Our Articulate Storyline game engine is creating quite the buzz within the learning technologies industry. But that interest comes with a lot of new questions, so here we’re answering some of your burning questions about it. So let’s get started!
How does the game engine work?
The Articulate Storyline game engine is a standalone plugin to add a layer of gamification to your e-learning content. The plugin is embedded in a standard Storyline course and integrates seamlessly with it. We can then provide a variety of ways for learners to navigate learning content by adding game play functionality that just isn’t possible to create in a standard Storyline course.
We’ve also defined a way for the game engine to communicate with the Storyline course to allow actions and progress to be sent back and forth between them. So our realisation was that Storyline and other off-the-shelf authoring tools would never be able to offer the level of game play learners are expecting – so the best way to offer this was through integration with third party modules such as our game engine.
Does the game engine work on tablets and smart phones?
The game engine will run on any mobile device that supports HTML, jQuery and CSS and it performs very well on iPad and Android. It is also responsive, so scales to fit different resolution devices.
What aspects of gamification does the game engine use?
We have currently incorporated random events such as dice throws and chance cards, a countdown timer, badges, multi-session progress marking, a custom end of game certificate and avatar selection for the game. Future functionality will include levels, leader board integration and a richer variety of game types.
I don’t use Articulate Storyline, can I still use the game engine?
Any authoring tool that allows web objects to be embedded can be integrated with the game engine. Adobe Captivate has this functionality and we are working with the responsive authoring tool provider Elucidat to integrate the engine with their development environment.
Can I edit the game myself using Articulate Storyline?
The game engine is completely independent of Articulate Storyline. Certain variables that are key to the game play are stored as Storyline variables and can be changed but the bulk of the configuration takes place in the game engine itself.
Can the game engine be changed to reflect my brand?
Absolutely. We are working with multiple organisations on custom environments for their games. Incorporating a different brand is relatively easy once we have the look and feel defined.
Do I need an LMS to be able to use the game engine?
The choice is yours. The game engine does not rely on a SCORM LMS at all. The benefit of running the game from an LMS is that learner progress will be stored in the LMS, allowing them to run the game over multiple sessions without losing their status.
Is the game engine SCORM compatible?
Yes, the game engine integrates with a standard SCORM published Articulate Storyline course so full SCORM communication is enabled.
Is the game engine suitable only for compliance training?
No, the only limit is your imagination. Compliance training is a commonly berated experience for learners so we have targeted our initial ideas in this area. But any content type would benefit from consideration as a game. Sales training could be delivered as a journey with random customer interactions and process training could be based on a number of levels with challenges to complete.
What other opportunities are there for enriching Articulate Storyline using plugins like the game engine?
We think we have opened up a whole world of opportunities. We have demonstrated that e-learning authors don’t need to be constrained by their organisation’s chosen authoring tool. Embedding of content is a much undervalued way of taking course design to totally new levels.
For example, we have already created an interactive parallax scrolling 3D house for an insurance organisation. They will use this as an interface for a rich variety of course content, and can configure it themselves.
But there are many, many other opportunities out there. Our message is to look outside of your chosen authoring environment – if you see a novel approach to interface design or social integration, talk to us to see if we can engineer a solution for you.
What other types of games are possible using the game engine?
We’ve had meetings with many different organisations and are building a set of alternative game environments that we can incorporate. So we are considering a role player game with free navigation through a number of levels and well as rich branching scenarios that allow many different paths to be taken to achieve the same or different outcomes. But this is just a starting point – we are always interested in hearing about your ideas, no matter how wild! Tell us what you’d like to see from the game engine next.
What are the benefits of using this game engine?
Our game engine lifts the lid on what can be achieved with off-the-shelf authoring tools such as Articulate Storyline. Any type of game play can now be created and embedded with e-learning content. In addition, as the game engine is a completely standalone module, we can work in partnership with customers.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the game engine, why not see how Boots are using it to transform their product knowledge training.