State of GameSalad on 10-26-2016
It’s been a little while and you guys are overdue for another update:
Teacher Dashboard: This was something that a mentioned in the last SoGS, and I’m happy to announce that since then it’s been pushed live to all our educators and we haven’t received any negative feedback! It’s worth mentioning that this was one of the most requested features teachers wanted (alongside curriculum).
GameSalad Curriculum: The new curriculum we've been building is nearly done, and we’ve still been receiving loads of positive feedback from educators.
It’s structured so that students learn important concepts while having fun building some tutorial games. The games range from a super basic maze game to a space themed platformer, and have detailed tutorial pdf’s to walk the students/teachers through how to build the games as well as introduce them to the different computer science concepts and how they’re utilized in GameSalad.
In addition to the pdf’s, there’s a set of videos that cover each part of each unit for students that fall behind, or in case people prefer watching videos to reading.
Update 1.25.x: I still don’t have a precise date for this release, though I do have an important heads up. It’s come to our attention that some of the changes to make this build work cause GameSalad to not function properly on OS X Mavericks (10.9). This is due to some of the updated commands that we’re using that Mavericks doesn’t have support for.
To fix this would be a large headache and take a lot of time, so we will be dropping support for OS X Mavericks in this new build. Those who are still using Mavericks will need to update their OS, or stay on this current GameSalad version.
As some of you may have read recently, our new education focus has been doing well for us and we received some more funding recently (hooray!).
Increasing Staff: One of the most obvious things we need to do is increase the number of people we have so we can cover more ground. If you’ve looked at our jobs page recently, then you’re already aware that we have open positions for an Inside Sales Rep, a Director of Sales, and a Customer Service Rep (I believe the Inside Sales position has already been filled).
Product: The next large product plan we have is a web version of GameSalad. This is very important for the education focus, as a ton of schools use Chromebooks, and without Chromebook support, they’re completely out of our reach.
As for increasing the amount of development resources we have, we’re noodling a few different options, though we haven’t come to a decision as of yet.
That’s all I have for the update for now, though there is one unrelated thing I’d like to mention. There’s a library that is running a class and is looking for a GameSalad developer who is available to Skype in and talk to the kids about game development and assist with project troubleshooting (this would be a paid gig).
More details are below, but if you’re interested, shoot me a PM and I can get you in touch with them!
I am looking to have them Skype into the lab space we are creating. They will be able to use the screen share feature of Skype to work with the students and what they see in front of them.
Their role will be to help guide the students through some of the ins and outs of video game design, provide editorial feedback from someone who has experience in the video game design industry, instruct the students as a whole group on any special techniques or coding skills needed to help move the game along, and to individually troubleshoot with the students issues with the functionality of their game.
I want the developer to come in after the students have a fair to good amount of exposure to GameSalad and its curriculum.
I am anticipating somewhere between 30 and 40 hours will need to spent with the students.
In terms of availability I would need to have the developer have a general availability during the hours of 3:30 and 5:30 Pacific Time on Wednesdays and Fridays. We can work with schedules and arrange things in advance, but if those hours are consistently occupied with other work, then a developer would not be of much use to us.
Part of the overall purpose hiring a developer to work with the students is so that they can get some professional feedback from someone with industry experience on their projects. This project is about building life long skills, and access to someone in the game industry is an important part of making these skills ‘stick’ and be impactful in the lives of the students.