Bye for now Playcanvas, I am moving to Babylon.js


#1

I see you have recently added GIT support .
This is great, one of the reasons I have been developing offline and not using the Playcanvas editor heavily is so I can have GIT support …now if you could make your documentation more usable with real world examples I will no doubt be back again. But I am now focusing on Babylon for the foreseeable future.

I hope any devs reading this take this as constructive feedback only. I want you all to be happy and to succeed and I really really want to use Playcanvas again in the future. The only reason why I am making this post is because I want PC to be brilliant to use.

Example
This is 90% indecipherable to me - https://developer.playcanvas.com/en/api/pc.CameraComponent.html
This is outstanding! - https://doc.babylonjs.com/babylon101/cameras

Look at the following playcanvas docs code … how is useful? What does the enterVr function do? How can I use this in creative ways? I have no idea and I have to spend time setting up a project and debugging the code to figure out how it works or what it does.

// On an entity with a camera component
this.entity.camera.enterVr(function (err) {
    if (err) {
        console.error(err);
        return;
    } else {
        // in VR!
    }
});

But with Babylon … i just have to search their playground for an example and I get so many great and simple examples to demonstrate the core features of whatever I have found in the documentation. I can save code and throw it into Visual Studio to view the project and so much more.
https://playground.babylonjs.com/#8MGKWK#25
I can analyse the code and break it down quickly. I have always found this to be very clunky with Playcanvas even in some of your tutorials, please please please improve the docs with good and simple practical examples of your api, there is so much that I would like to learn about it but I do not have the time to spare. And as great as people are responding here on the forum, asking questions on a forum is not an efficient way to learn.

I love using Playcanvas and I have paid monthly for a couple of years now and have used it on some interesting projects and will not doubt continue to do so in the future for certain applications. But after recently reviewing Babylon.js again for a week and seeing how the great examples in the documentation solved many of the difficult problems I had been having with Playcanvas in just a few days, I think i’m going to focus on Babylon going forward as it’s a lot easier to get to grips with their documentation and API for more complex programming and being able to integrate with NODE.js which for me is essential.

I REALLY hope you update your docs, I want PC to be easier to learn and use because the Playcanvas GUI is damm enticing for so many reasons! And I want anyone working on 3d for the web to have massive success. But I need to invest my time in something that will allow me to learn more and develop more interesting and complex code and projects faster.

Thanks for making Playcanvas so awesome! I will no doubt be back.


#2

How quickly do the devs get back on issues on the Babylon forums, compared to PlayCanvas?
Also, how much is Babylon?


#3

hi I still think playcanvas is better but i can agree that the tutorials and documentation are not the best


#4

The babylon community seems pretty good so far but I have only been using it a week. The devs seem to be ramping up their work too which is promising. https://github.com/BabylonJS/Babylon.js/graphs/code-frequency

I do NOT think babylon is better. I think babylons docs have addressed some issues I had with Playcanvas thanks to their brilliant documentation. So I am taking away my time from PC and putting it into Babylon for now and cancelling my monthly PC plan. Over the next few months I may port my game over to babylon . Time will tell.

Another fairly large factor for me is babylon has great .gltf support and I have found that my workflow with Maya and Blender feels a lot faster and more efficient with babylon. It feels like I can load models up and modify their shaders and textures much faster with babylon. Things that took me weeks to figure out in PC I have done in a few days with Babylon. https://doc.babylonjs.com/resources/maya_to_gltf#pbr-materials

PC does the same thing but I just prefer babylons way - https://github.com/playcanvas/playcanvas-gltf


Better Examples
#5

Thanks for your comments @dirkus. Sorry that you have had difficulties with the documentation - it’s certainly something we take seriously and always looking to improve. If there are specific things you are having difficulty with (apart from the examples you already posted) let us know. We want PlayCanvas to be easy to use for everyone.

Code-wise we try to make things consistent and self-documenting but we are definitely willing to add more docs.


#6

I’ll check it out. In terms of documentation @vaios if you want to broaden your base of users, you need to have examples in each of your definitions in your API. You should not expect your users to go out searching the web for examples done in unity or Three JS and expect them to translate it to PC.

Take pc.Material for example. There are no examples in there of how to adjust anything. Not one bit of documentation whatsoever beyond a very sparse definition. Take a look at jQuery. Please look at how they handle documentation of each and every feature.


#7

Thanks guys - docs is a thing that basically can never stop improving. We generally try and document the API but most of the love goes to the classes that users tend to interact more with. e.g. pc.StandardMaterial has more docs that pc.Material because all the built-in PlayCanvas materials are pc.StandardMaterials. It’s a balance between complexity of the class that we have to document and available time as we are a small team.

But again not dismissing any of the comments, and we will try to add more examples as well.


#8

@groupsjrBrianDouglas You get my frustration completely and yes jQuery is an excellent example of almost perfect documentation they give you what you need to get going on all the features and the way the examples are presented gives the user ideas on how to customise the code.

@vaios Take a look at the docs for standard material. The comment that @groupsjrBrianDouglas just made perfectly applies to pc.StandardMaterial as well. https://developer.playcanvas.com/en/api/pc.StandardMaterial.html

I know how to apply a texture to the diffuse property for example … but I had to make a forum post to get the info on how to do it in the code without using the editor.

Take a look at the tutorials section for textures … which is certainly one of the most important things you need to learn about WebGL - https://developer.playcanvas.com/en/tutorials/?tags=textures … how many pages did you have to load up to find “pc.StandardMaterial” … did you even find an example?

Another problem is that all the tutorials are geared towards using the PC GUI … which is a great shame for reasons I explained in my top post.


#9

I recommended the same things many months ago.Things got better a bit since then but still considering the lack of comprehensive detailed study materials,books and tutorials I think that PC is not convenient yet for everyone. Probably for expert game developers things are easy with some random examples and basic documentation. I suggested using play canvas gaming engine to make niche gamified interactive tutorials. Because it is more engaging than just giving instructions. I love Play Canvas editor and features plus the APIs seems intuitive. I have used it with React and node.js before.
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