User Manual

Script Attributes

Script Attributes are a powerful feature that lets you expose values from your script files so that they appear in the PlayCanvas Editor. This means you can write code once, and then tweak values on different instances of an Entity to give them different properties. This is perfect for exposing properties for artists, designers or other non-programmer team members so that they are able to adjust and modify values without writing code.

Declaring Script Attributes

Script Attributes are declared at the top of your script file using this format:

var MyScript = pc.createScript('myScript');

MyScript.attributes.add('speed', {
    type: 'number',
    default: 80
});

In this example, we're declaring a property called speed which is a number and has a default value of 80:

Getting Attributes into Editor

Once you've declared your attributes the Editor needs to parse the code in order to expose the script attributes. If attributes have been changed, you need to manually refresh the attributes you can click the parse button.

Accessing attributes in your code

When you declare an attribute in your script it will be available as a member variable on your script instance. For example, the speed property declared above is available as this.speed.

MyScript.prototype.update = function (dt) {
    this.entity.translate(this.speed * dt, 0, 0);
}

Updating attributes

When you modify an attribute in the editor the changes are sent to any copies of the application launched from the editor. This means you can live edit your attributes without reloading your application. If you need to apply special behaviour when an attribute changes. Use the attr and attr:[name] events to respond to changes

MyScript.prototype.initialize = function () {
    // fires only for `speed` attribute
    this.on('attr:speed', function (value, prev) {
        // new value for speed
    });

    // fires for all attribute changes
    this.on('attr', function(name, value, prev) {
        // new attribute value
    });
}

Attribute types

When you declare an attribute you also declare the type of the attribute. This allows the editor to show the relevant controls for you to edit the attribute. Most types are self-explanatory, for example, 'boolean', 'number' or 'string'. But some require some further explanation in the below examples. See the full attribute reference for more details.

Entity attribute

MyScript.attributes.add('target', { type: 'entity' })

The Entity type lets your reference another entity in your hierarchy. A great way to link two entities together.

Asset attribute

MyScript.attributes.add('textures', { type: 'asset', assetType: 'texture', array: true });

The Asset attribute let's you reference a project asset in your script. The asset attribute also supports the array property to let you specify a list of assets, and the assetType property which limits the attribute to assets of a particular type, e.g. 'texture', 'material', 'model'.

The runtime type of an Asset attribute is pc.Asset. You can reference the resource of an Asset attribute at runtime like so:

MyScript.attributes.add('texture', {type: 'asset', assetType: 'texture'});

MyScript.prototype.initialize = function () {
    console.log('This is the texture asset', this.texture);
    console.log('This is the texture resource', this.texture.resource);
};

Color attribute

MyScript.attributes.add('color', { type: 'rgba' });

The color attribute shows a color picker when exposed in the editor. There are two options rgb and rgba depending on whether you wish to expose the alpha channel as well.

Curve attribute

MyScript.attributes.add('wave', { type: 'curve' }); // one curve
MyScript.attributes.add('wave', { type: 'curve', curves: [ 'x', 'y', 'z' ] }); // three curves: x, y, z
MyScript.attributes.add('wave', { type: 'curve', color: 'r' }); // one curve for red channel
MyScript.attributes.add('wave', { type: 'curve', color: 'rgba' }); // four curves for full color including alpha

The curve attribute is used to express a value that changes over a time period. All curves are defined over the period 0.0 - 1.0. You can define multiple curves, for example if you wish to have a 3D position from a curve defined three curves for x,y,z using the curves property. There is also a special curve editor for modifying colors using the color property.

Enumeration attribute

The last special attribute property is the Enumeration

MyScript.attributes.add('value', {
    type: 'number',
    enum: [
        { 'valueOne': 1 },
        { 'valueTwo': 2 },
        { 'valueThree': 3 }
    ]
});

Use the enum property to declare the list of possible values for your enumeration. Property is an array of objects where each object is an option where key is a title of an option and value is a value for attribute. This property can be used for various attribute types, e.g. number, string, vec3.