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You asked, we delivered. It’s taken us some time but we’re proud to present a seriously hefty collection of new features for the Metaverse. We appreciate your patience and hope you’re as excited as we are to finally add them to your developer armoury. Game Jam 2019 just got a whole lot more interesting!

1. Global click events

We’ve implemented support for detecting clicks that don’t have any specific target entity. For example, in a game where players shoot at moving targets, you might want to produce a firing sound every time the player clicks, even if they’re aiming at nothing in particular.

We also have BUTTON_DOWN and BUTTON_UP events, that allow you to track how long a player is pressing a button. For example, you might want a laser blaster that becomes super-charged the longer the ‘trigger’ is held down.

Because who doesn’t love a laser blaster that can do that?

Read more about this in the docs.

2. Support for primary and secondary buttons

Players can now interact with your scene in more ways, which opens the door to a lot of new game mechanics. Now, besides the pointer click, we have support for a PRIMARY and a SECONDARY button, mapped to the E and F keys on your keyboard.

Both these keys are handled as global events, but in case you want the keys to do something with a specific entity, you can also choose to track where the player was pointing at the time of pressing the key. Both keys also have BUTTON_DOWN and BUTTON_UP events, so for example in your scene the E key could be used to pick objects up and drop them again when the player takes their finger off the key.

Teaser scene (This scene also shows global click events)

Here’s the code for that teaser scene.

Read more about this in the docs.

3. Platforms move the player

If a player is standing on an entity and this entity moves, rotates, shrinks, enlarges, etc, the player’s position will change as you would expect, moving together with the entity they’re on.

This wasn’t always the case and we’re pleased to finally include the feature. The challenge in bringing it to you was that in Decentraland, unlike in any other gaming platforms, multiple scenes might be acting upon a player at the same time, so granting a scene the ability to move the player is controversial. The workaround is to have players moved indirectly by moving the floor below them.

You don’t need to do anything to your scene’s code for this to happen, things will just follow a more predictable set of rules from now on.

Teaser scene

4. Ray casting

If you’ve developed games before you’ll know this is a fundamental tool and it’s one we’ve been wanting to include for a while now. Ray casting allows you to trace an imaginary line in space and query if any objects are being crossed by that line. This is particularly useful for shooters, for determining the line of sight for AIs, for path-finding… you name it. Ray casting in Decentraland opens the door to so many new things and we can’t wait to see what you’ll come up with!

Teaser scene

Here’s the code for that teaser scene.

Read more about this in the docs.

5. Scene limit checking

This is a feature we had back when our engine was based in Babylon, but after our migration to Unity we needed to develop it again. Now you can tell when an entity, or part of an entity, is sitting outside a scene’s boundaries. When viewing the scene in preview mode, you’ll see the offending entity turn red as a warning. When viewing the scene deployed in Decentraland, offending entities will not be rendered, as they would otherwise be infringing on LAND owned by other people. And, of course, we need to be good neighbours.

If you run your scene in preview and notice that parts of it are now red, or become red as they move, make sure everything’s properly positioned in reference to the scene boundaries.

6. NFT art

This is something that’s been available for a couple of weeks now, but we wanted to delay announcing it so we could share everything in one hit. We now have several new NFTs added to our list of supported tokens for picture frames. Several are about digital art, making them a lot more interesting as pictures you might want to hang on the walls of your scene. New additions include:

  • Editional
  • Makersplace
  • KnownOrigin

Note that these newcomers aren’t yet supported on the Builder, but you can add them via the SDK. See the docs for more details.

One of our community members, @Holodot, is doing some amazing things in this space. Check out his various anarchic art projects in Decentraland’s Museum District here.

7. Various bug fixes

We’ve been hard at work making our platform more stable, predictable and efficient. If you participated in our last Game Jam in June (it was known as the Hackathon), you’ll notice huge differences in how fast the logic in a scene can run and the number of bugs. We’re still actively squashing some of them so stay tuned to hear about more fixes over the coming days.

If you haven’t already signed up for Game Jam 2019, be sure to get along to gamejam.decentraland.org and throw your virtual hat in the ring. Remember, there’s over $250k USD in prizes up for grabs. Unleash your imagination and get amongst the moula!