Yarn Spinner
2.2 (Current)

Choose-Your-Path Game

This example project demonstrates making a simple dialogue-based game when beginning with only an empty Unity scene.


  1. 1.
    Display Yarn dialogue in a Unity scene
  2. 2.
    Allow a player to select between options to respond
  3. 3.
    Add some static visuals



Open a new Unity 3D project. Ensure Yarn Spinner has been added to the project in the Package Manager as per the Installation Instructions.
A new Unity 3D project has been made with no additional changes
If the sample empty scene is not visible, you'll need to open it. In the Project Window where project files are displayed, navigate to Assets > Scenes and select SampleScene.unity.

Creating a Runnable Script

Yarn Spinner for Unity comes with a pre-made UI layer and accompanying utility scripts to handle displaying lines and presenting options from Yarn files. In the Project Window again, navigate to Packages > Yarn Spinner > Prefabs and drag Dialogue System.prefab into the scene.
The Dialogue System has been added from the Project Window into the Scene
When the Dialogue System in the scene is selected, the Inspector will display the Yarn Project it is expecting line from. Here, a Yarn Project is a kind of linking file that groups Yarn script files together. To make one, navigate to a sensible place for the file to live (such as a new folder Assets > Dialogue) and right-click the Project Window pane to select Create > Yarn Spinner > Yarn Project.
The existence of Yarn Projects allows larger games with multiple dialogue systems (e.g. main story dialogue, barks, storylets) to separate into multiple projects that pass lines to different UI or systems. This allows an extra level of organisation above separate Yarn files which are typically used to separate story scenes or parts.
However, most games will need only a single Yarn Project.
Select the scene's Dialogue System again and drag the new Yarn Project into the labelled slot in the Inspector.
The new Yarn Project has been added to the Dialogue System's Dialogue Runner
Now the Yarn Project needs one or more Yarn Scripts to get dialogue from. Just like with the Yarn Project, navigate to the desired file location and select Create > Yarn Spinner > Yarn Script. Then, with the Yarn Project selected, drag the newly created script into the Inspector slot labelled Source Scripts. Click Apply.
The new Yarn Script has been added to the Yarn Project's Source Scripts

Filling Out Your Script

By default, a new Yarn Script begins with a single empty node with the name of the file. Open the file, rename the node to Start and put a single line of test dialogue. You may remove the tags field.
title: Start
This is a line of test dialogue.
Returning to Unity, pressing the ▶️ button results in the test line being displayed in front of the empty scene world. Pressing Continue will make the UI disappear, as it has reached the end of the script.
The test line from the Yarn Script has been displayed in the otherwise empty game
So it's time for the actual writing part. Here, I've opened my new Yarn Script in Visual Studio Code with the Yarn Spinner Extension installed as per the Installation Instructions. I've written a simple script about a conversation between a blue sphere 🔵, a red cube 🟥 and the player who plays a shape of their choice. Depending on how the player responds to their greeting, the other shapes will either be pleased to meet them or decide they are rude.
The new Yarn Script has been given some simple content
You can find this example script below to copy. Or if you need a refresher on how to represent your own story in Yarn, refer to the Syntax and File Structure guide.
title: Start
<<set $shapes_like_you to true>>
Sphere: Hello, I am Blue Sphere.
Cube: Hi there Sphere! I'm Red Cube.
Sphere: And who is this then?
-> I'm Capsule, but my friends call me "Tic Tac". No idea why...
<<set $name to "Tic Tac">>
-> The name's Triquandle.
<<set $name to "Triquandle">>
-> Pyramid. Why; who wants to know?
<<set $name to "Pyramid">>
<<set $shapes_like_you to false>>
<<if $shapes_like_you>>
Sphere: Nice to meet you {$name}!
Cube: Yeah, likewise!
Sphere: No need to be so rude...
Cube: Yeah, maybe you should be called Grumpy {$name}.
Sphere: Ha! Totally.
Once you've got a basic story, pop back into Unity and check the basics:
  • Lines display correctly
  • Pressing Continue advances lines correctly
  • Selecting different options have the expected outcomes
Yarn Spinner is displaying lines, advancing lines and selecting options correctly as per the script

Draw the Rest of the Owl

Once any desired visual assets have been added to the scene and the story has received any necessary fleshing out, the game is complete. If you've used this example to add dialogue to your own scene, you may skip ahead to Result. Otherwise, let's proceed!
For the shape example, let's add some "characters" to the scene. Use Menu > GameObject > 3D Object to add a Sphere, a Cube and a Plane to the scene. Scale up the Plane by adjusting the vaues in the Inspector to Scale = 10, 10, 10. To put the Sphere and Cube in front of the camera and make the Plane appear as a floor, they'll need to be moved. The following coordinates are about right, using the default location for the Main Camera:
Main Camera
Looking to the Game view, this should appear as two shapes on a floor with the dialogue UI in front.
3D Objects have been added to the Scene to act as characters
All this white makes them difficult to distinguish though, so let's colour each Object. Create basic Materials for each by right-clicking the Project Window in the desired file location and select Create > Material three times. Change the colour of each Material to three distinct colours by modifying the Albedo value in the Inspector.
Add a Material to each Object by selecting the desired object and dragging the Material into the Materials > Element 0 under Mesh Renderer in the Inspector.
Materials have been added to the 3D Objects in the Scene
This tutorial isn't here to teach you all of Unity. If you need some guidance about aspects outside of Yarn Spinner, you can check out our books on the topic or there are lots of helpful guides around the web, on YouTube, or created by Unity themselves!


A playable branching story game with simple static visuals.
The game is complete and playable with visuals
An easy way to spice this up is to just add more dialogue with the same characters. Here is an example script that shows how a simple starter script made for testing can grow to a fuller conversation. And it doesn't stop there! Yarn Spinner is perfect for allowing growing projects to remain functional throughout.
Now, let's move onto an example where Yarn Spinner leverages the power of Unity to change things in the scene as well as running dialogue...