3.2 Preview Alpha 13 Released!

What's up, Operators!

Today, we released an update to our content authoring tools in the 3.2 Preview branch of the TwilioQuest launcher. There are a few notable changes in this update, including a change to NPC conversations that may have a breaking impact on existing extensions (for a good cause, we hope). Read on for more details!

New NPC palette

In the template extension, you will now notice a new tileset being used called "TwilioQuestNPCs". This tileset contains about a dozen new pre-configured tiles you can drag onto the "Objects" layers of your maps. We intend to grow this tileset over time with new NPC characters you can add to your extensions. Check out the example VR map in the latest extension template to see this new feature in action!

Custom avatars for NPC conversations

The template extension has also been updated with an example of including custom NPC dialogue portraits in the "images/conversations" folder of your extension. Load the latest template extension and talk with the @rkubik NPC to see this feature in action :)

Breaking change

The major breaking change associated with this feature is that any previous extensions that used the "npc" point object (as in previous versions of the extension template) will no longer work as of Alpha 13. To migrate to the new API, drag in an NPC object from the "TwilioQuestNPCs" tileset, and configure the "conversation" custom property to point to your existing conversation Pug file. We recommend referencing the examples in the new template mission map to see how it all works.

Exposing some internals

To facilitate some wilder hackery in the first-party extensions the TwilioQuest team is developing, we exposed a new __internals property that will exist on the event object passed in to the events.js file for a level. We don't plan on documenting these internal APIs just yet. As we identify what features are actually essential, we will add them as documented features.

That being said, if you're feeling adventurous, you can console.log this new object and take a peek at what's there - you'll find references to the Phaser Game object and other goodies that might give your extension an extra bit of power. But don't blame us if/when it breaks!

Happy hacking!

Beyond the above major changes, there aren't a huge number of changes in Alpha 13. Our team has been focused on our own first-party extension development, which we hope to have ready at SIGNAL 2021. Once we're a bit further along, we plan to open source that content so you can reference our extension code, and see how you can accomplish the same game features we do. We'll be sure to update you when any of that code is available.

Until then, please join us in the extension-dev channel on the TwilioQuest Discord to chat with other extension authors, check out our extension authoring documentation, and follow us on Twitter for more updates as they come!

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