Kiki’s Corner
Published in

Kiki’s Corner

Using Text in MakeCode Arcade Projects

A scene from “Hamlet” by the MakeCode Stream Team from Twitch

Whether you want dialog or exposition, there are a number of ways to bring text to life inside Microsoft Makecode Arcade.

Default Options

Arcade offers several default options for placing text in your project, each behaves a little bit differently.

The “splash screen” — found under the Game category — displays your text over the main part of the window. This is a blocking action, which means that your code won’t continue to run until you press the (A) button or the space bar to clear it.

Next, you have “long text” — also under the Game category — which will pop your text into a multi-line window placed at the location you choose.

This feature is also blocking, and also requires you to press a button before moving to your next command. Unlike the splash screen, you can customize this text with colors and borders.

The only non-blocking text feature of the default options is “sprite say”. This block will attach text to one of your game sprites — displaying the text either permanently or for a certain number of milliseconds (when the block is expanded using the +.)

Extension Options

Extensions provide more possibilities for text in your game — we provide two helpful offerings in our library and it’s also possible to create your own extensions with JavaScript.

Let’s look at the options you’ll find when you click Advanced -> Extensions.

The “arcade-text” extension allows you to treat specific text as a sprite, with the ability to place it, move it, or destroy it. It shows up as “Text Sprite” in the toolbox.

Set your text sprite, then make the necessary changes using a combination of Text Sprite and Sprite blocks.

This feature is non-blocking and is great for things like labels and event-based messages.

The “arcade-story” extension includes so much more than text.

Yes, it offers ways to print to the screen and print relative to the camera, but it also offers cutscene features and animated story elements.

Use a combination of these blocks to create an immersive RPG or story game!

Other

MakeCode Arcade also has less obvious text features, like a seven-segment clock or game menu…and don’t forget the image editor!

Feel free to explore all of the ways you can add text to your game. When you’re done with your project, link it here for a social media shout-out!

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Kiki Prottsman

Kiki is an author, educator, and the Director of Education for Microsoft MakeCode