Now you’re ready to create your own simulation. But there’s a catch – the inside and outside of a simulation look very different.
To get acquainted with this difference, a good exercise is to first explore some templates.
1. On the first page you see after logging in, Your simulations page (your dashboard), click New sim from a template .
2. Choose one of the sims and enter the inside of a sim in editing mode. View the canvas containing several numbered scenes that offer choices which branch out to more scenes.
3. Click Preview to see how it plays out for the learner.
Play with this simulation and add your own scenes or move on to creating your own simulation on a blank canvas. Starting with or without a template doesn't differ much.
Creating the foundation for your sim
To begin creating a new simulation without a template, click New simulation on Your simulations page. You will be redirected to the sim canvas view. There you will see a blank canvas for your new simulation project. Enter the name of your simulation at the top of the sim canvas page (don’t forget to click the tick button!) and begin.
A BranchTrack simulation consists of scenes. There are two basic parts to every scene – what the character says and reply choices for the learner. Add your first scene by double clicking anywhere on the canvas.
Add a question or statement and a couple of reply choices.
To add multiple choices, click Add a choice. You can add as many reply choices as you wish or even just one, but remember that every choice must lead somewhere. Click and drag the orange chain link icon to create a new scene – where the learner’s choice takes them.
As soon as the choice is linked to a scene, a blue number indicating the linked scene appears.
Offer more choices that will lead to new scenes. Let the branching begin! You can also create stand-alone scenes and connect them to other scenes later.
See the big numbers next to the text that the simulated character says? Scenes are numbered according to the sequence in which they’ve been created. This number cannot be changed.
The blue number next to each choice indicates which scene this choice leads to.
You can change which choice leads to which scene by dragging the blue scene number to the scene you wish to link it to. Simple as that!
BranchTrack autosaves your sim every 2 seconds, so there is no need to click the Save button all the time. If the Save button is greyed out, it means that all recent changes have been saved. If you are about to exit a project and changes have not been saved, BranchTrack will prompt you to save changes. Every simulation you have started will be saved to Your simulations.
BranchTrack does not feature an Undo button as it would take up much of your browser’s resources and hinder immediate, speedy editing.
The simulation canvas
Here you can see a description of every element on the simulation canvas.
Many of these functions are also available in scene view. Look for similar icons!
Hover your mouse over any of the yellow warning icons (like the exclamation point) on your canvas – BranchTrack will explain why they have appeared.
Now that the skeleton of your simulation has been created, let’s move on to the next step – Scene views and simulation texts.