How to create a self-adjusting inventory list in Storyline 2

Update 7 Aug 2017

This method works but doing it with Javascript is a much simpler, more elegant solution. Phil Mayor posted an example  which is well worth a look. The downside is it doesn’t work in preview mode, only when published. The upside is it’s way more concise than what I’ve done here.

My method – intro

When I started creating scenarios in Storyline, I couldn’t find a way to show the user what bits of information they’d picked up or learning points they’d got right in a bullet list format. Here’s one way I found to create a Storyline list.

The problem

Imagine a scenario where you have to pick up items as you go, for example item 1, item 2, item 3 and item 4. At the end there’s a screen that says, in a list:
You got
  • item 2
  • item 4
It should be simple! This is what I was struggling to achieve.

What I tried before

The simplest way is to have four list items and set them to visible or hidden depending on what’s been picked up. But in the case above that leaves two gaps:
You got
  • item 2
  • item 4
Another way I used to do it was just to list all the items and put a tick against the ones they’d got, but you don’t always want to give away the hidden information. Maybe you’re half way through the scenario or you want to encourage them to try it again?

Solitary confinement works!

Luckily perhaps, I was stuck in a waiting room with a laptop and no internet access for a couple of hours so I was able to put my head down and try to work this out.
I created a question screen where you could choose any combination of four shapes.  That yielded 15 possible combinations.
 Choose Shapes screen from listmaking module
On my reports page there are four text placeholders as list items. Each one has different states.
List Item 1 has four states ‘You chose the rectangle’ ‘You chose the circle.’ etc
List Item 2 has three, because it doesn’t need the first. The rectangle, if it’s picked, will always be the first item. It also has a ‘nil’ state which will show if they only picked one shape. It’s blank.
List Item  3 has three states – ‘nil’ and shapes three and four.
Triggers

List Item  4 has ‘nil’ and shape four.

Getting the right states involved a lot of trial and error and a lot of conditional triggers. I couldn’t get it working but had a big ‘aha’ when I discovered on a forum that you can’t mix AND and OR  in one trigger.

Where I’d been trying to mix them I had to separate them into more triggers. In the end I had 13 triggers to make a list of 4 items!

For List Item 1 it’s fairly simple; if they’ve picked 1 2 3 or 4 you stick the first one in List item 1

List item 2 is more complicated. It needs to check what state List Item 1 is in. That took 6 triggers to make it the right state

List Item 3 would only be shapes three or four, so it only needed to check what List Item 2 was doing.

List Item 4 would only ever be shape four, so I just had to check it hadn’t appeared in List Item 3.

Testing it

For testing, I found on Google a list of all the possible combinations of four on-off switches, e.g.
0000
0001
0010
0011
etc
My test was just to go through them all and see if the resulting list was correct. I think it is.

Any simpler ways?

I’m hardly an expert on Storyline so I’m sure there may be more economical ways to do this.  Imagine if I had eight items – how many triggers would that need?  I wonder if we could do it better with Javascript but I don’t know enough about using Javascript in Storyline.  I’m offering this as a start – please improve on it and leave a comment below!

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