📥Compiling Yarn Files into Yarn Projects

Learn about Yarn Projects, which group your scripts together for use in a Dialogue Runner.

The YarnProject resource represents the set of all compiled Yarn files of your game. You cannot construct it yourself. Instead, it is inserted into the Bevy world for you when the compilation is finished. You can however steer how and when this is done.

Starting the Compilation Process

Generally, you'll want your game to compile the Yarn files as soon as possible. This is why the YarnSpinnerPlugin will start doing so by default when it is added to the app.

If for some reason you do not wish to start compilation right away, you can defer this process. To do this, construct the YarnSpinnerPlugin with YarnSpinnerPlugin::deferred() when adding it. Then, whenever you are ready to start the compilation, you can send a LoadYarnProjectEvent. Its construction methods are identical to the YarnSpinnerPlugin. In fact, when not running in deferred mode, the YarnSpinnerPlugin simply relays its setting to a LoadYarnProjectEvent and sends it.


If you look through the documentation of the [YarnSpinnerPlugin], you'll notice a few methods to modify its settings. The first few deal with where our Yarn files are coming from.

Yarn File Sources

By default, Yarn Spinner will look in <game directory>/assets/dialogue. Yarn Spinner can only read files from the assets directory — or its equivalent, if you have changed this default in the AssetPlugin on platforms which support it— but you can change how the assets will be looked through.

The way to specify this is via YarnFileSources. This enum tells Yarn Spinner where one or more Yarn files come from and can be added to an AssetPlugin with AssetPlugin::add_yarn_source(). The enum variants should be self explanatory, but the two most common use-cases come with their own convenience constructors:

  • YarnFileSource::file(): looks for a Yarn file at a path inside under the assets directory.

  • YarnFileSource::folder(): recursively looks through a given subdirectory for Yarn files.

Since the Wasm and Android builds of Bevy have restrictions on their filesystem access, they cannot use YarnFileSource::folder() and must have all their Yarn files listed explicitly with YarnFileSource::file(). As such, the default behavior provided by YarnSpinnerPlugin::new() is not suitable for these platforms. To avoid it, use the AssetPlugin::with_yarn_source() constructor instead.

As you might have guessed by now, YarnSpinnerPlugin::new() is simply a shorthand for AssetPlugin::with_yarn_source(YarnFileSource::folder("dialogue")).

Development File Generation

YarnSpinnerPlugin::with_development_file_generation() accepts a DevelopmentFileGeneration, which tells Yarn Spinner how aggressively to generate useful files on runtime. "Useful" refers to the developer and not the user. The default is DevelopmentFileGeneration::TRY_FULL, which will be DevelopmentFileGeneration::Full on platforms which support filesystem access, i.e. all except Wasm and Android. See the documentation for the full list of effects. Suffice it to say that this is not very important when developing without localization, but becomes vital otherwise. See the Localization chapter for more.

Since these settings are intended for development, you can use YarnSpinnerPlugin::with_development_file_generation(DevelopmentFileGeneration::None) when shipping your game to optimize the runtime costs and avoid generating files that are useless to the player.


The settings accessed by YarnSpinnerPlugin::with_localizatons are important enough to warrant their own chapter. See Localization.

After the Compilation

Whether you used YarnSpinnerPlugin or LoadYarnProjectEvent, as soon as the compilation finished, a YarnProject resource will be inserted into the Bevy world. You can react to its creation by guarding your systems with .run_if(resource_added::<YarnProject>()), as seen in the setup.

Once you have the YarnProject, you can use it to spawn a DialogueRunner which in turn can, well, run dialogues

Yarn Spinner® and Secret Lab® are trade marks of Secret Lab Pty. Ltd., and are used by Yarn Spinner Pty. Ltd. under license.