MTuner
By Paul Haile

Brainstorm Topics: In-Engine vs. Outside App for Level Editors, Visual Script Editor Organization, Undo Stack for Multi-Editor Development, Tools Diagnostics, Survey: Dedicated Tools UX Designers, Telemetry, Small One-off Tools, Better 1st Party Tooling, Discoverability

In-engine vs. Outside Tool Level Editors:

  • In-Engine editors really get you closer to seeing direct results.
    • Downside is game instability = editor instability.
  • Some mix both of these with a common service layer in between actually holding the marbles.

Visual Scripting:

  • Try to reduce complexity of actual scripting system to reduce visual compexity in the editor. Bundle common sets of actions into a single node.
  • Some have created node graph diffing tools that work via image overlay on the node graph.
    • Underlying format in this case was XML and was difficult to parse in a diff, so the diffing tool was necessary.
  • Some have visual scripting as a light wrapper around an internal text-based scripting language. Solves diffing problem as you are saving out in your scripting language.
  • Sub-graphs are a necessity for keeping things organized.

Undo Queues:

  • Always implement undo to behave as external editors undo works (Maya, Photoshop, etc.) - users will expect it to behave the same way.
  • Someone mentioned an Our Machinery article on Undo but I wasnt able to find it to link here.

Diagnostics:

  • Make extensive use of remote logging, pipe to ELK stack for easy searchability.
  • Enable windows registry settings to catch any exception and send the dump to a network share for later analysis.

Telemetry:

  • Avoid drowning in data by having a mechanism for filtering what data users send up, or even which users send data.
  • Always consider privacy implications in your data collection policies if your tool is used publically. (GDPR!)
  • Auto generated reports help draw attention to key points in your data collection quickly so you dont have to sift through it.

1st Party Tooling:

  • Difficult topic - cross platform nature of most franchises mean we always fall to the lowest common denominator of available features.

Small One-Off Tools:

  • ImGui / Synergy integration with your in-game tools is neat.
  • A tool for quickly replaying debug commands to the console from the PC is useful. QA likes it.

Discoverability:

  • Contextual in-place UI helps users find features related to the action they are doing at that moment.
  • Many use ambassadors / advocates per-dicipline to spread the word and educate.