Extender functions

Extender functions allow you to "add" new functions to existing types, including built-in AGS types, which lets you call them as if they were part of that type.

Let's look at the following example:

function Scream(Character *c)

This is a regular function that accepts a Character as a parameter, and makes it say something. You would call this function as:

Scream(cEgo); // pass cEgo character as a function parameter

Now, the extender function would instead be declared like:

function Scream(this Character*)

Notice the this keyword. It means that we are addressing a character, from which we called this function.

The extender function may now be called as:

cEgo.Scream(); // call the function Scream from character cEgo

Extender functions exist purely for convenience (in programming this is called "syntax sugar"). They do not add any new abilities, rather than to be able to call the function from an object instead of passing this object as a parameter. They use this keyword to address the object they were called from. Besides that, extender functions are just like ordinary functions: they may have multiple parameters, and return some value.

The common use-case for extender functions is writing custom behavior for built-in types. Consider following, more sophisticated example:

function SayAndAnimate(this Character*, String text, int view, int loop)
    this.Animate(loop, 4, eRepeat, eNoBlock);
    Overlay *bg_speech = this.SayBackground(text);
    while (bg_speech.IsValid)
        Wait(1); // keep updating the game
player.SayAndAnimate("Hello, my name is Roger.", VROGERANIMS, 5);

Above will make character run a custom animation and display a speech (using Background speech to keep animation going in this example, but there may be other solutions to this).

NOTE: just like with any other functions that your write, remember to declare the function as import in the script header, if you like it to be usable in other scripts throughout your game. See "Importing a function" for more details.

Static extenders

Since AGS 3.4.0 you may also create static extender functions, that is functions that are called directly from a type, rather than an actual object of that type. Static extender declaration is a bit different, for example:

int AbsInt(static Maths, int value)
    if (value < 0)
        return -value;
    return value;

and you use such function as:

int x = Maths.AbsInt(-10);