Guides/Scripting Guide/Tutorials/Create Entity

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Creating entities

By now, you should know how to add presences to an entity. This tutorial describes how you would go about creating a new entity. We'll use an example in which we create a new entity, and then have that entity's presence move through the world.

The create entity call

All a scripter does to create a new entity is to execute the create_entity call. The call:

  • creates a new entity on the same entity host that processed the create_entity call and
  • automatically connects a presence for that entity to the world.

The second task requires some additional information, and requires that the create_entity call takes several parameters. In order, these parameters are:

  • The position the entity's presence should occupy in the world (Vec3).
  • The type of script to import. (For emerson scripts, include "js".).
  • The filename of the script to import.
  • A URI to the mesh the entity's automatically-connected presence should take.
  • A scaling factor for that mesh.
  • A steradian value for the solid angle query the entity's automatically-connected presence should issue.


Now that you know the structure of a create_entity call, consider the following code:

   //new entity's presence has the mesh of a sphere
   var meshToChangeTo = "meerkat:///test/sphere.dae/original/0/sphere.dae";
   //new entity's presence will be located two units away from creating
   //presence's position
   var newPos = system.self.getPosition(); newPos.x = newPos.x + 2;
   //First thing that the new entity will do after its presence connects
   //to space is import the following file.
   var scriptToImport = "test/testMove.em";
                       "js", //this arg will almost always be 'js'
                       scriptToImport, meshToChangeTo,
                       1.0, //how do you want to scale the mesh of
                            //the entity's new presence
                       3 //what is the solid angle query that
                         //the entity's initial presence 
                         //queries with.

This code would be executed on an already-existing entity to create a new entity. The new entity's automatically-connected presence would have a mesh of meshToChangeTo (a sphere), be positioned a the x,y,z coordinates contained in newPos (2 meters away from the previous entity's first presence), import a script from scriptToImport (in filename 'test/testMove.em'), and set a solid angle query of 3 steradians.

The actual structure in the script 'test/testMove.em' may be a little different than scripters are used to. Most of the scripts that we have discussed to this point operated on entities that already had presences connected to the world: scripters were able to assume system.self existed, and was connected to the world. In contrast, the imported script executes before its first presence is automatically connected. This means that 'test/testMove.em' must actually catch the first presence's connection before operating on it.

This is easy, and is accomplished through the onPresenceConnected system call. Below is the 'test/testMove.em' script, which uses the onPresenceConnected call.

   //whenever a presence in the system connects to the world,
   //execute the argument of onPresenceConnected
   function moveFunc(newPres) {
       //set a unit velocity for the first presence in the x direction.