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The Idea:
How to create an immersive experience using Articulate Storyline? That is, how do you give the illusion that you are located in a physical environment that completely surrounds you, so that you feel like you are inside it and part of it? We exist in place and time in bodily form. We are not stationary creatures, for we have the power of movement, and can navigate our location in space. Using a tool like Articulate Storyline, could I create a digital space that imitated how we experience the real world?

As a kid, the board games that appealed to me most were those with elaborate visual themes. Themed-games are the ones that give you the illusion that you are having an adventure, as opposed to abstract games like chess or Parcheesi. For example, in the board game, Clue, you must solve a mystery. Which suspect killed Mr. Boddy? In what room was the crime committed, and what was the murder weapon? Clue is an elimination game with three dimensions as follows: 6 murder suspects, 9 rooms in a palatial mansion, and 6 weapons.

But, you could strip Clue of its theme, and turn it into an abstract game using 6 colors, 9 letters, and 6 numbers.

How would the two versions of the game be similar? How different? Which game would you prefer to play and why? The theme provides the illusion. The theme, I argue, makes the playing experience more fun and engaging. It also gives it meaning and purpose. Something significant has happened. Somebody is dead. Someone in your midst is a cold-blooded killer. You are located in a mansion with palatial rooms, hallways and secret passage-ways. You have an obligation to solve the crime. I figured that is a lot you can learn from the art-form that is board games.

I started exploring other board games. We have a big collection.

How do you players navigate a created space in board games? Using Articulate Storyline, could I make it feel like you’re moving from one location to another? So, I simplified the problem to this – Can I give the illusion of moving from place to place by moving a large grid across a page?

Here is a simple experiment.

Notice how the directional arrows disappear when you arrive at the edge of the grid. This is important since I don’t want players to move beyond the edge of the grid.

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