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GameSalad 0.9.90: Tables & In-App Purchase

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In our Year in Review: 2011 Post, our CEO Steve Felter announced the upcoming additions of our top community feature requests. We are happy to announce today the inclusion of both Tables and iOS In-App Purchase in GameSalad Creator with the launch of GameSalad 0.9.90 Beta.

We believe that this release will help bring GameSalad closer to a more complete and robust feature set which will aide developers in creating more powerful, sophisticated, and profitable game play experiences. 

The first significant feature addition to GameSalad 0.9.90 is tables integration. Utilizing tables will allow GameSalad developers a powerful and efficient way to access large amounts of data. Currently, the most efficient way to organize large amounts of data is to use long lists of actor-specific, scene-specific, and game wide custom attributes. With tables, many of these values could be accessible in a single spreadsheet or table and thus greatly reduce the size of logic stacks. 

Tables can either be created within GameSalad Creator or imported from CSV files. Internally, we have tested importing CSV files from Microsoft Excel, Open Office, Apple Numbers, and Google Docs Spreadsheets. 

For this first iteration, tables will be read-only at run-time. Meaning, under the current functionality during the run-time of the app, games will be able to access all the table’s data, but not write or over-write tables data. Static or read-only game data is data that is collected and incorporated into gameplay that will not be affected by player input or action. An example of this would be a table loaded with dictionary words designed to serve as a random word generating tool. In contrast, a read/write table could house persistent character stats. GameSalad plans to incorporate read/write tables as part of an upcoming feature expansion in a future release. For a detailed explanation of tables and best practices for them in GameSalad, check out our Tables Tutorial on GameSalad Cookbook. 

Also included in 0.9.90 release is the newest Professional feature of iOS In-App Purchase. This feature will allow Professional GameSalad developers to monetize their games by creating purchasing experiences within your application. Players can purchase both consumable and non-consumable additional game content for iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch games. Examples include bonus levels, maps, items, or full game unlocks. 

iOS In-App Purchase is not only a useful monetization tool, but when used correctly can be a powerful game mechanic. There are also a number of steps developers must take in order to set up the process on the Apple side, through iTunesConnect. For a detailed look at the set up process, as well as best practices for iOS In-App Purchase, please read our In-App Purchase Tutorial Walkthrough on GameSalad Cookbook. 

We are also pleased to announce that coinciding with this release, we will be offering a free webinar available to Professional GameSalad members. During this webinar, we will personally introduce you to the new 0.9.90 features. Our internal game development team, GameTeamOne, will walk you through new feature implementation, frequently asked questions, and known issues. 

The webinar will also give Pro users the option to propose questions during a live, moderated Q&A session with the GameSalad staff. The webinar will take place on Thursday January 19th at 11am CST. Later today, we will send out email invitations to all Pro GameSalad users. This email will contain a link to RSVP for the webinar. Our webinar software will allow for 100 Pro members to take part in the live webinar event. The event will be first come, first serve for the first 100 Pro members to join the event at 11am. 

We can't wait to see you there and hope you take part in this exciting opportunity to learn the new features directly from our talented and knowledgeable staff. 

On top of these two long-awaited features, GameSalad 0.9.90 also includes a number of fixes and improvements, helping us bring GameSalad even closer to the product we all want it to be. For detailed list of fixes, improvements, and features in GameSalad 0.9.90 Beta, please review our full Release Notes.

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