Adding Custom Inserts

Chapbook can be extended with custom inserts. Below is code that adds a {smiley face} insert that displays a 😀 emoji.

engine.extend('1.0.0', () => {
	config.template.inserts = [{
		match: /^smiley face$/i,
		render: () => '😀'
	}, ...config.template.inserts];

You can also place code like this into your story's JavaScript in Twine--this uses the [JavaScript] modifier for clarity.1

First, any extension of the Chapbook engine must be wrapped in a engine.extend() function call. The first argument is the minimum version of Chapbook required to make your insert work; this is so that if you share your customization, anyone plugging it into a Chapbook version it won't work in will receive a harmless warning, instead of the engine crashing with an error. Chapbook follows semantic versioning to assist with this.

The second argument to engine.extend() is the customization code you'd like to run. In this function, we add a new insert to config.template.inserts using array spread syntax. Every item in config.template.inserts must be an object with two properties:

  • match: a regular expression that the template engine will look for to render your insert. Leave out the curly braces; the template engine will take care of this for you. Inserts must always have at least one space in their match property, so that they can never be mistaken for a variable insert.
  • render: a function that returns a string for what should be displayed. The returned value will be eventually rendered as Markdown.

You may remember that inserts can take multiple parameters. Here's a more complex example that demonstrates this:

engine.extend('1.0.0', () => {
	config.template.inserts = [{
		match: /^icon of/i,
		render(firstArg, props, invocation) {
			let result = '';

			if (firstArg.toLowerCase() === 'wizard') {
				result = '🧙';

			if (firstArg.toLowerCase() === 'vampire') {
				result = '🧛';

			switch (props.mood.toLowerCase()) {
				case 'anger':
					result += '💥';

				case 'love':
					result += '❤️';

			return result;
	}, ...config.template.inserts];

This has the following effect:

{icon of: 'wizard'}🧙
{icon of: 'wizard', mood: 'anger'}🧙💥
{icon of: 'wizard', mood: 'love'}🧙❤️
{icon of: 'vampire'}🧛
{icon of: 'vampire', mood: 'anger'}🧛💥
{icon of: 'vampire', mood: 'love'}🧛❤️

First, notice that the match property doesn't try to match the entire insert; it just needs to be able to distinguish this insert from any other entered. Also, remember that the first part of the insert needed to be two words, icon of, to distinguish it from a variable insert.

Then, the render() property takes three new arguments, firstArg, props, and invocation. firstArg is the parameter given to the first part of the insert, and props is an object listing out all other parameters given in the insert. The names of properties are case-sensitive, so {icon of: 'wizard', Mood: 'anger'} would only display 🧙. The final argument, invocation, is the entire text of the insert exactly as it was typed, except for the surrounding curly braces. This is provided so that if neither firstArg or props is enough to achieve the effect you're looking for, you can look at invocation directly.

Below are some examples as to how these arguments work in practice.

{smiley face}null{}smiley face
{smiley face: 'happy'}'happy'{}smiley face: 'happy'
{smiley face, size: 'large'}null{size: 'large'}smiley face, size: 'large'
{smiley face: 'happy', size: 'large'}'happy'{size: 'large'}smiley face: 'happy', size: 'large'

Word of warning--you cannot define an insert in the same passage that you use it in.