|05|. Create a Trigger


What is a Trigger? - Triggers allow players to access objects. For now let’s focus on the four basic types of Triggers.

  • GPS Trigger - (default) A set of GPS coordinates an object is connected to. Typically, but not exclusively, the player must physically travel to these coordinates to access the object.

  • QR Code Trigger - A scannable pattern that an object is attached to. Typically, the player must use the built-in scanner in ARIS to scan this image in order to access the object.

  • Lock Trigger - A Trigger that will be displayed on the screen as soon as any “locks” associated with it are met. If no “locks” are set (which is the default state) the object will automatically appear on the screen.

  • Timer - A Trigger that will activate on regular set intervals (so long as all of the locks have been satisfied).  

Note that “locks” are beyond the scope of this tutorial. You can learn more about them in the ARIS Manual.


What is the Scenes Tab? The Scenes Tab is the main tab in the Editor. It is a visual interface used to design stories in ARIS.

What is a Scene? For now, think of a Scene as a container for a collection of game objects (e.g., Plaques, Conversations, Items). Instead of a long list of objects, Scenes help you visualize the structure of your game/story. A game must have at least one scene, but in can include multiple scenes.


Now that you have created a Plaque called “Introduction”, the next step is to decide when and how players can access it. In this demo game we want the “Introduction” Plaque to show up as soon as the player starts the game. To do this, you’ll set the Plaque Trigger to “Locks”. You’ll learn about “locks” later, but essentially the “Introduction” Plaque will now show up on the screen right away because it is not locked (and it is not associated with a specific GPS location).

intro plague trigger.jpg
  1. Click on the “Scenes” tab in the Header.  

  2. Click on the + next to the “Starting Scene”.

  3. Click on “Plaque” and select your “Introduction” Plaque from the list. This will create a Trigger for your Plaque. The new Trigger will appear in the Starting Scene.

  4. Click on the newly created Trigger (inside the Starting Scene). This will load the Plaque Trigger settings in the Right Sidebar (see image on right) which will allow you to specify when and how players will be able to view it.

  5. To make the Plaque appear as soon as a player starts the game, set the Trigger to use "Locks".

  6. Do not define any locks.

  7. Save.


What is a “typical” workflow in ARIS? While it is a bit more complex than this, a typical workflow in ARIS goes like this. First, you create a Game Object (e.g., a Conversation, Plaque, or Item) using the left sidebar. Next, you need to make it so that players can interact with or access the object as part of the game. To do this  you create a Trigger associated with the object in a Scene. For now, think of a Scene as a container for all of the objects that will appear in the your game. In other words, simply creating a Game Object in the left sidebar does not add it to your game. Instead, you need to create Triggers, so that players can access the objects. Triggers are created inside of Scenes. Once you’ve added a Trigger to a Scene, you can adjust the Trigger Settings in the right sidebar to set when and how players will be able to access the Trigger.

For example, say you have game where players need to walk to a specific location to pick up a gold coin. First, you would create the gold coin as an Item in the left sidebar. Then, you would create a Trigger for the coin by adding it to a Scene. Finally, using the Trigger Settings in the right sidebar, you would set it so that players could only trigger the coin if they were within 35 meters of it.

***** Now is a great time to TEST YOUR GAME. To do this, log in to ARIS on your iOS device (using the same username/password you created for the editor). Then, click on “Mine” in the bottom tab bar. Your game should appear in the list. When you start the the game (by clicking on ”New Game”) the Introduction should pop up. *****