Can I do this in Storyline? Variables changing characters?

Hi, everyone. I'm a beginner who hasn't yet installed Storyline. But I need to make a demo project at the request of a prospective employer. So, I've been teaching myself how to use Storyline without installing the software — I watched videos on, viewed the tutorials on this site, and I went through the PDF manual. My hope is that once I install the 30-day trial of Storyline, I'll be familiar enough with it from the videos etc. that I won't require 30 days to make my demo project. I'm also planning to storyboard my project, as much as I can, on paper before starting Storyline's 30-day trial.

Anyway, I'm interested in using variables to create more customization and variance in my project, but the videos and tutorials didn't go into full detail of what can be done using variables.

Consequently, I have a question or two:

For my project, I was thinking, at the beginning, of asking the learner to choose a character to represent him/her throughout the project. Or, instead, asking the learner if the learner is male or female and having a corresponding character of the learner's gender represent the learner throughout the project.

So my questions are: is it possible to do that? Can a variable's value determine which character appears on slides throughout the project? Obviously, variables can choose a character's state, but I want the variable to determine the actual character being displayed.



8 Replies
Edie Egwuonwu

I believe it can. I'm not a "Super Hero" but I think if the state of the characters initially is hidden and you create a variable that is "if p then q" it'll make the state visible.

What I'm less clear about is how you'd get the condition for the variable to set up on slide one and carry it through the course. From everything I've seen I'm confident it CAN be done... just not going to be able to tell you how.

I'm sure the brilliant folks here will get you there though. Good luck!

john faulkes

To continue the story, it really is possible.

You would ask the learner if they are m/f, and store the result in a true/false variable, or a numeric variable with (say) 1 or 2. It doesn't matter as long as you decide which value corresponds to which.

There are then a few ways to display m or f characters. for example you could have one of each character on the slide, both set to be in the 'hidden' state. You put in a trigger for each, to 'change state of' from hidden to normal, if your variable is equal to (whatever condition you have chosen).

Michael Hinze

This can easily be done. See attached an example of a character selection that I had done a while back (the selection screen is in French but I'm sure you get the idea. Once a character is selected, the selection is stored in a variable. Based on the variable, the selected character is displayed on each of the following slides. Hope that helps.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Jessica,

So it looks like Michael's file is missing the element of showing the characters - but let's say for arguments sake, it would look like this:

All those characters are different "states" of one image, and you'd add a trigger to each slide to adjust the state of Character image to Benoit if the variable SelectedCharacter is Benoit, and one trigger for each possible option.

Or, each character is their own image, on every single slide - whose initial state is false. You'd than add a trigger to change state of Benoit to "normal" when the value of SelectedCharacter equals Benoit - and again, a trigger for each possible option, and to layer the images one on top of the other. 

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Hi Jessica,

Late to the party, but since I had a couple slides partially ready from a presentation I just did, I thought I'd add a few things and upload it in case it helps. Did this in SL1 since I wasn't sure which version you're using.

Brief overview: Slide 1

4 characters; T/F variables associated with each (check Manage Project Variables to see these). Variables are set to false when timeline starts.

Also, all 4 characters belong to a button set, so only 1 can be chosen at a time; if Learners click one, then another, the first one is no longer active

When a character is selected the associated T/F variable is flipped to True

Click on next 2 slides, you'll see the "Amy" character is the normal state; there's an additional state for each of the other characters

Triggers on those slide set the state to change when the timeline starts  depending on which variable was flipped on the first slide

Left references to the variables so you could see what's going on. these would of course be deleted

Kyada Queen

Thank you, Storyline Contributors,

This discussion proved extremely useful for my project.  Do you think changing variables for the STATE to represent different characters is less time consuming (and less byte-size) than changing variable triggers of characters for each slide, especially if incorporating the function into a large story with multiple references?   Normally I would opt for adding all the characters with their distinct states to each slide, but that seems it would end up being a very large file.  Yet editing states with distinct characters on each slide might be faster.  Rebecca's file showed how STATES can easily be used for the character variable; rather intuitive after examining the variables in her story.  It doesn't require as many variables as the other way, it seems.  Or does it?  I find variables can be rather confusing (if this then that, unless this is not equal to that, in which case....).   Mapping out the variables in a sketch helps me to construct them more successfully.