Updates Since the Tutorial Videos

Denizen has had quite a number of updates over the years since the original tutorial videos were published (5-6 years ago)! This guide page documents the changes that you should know about for best practices.

Editor of Choice

In the tutorial videos, Notepad++ was displayed as the script editor to use. This was basically just a slightly better text editor. Since then, we've gotten an actual proper script editor, based on an extension to VS Code.

For more information, refer to the page on Setting Up The Script Editor.

We're on Discord Now

The tutorial videos showcase some interactions with a bot on IRC - if you've tried to reach this IRC, you've already seen the messages that we moved to Discord. You're probably also aware of that if you got to this guide.

But, just in case you haven't yet seen it - we're on Discord, so join us there!. We provide human support and bot-assisted searches/script-checking/etc. there.

Colon Syntax

Braced syntax has been replaced with colon syntax. As documented on the page for The If Command, colon syntax allows you to use multiple commands within commands like if and foreach. Unlike braced syntax, no closing character is needed - when you return to the prior level of spacing, the script will continue as normal.

If you've written scripts using braced syntax, you can quickly convert them to colon syntax by deleting all closing brace characters (}), replacing the opening brace character ({) with a colon, and removing any extra spaces between the colon and the last other character in the line.

For example, here's a script converted from braced syntax to colon syntax:

old_brace_syntax:
    type: task
    script:
    - if <player.has_flag[test]> {
        - narrate "This is an example of braced syntax!"
        }
    - narrate "This narrate will always run!"
new_colon_syntax:
    type: task
    script:
    - if <player.has_flag[test]>:
        - narrate "This is an example of colon syntax!"
    - narrate "This narrate will always run!"

Colon syntax is easier to write, looks cleaner, and as an added bonus, Denizen even parses it more efficiently!

Definition Syntax

The define command has had two significant changes - first, the syntax has changed for the definition tag itself, and second, the define command now supports data actions.

The videos taught two different forms of definition syntax: First, the 'ancient style' percent syntax (like %this%), and second, the 'old style' tag syntax (like <def[this]>). Definition tags no longer look like that, but instead looks like <[this]> (for a definition named this, of course). For additional details on how to use and modify definitions, please see the Definitions page.

Note that %name% is considered ancient and completely unsupported, and should never be used. <def[name]> however is considered an older/alternative syntax for the modern <[name]> (it's the same tag-base syntax, except the empty-name tag is now available in place of a tag named def).

Here's an example of the old syntax updated to the new syntax:

old_definition_syntax:
    type: task
    script:
    - define name <player.name>
    # Ancient
    - narrate "Hello, %name%!"
    # Old
    - narrate "Hello, <def[name]>!"
new_definition_syntax:
    type: task
    script:
    - define name:<player.name>
    - narrate "Hello, <[name]>!"

Changes To The While Command

In the past, the while command previously only accepted one argument, so it was necessary to use tags like <player.health.is[>=].to[10]>]> to evaluate expressions.

This limitation no longer exists - the while command now supports operators, the same as the if command.

The following is an example of a task script using the while command that will wait for a player's health to drop below 10, then narrate a warning to them, with both old and modern syntax:

old_while_syntax:
    type: task
    script:
    - narrate "Challenge: don't lose too much health!"
    - while <player.health.is[>=].to[10]>:
        - wait 1s
    - narrate "Your health got too low! You lose!"
new_while_syntax:
    type:
    script:
    - narrate "Challenge: don't lose too much health!"
    - while <player.health> >= 10:
        - wait 1s
    - narrate "Your health got too low! You lose!"

Note that this specific waiting-until-something style of logic has as well been replaced by a specialized command, waituntil, which can be used like so:

new_while_syntax:
    type:
    script:
    - narrate "Challenge: don't lose too much health!"
    - waituntil rate:1s <player.health> < 10
    - narrate "Your health got too low! You lose!"

Assignment Script Updates

Historically, multiple interact scripts were used on NPCs with conditions to determine which script would run. Denizen now features steps in interact scripts and the zap command, so only one interact script is needed (and supported). The numbers next to the interact scripts entry of an assignment script, accordingly, are no longer necessary and should be removed.

Here are examples of old and updated syntax:

old_assignment_script:
    type: assignment
    interact scripts:
    - 10 my_cool_npc_interaction
new_assignment_script:
    type: assignment
    interact scripts:
    - my_cool_npc_interaction

Stop Is The New Queue Clear

queue clear was once used to stop a queue while it was running. That command has been updated to stop.

The replacement is simple:

old_queue_clear:
    type: task
    script:
    - if <player.has_flag[buff]>:
        - queue clear
    - narrate "You don't have the necessary buff!"
new_stop:
    type: task
    script:
    - if <player.has_flag[buff]>:
        - stop
    - narrate "You don't have the necessary buff!"

Use .has_flag[] To Check Flag Existence

In the past, including the Kill Quest tutorial video, .flag[] was used to check both the value of a flag and whether the flag existed.

Now, the correct way to check whether a flag exists is to use .has_flag[]. .flag[] is now only for reading the value of a flag, and should only be used where the flag is known to exist (or with a fallback). Here is an example:

old_flag:
    type: task
    script:
    - if <player.flag[VIP]>:
        - narrate "Your VIP level is <player.flag[VIP]>!"
new_has_flag:
    type: task
    script:
    - if <player.has_flag[VIP]>:
        - narrate "Your VIP level is <player.flag[VIP]>!"

Event Cancellation Is A Little More Advanced Now

In the tutorial video for Inventory GUIs, it is taught to cancel the generic clicks event, and run actions in response to the more specific event.

While this is still correct, it is missing a necessary component to work well in modern Denizen.

In the past, events would just all fire, and if an event got cancelled that just means the underlying action wouldn't be performed. In modern Denizen, the system more intelligently knows to not fire more script events after the event was cancelled. While this can be simply disabled for the relevant events a better solution is to instead guarantee that the generic event that cancels it will run last. This is as easy as adding a high-valued priority to the cancelling event line.

So, where previously you had on player clicks in my_inventory: you now instead have on player clicks in my_inventory priority:100:, and a similar change to the drags event line. Event priorities run in numerical order, with a default of 0. So all the specific events, with their default priority, will run first, and then only after they're done, the generic cancellation events (now at priority 100) will fire last.