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Animations in Narrat

Narrat animations leverage the versatility of CSS animations to let you animate any element on screen.

Animations can be defined in the animations.yaml file, and then used in scripts with the animate command.


Code for the example above:


animations: data/animations.yaml


    keyframes: rotate
      duration: 1000
      iterations: 1
    # narrat-screenshake is a built-in animation that already comes with narrat
    keyframes: narrat-screenshake
      # Here we're taking the built-in screenshake but using it with different options
      duration: 150
      iterations: 5

    - transform: rotate(0deg)
    - transform: rotate(360deg)


    "Animation test"
      run test_screenshake
      run test_rotate
    "Long screenshake":
      run long_screenshake
  jump test_animations

  animate #narrat-app narrat-screenshake

  animate .dialog long-screenshake 150 20
  animate_wait .dialog rotate

How it works

Animations in narrat use the animate browser function. This function is an API to control CSS animations via code.

Narrat will find the relevant element via the DOM selector you provide, then find the animation data from config files, and finally call the animate function with the relevant parameters.

How to use the animate command

The format for the animate command in narrat is the following:

animate [DOM selector] [animation name] [duration (optional)] [iterations (optional)]

  • DOM selector: A CSS selector to select the element to animate. If you want to animate the whole game screen, you can use #narrat-app as the selector for example. Use #my-id to get an element by its id, or .my-class to get an element by its class. With this you should be able to get most things on screen easily
  • animation name: The name of the animation to use. This is the name of the animation as defined in the animations list of your animations.yaml file. If an animation doesn't exist, it can fall back to default built-in animations
  • duration: The duration of the animation in milliseconds. This is optional and will default to the duration defined in the animation config
  • iterations: The number of times the animation should repeat. This is optional and will default to the number of iterations defined in the animation config (note: to specify this option, you have to also specify duration)


There is an animate_wait command, which works exactly the same but will wait until the animation is over. By default, animate will play the animation in background and continue the script immediately.

Animation config

Animations are defined in the animations.yaml file. The format is the following:

  [animation name]:
    keyframes: [keyframes name OR keyframes object] # If it's a string, it will pick keyframes from the keyframes list. If it's an object, it will use the object directly
    options: [animation options]
  [keyframes name]: # This is an array of keyframes
    - [keyframe object] # Those are individual steps of the animation. See the mozilla animation docs for examples
    - [keyframe object]
    - [keyframe object]
  • animation options: Options when playing the animation. Can include things like duration (in ms) and iterations (number of times the animation is played). See list of animation options there
  • keyframe object: An object defining one key frame of the animation. The keyframes array is a list of them, and they get played in order as the animation progresses. Keyframes have keys that are CSS properties and their values, like when using css transitions. They can also have an offset property to specify when in the animation they should be played. See mozilla docs for examples

Built-in animations

At time of writing there is only the narrat-screenshake animation. This is a simple animation that just shakes an element for a bit.

Code for more info:

Relevant external documentation

Released under the MIT License.