12 November 2018 |  Rudy GUILLONNEAU

Create interludes for a better scenario with the new Variables blocks! Part 1/2

Immersion in a training module depends on content, interactivity and storytelling. The more the learner feels that he or she is living a story and not learning, the better the chances of retention. The storytelling is based on a relevant scenario with a sometimes offbeat tone.  Discover through this tip how to script your simulations as real Hollywood productions thanks to the possible transitions with Variables blocks!

How it works ?

This tip is the first one about the Variables blocks released in version 3.1 of VTS Editor and as such, it is divided into two parts. Variables are textual or numerical information stored in the memory of the reusable module at any time during the scenario. The “Flag” and “Check Flag” blocks acted in a similar way and were in a way the first “binary” variable, i. e. with only two possible answers (True or False)
First of all, here is the effect we want to achieve:




As you can see, the time changes in real time and the subtitle or “wording” appears and disappears, like in a film interlude. The variables are used in the second countdown.
Here is the graph that corresponds to it:


Graphe interscene


Configuration of the variable

The selected decor is the “personalized media” in which we insert a black pixel to make the wallpaper.
The first block to configure is the variable blue block, which allows you to give an initial value to the seconds that scroll. In our example, the first time display shows 10: 41: 11, so the initial value of the seconds is 11. This is how to materialize it in the block:




We therefore place ourselves in Expert mode, and we add a variable using the blue “+” button. We give a name to this variable, here “seconds”. It is important to give names that speak to these variables if many of them occur during the scenario.
Then, we associate a fixed value to the right. In our example, 11.
Then, we configure the clickable area that displays the time on the screen. Its configuration is as follows:


Variable clickable area


The selected output type is the second one that directly triggers the first and only output. Indeed, this area is only used to display the text, so you must uncheck the option making it clickable while leaving it visible. A 1s animation will take place to display the text.
We will now display the text. To do this, click on the T in the green box to open the text options as below.


Zone clicquable et texte

Variable display

Since the background is entirely black, you must first select the correct color for the text to be visible. In our example, we therefore chose white. To write the text in white, click on the icon Icone couleur . This opens a window in which you can select the desired color. If you know the hexadecimal color code, you can enter the color code directly under the palette for better accuracy.



Once you have chosen the colour, click on the text box and enter the desired hour and minute. In our example, 10:41 am. To display the seconds, we will use this famous variable created previously. To use a variable in a text, a special nomenclature must be used. In fact, to display the value of a variable, you must mark its name between the signs { and }. In our example, we want to scroll through the seconds, so we put the name previously used between brackets: {seconds}. If you preview at this time, it should display 10: 41: 11, 11 being the initial value chosen.

So we were able to display the fixed value of a variable within a clickable area block. Next week you will discover how to make this variable evolve in real time and accompany it with a subtitle to obtain immersive transitions for the learner!