If you haven't noticed, I haven't been the biggest fan of GameSalad lately. However, I was watching the progress of the software. I was looking for something that would reignite the enthusiasm that I once had. I'm thinking that other developers must have felt the same way, because GameSalad launched "Community Love Week". From March 26-30, GameSalad showed their appreciation for game developers. It was cute, but the highlight of the week for me was the release of GameSalad 0.9.92.
Here's a list of the new features...
- Game Center Achievements (Pro Feature Only)
- Fully integrated Apple’s GameCenter Achievements
- Twitter Tweet Sheet (Pro Feature Only)
- Provide user with tools to create a game with the ability to publish a game with Twitter posting functionality to be utilized by end user.
Wow, GameSalad finally added Game Center Achievements. Two of those new features are listed as "Pro Feature Only". Fortunately, GameSalad decided to lower the price of a Pro subscription. It's now $299 a year. That's still kinda pricey, but more competitive with similar software. As an example, I've spent $199 on StencylWorks. $149 for iStencyl and $50 for branding free Flash games. Considering that HTML5 and Android publishing is not yet available with Stencyl, one could argue that $299 is a reasonable price. This is especially true when compared to Corona, which is $349 a year for both iOS and Android publishing.
So right now, GameSalad is sitting pretty. That's especially true when looking at the bug fixes. Here's the one that stood out for me...
- Sound Issues on most new devices (Kindle Fire exempted). Sound delays fixed on most new devices (excluding Kindle Fire)
The sound delay issue rendered GameSalad's Android Publishing useless for me. Now that it's fixed, I'm wondering if I should revisit my GameSalad projects. Although, I recently decided to abandon App Store publishing. Instead of giving Apple and Google 30%, I figured out an alternative. Unfortunately, such great improvements to GameSalad arrived a little too late.
There's still one major issue with GameSalad that causes me to hesitate — HTML5 publishing. Last I checked, the games would be hosted on the GameSalad website. That doesn't work for me. I like how StencylWorks handles it. I don't have to upload my games to Stencyl.com. Even though I spent $50 for branding free Flash games, that service appears to be unlimited for me. (I was an early adopter.) I'm not sure if I want to go back to GameSalad. But with a week of good news for GameSalad, I've been rethinking the longterm strategy for Photics.com.
So, the competition is heating up. And ultimately, developers have better choices. GameSalad, Corona and Stencyl, they perform similar jobs — but they're very different tools. I'm glad to see that GameSalad is getting back into the game.