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Author Topic: Is Playmaker still in development? Roadmap?  (Read 2197 times)

mekjal

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Is Playmaker still in development? Roadmap?
« on: April 29, 2018, 11:02:50 AM »
Love Playmaker but the roadmap seems to be outdated and same with the Trello board.

Is Playmaker still actively in development?  How can we learn about next releases and what features are in the pipeline?

Thanks!

jeanfabre

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Re: Is Playmaker still in development? Roadmap?
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2018, 01:20:01 AM »
Hi,

 yes, PlayMaker is under very active development, Trello has been left behind, but doesn't represent PlayMaker, instead, it was for me to keep track of all the community work, I need to get back to Trello at some point...

Alex is currently actively developing the latest beta, and we expect to ship very soon, probably when 2018.1 will be out, with tons of new features that will be announced when they go public.

 Bye,

 Jean

mekjal

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Re: Is Playmaker still in development? Roadmap?
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2018, 07:10:33 AM »
Thanks Jean - I was worried that with a small team, Playmaker was stagnating.  PM has finally got me back into programming after all these years, so I want it to keep shining!  I find it much easier to work with than Bolt, so look forward to seeing what new features there will be (hopefully State grouping :))

Plancksize

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Re: Is Playmaker still in development? Roadmap?
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2018, 07:20:48 AM »
Hi,

 yes, PlayMaker is under very active development, Trello has been left behind, but doesn't represent PlayMaker, instead, it was for me to keep track of all the community work, I need to get back to Trello at some point...

Alex is currently actively developing the latest beta, and we expect to ship very soon, probably when 2018.1 will be out, with tons of new features that will be announced when they go public.

 Bye,

 Jean

Gotta love the timing on this answer as 2018.1 just got released. (available on unity hub too)

jeanfabre

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Re: Is Playmaker still in development? Roadmap?
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2018, 10:22:19 PM »
Thanks Jean - I was worried that with a small team, Playmaker was stagnating.  PM has finally got me back into programming after all these years, so I want it to keep shining!  I find it much easier to work with than Bolt, so look forward to seeing what new features there will be (hopefully State grouping :))


Yeah, PlayMaker is here to stay, don't worry :)

unfortunatly, state grouping will be for another release... I too hope this will be happening sooner than later,

I'd be interested in your honest comparision with Bolt and PlayMaker, your opinion would be good if you worked with both. I'll tell you my opinion after so that I don't bias your reply :)

 Bye,

 Jean

Bye,

 Jean

mekjal

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Re: Is Playmaker still in development? Roadmap?
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2018, 08:31:20 AM »
I don't have a ton of experience with Bolt, but my first impressions:

-Much more modern and slick look and feel to the interface.  To be honest, the Playmaker visuals haven't changed in years (I believe the website is identical to when I looked at least five years ago :)).  This shouldn't make a huge difference, but there is something to be said about nice design.  Its sort of intangible, but you get more excited using something pretty.

-Bolt is more difficult because you have to compose everything yourself.  Playmaker let's you shortcut a lot of things as each action is something of a pre-made recipe. 

-Bolt is waay better at grouping - Super States and grouping.  I know this has been talked about for Playmaker for a long time, but its pretty important.  Playmaker FSMs get unwieldy without any organizational structure.  I can't imagine it would be too difficult to implement?

-Bolt claims (and the reason I even got into it) that working with your own scripts within the visual editor was a piece of cake.  I found that to not be true.  Maybe I didn't do it right, but it was a slow process.  If this does work, it would be a big advantage to Playmaker.  Creating custom actions, to be honest, is still a bit of pain.  I'd much rather call methods in my own scripts, but without Reflection so that performance wasn't compromised with Call/Invoke. 

-But by far the biggest reason I chose Playmaker over Bolt:  documentation and community.  I tried searching for a simple answer to an issue in Bolt and could find no documentation and no forum threads about it.  When I finally tracked one down, it was a due to a bug in Bolt.  That worried me.  Playmaker has been around much longer so its more dependable.  As someone not new to programming logic, but new to C#, Playmaker has been a lifesaver. 

I always worry if I'm doing things "right" and if Playmaker will cause performance issues, but I think I'm following most best practices.  I'm a bit obsessed with finding best practices for PM, so I've read every thread on it. 

tldr; Bolt is prettier and has greater potential for direct script interaction.  Playmaker is more battle tested, more extensive documentation and community, and much better to do things quickly.


As a final note, I'd really love if there was an up-to-date roadmap!  It would be great to know what features are coming.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2018, 08:33:04 AM by mekjal »

realrobo

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Re: Is Playmaker still in development? Roadmap?
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2018, 11:35:15 AM »
Hi Mekjal,
Everything you said was as if I wrote them lol.  I started out with PM about 5 years ago and have tried much of other visual scripting tools as well along the way, including the bolt.  I actually ended up learning c# in order to cover some short comings of Playmaker, and now, I find myself using both, but I still try to do in Playmaker as much as I can.  My thoughts on Playmaker and Bolt are exactly the same.

While I appreciated Bolt's efforts and its development, ultimately, it's still more or less a pure visual scripting, with you manually having to set up and do the same work flow as if you are just writing c#.  It felt like just a nice organizer for your scripting (although I haven't used their state machine approach much).  I love playmaker because I can just concentrate on making the gameplays a lot easier.  Also it's extremely fast to work with (I personally can't stand other visual scripting tool's compiling time every time you make any changes or edit).

I can second everything you said, including the visual aesthetic of the Playmaker could most definitely use some updates. :]


My own wish list from Playmaker if I may add here, are
1. More improvements on grouping and organizing (I'm particularly careful about having too many variables everywhere).  I find one of the most common short comings of Playmaker is overblown amount of variables and states machines to keep track of.

2. More sophisticated use of Playmaker in the community and tutorial materials. 
I understand most of the Playmaker documentations and videos were about helping new users into the use of Playmaker.  I most certainly started using Playmaker to see if I can just quickly make a game prototype, or at the most, just make a simple casual game on it.  But more I work with it, the more I appreciate its strength, and I feel like it's most definitely capable of making more complex games.  When I actually found out how to use "run FSM" and "Array Get Next" etc properly few years back. it leveled me up and allowed me to build far more complex and sophisticated mechanics. 
In the playmaker ecosystem, the focus is still only about getting users into using the playmaker and making prototype or simple games only.  The ecosystem also needs a proper "leveling up" focus, about making more full blown complex games, for many Playmaker users to advance to.

3. Along the line of previous points, I also feel like the playmaker ecosystem could start taking more mature solutions built in for full game products.  I sincerely believe the Playmaker allows a completely different types of *developers* to rise.  Honestly, Playmaker does more for the Unity on their own Moto of "Democratizing Development of Games" than the Unity themselves.  Traditional sense of Developers were purely just programmers.  Tools like Playmaker allows Artists and Writers to become a developer, if they just add little more efforts.  I myself come from technical art background, rather than computer science.  And those new types of developers love how Playmaker just allow them to build games while the playmaker takes care of semantics and syntaxes. 
But at the tail end of any developments, there are usually few things that's just missing.  Security of data for one, is a problem.  No developer ever wants people to be able to simply cheat by default.  No-one wants their game's cool time to be simply bypassed by the user just changing the device time in the device settings.  But yet, the entire ecosystem treats timer, security, user data, as an after thoughts.  Many of security questions in the message board usually are met with "Don't worry about it for now, because when your game is fun, then get the funding and built it properly with proper developer to handle those issues".   I don't mean the Playmaker has to provide the perfect security solution.  But I don't believe the end of all Playmaker project is to "Just don't worry about it, this is just a prototype" nor "Now you can just find some assets and change everything" by default.  That means problems with storing user data on a playerpref, using simple device timer, not having any encryption method for user data, etc should be replaced with more solid solution by default IMO.


TL;DR, in the end, I truly believe Playmaker hit something with a large segments of game developing community, and would really love to see it evolve into more full complete solution for many new brews of developers and new games to come.


 
« Last Edit: May 04, 2018, 11:41:05 AM by realrobo »

mekjal

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Re: Is Playmaker still in development? Roadmap?
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2018, 02:04:31 PM »
Definitely agree with the above!

I think there is also a branding issue.  Not only do most people see Playmaker as something for simple games, even Hutong advertises it that way!  The emphasis always seems to be on prototyping games.

I don't see why the focus wouldn't be on production quality games.  My game is a complex strategy sim, along the lines of Rimworld.  No reason it can't use Playmaker.

There's also the name - "Playmaker" comes across as something you use to just learn logic or make a prototype.  I think PM just needs a facelift across the board and people will start taking it seriously :)

jeanfabre

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Re: Is Playmaker still in development? Roadmap?
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2018, 12:16:38 AM »
Hi

Thanks for your feedback! It's very valuable, and I actually agree to everything you said.

As for branding for mainly prototyping, it's a necessary evil I am afraid. I use PlayMaker for highly sensitive projects myself and it never failed to give me the edge in terms of productivity, but this is something that is difficult to advertise without crossing all the hard core c# developers.

Playmaker is taken very seriously, it has been literally the overall #1 asset for 6-7 years back to back, being consistently in the top 10 grossing assets. This is the paid asset with the most comments and ratings. I guess, It's fine that the competition starts to become real, it shows that there is something here to work on to improve things.

It doesn't mean it's perfect :) but as you said, it does answer a very specific need, and the sweet spot for this is very hard to hit. If Playmaker would market itself as a pro solution for complex project, it could fall behind because it's not really its primary segment.


Bye,

 Jean