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Topics - Red

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PlayMaker Bug Reporting / Some transitions changing.
« on: August 01, 2014, 12:34:48 PM »
So, I know that what with using the Conditional expression system and some ecosystem actions that it's going to be making it hard to narrow down where this is actually coming from but I'm more saying this to just make it known that this is happening.

What I've got are prefabs that I'm working on... And sometimes whenever I change transitions/events around, it's changing them up on me when I log back in to Unity or sometimes even when I simply go to a different FSM.

To clarify, the versions that I'm running (in case that helps things) are as follows.

Unity: 4.3.4 f1 (Indie version.)
Playmaker: 1.7.7 f6
Conditional expression: Current version as listed in the OP of the "Conditional expression" forum posting.

Current ecosystem actions:
Float Lerp (though I have others installed but not currently being used in this scene. Do you think that these would need to be listed as well? I can see about posting a list if you think it would.) Oh, and this one I have modified to use the fixed update instead of the update when it is activated. No idea if that even did anything but it does bear mentioning methinks.

I know it's not a massive game-breaker because all I have to do is change them back... But I would like to see this resolved since I'm hoping to make this a sell-able asset pack as well as a game and I'd not want to have any potential customers face an issue like this which would probably leave them feeling nonplussed if not frustrated and angry.

PlayMaker Help / Optimizing CPU drain.
« on: July 31, 2014, 10:34:55 AM »
So, I'm curious what practices you use to keep your systems lean in terms of how much CPU power they require (so you can reduce the drain on the system resources.)

One that I've been using is to have basic calculations that are internal (and set manually by actions in each separate state) as "f" for float, "i" for ints, "g" for GameObjects, "c" for components (Unity objects,) etc... Rather than having separate variables declared for every possible use... This seems to help a bit but it does require a little more forethought so you aren't inadvertently passing values that you don't want to have passed... So, say I'm doing a basic iterative loop, I'll have "i" as the count... And when that state enters I'll manually set that variable (if the action that uses it doesn't do so already such as an "Int Operator.") And I tend to toss on a tooltip just to remind myself that it's a local value (just in case I forget or have to revisit that function later after it's no longer fresh in my mind.)

Another that I've been looking into is the template system... That said, I'm not totally sure if this IS saving me CPU resources, but it does allow me to clean up the FSMs themselves and make them much easier to follow at a glance (this is if they're self-contained as I'm still not sure the best way to transfer data out of them other than using globals.)

Another tip that I found on reddit is that it's a good idea not to have too many nested objects each with their own script components/FSMs where you can have one master component control them instead... But I think that's an over-all Unity thing and I'm unsure how much this would save in terms of CPU power (not having pro, I don't have access to the profiler... So, I can only really go on what the stats tell me in the game preview window.)

PlayMaker Help / Run FSM: How to get it to return variable data?
« on: July 31, 2014, 10:11:56 AM »
Hello again!

This time I'm wondering if there's a way to use the "Run FSM" action in such a way that it will calculate some stuff and pass that data back into the FSM that it's running from.

So, for instance, say I take that camera boundary testing thingamabob I talked about in another thread, embedded that functionality into a template and then used the "Run FSM" in a different FSM to tell it to run that... How, once it's finished performing the calculations required, pass the data back into the parent FSM that it's embedded in? So far all I can see are inputs... and no outputs... Is this simply not what it was designed for? If that's the case I can easily figure out a different way (or simply have it embedded in the FSM as a chain of events) but I would like to get my feet wet with this action on a more intimate level.

I guess in a pinch I could use the globals for this but I'd like to avoid doing that... Mainly because these are one-time use values and having a persistent global might be a bit of overkill.

... p.s. how does one export templates? is the process the same as with other exporting things and you just find the folder and select them in the exporting process or is there something deeper that I'd have to do in order for it to export/import properly?

PlayMaker Help / Screen Boundaries help needed.
« on: July 30, 2014, 02:58:45 PM »
Okay, this is gonna be a math-heavy one so buckle up!

I'm trying to calculate the boundaries of the screen relative to the plane that the player is going to be locked to... And I've been working with the "get screen size ratio" action as well as the "get tan" action from the ecosystem.

so, first off I tell it to get the aspect ratio and file that in a variable... That's all fine and dandy... Then I get the FoV angle with a "get property" action and divide that by half to get the angle from the center to the top (since the FoV works with the Y axis in Unity.)

Then I use the "get tan" action to calculate the tangent to get the right distance from the center point to place the boundary marker (using a sphere as a test) and that works to get me the vertical offset... When I scale the window (having a separate system that will update the marker spheres if the aspect ratio changes which I'm manually calculating in another FSM but the function is the same as the "Get Screen Size Ratio" action) the top and bottom spheres stay where I want them to, right at the top and bottom of the screen.

Now here's where the difficult part comes in: How do I calculate the angle of the camera in the Horizontal?

The data that I have that I can work with is the FoV, the screen size ratio and the height/width of the screen itself.

General Discussion / Ethics of the Ecosystem actions.
« on: July 30, 2014, 11:16:00 AM »
Okay, I love this new feature! It's brilliant and my hat is off to those that made it a reality! I positively love being able to have an in-editor system to search for actions that aren't stock.

That said... I'm wondering about the ethics of it... Not in the "Is it okay to use in a game and sell that game" kinda way, more in the way of using them in asset-packages to sell on the asset store. Of course it would assume that the person selling the package isn't taking credit for the actions themselves but I'm wondering what kind of ethical issues there may be?

Reason I ask is I'm working on a system for a game that I'd like to sell the template for on the asset store and it's using some ecosystem actions (and the conditional expression system which is absolutely FANTASTIC!!! Seriously, it's awesome!) And I'm more hoping to do this the right way without risking causing ill will or anything of the sort.

The method that I think I'd use would be to package them up as a unity package (just the not-playmaker-itself bits so only the actions that are used from the ecosystem and the conditional expression system) that the user installs before beginning... And of course I haven't asked the Unity Asset-store team themselves on this issue but I'd like to get the 411 from the Hutong staff/contributors on this first.

And yeah, this also extends to assets that use ArrayMaker as well... Basically anything that is "After-market." (and to Jean, if you're intending on selling an ArrayMaker+ like I think I remember you talking about, let me know.)

PlayMaker Help / Get position (may be a bug)
« on: July 30, 2014, 10:57:25 AM »
EDIT: I'm a noob... This is a user-issue and not a PM issue.

TL-DR: Get Position is getting incorrect values that differ slightly which is causing a noticeable jitter effect sometimes when using it to control my camera system.

So, I've been working away on the systems for a game and I've come across something that might be a bug and I've been able to narrow it down to the "Get Position" action.

Basically, I have a player object that the camera is made to follow... It's using the get position action. When I play it, sometimes I'll get a jittering effect (in the Camera) that when the player is still, the camera is set to make it's position locked on the player (well, technically it's a unit forwards but that's not the issue.) When the player is still, sometimes the jitter happens and I've been able to isolate it to the Get Position action. (This is in both self and world space.)

The value, when it's still is going between (where it's sitting right now as I'm previewing) between 11.8671 and 11.86608... But the player's transform is at 11.86852 and holding steady at that position.

I'm going to take a peek at the action's script itself to see if there's something in there.

And yeah, I've tried feeding that information through an algorithm to round to a certain decimal... When I round it to one decimal place the jittering goes away but then that results in the camera moving at visible increments so that's not really an acceptable solution for what I'm going for. I've tried to two decimal places and the jittering still occurs.

Anyone have any ideas here? Is this a bug in the action or the system itself?

If it helps, I'm running 1.7.7.f6 on Unity 4.3.4f1 and have the Conditional expression system installed.

EDIT: I looked at the code itself and from my not-very-educated eyes it's not showing me anything out of the ordinary... At least not that I can really parse... I'm going to see about testing a couple different iterations here to see if I can further narrow down what's going on.

Another EDIT: And yeah, I've just tested it with sending the values to both a float and a vector3 variable (exposed in the inspector and the action firing off every frame and in a timed cycle. It's still producing it with a "Wait" controlled (at a small and a large time-period) as well as a "Next Frame Event" cycle.

Musing on it, unless there's something obscured here, I'm wondering if this is something in the DLL/package itself? Was there some coding-mojo happening with the interfacing of the float/vector values that might be making this happen?

EDIT: Hmm... I'm troubleshooting and I may be close to finding the bug. I'll post an update when I know more.

So, I know of the bool operators, compares and such and those are awesome! (knowing how to manipulate them does come in handy.)

That said... Is there an action that will, in one action, allow me to make a conditional statement like:

If Player is grounded (bool) and within a ladder area (bool) and presses up on the vertical input (float) then fire off this event.

Or would this be something that a "create a custom script" action would help with (is that one still there? I don't know what it's called, sadly... I remember there being talk about it a while ago but I can't for the life of me remember what it's called or where it's supposed to be either in the action browser or the ecosystem.)

So, if it'd help maybe have a system that lets the user tell it how many variables to check... What those variable types are in the next section... What the variable values to check against... and an "and/or/all/none" kinda deal.

... I guess I could see about trying to make one but I'm not a good coder... But I think that if I can parse how to break down a function logically so that I can make a Playmaker FSM out of it, the logical understanding ought to be there... just not the language understanding... I'll pick it apart for now but if there already is a solution like this then I guess it makes no sense to reinvent the wheel, eh?

EDIT: Or do you think it'd be simpler to make it based off the "Switch" functions but instead of one variable, you have a collection of variables that you can make?

To try to visualize it:

Number of variables to test (int): for example, 3.
Operation (Dropdown): And (so, all true.)

Variable 1:
-Type (dropdown): "Bool"
--Value to test for(dropdown): True

Variable 2:
-Type (dropdown): "Float"
--Compare to: Float
--Tolerance: Float
--Equal: (Checkbox)
--Greater than: (Checkbox)
--Less than: (Checkbox)

Variable 3:
-Type (dropdown): Int
--Compare to: Int
--Equal: (Checkbox)
--Greater than: (Checkbox)
--Less than: (Checkbox)

Event to fire: (Dropdown list of events)
Every Frame: (Checkbox)

So, I've been reading up on the differences between the two and I think this might be the more reasonable way of addressing this.

I've worked on making a system that uses the physics to control an object and from what I can gather the FSM uses the regular "update" system which I've been finding isn't the most ideal to use when you're manipulating physics objects in unity since it tends to have the better results happen when you use the "fixed update" option.

So, I would like to request a way that you can tell an FSM or a node that handles physics to have it done on the "fixed update" instead of "update."

That said, I'm not sure how best to address this... Because I am gleaning some information that suggests that the way that the events fire off and the transitions happen is all on the update (unless I'm mistaken. I'm mainly guessing here at when the "Finished" fires off.)

So, would it be possible to add in a way to have a system that is manipulating the physics objects give the user the option of telling it to use the Fixed update as opposed to the update? I'm not sure if this would be on the FSM itself or on the actions that use it... Or maybe both... And I'm not sure if this would cause problems or not (since it'd probably require users to have a bit of a change in mindset in how they approach things such as having FSMs that are made primarily for handling the physics or other features that require the fixed update...)

Dunno... Just spitballing at the moment. I'm requesting it because I am suspecting that if I had that control I'd be able to make the systems I'm working on function much more smoothly and cleaner.

PlayMaker Help / the "Void" things...
« on: July 24, 2014, 11:04:48 AM »
I've been reading up on the scripting and I'm unsure what these really mean when applied to using Playmaker.

For example, there are states (when using C# I think it is) where you can set functions or subroutines using code like

Code: [Select]
void Awake()
     //Do something

void Update()
     //Do something

void FixedUpdate()
     //Do something

And I think I can grok a bit of what that means since these are referring to hard-coded functions of the systems themselves... So, an "update" is what's called every frame, a "fixedupdate" is called at specific regular intervals (the references say this is best when interacting with the physics engine) and the things like "start" are pretty simple (that's what the "Start" state is, right?) and even "Awake" (which is similar to the "Start" but called when that particular component is activated much like how "Start" in the FSM will fire off when that component is activated.)

But I'm wondering how I'd approach something like this from an FSM point of view.

Reason I'm asking is I'm trying to adapt some code to use in a side-scrolling run-and-jump game I want to put together as a side project... And the code is showing me that I'd be using things like the fixed update for applying the force needed to move the object, the update for other non-physics things and it makes me wonder if this is something that's do-able in a FSM system to that level.

Because I've been working on this and right now I've got quite a lot of actions in states and it all seems to be half-way there but I'm at a bit of a loss how to adapt the rest and knowing how to apply the standard coding methodology to a FSM system more closely I think might help me understand how I can improve my noding.

PlayMaker Help / If statements without a state change?
« on: July 24, 2014, 10:54:55 AM »
Is it possible to do if statements (and adding in a "do this if successful") to a state without exiting the state itself or is this a fundamental limitation of FSM systems as is?

I'd like to know because I'm staring down a system that is pretty hefty in the actions it has to complete and being able to insert a little "if" statement without exiting the action would be nice (and it'd also preserve the order of the actions being fired off.)

Or do you think this is where the template action sets would come in handy?

PlayMaker Help / Get/Set FSM actions... issues abound.
« on: December 17, 2013, 03:51:27 PM »
I've had some issues occur with the systems I'm working on... And I'm at a total loss as to why this is even happening.

What I have is as follows (and I'll post screenshots below)

I have the setup system for my game reaching into the mesh object to fetch the effects objects and the mesh objects of the various weapons that each character class and mesh object have... So, a machine gun or grenade... an RPG or a handful of shuriken... that kinda thing.

But there seems to be some issues here. The system is using the Get fsm actions and the set fsm actions to connect the mesh/fx objects with the mechanisms that use them... BUT... it is only working when I put a breakpoint in there.

I've tried with a wait, no dice... With a next-frame-event, still nada... But when I put a breakpoint in the state after that (so as to break it when that state is finished functioning) and resume the game in Unity, only then does it seem to work.

I'm running up against a brick wall here trying to figure out what's going on but the debug systems aren't really reporting when they fail to trigger the action

I'm asking this because I'm getting closer and closer to alpha release and I've been getting a handful of bugs that I simply do not know how to resolve... And some of these bugs are game-breaking bugs too (so, big deals.)

I don't have too much cash available but I do have access to some revenue that I can pay with if the option is available to see about contracting someone from the Hutong staff to help with the FSMs to figure out what needs to be done to fix these issues. Asking this because I think this might be a rather involved process and I wouldn't want to leech off of people and capitalize on their time without adequate compensation.

... Reason I'm asking is because I've been coming up against bug after bug and a good deal of them are intermittent (and I suspect some of them are linked to some actions taking too long to complete or not completing at all before going on to the next phase.)

if the price is right I'd like to ask this... Whomever it is that is able to will certainly get full credit listing for testing and programming/coding but this is one of those "this is breaking my game" things that needs to be either resolved or at least I need to find a way to know whether I should abandon some of those features because I can't afford to just abandon the game entirely because it's not working properly (this is at least three years worth of work... so, there's a lot invested that I simply cannot abandon this.)

Sorry for the impassioned post, as you can imagine this is a very big source of frustration and anxiety for me since my deadlines cannot be pushed back too much longer unless I want to risk losing the potential audience I've been trying to build up.

PlayMaker Help / iTween and re-loading levels help needed.
« on: December 12, 2013, 12:03:53 PM »
Hey there, I'm thick in the whole dev thing (since I'm pushing to get my game out to my testing team) but I've come up against something I honestly don't know how to address aside from scrapping what I've made already that's doing these little problematic issues.

What I've got is the in-game menu has a "return to the title screen" option in that and that's hooked up to connect to the main menu scene. The transition TO the main menu works just fine... and when I load the main menu level first and start from there it works as expected.

However, whenever I return to the main menu screen, the iTween transitions aren't working... I am using these to have a "3d menu" kind of effect so you start off at the title frame and when you click on one of the buttons there (the ones using iTween) it's triggering it but the iTween moves aren't actually doing anything and that's causing the scene to break down by not moving... I don't know if this is a hang per-se because the only interactivity in that scene is the menu buttons.

I've been able to track down that this only happens when I load and go to that scene from another scene.

Anyone have any ideas or have you faced this before (that you've been able to find a way around?)

Okay, it's an idea I've been throwing about now and again. So, I'd like to get your thoughts on this.

What this would be would be a time when I schedule screen-casts to go over things like brainstorming FSMs, offering help and the like and stuff like that. I know I'm not here often (and I am sorry if I've been late to replying to a conversation we've been having) but I'm hoping to get some more involved in the community and this might be something to try.

It's an idea at this point and until I can invest in a better screen-sharing system it'd be with the system (the free version) but if there's enough interest it might be worth trying with some better software.

Let me know... Thanks!

P.s. These would be in the late afternoon and evening Eastern time (so, GMT+5 I believe it is.) and running until either the session loses steam or it gets crazy late (so, cut off at 11pm EST or around there.)

PlayMaker Help / Timing of States: Sometimes "Finished" is a bit greedy.
« on: September 12, 2013, 05:39:01 AM »
So, it's something I've been noticing lately which has caused some issues with the timing of the various FSMs i've got built.

Some actions seem to take up a bit more "time" than others and using the "FINISHED" transition sometimes leaves those actions either unused or is cutting them off at the knee before they can truly finish.

some actions I've noticed this happening with (in a standard "when finished, go 'FINISHED'" kind of set-up.)

Animator Set values actions (and some "Get" values as well.)
Get/Set FSM actions

I'm sure there are others... but having the finished transition being a bit too greedy/premature is throwing off a lot of my code (this leads me to have to use Wait and Next Frame Event far more often than I'd like and for some FSMs it renders them too slow... not to mention that the Next Frame Event could cause some issues if the games i'm making are being run on a slower computer which could result in a poor end-user experience which is not good.)

EDIT: I think this is a great opportunity to discuss the "under the hood" mechanics that surround timing issues such as this... things such as knowing how Playmaker does it's thing in this regard can help as I haven't found much out there that explains this other than "some actions are really big."

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