GameSalad

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

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  • AlchimiaStudiosAlchimiaStudios Posts: 1,014Member, PRO

    @Franto said:
    I can't really comment on this new business model. I just hope Game salad gets the capitol it deserves since its a great engine, and becoming even greater.

    Here is a suggestion, maybe a $6 to $10 a month sub for a version of GS without the advanced features like networking and other features not found in the previous free model. No publishing of any kind. As well as no access to nightlies. At $6 to $10 a month, even a no budget person should be able to find the money for that, or at least save up for a month of GS.

    +1 a bottom tier option would probably help bring in new users, and the more costly options will keep the Pro level users happy.

    Follow us: Twitter - Website

  • ApprowApprow Posts: 703Member

    @AlchimiaStudios said:
    Or a non publishing capable version that requires a 300 fee when your ready to publish, or a 12 month contract.

    Exactly! I'm not too greedy to pay for my products and services when I can, but this is just a big step backwards for gamesalad. I felt so close to gamesalad because it was initially free, and had the 299,- option, I had no problem with that. The 29,- a month is whats going to kill gamesalad. I just find it too expensive for a beta product.
    I can not imagine people trying to make their first game in 15 days, and after that paying 19 or 29 dollars per month for a whole year to finish it. Because there are so many other great tools out there for free.

    @dgackey said:
    Your project will still work when you have the budget to come back to GS

    Exactly my point, I will not come back. Gamesalad was the software I was using full time for a long time, and my pro license just expired. If I can't work on it because of money problems, I will leave gamesalad. There is no point of sticking around and wait until I can continue. However, I would have agreed with a free version with no publishing options at all, as long as you can develop. Then when I'm able to pay the 299, I would love to pay it again for a whole year. The rapid decision gamesalad made is wrong, very wrong. The business model just doesn't make any sense from an indie developer perspective. You might get some new people paying 29 dollars once, but over the long term, you will loose your developers. Gamesalad needs money, everyone does, but what you guys are doing now is keeping the companies head above the water, soon or later gamesalad will drown...

  • ApprowApprow Posts: 703Member

    @Hoodloc said:
    I like GameSalad a lot. But I'm going to be honest... if you want to survive with that business model you'll have to knock out those updates.

    Agreed

  • tmanntmann Posts: 278Member

    @Hoodloc Hammer Nail Head :)

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

    @Approw said:
    Exactly my point, I will not come back. Gamesalad was the software I was using full time for a long time, and my pro license just expired. If I can't work on it because of money problems, I will leave gamesalad. There is no point of sticking around and wait until I can continue. However, I would have agreed with a free version with no publishing options at all, as long as you can develop. Then when I'm able to pay the 299, I would love to pay it again for a whole year.

    Very sorry to hear this and not sure I understand the economics of it, but if this is the decision you have made, I wish you the best!

    The rapid decision gamesalad made is wrong, very wrong. The business model just doesn't make any sense from an indie developer perspective. You might get some new people paying 29 dollars once, but over the long term, you will loose your developers.

    Actually, it will work like this:

    • if we provide a service that is worth $29 a month, people will pay us.
    • If we don't, they won't.
    • If a different product out there serves a user's need and they can get it for less, they won't
    • If someone's circumstances change and they can no longer afford to pay us, they won't
    • If someone decides to come back to GS, we will be paid again. Yay!

    Developers will no longer pay for stuff they aren't using, and will no longer use for things without paying. It's a beautiful system that's been proven successful since the beginning of commerce.

    Gamesalad needs money, everyone does, but what you guys are doing now is keeping the companies head above the water, soon or later gamesalad will drown...

    Don't really agree with this metaphor, but again, thank you for sharing your thoughts and we wish you the best.

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

  • ApprowApprow Posts: 703Member

    @dgackey said:

    • if we provide a service that is worth $29 a month, people will pay us.

    Yes, they will, but wouldn't it be better to make it worth first? Stunning continues updates will make it worth for a lot of people, but I haven't seen that yet...

  • jonmulcahyjonmulcahy Posts: 10,377Member, Sous Chef

    @Approw said:
    Yes, they will, but wouldn't it be better to make it worth first? Stunning continues updates will make it worth for a lot of people, but I haven't seen that yet...

    i can think of 1,000 things I want added to GS, but I have to disagree, GS is worth every penny of the $19 to use it, and the $29 to publish.

    I have been learning swift on the side, and am starting to look into unity as I want to try developing for the Occulus Rift. In ** less time** than it took me to learn how to create an 'cat years' app (in which you inputted the age of your cat in human years and it gave you the real age in cat years), I created building jumper.

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

    @AlchimiaStudios said:
    tl;dr: If GameSalad really wants to compete without a free version the Creator has to be improved A LOT and fast. Otherwise I don't think this will end well with so much competition on the market.

    I agree! One of the factors in this decision - and the one that excites me the most (aside from more comfortably paying the bills!) - was the ability to tie our revenue directly to customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is a simple thing to improve! Maybe not easy, but simple and intuitive, and good for everyone involved. Convincing free users to upgrade to a paid plan when they already have everything they want... not so simple.

    But as far as competition, I think the situation is not quite so bad as you think. Many engines are more powerful or have more features than GameSalad, but I've never seen an engine that's easier to learn - and it's only going to get easier in the coming months.

  • ApprowApprow Posts: 703Member
    edited July 2015

    @jonmulcahy I'm not saying I don't find it worth the money, because it absolutely is! When I can pay the yearly subscription very very soon, I might do it again. I'm just saying that beginners might not do this.

    @jonmulcahy said:
    I have been learning swift on the side, and am starting to look into unity as I want to try developing for the Occulus Rift. In ** less time** than it took me to learn how to create an 'cat years' app (in which you inputted the age of your cat in human years and it gave you the real age in cat years), I created building jumper.

    Thats funny, last weekend I made my first oculus rift application with unity as well. I learned the basics of unity a while back, so i'm a bit familiar with its structure. Unity 5 with most of its pro features is completely free now. Today me and my partner went to a developer meetup at the Dutch Game Garden in holland, and we met a lot of interesting people to work with. So it might be that I move on to unity completely, but still keeping gamesalad as a prototype tool, because even for that its worth the price;)

  • pHghostpHghost London, UKPosts: 2,300Member

    @WebWarrior said:
    I've never seen an engine that's easier to learn - and it's only going to get easier in the coming months.

    This has been mentioned. What does that mean though? Tutorials are nice, but learning to think in game logic is a process you have to go through yourself. Is that what you mean? Access to learning materials? Or is there a planned GS feature that will simplify getting that game out of the door even more effectively?

  • ChunkypixelsChunkypixels Posts: 1,113Member
    edited July 2015

    @Codewizard @dgackey @WebWarrior ...Im fully supportive of the management change, the refocus of direction onto the GameSalad engine, and the new monthly pay method...

    ...but I have to say your starting to lose me with all this talk and focus on monetising teaching people how to build games. Is this going to deflect resources away from improving the engine?

    Also..it seems a strange plan.. on the one hand your driving away new potential users with the short trial period, and new financial structure, but on the other hand, your saying that the plan is to earn revenue from teaching new users... surely thats a contradiction. Your driving away the very people you need to have, in order for the new business plan to succeed.... or am I missing something?

    I just want you to decide to fix and improve your core product to a point where the quality of the product is that good that it can drive new sales through reputation and good word of mouth.... surely that should be the target. This new side business is looking like just another of GameSalads poorly conceived plans to try to increase revenue... stop for a moment, and think it through... as it stands, right now, from the feedback your getting, it doesn't make sense.

    Please...just for once... just concentrate ALL efforts into making GameSalad into what it should be.... overhaul the editor, concentrate on usability.. and rebuild consumer trust in the product. Don't chase down another dead end that just wastes further resources and takes the company closer to the brink.

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

    @Chunkypixels

    This isn't anything new. GS has always been about appealing to people who wanted to make games but weren't professional programmers.

    All we're saying here is that we need to stop assuming that people can figure out how to do it entirely on their own, because that's demonstrably false.

    This isn't a side business at all. Helping users be successful with the product is actually the core of the business.

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

  • supafly129supafly129 Posts: 452Member, PRO
    edited July 2015

    @CodeWizard @dgackey I'll gladly pay for Pro, but I too agree that for most new users, 15 days would not be enough to really entice someone to go Pro, and the people with zero development experience are probably going to shy away too soon. I'd say 30 days minimum.

    Also, perhaps to still have a Free option for these folks need a lot of time to learn the tool, you could release a limited Creator that would like something like this:


    Max Project Size: 5 MB

    Max Scenes: 1

    Max Actors: 5

    Max Global Attributes: 3

    No Tables

    No Publishing

    This is of course just an idea and not sure how it would work, but it would be something decent enough for novices to get their feet wet without being pressured, but also limited enough to encourage users to put money down for the real software. I just don't think I personally realized GameSalad's full potential until months after being familiar with it, and after 15 days I don't think most people will really know what they are doing at all.

  • ChunkypixelsChunkypixels Posts: 1,113Member
    edited July 2015

    @dgackey nope... absolutely not. The core of the business is a game development tool/engine. Improving and supporting that, and fixing it when it doesn't work as its meant to should be your prime goal... otherwise whats the point of everyone using it?

    GameSalad has always been about the tool/engine... if you've now decided thats no longer the priority and direction of the company, then its a distinct change in what the company is about... and you need to be truly honest with your users.

    If you no longer see that making the engine/tool better is, and should be your prime driving force of the company, then honestly, I think you've changed what GameSalad is, and are on the final course to ruining the company.

    You have a superb tool... but at every turn the company seems hellbent on destroying and misusing that potential... I really want the company to succeed... I want to see GameSalad being treated with respect and being used in proper Game Studios... I don't want the 5+ years Ive invested to be suddenly cut dead when the company drives itself into the dust... Look back through every turmoil and bad decision that GameSalad made, and look for where I stood, and what I argued for in each of those incidents. Every time Ive been proven right, and every time GS ended up backtracking after alienating its user base... for once, I'd like to not see it happen yet again...

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

    @Chunkypixels said:
    If you no longer see that making the engine/tool better is, and should be your prime driving force of the company, then honestly, I think you've changed what GameSalad is, and are on the final course to ruining the company.

    Improving the engine and the tool makes users happy, new and old, so I can't see why we would slow that down. In fact, we've only sped up our progress in the last month or so, I'm sure many of you have noticed!

    And I can see where you're coming from, but I don't believe there's any contradiction in our plan. There's a certain (and probably not uncommon) kind of user that isn't willing to pay for the product and service we provide, and we're obviously going to lose them. What we intend to do is make sure that we're providing enough value for those who do join our community to stay with us.

    Part of that involves investigating why people might be leaving. What we found is that most users join because they want to learn how to make games, and leave because they don't get the help they need. So we're going to be doing a lot to give those people a better experience!

    Another part of success is making sure it's a great engine for PRO users like you... which mostly just means making sure it's a great engine in general, so our goals are very well aligned.

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

    Did @Toyman get 'disappeared' in the great purge of 2015 ? I liked him, he had all kinds of cool magic tricks he was going to do with the new render engine. :/

  • imGuaimGua Posts: 1,089Member

    @The_Gamesalad_Guru said:
    Full steam ahead!!!!

    Reminds me that we still can't publish on Steam/PC :(

  • BlackCloakGSBlackCloakGS Posts: 2,250Key Master, Head Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee
    edited July 2015

    @Socks Toyman is no longer with the company

  • jonmulcahyjonmulcahy Posts: 10,377Member, Sous Chef

    @imGua said:
    Reminds me that we still can't publish on Steam/PC :(

    but maybe in the future? :)
    that would certainly be a great pro feature

  • ApprowApprow Posts: 703Member

    @BlackCloakGS said:
    Socks Toyman is no longer with the company

    What the ....... It almost seems like the Apple story all over again, but then I don't know in which direction...

  • stragstrag Posts: 534Member, PRO

    I like what I am hearing. Gamesalad is a great tool which has enabled me to enter the apps market...but...it does have many bugs and needs more new features.

    I have noticed an improvement in update times recently and welcome this very focused approach.

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

    @Chunkypixels

    @dgackey nope... absolutely not. The core of the business is a game development tool/engine. Improving and supporting that, and fixing it when it doesn't work as its meant to should be your prime goal... otherwise whats the point of everyone using it?

    GameSalad has always been about the tool/engine... if you've now decided thats no longer the priority and direction of the company, then its a distinct change in what the company is about... and you need to be truly honest with your users.

    Again, you're missing the point I'm making. GameSalad is a tool that does what, exactly? It helps nontechnical/hobbyists make games, right?

    Given that, continuing to improve the product is absolutely a core function of the business. There's no argument there whatsoever.

    But ensuring customer success -- making sure people who WANT to make games have sufficient support and resources to learn the tool and get to the point where they ARE making games (and hopefully doing it well and making awesome stuff that attracts other users and giving us lots of money along the way!) is also a core function of the business.

    More users having success building games and having fun and learning and growing = more paying customers. Good for everyone!

    Your argument seems to be "any configuration of the company that does not result in 100% of the resources being allocated to engineering is bad". With respect, we disagree pretty substantially there; Customer Success is a pretty well understood component of any software as a service business and any (good) product you use that's a SaaS product invests heavily in it.

    This isn't a "cash grab" or a distinct change in the company or anything to that effect. It's actually a great thing for all users because it acknowledges that if customers don't succeed, the product and the company doesn't, either. It means that just adding new features in a tool isn't enough to be successful.

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

  • francis.charland@videotron.ca[email protected] 3D Artist/Generalist Quebec, CanadaPosts: 48Member, PRO
    edited July 2015

    The switch that made me go for GameSalad was actually the amount of ressources and the community around it despite the fact the the Game engine was not the top rated out there. I've been quite impressed of what could be achieved with GS anyhow by attempting at some meet-up and going through a bunch of tutorials. I would have probably quit for another software also if I didn't had quick access to that kind of information. So even if the software still lack stability and features it is very accessible and easy to dive in because of those easy-access ressources. It's sad that peoples are whining about having to pay that small 19$ a month fee (Less for student) to keep using a software that could end up letting them make some bucks by selling there apps. People wanting to try it further after the 15 days trial could end up spending what... a few months of GS to figure out if they really like it... That's nothing. It's a bad mentality to think that things should be accessible for free for an indefinite amount of time IMAO.

  • tiger27tiger27 Posts: 127Member

    @CodeWizard said:
    During the free trial period, all of the features of GameSalad Creator are available: networking, platform publishing, ads, etc. After the free trial period, users must purchase to continue using GameSalad Creator.

    Does this mean that, if you are going to pay for a basic membership, you will get networking, ads, etc.?

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

    @tiger27 said:
    Does this mean that, if you are going to pay for a basic membership, you will get networking, ads, etc.?

    There are no more PRO-only behaviors, if that's what you're asking. A Basic subscription gives you access to the entire engine. Of course, many of the behaviors, like ads and IAP, aren't particularly useful without PRO publishing.

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

    @tiger27
    You will be able to use those functions in your project but you can't publish (other than to Arcade) unless you're a Pro user.

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

  • tiger27tiger27 Posts: 127Member

    @dgackey Just to be clear if I don't have a Pro membership, but I do have a regular paying account, I will not be able to publish on the app store, internet, etc.?

  • FrantoFranto Posts: 779Member

    I was abou to suggest what supafly did.

    Construct 2 has a free version with a limit to how much you can put in a game as well as limited features. I remember somebody was building a game on the free version, unaware of the limit, they were very invested in the project, and upon reaching the limit, they forked over cash to have access to the full product.

    It might work with a free version of gamesalad, although increase it a little than what was suggested, I'd say 2 scenes, and 10 max actors. That way, new users can try out the tutorials and build small practice games until they know enough of the engine to be hooked and invested in it that they fork over cash to take one of their games they are invested in for the full ride.

    15 day limit might only work for people who are on vacation. If they are busy working but interested in GS, they might only get to work on it a few times during that period.

    OH, another suggestion is to have the option to choose between 15 days OR a set a time limit of say 15 hours to use the program for free. For those who can only learn every other night.

    The key to getting new users is retaining them with these methods. Make them invested and unable to walk away from something they worked on.

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

    D/P

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