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Thoughts, Questions, & Suggestions after my first day of use...

WoodenDragon 2 years ago updated by ylluminate 2 years ago 17

First of all, I want to say congratulations on a great tool! It looks fabulous, it's very polished, and feels very powerful and capable. I'm almost embarrassed to say this, but I have Playmaker, FlowCanvas, Blox, Nottorus, GameFlow, and Adventure Creator, so the 'Bolt' experience is somewhat familiar; however, it certainly has it's own flavors and nuances... I'm really looking forward to the video tutorials though!

Issues (Minor):

  • Upon hitting play it looks like I'm getting several seconds of lag before the scene kicks in
    • PC Specs: Intel Core i7-7700k @ 4.20GHz, 32GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
    • Unity Version: 2017.1.0f3 personal
  • The Cache rebuilding after every scene stopping gets irritating quick...

Questions:

  • Is there a way to open multiple Flow/State Machines? I'm finding it very tedious to go back and forth between the Flow/State Machines by choosing them in the inspector or project windows. Multiple tabs or some type of selection list would be nice.
  • Is there a way to define a custom enum or list as a variable type, other then defining it within a script?
  • Is there a Roadmap published anywhere?

Suggestions: (You may have some of these already)

  • It would be great if there was a way to slow down, change, or stop the animation of the flows during runtime. The flows blink so fast I'm finding myself nauseous when the graph window is open...
  • It would be amazing if we could get the Flow/State Graph 'Title' somewhere on the inspector scripts. It gets very annoying trying to find a particular Flow/State when there are several listed in the inspector, especially when your coming back to it from a break.
  • I would love for there to be a default option to have the Graph Inspector and Variable window docked within the Graph window (right side).
  • Allow for different color shades of the graph grouping boxes
  • Allow for comments somewhere within the graph window
  • Variable drag and drop
  • I see there is a Debug Break node; however, it would be great to be able to toggle a breakpoints along flow arrows. That way you don't have to disrupt your graph adding nodes in and out...


Keep up the great work!

Bolt Version:
Unity Version:
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Hey WoodenDragon, 

Issues (Minor):

  • Upon hitting play it looks like I'm getting several seconds of lag before the scene kicks in
    • PC Specs: Intel Core i7-7700k @ 4.20GHz, 32GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
    • Unity Version: 2017.1.0f3 personal
  • The Cache rebuilding after every scene stopping gets irritating quick...

Take  look here-

http://support.ludiq.io/topics/237-load-times-codebase-analysis-unit-caching/

Questions:

  • Is there a way to open multiple Flow/State Machines? I'm finding it very tedious to go back and forth between the Flow/State Machines by choosing them in the inspector or project windows. Multiple tabs or some type of selection list would be nice.

Thats a very good idea, Tabs in particular.


Is there a Roadmap published anywhere?

For now, take a look here- 

http://support.ludiq.io/forums/5-bolt/

and under the ideas Tab, you can see all items marked planned.


  • It would be amazing if we could get the Flow/State Graph 'Title' somewhere on the inspector scripts. It gets very annoying trying to find a particular Flow/State when there are several listed in the inspector, especially when your coming back to it from a break.

Another good idea. I would also like to see an Icon of some kind in the inspector denoting any object that has a machine or variables.


  • I would love for there to be a default option to have the Graph Inspector and Variable window docked within the Graph window (right side).

Also a useful option I would like. And with it the ability to minimize same with the graph editor window.

  • Allow for different color shades of the graph grouping boxes

Gets my vote

  • Allow for comments somewhere within the graph window

A an option dialogue box right above or below a node/unit for it would be good or are you referring to just connected the graph editor? 

  • Variable drag and drop

That is planned under ideas.


An optional dialogue box right above or below a node/unit for it would be good or are you referring to just connected the graph editor? 

I prefer the optional dialogue box. Also, it might be nice to have the ability to create a floating dialogue box instead of it being connected to a node.

Interesting thought. Well Lazlo has proven he takes  these suggestions to heart and while there are nodes that could do that now a dedicated comment node could be useful. 

If you're not already using it, check out SimpleNote on the asset store. While it will not help in the graph it is free, powerful and very useful.

+2

Thanks for the suggestion, I'll have to look into that.

I suppose I could also put comments in the Graph Inspector, but that's not quite as useful.

I know I like putting comments next to complex code or workarounds so I remember what I was thinking at the time. My memory isn't what it use to be and I'm definitely not getting younger, so any type of commenting system would be great.

Comments could also be in the form of tooltips. You could set it on the node or flow via a right click, and they only display on mouseover. That way they won't clutter the flow. Just a thought...

+1
Pending Review

Hey WoodenDragon! :) Welcome to the community.

Thanks for the in-depth feedback. I'll address it point by point, but I'll also redirect you to separate issues so I can keep track of each thing separately.

  • Caching time: Eliminating this is my first priority. I want to publish a new version in August that remembers the codebase analysis and only does it once, when you tell it to.
  • Playmode hang: I'll investigate this as well, but the caching time is more pressing at the moment. You can follow the progress of the discussion here: http://support.ludiq.io/topics/237-load-times-codebase-analysis-unit-caching/
  • Multiple tabs/windows: There is no way to do that at the moment, but it's a good idea. I've created a topic about it here, you can upvote it if you want! http://support.ludiq.io/topics/287-multiple-graph-window-tabs/
  • Define enum: Sadly no, currently you can only define enums by script (although that script should be a few lines long at most). I'm unlikely to include an enum definition asset because the complexity-to-benefit ratio is a bit high. There is however a Switch on String unit that may emulate an enum "on-the-fly" if you want. You'll find it in the Control article in the unit reference: http://support.ludiq.io/topics/188-control/
  • Roadmap: This community is the roadmap! :) Just look at the Ideas tab on the main page, and you'll see all the suggestions and their development status. Upvote on the ones you want to see implemented next!
  • Animation: I'm not sure about what animation you mean; to be precise, the current flow has to be traced frame-by-frame. Do you mean that the blue coloring for active nodes and collections switches too fast and makes you nauseous? 
  • Title and description in machine: That's already planned! You can vote for the idea here: http://support.ludiq.io/topics/215-graph-title-summary-in-machine-inspector/
  • Default docking: I can't force Unity to dock windows in a specific way, and I'm not sure why I would want to. The layout system allows everyone to configure windows to their liking, and once they're configured, they shouldn't move unless they're closed. Do you have an issue with windows not keeping their place?
  • Group custom color: Created an idea thread for it, you can vote for it here: http://support.ludiq.io/topics/288-custom-colors-for-groups/
  • Comments: Created another idea thread for it: http://support.ludiq.io/topics/289-/
  • Variable drag & drop: There's already an idea thread for it here: http://support.ludiq.io/topics/203-variable-drag-drop/
  • Breakpoints: Interesting idea. How and where would you define the breakpoint? You can't select the connection itself, so would you define it at the unit level? The port level? What should happen when you reach the breakpoint?

Let me know if that answers all your questions! :)

Don't forget this one, 

  • It would be amazing if we could get the Flow/State Graph 'Title' somewhere on the inspector scripts. It gets very annoying trying to find a particular Flow/State when there are several listed in the inspector, especially when your coming back to it from a break.

Another good idea. I would also like to see an Icon of some kind in the inspector denoting any object that has a machine or variables next to the objects name in the Hierarchy.

I didn't! :) It's already an idea here: http://support.ludiq.io/topics/215-graph-title-summary-in-machine-inspector/

I'll create an idea thread for the hierarchy icons.

Ah, Must have missed that. Ty.

Do you mean that the blue coloring for active nodes and collections switches too fast and makes you nauseous? Yes, the flickering as it passes through the frame is very disturbing to me for some reason...

How and where would you define the breakpoint? You can't select the connection itself, so would you define it at the unit level? The port level? What should happen when you reach the breakpoint? I would imagine the breakpoint would be some sort of toggle on the node itself. The breakpoint would allow you to pause the 'flow' so you could inspect variables before they pass through the node. If you could change the breakpoint toggle during runtime you could then toggle other nodes ahead of it and you would be able to step through your flows. I think that it would be amazing tool for troubleshooting.

Default docking: I can't force Unity to dock windows in a specific way, and I'm not sure why I would want to. The layout system allows everyone to configure windows to their liking, and once they're configured, they shouldn't move unless they're closed. Do you have an issue with windows not keeping their place? I personally like to keep my graph window undocked from unity with the Bolt inspector and variables docked within the bolt graph. My problem is once I close the graph and reopen it, the inspector is no longer docked within and the variables window is closed.

Thanks much for all your assistance!

Hi WoodenDragon,

I'll keep that in mind, but I'm not sure what I can do to smooth out the animation.

The breakpoint suggestion is good, I created an idea thread for it: 
http://support.ludiq.io/topics/300-breakpoint-toggle-on-units/

About the windows, there's nothing I can do if you close the window. Unity only saves your layout as long as you keep the windows open. I cannot want to make the variables window a part of the graph window because it takes away flexibility from everyone who would like a different layout.

Can I add something as well after my first day of use? I agree with all of the above.

If there are multiple flow graphs attached to the same object, the last graph that is in use should be the one that displays in play mode. When I enter play mode and want to look at a graph by pausing the scene and selecting the object with the graph, the first graph that is displayed is the graph that is first in the component list in the inspector, the graph that I was working on last before entering playmode, if it's second in the list of graph components, has to be clicked on separately.

And, yes, showing the names of graphs would be awesome.

Also, the bread crumbs are confusing to me - one object, multiple graphs. I can click back on forth the edit graph button between the two graphs and generate more bread crumbs, but I don't understand this feature. Is this for multiple graphs referencing each other? If so, should clicking on a bread crumb then close that bread crumb?

Hi Steve,

About your first suggestion, it would get a bit confusing to me; what if the last graph you edited was the first one in the list? How would Bolt know? Maybe this will become easier once there are tabs for the graph window and they can all open at once.

About the breadcrumbs: these are meant for nesting (e.g. super units, or when you double-click a state in a state graph). It indicates where you are in the "depth" chain. Clicking on Edit Graph shouldn't "generate more breadcrumbs"; can you send me a screenshot of what you mean?

Could not you store the last edited graphs name somewhere and call that when playmode is entered, reopen graph? I have absolutely no idea about this, btw. :)

Thanks Lazlo and William for the feedback! Also please ignore the incorrect graph node connections.

Bread crumbs:

Wow, that's a bug! I'll convert it to a separate issue. It should just update the root breadcrumb, not add children. Edit: http://support.ludiq.io/topics/303-clicking-edit-graph-on-same-game-object-nests-breadcrumbs/

I believe your referring to  nesting. The trail at the top left of the graph correct. If so, that will only show if you are using super units and state machines  I believe. When you start a graph, you're at the top level, when you dbl click on a state machine  initially entry or create a super unit and dbl click it, you go to the next level down and add another breadcrumb as you call it. It's just a fast easy way to go to the different levels. So, think of it like an elevator. Left, top floor, so on. Does that help. I believe in this case it is still just one graph, just different levels for your Super units or state machines. 

@WoodenDragon how've you found Bolt comparing to Nottorus so far over the last several months?