You can discuss this newsletter on its forum thread.
This email is the first edition of the Narrat newsletter, and as such the exact format will likely be tweaked over time. I'm expecting this newsletter to be monthly, but this will probably vary depending on what's happening
The newsletter will aim to bring important or interesting updates about Narrat, as well as interesting Narrat-related news. Here's some potential things you might see in here:
You probably know the answer if you're here, but it does feel weird to start the first newsletter without an introduction. Narrat is a game engine for making narrative games. It uses web technology and can release games for web and desktop. The main reasons to use Narrat are:
Now that the intro is out of the way, something you'll probably see in every edition of the newsletter is the highlight section. I think highlighting some kind of feature of Narrat in every newsletter will be a fun way for people to learn more about it. So, for this first one we're going to look at the sprites system.
We have the viewport system with screens and buttons. This is great for adding interactivity to your scenes, but viewport buttons are limited and static: buttons need to all be defined in a yaml file, so you can't dynamically make new things appear/disappear.
The sprites system (also known as "screen objects", but I'm liking this name less and less) allows you to dynamically add elements like text and images from your scripts. It uses a scene graph similar to what you'd see in other game engines where objects can have children which can be other objects etc.
Here's an example usage of sprites in an in-progress game from the Narrat Jam 2 by Poppy
Sprites allow you to build more complex UIs or dynamic content on top of your screens, especially useful for:
I've been working little by little on Gamepad Support. As of 3.2.13, you can use the gamepad to navigate pretty much the entire game.
I had to add fancy navigation systems for complex UIs like the inventory system to work on gamepad. Only parts of the engine left to add full gamepad support in are the quests and achievements list.
You can see a recent post about it which contains a little video of it
The new Hot Module Reloading feature added recently for Narrat 3.0.0 allows people to write games even faster than before.
Hot Module Reloading makes your narrat scripts be reloaded live whenever you save a file, without having to restart the game. This means you can tweak your game's script halfway through playing it, and changes will be immediate. There was a post about it with more details
This time, we're showcasing Two Women in Trouble by Mia Cain, the first Narrat game.
"Follow Hornet and Emily in their attempt to escape the City, in all its neon glory."
I think it's a game that's worth playing with very pretty art and good dialogue. The setting and story are very interesting and quickly make you want to know more about those characters.
Two Women in Trouble was the first Narrat game to actually be released (the original game Narrat was made for is still in development). Fixing bugs and adding things to help Mia finish her game was actually a good way to test the engine and make sure it was ready for public use back then.
The Narrat Jam 2 is still going until August. It's a great occasion to try making a Narrat game. You don't need to make anything big, any game made with Narrat qualifies, even if it's a prototype, demo or work in progress!
There is a relatively new narrat-examples repository for example narrat games and scripts. I hope it will evolve over time into a big collection of useful templates/demos/examples for Narrat games. I've already put a few things in it like for example the theme swapping demo.
If you have an example or template game you want to add to it, feel free to open a pull request. Contributions are welcome
Did you know there is a Narrat Forum? I hope people will use it when needing help or to post tips/discuss the engine. Because forums are actual websites, they can be searched and found on search engines. Every time someone asks for help on the forum, other people in the future might benefit from the help given!
As this is the first edition of the newsletter, please don't hesitate to give feedback about it and what you want to see in it. You can post your feedback on the forums for example.