Tuesday, 11 October 2011

GameSalad prototyping results

The first product I looked to prototype was GameSalad. I have to be honest I entered into this with negativity as the little I knew of it it was aimed at those who weren't developers and as such felt it could be restrictive.

On downloading and then looking to make a quick start my initial thoughts were that the interface was very alien to me. I was crying out for a script editor but instead everything was drag and drop with parameters, property or attribute configuration.

I didn't find it that intuitive at first but after referred to the excellent GameSalad support site I was up and running in about an hour with the basic premiss of the test.

Based on my test criteria my findings were as follows:
  • The ability to add in new scenes and transition between them was relatively straight forward to setup
  • The dynamic creation of a box (or actor in GameSalad speak) was relatively challenging at first but then reading forums and working with the rules and attributes proved to be quite powerful
  • Basic conditional testing was straight forward enough but the lack of direct scripting and limited data types meant that transitioning and retaining time information was very cumbersome and probably accounted for half the time I took on the prototype
  • Logic to determine that boxes that fell outside the red box wouldn't be counted. Simple enough based ont the overlap or collision ruling of actors
  • Each instance of a box and the resultant collision detection was well managed and wrapped up. Being a physics novice this allowed me to achieve some relatively realistic results in a matter of minutes
  • Again, game logic test was straight forward enough and sure with a little further investigation I could have come up with a neater solution

In summary, GameSalad achieved what I wanted it to do for the prototyping task n a relatively short space of time (no more than 6 hours from downloading to blogging). However, I certainly felt that its aimed at designers rather than coders in the similar way to when Adobe Flash first came on the market.

There is no discounting its capabilities and on my journey through this project I think I could achieve results very quickly, I do however questions its scope and complexity.

In terms of commercials while I could produce an app for free the cost of $499 per year for the more commercial / pro aspects of the product seem a little steep. The lack of In app purchase capabilities in the version I tested is a revenue barrier although I do understand that is on their roadmap.

Also the fact it is restricted to Apple devices and the web (no Android) restricts me which isn't necessarily a bad thing but something to consider.

Take a look at the youTube link below to see my efforts:

The next is Corona SDK ...


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