Sunset is by far the most complicated thing we’ve created in Unity. When we made our first Unity game, The Graveyard, we quickly realized that the tool was only going to be useful to us for making simple games. We came from the grand luxury of realtime visual programming offered by Quest3D with which we, artists and programming idiots, had built a multiplayer online game (The Endless Forest) and a horror game with semi-autonomous characters (The Path). The fact that Unity only offered script-based programming immediately meant that we had to dial down our ambitions. Our artist minds can perform magic with visuals but code makes our brains hurt. And compiling is the death knell for realtime creativity.
So here’s some of the state machines that make Sunset tick.
I love how visual programming gives me an overview of the logic that helps me decide whether it is correct. Maybe it’s superstition but when a graph looks pretty I think the logic runs better. A good looking state machine cannot have bugs.
Obviously some of the things above would be faster to program in code. If you know what you want before you start. And if you can keep a big game like Sunset in your head. But when experimenting or just forgetting about certain things, to me these graphical representations are much easier to read and much “lighter on the brain”. The excessiveness of some of the graphs helps me think about the logic. And the fact that you simply cannot make any typos in PlayMaker is a huge time saver. Now if they would only add realtime programming to Unity…
— Michaël Samyn.