The basic conceptual model for ARIS authoring involves objects, triggers, and scenes.
For the actual settings for each object see their pages:
And for media specifications, look here.
You can create objects and see them in the left sidebar of the main (Scenes) tab of the Editor.
To make your object available to players, you must also create at least one trigger to point to that object. Each trigger lives in a scene.
Triggers are what connect the game world to the physical world and to itself. In a very basic sense, a trigger is how a player gets to an object. If you want a plaque at one specific place on earth, you would use a location trigger to point to that plaque, and move that trigger to the intended place. But that is just the beginning. There are many different types of triggers. Below, there is a basic description but for details see the Trigger Types page.
You add a trigger to a scene using the (+) button in the upper right corner of a scene. There are many types of triggers, each of which is an action in relation to a game object:
More on the details for each of these basic types of trigger below, after notes on scenes.
The Scenes tab is the main tab in the Editor. It is a visual interface to design stories in ARIS. It helps you organize your objects, quests, and moments of player interaction. Instead of a long list of objects, you can see the structure of your games and stories directly in this window. This should help authors think about the progression of their creations, right in ARIS.
Every game needs at least one scene. Every object needs at least one trigger to provide the player access. A trigger is created within a scene.
Objectively, scenes are containers for collections of game objects (plaques, conversations, etc.). But the metaphor is with cinema/theater. A scene is a basic organizational unit of design to help you think about the different parts of the story/game you’re making as separate productions that are linked together. A story will typically be made up of several connected scenes, and the branching connections between scenes could become quite complex if you want.
Scenes are about helping you to tell stories more efficiently using ARIS. They are likely more useful for larger, more important games. When you're just getting started, it may be best to use a single scene, and simply add all your triggers to that.
You create one or more scenes, and add triggers to these scenes to move action along within them. Every moment of the experience you’re creating for a player will take place within one of your scenes.
Every game needs at least one scene. Add a new one by clicking the big, “add scene” button when you are in the Scenes tab of the Editor.
Pro-tip: Until you are indeed a pro, or have a real need, just use one scene for everything. Switching scenes is a bit tricky to set up and not immediately obvious to players so it is easy to break your game (and have a hard time seeing it) when you have multiple scenes.
One special type of trigger is the one you use to send the player to another scene. By default, the player starts in the first scene you create. You can change which scene is your first scene in game settings. If you want them to see your objects whose triggers are in other scenes, you need to send them out of their initial scene and into another one. You do this with a switch scene trigger.
Using multiple scenes may help you organize your storytelling
Each trigger has many options for when and how the player can access it. You edit them by clicking on the trigger within the scene.
A scene with a bunch of triggers. Notice the custom icons for each type of object.
In the left sidebar, you will see the available options, grouped into three categories:
The first section of buttons you’ll see is “edit item” (or edit plaque, etc.). Clicking on the button brings up a small window where you can change the media, text, etc. for the object itself.
Clicking on Locks brings up the Locks Editor, where the big plus button adds new locks. Locks prevent players from triggering objects. This is a powerful and intuitive approach to the AND’s and OR’s involved in logically connecting complex chains of game objects. You can read more about locks at the link below, but the short version is:
There are several ways that a player can gain access to the objects you create in ARIS. You can choose among them here.
Notice, you need to hit enter or click save after selecting any of the toggles to make them active. You will be able to tell which is active from the small blue icon next to the object’s icon in the scene window (place marker for location, mini QR code for QR code, chain link for sequence).
For details on how each type of trigger works, see the Trigger Types page.
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