What Machinations UP is NOT (Yet!)

These days we’ve talked extensively about what our game engine plugin, UP, can do. But before you go on thinking that UP can magically make sense of & transfer your entire Machinations diagram logic, let us tell you about the current state of our plugin while in the same time present some of our roadmap. After all, history has taught us that the biggest mistake one can make is to over-hype a product. So, let’s see what’s in and what’s coming.

Future functionality

  • Sync from the Unity Property Inspector to the Machinations Diagram.
    • Planned for near-future.
    • As part of this, we will also establish a way for our users to specify how conflicting values should be managed.
  • Game state awareness.
    • Planned for near-future.
  • Object pickers using scene/diagram traversal. Will allow you to easily search through game/diagram elements in either game or diagram-side.
    • Planned for near to mid-term future.
  • Improve real-time sync
    • Currently, real time sync comes with a delay of a couple of seconds. In our experience this is not a deal-breaker.
    • Planned for near to mid-term future
  • Game-aware analytics
    • Planned for near to mid-term future
  • Support functions in Registers
    • Registers may hold complex calculations based on other diagram elements. You should expect those calculations to happen in real time inside your game, with zero communication necessary with the diagram. This will happen based on the formula you defined in the Register and the actual values of your game objects.
    • Planned for near to mid-term future
  • Support for Unreal Engine
    • We always knew that Unreal Engine is quite a different beast than Unity. For that reason, we’ve prepared an architecture that can fit both engines. Before we get there, though, we want to further mature our Unity offering. Unless the market dictates otherwise, of course.
    • Planned for mid-term to long-term future.

No transfer of logic

For now, UP is mainly used for value mapping. There is no transfer of any sort of logic between the Diagram and the game. This is for the rather obvious reason that the abstractions made in the diagram are hard to map to game behavior. This is not to say this is impossible, but this will require us to get a bit too close to the way a game engine chooses to implement certain features.

Even so, UP is still in an early product phase, so who knows what wonderful discoveries are waiting for us down the road? :). One idea we have is to expand our (currently minimal) game engine interfaces, so that UP can talk a lot more with your game logic.

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