Post from my Weekly NewsLetter - Ranking of GS Template Sites
I get asked many questions daily regarding what template sites to use, and before I share my post here I am obliged to say that Official Game Salad Market Place is to be your first stop as it associated with Game Salad. This is cut and pasted out of my weekly newsletter – Its an opinion orientated article. It sparked a great debate - a friendly debate.
This year we saw the rise and fall of several Template Sites. Its part of my hobby to investigate into each and watch progress and see how competition goes between them – I also look into certain things and disputes among them. All of this to gain a better understanding on how people react responds and redeem.
This review covers the top seven that I frequently visit.
Number 6: The Developer Depot – At this point of time, this new market store has entered into the market at tough times, with no way of gaining coverage etc. However as a newly released site, it lacks regular updates and only contains – at the time of writing – one free demo for users to test what type of coding users can expect. The only reason it made it into this list is that it contains some very cool templates, from basic to advance. Based on its current situation it isn’t very noteworthy – however what it could become is something to watch out for.
Number 5: The Game Salad Marketplace – A place is filled with a lot of content – estimating more than any other site has one of the worst interfaces in the world. It is also filled with other sites templates advertising their site on this site. Its lacking support systems – quality control and so many other things that have been mentioned countless times. Adding to this – it doesn’t support payments through Safari. To me this is ‘real punch to the face’ to any developer. Game Salad requires a Mac to publish with the latest version to the appstore. Is Safari not the default browser for Mac users? I would understand if there wasn’t support for Firefox, but no support for Safari just seems strange.
If look past the bad interface, the number of user complaints, the no Safari support and lack of quality control – You are left with a Gold Mine. I wouldn’t recommend buying form this site until this grand new Marketplace that we have been teased with is released.
Number 4: GS Invention – This is an interesting one – and will try not to be bias. Created by two younger developers it raises the question are they capable to be running not just a template site - but also offer services as well. I would assume Yes – on the bases that I have yet to come across any complaints. Their template range from clones of popular game to unique templates. Two Factors that set this site apart from others is, 1 – How much the site has involved and improved. From its initial release to its current state it adjusted itself to better suit the user needs, something that other larger sites don’t do, and 2 – the amount of free demos that are released – there is at least twice as many free demos as there are paid ones. The overall attitude of the owners of this site is positive into helping the community. Great communication makes up for any downfall that anyone will have.
Number 3: GSanimator – This site has to offer the most incredible templates I have ever seen from a professional aspect. This site is one I feel people know little about. Its mainly focus on game art assets – however this gives an incredible edge over their quality of their templates – Highly noting their Rovio style menus. My issue with this site is that – there are so few – fair enough if templates are not the main focus. It’s a site I highly recommend checking out, it has a clean website design, beautiful templates and has so much more than what meets eye. If I had bet on any website to be number one next year – This would be the one.
Number 2: DeepBlueMarket vs. GShelper – This is a tie between two sites – and the reason for this is so I don’t be completely bias and not include GSHelper to the list.
GShelper is well filled with content of all sorts’ goodies and a nice clean design, the exact same concept as GSanimator actually. They are run by a group of members, mostly consisting of moderators (Don’t get me started). A bit history of GShelper – First set up by T-shirt-booth as a place were people could get help and on the side buy advanced templates. Hence the name GShelper. It was later sold and bought by someone else, and then sold to a group partnership. Pretty much everyone who visits the forums knows of GSHelper – but for me it’s not for the right reasons. GShelper has been part of some sneaky advertising and money gaining methods over the year – from providing and posting free* help videos – yet by free they meant $1 to download the file to announcing WIP of games that turned out to be templates. This edges on my bias side here so I wont go into detail.
GShelper also opened its arms to other Vendors to sell on their site, which dramatically increased their content. As a result, you will not find as many regular updates by the GShelper staff themselves.
Overall GShelper isn’t known for nothing. It brings clones and cool ideas to the table – it offers services and customer support (Don’t get me started). Is it a site I see being popular next year – no. Is it a site that has a lot of work to do to maintain its customer loyalty – Yes. Either way if for some crazy reason you haven’t been over to GShelper, you might want to do that now. But don’t expect to download any free demos without having to make an account – then having to fill out your details every-time for each download. And just a note of caution that I fell for – when you make an account and you say NO to the newsletter – when you make a download it will automatically tick it for you so make sure you un-tick that every time you download something. Just another indication of their sneaky methods. I should also note, that one or two staff are friendly as anything while others board on the line of rude and unpleasant.
DeepBlueMarket: Can only be defined as the Go to Market Place Alternative for Game Salad Market Place. Primary designed for Vendors only it has attracted a large amount of templates. The same vendors on other sites like the Game Salad market or GSHelper market also offer their templates on DeepBlueMarket. My biggest advice is to visit this site for PRICE COMPARRISONS – what is offered on other sites for $50 is often sold for $20-30 on DBM. Do your research before buying from the Sites that have vendors.
There isn’t too much to say about this except it covers multiple SDK templates which is great if your starting with Game Salad and plan on moving up to more complex engines. My only issue with this is the number of same style templates being offered – It may drive price competition but it shows a lack in quality review system of what gets approved and what doesn’t. My concern is that it could be filled up with a lot of Rubbish.
**Number 1 – DeepBlueApps **– I don’t need to say too much on this one – chances are you have heard of it – heard of a guy called Darren or took the time to read their disputes with Forum Mods. Either way you can’t seem to not like these guys. The main reason is for the great style templates on offer. They are not clones – granted some are close but add a unique twist – every gameplay is great and spend their main focus on pushing the limits with Game Salad. With several years experience it is expected that they have great coding and notes and excellent customer support. They advertise over 50 free demos and every now and then have a free template sale. If you’re looking to buy – buy here. It’s that simple. The downside to DBA is that if your looking for apps to publish chances is several people already have before you. Also user must beware of the terms and conditions in regards to artwork and sounds. But like I said I don’t need to day too much.
Enjoy – I know this post wasn’t as professional or well backed up as my previous posts as I am under the weather. In another Six months I will have a full report of each template site and will go into detail about my experience and opinions on each, including customer support - the coding of the templates - and sneaky things you need to watch out for. Until next week – all the best with development.
Next Weeks topic – Is buildBox a threat? :P