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Why Playmaker and not Bolt

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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.

Longer in development, larger community, lots of actions for most popular 3rd party assets.

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 )


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.




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 :)




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