For the past months, we’ve been working hard on getting closer to our vision of what Machinations as the Game Design Platform should be. Connecting diagrams to game engines is one of those things. We’re now launching Machinations UP – our Unity Plugin – in closed beta. We’re giving access to a handful of studios, working closely together and listening carefully to their feedback, on our way to perfecting the plugin’s features.
Here’s the official teaser video, from our very own Mihai “Axonn” Toth, the Machinations engineer responsible for these shenanigans:
Save countless hours with real-time sync. Now available.
With Machinations UP, you can push values from your Machinations diagrams directly into your game, as seen in the video. This will save you countless hours of exporting, importing and validating CSVs, ping-ponging parameters between design and development. You’ll be able to switch between different versions of game design directly within your development environment, without a live connection to your diagram. This also means handing-off your game without any extra effort of migrating game design.
Upcoming: Game State Awareness
Game State Awareness will enable you to get values from multiple diagrams.
How will this help? Our go-to example is a game in which your player fights Ghouls. Naturally, during day-time Ghouls do normal damage, while at twilight and night-time, they yield more. With UP’s Game State Awareness feature, your game will be able to take Ghouls’ Damage (as well as any other values) from two different diagrams: one defined for day-time mechanics, one for night-time.
Coming Soon: Game-Aware Analytics
Currently under heavy development, our Game-Aware Analytics feature provides studios with a new way of understanding valuable gameplay data. A way to supercharge analytics by mapping events to Machinations diagrams, so you can see exactly how your changes impact the game. Game-Aware Analytics will enable you to record any Game or Game Object State changes and events. Sets of data will be saved at various points and, down the line, you’ll be able to import analytics data from third-party providers.
What does this mean? We believe this opens up a new way of using data throughout the whole game’s lifecycle: from internal testing to live-ops. We picture a seamless process in which data collection starts as early as the first prototype. Game design decisions should not be missing out on the thousands, of hours your team spends play-testing. After launch, you’ll be able to feed real player behaviour data into your diagrams and simulate the outcome of any new update before release.
Though we only support Unity at the moment, Machinations is an engine-agnostic game design tool and our game engine plugin stays true to this philosophy. In doing so, the goal is to provide libraries that support a wide range of game engines and programming languages, so stay tuned!
With game design, engine and data being interrelated, the potential of delivering even better content to your players, is endless.
During UP’s Closed Beta
As we’ll be working closely together with all studios trying out Machinations UP, actively improving and advancing the Unity Plugin based on their feedback, access will be given in batches to those who signed up. This secures our engineers can provide all the support needed. We just allowed access to the first batch of subscribers, next batches to follow soon.
In closing, I’ll leave you with this video in which Axonn and Cezar, our resident diagram wizard, experiment with Live Collaborative Editing and Machinations UP, to balance this simple arcade game. GLHF!