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State of the Salad 06/2018

adent42adent42 Posts: 1,189Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee
edited July 6 in GameSalad Kitchen

Creator 2.0

Nothing terribly new here. We’re in the middle of testing the new project import/export system. This means that larger projects will import properly into Creator 2.0! I know I asked for them in the past, but if I can’t find where they are buried in my email, I might ask for some people to volunteer their larger projects for testing soon.

That leaves 4 large outstanding task before Creator 2.0 replaces the two native creators (in no particular order):

  • Support controller keymaps
  • Optimization of the expression editor
  • Offline mode
  • Stand-alone downloadable version.

We also want to round out some Creator 2.0 features that were half complete:

  • Redo after undo
  • Copy paste for everything (we just have behaviors now).

I suspect that we’ll be done with these by the end of the year. crosses fingers

GDPR Ad-orama!

As some of you who have been tracking the GDPR thread (http://forums.gamesalad.com/discussion/96505/global-data-protection-regulation-gdpr-you/p1) know, we’ve spent a lot of time this last quarter updating our mobile engines to be GDPR compliant. This meant a lot of things were happening:

  • Updated all the ad network libraries to the latest versions.
  • Removed GameSalad’s internal analytics tracking (basically Google analytics).
  • Updated the Android target SDK version to 26 to support new Google Play store requirements.
  • Updated Android Support and Google Play libraries to the latest versions to support SDK 26

These updates have all been deployed and you can “Generate” your apps normally as long a you published with a 1.25 version of GameSalad. As a consequence of GDPR, we have been asked by Revmob to remove support, which will happen soon.

PARTIAL_WAKE_LOCK and the Google Play Store.

In case you haven’t been keeping up with the issue, the Google Play store has started downranking and/or stopped featuring games with bad behavior. The bad behavior that hits GameSalad games is holding a PARTIAL_WAKE_LOCK when the game is backgrounded. Basically, it means that when a GameSalad game is backgrounded, it still has an active thread that is taking up CPU but not doing any real work. It’s bad because it sucks up battery unnecessarily.

We have a fix for the issue that’s currently deployed as an RC build (we haven’t fully tested it yet, but it should be promoted from RC soon). The fix should not affect ad networks or any other features of the android engine. It was just an upgrade of OpenAL and some extra calls to pause and resume the audio thread when the app is backgrounded. We'll be upgrading the Android builds out of RC soon.

Mac Creator Issues

We still haven’t done a deep dive into Mac creator issues yet. To catch people up, here is where stuff stands:

1.25.88 was a more-or-less good build.
1.25.92 has updates to all for signing of iOS apps with ads correctly, but still has some of the the macOS SDK issues (i.e. disappearing image library). It has a bug where clicking "Add Rule" with a rule selected would replace the selected rules instead of wrapping them.

1.25.94 will be released shortly after this posts. It fixes issues with using the "Add Rule" button. There are still issues with the image library and we're going to have to do a major refactor to replace a widget that has been deprecated by Apple. I've spent the past week trying to find a quick workaround, but it's I think we'll have to bite the bullet and upgrade.

So here is the current suggestion:

When working, use 1.25.88. You can get it here: http://releases.gamesalad.com/creator/1.25.88/GameSalad-Creator-1.25.88.dmg

If you are deploying an app that uses Ads, you will need to use 1.25.94 to sign your app, that will soon be the “current” version.

Education

First, a fun video:

It’s summer, so while education sales are slowing down, we’re still doing a lot of work to get ourselves ready for the next school year! We're about to finish up a big sprint of education work next week and will have more resources looking to look at engine / Creator issues soon.

A word about RCs

With all the confusion about what RC and Current engines reprsent and with the RC and “Current” builds changing more frequently in the future. I’m going to start pinning a RC / Current binary thread. That way, if you’re wondering what’s released and what’s in the RC, you’ll have a place to go (and comment).

Work for the upcoming quarter (i.e. the future, future, future…)

So here’s what we’ll be working on the next few months:

  • Look into some outstanding iOS and Android issues that came up after the last few updates (we have one game that is weirdly not loading sounds properly, some with stuck loading wheels, etc).
  • Continue fixing the Mac tool so that things don’t randomly disappear anymore.
  • Implement the ability to do Admob Banner, Interstitial, and Rewards ads all in the same game.
  • Removing Revmob.
  • Finish off the implementation of Google Play game services.
  • Finish up the large project support update to Creator 2.0.
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Comments

  • stragstrag Posts: 509Member, PRO

    @adent42 Thanks for the summary. Really helpful to see the grand plan laid out in this way.
    Pleased to see support for Admob Interstitials on the horizon ;)

  • Two.ETwo.E Posts: 437Member, BASIC
    edited July 6

    I have been trying to make the switch to the online creator for a bit and there several things that really affect development that I hope you look at:

    • Display size doesn't work, it is stuck on the default 1024 x 768.

    • When starting a new project, there are options for starting templates. Nothing changes from that of a blank project. Is this an error? (referring to monster maze, top notch trivia etc)

    • Does the creator have to sync every second? If there was a longer period between syncing, editing tables and attributes would be less frustrating. At the moment, I enter in a value, and then it reverts back to a zero, so I then click it again and enter in another value, and now I have all values entered in, or back to zero.

    Not sure its best to have to wait a few seconds for syncing to be done to enter in data.

    • Would be nice to be able to enter in number of rows and columns in a table instead of having to do it one at a time.

    • Is importing a cvs file a feature? I can't find any option.

    Otherwise, the transition is slowly getting there. Look forward for project importing and Exporting.

    The new expression editor is really nice. It took a bit to get used to get how it works, but having all the information and definition there is a huge plus.

    Best,
    Two.E

    Edit: Nice video. I was under the impression that online creator was being used for education, but it looks like the Mac version is being used. Did they revert back?

  • AlchimiaStudiosAlchimiaStudios Posts: 967Member, PRO

    Thanks for the update. Glad to see things laid out.

    Follow us: Twitter - Website

  • NKBDLNKBDL Posts: 36Member, PRO

    @adent42 as always thank you for the hard works! What defines as a big project? And what is the creator 2.0? I have been a pro member since a few years back, a supporter but I didn't follow up on that!

    Otherwise, will continue to follow and suggest things as we go. We likely will launch a demo game somewhere in the next months, and then we will go from there. So really happy to see all these updates. Thanks again peace out

  • EspinoEspino Posts: 15Member, PRO

    @adent42 Thanks for the update, but do not put anything on GameCircle, in the .94 it works or it still does not work. Thank you

  • adent42adent42 Posts: 1,189Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    @Espino we haven't tracked that issue down yet. That will be part of general bug fixes for the current build.

  • adent42adent42 Posts: 1,189Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    @Armelline I want to do a plugin for preview, but there's not a timeline for that yet (mostly because everyone is pushing towards compiling to WebAssembly instead of using a plugin and that's basically the HTML5 engine, but possibly faster and possibly slower).

  • adent42adent42 Posts: 1,189Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    @Two.E

    • we know about the size bug, we're working on a fix.
    • The templates are meant to be blank because they're starting points for students. I'm hoping to add the original example games again soon.
    • I'm working on improving the syncing code so that things like that don't happen, but that will also be solved with "offline mode" in the future.
    • CSV import is not a feature yet. Before I do that I think I'll need to rework the table module to make it more efficient, because I know once we allow uploads, people are gonna put in some huge tables.

    As for the video, it depends on the school. Our official curriculum uses the online version, but some schools found GameSalad and are just using the normal version for special projects, since that's what they started with.

  • adent42adent42 Posts: 1,189Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee
    edited July 9

    @NKBDL

    Creator 2.0: https://creator.gamesalad.com

    As for "a big project", it's a project that when expanded is over 512MB. We're currently using Amazon Lambda to handle moving projects between Creator 2.0 and the publishing system. Unfortunately, I didn't read the docs before creating this system, and lambda has a tmp space limit of 512MB with no way to expand that. Sooo... we're moving processing of projects back to our own servers to get around that limitation.

  • hybridhybrid Posts: 176Member, PRO
    edited July 10

    is anyone having trouble with chartboost with the RC build or normal build?
    i have admob working but no ads from chartboost, even with the test mode on.

    --update--

    it start showing ads on one of the apps, so it might be something on chartboost side

  • Simple Gamer ArtsSimple Gamer Arts Posts: 244Member, PRO

    I'm about to upload my game to GOOGLE PLAY; which version of Gamesalad should I use? and which generator should I use? please :)

  • adent42adent42 Posts: 1,189Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    @Simple Gamer Arts I'd use the RC. It's been tested on our side, I've just been on other stuff so I haven't promoted it yet.

  • Simple Gamer ArtsSimple Gamer Arts Posts: 244Member, PRO
    edited July 11

    Thanks @adent42 , I actually uploaded it with the normal generator using GameSalad 1.25.92 and so far so good; was accepted in Google Play Store and plays smoothly. If any problems, I'll re-upload it with your suggestion.

  • Simple Gamer ArtsSimple Gamer Arts Posts: 244Member, PRO

    @adent42 How about for releasing it to App Store? GameSalad .94 with RC?

  • adent42adent42 Posts: 1,189Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    I assume you mean iOS app store. For that one, use the non-RC. There are reports of issues with the iOS RC that I'll be looking into on Friday.

  • CasualEvolutionCasualEvolution Posts: 341Member, PRO

    Hi @adent42 I'm experiencing my first publish to Android and I've run into some bugs, I also have some suggestions, I think you could be simple things to solve on your part:

    bug 1
    when the game is loading and the custom launch image is displayed, if the device is rotated, the screen is rotated although this is not defined as such. In my case the game is portrait, but it turns to landscape, showing an area outside the game, and the main menu is broken ... when going to a level and going back to the main menu, this is corrected, but it is really ugly how looks

    bug 2
    as say, my game run on portrait, when Chartboost Ads are showing, at the end, there is a blank rectangle on back: https://us.v-cdn.net/5017598/uploads/editor/op/ln5loeurwjxz.jpg

    bug 3
    many times, the Android menu bar at bottom, apear and no automatically hide

    suggestion 1
    on the website where we publish, the icon of the game is above the platform to which we are going to export, however if we are going to export Android, we can use an image with alpha and if we are going to export iOS, we can not use an image with alpha. This means that we should be changing this image every time we are going to publish, depending on the platform. Perhaps the image of the icon, could be down within the configuration of each platform, so that we do not have to change this every time

    suggestion / bug
    http://forums.gamesalad.com/discussion/96610/help-problem-with-publish-to-android-and-hang-up#latest

    The first bug is critical, the others not so much, but it seems good that we can give this feedback to you, since these things make the user experience and sometimes are problems that you can solve without major changes.
    Thank you

  • unbeatenpixelunbeatenpixel Game Developer Posts: 505Member, PRO

    @adent42 said:
    I assume you mean iOS app store. For that one, use the non-RC. There are reports of issues with the iOS RC that I'll be looking into on Friday.

    Is there anything that has changed since Friday?

    And can we benefit from this for review request?

    https://developer.apple.com/documentation/storekit/skstorereviewcontroller/

    Check out my games on the Appstore!

    Startup Grave / Wordgraphy / Polycolor / 20 Seconds / Minimal Maze / Lokum

  • fmakawafmakawa Posts: 555Member

    @CasualEvolution said:
    Hi @adent42 I'm experiencing my first publish to Android and I've run into some bugs, I also have some suggestions, I think you could be simple things to solve on your part:

    bug 1
    when the game is loading and the custom launch image is displayed, if the device is rotated, the screen is rotated although this is not defined as such. In my case the game is portrait, but it turns to landscape, showing an area outside the game, and the main menu is broken ... when going to a level and going back to the main menu, this is corrected, but it is really ugly how looks

    @adent42 This bug is one of the reasons I am not active user anymore. It has existed for years and we've complained about so many times but it hasn't been fixed. Its huge in terms of how our product is viewed by players but nothing. I can live with the other bugs and the limitations but until this is fixed I'm not coming back. TBH, I prefer Gamesalad to Unity (even with Bolt) because of its ease and speed so as soon as fix is done I´ll be back.

  • freneticzfreneticz SwedenPosts: 651Member, PRO
  • adent42adent42 Posts: 1,189Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    @freneticz the email I got said that they were gonna stop accepting GameCircle for new games.

    Older games could continue to support it, but we'd need to upgrade the library (actually, we did update the library, but didn't update our code enough to get it working correctly, so that's still an outstanding issue).

    Because of this, I think a GameCircle upgrade may be of a lower priority and instead we'll put the resources into finally getting Google Play services support.

  • hybridhybrid Posts: 176Member, PRO

    Yes @freneticz , they publish on their forums that they will be retiring gamecircle.

    @adent42 do you know if their will have another way for leaderboard? or they will accept google play leaderboards on their games? it feels weird that they just retire gamecircle and have no other option

  • adent42adent42 Posts: 1,189Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    @hybrid I'll need to check, but I assume they'll start allowing Google Play leaderboards.

  • freneticzfreneticz SwedenPosts: 651Member, PRO

    Would be nice if GS Fix Google Play services support and Amazon use it also, might be to good to be true...

  • hybridhybrid Posts: 176Member, PRO

    Thanks @adent42 !

  • loganjan22loganjan22 Posts: 16Member, PRO

    @CasualEvolution said:
    Hi @adent42 I'm experiencing my first publish to Android and I've run into some bugs, I also have some suggestions, I think you could be simple things to solve on your part:

    bug 1
    when the game is loading and the custom launch image is displayed, if the device is rotated, the screen is rotated although this is not defined as such. In my case the game is portrait, but it turns to landscape, showing an area outside the game, and the main menu is broken ... when going to a level and going back to the main menu, this is corrected, but it is really ugly how looks

    bug 2
    as say, my game run on portrait, when Chartboost Ads are showing, at the end, there is a blank rectangle on back: https://us.v-cdn.net/5017598/uploads/editor/op/ln5loeurwjxz.jpg

    I have also published my app to Android and these bugs are ruining the game. The game runs in portrait mode but changing scenes and running reward ads does cause the screen to turn to landscape and totally move all the graphics and make the game no longer functional unless the user reloads the game. Any suggestions @adent42 ?

  • adent42adent42 Posts: 1,189Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    To keep everyone up to date, we have one more major feature left for the current round of education related work.

    The feature was "done", but after doing some load testing, we needed to scrap the approach and refactor parts of it. We've just passed our load testing, but we'll be spending part of the week doing browser testing and getting ready to launch this feature (if you're curious, it's Single Sign On with Clever, a common system schools use to manage app sign on. It's sort of an alternative to Google Sign On for schools).

    I'll start the process of gathering the big outstanding community bugs this week and figure out how to integrate them into the existing roadmap.

    My feeling is that the first big issue to address is going to be Android crashes / sound issues on the RC branch. I will be reading through this thread, the "RC" thread, and my DMs again to gather a list of other issues.

    My hope is that we can tackle the crash issue quickly, promote the RC, and move back on track with road map I've outlined.

    Cheers!

  • Twayne2Twayne2 Posts: 302Member, PRO

    If the closed beta of a game doesn't crash, does that mean the released version will?

  • hybridhybrid Posts: 176Member, PRO
    edited August 12

    hi @adent42 , i tried to publish a game update but i got this:
    The certificate for this server is invalid. You might be connecting to a server that is pretending to be “publish.gamesalad.com” which could put your confidential information at risk.

    also i get a not secure message when entering the website.

    is this in my end or more have this problem?

  • Twayne2Twayne2 Posts: 302Member, PRO

    I have been having the same problem.

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