Dear Everyone: Learn GameSalad

Without GameSalad, I wouldn’t be working in games.

It’s not hyperbole, and what I’ve learned from this little 2D engine is just as valuable to marketers, execs, PR departments, and testers as it is to designers or devs.

I was introduced to GameSalad by a friend while teaching English overseas. GameSaladLogoForReleaseWhether we knew it or not, we had both left our respective homelands to figure out what we wanted to do with our lives when (if?) we went back. The isolation of ex-pat life leaves you with a lot of free time. We decided to spend some of it trying to make video games.

We’d both gotten our teaching gigs on the backs of our Arts degrees (take that, dad) which hadn’t prepared us for programming, or even creating assets. I think if we had found any other engine, things would have stopped right there. Instead, we started to learn.

GameSalad doesn’t let you code. You work with logic. You drag images and shapes onto the screen. They behave just like they would in a Word document. After one basic tutorial, I could make a little guy move and jump around. One more and I had high-scores, double-jumps, and collectibles. After my third session, I had a fully functional platformer.

It wasn’t going to get me any awards, but I walked away having learned something: making games is simple. That’s not to say it’s easy, but there’s no part of it that an average, motivated person can’t grasp. All games are just different combinations of logic and assets. GameSalad taught me that.

For that reason, I recommend it to anyone interested in working in games. GameSalad gives you the tight feedback loop you need to get your ideas down fast and have fun making stuff. Feedback is the lifeblood of the industry, and when you’re trying to figure out if the medium is right for you, it’s the most important thing there is.

– EFP

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