A conversation in the editor

A conversation in the editor (embiggenate)

What Is a Conversation?

A conversation is an interactive ordering of text and media. The basic metaphor is the player having a conversation with a virtual character (but don’t let this metaphor limit your creativity!). Each conversation is made up of three parts:

Characters - the participants in your conversation. Characters are defined by their name and media (portrait). They are created in the left sidebar (with the (+) button) and can be added to lines.

Lines - bits of conversation. A line is text (or html including javascript) spoken by a character. A line can also modify the player by taking or giving items and attributes. When a player sees a line, they also see that character’s media (portrait).

A line in a conversation

A line in a conversation

Choices - possible branch points. After each line, you can give the player one or more choices. Choices contain a prompt that looks like a button to the player, describing the choice they are making, and an action that happens when the player makes that choice. You can place locks on choices, so they only show up under certain circumstances.

  • A line can belong to a player or a character. There is a default player character you can give lines to. During the player line, the player of your game will see the profile image they created when first registering on the client.
  • You can effectively create a new role for your player (instead of the default) by creating a new character for this purpose.

Choices: Actions and Destinations

There are many possible outcomes of player choices. Each action may have a choice of destination.

Choices: A prompt, action, and destination

Choices: A prompt, action, and destination

Say line - The simplest destination is simply continuing the conversation. You can choose any existing lines or a new line as the player’s destination.

End Conversation - The simplest way to have the player leave the conversation. They will return to whatever part of the ARIS interface they were at before starting the conversation.

Exit to Plaque, Item, Conversation, Webpage - The player leaves the conversation and goes directly to their destination: another ARIS object.

Exit to Tab - The player goes to a specific tab in ARIS (map, inventory, scanner, etc.).

Once you save your action type, the choice in the conversation diagram will have a small icon to help you remember where it leads.

How to Make Conversations

First, create one or more characters in the left sidebar. A conversation starts with a blank screen and a big (+) in the main window. Once you hit this button, you get a single line and a single choice, along with a couple more buttons.

A line, a choice, and a couple buttons

A line, a choice, and a couple buttons

  • The top button will add another choice.
  • The bottom button will add another line before the choice.
  • Click on a line or choice to edit it (in the right sidebar).

Once you get going, this main screen will display a connected diagram of your conversation, helping you to visualize its flow.