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Are Android performance issues still prevelant?

I remember reading in one of the recent (recent is a funny term here :p not sure if it fits) State of Gamesalad Updates that some people, I believe @Icebox was one of them, were saying that the recent builds had noticeable drops in Android performance. Are most people still experiencing this?

I have tested my Game, that runs perfect on devices all the way back to iPhone 5, on some android devices with lack luster results. I tested both on a Samsung Galaxy Tab from 2015 as well as the Amazon fire TV. Similar results on both, the game is playable, but with noticeable lag or considerable lack of smoothness, and with certain controls behaving a bit wonky.

@ForumNinja @adent42 @CodeWizard (not sure if the last guy is still around)

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Comments

  • IceboxIcebox Posts: 1,483Member
    edited November 2016

    I hope they look into it ! my game performance is really bad on android but its great on ios .. I'm surprised people don't complain about it .. I get the lagging , slow movement then speeds really fast all of a sudden and random stuttering. I think Kirafu also had this issue and he released his game with an older build.

    Codewizard said earlier that it was related to delta time and the way GS handles it , and he knew that it got worse after adding custom collision feature . But they changed their focus to education and didnt get any response. Last thing I got was "submit a bug report" back in August .. which I did + ( sample project) and it is still unconfirmed. So I guess it will take them another year to even look into it :)

  • JapsterJapster Posts: 672Member
    edited November 2016

    Yep, same thing with Catflap - I had to rebuild for the Play store because of security issues with my existing release published before GS addressed these - needed to be republished using the newer GS - now on Android, it stutters on devices it never used to - used to run silky-smooth, full frames per second - bit peed off, to be honest... :frowning:

    Again, no real urgency seems to be given to what are MASSIVE issues..... sigh...

  • RossmanBrothersGamesRossmanBrothersGames Posts: 659Member
    edited November 2016

    @Icebox said:
    So I guess it will take them another year to even look into it :)

    :/

    @Japster said:
    Again, no real urgency seems to be given to what are MASSIVE issues..... sigh...

    Exactly.

    @BigDave I know you are big on Android, have you published much with the recent builds?

    @forumninja @adent42

    These are the exact kind of these that we asked about when the shift to education was made. When asked again and again if we should be concerned the response was usually something like "don't worry we are still going to take care of you guys"

    Continued support for features we payed for is the bare minimum of taking care of us. We put a ton of work into our projects expecting these things to be there, especially when we pay a year in advance...

    I have been extremely surprised by how terrible Android performance is on the new builds. I even went and took out all the large images and animations in my game and it made not difference... Back in the day a few people would bring this up and the GS team would respond saying they were on it.

    Really this is not ok. And needs to be addressed from higher up. If gamesalad can't keep up with what is promised, change your website and stop selling pro accounts, or do the right thing and figure out how to do so.

  • IceboxIcebox Posts: 1,483Member
    edited November 2016

    @RossmanBrothersGames Even with @BigDave games it stutters and lags on my android device.

    Here is a comparison between android and iOS performance with one of his games on older devices (unlisted video) ( @BigDave i love this game btw :D )

    @ForumNinja Please look at this , this is a big issue its been there for quiet a while , many android users have older devices that could handle most of the games on the store but when it comes to GS games it just fails. This is a really big issue . Even if the game is simple as soon as you add a couple of particles or few moveable actors 3 - 4 it starts to lag please do something about it. Performance was much better on older GS builds with android games.

  • JapsterJapster Posts: 672Member
    edited November 2016

    Yep, shockingly bad, and absolutely unacceptable - basically, for previously fine games, we're getting half of the possible revenue outlets, for FULL subs costs, because, really? - is anyone going to play and love that android version of @BigDave's game, and it's in no way his fault?...

    Utter crap, they should at least have the option of letting us choose which backend/online engine builds our Android target game uses, if newer-engine-specific features are NOT used in the game, tying it to that, if they're not going to fix this blindingly-obvious major, game-breaking issue that has been introduced in the recent versions of GS.... If not a back-end issue, perhaps we can use the older GS versions, but as usual, I'm assuming that our projects will not be backwards-compatible with older versions of Creator, without hacking them manually?

    TBH, after the way things have been recently in general, and the lack of anything resembling input on the forums from GS (barring literally a handful of comments from @ForumNinja at least, I think I'm going to be going Basic after all - not like I can release my new arcade game on Android any time soon, so why have it cost me so much per month to develop, and NOT have that outlet once it's release-worthy soon?... :frowning: Better to vote with the wallet, and wait until they either completely drop the ball, or actually get off their asses and fix some priority 1 stuff....

    One part of me (and I hope I'm wrong, I really, really do - we'll know in 6-12 months I guess), thinks that the gravy train is just being ridden around in circles until the paying passengers wake up and smell the obvious.... :angry:

  • birdboybirdboy Posts: 284Member
    edited November 2016

    I know this sounds harsh but do yourselves a favor and look for a new engine. There are fantastic alternatives for non-coders by companies with less employees that are cheaper, better in every single way and directed at professionals (talking from experience, I've been using GameSalad for years). GameSalad doesn't admit it directly but their actions and communication over the last year speak volumes about their interest in us professionals.

    I know how hard it is to admit to yourself that this engine is going nowhere, especially if you have a lot of experience and mountains of half-finished projects, prototypes and so on (I have dozens of them) but look at everything that's happening and has happened - there won't be fixes for Android. I'd be praying everyday for Apple not to introduce some new technology which breaks iOS games too if I'd still be using this software.

    If you don't make your decision in time it will be forced on you at some point. That's something I had to hammer into my brain.

  • @Icebox said:

    Wow..... Not sure why any company would be fine with this.

    @Icebox said:

    @ForumNinja Please look at this , this is a big issue its been there for quiet a while , many android users have older devices that could handle most of the games on the store but when it comes to GS games it just fails.

    In my tests performance is bad on new devices as well.

  • @Hoodloc said:
    I know this sounds harsh but do yourselves a favor and look for a new engine. There are fantastic alternatives for non-coders by companies with less employees that are cheaper, better in every single way and directed at professionals (talking from experience, I've been using GameSalad for years). GameSalad doesn't admit it directly but their actions and communication over the last year speak volumes about their interest in us professionals.

    I had to admit to myself that this engine is going nowhere. Look at everything that's happening - there won't be fixes for Android. I'd be praying everyday for Apple not to introduce some new technology which breaks iOS games too if I'd be still using this software.

    Agreed, I have always wanted to keep a positive outlook and not suggest what you are, but really what can we do now.

    The problem is I am in the middle of a project right now with a lot of time sunk into it. Honestly, not addressing issues like this is a moral issue for Gamesalad when they have made it seem to their developers that everything is going to be fine, knowing some of us are working on big projects. @AlchimiaStudios has a big project that looks like it is going to be awesome, Game Development isn't supposed to take a couple months titles like that, Gamesalad needs to support users for the long haul.

    If they don't show they are able and willing to do this then this will unfortunately be my last project with Gamesalad (which i don't want it to be) :/

  • IceboxIcebox Posts: 1,483Member

    @Hoodloc said:
    I know this sounds harsh but do yourselves a favor and look for a new engine. There are fantastic alternatives for non-coders by companies with less employees that are cheaper, better in every single way and directed at professionals (talking from experience, I've been using GameSalad for years). GameSalad doesn't admit it directly but their actions and communication over the last year speak volumes about their interest in us professionals.

    I am doing that at the moment , started developing in another engine but I still want them to fix this cause its been there for a while. Even if they dont fix it , atleast confirm it or reply saying were looking into it :) but your right I agree with you

  • birdboybirdboy Posts: 284Member
    edited November 2016

    @RossmanBrothersGames said:

    @Hoodloc said:
    I know this sounds harsh but do yourselves a favor and look for a new engine. There are fantastic alternatives for non-coders by companies with less employees that are cheaper, better in every single way and directed at professionals (talking from experience, I've been using GameSalad for years). GameSalad doesn't admit it directly but their actions and communication over the last year speak volumes about their interest in us professionals.

    I had to admit to myself that this engine is going nowhere. Look at everything that's happening - there won't be fixes for Android. I'd be praying everyday for Apple not to introduce some new technology which breaks iOS games too if I'd be still using this software.

    Agreed, I have always wanted to keep a positive outlook and not suggest what you are, but really what can we do now.

    The problem is I am in the middle of a project right now with a lot of time sunk into it. Honestly, not addressing issues like this is a moral issue for Gamesalad when they have made it seem to their developers that everything is going to be fine, knowing some of us are working on big projects. @AlchimiaStudios has a big project that looks like it is going to be awesome, Game Development isn't supposed to take a couple months titles like that, Gamesalad needs to support users for the long haul.

    If they don't show they are able and willing to do this then this will unfortunately be my last project with Gamesalad (which i don't want it to be) :/

    I was in your position, I know how insanely hard and infuriating this is.
    And to be honest, they have a lot of moral issues going on from my perspective. The price they charge for pro without giving a toss about professionals, charging insane amounts for a basic version whitout any export features, selling this stuff to schools because they are easy to impress - to name a few.

  • AlchimiaStudiosAlchimiaStudios Posts: 1,041Member, PRO

    Yeah, I'll be honest, unless something changes, I'll be switching engines after this current project.

    It's unfortunately not feasible for me to switch right now, when were so far in like @RossmanBrothersGames says. I'm sure other people are in the same boat as us.

    It just bums me out that we're stuck with a tool with so much potential, but we can't get the basic things we need to continue to use it. If Android fixes and .EXE/steam were on the radar I would use this engine again without hesitation. I really do like GS.

    Right now though, it feels like developers don't even matter. Which makes no sense because a game engine needs developers to produce products that showcase the tech, or else no one uses it and it dies.

    Most other engines are supportive of there user base and are very active in the forums. You even hear about companies going out of there way to help small teams with porting or bugs, because they know helping those devs helps themselves to succeed in the long run.

    But I guess it's out of our hands, I just try and stay positive and don't get my hopes up. Getting my product out the door is all I can hope for right now.

    Follow us: Twitter - Website

  • @AlchimiaStudios said:

    It just bums me out that we're stuck with a tool with so much potential, but we can't get the basic things we need to continue to use it. If Android fixes and .EXE/steam were on the radar I would use this engine again without hesitation. I really do like GS.

    Yep, that kind of stuff would keep me around as well. Not only that, but I can't imagine it not bringing more developers in.

    @AlchimiaStudios said:

    Right now though, it feels like developers don't even matter. Which makes no sense because a game engine needs developers to produce products that showcase the tech, or else no one uses it and it dies.

    Yep.

  • ForumNinjaForumNinja Posts: 544Key Master, Head Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    @RossmanBrothersGames @Icebox @Japster

    Can you guys click the blue help button in the bottom right and send us publishing links to your projects that are stuttering / lagging on Android? (I believe I've seen icebox's though if I recall I couldn't get any lag/stuttering on our devices here).

  • JapsterJapster Posts: 672Member

    @Icebox said:
    I hope they look into it ! my game performance is really bad on android but its great on ios .. I'm surprised people don't complain about it .. I get the lagging , slow movement then speeds really fast all of a sudden and random stuttering. I think Kirafu also had this issue and he released his game with an older build.

    Codewizard said earlier that it was related to delta time and the way GS handles it , and he knew that it got worse after adding custom collision feature . But they changed their focus to education and didnt get any response. Last thing I got was "submit a bug report" back in August .. which I did + ( sample project) and it is still unconfirmed. So I guess it will take them another year to even look into it :)

    Hi @Icebox - I'm having a chat with Alexandra at GameSalad trying to show examples that are badly affected by this - Maybe you can give her a shout too, to send her an example of your android game being affected?

  • IceboxIcebox Posts: 1,483Member

    Sure @Japster let me just adjust my project to send it , thanks !

  • chaosmasterrochaosmasterro Posts: 51Member, PRO
    edited November 2016

    I really see my performance dropping when it comes to my loops. That's really it but it is really noticeable. In terms of some animation, scene changes, and basic functions I don't experience too much of a problem. The loops however, (especially if I have a good amount of code behind it) disappoints me. What questions me is that if GS is trying to focus on education then what happens to when a student or instructor builds a game on android. They are going to experience the same exact thing that we are experiencing.

  • hope some headway is being made on this. I was busy last week but Just sent in my Fire TV version, need adjust my android version. Perhaps I could do a new build of Jump Jack on android and compare it to my version that is on the stores published with GS 0.13 and runs much better than current android builds

  • BigDaveBigDave Posts: 2,239Member

    wow just seen this now(even tough I am tagged a couple of times). That stuttering looks really bad.

    @Icebox well played tough!

    I just hope your older device is pretty old and doesn't represent too much of the android audience anymore. As i cant do anything against it..

    Also since the very start there were crashes on android version leading to many 1 star ratings. But then I know that also happens on games made with unity as my buddy develops with it.

    Android is a pain to get right for any game engine.

    @RossmanBrothersGames
    if there is a real drop between the last couple engine versions it would be nice to have someone at game salad investigate this. QA.

  • IceboxIcebox Posts: 1,483Member

    @BigDave said:
    I just hope your older device is pretty old and doesn't represent too much of the android audience anymore. As i cant do anything against it..

    It is an old device , samsung galaxy s4 which came out 2013... The problem with android audience is that they dont upgrade their phones quite often :D , when I read 2016 comments on games , i find comments made with s3 s4 .. or older devices.

    I talked to support yesterday they told me they looked into it but didnt find any issues , so i got myself a galaxy note 3 from 2013 , and tested and I had no issues also , so it might be that the samsung galaxy s4 is a crappy device. But others faced the same problem with newer devices so I dont really know , hopefully they will be able to spot the problem and fix it.

  • JapsterJapster Posts: 672Member

    @Icebox said:

    @BigDave said:
    I just hope your older device is pretty old and doesn't represent too much of the android audience anymore. As i cant do anything against it..

    It is an old device , samsung galaxy s4 which came out 2013... The problem with android audience is that they dont upgrade their phones quite often :D , when I read 2016 comments on games , i find comments made with s3 s4 .. or older devices.

    I talked to support yesterday they told me they looked into it but didnt find any issues , so i got myself a galaxy note 3 from 2013 , and tested and I had no issues also , so it might be that the samsung galaxy s4 is a crappy device. But others faced the same problem with newer devices so I dont really know , hopefully they will be able to spot the problem and fix it.

    I used to run my tests for Catflap on an S2, then S3 - they ran fine until I had to rebuild 9 months later...

    ...and the S4 is quite a powerful phone, even now, to my knowledge? - it sounds more like older devices being blamed for bloat/slowness introduced into the engine, when really the devices worked fine before... I guess that's the line being taken, so we're stuck with it.... great.

  • @Japster I'm experiencing the poor performance on the Samsung Galaxy Tab A, released in 2015. My iPad 2 (2011) is playing gamesalad games better than it

  • JapsterJapster Posts: 672Member

    @RossmanBrothersGames said:
    @Japster I'm experiencing the poor performance on the Samsung Galaxy Tab A, released in 2015. My iPad 2 (2011) is playing gamesalad games better than it

    so, even newer devices are affected, but GS seem to not be able to reproduce this on any of their devices.... Might be worth you contacting Alexandra too, @RossmanBrothersGames ....

  • HopscotchHopscotch Posts: 2,782Member, PRO
    edited November 2016

    @Icebox , @Japster , @RossmanBrothersGames

    Here some tips, as GS will probably not get around to do any big optimization any time soon.

    The reason that GS does not see the performance issues you see, is because they are probably testing on "clean" android devices.

    With "clean", I mean the following:

    • that their devices are probably not in daily personal use, with Messenger, Whatsapp, Snapchat, WeChat, etc. running in the background. Android is very susceptible to running background processes.
    • their device storage is probably not filled to the brim. Android starts choking if the device storage is over 80% full.

    If you notice lag, first check that your device is not being taxed by the above. Use apps which close background tasks. Free up storage with cleanup tools (Android does not free up storage straight after deleting a file).

    Other things to consider,

    • the Android garbage collection likes to kick in whenever memory fills up over 50%. If your game uses a lot of graphics and animations, you may be running into a situation where the garbage collection kicks in on every frame. Use apps that monitor your memory and optimize you graphics usage where you can.
    • if you have a lot of calculations and rules going on, use integers rather than reals where you can. Android does nearly all calculations in code, most Android chips only cater for +,- and *. Division and up is done in software. Here integers are twice as fast as reals.

    Bottom line is, know the system you are developing for and see what you can do from your side within the constraints of the development tool you are using. If you say "but other games run fine", it is because they were tweaked, tuned, tested and optimized intensively.

  • IceboxIcebox Posts: 1,483Member

    @Hopscotch Thanks for the tips :) I did speed up the device with animation scale turning it to 0.5 , and other tips i found in google , and the things you mentioned. I also tried to optimise my code as much as i can by limiting constrains with conditions, removing particles , reducing number of actors , removing random calculations , not using trig functions .. It helped reduce the lag , but its still there .. I couldnt find the issue except with galaxy s4 (in my case) , so i understand that they couldnt find it in their devices.

  • HopscotchHopscotch Posts: 2,782Member, PRO
    edited November 2016

    @Icebox, yep, the Galaxy S4 performance does seem to be a topic on a lot of game sites. Remember that each manufacturer needs to adapt Android for their phone. There is no one Android version which runs on all devices. This is where the problem arises, if the phone manufacturer messes up, then you end up with a situation like the Galaxy S4.

  • Thanks for the advice @Hopscotch

    The problem is testing in conditions that customers are not going to be using is kind of pointless. (Not to mention Ive been testing on a brand new tablet used at work with no other apps installed on it, or used for much yet)

    I understand that GS may not get around to this, but that shouldn't stop us from telling them our disappointment. When I purchased a year of pro back in the spring my android tests were working fine. As a paying customer I should be able to expect them to work hard to keep up the services they are advertising on their website and selling to people.

    I now realize that my game may only be publishable on iOS, and I myself will have to plan for that. But just because GS changed their shift in focus they shouldn't feel good about not taking care of services we have paid for.

    I really would love to keep giving them my business and strive to make great games with their tool. But after our current game if updates are still looking the same, and the lack of communication or really interest in developers is still gone then I'll have to go. I remember when GS staff members actually were excited about games being made with the tool, especially guys like Dan who used to work here. Recently I have seen some cool work in progress threads, @Socks has put out a cool one @Icebox has gotten a lot of attention and is working on something cool, there are no comments at all from GS staff. On top of that there is a state of Gamesalad post less than once a month?

    Why should developers be interested or "for" a company that doesn't show much interest in them?

  • HopscotchHopscotch Posts: 2,782Member, PRO
    edited November 2016

    @RossmanBrothersGames said:
    The problem is testing in conditions that customers are not going to be using is kind of pointless.

    You took the meaning out of context. I said: "The reason that GS does not see the performance issues you see, is because ..." :)

    I also did not ask you to NOT air your grievances. My post was just a few pointers on how we can help ourselves, considering the situation we are in.

  • RossmanBrothersGamesRossmanBrothersGames Posts: 659Member
    edited November 2016

    Bah, I feel silly. Sorry @Hopscotch ! You're suggestions were definitely helpful! I guess in my frustration with the situation I just took it as another opportunity to express my frustration toward Gamesalad. Sorry if my wording made it sound like I thought you were saying something you weren't.

    At first I thought you were suggesting we should test in optimal android conditions.

    @Hopscotch said:

    If you notice lag, first check that your device is not being taxed by the above. Use apps which close background tasks. Free up storage with cleanup tools (Android does not free up storage straight after deleting a file).

    While I don't think this is helpful for testing if the game is publishable as most users won't be making sure their devices are running top notch. I do see this as helpful for seeing if the game can at least run on an android device, and is worth pursuing further optimization.

    As for your other tips. I will go through and look for how often I use reals were I could use integers. Thanks for that!

    As for other optimizations. I use pixel art that is enlarged 4x to fit GS resolution. I did try an android build with making them enlarged less (I think just 2x) a less crisp looking image as it is being stretched. Unfortunately with a much smaller graphic footprint I saw no improvement in the smoothness of the gameplay, which makes me fear it has something to do with how GS code is being run through android and not about processing tax. Oh well...

    Again thanks for the comment and sorry if it sounded like I was making it sound like you said something you weren't :p

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