Hello and welcome to Lesson 16 of the articy:draft First Steps tutorial series.

Review:

In our previous Lesson we updated the structure of the “Final confrontation” dialogue with Jump and Hub Flow elements.

Bullet point list of topics from previous lesson of the articy:draft 1st Steps Tutorial Series

This Lesson:

Today, we will visit a new area of articy: the “Location Editor”. We will use it to add reference markers to a map, so that our team can easily see what is going on at specific game locations.

Bullet point list of topics to be explained in the current lesson of the articy:draft 1st Steps Tutorial Series

Location Editor:

articy’s “Location Editor” primarily serves as a means of communication within the team. In addition to that it can also assist the writer by providing them with a spatial view on the project.

👉 The “Location Editor” is no level editor and was not designed to create game levels for direct use in the game engine.

With that small disclaimer out of the way, let’s dive in:

1. Click the “Locations” button on the Jumpstart page

articy jumpstart page screenshot with arrow pointing to location editor

2. Select the tutorial folder.

articy location editor screenshot with arrow pointing to the tutorial folder

3. There is already a location object called “map” in here, which we open by double-clicking.

articy location editor screenshot with arrow pointing to the map folder

In the content area on the right side the location is displayed, in the Navigator on the left you get a nice overview of the elements that were used. Here you can also toggle the visibility of elements or lock them in place with a click next to the element’s name.

articy location editor screenshot highligting the areas

Just like in the Flow you can zoom in or out with the mouse wheel and pan around by clicking middle or right mouse button, hold, and drag.

Let’s look at the elements that have been used for this location so far:

4. For the background, a concept art of the game world was used. To use an image asset in a location, click the Image icon in the toolbar, or use the hotkey “Shift + 9”.

articy location editor screenshot with instructions to add an image to a location

⭐ Our tip – it’s usually a good idea to lock the background element, to not move it unintentionally, while working on other elements.

The background element is locked in our case as well.

articy location editor with arrow pointing to the background element

If you want to draw your own levels or mockup maps you can choose from different zone and path options. These are a) custom shaped zones, b) rectangular zones, c) circular zones, d) path, or e) free-hand path. They can be selected via the tool-bar or with the hotkeys “Shift + 1 to 5”.

articy location editor screenshot highlighting the zones and paths

With the hotkey “Escape” you get back to the “Selection tool”.

articy location editor screenshot with instructions to go to selection tool

For our map, zones were used to highlight special areas. The orange zones are the ones where the scenes are part of this demo project. In Dracula’s mansion the “first meeting” dialogue takes place and the harbor is the location for the “final confrontation”.

The cutscene takes place in Mina’s house, which is not yet highlighted. Let’s do this now.

5. Select the custom zone tool by clicking the icon on the toolbar or by using the “Shift + 1” hotkey and draw a shape roughly around the house in the center of the map.

articy location editor screenshot with instructions to select cutom zone tool

As soon as the path is closed the tool changes to the selection tool and the newly drawn shape gets selected. We now have a second, context-sensitive toolbar, with a lot of options to further edit the zone element.

articy location editor screenshot highlighting the context sensitive toolbar

With “Transform” we can scale or rotate the zone as a whole.

articy location editor screenshot with arrow pointing to transform icon

“Edit shape” allows us to move single points to change the overall shape. We can add points by a left-click on the zone’s border or delete points by holding “Control” and left-clicking the point we want to remove.

articy location editor screenshot with instructions to edit zone shape

Next we can select a) color and b) opacity. The color options are divided between fill and outline. As Mina’s house is a location where one of our project scenes takes place I will change the color to the same orange the other scene locations are marked with. I will also increase the opacity a bit to enhance visibility.

articy location editor screenshot with arrows pointing towards color and opacity options

With the controls on the right side we can decide if we want to a) display the zone’s name and if yes b) in what color and c) size.

articy location editor screenshot with arrows pointing to name color and size options

Now we can properly read the name. Well, we could, if it wasn’t called “Untitled Zone” ^^

6. To rename a zone right-click it in the content area or its entry in the Navigator and select “Rename” from the context menu.

articy location editor screenshot with instructions to rename a zone

To mark a point of interest, we can use „Spots“. Flag or cross styles and three different sizes are available to choose from.

articy locatoin editor screenshot with instructions to add a spot

If you want to add more text to a location, you can use the “Text” tool.
articy location editor screenshot with instructions for adding text

A great way to add reference points to a location is the “Link” tool. Links are used to position other articy objects like flow fragments, dialogues, or entities inside locations. They can also be used to connect different locations with each other. By double-clicking a link, you immediately jump to the referenced object.

7. Click the “Link” icon in the toolbar or use the hotkey “Shift + 8”.

articy location editor screenshot with instructions to add a link

Choose the “First meeting” object from the Tutorial folder as the reference object and confirm with Okay.

articy location editor screenshot with instructions to choose link target

Then move the link to the desired position and place it with a left click. Another way to place a link is to drag and drop the object directly from the Navigator.

articy locatio editor screenshot with instructions to place a link

8. In the object selection pop-up we can use the filter to quickly find specific objects.

articy location editor screenshot of object selection pop-up

In addition to the dialogues I also want to mark the position of the Stake item, so that the level-designer already gets an idea where this item needs to be positioned to fit the story flow. Of course you can move and re-arrange links and other elements later. Just make sure they are not locked. Left-click the element, hold, and drag to the new position.

articy location editor with instructions to move an object

We have arrived at the end of this Lesson.

Recap:

Today we looked at articy’s Location Editor and used it to create a reference map for the team. With zone and spot elements we highlighted game scenes and points of interest, and by placing Links we provided an easy way for everyone to quickly check out the referenced objects.

Bullet point list of topics explained in this lesson of the articy:draft 1st Steps Tutorial Series

Up next:

In the next lesson we will use the Conflict Search to check our project for conflicts and errors.

Bullet point list of upcoming topics in the next lesson of the articy:draft 1st Steps Tutorial Series

Thank you for joining us, and join us again in our next tutorial.

GO TO LESSON 17

Useful links:

Locations
Controls
Structuring Locations

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