Project Archive: eCDF 510 (2005-2006)
Tools for Delivering Scenario-Based E-learning both Locally and Across the Internet
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Home >Support >PBLi FAQ > Q8. How do I build Nested Locations?

Q8. I want to construct a scenario with nested locations, similar to the social work and hospitality exemplars. How do I do this?

A8. This is best shown by example. You may want to boot up PBLi and work through the following text, creating the examples mentioned.

Let’s assume we are building a street. Our street has buildings, and when students click one particular building (lets say the museum), we want them to move into it. When this occurs the location window should change so they no longer see the buildings on the street, but rather rooms in the building they have just entered (which the student can then explore). Here’s how we do it….

1. Step One. Add a new Location Map

Essentially we need two layers or “Location Maps” in the scenario, a top Location Map showing all the locations in the street, then a second Location Map showing rooms which will replace the locations in the first Location Map when we move into it. When a new scenario is created, PBLi assumes there is just one Location Map. If we want more than one (as we do in this example), we must do the following….

Go to the properties panel under the “Scenario” Tab. At the bottom of the tab window there is a drop-down box called “Initial Location Map”. If the scenario is new it will have one map present called “General Locations” which is the default. To add a second layer, click the “+” button and type in a name (say “Inside Museum”) then press Enter. Clicking the drop-down box arrow should now reveal two Location Maps, “General Locations” and “Inside Museum”.

We can add as many of these location maps as we like, each one representing a new layer. For now, we will stop with two.

Step Two. Populate our default “General Locations” map.

Under the Scenario Tab, make sure the Initial Location Map is set to “General Locations” (the default). Now create a number of locations and call one “Museum”.

Step Three. Open a portal between Location Maps

We now want to populate our museum with rooms that a student can wander into. In Builder Mode, click on our museum building. In the Properties Panel, under the Locations Tab, tick the “Use as location map portal” box. Then make sure the box immediately underneath shows “Inside Museum” (the name of our second Location Map). Altering this property changes the museum from a conventional room to a type of doorway. If the museum building is now clicked on, it takes the author to the new Location Map “Inside Museum”. In essence, the museum building becomes a portal from the street to the rooms.

Try it! Clicking on the museum should cause all other locations (and the museum itself) to disappear! We are now essentially inside the museum and can now populate it with rooms.

Step 3. Make an exit.

One thing we need to do is to create an exit location, or we’ll be stuck in the museum forever. To do this in our example, we need to create a room called “Exit”. Like before, we need to alter the Location Properties of this room to make a portal, but this time we want to go back to the “General Locations” map (and hence back to the street) when we click on it. Make this change under the Location tab after selecting the Exit room, then try it.

If everything is working as it should, we should be able to go in and out of the museum.


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(Updated 2nd April 2009)


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