Function

The Function object can run a different event (On function) in an action (Call function). This is analogous to functions in traditional programming languages. Using functions can help you organise events and avoid having to duplicate groups of actions or events.

About functions

The main purpose of the Function object is using the Call function action. This takes the name of a function (e.g. Call function "CreateEnemy"). The action then triggers the corresponding On function event (e.g. On function "CreateEnemy"), running the event's actions and any sub-events, before returning to the original Call function action and continuing from where it was.

As another example, suppose you create an enemy with random stats in a game every 5 seconds using this event:

Function example 1
Suppose there are two other events where you want to create the same kind of enemy: one when a player walks in to a trap, and another one every 4 seconds when in a boss fight. Without functions, you may have to copy-and-paste the actions multiple times, like this:

Function example 2
Notice this is becoming inconvenient. There may be times you need to repeat the actions in even more places. If you want to make a change, you then have to find every place you repeated the actions, and repeat the change. We can remove the repetition using functions. By creating a CreateEnemy function which has the repeated actions, we can replace all the repeated actions with a Call function action like this:

Function example 3
This works identically to the previous events, but is much shorter and more convenient. We can use Call "CreateEnemy" action anywhere we want to create an enemy, and it uses the same set of actions in the On "CreateEnemy" event.

It is often useful to split many parts of your events in to functions like this, so they can be conveniently re-used across event sheets.

Parameters

When calling a function, you can also pass parameters. These are simply numbers or strings that are made available to the function. For example, the CreateEnemy function from the previous example could be modified to take two parameters: the X and the Y co-ordinates at which to create the enemy. This helps functions to be made more general purpose by using extra information from the action calling the function.

To add a parameter to a function call, click the Add parameter link that appears in the Parameters dialog when editing the Call function action. This is a special link that only appears for this action in the Function object. Inside an On function event, you can then use the Param expression with the zero-based index of the parameter to retrieve the corresponding value.

Advanced function features

Like in programming languages, the Function object supports the following:

  • Functions calling other functions
  • Functions calling themselves (recursion)
  • Returning values from functions
  • Calling functions from expressions (which also returns the return value)

Note that functions calling other functions or recursing create a new "stack" of local variables. In other words, like in programming languages, local variables are unique at each level of function call. This does not apply to static local variables or global variables.

Also note the Function object logs to the browser console if it is used incorrectly, such as calling a non-existent function or accessing a parameter that was not passed. This can help identify problems using functions in large projects. See Checking for errors in browsers for more information on viewing the browser console.

Returning values from functions

Functions can also return a result. For example, a factorial function could calculate the mathematical result and return it. In an On function event, the return value can be set using the Set return value action.

If the event was called using the Call function action, the returned value is afterwards available using the ReturnValue expression. Functions can also be called directly from an expression using the Call expression; in this case the return value is automatically returned as the result of the Call expression.

Javascript integration

It is strongly recommended to use the Javascript plugin SDK to integrate Javascript code with Construct 2. However it is possible to trigger a function in the Function object from Javascript code using the following function:

    if (c2_callFunction)
        c2_callFunction("name", ["param1", "param2"]);

Note if the Function object is not included in a project, the c2_callFunction function will not exist, so the if check is necessary before using it. The function with the given "name" is triggered synchronously. Parameters are optional and can be omitted, but must be provided as an array in the second argument, and parameters may only be string or number values (any other types will return as 0 in Construct 2). The c2_callFunction method also returns the return value set in Construct 2 (if any), and also can only return a string or number.

Function conditions

Compare parameter
Compare the value of one of the parameters to a function call. This condition should only be used in an On function event, since outside of function calls there are no parameters set.

On function
Triggered when the corresponding Call function action is used.

Function actions

Call expression
This is an alternative to the Call function action. It simply provides a parameter to enter an expression, and the result is ignored. You can use this to call a function via the Function.Call(...) expression, which may be more convenient if using a very large number of parameters.

Call function
Trigger the corresponding On function events. Additional parameters can be passed that are accessed by the Param expression.

Set return value
In a function event, set the value to be returned to the caller. This is either returned by the Call expression or accessed later using the ReturnValue expression.

Function expressions

Call
Call a function directly from an expression. The expression returns the return value that was set in the function, or 0 if no return value was set. Additional parameters can optionally be added after the name of the function, e.g. Function.Call("CreateEnemy", 123, 456).

Param
Retrieve a parameter passed to a function call by its zero-based index. For example, Function.Param(0) returns the value of the first parameter.

ParamCount
Return the number of parameters passed to a function call.

ReturnValue
Return the value set using the Set return value action from the last function call. If Set return value is not used in a function, it returns 0.

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