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kbs666
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Old December 25th, 2015, 11:34 AM
On another thread uses for the storyboard was brought up.

This is a fairly simple plot. It is the intro adventure for my campaign. most of the square plot points are scenes while a couple are adventure sites or some other geographic location the PC's will spend time in. The bare oval plot points are clues that are not necessary to advancing the main plot and instead advance the meta plot. Both the main and meta plot will continue in parallel with further branches as things go on.

I would like some improvements to the storyboard. Being able to track position in the storyline would be nice. Also it would be helpful if a plot could have multiple entry and exit points.
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Nikmal
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Old December 25th, 2015, 02:15 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbs666 View Post
On another thread uses for the storyboard was brought up.

This is a fairly simple plot. It is the intro adventure for my campaign. most of the square plot points are scenes while a couple are adventure sites or some other geographic location the PC's will spend time in. The bare oval plot points are clues that are not necessary to advancing the main plot and instead advance the meta plot. Both the main and meta plot will continue in parallel with further branches as things go on.

I would like some improvements to the storyboard. Being able to track position in the storyline would be nice. Also it would be helpful if a plot could have multiple entry and exit points.
For someone that does not use the plots and story board mode as often as I should. When you link a topic to it.. one of the story board elements... how does it sort those topics in the Realm/Story tree? Or do you have to do that yourself? I am curious if it plots/sorts the topic tree automatically or not.
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kbs666
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Old December 25th, 2015, 03:00 PM
When you create a plot point you can link it to a topic pretty much like you would link a map pin to a topic.

To connect plot points, you can right click an existing plot point and create a new plot point linked to that existing one as well as drag connections between existing plot points.

Does that answer your question?
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rob
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Old December 25th, 2015, 09:42 PM
Note! I'm replying to a post from a different thread here. This post prompted the creation of this thread, so I figured it was best to reply here, but that meant quoting the original post from the separate thread. The original thread can be found here: http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=54536

Quote:
Originally Posted by adzling View Post
One of my main hopes for Realmworks is that it would enable me to plot, plan and track cross adventure story arcs.
Example: in adventure 1 a minor character is encountered who seems only tangentially relevant to the plot but has some important information that becomes relevant in a later adventure in the campaign.

I was hoping that the Storyboard feature would let me plot out all these interconnections in a visual manner (the only real way to track these "webs" of interactions that are non-linear).

Unfortunately because the storyboard feature is not an integral part of the Events category items (i.e. Storyboard Plot Points cannot also be Events or "scenes") it is mostly useless in this regard (they have no relevance to each other).

Essentially I believe the Storyboard feature should be able to have the Plot Points live in both Storyboard land and in Event land.

This would allow you to very quickly create visually mapped out non-linear adventures and campaigns as well as cross-adventure campaign arcs. Something that is just not very possible to do with the current Event setup.
There are strengths and weaknesses of both the storyboard and topic approaches. You ideally need to blend the two of them together for a good solution here.

Before I dive in, there are two important factors to keep in mind here. First, we don't want to wire plots and topics up so tightly that users are forced to do things "our way". That's something that we strive to avoid within RW so that users can pick the approach that works best for how they think and run games. The second important factor is that we don’t want to replicate tons of functionality for both plots and topics. That being said, there are definitely things we can do to facilitate the blending further (it was even something we included on the survey early this year).

So here's how I believe RW can best be leveraged for what you're describing (assuming that I'm understanding it correctly)...

On the topic side, you'll obviously setup separate topics for each scene. On the Storyboard side, the idea is that you'll setup multiple plots. There would be one plot for each story arc, and most (if not all) plot points would be tied to an associated topic for the corresponding scene. That’s solid starting point, but there’s a lot more you can do to weave things together well.

The next step is to create an additional Storyline topic for each story arc. The category name is pretty much a dead giveaway for its use, but the Storyline topic is where you'll outline the overall arc and detail how everything ties together across the arc. If you take a look at a Storyline topic, you’ll see that it is also intended to identify the key people, places, and events that comprise the arc. This topic becomes the glue on the topic side.

If you truly want everything organized primarily from the story perspective, you can physically place the scenes beneath the storyline topic in the topic hierarchy. If not, the storyline topic will still contain links to all the scenes within it, as well as all the people, places, and events. So it serves as the hub for everything connected to it. You can extend this further by creating relationships to the storyline topic from other places and adding references to other plots that it dovetails with, which will establish links to those topic.

For complex plots, I recommend having the first plot point NOT be the first scene. Instead, have the first plot point be called “Overview” or something and associate it with the Storyline topic that outlines the entire arc. That way, the storyline topic is instantly available from the plot at any time. You can also add plot points that aren’t woven into the diagram, so you could just as easily leave the Overview plot point separate from the actual diagram. Depending on how you choose to handle things, this plot point will either always be revealed to the players or never revealed to them.

You can use this same trick for key NPCs that appear within plots. If each plot point corresponds to a scene, you don’t have to limit yourself to the scenes. You can add further plot points for anything else you want to tie into the plot, such as an NPC, and leave them separate from the diagram. Then you simply associate the extra plot element to the NPC topic. Alternately, you can use certain relationships to associate plots and topics together.

Once plot points have the corresponding topics associated with them, navigation between plots and topics becomes easy. From the plot, you can instantly navigate to the topic associated with a given plot point (including the Overview that ties to the Storyline topic). From the various scene topics and the Storyline topic, all the plots they appear in are listed in the transitions pane on the right. So navigating from a topic to the plot diagram within which it appears is also just a single click on a link. It now becomes possible to move between plots and topics in a fluid manner, giving you which ever “view” into the information will be most useful at any point in time.

This last bit is where you can weave content between multiple arcs. If you have an NPC or item that appears in two plots, just make sure it's tied to those plots via one of the methods I outlined above. At that point, everything is woven together nicely and ACROSS story arcs. It’s also woven in such a way the players will be able to see these connections appear between everything as they are incrementally revealed through play (assuming you utilize Player Edition).

Hopefully, this proves helpful. As I indicated at the top, there’s lots we can do to enhance things further, but there’s already an extensive amount of capability in place that you can leverage today.
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rob
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Old December 25th, 2015, 09:49 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikmal View Post
For someone that does not use the plots and story board mode as often as I should. When you link a topic to it.. one of the story board elements... how does it sort those topics in the Realm/Story tree? Or do you have to do that yourself? I am curious if it plots/sorts the topic tree automatically or not.
The topic structure is entirely separate. Why? First, because the same content may appear in multiple plots, so it can't be forcibly re-organized. Second, because different users will prefer organizing the topics in different ways, and forcing one structure on users is not something we want to do.

That said, you can very readily setup a parallel structure on the topic side. Just create a Storyline topic and place all the Scene topics beneath it within the topic hierarchy (by making them contained).

The big advantage of tying plots and topics together is that you can readily view the content in whichever manner will be most useful at a particular time. You can view the plot diagram at one point. Then switch to the topics to read all the details, not to mention being able to quickly follow all the links between the topics to find the information you seek. And you can shift back and forth between the two views instantly by just clicking on things.

I hope that makes sense!
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adzling
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Old December 26th, 2015, 08:07 AM
thanks for taking the time to post this response Rob.

I am aware of the functionality that the Storyboard feature currently has, I just don't use it currently because the benefit it provides is not significant given that the Scenes cannot be setup and edited from within the storyboard itself.

Instead of the storyboard being a visual tool to link pre-built content parts it would be a lot more useful to me if it allowed creation of those content parts inline via a right click or similar.

Having said that I am about to embark on creating our group's next major campaign, Masks of Nyarlathotep adapted for Shadowrun 5e.

As Masks is such a non-linear campaign involving many physical clues that link various parts of the campaign in a dense web of inter-relations it will be an excellent test for the usefulness of the storyboard feature.

I will post an update on the process when I get deep enough into it to have some useful feedback, most likely sometimes towards the end of January.

cheers
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Parody
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Old December 26th, 2015, 08:15 AM
I've had a hard time getting good use out of the Storyboard because it's difficult to usefully represent anything that varies much from a straight line. Let's look at one of my Plots. My apologies for all the graphics.

This example is the main section of an adventure. In it, the PCs go to a place where there are a number of things they can do. Each thing takes time. After an amount of time, a forced event happens, then they return to doing the things they haven't done yet. Once they do them all, or if real time is running out, they are kicked along to the finale of the adventure. Here's how I currently represent this in Realm Works:

Sample Plot 1 - Actual.png

There's a couple of things I don't like about this diagram. First, the exit node isn't at the bottom. It's in a box, above something that happens earlier. This is closer to how I'd actually diagram it:

Sample Plot 1 - Desired.png

...but you don't have that sort of control in Realm Works diagrams. I could have done something like this:

Sample Plot 1 - Possibility.png

...which works, but isn't my preference.

Second, "Wandering the FAIR" is a substitution for the various places they can go. I'd love to show them in this Plot, but you end up with this:

Sample Plot 1 - Fail Loop Friendly.png

Not useful at all. You'd want to put these in a block, but that's not an option. Floating them won't help because they all end up next to the start node (and go off the screen, and look like start nodes). It'd be cool if we could do something like this:

Sample Plot 1 - Desired 2.png

...adding density while still linking directly to all of those "Location" events.

So far I've kept my Plotting to simple steps with straight lines, and it works fine for that. I'm wary of doing anything more complex because I know I'll be bothered by the automatic diagrams, so the Storyboard mostly sits unused. :(

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AEIOU
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Old December 26th, 2015, 08:55 AM
Brilliant post, Parody. Image 2 with double-headed arrows is needed. Image 5 with a summary of things is worth looking into but if I had double-headed arrows I probably wouldn't use it in favor of explicit links.

The most important option missing is the ability to move pieces around. Parody's image 1 is a great example where I'd want to pull the bubble out and place it on another tier. Maybe tiers is a good way to think about it where tier 1 is start, tier 2 is next level out from start and give us the ability to force a +1 or more tier to a bubble to make it sort further down the chain?

Maybe make "moved" pieces sticky to a specific spot with other bubbles flowing off of them?

Maybe add option for smart lines that forces it to not cross lines or trap bubbles.

Maybe add bubble order hierarchy so if there are lines from a primary to multiple secondaries, the secondaries can be manually sorted. This would sort based on each primary-secondary relationship. For consistency throughout RW, call it a prefix. The down-side is this could be frustrating if you number something and then move it to another bubble throwing off the order there; but I'd get over it.

The spaghetti model (errr, loop friendly) is fun but I spend more time finding Waldo than I do finding it useful. Make the start always in upper left or at least on the top or left sides.

I'd like to a way to split a storyboard. Sometimes a tangent becomes a major thread. Sometimes you want to see the BIG picture but also the parts that make the whole -- dungeons are a great example where you want to see the overall layout of interconnections but also want to focus on a single level. Currently, it is oh-my-god-painful to do a 100+ room dungeon and then do the 5 floors of 20 rooms with the click the icon, scroll, scroll, scroll, find the topic, accept, accept, rinse and repeat. I'd like to be able to ctrl-click the entries I want to copy/paste and just do it in a matter of mouseclicks.

Colors and shapes are absolutely necessary. It's currently green for an entry and blue for a topic link. I'd like to be able to highlight critical points, encounters, social interactions, etc. I would love to see some way to use the Scene Type and Encounter Type tags to automate colors and shapes (though these are usually multitags so I'd end up with rainbows but Rob's team is smarter than me and never ceases to amaze me with their clever solutions).
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AEIOU
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Old December 26th, 2015, 09:25 AM
I'd like to be able to link to a storyboard from a topic.

Clarification: I can force a link to a storyboard but storyboards do not auto-link.

Last edited by AEIOU; December 26th, 2015 at 09:29 AM. Reason: Clarification
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ShadowChemosh
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Old December 26th, 2015, 10:16 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by AEIOU View Post
The most important option missing is the ability to move pieces around.
This is the missing piece for myself that prevents me from using the Storyboard feature more. The auto layout put the story in a format that actually made it "harder" for my crazy brain to follow.

Maybe have the current auto placement be the default option with an option to turn it off.

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