Articulate Rise Scenario Block Example

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.

Intro screen for branching scenario
Opening screen for the branching scenario


Looks great on any screen

Like everything in Rise, the final product looks polished regardless of the screen size.

Wide screen view, with character on left and dialog options on right
Wide screen view
Medium view, with the character and dialog options closer together
Medium width screen size
Screenshot of the branching scenario on a phone. The choices have been shifted from the right side to the bottom, overlapping with the character.
Phone view with the choices shifted to the bottom

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.

Other restrictions

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.

7 thoughts on “Articulate Rise Scenario Block Example”

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  3. Hi Christy,

    I wish I had read your blog post before I spent several hours finding the above limitations (and more) for myself!

    I had worked with a SME to map out clinical branching scenarios for endocrinology domain diagnoses. We used Twine based on your own recommendations, and branching scenario theory available on your website (which is great!) and Cathy Moores Map IT book. After lots of planning and Twine work, we are in a position to “prettify” a scenario for training purposes!

    As a user of Articulate 360, I was a bit concerned about having to build branching scenarios from the ground up in Storyline. Then I heard that Rise 360 has a Scenario block! (This is the point that I now wish I had read your post first!) I attended training webinars on Rise and then sat down to build our medical scenario using that beautiful tool. Here are some of the brick walls I then ran headfirst into …

    1. I need characters who represent patients with appropriate expressions of pain, confusion, relief, querying, etc. – the scenario block gives you access to a limited subset of the characters available in SL. These characters are adults in work suits, medical scrubs and workman’s gear! Quite limiting when I need to represent an 80 year old or 10 year old patient! The youngest available character for the Rise scenario block looks at least 19 years old so it’s a bit of a believability stretch to use her in paediatric scenarios!

    2. Even if I needed a working age adult character, Rise insists on showing their full body – wearing their work suit, building construction gear, casual outfit or doctor’s apparel, etc. Quite limiting when I need to represent patients in hospital gowns. There is no option to show the head and shoulders only – which would have helped somewhat. Even the oldest characters look like they are fresh from board meetings!

    3. I can understand the reluctance to have photographic child characters, but why does the Articulate content library include no illustrated child characters? And why does the Rise scenario block limit you to using photographic characters only with their limited facial expressions?

    4. OK, I thought – forget the Rise characters – I will work around the above limitations by using my own pictures of scene-setting characters from my organisation’s set of stock images. Alas – the background image in Rise scenario blocks is BLURRED!

    5. However, the biggest show-stopper for me regarding using the Rise Scenario block for branching scenarios is that there is no apparent means of setting the values of variables to measure the time, cost and patient care factors of the user’s decision-making as they traverse the scenario! These are vital to the reporting and feedback we provide to medical trainees.

    I guess I had better take a look at Storyline again (but I will post this on the Articulate website in case there is something I’m missing!) …

    NHS Trust trainer & e-learning developer

    1. Chrissy, I’m so sorry that you had so much trouble! Yes, you’ll have to look at Storyline for what you’re looking for. Rise is good for a quick conversation scenario within a narrow set of parameters. As long as that’s what you’re doing, it works well, and it’s quick. For anything outside those narrow parameters, there isn’t much wiggle room to make it work.

      BranchTrack might be able to do everything you want as well, if you have the budget for another tool. That allows you to have at least one measurement on a scale, although I’m not sure if you could get the 3 different scales of time, cost, and patient care you’re looking for.

      Since you’ve already built it in Twine, it might also be worth looking at adding Javascript for scoring. Adding images to Twine is fairly simple, and there are ways to track scores over time. I haven’t played around with that myself, but I’ve seen some very complex games built in Twine.

    2. I would add that if you want to try another solution, dominKnow | ONE’s scenario builder doesn’t have the character limit, does provide the branching visual view of the scenario, allows audio and you can create your own customer characters.

      If the one on one branching scenario doesn’t work for you, you can create custom branching as well (similar to Storyline, but available in fully responsive designs).

      1. Hi Paul, thanks for commenting about dominKnow! You replied to a 4-year-old comment, so I think it’s safe to assume that Chrissy found some solution and made it work by now. Good to know about the options with dominKnow though.

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