Want to Make Games? GameSalad Makes It Easy

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Users looking for an easy way to build mobile and web gaming applications, limited knowledge of coding needed.

Not for

Users looking to build non-gaming mobile or web applications.

 
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$19 - $29/month
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Free trial
 
$19 - $29/month
 

1-month contract

 
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  • Pro - $29/month, able to monetize apps

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Client Interview
Jan 21 2015

Mobile Gaming Application Development

4.5

Features: 
3.0
Ease of use: 
5.0
Support: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
the reviewer
 
$250 - $1,000/yr. spend
 
Gaming
 
1-10 Employees
Owner, Mobile Game Development Company
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The client is an owner of a small business that produces mobile gaming templates. Using GameSalad, this client increases the time of development and acceptance into the app stores. This client is very satisfied with GameSalad and extremely impressed with how fast their product enables the user to deliver a final product from the initial idea.

BACKGROUND

Can you please provide a brief description of your company and the role that you play there?

We specialize in providing templates for mobile games. I am the owner of the company. Our clients are typically unfamiliar with the process of building and submitting an application to the App Store, we provide a template or a base for someone to build on. We also provide a service to upload your completed game to the App Store as well, in order to help meet the changing app store requirements.

What is the name of your app, and what is its main purpose?

At this point, we have built quite a few games and apps, the latest one is a math-based puzzle game.

How would you describe your app development skill level, such as beginner, some coding experience, expert, and so on?

I’m not professionally trained. I’m self-taught. I would classify my skills around the high intermediate to expert level.

OPPORTUNITY/CHALLENGE

What was the business challenge your company was facing that incited the need for a mobile application, and what was the business goal that you were hoping to accomplish?

The largest challenge we were facing was trying to get to market as soon as possible. The feature-set that GameSalad provides, the drag-and-drop system, seemed to be the fastest way to get from concept to published application. That’s why GameSalad was our software of choice.

SOLUTION

Did your company have a formal selection process for deciding on a mobile app development software? Was your company considering other software or possibly a mobile app development service provider?

I was doing some research at the time. There were a few other options around, and I was considering about five other products. GameSalad had the right price point and features that I was looking for.

Did you initially begin with the software’s free version or trial period? What pricing plan does your company currently utilize?  

We started off using the free version. Within a few months I felt comfortable using the software, and I upgraded to the pro version.

When was the application published and to which application stores?

[It was on] Google Play, Amazon App Store, and iOS App Store.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any success, metrics, or overall results of your application since publication?

This is my sole source of income. I provide for myself and my family using this software, so I would say that is a great success metric.

Were there any software features/tools that you were impressed by, which potential buyers should be aware of?

Just the speed of development, that in itself is worth the price of admission. To get from an idea to an actual prototype GameSalad is unbelievably fast. That is their greatest strength.

Looking back, were there any areas of the software that you felt were not intuitive or that you feel could be improved upon?

The one thing that comes to mind is that their development time to bring new features into the product is very slow. I understand why this is and that is because of how much work is involved to break coding language down to its simplest form.

OVERVIEW

We have a few quick questions, and for each question, we ask you to rate the software on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. What would you give the software for quality of features available?

Three.

What you give the software for ease of use in the development process?

Five.

For support, as in responsiveness, communication, and resources available?

Four.

For cost, as in value for your money and the time dedicated to development?  

Five.

For overall usability and satisfaction with the software?

Four and a half

How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague?

Five. I already have recommended them a ton.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 3.0 Features
  • 5.0 Ease of Use
  • 4.0 Support
  • 5.0 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
Jan 22 2015

DIY Mobile App Development - Educational Purposes

4.5

Features: 
4.0
Ease of use: 
4.5
Support: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
the reviewer
 
$250 - $1,000/yr. spend
 
Education
 
11-50 Employees
Educator and IT Specialist, Primary Education
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The client is an educator and information technology specialist. This client utilizes GameSalad as an instruction tool for his middle school students, in addition to building recreational games himself. This client is very satisfied with GameSalad and is impressed with the ease of use for such a powerful platform.

BACKGROUND

Can you please provide a brief description of your company and the role that you play there?

I’m an educator in the San Francisco Bay area. I’m also the IT [information technology] specialist for the school. I use GameSalad with my students.

What is the name of your application and what is its main purpose?

That’s difficult for me to answer, in the sense that I don’t do a lot of publishing of apps. More so, I assist my students with building apps for various school projects.

How would you describe your app development skill level, such as beginner, some coding experience, expert, and so on?

My level of technical expertise is moderate. I do work in IT, so I’m very familiar with different software programs, hardware platforms, and things like that. I have a small amount of application programming experience from college. I’ve done some piecemeal programming here and there.

I was new to the drag-and-drop aspects. I think my coding background helped me understand the logic and flow of it, but I was new to learning how to program with GameSalad.

OPPORTUNITY/CHALLENGE

What was the business challenge your company was facing that incited the need for a mobile application and what was the business goal that you were hoping to accomplish?

In my role as a teacher and a technology integrator at my school, I’m always looking for the best tools for my students, and for people in general, to learn how to code and understand computer science concepts. We’ve used a lot of tools, from scratch to online programming tutorials and engines, and nothing quite fit or worked for our students.

It’s not that hard to find software that is easy to use for programming, but those can’t do much. It’s not hard to find very powerful software for game design, but they are extremely difficult and have huge learning curves. I needed powerful software but with a small learning curve. I figured it was an impossible task to find something that was both. Then, when I stumbled across GameSalad, I actually had a colleague suggest that I check it out, I was really pleased and excited. It was something where you could sit for an hour and actually make something work. You could make something interactive, something you could play on a mobile device. It was a natural fit for my students, and they do really well with it. They enjoy it, and they don’t find it too challenging. They can make something they’re proud of, and that resembles some of their favorite games. It’s been a great tool.

What app platforms did you want to build an app for? Did it matter to your business whether the app was a hybrid or native app?

We build games for iOS.

SOLUTION

Did you initially begin with the software’s free version or trial period? What pricing plan does your company currently utilize?  

I use the pro version as an instructor, and I’ve taken advantage of the educator discounts, which have been great. The students use the free version, and the games don’t ultimately get published. It’s more of a learning process for them.

About how long in terms of hours would you approximate it initially took to have an app ready for publication?

I teach a class that runs for 14 class periods, roughly 12 hours. In that time, the students can make a game that is ready to be published.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any success, metrics, or overall results of your application since publication?

For me, it’s a tool that combines really easy-to-use features with a lot of powerful features. The developers update it quite frequently, so there are a lot of new features that come into it. There’s an incredible community of users that fill the forms with both questions and answers, demonstration files, templates, and feature requests. It’s very active and supportive. For new users who are just using it for the first time, they’re able to get a lot of information quickly and get up to speed because of that.

You can’t underestimate the value of the support community and what it brings to the product. It’s a great product, but it also has a wealth of support and resources available to people. I know that I can just jump right on this tool and prototype or build the game that I have in my imagination quickly, and that’s really exciting, to see something in play that I just dreamed up. Through the years, I’ve found that with other tools development takes a long time. With GameSalad, it comes pretty easily, it’s comfortable, and has a lot of different feature sets. I can make what I want out of it, and have it be something I’m proud of.

Were there any software features or tools that you were really impressed by and of which potential buyers should be aware?

GameSalad is coming out with a new cross-platform product that will have a lot more sophisticated and powerful features, as well as support for direct scripting. That’s something I’m looking forward to, and something that new and experienced users of Game Salad would be likely to use because of its mix of ease of use and the power of more sophisticated features that people want.

Looking back, were there any areas of the software that you felt were not intuitive or that you feel could be improved upon?

There’s not a lot that my students find consistently challenging with Game Salad. Like any other product, there is a learning curve certainly, but that learning curve tends to be a lot shorter and less steep than other tools and products. I think there are advanced features that users have asked for, for some time, and they haven’t been added most likely because they’re hard to implement. I can understand why they’re not part of the product yet, but I think some users get frustrated by having to wait for those things when they see them in other tools.

FEATURES

Can you speak to the available development tools, such as templates or drag and drop? Were they intuitive and easy to use?

GameSalad has built-in templates, and they’re useful for learning basic things like platformer movement, targeting systems, or different types of basic games. The community itself provides a ton of different templates and demos that are often free and also available for purchase. These are a great way to learn some very powerful things very quickly. The fact that it’s drag and drop can turn people off in the sense that they think it will be simple and limited, and it’s not at all. It’s not a limiting software. Many times on the forums, people will ask, "Can you make this type of game with it?" The answer is pretty much always yes. There’s a lot of help from the community on the forums to help people figure it out. If you can dream it you can pretty much make it with GameSalad.

Although it’s drag and drop, there’s a lot of openness to the product. You can do a lot of things with variables, database structures, loops, if/then statements like with any programming language. But, the upside of GameSalad is, there is no scripting. It’s all self-contained in the things you drag in, and the ways you set up the order of your rules, and the layers, and so forth. It stays easy even when it gets complex, and that’s something I really like about it.

Can you speak to the content management system, how do you upload new data or make changes? Have you found the process simple and accessible?

When users want to publish their games, there’s a publishing server that’s basically built into the software. So you’re literally just clicking the publish button when you’re ready. When you’re ready, you download the file you need to upload to Apple, and it makes it on to the iOS App Store. It’s a pretty smooth process.

OVERVIEW

We have a few quick questions, and for each question we ask you to rate the software on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. What you give the software for ease of use in the development process?

Four and a half.

What would you give the software for quality of features available?

Four.

For support, as in responsiveness, communication, and resources available?

Four.

For overall usability and satisfaction with the software?

Four and a half.

How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague?

Five.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Features
  • 4.5 Ease of Use
  • 4.0 Support
  • 5.0 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
Jan 22 2015

DIY Application Development - Mobile Games

4.5

Features: 
4.0
Ease of use: 
5.0
Support: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
the reviewer
 
$250 - $1,000/yr. spend
 
Gaming
 
1-10 Employees
Proprietor, Mobile Game Development Company
John Mulcahy
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The client is John Mulcahy, an individual that produces mobile apps for gaming and learning purposes. This client utilizes GameSalad very extensively and has found the tool to meet his development needs. Mulcahy has been able to monetize his game development through the Apple, Amazon, and Google Play Stores. Mulcahy points to GameSalad's in game tracking tools as a reason for recommendation.

BACKGROUND

Can you please provide a brief description of your company and the role that you play there?

I’ve been developing my own games since early 2009, and I’ve been on my own since then.

What is the name of your application and what is its main purpose?

I use GameSalad to make mobile applications. Most of them are games, I’ve used it to create a couple of kids’ educational tools. I’ve created 20 games so far. If I find something I can do that’s not on the App Store, I make it and put it out there.

Please describe your role in the initial app development process and your current engagement with app development or content updates?

I do all the coding myself, and I attempt to do a lot of the artwork myself. When it comes to sound design, I usually outsource that to royalty-free websites.

How would you describe your app development skill level, such as beginner, some coding experience, expert, and so on?

I’ve been working in the computer industry for 11 years now. I was more on the IT [information technology] side of things, but I’ve always done programming on the side. I’m fairly decent in PHP, HTML, and Java.

OPPORTUNITY/CHALLENGE

What was the business challenge your company was facing that incited the need for a mobile application and what was the business goal that you were hoping to accomplish?

I didn’t have six months to learn a programming language to make an app. I found GameSalad in 2009, and I had a game ready to publish in six weeks. I was able to do everything in six weeks. It would have probably taken me two years if I had taken the time to learn the language. The rapid development that I was able to do was more than I’ve been able to do with anything else. I’m able to get my ideas down so much easier. I’m not wrestling with logic, formatting, or syntax.

For what app platforms did you want to build an app? Did it matter to your business whether the app was a hybrid or native app?

I’ve put apps on the Google Play store, Apple Store, and Amazon App Store. I’ve looked at doing the Windows Store, but GameSalad doesn’t officially support it. I’ve pretty much done them all.

SOLUTION

About how long in terms of hours would you approximate it initially took to have an app ready for publication?

You could throw a game together within hours, but my first for publication took me six weeks.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Were there any software features or tools that you were really impressed by, of which potential buyers should be aware?

I love the ability to save stuff. When I first started using it you couldn’t save anything, so anytime you stopped you had to start again from scratch. Soon after I started using it, they released the ability to save attributes, which opened up a whole world. A couple of years later they introduced tables, which is like saving stuff on a magnitude of 10. I was able to do so much more, and it was much more efficient. Last summer, they introduced a networking function where you can communicate with an outside server and, to me, which opens up an incredible amount of opportunity. You can track how often people play your game, how far they get in the game, and trends. You can even do multiplayer games. You can do a lot of neat stuff with GameSalad.

Looking back, were there any areas of the software that you felt were not intuitive or that you feel could be improved upon?

There are certain things I would like to have functioned a bit more uniformly, but the core mechanics are great. The one other thing I would love is more features quicker. They’ve been going through a restructuring during the past year to fix a lot of the problems, so they can build things quicker. I want to see things like push notifications and Facebook integration come on a monthly basis, and it seems updates comes on a quarterly basis now.

FEATURES

Can you speak to the available development tools?

It’s been great. I’ve been able to take concepts and get a prototype in a day. I’ve looked at other development kits, and I’ll spend a day just trying to get an image to display on the screen. It’s so much faster, and that’s great for me.

Can you speak to the content management system, how do you upload new data or make changes?

It’s very easy to make changes and updates. If I push out a game and find a bug, I can repush it back out in a couple of hours. In my experience, it’s quicker to do the update than dealing with the stores.

Are you satisfied with the social media, push notifications, and gamification integration options available?

They don’t support push notifications. I’m currently using an in-game push notification that lets people know if there’s an update to the game.

Does your app utilize any monetization features? Are you satisfied with the options available?

I have attempted to use free games with ads, and free games with in-app purchases. In my experience, I never saw enough justification to keep going down that path. I’ve been going with the straight paid app, and just charge a buck or two.

Have you found it necessary to consult any of the company’s available support resources? Was the support useful and accessible?

Support has been good. I haven’t had too many support issues through the years. I don’t remember the exact cause, but at one point I was communicating with one of their support staff and the issue I was experiencing was quickly resolved.

OVERVIEW

We have a few quick questions, and for each question we ask you to rate the software on a scale of one to five, with five being the best. What would you give the software for quality of features available?

Four.

What would you give the software for ease of use in the development process?

Five.

For support, as in responsiveness, communication, and resources available?

Four.

For cost, as in value for your money and the time dedicated to development?  

Five.

For overall usability and satisfaction with the software?

Four and a half.

How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague?

Five.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Features
  • 5.0 Ease of Use
  • 5.0 Support
  • 5.0 Willing to Refer