to learn how to make a game, not just on a product that can make games, it would seem a large part of the value is being provided by the community.

    I like a lot of these ideas! We might be able to do something like this as we expand the Learn site. We've already taken the first few steps to gather community-built content that we can highlight. I think we can certainly find new ways to reward the people who are making our product even more valuable!

  • The_Gamesalad_GuruThe_Gamesalad_Guru Posts: 9,913Member

    @Armelline +1. I would also add if Gamesalad wants to provide teaching material they need to step up the quality of the video content and level of talent on presentation.

  • UtopianGamesUtopianGames Posts: 5,686Member

    After talking to CW I'm going to start working on some content for the new learning site, if they get this part right then 15 days while clearly not enough to learn everything should be long enough to see if it's for them.

    I've always said if you give me an hour with anyone vaguely interested in making games I'm certain I can get them hooked :)

  • SocksSocks London, UK.Posts: 12,822Member

    @The_Gamesalad_Guru said:
    Armelline +1. I would also add if Gamesalad wants to provide teaching material they need to step up the quality of the video content and level of talent on presentation.

    I'll get my tuxedo out of the attic then.

  • lycettebroslycettebros Posts: 1,598Member, PRO

    All the sudden changes at GS have caused an incredible flourish of posts, updates and info.
    I am curious to what has changed to the business itself- all this action has me slightly nervous somewhat about where GS is right now....is it a happy family?

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

    Oh we're happy alright! ;)

  • The_Gamesalad_GuruThe_Gamesalad_Guru Posts: 9,913Member
    edited July 2015

    @Socks said:
    I'll get my tuxedo out of the attic then.

  • LovejoyLovejoy Posts: 2,078Member

    Fortuna Infortuna Forti Una

  • MoikMoik Posts: 257Member, PRO

    Wow this is a long thread for only having been up three days.

    (@Socks are you sure about that Unity pricing? I thought there was a thing about the fees not kicking in if your studio revenue was under 100k.)

    Anyways, the 15 day trial thing. It took me way more than 15 contiguous days to decide to buy Pro. I wouldn't be a paid member right now if I had been cut off that early. Can it be tweaked to something like 15 starts rather than 15 days, or maybe whichever is the longer of the two?

    @dgackey Windows Native Publishing. Does that mean iOS without xCode?

  • 8BitAvrin8BitAvrin Posts: 361Member, PRO

    Great news overall. Congrats on the new title @CodeWizard but I have I feeling you're not going to work less like what happens when some people become CEOs.

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