playMaker

Author Topic: Thoughts about using Playmaker in production.  (Read 4559 times)

slimer90

  • Guest
Thoughts about using Playmaker in production.
« on: March 29, 2022, 07:20:57 AM »
It's easy for experienced programmers to say that you shouldn't use Playmaker in production... However, for someone like me who does not have much programming experience, it seems like a very good option to begin with.

At the end of the day, many people (including myself) are aiming for the role of game designer/producer, not as a lead programmer. You don't have to put your ideas on hold, when Playmaker allows you to achieve the basics of what you need.

In defense of the article, I would agree if you are talking about a medium to large team 5-25 people, or have access to experienced programmers, obviously real programming is the way to go. For a small team of 2-3 people with no programming knowledge, Playmaker is a life-changer.

djaydino

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7616
    • jinxtergames
Re: Thoughts about using Playmaker in production.
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2022, 03:28:22 PM »
Hi.
Playmaker is and can also be used in combination.

For example, Hollow Knight : the enemy AI was done with playmaker.
which made it easier for the designers to adjust the AI, and programmer could concentrate on other stuff

Fat Pug Studio

  • Beta Group
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1294
    • Fat Pug Studio
Re: Thoughts about using Playmaker in production.
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2022, 02:45:01 AM »
Some things are faster than coding, some things are slower. It's ok for small and fast projects, but once you start working on something more complex and longer it rears its ugly heads which need to be addressed (lack of global variable renaming, problems with templates, bugs messing entire project, no support for some variable types and so on). Still a lot of work to get to where it should be for production imo.
Available for Playmaker work

PolyMad

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 545
Re: Thoughts about using Playmaker in production.
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2022, 04:36:40 PM »
Some things are faster than coding, some things are slower. It's ok for small and fast projects, but once you start working on something more complex and longer it rears its ugly heads which need to be addressed (lack of global variable renaming, problems with templates, bugs messing entire project, no support for some variable types and so on). Still a lot of work to get to where it should be for production imo.

I agree, there are some TERRIBLE bugs that waste your entire project, and this should be at least mentioned to everyone buying the package.
I mean, I love it because it allows non-programmers to realize stuff quickly, but these nasty bugs MUST be mentioned, so people can avoid them before wasting WEEKS of work.

Fat Pug Studio

  • Beta Group
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1294
    • Fat Pug Studio
Re: Thoughts about using Playmaker in production.
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2022, 11:45:24 AM »
I understand them, it's really hard to catch those bugs and some of the features were not properly implemented from the start probably and were later impossible to change aince it would break everything, but i believw they'll get it sorted one day.

PM is really a joy to work with, but it definitely needs more work to be on par with coding, code ks easy to refactor for example, while changing stuff in PM is hell if you didn't start using templates from the beginning, which you shouldn't since there is issues with run fsm. And globals, which can be awesome with proper grouping (group/subgroup/global variable name) are royally fucked up, at least i know when i declare a static variable in c#, nothing is going to mess it up.

I'm sad that there isn't a whole team behind Playmaker but basically one man.
Available for Playmaker work

Gua

  • Beta Group
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 309
    • Andrii Vintsevych
Re: Thoughts about using Playmaker in production.
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2022, 05:52:10 AM »
Once projects get really big, Playmaker does show it's ugly sides. But I've managed to release a number of quite successful projects, where I did use some third party plugins written in C# and I did need to do some super basic C# codding at times. But 99% of my coding was done in playmaker. So it is not easy, it does feel a bit hacky at times, but it's doable.

You can check scale and quality of those projects here if you're interested.
https://store.steampowered.com/search/?developer=Andrii%20Vintsevych
« Last Edit: April 28, 2022, 05:55:02 AM by Gua »

Fat Pug Studio

  • Beta Group
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1294
    • Fat Pug Studio
Re: Thoughts about using Playmaker in production.
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2022, 09:41:10 AM »
This looks really pro.

The only thing really bothering me regarding scripting, where Playmaker excels, is god damn recompiling. Even if i change a single line i need to wait for a few second every time.
Available for Playmaker work

djaydino

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7616
    • jinxtergames
Re: Thoughts about using Playmaker in production.
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2022, 10:45:07 AM »
Hi.
Our Game Dark Light is also 90%+ made with playmaker.
But i also had to make several custom actions, especially when we started to use scriptable objects :)

Just a tip :
if you add new variables, always use this in the public override void Reset() :

Code: [Select]
  newStringVariable = new FsmString { UseVariable = true };
the { UseVariable = true } will set the default to none.
if it's not done this way, it can break prefabs fsms and templates if the action is already used in them.

This is on PM 1.9.0 tho, it might be fixed in newer versions.

Twood

  • Junior Playmaker
  • **
  • Posts: 76
Re: Thoughts about using Playmaker in production.
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2022, 10:50:35 PM »
I like using it. I'm working by myself on a game so it's not really an issue with having other people know about PM.

I have learned to use C#, but PM keeps the complexity of things a bit better contained. (Usually. I'm a glutton for experimentation and so trust me I can still create bugs like the best of them even in Playmaker.)

One thing I recommend is you also take basic C# for unity courses. Even free on youtube, it's all the same info. Just learn a bit there, so you can write a PM custom action. This will keep you from getting locked out of things Unity or asset store add-ons can do that are not already an action.

djaydino

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7616
    • jinxtergames
Re: Thoughts about using Playmaker in production.
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2022, 09:27:11 AM »
I actually learned C# thanks to playmaker, by looking to existing actions and then experimenting myself.

Twood

  • Junior Playmaker
  • **
  • Posts: 76
Re: Thoughts about using Playmaker in production.
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2022, 12:53:45 PM »
I think I started learning it for Behavior Designer, because that's not as ecosystem driven as PM is so I felt like I needed to learn. It was well worth learning though.

Christoph

  • Beta Group
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 254
Re: Thoughts about using Playmaker in production.
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2022, 07:17:09 PM »
I think one of the biggest limitations even for smaller projects and simple mobile games, is the way it handles prefabs.

Simple example is a coin. If you attach an FSM just for - lets say - rotating the coin and you then use that coin prefab in your levels a couple of thousand times, playmaker doesn't refer to the original FSM, it literally duplicates those and instead of 1 FSM you now have couple of thousand FSMs in your game. Opposed to a c# script which still would just be once in your game.

Also, the loading times on mobile are really bad, even for smaller projects. At least on Android. I'm not sure if that is one of the main reasons very few developers are actually using playmaker for mobile games at all but even playmaker themselves are not marketing it as an 'engine' that could be used for mobile games (huge missed opportunity imho.

I myself must admit though, playmaker is awesome for what I do and if things get too complicated I normally hire a c# developer to write a plugin for me (normally c# scripts with custom actions). I get the idea that playmaker might be a good tool to onboard to later move towards c# but if your brain is simply not working with code (like mine) then this is not even an option. And yes, I already do write my own custom actions with copy paste from the Internet. lol but writing some real stuff when I see c# developers go nuts, nope, never will be an option.

NewbNinja

  • Playmaker Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Re: Thoughts about using Playmaker in production.
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2022, 04:47:15 PM »
I gotta be honest, as a programmer I'm finding the more I use Playmaker the more frustrated I get.  Some get/sets for vectors and stuff are missing, this is basic stuff.  Even the documentation isn't very comprehensive.  No clear examples for each type of method.  The community is all good and it's got some great functionality but the silly little things that are missing make this so frustrating to use that it's hardly worth it sometimes.

Frustrated AGAIN.  Dang this library.

cloud03

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 249
  • Viva Playmaker!
    • Milkish Game Studios Blog
Re: Thoughts about using Playmaker in production.
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2022, 08:42:47 AM »
I think one of the biggest limitations even for smaller projects and simple mobile games, is the way it handles prefabs.

Simple example is a coin. If you attach an FSM just for - lets say - rotating the coin and you then use that coin prefab in your levels a couple of thousand times, playmaker doesn't refer to the original FSM, it literally duplicates those and instead of 1 FSM you now have couple of thousand FSMs in your game. Opposed to a c# script which still would just be once in your game.

For this, I'd recommend use FSM templates.

Fat Pug Studio

  • Beta Group
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1294
    • Fat Pug Studio
Re: Thoughts about using Playmaker in production.
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2022, 01:45:12 AM »
After some hardcore advanced level coding stints i found out that the reason i love programming is actually playmaker. I just want to make games actually, not write thousands lines of code, though i really enjoy it sometimes.

Some stuff like unit testing can't be done with playmaker and backend is best done in code, but for all the rest pm rules.
Available for Playmaker work