ARIS Basics

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What is ARIS and What are we Making?

What is ARIS? ARIS is a free platform that allows you to create mobile-based tours, games and interactive stories. ARIS two key parts. One part of the platform is the editor, which allows you to build things (i.e., tours, games and interactive stories). The other part is the iOS app that allows you to play things you and other people have created. The app can be downloaded for free from the app store. At the moment, ARIS only runs on iOS devices (iPod, iPad, iPhone).

Outdoor Walking Games vs. Map-based Games: When you build something with ARIS you need to decide whether it is going to be a walking game or a map-based game. If you make something that is location-based, then players will have to physically walk to different locations in order to play. For example, you might make a tour of your neighborhood where players are required to walk to different places. You can make location-based games using GPS, QR codes (which players have you scan), or by adding secret codes that are tied to specific locations.

Set Up your ARIS Account and Download the ARIS App

Before building something with ARIS you need to create an ARIS account. You also need to download the ARIS app to an iOS device, so that you can test and play the things you create in the editor.

Step 1: Create an ARIS Account (if you don’t already have one)

Go to the ARIS Editor at: arisgames.org/editor

Click on “Register” to create an account

Create a username and password

Click on ‘Register”’

Step 2: Install the ARIS app on your iOS device via the App Store

Install the latest ARIS app on your iOS device via the App Store

While you don’t need to log into the client now note that your username/password will be the same as the one you just created above for the ARIS Editor.

Create a New Game

Steps:

Go to the ARIS Editor at: arisgames.org/editor

Click on “New Game”

Add a Title: “Dow Demo” (You can make the title and description whatever you want and can always change it later).

Add a description in the text box: “It’s 1967. You are a reporter. Go get a good story!” Note that you don’t need the quotes.

Save

NOTE: At this time your game will be private - i.e., only you will have access to it. Later, you’ll learn how to publish your game, so that others can play it on their iOS device.

Create an Introduction Plaque

Overview: When the player starts we want them to see a Plaque that will introduce them to the game.

Steps:

Click on the “Scenes” tab in the Header.

To create a Plaque, click the + button next to the Plaques title in the Left Sidebar

Fill out the form that appears.

Name: "Introduction"

Text: "It is October 1967. You are a reporter working for the Wisconsin State Journal who has been assigned to cover anti-Dow Chemical protests. Find your editor to get started”

Skip an “Icon” or “Media” (You’ll learn how to add icons later)

Skip “Modify Player” (You’ll learn how to add icons later)

Save.

DEEPER DIVE:

What is a Plaque? A Plaque is the most basic kind of game object. It is typically used to provide a player with static information. A Plaque can have a title, description, and media (e.g., image, audio, video).

What is an Icon? Icons are small graphics associated with an object. For example, when objects are viewed via the map, players see the Icon associated with the object. Each type of object (Plaque, Item, Conversation) has a different default Icon, but as a designer you can add your own Icons.

What is Media? Media includes audio, video, images that players can view when they interact with an object.

We’ll cover how to upload and add media later in this course.

Create a Trigger

Overview: 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”. Essentially, this means that 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).

Steps:

Click on the “Scenes” tab in the Header.

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

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.

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.

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

Do not define any locks.

Save

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 game (by clicking on ”New Game”) the Introduction should pop up.

DEEPER DIVE: Triggers

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 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 course. You can learn more about them though in the ARIS Manual.

DEEPER DIVE: Scenes

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 more complex designs sometimes include multiple scenes.

DEEPER DIVE: Workflow

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. Triggers allow you to determine when players can access certain content. 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.

Create a Conversation with the Editor

Overview:

After viewing the Introduction Plaque, the person playing your design will talk with the Editor. The Editor will be the first person the player meets. First, he will ask the player if they are ready or not and the player will have the choice of saying “Yes” or “No”. If the player answers “Yes”, the Editor will task them with interviewing some protesters.

Steps:

From the Scenes Tab, click the + on the Left Sidebar next to Conversations to create a new Conversation.

Name the Conversation “Editor”. No other options are needed.

Save

Add the Editor conversation to the Starting Scene by clicking the + to the right of the “Starting Scene” title and then selecting “Conversation” and choosing the “Editor” from the list.

DEEPER DIVE: Conversations

What is a conversation? A conversation is an interactive ordering of text and media. For now, let’s use the most basic metaphor for conversations; that they represent a discussion between a player and a virtual character. While it is beyond the scope of this demo, Conversations can be designed using a variety of other metaphors as well.

Each conversation is made up of three parts:

Characters - The participants in your conversation. Characters are defined by their name and media (portrait/image). They are created in the left sidebar (with the (+) button) and can be associated with specific lines in a conversation.

Lines - A line is text (or html including javascript) spoken by a Character. When a player sees a line, they also see the media (e.g., portrait) associated with that Character. A line can also “modify a player” by taking or giving items and attributes. Note that Attributes are not covered in this tutorial.

Choices - After each line, you can give the player one or more choices. This allows you to create a branching dialog where players are given choices or options for how they want to respond. Choices contain a prompt, which appears as a button when players look at it on their screen. Actions are what happens when the player makes a particular choice.

To learn more about Conversations: http://manual.arisgames.org/editor/conversations

Write the Dialog Text for the Editor Conversation

Steps:

Start by creating the Characters who will be part of this Conversation - i.e., the player and the editor. Note that the player is automatically added to the Conversation. So, you’ll only need to add the editor.

Click on the “Editor” in the Left Sidebar (under Conversations)

Click on Script Editor

Click on the + in the Left Sidebar next to Characters.

Create a new character

Name: Editor

Title: Editor

Media: Skip for now

Save

You should now have two Characters (or people) associated with this Conversation. One is “You” (which is actually the player) and the other is the “Editor”.

Now that you have characters, you can begin building the dialog tree - i.e., the lines of dialog and choices the player will see when they view the Conversation with the Editor.

Build a New Conversation

Click the + above “Start Conversation”. This will give you a white box, which is where you will eventually type the first line that is spoken in the Conversation. Notice that you’ll also see a black line that points down to a green box that has “Bye-bye” written in it. The green box represents the choice the player has after reading the first line. At this point, there is only one choice for the player to make. If a player viewed this Conversation in ARIS (on their iOS device), they would meet the Editor and he would say “Hello”. The player would then be able to click on “Bye-bye” to exit the Conversation. Let’s change this, so that it makes more sense.

Click on the first white box. This box represents the first line the Editor will say to the player when they meet him. Enter the following in the Right Sidebar in the Edit Line box.

Speaker: Editor (i.e., who is saying this line of dialog?)

Text: “I’ve been waiting for you. I need you to write a story about the protests. Are you ready?”

Edit Events: Ignore this

Save

Because the editor asks the player a question (“Are you ready?), let’s make it so that the player can answer “Yes” or “No”. Since your Conversation currently has only only one choice for the player to make, your first step will be to add a new branch or choice.

Add a new dialog branch to the Conversation. To do this, click on the black arrow pointing right just under the white box.

Next, click on the down arrow above the green box that says “Bye-Bye”.

Now you should have two Choices (i.e., two blue boxes). Change these, so that one reads “Yes” and the other reads “No”. To do this click on the boxes and make changes in the Right Sidebar.

In the white box that shows up under “Yes” you should write: Great! Start by talking to some protesters. In the white box under “No” you should write: Okay. Come back when you are ready.

Note that the light blue boxes are the buttons or prompts players will be able to choose from during the Conversation. In this case, the player can choose “Yes” or “No” when asked if they are ready.

Adding Media to the Editor Conversation

Steps:

Download Workbook Media

Download the “Workbook Media” files onto your computer or a thumb drive and unzip them.

The web address for the download is: tinyurl.com/dowmedia.

You’ll need to access these files later, so make sure you know where they are stored.

Upload the media

Click on the “Media” tab in the Header.

Click on the + button above “Upload Media”

Name: Editor

Choose File: Locate and upload Editor.jpeg from the Workshop Media folder

Save

Add the media to the Editor (Map icon)

Click on the “Scenes” tab in the Header

Click on the “Editor” in the Left Sidebar (under Conversations)

Click on “Icon” and select the image of the editor

Save

Add media to the Editor (Conversation)

Click on the “Editor” in the Left Sidebar (under Conversations)

Click on “Script Editor”

Click on “Editor” in the Left Sidebar

Click on “Media” and select the image of the editor

Save

DEEPER DIVE: Adding Media

How do I add media? There are three main steps involved in adding media to an ARIS design. One, you need to create or locate the media files you want to use. Two, you need to upload the media using the Media Tab in the ARIS editor. This tab serves as the central location where all of the media you plan to use in your design gets uploaded. Finally, once you have uploaded the media files, you can assign them to specific objects (e.g., Plaques, Conversations, Items, etc.) within the editor.

For more information on media: http://manual.arisgames.org/editor/media

Move the Editor to a Specific Location on the Map

Overview:

One way that ARIS objects (Plaques, Conversations, etc.) can be triggered is by location. This can happen by either having the player Physically go to a location OR by having them Touch an object on the map. For the purposes of this demo you’ll do the latter. To do this, you will use a Trigger Setting called “Available anywhere”.

Steps:

Click on the “Locations” tab in the Header. We are working on changing this, but for now note that any objects you create are initially placed on the map in Madison, WI.

Click, hold, and drag the green pin/icon on the map. This icon represents the Editor Conversation

Move the Editor to any location on the map. You can move it to a location near you, or you can place it on UW-Madison campus which is where the protests took place. Note that you can use the search box in the upper lefthand corner to switch locations on the map. To do so, simply type in an address or location.

**** Now is a good time to TEST YOUR GAME. When you go back into your game you should be able to use the “Map” tab (click on the icon with three lines in it in the upper right hand of the screen) and then zoom around until you see the Editor icon on the map. If you clicked on “Available Anywhere” when you set this character up in the editor you should be able to click on the icon to start the conversation ****

Create a Protest Flyer

Overview:

After talking to the Editor, the player will head over to a group of protesters who will hand them a protest flyer. The protesters will be a new Conversation, while the flyer will be an Item. First, you’ll create the flyer. Then,

Steps:

At this point let’s create the Protest Flyer as an Item. Later we’ll set it up so that the player is handed the flyer when they trigger a Conversation called “Protester”.

Upload the media that will be associated with the Flyer (I.e., the digital version of the flyer).

Click on the “Media” tab in the Header.

Click on the + button above “Upload Media”

Name: Protest Flyer

Choose File: Locate and upload Protest Flyer.jpeg from the Workbook Media folder

Save

Create the Item (Protest Flyer): From the Scenes Tab, click the + on the Left Sidebar next to Player Attributes / Items to create a new conversation (See image on right).

Name: Protest Flyer

Description: Based on an original flyer handed out in 1967 at the protests

Weight: 0

Max Qty in Inventory: 1

Notify on Change: Checked

Droppable: Unchecked

Destroyable: Checked

Type: Normal

Tag: None

Upload Media: Protest Flyer.jpeg

Save

DEEPER DIVE: Items

What is an item? Items are game objects that players can pick up, drop (on the map), and destroy (vs. simply visit and view them). Like Plaques, they include a title, text, media (image, video, or sound), and an icon. When players pick up (or are given an item), it appears in their Inventory. Images embedded in Items can pinched and zoomed.

Create a Conversation with a Protester

Steps:

Upload the media

Click on the “Media” tab in the Header.

Click on the + button above “Upload Media”

Name: Protester

Choose File: Locate and upload Protester.jpeg from the Workshop Media folder

From the Scenes Tab, click the + on the Left Sidebar next to Conversations to create a new conversation

Name the conversation “Protester”

Click on Icon and set the Protester.jpeg as the icon

Save the Conversation

Add the Protester conversation to the Scene by clicking the + to the right of the “Starting Scene” title and selecting “Conversation”

**** NOTE: Notice that you can change the location of the Protester in the Right Sidebar. When you click on the Protester conversation within the Starting Scene, the Trigger settings will appear. Within the Trigger settings is a map. You can set the location of an object using this screen or using the “Locations” tab (found in the header) as you did above when you placed the Editor on the map. ****

Write the Dialog Text for the Protester

Overview:

Steps:

Click on the “Protester” in the Left Sidebar (under Conversations)

Click on “Script Editor”

Click on the + in the Left Sidebar next to Characters.

Create a new character

Name: Protester

Title: Protester

Media: Select Protester.jpeg

Save

Click the + above Start Conversation

Click on the first white box. This will bring up options in the Right Sidebar.

Speaker: Protester

Text: “Hey there. I hope you are here to join the protests. Do you want a flyer?”

Edit Events: Ignore this

Save

Click on the black arrow pointing right. This will create a new dialog branch

Click on the down arrow above the green box that says “Bye-Bye”. Now you should have two prompts (i.e., two blue boxes). Change these, so that one reads “Yes” and the other reads “No”

In the white box under “Yes” write: Great! Here is a flyer. Read it to see why we are protesting. In the white box under “No” write: That’s too bad. Stop back if you change your mind.

Now let’s make it so that the protester hands you a flyer if you answer “Yes”

Click on the white box under the prompt that says “Yes”

Set it so that this interaction modifies the player (in this case gives them an item).

Click on “Edit Events”

Click on “Add Row”

Action - Give to Player

What - Protest Flyer

Quantity - 1 (See image below)

Save

Move the Protester on the Map

Steps:

Use the Locations tab in the header to place the protester somewhere near the Editor.

Create a Plaque that Contains a Video

Overview:

After talking with the Protesters, the player will see some protesters who are marching on Bascom Hill. When the player finds the marchers, a Plaque will show the player a video of the marchers and chanting.

Steps:

Upload the media

Click on the “Media” tab in the Header.

Click on the + button above “Upload Media”

Name: Marchers

Choose File: Locate and upload Video_Marchers Bascom.3gp from the Workshop Media folder

Save

Click on the “Scenes” tab in the Header.

To create a plaque click the + button next to the Plaques title in the Left Sidebar

Fill out the form that appears.

Name: Marchers

Text: "Protesters marching”

Icon: Don’t add

Media: Add Video_Marchers Bascom.3gp

Edit Events: Don’t use

Continue Button Function: Don’t use

Save.

Click on the + next to the “Starting Scene”

Click on “Plaque” and select your “Marchers” from the list.

Move the Marchers (Plaque) to a Specific Location on the Map

Steps:

Use the Locations tab in the header to place the Marchers somewhere near the protester.

Publish your Design (Optional)

Steps:

While you can play all of the games you create, you can only play other people’s games if they are “published”. Publishing a game basically means that you are making it public for other people to play. So, If you want other people to play your game, you need to do the following:

In the editor click on “Game” and then “Settings”

Under “Visibility to ARIS Client” click on “Published”

Save

Note that if your game is called Dow Day you might want to change the title since there are other games with that same name.

Wrap Up and Next Steps

Nice Work making your first ARIS game!

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