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Evennia uses the Django web framework as the basis of both its database configuration and the website it provides. While a full understanding of Django requires reading the Django documentation, we have provided this tutorial to get you running with the basics and how they pertain to Evennia. This text details getting everything set up. The Web-based Character view Tutorial gives a more explicit example of making a custom web page connected to your game, and you may want to read that after finishing this guide.
A Basic Overview
Django is a web framework. It gives you a set of development tools for building a website quickly and easily.
Django projects are split up into apps and these apps all contribute to one project. For instance, you might have an app for conducting polls, or an app for showing news posts or, like us, one for creating a web client.
Each of these applications has a
urls.py file, which specifies what URLs are used by the app, a
views.py file for the code that the URLs activate, a
templates directory for displaying the results of that code in HTML for the user, and a
template folder. This is intended and explained further below). Django applications may also have a
models.py file for storing information in the database. We will not change any models here, take a look at the New Models page (as well as the Django docs on models) if you are interested.
There is also a root
urls.py that determines the URL structure for the entire project. A starter
urls.py is included in the default game template, and automatically imports all of Evennia's default URLs for you. This is located in
Changing the logo on the front page
Evennia's default logo is a fun little googly-eyed snake wrapped around a gear globe. As cute as it is, it probably doesn't represent your game. So one of the first things you may wish to do is replace it with a logo of your own.
static folder and places it in the
STATIC_ROOT defined in
settings.py. By default, the Evennia
STATIC_ROOT is in
Because Django pulls files from all of those separate places and puts them in one folder, it's possible for one file to overwrite another. We will use this to plug in our own files without having to change anything in the Evennia itself.
By default, Evennia is configured to pull files you put in the
web/static_overrides after all other static files. That means that files in
static_overrides folder will overwrite any previously loaded files having the same path under its static folder. This last part is important to repeat: To overload the static resource from a standard
static folder you need to replicate the path of folders and file names from that
static folder in exactly the same way inside
Let's see how this works for our logo. The default web application is in the Evennia library itself, in
evennia/web/. We can see that there is a
static folder here. If we browse down, we'll eventually find the full path to the Evennia logo file:
static_overrides we must replicate the part of the path inside the
static folder, in other words, we must replicate
So, to change the logo, we need to create the folder path
static_overrides. We then rename our own logo file to
evennia_logo.png and copy it there. The final path for this file would thus be:
web/static_overrides/evennia_general/images/evennia_logo.png in your local game folder.
To get this file pulled in, just change to your own game directory and reload the server:
This will reload the configuration and bring in the new static file(s). If you didn't want to reload the server you could instead use
to only update the static files without any other changes.
Note: Evennia will collect static files automatically during startup. So if
evennia collectstaticreports finding 0 files to collect, make sure you didn't start the engine at some point - if so the collector has already done its work! To make sure, connect to the website and check so the logo has actually changed to your own version.
Note: Sometimes the static asset collector can get confused. If no matter what you do, your overridden files aren't getting copied over the defaults, try removing the target file (or everything) in the
web/staticdirectory, and re-running
collectstaticto gather everything from scratch.
Changing the Front Page's Text
The default front page for Evennia contains information about the Evennia project. You'll probably want to replace this information with information about your own project. Changing the page template is done in a similar way to changing static resources.
Like static files, Django looks through a series of template folders to find the file it wants. The difference is that Django does not copy all of the template files into one place, it just searches through the template folders until it finds a template that matches what it's looking for. This means that when you edit a template, the changes are instant. You don't have to reload the server or run any extra commands to see these changes - reloading the web page in your browser is enough.
To replace the index page's text, we'll need to find the template for it. We'll go into more detail about how to determine which template is used for rendering a page in the Web-based Character view Tutorial. For now, you should know that the template we want to change is stored in
To replace this template file, you will put your changed template inside the
web/template_overrides/website directory in your game folder. In the same way as with static resources you must replicate the path inside the default
template directory exactly. So we must copy our replacement template named
index.html there (or create the
website directory in web/template_overrides
if it does not exist, first). The final path to the file should thus be:web/template_overrides/website/index.html` within your game directory.
Note that it is usually easier to just copy the original template over and edit it in place. The original file already has all the markup and tags, ready for editing.
For further hints on working with the web presence, you could now continue to the Web-based Character view Tutorial where you learn to make a web page that displays in-game character stats. You can also look at Django's own tutorial to get more insight in how Django works and what possibilities exist.