Get Started with Narrat and create a game in a minute
Getting started with narrat is very quick. There is a ready-to-use template that can get you running your game in a minute
In this page
What Narrat is for
Narrat specialises in helping you create narrative games with no programming. If you want to make action games, or games with many custom-made features, you may want a more typical general-purpose game engine. You can read more about Narrat's features, philosophy, limitations and how to add new features in this page.
If you want to quickly get an idea of how narrat works without creating a project, the interactive playground demo lets you edit the narrat demo game instantly in your browser.
For text instructions, jump to the next section.
If you prefer to follow a video, this one minute video shows the entire setup from start to having the game running.
- Be on a computer running Windows, MacOS or Linux
- Have node.js 20+ installed (pick the current LTS version on the website).
- A text editor, we recommend VS Code.
Creating the game project
Open a terminal in a folder of your choice (on Windows, you can shift-right-click in your folder and choose "Open PowerShell window here")
Help with opening the terminal
For more info on how to open a terminal in a folder on Windows and other OS, see this link
Once opened, you can run the following command:
npm create narrat@latest
This will download narrat and ask you some questions to configure your project. You can choose between a few game templates to get started. You can now follow the instructions from the tool to run the game, or follow the "Running the game" guide below
How it works
The narrat template is essentially a template for a mostly empty web project, with narrat as a library.
We use npmto install libraries into the game. npm is simply a package manager for installing JS libraries with node.js
There is a package.json file at the root of the template, which is a standard node.js file for defining a project and its dependencies, which get installed via npm. Inside the
dependencies part of this file, you can find narrat with a version number. This is what tells the project to install a specific version of narrat.
Our template uses npm to download and install narrat (and other dependencies) and get the game ready to go. Then using npm scripts, we can use run commands to build/export the game (which all use node.js under the hood one way or another).
Install libraries (only the first time or when updating)
With the narrat game setup, open a terminal inside the folder
There is a first command to install the dependencies (libraries) on first use:
If you get warnings during npm install
Unless you see actual errors, warnings can generally be ignored
Security issues warning
You will probably see npm complain about "security issues". Those are false positives and can be ignored caused by a very careless implementation of security by NPM. Those security issues are irrelevant to the use case of narrat. Feel free to read more about why npm security warnings are broken in this article by Dan Abramov, creator of React
Running the game
This should open a browser tab with the game running after a short build time. The game can be accessed at localhost:5173
The game is ready to edit!
npm commands come from node.js. If the commands aren't recognised, you probably didn't install node.js correctly. More about npm install
Overview of Narrat
Now that the game is running, you might want to look at the Overview of Narrat to understand what the different parts of a Narrat game are and how to use them.
Editing the game
It is now easy to make a game by editing the narrat scripts and config files!