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Setting up VSCode

What is the most important thing before writing quests? Correct! We need a good text editor to make our lives easier with shortcuts and syntax highlighting. In this tutorial you will be introduced to Visual Studio Code (VSCode), the most popular text editor.

In this tutorial you will learn how to install and use it to your advantage!


  • No further requirements.

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1. Download and installing VSCodeπŸ”—

In this step we will install VSCode on your computer.

Step 1: Download the right version of Visual Studio Code for your operating system from their website for your operating system.

Step 2: Click on the VSCodeUserSetup-xXX-X.XX.X.exe in your download folder. (You'll find your downloads folder in your file explorer).

Step 3: Go through the installation steps. The default settings are sufficient for BetonQuest usage.

Step 4: Start Visual Studio Code.

Step 5: In this last step we will activate the Auto-Save function from VSCode. Go to "File" and then click on "Auto-Save" to activate it.

This is a very useful feature that automatically saves your files. No data will ever be lost again! It also saves you from one of the most common errors when writing quests: Forgetting to save! From now on, you can just execute /bq reload as soon as your mouse leaves the editor.

VSCode Auto-Save Setup


Now that you have a working VS Code installation you can learn how to use it.

2. Creating a workspace in VSCodeπŸ”—

If you want to work fast and effectively, it is necessary to create a workspace! A workspace is a folder that contains all your project's files. In this case, it will be the BetonQuest folder with all quests and settings.

More than one workspace

If you want to have more than one plugin in your workspace, you can click on "File" and then "Add Folder to Workspace" to add any other folder. You can also close and reopen the workspace at any time using the steps below.

And this is how to do it:

Step 1: Left-click on the folder button. folder button

Step 2: Left-click on "Open Folder". Open Folder

Step 3: Define a path and click on "Add".

Navigate to your server files ➑ Go to the "plugins" folder ➑ Select the "BetonQuest" folder

Define a path

If you have done everything correctly it will look like this:

Workspace result

Now that our workspace is ready to work with, you can edit the configs, create new quest packages or templates! Everything that can be done with BetonQuest is accessible within the workspace.

In the next topic you will learn more about how to deal with YAML syntax errors.

3. Installing YAML Syntax extensionπŸ”—

You'll soon experience that your quest is not working because you made a YAML syntax error. But what is YAML?

YAML is a data-serialization language that is readable by humans. It is frequently used for Minecraft related configuration files. Unfortunately it is quite easy to make a mistake in YAML syntax.

VSCode can highlight these mistakes and suggests how to fix them. Because this is NOT a built-in function we need to install the YAML Plugin from the Extensions store!

To do so, click on the "Extensions Button" as it is shown in the picture below:

install plugin

A new tab will open. Now search for YAML and install the plugin from the author "Red Hat"

yaml plugin

If the installation was successful you can click on the folders button on the left side again.

No worries, installing this plugin is not dangerous. It is verified!

4. Checking YAML SyntaxπŸ”—

Now that you have the plugin, let's see how it works!

Let me show you an example of a small quest with a few YAML errors:

    quester: "Jack"
    first: "completeQuest"
       text: "Hello, how are you?"
       conditions: !hasEnoughFish

  giveFishObj "objective add fishObj"
  notifyPlayer: 'notify You've completed the quest!'
  addTag: "tag add enoughFish"

  hasEnoughFish: "tag enoughFish"

  fishObj: "fish COD 5 events:addTag"

You will notice that two events in the events section are written in green instead of blue. That's because of a YAML Syntax error. Do you already see the mistake here? It is simple: There is a colon (:) missing after the key giveFishObj. Because of the missing colon YAML will fail to parse this file.

But now we will have a look at VSCode:

yaml errors 1

The YAML Syntax extension will highlight the error. If you hover over the error you will see more information:

yaml errors 2

Whilst these are quite technical and hard to understand, the highlighting will clearly show you where errors need to be fixed.

Let's have a look at the condition !hasEnoughFish in the conversations part:

yaml errors 3

This will give us an unresolved tag: ... error because special characters like the exclamation mark (!) cannot be written without surrounding (" ") double quotes.

Another common mistake is to use single quotes to surround a value and then also use it in the conversation text like this:

yaml errors 4

You'll notice that there are three single quotes in one line. To prevent those errors we highly recommend to use double quotes.


In this Tutorial you've learned how to download and install VSCode and how to create a workspace for your project. Further you've learned how to install the YAML Syntax plugin and how to interpret common errors.