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Author Topic: Third-party action packs idea...  (Read 3101 times)

Red

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Third-party action packs idea...
« on: February 25, 2013, 11:56:36 AM »
So, since it takes some time to have new builds of playmaker sent to the asset store, one thing that i think might be helpful....

For third-party actions to control things like NGui, AStar AI, etc, having on the Hutong-games asset store channel different entries for these action sets? That way instead of having to compile and send the entire Playmaker package to the asset store and having users having to download the entire thing (and also to help those that may not be here on the forums and know where to go to find these action sets) you could have say a "NGui integration actions" and a "AStar AI actions" and the like? I think that might help increase the availability of these custom action sets so that they can reach a larger audience.

and even for ArrayMaker, if it isn't stock at this point (i haven't noticed to be honest since i installed it a long time ago... still trying to integrate it so i can do some tutorials since that's been requested many times both here and on Youtube) having a page you can go to and link to for the asset store could help keep things in a central location where it's easy to find and such.

this is more a suggestion than anything... and if they are not developed by someone from Hutong, i would want to see how people feel if they are developing action sets whether they would be okay having them be brought under the Hutong umbrella so as to give them a centralized space to be hosted (assuming they are releasing them for free.)

The main suggestion is because you can have things hosted there that would need Playmaker first... i asked the asset store people this as well for my own reasons and so long as it's explicitly stated in the pack's description if it needs you to have Playmaker installed first, they're okay with this kind of thing.

only caveat would be whether the people that have authored those action sets would be okay with Hutong hosting them on the asset store (which if they're hosting them here free, i don't see much of a problem but still, i would imagine their permission would be needed anyway just in case.)
« Last Edit: February 25, 2013, 12:02:44 PM by Red »

kiriri

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Re: Third-party action packs idea...
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2013, 12:21:59 PM »
while I generally support any step towards a more public library of actions, I see some problems here. For one, it's questionable if Alex (or whoever commits PlayMaker to the assetstore) would really want to update a hundred or so addons each time they release a new update.

Secondly, and more concerning to me personally is credits. I think they may come short if all those plugins were released as "one in many" in a subcategory of PlayMaker. Like, the A* integration may take a year or so to complete, and on the forums everyone can see the extend of the project just by checking how many posts and updates and bugfixes and whatnot the thread contains. I'd feel better if that could be reflected somehow...

So while being social is nice and all, I think creating free plugins should also be considered a means of advertisement of ones own skill.
Therefore any commission to the store should at the very least be marked as "not actually written by Hutonggames" [in bold red :D ], the name and contacts of the programmer and a link to the forum support thread .

That way the publicity would be productive for everyone (yeah, I kinda changed my opinion while writing this post :P ). Playmaker would seem extandable, users can easily update their fav plugins, and programmers get more exposure.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2013, 12:24:12 PM by kiriri »
Best,
Sven

Jake

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Re: Third-party action packs idea...
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2013, 12:41:09 AM »
In my opinion it would be sufficient to bundle a list of 3rd party modules along with their custom actions on a more prominent page than the wiki page they're listed now. Say a page that can be accessed directly by menu from the playMaker main website, listing all 3rd party modules that support playMaker along with their packages (could be direct donwload links provided by the authors).

This way Hutonggames just need to update the list, instead of taking care about each update of an 3rd party action set.

Jake

jeanfabre

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Re: Third-party action packs idea...
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2013, 01:49:53 AM »
Hi,

 I mentioned this already few times, I would like one day to find the time and budget to build the following:

 an online ecosystem that will host all custom actions. This ecosystem would work both ways. You can submit a custom action ( you register to that ecosystem as an author), then the custom action can be moderated, reviewed, rated, commented, etc etc.

 you can also search that ecosystem right from within unity ( and ideally from the action browser), and you would get a list of custom actions that match your search, EVEN if it's not on your project assets, click on an import button, and the action is downloaded in the background and added to the project asset, and boom, you have  your custom action ready to be added to your state. you haven't searched the forum, you haven't left playmaker action browser, and you haven't had to manually download a file, add it to the asset folder, etc...

 that's huge and totally mandatory in my opinion... just totally lacking budget and time for this, that's all...

 the big thing around this ecosystem is that it can be monetized easily by having maybe a registration fee or a yearly subscription, or free but with some micro payments where 'some' custom actions would cost few pennies to get ( for a given account, not a per projects). This ecosystem could also very likely host more than custom actions: templates for examples and other goodies revolving around playmaker. You could also request actions via this ecosystem and get registered authors bidding for this, creating a whole market around this.

 I do not necessarily agree to give everything for free, that's not a viable business strategy after a certain level of service. That some custom actions are available for free is of course totally fine, but at some point, it is important to realize the amount of work involved in creating custom actions in volumes, a small, totally fair fee would be welcome here, at least to incite authors to publish their actions and for developers to realize they any way save money with micro payments

Any other methods to distribute and bundle custom actions will be a nightmare, custom actions must be in my opinion handled on a server with a proper database and repository, bundling unity packages will be tedious ( and it is now for me to manage all the custom actions I did so far...) and prone to error, as well as featuring 99% actions you don't need, do not fit your assets, your publish targets, your unity version or requires some other assets from the unity asset store... so definitely not a good option for scalability.

 Note: If some investors are interesting in this, let me know, I can build all that ( the whole server side, database, web front end, user management, payment options, and the unity integration. BUT it is a very bold project, involving and requiring proper funding, quality time and dedication.

 one day for sure! :)

 bye,

 Jean

gamedivision

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Re: Third-party action packs idea...
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2013, 03:24:04 AM »
Sounds great jean,so why don't we have a market place here,where people can sell custom actions.

Jake

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Re: Third-party action packs idea...
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2013, 05:14:07 AM »
Great idea. Developing a repository server won't be that complicated if you drop the whole money related stuff (User-/License management, micropayment, strong security), so maybe focus on that part first?!

Don't forget that with playMaker's strong user base it's very likely that one will get extra sells if his product comes with custom actions. Imho this will fund the development of custom actions.

Anyway, what about some sort of community project? I could contribute the editor integration part...

Jake

jeanfabre

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Re: Third-party action packs idea...
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2013, 05:54:53 AM »
Hi,

 Yep, this is totally doable, and yes the first phase would be obviously free for all, and we would see where additional features or services could become something that can be sellable.

 A collaborative projects would be really nice indeed, but my "problem" is that I don't have the time for this, especially if there is no income out of it. I am a full time Unity freelancer, so every hours count. For me, that's not realistic to commit to such large project for free. I wish Unity would start doing something like KickStarter, cause I am sure the Unity community would very much enjoy funding projects that they would like to see on the asset store. On top of that, I already have so many cool project cooking, it's untrue.. ( I am eagerly waiting for my leap device :), and I am playing with Photon/Playmaker/IOS to build a remote control system to control an application from your iphone or ipad as if it was a joystick, with buttons and gyrocsope, accelration, device atttitude etc etc. you register the device with a qr code display on the game itself: UTTERLY COOL and simple to use, I have the prototype working, can't wait to have more time to spend on this again, I'd like to have that ready for Unite, we'll see )

bye,

 Jean

Red

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Re: Third-party action packs idea...
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2013, 03:21:14 PM »
I do like what this thread is turning into... because having a system where it's integrated and downloading new actions directly to unity would be helpful... but, how would that work? if we're talking a website, how would it thread to connect to unity so that it knows where to put the files?

... maybe if it was made to work in concert with a plug-in that someone could create for unity itself? a sort of "bridge" system that could be a little menu option in the playmaker drop-down that would have a link to the site you could click and since it's integrated directly with unity, it could serve as a bridge to ensure that the actions are placed in the proper spot?

that being said (and given that i haven't had a chance to check out the pricing models for the asset store) would it be more sensible to use the asset store itself? i mean, if you don't have to reinvent the wheel, why do so?

jeanfabre

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Re: Third-party action packs idea...
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2013, 10:30:17 PM »
Hi,

 This system would be totally embedded in Unity, either in the shape of a new action browser ( need to find out if I can add an action to a state programmatically, if yes, then easy!). We could start with no membership, nothing, but just a online webservice that don't even expose a web front end, but just an api ( rest, or something along that line) to search and download actions, then the unity new action browser would simply create a new c# file with the content downloaded. I have done similar process ( you can study parsemaker and datamaker, the code there does this as well, when I create custom actions programmatically, only that the content would be downloading and not generated locally).

 The "problem" with this, is that quickly a lot more feature will be expected: custom action help, custom action versionning ( very important to not break existing projects by downloading an action that has a different set of public variables), reviews, rating, samples, bundled actions and proxies/tools. A web front end would only be needed for advertising about this feature outside unity.

bye,

 Jean