Linking Storyline Files

I have a course made up of 6 sections.  Each section (aka file) includes several different scenes.  I would like to publish my course to a CD and have a Main Menu that users will see that they can use to access each section (file) of the course.

I do not want to combine the whole course into one gigantic file.  First of all, each file is big enough as they stand now, plus I like that each section of the course has it's own menu.

So, does anyone know if I can create a MENU that has buttons that "jump" out and run each file?

Thanks,


Gillian

40 Replies
Mike Enders

Rebecca,

You should be able to accomplish this without too much difficulty.  Using Storyline, I'd create a simple, one slide menu with each button launching the story.html of one of the other modules.  Publish this out for CD.  You'll need to work with the url structure a bit to make sure that your menu buttons are able to find the other launch files, but ultimately, you'll be burning that menu output as well as your other courses (each in their own folder) to the CD.

I'll see if I can find some CDs laying around to test and give you a more detailed answer in terms of how to reference those other modules. 

Mike

Rebecca Shamblin

Unfortunately, my courses are not distinct - I need to link to slides between them, rather than one big menu slide with courses that don't "talk" to each other.  But, I'm quickly running out of options here - I may have to restructure my entire project, or find another authoring tool :(  Thanks for answering, Mike.

Rebecca Shamblin

Thanks, Mike, but I don't know if I can pull that off.  I basically have 3 layers of detail, for users who only want an overview, to users who want some detail, down to those who want the nitty-gritty.  Right now, there is one intro video that has links within ("Click here to learn more about X!").  If they click, it opens the scene for X, which in turn has links within it ("Click here to learn more about X.1"), etc.   If they don't click, the video simply continues on. There is a lot of linking between everything, which is fine in a single file, but has turned into a nightmare as the course grows.  I can't think of way to build that using this method - seems like network versus spoke-and-wheel model :(  Maybe I'm misunderstanding, though?

Mike Enders

I think either approach (network, or spoke and wheel) can work.  

Have you laid it all out on paper to map the connections?  I think that regardless of the software you use (Captivate, Flash, Lectora, etc.), you'll run into the same challenge of needing to create the paths that a learner can follow.  If you can doodle your concept out a bit, I'm pretty confident that we can help you get the architecture worked out with a combination of scenes, maybe some variables, a little trigger goodness, a bit of elbow grease, and a little TLC.  

Mike

Rebecca Shamblin

I appreciate your help  It actually works fine in Storyline so far as to user navigation.  My problems are arising because it's just too big.  If you can help me scale this, I will be a very happy camper!  I've created a simplified version of things and tried to attach it here, but I don't know if the attachment worked.

Hmm, every time I hit "Upload file", it just reloads the page with my file not chosen anymore.  Tried in both IE and Chrome.  Now I need help on how I'm seeking help

Mike Enders

Got it Rebecca!

Okay, so my first thought in looking at this is "breadcrumbs".  In other words, how does a learner get back to a particular section of the course? Will there be a persistent menu of some type? Or do they not need to get back?   If you could explain a little more about the project outcomes, and the layout, we can start to brainstorm!  

And eat chocolate.

Mike

Rebecca Shamblin

There is a permanent link back to the main menu on slides that aren't screen recordings, as well as the dropdown menu built into the player.  That is one of my concerns with splitting into multiple files - I think I lose the Player menu that way.  It also jumps back to whatever scene they were viewing when they finish watching the more detailed scenes (e.g., back to slide 3 of the Intro video if that's where they were).

This project is a resource center for clients using our software.  It's meant to serve both newbies, who don't know what kind of questions to ask yet and want to 'wander' through the sections, as well as more advanced users, who have a specific question and want to navigate straight there.  I think I can serve the latter with separate files, but it's the newbies who need the interlinking.  Does that help, or should I explain more?

Rebecca Shamblin

While we're working on links, I've been experimenting with inserting .story files as web objects.  I'm concerned that it seems I have to delete and reinsert the web object any time I make a change to the inserted .story file - like Storyline is caching that somewhere?  I also can't make things appear seamless - I always see the 'frame' of the inserted storyline, and I have to scroll left or right to view the entire thing.  Is this my inexperience at web objects, or is that how this works?

Rebecca Shamblin

As an update, I've been playing with the overall setup, and I think I might squeak by with just removing the "bottom rung" - the detail walkthroughs.  If I leave all the other slides together, I get a nearly-full menu in one file, and I just have a different .story file for each detailed tutorial.  That will leave me with about 250 slides, which Storyline can handle.  

Stephen Evans

Hi Mike,

I too have a similar problem with a big file with lots of branching that I'd like to break up into 1 main menubranchingoff to smaller modules that should all live in their own outputfolders. Mydifferenceis that I would like all this to live online that can be accessed on PC and iPad. My current 1 big file is playing havoc with the HTML5 redraw on the iPad3 and crashing an iPad1 - so I'm looking at breaking the course down.

I'm having real difficulty getting "Jump to file /URL" to work properly. After navigating to the correct URL it always wants to copy just the html file into that SL's "story_content\external_files" folder at publish time but none of the support files go with it, so I just get a 404 type screen. I'd rather it just navigated to the existing output folder of the module I want it to go to anyway as I can't see how the external folder would work anyway, as if you jumped back and forward between the two files they would have to beinfinitelynested within each other - which is nuts obviously.

Am I using the wrong trigger command? I've searched through the triggers for the button but can't see anything else that jumps out to an external file.

Choosing to publish out to CD is similarly confusing. Is there atutorialon this somewhere please?

Regards,

Stephen.

Mike Enders said:

Rebecca,

You should be able to accomplish this without too much difficulty. Using Storyline, I'd create a simple, one slide menu with each button launching the story.html of one of the other modules. Publish this out for CD. You'll need to work with the url structure a bit to make sure that your menu buttons are able to find the other launch files, but ultimately, you'll be burning that menu output as well as your other courses (each in their own folder) to the CD.

I'll see if I can find some CDs laying around to test and give you a more detailed answer in terms of how to reference those other modules.

Mike

Rebecca Shamblin

Hi Stephen - FWIW, I am using web objects, not Jump To.  I don't know if that's best, but it's what I've got!  I also had the nesting problem, so I just open the tutorial Story files in a new window.  Then the user can close it when she's done.

I have a blank slide in the main menu file that gets jumped to.  It automatically launches the tutorial Story file in a new window, then the original window goes back to the previous slide in the main menu.  I don't love having multiple windows, but I couldn't figure out a different way that didn't have nested (and confusing) navigation controls.  I've also had to develop Pause layers in the main file so I didn't have them both playing at once.

I don't know how all this works with iPad, as I haven't tried that yet.  I'm just making it work for Web, for now.

Stephen Evans

Hi Mike,

Thanks, that worked a treat on the PC. On iOS it works, but even with it set to open in the same window iOS still likes to open a new browser instance in Safari. 

Since it is a new story file that is being accessed - you are also presented with the mobile detection screen - so you also have to hit the "Play" button again in this new window.

Is there a workaround for getting it to open in the same browser window on iOS or is this just iOS functionality that we have no control over?

Stephen.

Stephen Evans

Mike,

I want to use HTML5 on iOS - not exclusively on Safari but since most people use it without thinking about it when using Apple devices, then that would be the one I'd concentrate on.

I want to the content password protected so the iOS App is not an option. The users will get the option to view on Mobile and PC.

I just want a seamless jump to another module without the interruption of the new browser window and mobile detection launch screen on iOS.

If this is not possible, then putting the whole lot into a VLE environment is probably the only option left to me.

Thanks for spending the time Mike.

Cheers,

Stephen.

Mike Enders

Stephen,

I just ran some tests and am seeing the same thing on the iPad.  I checked with our team and my understanding is that the implementation is meant to overcome some limitations in mobile Safari.  

If you link directly to the HTML5 launcher file, it won't show the "get the app" screen, but you will still see the static launch page, which, will launch the HTML5 pretty quickly once you hit the play button.  I know you're looking for a direct launch, but at this time, it doesn't look possible.

I'll keep noodling on this to see if we can't figure something else out!

Mike

Steve Flowers

You can hand modify your storylinecompliled.js file either after publish or prior to publish to skip the intermediary launch screen. The method is described here:

http://community.articulate.com/forums/p/19353/114590.aspx#114590

By editing the file located here, your outputs will always publish with the change:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Articulate\Articulate Storyline\Content\mobile

That's where mine is. If you want to make this change (***see caveat 1 and 2 below***) permanently to this file and have it affect all publishes you can modify this once.

***Caveats***

1) Use is at your own risk. Pretty sure Articulate can't support it and you'll want to remember that you did this (make a copy) in case something else pops up. It might cause other problems so be on the lookout

2) Any audio you use on the first slide probably won't work in older versions of iOS (iOS 6 fixed the audio issue in Safari).