EditorExportPlugin in Godot – Complete Guide

Embarking on a new development project is nothing short of an adventure, especially when the tools at our disposal empower us with the freedom to shape our digital worlds. As we wield our creative prowess within the realm of Godot, it comes time to share these crafted experiences with the world — and this is where the Godot’s “EditorExportPlugin” class in Godot 4 comes into play.

What is an EditorExportPlugin?

The EditorExportPlugin is like the gatekeeper between your game’s development environment and the outside world. It’s a sophisticated script within Godot 4 that springs into action during the export process of your project. Think of it as a meticulous organizer, determining what gets included in the final package that reaches your audience.

What is it For?

Beyond merely copying files into an export folder, this plugin gives you the power to customize what and how resources and scenes are exported. You can intervene in the exporting pipeline, executing special instructions for different files or even altering them based on the intended platform and features. This opens up a world of possibilities to optimize and prepare your game for different ecosystems, whether it be PC, mobile, or web.

Why Should I Learn it?

Learning to harness the EditorExportPlugin can drastically enhance the flexibility and quality of your game exports. Customizing exports can lead to better performance, smaller file sizes, and a polished, platform-specific user experience. For developers looking to push their projects beyond the confines of a one-size-fits-all scenario, mastering this class is not just a skill, it’s an essential asset in your Godot toolkit.

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Getting Started with EditorExportPlugin

To begin implementing the EditorExportPlugin in your Godot 4 project, start by extending the class in your custom script. This script will serve as the blueprint for your export customizations.

extends EditorPlugin

var my_export_plugin = preload("res://addons/my_export_plugin.gd")

func _enter_tree():
    add_export_plugin(my_export_plugin.new())

Once you have your base structure set up, it’s time to define that `my_export_plugin.gd` by extending the `EditorExportPlugin` class:

extends EditorExportPlugin

Next, you’ll override specific methods to perform actions during the export process. Here we declare a method to act after the export has been performed.

func _export_end():
    print("Export has finished!")

Customizing Asset Exports

For more granular control, suppose you want to include certain assets for specific platforms. Override the `_export_file` method to specify conditions under which files should be included:

func _export_file(path, type, features):
    if "android" in features && path.ends_with(".mobile"):
        return true # Include .mobile files only for Android
    elif "html5" in features && path.ends_with(".web"):
        return true # Include .web files for Web exports
    return false

This gives you the power to fine-tune the assets included in your game’s export, ensuring that each platform gets what it needs with no unnecessary bloat.

Modifying File Data during Export

Sometimes, you might want to modify file resources or settings when exporting. Access and modify the files before they’re packed with the following method:

func _export_begin(files, features):
    for i in range(files.size()):
        var file = files[i]
        if file.type == "Texture" and "hd" in features:
            # Perform some modification for HD textures
            var image = Image.new()
            image.load(file.path)
            image.resize(1024, 1024)
            file.source_file = image.save_png_to_buffer()

This is handy when you want to automatically adjust resources like compressing textures or modifying configurations for different target platforms.

Advanced Plugin Functionality

To unlock the full potential of the EditorExportPlugin, you can create complex logic that responds to export settings. Let’s create a function that excludes debug content from release builds:

func _export_begin(files, features):
    if "release" in features:
        for i in range(files.size()):
            var file = files[i]
            if file.path.begins_with("res://debug"):
                files.remove(i)
                i -= 1 # Adjust the index after removal

Here, you’re not only tailoring your export to exclude unnecessary files, but also optimizing for the final user experience.

With these examples, you are now equipped to dive into the customization of the export process in Godot 4, thus ensuring that each version of your game is perfectly suited for its intended platform. As you can see, mastering the EditorExportPlugin opens up a myriad of possibilities for enhancing your game’s performance and providing a seamless experience for your players across different devices and platforms.Continuing with our exploration of the EditorExportPlugin, let’s delve into more advanced scenarios that would give us even greater control over the export process. These examples will highlight additional aspects of export customization, including global script processing, platform-specific tweaks, and conditional export logic.

Processing Scripts Globally on Export

Sometimes you want to enforce global changes to scripts or configurations. Here’s an example of how to obfuscate scripts when exporting your game.

func _export_begin(files, features):
    for file in files:
        if file.type == "Script" and "release" in features:
            var script_text = file.get_text()
            script_text = obfuscate_script(script_text) # Assume this function is defined
            file.source_file = script_text

This process ensures that in the final exported game, all the scripts are obfuscated, adding a layer of protection to your game’s code logic.

Platform-Specific Tweaks

You might have specific requirements for different platforms, like adjusting window sizes or setting unique application icons. Here’s how you could automate this in your export plugin.

func _export_begin(files, features):
    if "windows" in features:
        ProjectSettings.set_setting("display/window/size/width", 1920)
        ProjectSettings.set_setting("display/window/size/height", 1080)
    elif "android" in features:
        ProjectSettings.set_setting("application/config/icon", "res://icons/android_icon.png")

This snippet would resize the window for Windows exports and change the application icon for Android builds, all handled automatically every time you export.

Conditional Export Logic Based on User Inputs

You may want your export process to depend on custom user inputs. Imagine allowing users to select a specific set of assets to include in the export via custom export options.

var include_bonus_content = false

func _export_begin(files, features):
    include_bonus_content = ProjectSettings.get_setting("custom_options/include_bonus_content")
    if include_bonus_content:
        files.push_back(EditorExportPlugin.ExportFile.new("res://bonus/bonus_scene.tscn", "res://bonus/exported_bonus_scene.scn", false))

In this case, if the user has enabled the bonus content option in your custom project settings, your plugin will include an additional scene upon export.

Generating Platform-Specific Files

Occasionally, your game might benefit from generating new files on the fly specifically for an export.

func _export_begin(files, features):
    if "ios" in features:
        var plist_content = generate_plist_content() # Assume this function is defined
        var plist_file = File.new()
        plist_file.open("res://export/Info.plist", File.WRITE)
        plist_file.store_string(plist_content)
        plist_file.close()
        files.push_back(EditorExportPlugin.ExportFile.new("res://export/Info.plist", "Info.plist", false))

Here we dynamically generate a `Info.plist` file for an iOS export, adjusting it to meet the specific needs of that platform’s export.

Automating Post-Export Tasks

And lastly, it doesn’t stop at the export itself. The EditorExportPlugin allows you to trigger post-export actions such as cleanup or deployment processes.

func _export_end():
    if OS.get_name() == "Windows":
        OS.execute("res://tools/cleanup_tool.exe", [], false)
        OS.execute("res://tools/deployment_tool.exe", ["--deploy", "--win"], false)

In this scenario, right after the export is completed, a Windows-specific cleanup tool is run, followed by a deployment tool that might upload the build to a server or perform additional processing.

Through these code examples, it’s clear that the EditorExportPlugin offers Godot developers a powerful way to finesse the export process, ensuring that each build of the game is not only optimized for its intended platform but also enriched with any platform-specific enhancements necessary. This level of control and automation can save time, reduce errors, and help maintain a high standard of quality for every instance of the game you release.Utilizing the EditorExportPlugin to its fullest can greatly streamline your development flow. Below, you’ll find a series of additional code examples that illustrate some of these advanced concepts in practice.

Configuring Export Based on Build Types

You may want different behavior for debug versus release builds. Here’s how you can tailor actions based on those types:

func _export_begin(files, features):
    if "debug" in features:
        # Enable verbose logging for debug
        ProjectSettings.set_setting("application/run/verbose_stdout", true)
    else:
        # Disable debug features for release builds
        ProjectSettings.set_setting("application/run/verbose_stdout", false)
        remove_debug_feature_files(files)

In this snippet, we’ve adjusted settings and invoked a method to remove files related to debugging for release builds. This ensures that end-users receive a clean version of the application without the additional debugging overhead.

Handling Specific Asset Types

If you’re managing specific asset types differently, you might approach it like this:

func _export_file(path, type, features):
    if type == "PackedScene" and "html5" in features:
        # Perform some specific action on PackedScenes when exporting to HTML5
        do_something_with_packedscene(path)
        return true

Advanced Export Path Manipulation

We also have the ability to change the paths of exported items. This could be useful for many scenarios, such as localization or simplifying directory structures on export:

func _export_file(path, type, features):
    if path.begins_with("res://localization/en/"):
        # Remap English localization files to a common directory on export
        return "res://localization/common/" + path.get_file()
    return path

Modifying Project Settings On-the-fly

You may need to tweak project settings based on the export platform dynamically. Let’s see how you can adjust anti-aliasing settings for different platforms:

func _export_begin(files, features):
    if "mobile" in features:
        ProjectSettings.set_setting("rendering/quality/filters/msaa", "2x")
    else:
        ProjectSettings.set_setting("rendering/quality/filters/msaa", "Disabled")

With these conditional settings, you ensure that mobile platforms use a lower anti-aliasing setting, reflecting their performance capacity.

Creating and Including Custom Configuration Files

In some cases, you might want to include a configuration file that’s specific to the exported version of the game:

func _export_begin(files, features):
    var config_text = "[Game Settings]\nFullscreen=true\n"
    var config_file = File.new()
    var config_path = "res://settings.cfg"
    config_file.open(config_path, File.WRITE)
    config_file.store_string(config_text)
    config_file.close()

    files.push_back(EditorExportPlugin.ExportFile.new(config_path, "settings.cfg", false))

In this example, a simple configuration file is created and included in the exported files. This could be used to set or override settings once the game is running in its final, exported form.

Remember, every use of the EditorExportPlugin carries the potential to greatly enhance not just the export process, but also the final output that reaches your end-users. These are just a few illustrations of what’s possible. With a bit of creativity and programming savvy, there’s virtually no limit to how we can tailor the export process to suit our game’s needs.

Where to Go Next in Your Godot Learning Journey

The world of game development is constantly evolving, and mastering tools like the EditorExportPlugin in Godot 4 is just the beginning. To further your knowledge and skills in game creation with Godot, we invite you to explore our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree. This comprehensive program covers a broad range of topics, helping you widen your expertise from fundamentals to advanced concepts, all while building an impressive portfolio of real Godot projects.

Whether you’re entirely new to coding or looking to expand your current skill set, our Mini-Degree is designed to be accessible and flexible, allowing you to learn at your own pace and on your own terms. To broaden your horizons, you can also check out our wide array of Godot courses. Each lesson is a step toward becoming proficient in game development, helping you to turn your creative visions into playable realities.

We at Zenva understand the journey of a game developer is a continuous one, filled with learning and discovery. We are proud to support over 250 courses that cater to developers of all levels. So, why wait? Take the next step and join a thriving community of learners and developers today!

Conclusion

The EditorExportPlugin in Godot 4 is a powerful ally in customizing your game’s export settings for different platforms and needs. By mastering its use, you elevate the distribution of your digital creations to new heights, ensuring each game is optimized, polished, and tailored for an ideal player experience. As creators and learners, it is these tools and skills that set us apart in the game development arena.

Whether you’re just beginning your journey or refining your expertise, our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree offers the guidance and knowledge to push your creations beyond boundaries. Together, let’s continue to transform the virtual landscape, one game at a time. Dive into Zenva’s courses and join us on an adventure where your talent meets endless possibility.

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