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Thread: Node based events for MMF3?

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    Node based events for MMF3?

    So I was just thinking about how to improve the events editor in MMF3. Since Clickteam has made it pretty clear that they want to stay events based and avoid going into actual written code, I think this might be a good way to upgrade the events system to make it more flexible and powerful, along with being a lot easier to read.

    Forgive the crude drawings, but it illustrates my point:



    adding new conditions to existing actions is easy with nodes:



    Right now MMF2's event editor is very linear and can force a lot of duplicated conditions and actions that aren't always needed. It also gets really hard to read and visualize what's happening in your events list when the amount of events starts to get rather large. Anyone who has ever used a node based development program before would know just how powerful nodes can really be. In my animation job, I mainly use AfterEffects a lot, which has a similar layer structure to MMF2's event structure... top to bottom. But I also sometimes use a program called Nuke or Fusion, and these are node based and allow for greater flexibility by far. While the learning curve can be slightly different, it's still extremely simple to use a node based system, and the possibilities are endless when it comes to what you can creatively do with nodes.

    It would still be possible to create a node tree that runs some events in a linear fashion. It would be possible to group nodes and hide tons of nodes inside a single parent node. If anyone is interested, I could definitely create some better looking proofs of concept and explain in further detail just how it would work.

    So what do you guys think? Interesting? Yes? No?

  2. #2
    Clicker Fusion 2.5 MacFusion 2.5 DeveloperAndroid Export ModuleHTML5 Export ModuleiOS Export ModuleSWF Export ModuleXNA Export ModuleUnicode Add-on
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    Interesting, but it would become incredibly complex. I think the desire for "else" is more pressing.

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    Clicker

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    Complex how? I've seen compositions in Fusion and Nuke that have hundreds and hundreds of nodes that are organized and easy to manage.

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    This is an interesting concept for sure, but I would like to see more complex examples. Would you have different node 'clusters'?

    Ie:

    Player pressing right --> move active right, play walking animation
    Player pressing right and Down --> play crouching animation, face right direction (but not move)
    player holding right while in air --> move active right, play jumping/falling animation

    Would all of these stem off the same "player pressing right" main node? then break into like, smaller nodes for the specifics?

    For CoI I have a large handful of directional combinations for various actions so I wonder how easy to manage it would be.

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    So this is just another quick mock up because it doesn't bother to include icons and such, which would make the nodes bit easier to read. But you can see how we can do all of the above with just a couple of nodes. There could be a small button near the "Player Moved Right" node that lets you minimize all of the children into it, so all you'd see is a single "Player Moved Right" node if you wanted to hide the other events.

    Again if you look at the comparison between nodes and the event editor, you can see the nodes are readable to see exactly what is going on at a glance, while the event editor makes you have to actually mouse over each box to see what actions are taking place.

    Here's an example of the Kismet Editor in Unreal (some engine that is apparently pretty popular ;P)



    While it looks complicated, it really is easy to use as it's literally just plugging things into each other. If there was more visualization of objects (like the icons of each object) on the nodes, then I think it would be easier to read also.

    As you can see, each node actually has various inputs and outputs to add more complexity where needed.

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    Clicker

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    Also to answer your question Chaos, it would be totally possible to set it up in the chain I showed in my example, or you could actually just make several "Player Moved Right" nodes and just put in each set of actions that way. So you could set it up exactly like MMF2 with 3 separate conditions or you could do it like my example and compress it down to one starting condition with other conditions branching from it.


    Edit: Also a HUGE benefit of using nodes is that you can literally just post a snapshot of your node trees and people can help debug them that way. It's very visual which seems like something Clickteam prefers.


    Edit2: One last comment while it's still in my head... This node based system wouldn't need to necessarily replace the existing one. But it could be an additional option. I've seen this done with many programs as well, where they have both the old system and the new node system. Turns out that most people migrate over to the new node system anyway, as it's just more powerful. It would be a great option for intermediate/advanced users who want more with MMF without having to resort to actually scripting things.

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    Clicker Fusion 2.5 MacFusion 2.5 DeveloperAndroid Export ModuleHTML5 Export ModuleiOS Export ModuleSWF Export ModuleXNA Export ModuleUnicode Add-on
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    Konidias, your idea is looking a bit better, but how would parameters taken from other objects be expressed?

    i.e. Do Action One with parameter Ceil(Fixed("Object")/2)

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    I would prefer sub-events over node-based events. In the very least you could click on the border between two cells and remove it so the action is for both events, I suppose...
    Working as fast as I can on Fusion 3

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    I like this idea, many tools use a node based, or flow chart looking system to help visualize how things work. Being able to understand nodes and flowcharts will help tremendously in the video game and other industries as well.

    Google's App Inventor (now controlled elsewhere and open source) for Android uses a neat way to organize what is happening too: http://www.carloslabs.com/files/app-...meter-test.gif

    Even if we could switch between the two in the Event Editor, it would be nice for those of us who might like to use it. =)

    Blender uses node blocks:
    http://usmsoftwaredev.files.wordpres...cter-logic.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phi View Post
    Konidias, your idea is looking a bit better, but how would parameters taken from other objects be expressed?

    i.e. Do Action One with parameter Ceil(Fixed("Object")/2)
    An expression node.


    I pressed for this also with some examples (XSI, er, now simply called SoftImage). Many applications use a nodal workflow (Houdini, Modo, etc.), while it can sometimes be complex, it is much easier to see precisely what is happen with a nodal set up.

    Anywho, you've got my support on this, I've always thought it to be easier to edit/view nodes than the event editor. That's not to say the event editor doesn't have it's role, I could definitely see a hybrid system also.

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