GameSalad game and Ketchapp publisher (Or why we had to choose another game engine)

2create2create Member, PRO Posts: 90

We are Flashprom – small indie company from Russia who love to build games. We also create commercial cartoons and presentations. I'm the managing director, animator and little bit programmer. And I love GameSalad very much. We created a couple of games and apps, including GS featured game Yops: https://itunes.apple.com/ru/developer/flashprom-llc/id498455887
Here you can find our stuff: https://itunes.apple.com/ru/developer/flashprom-llc/id498455887

This story began about 1 year ago when we created a game and showed it to well-known publisher Ketchapp. They liked it and was ready to publish but asked to add AdMob interstitials and banners. GS didn't support this services at that time, so we've got a rejection. Then I said to myself “Ok, let's wait”, and waited couple of months until GS finally implemented it.

We submitted the game again, and then everything seemed to be ok. Publisher gave us very good advices how to improve gameplay, so we worked on it about 3 weeks more. But we didn't know that during the time I waited for AdMob support the publisher started to use Heyzap. So when the game was totally ready they found that we cannot support Heyzap! And it was a second rejection! Very painful isn't it?

We liked this game very much and worked on it too hard to give up. There was no way back. So we hired a dev who rebuilt this game from ground up with another engine. The rebuilding took about 1 month of crazy intensive work and then about 2 weeks of polishing and debugging.

What can I say to GameSalad team? Guys, you are doing great things but please focus on advertising platforms. GS has everything to build small casual games, but it has poor ads possibilities. I think that GameSalad is not best decision for building complicated games but perfect one for tiny timekillers. And there are few things I missed a lot, and I'm sure they must be implemented asap:

1) Object groups
2) Pool functionality (to avoid lags from Spawn actions)
3) Controlling objects from another objects (without breaking prefab)
4) Playing sound by string name. In our app BubbleABC we had to use IF function with 120 switches to play sounds :)
5) Improvements in Editor to make it more friendly and close to graphic editors like Illustator.
6) Object search by name

As for the game, it's called HopHopHop, and this is a video of GameSalad version:

And this is video of published game:

The game is here:
AppStore: https://itunes.apple.com/app/hop-hop-hop/id1054818220
GooglePlay: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ketchapp.hophophop

Enjoy!

Yops – the innovative puzzle game for iOs – http://apple.co/1ESvIlC
Other games - http://appstore.com/flashpromllc/

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Comments

  • birdboybirdboy Member Posts: 284
    edited November 2015

    Thank you for posting this! Great insight.
    This pretty much overlaps with my thoughts and experiences about/with GameSalad.
    I don't wanna badmouth stuff like polygonal collisions - it's cool that we get a new feature after years of waiting - but there has been little progress for professional devs or studios for years now.

  • izamizam Member, PRO Posts: 484

    @2create I share your sentiment.

  • ClockClock Member Posts: 308

    100% agree on focusing on advertising platforms. GS is already good at creating small games. Now its time to let your clients making more money from other types of advertisement. For some small indie studios no money = no GS. They would eventually switch to another engine in the long run.

  • app_sauceapp_sauce Member, PRO Posts: 206

    I agree and hate to hear stories like this(but thanks for sharing). I talked with a few smaller publishers and they needed video ads. But, I am becoming more afraid that gamesalad adding video ads from one ad company will be enough. We need to be able to add libraries and create custom classes that can interact with gs behaviors. Another popular drag and drop engine that had another iOS feature this week allows this. There could even be a 3rd party plugin marketplace where gs could make more money.

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

  • BazookaTimeBazookaTime Member Posts: 1,274

    Thanks for sharing. The game is excellent by the way.

  • dgackeydgackey Austin, TXKey Master, Head Chef, Member, PRO Posts: 699
    edited November 2015

    @2create

    Sorry to hear that GameSalad no longer meets your needs. It's always hard to hear that a longtime customer has outgrown your product, but we're proud that we were able to help you release so many great games over the years.

    We wish you the best in all of your future endeavors!

    Dan Magaha · COO · GameSalad, Inc · danm@gamesalad.com

  • robertkdalerobertkdale USAMember Posts: 912

    @2create I agree. This is why I am learning to code now.

    Big Smile Games Play Happy!
    Check out our other GameSalad exclusives.

  • AlchimiaStudiosAlchimiaStudios Member, PRO Posts: 1,067

    First off, congratz on the game @2create looks good.

    But on the topic of GS and ad services:

    This seems a very specific case of a publisher only wanting certain services, and it's not like gamesalad has no support for ad revenue. People just love to chase the "latest and greatest" when it comes to ad services.

    Is it really feasable for GS to contstantly be changing/adding ad services and features?

    If that's your goal I feel like an engine where you can actually code things is better suited, so you can do that if you need flexibility in integrating ad services or other api's.

    Follow us: Twitter - Website

  • app_sauceapp_sauce Member, PRO Posts: 206

    @AlchimiaStudios said:

    Is it really feasable for GS to contstantly be changing/adding ad services and features?

    If that's your goal I feel like an engine where you can actually code things is better suited, so you can do that if you need flexibility in integrating ad services or other api's.

    The thing is most of the other drag and drop engines also allow you to code if you want to. This enables people who can code to create a plugin to add api's/libraries. So it wouldn't always be "man, gs team why can't you add support for xyz api" if enough people want support for heyzap or facebook someone can create that plugin and sell it for $20 bucks. I know that the new pricing model makes it hard for me to complain since it's only a 1 month commitment but I like making games in gs. Imagine if @2create would've launched a game with Ketchapp using gamesalad because he could plugin heyzap ad mediation. I hope that gs eventually has something similar to plugins or extensions but who knows. It would definitely make it the best drag and drop engine for mobile development.

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

  • ClockClock Member Posts: 308

    Don't we need this?

  • GnarlyGnarly canadaMember Posts: 840

    They were working on this and it was called Graphene but did not have the resources to complete it.

  • 2create2create Member, PRO Posts: 90
    edited November 2015

    @app_sauce said:
    We need to be able to add libraries and create custom classes that can interact with gs behaviors.

    I think there's no need to go such deep. It will be enough for GameSalad to support Heyzap: it already includes all main ad services and smartly switches between them to choose better one.

    Yops – the innovative puzzle game for iOs – http://apple.co/1ESvIlC
    Other games - http://appstore.com/flashpromllc/

  • ClockClock Member Posts: 308

    @gattoman said:
    They were working on this and it was called Graphene but did not have the resources to complete it.

    I thought they were going to implement this feature on GS. Theres a post talked about this.

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

    @app_sauce I agree with you! :)

  • MentalDonkeyGamesMentalDonkeyGames Member Posts: 1,276

    @CodeWizard said:
    @app_sauce I agree with you! :)

    Is this a hint about what´s coming to GS?

    (Maybe i´m just hoping too much...)

    Mental Donkey Games
    Website - Facebook - Twitter

  • 2create2create Member, PRO Posts: 90

    @dgackey said:
    @2create
    We wish you the best in all of your future endeavors!

    Thanx a lot!

    Yops – the innovative puzzle game for iOs – http://apple.co/1ESvIlC
    Other games - http://appstore.com/flashpromllc/

  • 2create2create Member, PRO Posts: 90

    @AlchimiaStudios said:
    First off, congratz on the game @2create looks good.

    Thank you!

    If that's your goal I feel like an engine where you can actually code things is better suited, so you can do that if you need flexibility in integrating ad services or other api's.

    Heyzap integration will cover all advertizing needs and definitely will make GS #1 for building casual games. So I hope GS team will think about it.

    Yops – the innovative puzzle game for iOs – http://apple.co/1ESvIlC
    Other games - http://appstore.com/flashpromllc/

  • MentalDonkeyGamesMentalDonkeyGames Member Posts: 1,276

    I checked Heyzap website. Did i understand right that it's like an (almost) all-in-one ad service? So you can have, for example, Chartboost ads, but through Hayzap?

    If so, then having Hayzap implemented in GS would be very cool!

    Mental Donkey Games
    Website - Facebook - Twitter

  • GnarlyGnarly canadaMember Posts: 840

    @Clock said:

    @gattoman said:
    They were working on this and it was called Graphene but did not have the resources to complete it.

    I thought they were going to implement this feature on GS. Theres a post talked about this.

    I believe it was a new engine not a feature.
    Can't see it being finished.

  • EireStudiosEireStudios Member Posts: 451

    @CodeWizard said:
    @app_sauce I agree with you! :)

    Does this mean you guys have future plans to give us the ability to add our own code? This is one feature that I'd love to see added before everything else

  • BazookaTimeBazookaTime Member Posts: 1,274

    Damn this game is good. I am not a fan of Flappy Bird but the hoop element is a blast.

  • BaDDAppleBaDDApple Member Posts: 49

    GS could be a leader but is falling behind and focusing on the wrong things. The F2P market is all about ads. Majoriy of people are not paying for games. They are not paying for IAP. As crossy road showed us people will watch ads. At my day job we use Unity and they have plugins for all the ad network. We used to make most of our money on IAP, not anymore. It's video interstial ads. Now the movement is ad mediation services. We use one service like adMob and all the ad networks go through it. I feel by the time GS gets to really supporting Interstial video ads. (Can tell if a video Ad has been played and award coins) they will be behind because ads will have moved on. Also its hard to pay for GS when its stablity is so poor. They have to fix the crashes and now the new update screwed up collisions. One step forward. Two steps back all the time.

  • izamizam Member, PRO Posts: 484

    @BaDDApple I totally agree with you

  • ClockClock Member Posts: 308
  • FINNBOGGFINNBOGG Member Posts: 1,810

    Nooooooo. Are you saying GS release a new feature that is buggy and is now causing other features to be buggy???? NOOOOOOOO not Gamesalad. But hey. At least the feature was one of the top 5 requested features off all time. Since day 1. At least they are focusing on top 10 requested features.

  • app_sauceapp_sauce Member, PRO Posts: 206

    @2create said:

    @app_sauce said:
    We need to be able to add libraries and create custom classes that can interact with gs behaviors.

    I think there's no need to go such deep. It will be enough for GameSalad to support Heyzap: it already includes all main ad services and smartly switches between them to choose better one.

    @2create in the short term I agree with you. Full Heyzap integration would pretty much cover every type of ad monetization for the foreseeable future. And congrats on HopHopHop its one of the best Ketchapp games!

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

  • 2create2create Member, PRO Posts: 90

    @2create in the short term I agree with you. Full Heyzap integration would pretty much cover every type of ad monetization for the foreseeable future. And congrats on HopHopHop its one of the best Ketchapp games!

    Thanx!!

    Yops – the innovative puzzle game for iOs – http://apple.co/1ESvIlC
    Other games - http://appstore.com/flashpromllc/

  • 2create2create Member, PRO Posts: 90

    @NipaDidIt said:
    I checked Heyzap website. Did i understand right that it's like an (almost) all-in-one ad service? So you can have, for example, Chartboost ads, but through Hayzap?

    Yes, this service covers all advertising needs.

    Yops – the innovative puzzle game for iOs – http://apple.co/1ESvIlC
    Other games - http://appstore.com/flashpromllc/

  • ClockClock Member Posts: 308

    @2create said:

    @NipaDidIt said:
    I checked Heyzap website. Did i understand right that it's like an (almost) all-in-one ad service? So you can have, for example, Chartboost ads, but through Hayzap?

    Yes, this service covers all advertising needs.

    Awesome, I wonder if GS would focus on this feature next. All of my little cousins watch videos to get coins. This is a great option for our game to increase incomes. Come on GS team!

  • izamizam Member, PRO Posts: 484

    @Clock yes right now we need incentivised ads in GS. But like what @BaDDApple said, 1 step forward 2 steps back. Its going to be a long wait. By the time GS comes around to supporting it, incentivised ads would most likely have moved on.

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