Simulation Mode

Simulate Conditions & Instructions

If you are working with the built-in scripting support for articy:expresso, you can use the presentation view to evaluate conditions and instructions. Whenever you reach a condition in a temporary journey it is automatically checked and the corresponding option is marked as valid or invalid accordingly. This enables you to test your game's chain of events very early and fix logic errors even before transitioning content to your engine.

Simulation Mode Interface

Hovering over an input-pin at a branching point displays its condition 1.
Options that have a condition evaluated to false are highlighted in red 2. These options would not be available to the player in your game.
Displaying false options is called "analysis mode" 3, hiding these options is called "player mode" 4.

Error Highlighting

When a condition is evaluated to false, you can check exactly which part of the expression is responsible for this result. The part(s) of the expression that was evaluated to false is highlighted in red, as you can see in the example below

If you follow an invalid path in a journey, the responsible journey point is highlighted with a red icon 5 in the navigator.

Overriding Initial Variable Values

If you want to test your flow with a specific set of initial variable values, you can set those values within the journey's property sheet. To open the initial variable values list, click on the journey object within the navigator on the left 6.

The initial variable values are found underneath the corresponding tab 7 within the journey's property sheet. The list can be filtered and it's possible to only display variables whose initial values are overwritten for this journey 8.

If you changed the name, type or default value of global variables after creating a journey, the journey works with outdated data. To update the journey's initial variable values simply click on "Sync to global variables" 9. The checkbox next to this button let's you choose whether you want to keep overwritten values or if you want to reset all initial variable values.

Tracking Variable Changes

During a simulation variable values can change according to the passed instructions. To track those changes you can use the variable state overview in the journey point's property sheet. A quick way to get there is by clicking on the corresponding button in the presentation view toolbar 10.

The variable state is displayed in it's own tab within the journey point's property sheet 11. By default you can see all global variables with their name. description, type and their initial, previous and current value. To find specific variables you can filter this list 12.

Another way to reduce the overall list to specific variables is to use the dropdown in the upper right 13. Here you can choose to only display:
  • Variables whose value has changed compared to the last journey point
  • All variables whose value has changed compared to the initial value

Variables whose value changed compared to the last journey point are also highlighted within the overall variables list 14.

Variable State in Synchronized Pane

To track the changes of global variables over the course of a journey it can be very helpful to open a second pane with a synchronized property inspector. Thus you can play through your flow on one side while keeping track of your variable changes on the other.

Using Functions (Methods)

If you use functions within your instructions, the simulation mode cannot evaluate them automatically. Whenever the simulation reaches an instruction containing a function, a pop-up appears asking you to enter the expected return value for this function. The return value can either be true/false or a number. The simulation will then proceed using these values for the context of this journey.

Clear Function Return Values

If you want to change the return values afterwards, you must first clear the currently cached values for this journey point via the toolbar button marked in the image below 15. After clearing all current return values for this journey point, the pop-up asking you for a return value will be displayed again.