WML for Complete Beginners: Introduction
Now I'm guessing that, if you're reading this, you already know what The Battle for Wesnoth is. If you don't, I suggest finding out before you read this tutorial.
Some people may wonder about the purpose of this tutorial. "We already have almost every aspect of WML covered in the ReferenceWML section," these people might say. But the information contained in the WML reference section is just that: a reference. Not a tutorial. This page aims to introduce complete beginners to WML without their having to sift for days through "references" until WML finally begins to vuagely make some sort of sense.
Who This Tutorial is For
The specific demographic for which this tutorial is intended is users with no previous programming knowledge. This tutorial does assume that you have a certain level of competence in basic computer skills and concepts, such as opening and editing text files, and being able to follow folder paths and locate specific directories. In this tutorial you will learn the fundamentals of WML by building a short single-player campaign from the ground up.
What Tools You Will Need
Programming in WML requires only one tool: a basic text editor. You don't need a fancy word processor to program WML (in fact, it is recommended that you avoid using those fancy word processors); a simple program like Windows Notepad or Mac OS X TextEdit will work just fine. For Linux, there is a very nice text editing application called Kate that actually comes with syntax highlighting for WML. In addition, some very helpful people put together a program specifically designed to help you write WML, which you can find at eclipse.wesnoth.org
Obviously, you will also need The Battle for Wesnoth installed on your computer.
So What Exactly is WML?
WML is an acronym for the "Wesnoth Markup Language", a custom scripting language that The Battle For Wesnoth uses to allow players to create and modify content without being required to learn a much more complex language like Lua or C++. Now I'm going to say this here and now: don't think you can learn WML overnight. Although WML is relatively easy to learn, it will take a certain amount of effort, time and dedication on your part to fully understand the ins and outs of the language.
Ready to Get Started?
When you are ready, head on over to WML for Complete Beginners: Chapter 1 and let's get started!