State of GameSalad on 4-24-2013

CodeWizardCodeWizard Inactive, Chef Emeritus Posts: 1,143
edited April 2013 in GameSalad Kitchen
Hello! It's that time again... time for another weekly state of GameSalad post. There's a lot happening in the kitchen, so let me dig right in:

Estimated Stable Build Schedule
If all goes well in the kitchen, expect build 0.10.2b this week.

Similarly, 0.10.2c is queued up for release late next week, chefs willing!

What We've Accomplished

1. We've fixed a bug that caused seams to show between tiled actors in some cases. [ETA: 0.10.2b]

2. We've implemented some fixes for memory footprint during loading. [ETA: 0.10.2b]

3. We've fixed a spurious crash related to null pointers being referenced in some cases. [ETA: 0.10.2c]

4. We've found and fixed an issue with image loading that caused white actors on occasion. [ETA: 0.10.2c]

5. We've found and fixed an issue with asset loading that negatively affects FPS of your games. [ETA: 0.10.2c]

6. We've fixed a bug that caused out of memory crashes at improper times. [ETA: 0.10.2c]

What We're Working On

1. We're continuing to profile the game engine looking for CPU bottlenecks and RAM hogs. We've identified several places that should receive immediate optimization. This effort will continue for the foreseeable future.

2. Speaking of optimization, we've identified two areas of loading that can be readily improved: texture and sound loading. We've got an engineer queued up to do an optimization pass on this. Once completed, this should reduce asset loading time by 50% in the average case.

3. We've got an engineer working on OpenGL optimizations. These optimizations will have a positive effect on FPS on devices that support OpenGL ES 2.0. There are some particularly impressive optimizations coming for particle effects.

4. We're still working on getting the new nightly build process in place for Pro users. We have some creator changes we want to get in place before releasing this to you guys. These changes will help ensure that you won't accidentally corrupt your game projects when working with nightly builds. Once this is complete, we'll roll nightly builds out to line cooks and sous chefs to make sure all is well. Once everything looks good, we'll open it up to all Pro users. [ETA: 2 weeks]

5. We're putting the finishing code touches on supporting a new publishing platform. This will be in QA for a while. It won't be part of the coming nightly build process until we've prepared our proper marketing message, etc. The engineer working on this will be rolling onto engine optimizations shortly.

6. We're wrapping up the major Mac Creator improvement pass. These improvements will greatly enhance the stability and performance of the Mac Creator. We'll be rolling this out to all Pro users for feedback once the nightly build process is ready for use. [ETA: Nightly Build]

What's Coming Down The Pipe

Our primary focus will remain code cleanup, bug fixing and engine optimization for the next several weeks. Once we're satisfied with where the core engine is at, we'll begin turning our attention to new feature development. The top things on my list are: creator workflow improvements, custom fonts, automated texture atlas support, improved render batching and async multiplayer support. Some other odds and ends may come up first as necessary, but those are the main points I'll be pressing for. ETA of those features is not available yet, but they're top on my list to tackle as soon as feasible. More news as we make progress on our existing workloads.

We're working hard in the kitchen to get some significant improvements underway for you. I've personally been spending my time investigating bugs and profiling user games to identify issues for the team to tackle. I'm still ramping up, but I'm a fast learner! :D

I'm really looking forward to the nightly build process for Pro users so that we can get more rapid fixes and improvements in your hands. Once that's ready then we'll be able to start closing the feedback loop between you and us more rapidly. And that's a great thing!

Until next week...


  • tkullatkulla Member Posts: 64
    Thanks so much for these posts! It's great to have a peak behind the curtain and it really does help me plan my own work.
  • mounted88mounted88 Member Posts: 1,113
  • PortymanPortyman Member, PRO Posts: 409
    What is the nightly build process.

    Thanks for all the other updates. Just knowing what's coming is awesome.
  • PortymanPortyman Member, PRO Posts: 409
    Never mind... I was able to find it....
  • JarrenHJarrenH Member Posts: 206
    Man. Now I really have to consider getting a pro account... Thanks for the update!
  • tglessytglessy Member Posts: 41
    I'm amped now! Keep it coming GS!
  • tenrdrmertenrdrmer Member, Sous Chef, Senior Sous-Chef Posts: 9,934
    Holy frijoles you guys have been mega busy. Sounds awesome!!!
  • SocksSocks London, UK.Member Posts: 12,822
    Well done to everyone down in the engine room, sounds like you've been hard at work.

  • Yovanny369Yovanny369 Member Posts: 105
    edited April 2013
    CodeWizard said: "The top things on my list are: creator workflow improvements, custom fonts, automated texture atlas support, improved render batching and async multiplayer support"

    Awesome!!! looking forward!!!
  • JGary321JGary321 Member Posts: 1,246
    Awesome news @CodeWizard ! I'm not sure if anyone brought this to your attention before, but 2 small things relating to tables to 'round off' that feature:
    1) Ability to search table values - right now we have to do ridiculous work-arounds
    2) Use TableCellValue function on the left side of the Expression editor...

    But again, sounds great and looking forward to it.
    +1 to this. This is a HUGE bottleneck for me. I've managed with the workarounds, but man it would be so much easier to reference a table cell.

  • CodeWizardCodeWizard Inactive, Chef Emeritus Posts: 1,143
  • SnapFireStudiosSnapFireStudios Member Posts: 1,603
    Note the absence of a "-Thomas" in my period of awe. B-)
  • SnapFireStudiosSnapFireStudios Member Posts: 1,603
    @JGary321 / @uptimistik - I assume you are both aware of workarounds for putting table access on the left side? I can tell you how if you don't know. :)
    - Thomas
  • osucowboy18osucowboy18 Member Posts: 1,307
    I would agree with @uptimistik's request and add to it increased Universal Binary support. It has been mentioned here on the forums, but while the current UB system is a great starting point, we really need some improvements and enhancements to avoid having to reposition and resize certain actors so they are not cropped off. The more that can be added to this valuable feature to make it as easy and painless to integrate into our existing AND upcoming projects, the better.

    All in all, I'm very excited to see what the next two weeks have in store, and I look forward to a more steady release schedule with more great features and improvements. Great job @CodeWizard and the entire GS Dev Team!

    - Alex
  • natzuurnatzuur Member Posts: 304
    Really great news. Excited for 10.2b and even more so for c
  • natzuurnatzuur Member Posts: 304
    @codewizard Are the null pointers and out of memory crashes in reference to the engine stability itself or to possible causes of issues experienced in a project. Either way, glad they have been found but was curious.
  • CodeWizardCodeWizard Inactive, Chef Emeritus Posts: 1,143
    Both. These were issues that affected real projects. Fixing them makes the engine more stable. Win win!
  • floydianspiralfloydianspiral Member, PRO Posts: 308
    Really excited about the idea of someone looking at loading sounds quicker as my game is almost entirely sound based! I have a question about that and searchable tables...will it be possible to use tables to call sounds? Right now I have a node and when pressed it generates a number 1-20 and then a whole long list of rules saying...when var = 1 play sound x, when var = 2 play sound y, etc, etc. it would be awesome if you could post sound files as text in a table and then search for it! I'm not expecting this to be in the plans but wanted to let you know @codewizard that it would give a lot more functionality to the play sound behavior without cluttering up our rules!
  • POMPOM Member Posts: 2,599
    I love these posts!

  • Benjamin_m5Benjamin_m5 Member Posts: 646
    creator workflow improvements, custom fonts, automated texture atlas support
  • PBEmpirePBEmpire Member Posts: 676
    When will the general public get those features?
  • BluemoonstudiosBluemoonstudios Member Posts: 156
    You really have the GS community buzzing @CodeWizard !. Sounds like you have everything under control. Its nice to see our questions being answered and our problems are starting to be solved. Thanks alot!!
  • kinzuakinzua Member Posts: 554
    @CodeWizard its nice to hear that the focus is on the core of things rather than bells and jingles. +1 to the approach.
  • ycanycan Member, PRO Posts: 207
    Absolutely great.

    Can we play sounds from tables ? It's very hard to do now with 50+ sounds. But If we can play sounds from tables, It's just a few clicks ;)
  • The_Gamesalad_GuruThe_Gamesalad_Guru Member Posts: 9,919
    edited April 2013
    I just wanted to say my project was one that was having the crashes and @codewizard looked at my project personally. The GS team jumped right on it and found some of the issues that were causing the crash and they added them to the 10.2c build. I can't tell everyone how impressed I am with @codewizard! He kept in contact with me about my game and fed me info and progress throughout the last two days on what they found and how they would fix it in build c. I used the GS premium support and I am very impressed with the level of service and concern for my game. This guy is the real deal and I now can say this from personal experience!
  • bigbenolibigbenoli Member Posts: 12
    This guy is the real deal!
    Thanks @CodeWizard

  • barleyesqbarleyesq Member Posts: 72
    No mention of Windows creator improvements. Any updates in the pipeline for us Windows users?
  • EireStudiosEireStudios Member Posts: 451
    @CodeWizard I'm really excited about the upcoming fixes with the engine, you have renewed my love of GameSalad ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^
  • JGary321JGary321 Member Posts: 1,246
    @JGary321 / @uptimistik - I assume you are both aware of workarounds for putting table access on the left side? I can tell you how if you don't know. :)
    - Thomas
    Yea. I just hate doing it.

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