Today we are going in a hands-on review of nodeCanvas, a Unity plugin currently featured in the Unity Fantasy Games & GameDev Asset bundle on Humble. The Bundle is an amazing deal for Unity engine developers (and still a great one for non-Unity developers too) and you can learn more about the bundle in our coverage here as well as our previous hands-on coverage of ODIN here.
nodeCanvas is available on the Unity asset store for $85USD, so a $25 bundle price is an absolute deal. In terms of nodeCanvas features, this plugin provides a visual programming interface (and debugging tools) for creating Finite State Machines, Behavior Trees and Dialog Trees in Unity.
Highlight features of nodeCanvas:
• Sleek and Intuitive Visual Node Editor with all expected pro features.
(Full Undo/Redo, Zoom In/Out, Minimap, Multi-selection, Duplication, Copy/Pasting, JSON Import/Export, Groups, Comments and more)
• Graph, GameObject and Global Blackboard Variables to create reusable and agent-centric parametric behaviours.
• Data Bound Variables with instance or static properties and fields.
• Network Sync Variables with UNET.
(since UNET is now deprecated, this will be replaced with a new network solution)
• Prefab Overridable Variables.
• Auto-Convert non-identical variable data types.
• All Variable Types are supported out-of-the-box.
• Reusable behaviour graphs across any number of agents.
• Seamless SubGraphs nesting between all three graph modules.
(Behaviour Sub-Trees, Sub-State Machines, Sub-Dialogue Trees)
• Complete SubGraph Variables Parametrization and Mapping.
• Modular Action and Condition Tasks Design.
• Conditional Reactive Behaviour Trees Evaluation.
• Conditional and Stack-Based FSM Transitions.
• Colorful and informative runtime Visual Debugging.
• Node/Task Browser, to search, favorite and read built-in documentation.
• Preferred Types Configurator, to tailor type-related menus to your project needs.
• Graph Minimap, to navigate your graphs with ease.
• Graph Console, to automatically locate faulty nodes with a single mouse click.
• Graph Explorer, to search and find nodes, tasks and parameters in the graph.
• Graph Refactor, to batch refactor missing nodes, tasks and reflection references.
• Live Runtime Editing, to faster realize your design goals.
• Optimized Reflection Tasks, to automatically integrate existing code API.
• Built-In Event System, to communicate and transfer data within graphs.
• Clean and well-documented API, to extend NodeCanvas Framework and create your own Actions, Conditions, Nodes or even completely new graph modules.
• Object and Property Drawers, to customize inspectors in all ways possible.
• Integration with lots of 3rd Party Assets.
• Seamless Integration with FlowCanvas flowScripts.
• User Friendly. Lightweight. No Setup Required.
• Rock Solid Performance. Zero Allocations After Init. Async Graph Loading.
• All Platforms Supported out-of-the-box.
• Full C# Source Code included!
• And so much more…
You can learn more about nodeCanvas for Unity and see our review of it in action in the video below. If you decide to purchase the Unity Fantasy gamedev Humble bundle using our link you can direct a portion of the proceeds to support GFS (and thanks so much if you do!).