User's Manual

Making a Tunnel Cartridge

If you're an artist or a musician, you're probably wondering how to put together a new Tunnel cartridge. If you're a programmer, you'll find the process quite straightforward.

Quick Start

For people comfortable with HTML and JavaScript. More in-depth instructions below.

  1. Create a directory called cart.
  2. Copy Tunnel into cart.
  3. Open index.html in browser to see empty message.
  4. Create cartridge.js in cart.
  5. Write info object—see Info Settings in Cartridge Data.
  6. Write layers array—see Layer Settings in Cartridge Data.
  7. Embed cartridge.js into index.html.
  8. Refresh index.html in browser to see loaded cartridge.
  9. Add image and sound assets to directory and metadata to layers.

Getting Ready

Tunnel is a web-based format, and what we call “cartridges” are really just a metaphor; this terminology lends a flavor in conversation with Tunnel’s guiding principles.

In literal terms, a cartridge is a collection of images, sounds, and metadata in a folder or directory with the Tunnel core.

Before you sit down to assemble a cartridge, try to plan out each layer and prepare the required source files.

Using JavaScript

To write the data file for a cartidge in JavaScript, create a .js file and declare two objects inside: info and layers.

Then, simply fill those objects with your desired settings.

const info = {
  title: 'Cartridge Title',
  labels: true,
  nav: [
    { text: 'Link 1', href: '' },
    { text: 'Link 2', href: '' }
const layers = [
  { id: 101, images: ['', '', '', ''] },
  { id: 202, images: ['', '', '', ''] },
  { id: 303, images: ['', '', '', ''] }

Your .js file needs to have an object called info and an array called layers. Use keys and values of info to apply Info Settings listed in Cartridge Data.

If you wish to fill the cartridge nav with hyperlinks, fill an array at info.nav with nav link objects and their settings; see the Nav Link Settings listed above.

To add layers to your cartridge, compose layer objects by declaring their attributes with the Layer Settings above. Your layers must be set in order inside the layers array. Every cartridge needs at least 3 layers. If you don't include 3 layers in your cartridge, Tunnel will generate them for you.

The Tunnel core is set to find your settings once you “load your cartridge”, that is, embed your file in the HTML. Look at the end of the tag for a spot to embed your cartridge data file.



Use a <script> tag with the id set to cartridge.

<script id=“cartridge” src=“/path/to/file.js”></script>

The cartridge is all done! Open index.html in a browser to test.

Using Cartridge Maker

Like the rest of Tunnel, the Cartridge Maker is fully responsive, though this tool in particular is geared slightly more toward desktop machines. It will export a JSON file that you can paste into the Tunnel core instead of writing a JavaScript data file by hand.

You will need to start your cartridge by copying Tunnel into a folder or directory with your audio and image assets.

Use the Cartridge Maker to enter settings and content for your cartridge.

When you’re ready, click the Finish button to download a JSON file. Copy the entire contents of that file to the clipboard. It’s a representation of the settings you declared in the Cartridge Maker.

Now open the HTML Tunnel core, index.html. Near the bottom of the code, you’ll see a spot before the closing </body> tag where you can load your cartridge.



Use a <script> tag with id="cartridge" and type="application/json". Inside, add your data via clipboard paste.

<script id=“cartridge” type=“application/json”>
  <!-- paste your data here -->

Your cartridge is all loaded! Open index.html in a browser to test.

Next: Creator Tips
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Site © Nathan Pasko. Tunnel is open source under the MIT License.