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GameSalad - You can't even buy it now

10-08-2010, 09:54 PM
#1
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 378
GameSalad - You can't even buy it now

It seems that the Gendai Games team is doing something significant. They've been unusually secretive, but something's clearly going on.

http://gamesalad.com/membership/pricing

The subscriptions for Pro and Express are gone. It has sparked a lot of speculation. Is the $1999 annual price for Pro going to change? Is Gendai Games merging with another company? Is the software coming out of beta?

I'm not sure exactly, but it is mysterious. Last night, some members of the Gendai Games team were at Times Square - Dave and Busters in NYC. It appears that something secretive was discussed and now the rest of the community is left to guess.

GameSalad is really good software, but there are some frustrating issues. Perhaps this next update will make it even easier to make iOS games.

Michael Garofalo - App Developer and author of The Unofficial GameSalad Textbook.
10-09-2010, 11:02 PM
#2
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Singapore
Posts: 98
Whatever it is, hopefully they address some of the huge performance issues.

I think it's fantastic that such a tool exists enabling non-programmers to create games. But speaking as a gamer and customer, I find the massive load times and performance issues for virtually all Game Salad games make them almost unplayable. I always feel a bit cheated when I purchase a game, discover huge load/performance issues, and then find out it was developed with Game Salad.

10-12-2010, 07:05 AM
#3
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 378
Quote:
Originally Posted by miiifan View Post
Whatever it is, hopefully they address some of the huge performance issues.
That's one of the reasons why the next update is so interesting. It's supposed to have improved performance... both with the client and I think the games themselves too. Heh... the waiting continues.

Not all GameSalad games are slow loaders though... Arcade Action loads in about 3 seconds on my iPhone 4... a normal amount of time for a splash screen to be displayed.

Also, there are some other GameSalad developers out there that do a nice job with GameSalad. There are some optimizations tricks to get better performance.

I haven't tried it, but I've been reading good things about The Secret of Grisly Manor. Bumps is also well built and Tshirtbooth is a popular GameSalad developer.

Michael Garofalo - App Developer and author of The Unofficial GameSalad Textbook.
10-12-2010, 09:07 AM
#4
Joined: Feb 1983
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 1,268,691
Quote:
Originally Posted by Photics View Post
That's one of the reasons why the next update is so interesting. It's supposed to have improved performance... both with the client and I think the games themselves too. Heh... the waiting continues.

Not all GameSalad games are slow loaders though... Arcade Action loads in about 3 seconds on my iPhone 4... a normal amount of time for a splash screen to be displayed.

Also, there are some other GameSalad developers out there that do a nice job with GameSalad. There are some optimizations tricks to get better performance.

I haven't tried it, but I've been reading good things about The Secret of Grisly Manor. Bumps is also well built and Tshirtbooth is a popular GameSalad developer.
The problem is for every developer that knows how to make a quick-loading GameSalad game, it seems like there's 100 that don't. The Secret of Grisly Manor is really cool, but the amount of loading in that game makes absolutely no sense to me.
10-12-2010, 06:22 PM
#5
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Venice, CA
Posts: 790
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hodapp View Post
The problem is for every developer that knows how to make a quick-loading GameSalad game, it seems like there's 100 that don't. The Secret of Grisly Manor is really cool, but the amount of loading in that game makes absolutely no sense to me.
It's the engine, not the game makers.

Of course, the more assets you're trying to load, the longer it'll take.. but, I've made several (unreleased) projects with no actual art assets, just primitives from GS, and it still takes forever to change scenes, or even just load the game. Part of the problem on the initial load is that they don't even start loading assets until you've stared at the GameSalad logo for 3-5 seconds.

The engine is still highly un-optimized, seeing as they're in version .89, but they've made a lot of poor decisions with the code base, and now, today, with their company. Their new usage terms have effectively shattered their community.

So take solace Eli, you won't have to play GS games for much longer.

Last edited by mrWalrus; 10-12-2010 at 06:24 PM.
10-12-2010, 09:03 PM
#6
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: St-Hubert (Quebec), Canada
Posts: 133
It seems Gendai Games made some major announcement today about their shift.

http://gamesalad.com/blog/2010/10/12...game-designer/
http://venturebeat.com/2010/10/12/ga...h-iphone-apps/

I am quite curious to see how this gonna turn out. It could be good, but also scary as they are lowering the barrier of entry (mean more people to make game with GameSalad). It a double edge sword, yes its good as some good potential devs can join and bring some interesting game. But we can attract also annyone that will flood the AppStore (as if its not an already crowded place). It depend on how the publishing mechanism and fees gonna work.
10-12-2010, 09:29 PM
#7
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 618
I personally hope that GameSalad dies a quick death. The sooner, the better.

While I can think of one or two examples where developers put so much energy into a GameSalad game that it crossed the line into "decent" (being held back by the performance issues which plague the engine), the vast majority of GameSalad software is complete and utter garbage. The signal to noise ratio is easily upwards of 1:100.

I don't just dislike this as a gamer. As a developer, I feel my brothers in arms are getting ripped off by GameSalad. What they get is not really worth the money they pay. And for their time, energy, and money, their customers still have to stare at that fear-inspiring logo.

There have been a number of toolkits over the years to allow for "easy" game creation. A lot of them produce sub-standard results, but GameSalad is easily one of the worst I've seen.

(Coming soon from a GameSalad developer: Dodge the letters in this post!)

What do you get when you cross Robotron with Bomberman? - Coverfire HD
10-12-2010, 10:54 PM
#8
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Posts: 27
I had a good impression of Game Salad when I downloaded it but there was something about the UI that didn't make me want a game on their engine. It's unfortunate to hear that their games are that slow.
10-13-2010, 12:09 AM
#9
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Venice, CA
Posts: 790
It certainly is a hate/love fest with the engine.

In one regard, as long as you can understand simple programming logic, it allows you/anyone to create some interesting projects. The cost of using the engine however is serious performance issues. You literately can't make a game that's more than a single screen and expect to get more than 30 fps off of older devices. Even then, you better temper your expectations. I've personally shelved six projects with the engine in hopes of getting back to them once the performance side of things gets settled.

That said, I still had high hopes for being a one man game creation shop. However, with the new terms of usage however that has quickly melted away.