First announced in the SDK7 Manifesto, the Editor is an all-in-one content creation tool, aimed at replacing the scenes Builder, that will allow for more powerful yet accessible scene creation. Ultimately, it will become a tool that can be used by creators of any knowledge level, combining a visual interface with code editing capabilities. In its final version, creators should even be able to build interactive scenes without needing to use any code, creating through a purely visual process. Both technical and non-technical creators will find the creation process greatly improved through using the Editor instead of the Builder or the CLI (command line interface)!

Today, the first official version of the Editor is being introduced. This is the first of three consecutively more advanced versions that will be released, each one bringing new features:

  • Editor Version 1: Enhance the development experience
  • Editor Version 2: Separate art pipelines from developer pipelines
  • Editor Version 3: Enable the creation of interactive scenes without code

This staged release will allow Editor contributors to test, iterate, and start adding new features once previous versions are rock-solid.

How to install the Editor

The Decentraland Editor is developed as an extension for Visual Studio Code

  1. You must first download Visual Studio Code.
  2. Install the Decentraland Editor extension into Visual Studio Code.

The history behind the Editor

Before the Editor, Decentraland scenes could be created with the Builder and SDK. Not only was this a highly technical process only available to experienced coders, but it wasn’t exactly convenient either. In the Builder itself, creators could only position items and add some interactivity through ‘smart items’. If they wanted to modify those smart items, they’d have to do it via code using the SDK and CLI and then import it back into the Builder. Jumping back and forth between different programs did not make for a smooth development experience.

With what is planned for the final version of the Editor, developing scenes for Decentraland should become accessible to even those without a coding background. The development process should also become easy and stress-free, happening all in one place.

Version 1 Release Features

Version 1 of the Decentraland Editor is now out . It focuses on an improved developer experience compared to using the CLI. Some of the improvements, features, and attributes that can be highlighted about this first version are:

  • Easy installation: You only need to install an extension on your VSCode app. No other dependencies are needed, such as NodeJS or the Decentraland CLI. See the documentation.

  • No command line: The Editor removes the need of interacting with the command line, eliminating friction. All of the functionality that these tools provide is now available via UI buttons. However, command line tools are still available as an option for advanced users with very specific needs.

  • Create/Run/Publish/Preview a scene all via a graphic interface:
    • Create: with just a couple of clicks, you’ll be able to set up a new Decentraland scene project.

    • Run scene inside Editor: Instead of opening a browser window, the preview viewer opens as a tab within the editor. This is not just a matter of comfort, it gives us access to Visual Studio Code’s more advanced debug functionalities.

    • Publish: Click ‘Publish Scene’ to open a new tab in Visual Studio Code, showing info about what you’re publishing and where to.

  • Integrated Debugger: Now you’ll be able to add breakpoints to your scene’s code! When running a preview, whenever the code passes through a breakpoint, it pauses execution. A Debug panel opens, showing the current values of all. This is especially useful to validate that the data at a given point in time is what you expect. You can also modify the values of any variable manually and resume execution with the blue play button, using those new variables. This is great to test corner cases and to make sure the scene behaves as expected in every scenario, which might otherwise be a lot harder to reproduce.

Conclusions

The Decentraland Editor is a powerful and user-friendly tool that, in its final version will allow creators of all knowledge levels to easily develop interactive scenes. Built on top of the popular Visual Studio Code, and with new debugging capabilities, it’s on its way to become an essential tool for anyone looking to create engaging content in Decentraland. Explore its source code, read the documentation, or just try it out now!