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State of GameSalad on 12-1-2016

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  • IceboxIcebox Posts: 1,483Member

    @adent42 Thanks for the update this is really interesting i love html5 ..

    I have last question regarding "html5 games" in the future , will the games still slow down for having functionality that are not necessary ? Is everything going to be processed through box2d ? or will it have more simplified physics model so we can get the best performance out of it. Cause I remember you told me this was the reason why html5 games are always behind. Hope you answer this one :)

    @RossmanBrothersGames Thanks for clarifying !

  • adent42adent42 Posts: 1,418Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    Here's my favorite HTML5 tool right now:

    http://www.piskelapp.com/

  • adent42adent42 Posts: 1,418Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee
    edited December 2016

    @RossmanBrothersGames yah, we're going to keep the current stuff going. The business goal with HTML5 is to be able to take advantage of the Chromebook market and reduce development cost. My personal goal is to make future development faster.

    Earlier this year, when I talked about how we want to build features that benefit everyone, I meant it.

    Because if you're successful, then it shows students they can be successful.

    And if we want to get better at covering more of the computer science curriculum, we're going to have to bring more power to the tool.

    I see a future with custom coded behaviors, an improved expression editor (in more places), easy collaboration, a version of the tool and engine that lets you control robots or integrate with IoT, and more.

    The speed that HTML5 will let us develop has got me super stoked, and I'm saying this unironically, because I'm too old to be a hipster.

  • adent42adent42 Posts: 1,418Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee
    edited December 2016

    @UncloudedStudio said:

    GameSalad started as a rapid prototyping tool, moved on to be an awesome way to make mobile games, and is now starting life as the best way to keep kids excited about learning computer science.

    This should have been stated with the educational push announcement.

    I did. The idea is that each of those steps is in addition to the last step.

    • We started as a prototyping tool, we're still good for that.
    • We're and awesome way to develop mobile games, and we still are.
    • And in addition to all of that, we're opening the platform to more people.

    Keeping quite for soo long while taking our money and then suddenly saying "we are doing this now, we don't need you anymore" you're basically giving the devs the finger.

    We're sorry for the confusion. We've been working on updates for quite some time, but as you can tell from the pace of updates, things kept getting harder and harder to fix. I believe we're working on one more update of the Windows tool to fix a bug related to the intercom button and we have an update of the Mac tool that has some really hard to fix bugs, but is mostly usable (ping @ForumNinja for a copy and the accompanying caveats).

    GameSalad was state of the art when it came out, but over time the code base is showing it's age.

    So instead of continuing to throw resources at it, we're going to try to dig ourselves out of our hole of tech debt and bring our ecosystem into the modern era. I know a few months is a long time to wait for that, but I believe it will be worth it.

  • RossmanBrothersGamesRossmanBrothersGames Posts: 658Member
    edited December 2016

    @adent42 said:
    @RossmanBrothersGames yah, we're going to keep the current stuff going.
    Earlier this year, when I talked about how we want to build features that benefit everyone, I meant it.

    Because if you're successful, then it shows students they can be successful.

    Thanks, thats really what I wanted to hear.

    It's also encouraging to hear you reiterate that you desire for the tool to be great for developers.
    And I think the fact you are working on those aspects on your own weekends is something there should some encouragement and thankfulness for. At least it proves me wrong that you don't entirely not care about us ;)

    @adent42 said:
    The idea is that each of those steps is in addition to the last step.

    • We started as a prototyping tool, we're still good for that.
    • We're and awesome way to develop mobile games, and we still are.
    • And in addition to all of that, we're opening the platform to more people.

    Great point to clarify. I too wondered what you meant by the original statement. As long as it is still Gamesalad's mission to be all three of those, I feel a bit better.

    Overall the lack of new features is a bummer, but I agree it was communicated that they wouldn't be coming.

    We haven't payed for those features, we pay for the current ones.

    I do think people have a right to be frustrated about things like: loading screen rotation, performance issues, and a lack of communication (and I would expect gamesalad to brainstorm how they can tackle these issues and do better)

    Overall though we haven't seen things we are currently paying for drop away. All the features still work, and you bet if a few months down the road IAP's stopped working or we couldn't fix our games we would put up a big stink to Gamesalad that would be justified, but I am seeing that doesn't seem to be what is going to be the issue.

    There is a good chance I will be learning other tools for larger projects, but if Gamesalad keeps its promises I will keep paying for the tool to use to update my 2 games I have made with it, and possibly use it for quick mobile titles or side projects I get an idea for. And who knows, if @adent42 is right, maybe in the long run this will make things much easier to update and we will see things like .exe and stuff, which would be really cool.

    I find myself not excited about Gamesalad's current situation, but not real frustrated either, as long as my current and past project continues to work on iOS for the years to come, I don't have much to complain about. And maybe someday I'll be to port them to steam or add features as gamesalad (hopefully) grows. Thanks @adent42

  • ChunkypixelsChunkypixels Posts: 1,113Member
    edited December 2016

    Completely awesome post from @Japster there..... pretty much sums it up.

    @adent42 surely getting rid of most of the coding staff, and ramping up on marketing and sales instead has been a bigger hit to your ability to support and update the software than most of the "excuses" your throwing out there.

    Also... disregarding and screwing over your current user base like this isn't going to look good to the educational sector... are they going to want to invest their limited budgets in a company/tool that changes its plans on a whim, and does huge u-turns every year...often with little regard for how it affects its customer base. They're going to want a honest, reliable tool chain that they can count on working across multiple years.... good luck to them on ever getting that.

    And taking GS to a web tool... from what your saying once you've actually done that, your going to kill off the current versions.

    So developers then have to risk working with a toolset that is not local to their machine, and is constantly at the risk of internet downage etc... so basically making developing with your tool even more flaky and a bigger risk than its ever been. You pitch it as solving lots of problems for us.... but it doesn't, it just adds more. Its a bad, bad idea...

    I don't see you ever taking the web version of GS past the current level of the Mac Creater. In fact, I suspect that it will end up being a dumbed down version, with many "unnecessary for education" elements either being removed, or never even being implemented.

    As a company, you ought to be ashamed of yourselves. Years of dishonesty, broken promises, and treating your customer base with scant disregard. All that won't simply wash away when you ditch the current developers in favour of the perceived educational cash cow.... your reputation as a company, and how you do business will always go with you.

    Shame on you...

  • JapsterJapster Posts: 672Member
    edited December 2016

    ...and @Chunkypixels, you've pretty much filled in the blanks I missed, and more besides. Absolutely 100% agree mate... Oh, and great point about reputation - personally, I'd be AMAZED if some of the educational sector interested parties haven't already visited the forums and seen some of the negative mood/interesting content/dissatisfaction, and really, just plain ignorance/apathy/lack of responses from GS, plus the lack of actual answers for months at a time (prior to the last few days, seemingly as a way-too-small band-aid for the rapidly volatile situation that looked about to go off, in terms of a mass of users voting with their feet (and wallets))

    I wish I didn't feel the way I do right now, but to be honest, what's better? - being taken in, believing things will change for the better when they seemingly never will, not really, or just saying 'you know, we're not mugs, and I'm through taking the BS at face value any more' - 3 years is long enough to be strung along repeatedly, and a year is WAY too long for app-killing bugs to STILL be in there... ...I'm already feeling like a sucker for thinking THAT was pretty important, and would be quickly fixed...

    An here's another thing - Windows native EXE support? - That at least would have been a MAJOR (MASSIVE) plus to balance up all this a bit - if we can make Mac executables, presumably using some embedded form of the Mac creator's nice and fast/smooth previewer functionality, and Windows Creator also does a great job at smoothly rendering your games now, then why is it SO hard to make Windows executables? - surely something similar could be done - a host, possibly encrypted, executable 'engine' with the game embedded? - I really, REALLY cannot understand why this is just another thing left to die at the side of the road(map)... ...Oh, wait... I can. Subs are still coming in okay regardless, and hey, it's not that important for the educational push (what with them mainly being Chromebooks and browser-based), so why spend time and effort implementing it for the paying PRO users to help make their subscription that bit more worthwhile/better value/help pay the bills?

  • lycettebroslycettebros Posts: 1,598Member, PRO

    It's all a bit depressing really.
    I remember the excitement finding GS and the good times it brought (GoTM), the kooky apps we made and the endless frustration.
    I will let the subscription lapse and go into lurker mode - come back every now and then to see if it is still afloat or in case a miracle happens.

    Good luck with the education plan. I have my doubts. The web tool sounds promising.

    Thanks for the fun.

  • stragstrag Posts: 546Member, PRO

    @adent42 Thanks for finally offering a bit more clarity.

    I agree with @BigDave that as long as a stable version is maintained with advertising sdks updated etc then it is still a viable tool.

    The critical question for me now is, do you plan to maintain a stand alone version or do you expect everyone to migrate to the online version? This is of huge importance for me as when our internet goes down, as it often does, I will not be able to work.

    My subs last until mid next year, and as I said before I will check out the other engines in the new year. Hopefully though things will improve round here as I have grown to love this tool and would like to carry on with it.

  • ClockClock Posts: 308Member
    edited December 2016

    Guys! Just go to search drag and drop engine on google. You won't regret leave gamesalad. They have everything you were asking for. Or even better.

    Since they talked about "Graduated" And this engine is solely for different market. I guess i can talk about other engine here. Why? because other engines are for different market as well. So no conflict, and I am not advertising here.

    Theres a new engine released not long ago, Its call GameMaker Studio 2. This one seems promising and its quite advance but its not easy to learn. Its good for the long run.

    Stencyl is somewhat similar to gamesalad. Its very easy to pick up. In my opinion, its much better. They have everything you guys ask for. Better collisions and Easy organize. Ui is super neat and handy. Check it out.

  • adent42adent42 Posts: 1,418Key Master, Head Chef, Executive Chef, Member, PRO GameSalad Employee

    I'll let more commentary happen over the weekend before responding more extensively, but for offline use we're going to explore having an offline Chrome App or wrapping the HTML5 tool in a wrapper like Atom.io or LightTable.

    We're going to start with the online tool since that makes it easier to update as we develop it (and works well for the schools we're targeting), but as someone pointed out, some schools work offline. So we'll need to either allow users to cache the tool on the browser or bundle the tool for offline use.

  • jamie_cjamie_c ImagineLabs.rocks Posts: 5,549Member

    ...* Consolidate the codebases, which will make future updates easier.

    • Be built with a lot of your requested features in mind, so that things that would be difficult to add to Creator will be a lot simpler to implement in the web tool.
    • Have improved workflow...

    I see, so once the web version is complete, that will be the only version. That will certainly make maintaining it easier as there will only be one version. Certainly will also help with the lessons, tutorials, documentation, etc.

    I can't imagine using a web based tool as my main tool for anything, game development or otherwise. But I'll certainly give it a chance and try it out once it's live. I'd like to be able to maintain my current crop of games with the web tool once it's complete. In the mean time I'll still have to add another tool to my tool box.

    Hope it works out as expected for you.

  • IceboxIcebox Posts: 1,483Member

    I think this will no longer attract hobbyists or developers ( i might be wrong) . But it will be good for education . It will turn out to be another scratch software where kids(if they can afford it ) make fast games and share it with each other. But for developers and hobbyists , who would want to put their money on a web tool when they can get upgraded versions of other drag and drop engines. I'm not against it though, if it will get you more funding and fulfil your future plans then great, wish you the best with it :)

    Anyway I just cancelled my subscription and wanted to thank the community for being so great and helpful all this time , good luck everyone and good luck gamesalad !

  • RossmanBrothersGamesRossmanBrothersGames Posts: 658Member
    edited December 2016

    @Hopscotch said:
    I agree with @BigDave. Despite all its limits and failings, GameSalad is still a viable tool in its current state.

    Yep, agree. Though I may move to another tool after my current game, I still want to use gamesalad to maintain projects and for smaller mobile-only games I have ideas for.

    @Hopscotch said:

    It is the subtle advantages of GameSalad which make the community so passionate, loyal and aggressively frustrated that the company has not realized its potential. Where could GameSalad be today if it had more "luck/love/direction"?

    Great point. Hopefully this luck comes. With more and better supported publishing options (steam, google play services, console) more users would be drawn and students who learn it in school would be more likely to keep using it if they aspire to be indie developers.

    @Hopscotch said:

    Just look at some of the other forums, one post every other day, all unanswered. Compare it to the unruly mob on this site!

    I've noticed this as well. My hope is it doesn't die off while gamesalad gets things back on its feet.

  • PhilipCCPhilipCC Encounter Bay, South AustraliaPosts: 1,390Member
    edited December 2016

    @adriangomez said:
    Before everybody goes I want to mention a few unrelated things:
    1. Tizen is paying 10K for each app every month that is in the top 100 from Feb to November next year.
    2. It is very easy to add ads to the Tizen output that GameSalad produces. I plan to put a video up.
    3. I don't see any of the loading bugs people talk about on Tizen. Other than Unity I don't know of any other game engine that produces Tizen apps.

    This is all to say let us put some GameSalad up on Tizen and make some money. :-)

    Thank you so much for this App intel.

    I don't pay any attention to Tizen, or anything that's not iOS for that matter... maybe I have blinders on! :s

    You have given me a goal, objective, reason... or justification to persist with GS for the time being.

    @ForumNinja and @adent42

    Will support for Tizen continue?

    This may just throw a few of us a bone to gnaw on while we assess how GS plans for 2017 are going. @adriangomez said: > This is all to say let us put some GameSalad up on Tizen and make some money. :-)

  • vikingviking Posts: 322Member, PRO

    So, after messing around with my project this weekend I found an "acceptable" work-around for the frickin' rotating loading screen bug. I added a loading screen in a separate scene and changed all my pre-load image attributes to false in my main gameplay scene. (Yes, I have a one scene game to avoid the issue of slow loading between scenes.)

    Originally, with one scene and no loading screen my game would load with a black screen for 9 seconds, which was unacceptable. 90% of free to play customers would abort the loading after 5-6 seconds and uninstall the game. Now I have 4 seconds of black screen before my simple loading scene display the game logo, the text loading and copyright text before it loads the next scene. It then loads for another 6 seconds for a total of 10 seconds on my iPhone 6s, which is slow, but tolerable.

    Just a thought in case a lot of other people are having the same problem when they remove the loading image altogether.

  • DigiChainDigiChain Posts: 1,216Member, PRO

    I also agree with @BigDave , as it stands Gamesalad is a great tool with which you can make a good income as a developer.
    My main concern is that Gamesalad stays true to its word and continues to maintain the Ad network SDKs, and also any necessary updates for the supported app stores.

    @Hopscotch raises this important question too which could effect future game performance:
    will the future published games also be HTML5 in a wrapper?
    @adent42 could you comment on whether this is likely to be the case?

    Personally I’ve invested far too much in Gamesalad (over the past 5 years) to walk away right now and will certainly be keeping up my membership to update and maintain all the games I have made so far.

    It does seem a bit foolish to start any new large projects with GS though - so unfortunately it seems like I’ll be looking at other game engines for any larger projects.

  • KnightStarKnightStar Posts: 162Member
    edited December 2016

    I think the biggest concerns I see with this new direction GS is taking is the number of unanswered (and possibly not considered) questions.

    HTML5 is a dicey venture at best - I can see how it is useful for chrome book platforms but its still not there yet (hence the sheer number of games and apps made withi HTML5 -- /sarc).

    Additionally, the idea of having everything stored in the cloud is not really smart - so many scenarios involve not having solid or consistent internet connections. Not to mention, some people who use GS for business and clients want more local control of source code and assets. A SMART workaround would be to make online storage and source control be OPTIONAL. Chromebooks all have USB ports that can use thumb drives and some have SD card slots for local storage as well.

    The things that concerns me more than anything else is the goofy notion that GS is going to somehow be a profitable and viable venture for the Education market to begin with for customers above and beyond the High School level. I'm a 20+ game industry vet whose worked at companies like Activision, THQ, and a number of console and mobile Development studios; not a one uses GameSalad. Additionally, while GameSalad has its awesome features, not a one really truly preps someone for the transition to a mainstream game studio. (And before someone says Game Design and/or logical thinking, Minecraft, custom levels from Star Craft II or an FPS will get you further in the door at a Studio more than anything else)

    That said, I continue to watch & wait patiently and operate on a month to month basis while also working with Unity and eying Game Maker Studio 2..

    -- J

  • hybridhybrid Posts: 183Member, PRO

    im worried about that, that the focus its only on educational now, you can read it in the las comment of @adent42 , when someone ask about the offline functionality.

    @adent42 said:
    We're going to start with the online tool since that makes it easier to update as we develop it (and works well for the schools we're targeting), but as someone pointed out, some schools work offline. So we'll need to either allow users to cache the tool on the browser or bundle the tool for offline use.

    He answer that the offline options will be there because some schools work offline. Not because Us need more the offline option. We didnt ask if schools need the offline. Thats whats make me think that things that dont are educational related will be put aside, in most of they explanations they always said: Yes we will do that because school needs it... They dont said because You need them.

    @adent42 said:
    Because if you're successful, then it shows students they can be successful.

    I want to be confident that if i invest more time in gamesalad they will be adding and fixing things that are important to our games. Yes, now we still have ads and everything.. but if later this year the standard jumps from video rewards to another thing? like they did from static to videos, from videos to video rewards... and then we found that we wont get that new cool thing?

    now we can say, it doesn't matter, we still have the old stuff... but i dont think we will said that when we dont get those new things everyone else will have.

    its just what i think will happen, if everything they told us are justified only because school need it.

  • vikingviking Posts: 322Member, PRO

    @adent42

    +1

    If so, how will that work for publishing on other platforms?

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