Visual scripting

Visual scripting in Unity empowers creators to develop gameplay mechanics or interaction logic with a visual, graph-based system, instead of writing traditional lines of code.

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Want to get started with visual scripting as quickly as possible? This quick-start tutorial introduces the basics of visual scripting to help you make your own games with node-based logic.

Visual scripting in Unity, powered by Bolt

Scripting for non-programmers

Visual scripting in Unity helps team members create scripting logic with visual, drag-and-drop graphs instead of hand-writing code. It also enables more seamless collaboration between programmers, artists, and designers for faster prototyping and iteration.

Scripting for designers and artists

It’s a great choice for designers and artists who want to test ideas, make changes, or maintain more direct control over their work in Unity. Non-programmers can also make use of node graphs created by more technical team members.

Increase the speed of prototyping and testing for developers

Programmers can work faster

Using a visual scripting system can increase the speed of prototyping and testing for developers, avoiding wasted effort on handwritten code for ideas that might not be viable. Visual scripting is also a great way to make existing scripts more accessible or create tools for use by other members of a development team.

Key benefits

Flow Graphs

Flow Graphs are the main tool for creating interactions in your projects. Using node-based actions and values, these graphs let you execute logic in any order you specify, be it at every frame or when an event occurs.

State Graphs

State Graphs allow you to create self-contained behaviors that tell objects what actions to execute when they are in a particular state. They are suited for high-level logic such as AI behaviors, scene or level structure, or any aspect of a scene that requires behaviors that transition between states.

Live Editing

Make changes to graphs in Play Mode to see visual scripting updates in real-time. This offers a much faster way to iterate and test ideas without needing to recompile project changes.

Predictive debugging and analysis

Predict and indicate nodes that will crash before you even press play, and analyze your graphs to anticipate missing components or null references. If an error occurs at runtime, visual scripting will pinpoint its source by highlighting it in the graph.

Designed for ease of use

Visual scripting is designed to be accessible for less technical creators through user-friendly naming conventions, commenting and grouping features that keep graphs simple to read, and the Fuzzy Finder, which makes it easy to search for what you need.

Codebase compatibility

Use a method, field, property, or event from Unity, any third-party plugin, or even custom scripts within your graphs. Visual scripting directly accesses your codebase via reflection and is always up to date.

Frequently asked questions

What is visual scripting?

Visual scripting is a graphical way to manipulate objects and behaviors in Unity without hand-writing code. The logic is built by connecting visual nodes together, empowering artists, designers, and programmers to create gameplay and interactive systems in a simple way.

How can I access visual scripting?

From the 2021.1 release and onward, visual scripting is included in the Package Manager, and shipped with the Unity Editor.

For 2019 LTS and 2020 LTS releases, Bolt Visual Scripting can be found on the Unity Asset Store to download for free.

What is the Unity Asset Store?

The Unity Asset Store is a marketplace with thousands of free or affordably priced assets that save time and effort for Unity creators. It is a powerful resource for successful Unity developers that offers over 60,000 packs featuring tools and Editor extensions, 3D and 2D art, cinematic quality music and sound effects, and more.

What versions of Unity does Bolt Visual Scripting support?

Bolt Visual Scripting will continue to support projects on Unity 2018, 2019, and 2020 LTS versions.

How will visual scripting evolve, in Unity?

From the 2021.1 release and onwards, Unity will provide visual scripting as a core feature, included with the Unity Editor by default.

What about DOTS-based visual scripting?

Unity is in the process of evaluating the future of visual scripting in consideration of Bolt, Bolt 2, and our DOTS-based visual scripting solution. Our goal is to create a single, cohesive solution that does not result in broken features or fractured communities, and that meets user expectations around production-readiness. For more information on the evolution of visual scripting, please join us in the forums.

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