Swift Playground from Apple - A threat to GameSalad's new direction?

PhilipCCPhilipCC Encounter Bay, South AustraliaMember Posts: 1,390

I've started this thread because lots of members may not follow every thread in the Forum or even look at Apple's WWDC.

Here is an intro to what was announced at WWDC 2016 (with some editorial opinion) :


Here is what Apple added to the new Developer site about Swift Playground : https://developer.apple.com/swift/

In the thread "New CEO Introduction" there are many comments about this being, or not being, a threat to GameSalad's new education focus.


If I were to comment in that thread about Swift Playground it will get buried.

Anyway, if Apple are seriously going after the Education Market, then this is just a first step, so I am fearful that GameSalad won't be able to compete given Apple's massive resources of more than $200 billion in cash! Nor anyone else's resources for that matter.

Just playing devil's advocate!: >:)

Now I'm scared I'll get flagged again.:blush:

What do you members think?


  • HypnorabbitHypnorabbit SingaporeMember Posts: 210

    I just watched the WWDC and think it's a credible threat to GS - and good for Apple. If they can provide a platform that teaches kids how to code for real, and nurture that community, then superb.

    Swift seems to be a really futuristic language to learn and by the looks of it is being adopted at a record rate by developers (100,000 apps already using Swift on App Store). Gamesalad may have missed the boat for securing a place at the big boys table of coding-for-kids but we'll see. However, I think that learning a mainstream language will trump everything else for education institutions, teachers and parents (I would encourage this), and if Apple are entering this space, there's no stopping them. They could galvanise the education market within the year.

    The only other space I can foresee Gamesalad venturing into (given this) is ultra-beginner coding for kids. This being pure "non-code" coding to teach kids about logic, drag-and-drop objects etc. This won't benefit you guys at all as they will no longer be catering for the market of the hobby-developer, and likely not the act of "publishing" apps. On Gamesalad's tight budget I don't think they can go any other route than this, meaning the writing may be on the wall. This is a huge maybe but I feel this way.

    I for one am going to start learning Swift in the Playground app - why not, it's probably time I "grew up" and future proofed myself in the process :blush:

  • ArmellineArmelline Member, PRO Posts: 4,917

    I don't think so, for the reasons I mentioned in the other thread. A big one is that it's an iPad app, which isn't going to be something available to classrooms in most schools. They'll need software running on PCs. Secondly, it aims to cover some of the same logic skills, but it doesn't let kids just flat out create their own games. With GameSalad, kids will be making their own games in no time.

    I think people are assuming a dumbing down of GameSalad that I think is very unlikely. To become more viable in classrooms, it needs a dumbing up not a dumbing down. It's already the easiest way for kids to make actual games (not just pre-arranged "demo" game).

  • jonmulcahyjonmulcahy Member, Sous Chef, PRO Posts: 10,385

    i think this is a bigger threat to those Swift courses on Udemy than GS.

  • tmanntmann Member Posts: 278

    iPads are everywhere in UK schools

  • tatiangtatiang Member, Sous Chef, PRO, Senior Sous-Chef Posts: 11,926

    I'll repeat what I said elsewhere but this is not going to challenge GameSalad because it's basically a knock-off of (and probably an improvement to) Code Academy which teaches coding skills but doesn't allow for app/game development. Even if this does include the ability to build and publish your own apps, if it's straight coding then GameSalad still has the advantage.

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

    @tmann said:
    iPads are everywhere in UK schools

    Swift Playground is for Air upwards only - most schools tend not to have the latest gear, my son's school (he's 8) has iPad 1 and 2s (boo!).

    As others have said, Swift Playground (which to me looks great) is basically a user friendly approach to Swift, and Swift is essentially Apple's take on C# / Javascript . . . . the whole idea of GameSalad pushing the education angle is that younger kids would be absolutely lost if your dropped them into C# or Swift or Javascript, the idea is to remove the syntax of coding and just allow kids to access the basics of logic and programming, my 8 year old son and his class would be absolutely lost faced with a screen of C#/Swift/Javascript, regardless of how friendly it's presented, in contrast I can imagine GameSalad would be much more approachable for them.

  • PhilipCCPhilipCC Encounter Bay, South AustraliaMember Posts: 1,390

    As many of you may already know, Apple released Swift Playground today and it's free.

    @Socks said:
    Swift Playground is for Air upwards only - most schools tend not to have the latest gear, my son's school (he's 8) has iPad 1 and 2s (boo!).

    I'd love to try it, but that leaves me out because I only have a lowly Retina iPad. :'(

    Think of the benefit to us. If the schools can't afford iPad Airs and iPad Pros they'll have to consider GameSalad... until new builds stop working on older devices!

  • imjustmikeimjustmike Member Posts: 450

    HTML and CSS are incredibly easy to learn but it doesn't stop WordPress being one of the most popular ways to build websites. And WordPress's success hasn't prevented companies like squarespace being hugely successful. There will always be people who don't want to code and prefer to use visual tools.

    Sure Swift is a threat in terms of lowering the total number of potential customers, but it won't mean there isn't room for a tool that caters to people who don't want to code.

  • ToqueToque Member Posts: 1,182

    If I was a teacher Swift would scare me. It would be very difficult to help and answer students questions. GS is a lot more friendly for teachers. If it's presented clearly to them GS will win. Cost comparisons and I have no idea.

    I think students would prefer it too.

    In the 80's I wanted to make a game and tried in C. It was too difficult. So I made games in BASIC. Kids don't really want to learn programming in swift, they just want to make games. GS is perfect for them.

  • PhilipCCPhilipCC Encounter Bay, South AustraliaMember Posts: 1,390

    @imjustmike said:
    HTML and CSS are incredibly easy to learn but it doesn't stop WordPress being one of the most popular ways to build websites.

    True. We got into the website development business in 1996 stating with HTML and later moved to using CSS and Dreamweaver, but today we develop all new sites with WordPress.

    Clients today want some hands-on to at least change images and text copy themselves without learning other software or coding. WordPress is the easiest way to give them restricted admin.

    If they need an e-commerce site for sales and inventory it's the easiest way for us to build it considering all the plug-ins available.

    Ease of use is important which is why I've stayed with GameSalad. Even though I could learn Swift or more about Xcode, I'm just not prepared to invest the time.

    Swift Playground may just entice some kids, and teachers, to try GameSalad. Let's hope so. :)

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