Articulate recently added a scenario block in Rise. This block is designed to create responsive branching scenarios quickly. The final products look great, although there are some limitations. I think the Rise scenario block works well for quick conversation simulations.
Branching scenario example
Try the scenario yourself to see the finished product. In this scenario, you’re an instructional designer receiving storyboard feedback from a client. The client requests some changes to the writing style, and you need to decide how to respond.
Looks great on any screen
Like everything in Rise, the final product looks polished regardless of the screen size.
Quick to build
I built this branching scenario with 18 screens in under 2 hours. That included about half the writing. I had started drafting this scenario in Twine a while back, but I’d never finished writing it. I used Rise similar to how I use Twine; wrote directly in the tool.
For comparison, this Storyline branching scenario with 19 slides took me 9 hours to build. That scenario has significantly more content and some complicating elements, but it’s clear that even building the same scenario in Storyline would take much longer.
200 character limit
One significant con is the 200 character limit. I understand why it’s there; shorter text fits nicely on a phone screen. However, it means you have to write to fit the limitations of the tool, rather than making the tool do what you want for a scenario.
Originally, I hoped to rebuild my client screening scenario to compare Storyline versus Rise. I knew I’d have to do some updates because that scenario has both email and phone conversations.
I might have been able to make it work, either by switching to all phone interactions or using the text messages for email. Unfortunately, the text in that scenario too long. The 200 character limit was too restrictive. I would have had to completely rewrite the scenario to fit the tool, and that didn’t make sense for this test.
No branching view
There’s no visual of how everything connects. I hope they’ll add this feature in the future. I really prefer having a visual map of the connections.
Even though I wrote directly in Rise this time, I’d still recommend writing in Twine first for any complex branching with crossing paths. Twine’s tools make it easier to view the connections and paths. For limited branching or gauntlet-style paths (where you return to the main path repeatedly regardless out of your choices), it might be easy enough to keep track of choices without needing a branching view.
In a conversation with Bridget Brown, she explained how she wanted to create a conversation between three people in Rise. She eventually figured out how to make it work, but it was clunky to fit in Rise. You select visible other character by scene, so you have to switch scenes back and forth to make it appear like a conversation between two other characters.
Rise works well for straightforward conversations between two people. If you want to do something else, you’ll have to get creative (or switch to another tool).
Try it yourself
Check out this tutorial explaining how to build scenarios in Rise if you’d like to try it yourself.
If you have tried the Articulate Rise scenario block, I’d love to hear about your experiences.