Playmaker Forum

Playmaker News => General Discussion => Topic started by: Jelvooo on November 08, 2017, 07:12:25 AM

Title: Why Playmaker and not Bolt
Post by: Jelvooo on November 08, 2017, 07:12:25 AM
Recently Bolt has came out, I want to buy Playmaker or Bolt. I really don't know what to choose. I like Bolt more because it is a lot more user friendly. But Playmaker has third party API's such as multiplayer and Bolt doesn't. Help me decide :P.
Title: Re: Why Playmaker and not Bolt
Post by: krmko on November 08, 2017, 09:28:26 AM
Longer in development, larger community, lots of actions for most popular 3rd party assets.
Title: Re: Why Playmaker and not Bolt
Post by: djaydino on November 08, 2017, 12:29:24 PM
I actually learned c# thanks to playmaker!
When i started to use unity i had very VERY little knowledge of coding.
So i started to learn my self c#.
A few months later, frustrated that many things i could not get to work...i saw Playmaker on the asset store!
I bought it, watched some tutorials and then everything went quick.
Project only took weeks to do instead of months.
In that time there were not so much custom actions yet, so i started to look into the code how things worked.
A week later i started to make my own custom actions for the community.

Now There is a lovely addon called Ecosystem with Lots of custom actions, packages and samples. you can simple search what you need and get it in your project.

I have not use bolt, but i checked out their video and information.
For small projects in might be ok, but for bigger project definitely Playmaker.
Their comparison is a bit deceiving and inaccurate.

Maybe the starting learning phase is a bit harder than bolt, but i do not think that playmaker is less user friendly.

Playmakers forum is also very active and friendly which is a +
and easier to overview.

Playmaker has lots of user made tutorials.
And Playmaker is cheaper! (only like 5 bucks but still  :P )
Title: Re: Why Playmaker and not Bolt
Post by: jeanfabre on November 08, 2017, 11:50:07 PM

User Friendly is difficult to assess if you haven't actually used the assets. PlayMaker is going to get the job done far quicker than any other visual scripting for a very good reason, it is not a visual scripting tool ! ... :)

There is a huge misunderstanding with this, PlayMaker is first and foremost a Finite State Machine, and the thinking process is totally different than scripting ( visual or not), so with PlayMaker you never take a line of code and turn it visual as such, you need to understand what it does and think about how to do it from a finite State Machine point of view, it's a paradigm shift in design patterns.

The visual aspect comes from wiring together the states and Finite State Machines components on each GameObjects. That's all.

Also, PlayMaker actions are not just wrappers for each Unity Api function, or property, it provides a lot more and as such makes production a lot faster as a result, typically, to move an object, you are presented with a lot of options, all combined intuitively in one action.

It all comes down to testing them solution for real, Unfortunatly it means purchasing it, hopefully one day, PlayMaker will be offering a trial version.

Bolt will likely resonnate big in Unity Community, it is indeed very well executed, they currently are both the top grossing asset, which tells a lot about the need for Visual Scripting inside the Unity community. So here it will really be a question of feeling, I think both are totally viable solution, but as Kurt mentionned, PlayMaker is battle tested and has been around for 6 years now, HutongGames is also aggressivly investing back your money into support to make sure you are not left on your own for learning. Basically, PlayMaker is here to stay, new tools come and go, some make it, some simply fade off after a year or two. It doesn't look like bolt is going that way tho, proper effort seem to go for this tool and it's good.

The other thing to be aware of is that Unity is likely going to come up one way or the other with its own visual scripting, and I know why they haven't committed yet, because they are facing a very difficult choice:

either you use an all around solution like Bolt and Kismet ( visual scripting for unReal Engine), but you rely on either code reflection which is bad for perfs or generated code, which sucks and also has perfs impact and limitations, or you go the PlayMaker way, where each api is wrapped around a regular script, and you leave the visual aspect for handling the high level communication between these actions. The downside is that you need to constantly support new api and new features for non coders ( PlayMaker has reflection in some actions to let you access new stuff, but it;'s generally not recommended, ask us for a custom action instead).

Remember that PlayMaker visual scripting tools is not just for non coders. I can do everything by code, yet I use PlayMaker for 100% of my personal project and client's project, because I am faster with it then with pure scripting, I verify this everyday... It's quicker to write a custom action and reuse it over and over in various projects than writing the same lines of code many times and end up with duplicates of the same features in every projects of yours... PlayMaker helps with this tremendously.

Bottom Line, there is a chance Unity will come up with its own solution and its likely to look more like Bolt than Unity, because it's less risky for the market and a direct competitor for Kismet. PlayMaker is on a league of its own.

PlayMaker helps both world, you are non coder, fine, you are a code fine... with bolt, I don't see any coder getting into this because it's a one to one relation with regular scripting. PlayMaker brings on the table far more. I was at Unite last month, and the remarkable feedback that we got was that many developers would just stop by and thank PlayMaker for having helped us make it in the industry, they started without coding experience, then slowly started getting into scripting because it's not that hard and you start by writing simple custom actions, and after a while, you end up using PlayMaker and scripting combined and you litteraly reach the sweat spot, being totally empowered to do anything you want with Unity: fast and fun.

There is also the Ecosystem browser, which is a convenient In Editor browser for custom actions hosted online on various github repositories, giving you access to thousands of custom actions, samples and packages.



Title: Re: Why Playmaker and not Bolt
Post by: jeanfabre on November 08, 2017, 11:51:53 PM

also, on Multi Player, you are right, we are actively supported Photon, and we have a close relationship with them to make sure all goes well with PlayMaker integration, so ping me if you have questions on multi player, I am the one in charge with the multi player support :)


Title: Re: Why Playmaker and not Bolt
Post by: shadowof047 on December 29, 2017, 12:22:27 PM
Having used both of them I can assure you of these facts :
1- Playmaker is ALOT more user-friendly once you get the hang of it .

2- Bolt is ALOT less user-friendly when you use it and not seeing it from afar !

3- what took me 30 second in playmaker to do , took me about 5 minuets to do in Bolt , because most actions in playmaker are a collection of code , but you should do everything in bolt yourself .

4-In bolt , there is this thing called "super Unit" which essentially mimics a function call, which you can assign input/output to . it substancially helps you not to repeat your code , which unfortunately playmaker cant do .

5-In bolt , there is saved variables , which makes process of saving very easy.

6-Fuzzy finder in Bolt is a MESS ! 50% of the time , even if you know the exact name of the node , it wont find it for you .  so you should navigate where it is manually which takes alot of time .

7-Bolt tries to introduce itself as blueprint for unity . Having used blueprint and kismet for many years , i say it is the farthest thing from blueprint in unreal.(sidenote : Blueprint is the undisputeable king of visual scripting)

8- i never understood what they mean by "Native Feel " !?

9- In Bolt , there is a window for variables , one for input/output.where the hell should i dock all that ?!
Title: Re: Why Playmaker and not Bolt
Post by: tcmeric on December 29, 2017, 08:36:14 PM
I only played with bolt shortly, but with bolt it is visual coding. Ie, it still feels like you need to code. You still need to understand unity API to know what you want to do. You are just puting together your code without writing words.

Playmaker is different. So far I have no desire to change to bolt.

Many playmaker actions are more like code snippets. They execute more than one line of code per state.

I also have learned how to code c# because of playmaker (although I am still a beginner). It doesnt take too much coding skill to integrate (most) third party assets into playmaker with your own playmaker actions. 9 times out of 10, its just figuring out which method to call, or which variable you want to set or get. That being said, its mostly optional. Many people here have made tons of games without learning c#, using playmaker.
Title: Re: Why Playmaker and not Bolt
Post by: verybinary on January 08, 2018, 01:12:18 AM
I, personally, have no intention of even trying bolt. Playmaker has done everything I've wanted it to, and how I've wanted to do it since Unity 3.(4?).
I've briefly looked at bolt, and I'm not impressed. It looks to me, similar to Unitys animation nodes(which I couldn't see easily working with a large project) Playmaker works perfectly with the way I think. I would have to learn how to think differently to try anything else, and no. With Playmaker, I can look at my "spaghetti" and know exactly how it does what it does. I recently opened one of my "first ever" incomplete projects. My FSM building has soooo matured, but I was never confused about what it did. Extremely inefficient, but I knew it worked, and I knew how it worked.
So yeah. I can't really say anything about bolt, but I'll say everything I can about Playmaker
Title: Re: Why Playmaker and not Bolt
Post by: jeanfabre on January 09, 2018, 03:47:13 AM

 @tcmeric makes a very good point, PlayMaker is not a visual scripting as such, it is first and foremost a new way to think logic, Bolt is more a direct replacement of a code of line which really brings nothing on the table because indeed you need to learn conventional coding to understand Bolt.

 PlayMaker Action as indeed code snippets which allows to combine several features into one convenient interface for optimal usage and reusability, like lego blocks asn as such offers far more potential as is and even greater power when you start to combine both PlayMaker and Conventional coding. With Bolt, it would not bring any benefits.