Help with ideas to make my activity work - variables

May 13, 2013


I had what I thought was a great concept having people put items into either side of a scale.  The scale tips either way using states depending on the number of items in each side of the scale. I've easily got this working in terms of putting items into each basket, adding 1 each time the item is dropped on the hotspot.

A second element of the activity is making sure the right things are on each side so if someone takes something off to move it to the starting position or to the other side of the scale, I want the count to reduce by 1 so my scales tip correctly again.

I did figure out that if they send the item back to the beginning I can put a hotspot there and have it reset the count to 0.  This works, Storyline just adds up the ones still on the scale and that's correct.  However, if they just move the item to the other basket it doesn't reduce the count.

Is there any way to ask Storyline to adjust the variable/reduce the count by 1 when an item is taken away from a hotspot?  Any other work arounds people can think of?

Thanks in anticipation!

9 Replies
Mike Enders


I'm still trying to wrap my feeble mind around this one!   I'm wondering if maybe you couldn't add a tagging (tracking?) variable for each object.  Say, you use a True/False variable for each object, except, think of it as Left/Right.   

So, when user drops object on left side, variable is set to True.  When they drop it on right side, variable is set to False.  

Then, you could use this to help evaluate whether to reduce or increase the count.

So user drops object 1 on left side (variable is set to True).  User drags that to the right and drops it, we can now evaluate it's true false state).  In my words...if object 1 was on the left side and is now dropped on the right (we know this due to it's true false state), then adjust the # variable accordingly.


PS.  If you want to share the slide, we'd be happy to take a look!  It would help because I'm not sure exactly how you've got it set up, but the above should work.

Antony Snow

Hi Miriam and Mike,

Using the theory Mike suggested, I have built and attached a prototype that almost achieves what you are trying to do here Miriam (though it needs some art direction ).

Additionally, I have only added 2 left and right states to the scale bar so there is currently no visual if there are 3 or 4 items placed on 1 side, but you can add as many as required. 

There is however 1 issue that I haven't been able to resolve; if the user drags one of the 4 draggable objects back to the start (the grey box at the top), it snaps to the centre so if all 4 are returned here they are all on top of each other rather than their original start position - do either of you have any suggestions?


Miriam de Jonge

Ah gentlemen, thank you sooo much!  Mike your example was similar to one I tried initially, but I was being especially fussy because I wanted the scale to tip to the right or left whether or not the answer was correct.  This involved adding triggers to keep resetting the counts.

However, after chewing over it during the night and trying a few things out today I've some up with a version I'm very happy with!  I've stripped it of proprietary material so the baskets are a mysterious 'A' and 'F' and the options are statements about A and F - which I would mix up in the final iteration but for now makes it easier to see the workings of it.  So obviously you would change this to whatever two things you are weighing up.

I think I've got it flawlesslessly working so that no matter which side you drop something on, the scales will tip correctly.  If you actually get the answers right a 'that's correct' layer pops up.  I did have a 'try again' layer if everything balanced but wasn't correct, but for the life of me I can't get that to work.  Still, I'm 98% there.  Since I've often stolen from this forum I figure it's about time to share back, so anyone reading this, please feel free to use and adapt.

Thank you again for your input Mike and Antony!

Pummi  Bais

Hi Everyone:

The presentation was done uniquely wonderfully by everyone.  To be frank, I could not follow the real logic

behind the concept.  It appears that I am missing something other than regular drag and drop off concept.

Please forgive me for this concept...    To be frank, I am looking putting "chemicals" in each side of the scale.

Are we seeing something else..... just trying understand more, since I am new in SL?

Miriam de Jonge

Hi Pummi,

The drag and drop part of the activity is straightforward.  If you drop the items on the correct side you will get the activity correct.  However I wanted to add an additional visual element of the scales moving accurately back and forth.  Creating a variable to add up how many items were on each side was ok except that the variable didn't adjust when I took them back off again.

My final result is probably 'over engineered' but it's working the way I wanted it to.  Hence sharing it so someone else can save themselves the trouble of figuring it out!  However if you would like me to explain my logic I'll give it a go. 

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