With this feature enabled, any imported FBX will create a Template asset which contains the full node hierarchy as entities representing sub-models of the model. This gives users greater flexibility in manipulating mesh instances in the model directly in the Editor.
Render assets will also be created that can be used with the Render Component and allow users to add an individual mesh instance of a model in the scene.
For example, an imported car FBX model would create several Render assets, doors, wheels, wipers etc. The wheel assets can be used independently from the rest of the car model to create a tire wall.
With the model hierarchy being editable in the Editor, this opens a number of uses that weren’t possible before:
Attach other Entities and/or models as part of another model’s hierarchy such as adding a helmet to a character’s head.
Move/Rotate/Scale sub-models directly in the Editor such as moving/adding/removing chairs around a house model.
Use the Render assets elsewhere in the scene for decoration or customization.
Add components and/or scripts to individual nodes such as attaching particle effects to animated parts.
However, please note that while the Model Component is compatible with both the Animation and Anim (State Graph) Component, the Render Component/Import Hierarchy feature is only compatible with the Anim (State Graph) Component.
Going forward, we will be marking the Model and Animation Components as ‘legacy’ but if you have an existing project using these components, please do not worry. None of the existing functionality is being removed and you will not be forced to update projects to the new pipeline for continued development. Although no new features will be added to the Model Component, the PlayCanvas team will continue to fix bugs with the existing pipeline until our next major version (2.0.0) of the engine at the earliest.
You can even mix both pipelines in the same project if you wish to take advantage of the features in the new pipeline in an existing project. However, please bear in mind that this can add complexity to the project code.
The Import Hierarchy asset task will be enabled by default for newly created projects. If you would like to use this feature in your existing project, please consult User Manual for details.
We have been made aware of a critical issue regarding WebGL content and the release of macOS Safari 15 earlier this week where previously published content could fail to load.
Apple are aware of this and have a fix in place on WebKit. However, we don’t know when this fix will be included in an update release.
PlayCanvas have released v1.46.5 of the engine to workaround this issue.
Actions to take
If you have a PlayCanvas application that was published between Feb 2020 and 21st Sep 2021, the application will fail to load on Safari 15 until Apple releases an update and users update their devices.
Please republish the application so that it uses the latest engine release or update the engine version to v1.46.5 if you are using NPM.
If you need to stay on particular version of the PlayCanvas engine, it is possible modify the engine or build a custom version and include the following code change from this PR.
The browser is written entirely in Typescript and uses a Webpack build process. Naturally, it is 100% open source (MIT license) and the source can be found here.
The Examples Browser has some pretty cool features:
Gallery panel. Select any of the 86 examples from the (filterable) list on the left, either by name or thumbnail.
Inspect Source. Expand the source panel (built on the awesome Monaco code editor) on the right to inspect any example’s source code.
Edit and hot reload. Edit any example and hit the Play button to refresh the running example. Monaco uses PlayCanvas’ Typescript definitions to provide inline API hints.
Embed links. Want to embed PlayCanvas examples in your own site? Simply hit the embed icon and copy the URL!
Share to Twitter. Want to share a specific example with the world? Just hit the Twitter icon!
If you would like to request an example to be added to the browser, submit an issue here. Or if you’re feeling creative, submit a pull request of your own to the repo! Stay tuned for newly added examples in the coming months. Enjoy!
Creativity makes our world a better place. PlayCanvas unlocks creativity through collaborative, frictionless tools that enable everybody to build, share and play together.
With PlayCanvas, getting started with game development is as simple as clicking on a hyperlink. No installation, available wherever you have access to a browser and easily shareable for a real-time collaborative workspace.
Until today, some aspects of the platform have been limited or restricted. This just holds back the creativity of our community. So today, we have some incredibly exciting news. We have updated our plans to make our tools even more accessible for everyone at all levels!
In the early days of PlayCanvas, we published a game called TANX, an online multiplayer tank battle game.
To us, it was the perfect illustration of why the web makes such a great platform for gaming.
Bite-sized fun with drop-in/drop-out gameplay.
Nothing to download – just follow a hyperlink to stream the game in a couple of seconds.
True device independence – play on your phone, tablet or desktop.
Easy social sharing – get your friends into matches by posting your personal game URL to Twitter in real-time!
So we decided to keep developing the game. The first iteration above just had primitive tanks driving around an empty environment. v2.0 brought upgraded tank models, a new UI and a proper level:
And the game’s popularity continued to grow. It even hit #1 on Hacker News one lazy Friday afternoon!
By now, the PlayCanvas engine was rapidly evolving and had recently gained support for physically based rendering (PBR). We were desperate to upgrade the game to show off these new capabilities. So not long afterwards, we developed v3.0:
The game also leveraged PlayCanvas’ run-time lightmapper to generate the level’s shadows.
Not long after the upgrade, we decided to focus all of our resources on developing the core PlayCanvas engine. In the end, we didn’t have enough time to maintain the game and so, with heavy hearts, we took it offline.
We’re really excited to announce that TANX is back! You can play it at:
The PlayCanvas Editor has been around since 2011. Way back then, it was called the PlayCanvas Designer. It was built on Sencha’s ExtJS front end framework and looked like this:
As you can see, it sort of looks like a Windows XP application. If you think it looks retro now, it actually looked retro then! But you can more or less recognize it as PlayCanvas. The Pack Explorer is now the Hierarchy panel on the left. The Attribute Editor is now the Inspector. You can even see the ‘Who’s Online’ bar to the bottom right, which is still around today. We decided quite quickly to drop the WinXP aesthetic by adopting a darker theme in September 2013:
This refresh was definitely an improvement and it was the start of the Designer finding a personality of its own. But after this, the team was struggling to iterate quickly. We took the very difficult decision to throw away the entire ExtJS-based Designer application and rewrite it from scratch using the incredible Vanilla JS framework. And thus, by early 2015, the PlayCanvas Editor was born:
This initial version of the Editor should be much more recognizable. The toolbar and panels are all still in the same location. But today, the Editor packs in far more functionality and is much more powerful.
It was originally written in ES5 and a subset of CSS that would enable the Editor to work in browsers all the way back to IE11. Late last year, we embarked on the next major overhaul for the Editor, with the following goals:
Create a clean, structured underlying Editor API (more on this later)
Adopt ES6 (let’s get with the times!)
Adopt CSS grid to make managing the Editor’s layout easier
Refresh and refine the front-end design
We’ve slowly been phasing in the new front-end over the last several months, first deploying an updated Hierarchy Panel and then a new Inspector Panel. Today, we’re proud to announce the final step in the rollout – the new Asset Panel:
To the end user, the most obvious change is the addition of the Asset Panel’s Details View. As an alternative to thumbnails, you can now see a linear list of assets and even sort them on size and type.
We expect that this will rapidly become the default view for most PlayCanvas developers. No more mouse hovering to read long filenames!
So what’s next? Earlier, I mentioned that this completely rebuilt Editor front-end is built on a new, clean, object-oriented API. It is our plan to release this API publicly, once it is ready. This will enable you to write extensions and customizations to the Editor that will culminate in a full plugin system. Stay tuned for further details of that. But in the meantime, let us know what you think by joining the conversation on the forum!
Are you shipping your PlayCanvas app or game in just one language? You may be preventing international users from enjoying it! Today, we are happy to announce the arrival of a localization system built right into the PlayCanvas Editor!
The system works in tandem with PlayCanvas’ text element component and it’s super-easy to use. The text element interface now provides a ‘Localized’ property and when checked, you can enter a Key instead of a Text string.
The Key is the string used to look up a localized string based on the user’s currently selected locale. The localized string data is stored in JSON assets and is documented, along with the rest of the system, here. You can even preview your localized User Interface by choosing a locale in the Editor Settings panel:
We look forward to playing your newly localized games!
We’ve just launched “Scripts 2.0”, a complete re-design and re-implementation of the scripting system for PlayCanvas applications. Our goals were to fix an array of small irritations that had built up over using the PlayCanvas scripting for the last few years and take the opportunity to clean up the interface and simplify the creation and usage of scripts.
Here’s a list of the improvements you can enjoy with the new script system:
rapid iteration by hot-swapping code at run-time
real-time collaborative code editing
script concatenation and minification for publishing
better error handling and fault tolerance
full folder support for script assets
multiple script definitions in a single file
simpler interface and boilerplate
If you choose to, you can now allow your scripts to update all running instances of your application. We dynamically reload scripts after they change. By implementing a single swap() function, you can transfer state into your new script instance and carry on as if nothing had happen. Except you’ve got all your new code!
Real-time collaborative code editing
Now that scripts are first-class assets, we now support real-time collaboration in the Code Editor. This means you’re no longer in danger overwriting other people’s code. In fact, you can see it appear as they type.
To help support this, we’ve also improved the error handling and fault tolerance of scripts while they’re running. This means bad scripts won’t bring your game screeching to a halt, preventing everyone from working.
How do you find these new scripts?
Scripts 2.0 is live right now and any new projects you create will have the new script system enabled. However, if you’re not quite ready to move to the new system or you need some of the features that are currently only available with the old system, you can still create projects using the “Legacy Script System”. Look for the option in the new project dialog.