We’re just getting started with ARCHIVOS so we’re trying to guess at the things you’re most curious about.

So, if you have a question that isn’t listed here, contact us and let us know what it is!

General Questions

How would I use ARCHIVOS?

Well, that depends on who you are. But here’s the thing…

ARCHIVOS was designed to illuminate stories. And everything is a story.

  • Writers can use it to document their story worlds, creating a story bible for their own use or to share with their readers.
  • Role Playing Gamers can use it to chronicle the adventures in their games and map out the history and geography of their game world.
  • Fans can celebrate the novels, games, and films they love by offering commentary on documented characters, places, and events
  • Educators can use it to help their students appreciate classic literature or to chronicle a historic period.
  • Genealogists can use it to document a family tree, incorporating generations of data into a single display.
  • Corporations can use it to map out their organization or to share the history and legacy of the organization.
  • Tour Companies can use it to showcase their tours, highlighting each stop and the landmarks to be enjoyed at each one.

ARCHIVOS is a whole new way to document and share the stories that mean the most to us, whatever those stories are.

When can I start using ARCHIVOS?

ARCHIVOS launches to the public on May 4, 2018!

At that time, the Story Catalogue (that lists all the public story settings created by ARCHIVOS subscribers) will be available for anyone to explore and enjoy.

Subscriptions will be available for anyone wanting to create a story setting:







• Includes one private story setting • Includes UNLIMITED private story settings • Includes UNLIMITED private or public story settings
• Receive invitations to View Private Settings • Receive invitations to View Private Settings • Create Invitation-Only Private Settings
• Receive invitations to Collaborate • Receive invitations to Collaborate • Create Collaboration Settings

Do I have to own the copyright for the stories I present in ARCHIVOS?

Wow… you’re going right for the tough questions, aren’t you. The answer is yes, but we’re not answering the question you think you’re asking.

We allow follow-on works here at ARCHIVOS – that means that you can share content or “stories” based on the works of other creators, but unless something is in the public domain, you can’t quote paragraphs and paragraphs, word for word, in the same order as the source work; that’s copyright infringement.

And you own the copyright in anything you write that’s original to you, as soon as you write it on paper or it’s saved to a mobile device or computer’s hard drive, even if it’s based on someone else’s story. You don’t own their characters even if you use them, or their words, even if you quote them – but you do hold copyright in your own creativity.

If you’re using ARCHIVOS to write or share your commentary, analysis, meta, fanfiction, criticism, parody, research, or scholarship, then that content likely will be considered “fair use” by us – because it would also likely be considered fair use by US courts (and ARCHIVOS is located in the US). You don’t need permission from the copyrightholder to create a transformative work, because you’re making a “fair use” of someone else’s copyright.

However, if you copy all or most or even much of someone else’s work, and don’t add any analysis, commentary, criticism, research or meta, that might infringe on someone else’s copyright. ARCHIVOS is strongly committed to protecting the rights of content creators around the world and we’re strong advocates of the DMCA (the Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and has procedures in place to address any infringement concerns that may arise.

We consider ARCHIVOS a kind of “visual wiki” and rely on our users to be responsible in their presentation of content they don’t own. If there is a question of infringement, we’ll work with all parties involved to ensure it is resolved quickly and fairly.

Why does the ARCHIVOS application look weird in the browser on my tablet or cellphone?

At this time, ARCHIVOS is designed exclusively for use with desktops and laptops.

We’re committed to making sure the ARCHIVOS experience is exceptional for all users, and that includes mobile devices. Support for browsers on mobile devices is a top priority and the development team is working on it even as you read this (if you listen closely, you can hear the thunder of their clacking keys).

Questions About the Application

What is a "Story Setting" in ARCHIVOS?

In ARCHIVOS, a “Story Setting” is the container in which you’ll build your story world. You decide the scope of the settings you create…

  • It can encompass an entire series of books, films, comics… or focus on a single tale.
  • It can chronicle an entire RPG campaign… or a single adventure.
  • It could detail an entire era of history… or just a single event.
  • It could be a city guide for a tourism bureau, highlighting tours for guests.
  • The possibilities are limitless!

Each ARCHIVOS Story Setting can contain unlimited Story Elements (people, places, events, etc.), so you can fill each setting with as many narrative elements as you like.

PLUS, Personal and Professional subscribers can create unlimited settings in ARCHIVOS, so let your imagination run wild!

How do I create a Story Setting

Once you’ve signed up for an ARCHIVOS subscription, there are several ways to create a new Story Setting:

The Storyteller Bar

For ARCHIVOS Subscribers, the Storyteller Bar is a persistent navigation tool giving you access to all storyteller features wherever you are in the app.

Just click the ‘+’ button and select “Story” and you’ll be able to create and configure a new story setting.



The Storyteller Dashboard

The “home” button on the Storyteller Bar will take you to your Storyteller Dashboard. Here you can access all the stories you’ve created, review a history of recent changes and edits in those settings, and (of course) create new settings.

To create a new setting, click the “+ Add Story” link in the upper left corner of the dashboard, and you’ll be on your way!

How do I configure my story setting?

Once you create a new setting, you’ll be taken to the Story Details page where you can configure all the options for your setting. This page is always accessible and can be updated later.

  1. Story Title – Pretty self-explanatory, this determines the name of your setting in both the Storyteller Dashboard and the Story Catalog (if you decide to share the setting publicly… see #8 below)
  2. Private Notes – Any text you put here will be exclusively for your eyes only. Use it as a checklist, an outline of related story settings, reminders, or whatever information you need as the creator of the story you’re building.
  3. Description – For shared public settings (or settings with Invitation-Only viewing) this description appears on the Story Summary page that loads when you select a story setting. This can be teaser text to entice viewers to explore the setting, a reference to author websites or supplemental content, or any brief message you want to share with prospective viewers.
  4. Type of Story – This is still in development, but very soon it will be expanded and define how the story setting will be displayed in the Story Catalog. For now, pick from the list to indicate the category or classification of story you’re creating.
  5. Cover Image – Upload an image to serve as the graphic for the Story Card of your setting in the Story Catalog
  6. Legal Disclaimer – This is an important point… you aren’t necessarily claiming ownership of the story itself, just the content you add about the story. So you aren’t claiming ownership of “Lord of the Rings”, just the descriptions and commentary about the characters and events you document.
  7. Genres – We’ve tried to offer a comprehensive listing of genres or content types to assign to your story. Story genre is one of the primary search options in the Story Catalog so this is the primary means by which visitors will find your story. You can assign up to FOUR genres to your story.
  8. Story Visibility – This determines whether or not your Story Setting is displayed in the public Story Catalog. Note that only subscribers at the Professional level have the option to share their settings in the Story Catalog.

Don’t forget to click the “Save Changes” button!

How do Genres work in ARCHIVOS?

Genres are one of the primary search features in the Story Catalog, so assigning the right genre(s) to your story setting will help ensure the discoverability of your story.

Stories are rarely just one thing, so you can assign up to FOUR genres to your ARCHIVOS Story Setting!

The Genres are divided into categories and sub-genres and you can assign either to your setting. Assigning a top-level category will gray out the sub-genre options for that category. Assigning a sub-genre will gray out its corresponding top-level category option, but don’t worry… your setting will still show up in searches for that category.

In the example to the left, the story is primarily a Fantasy set in an Alternate History flavored with Paranormal Horror (perhaps “The Saint-Germain Chronicles” by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro). This setting would appear in searches for Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror, as well as the more specific filters of Alternate History and Paranormal/Supernatural Horror.

How do I add a new Story Element to my setting?

ARCHIVOS provides a couple ways to add a new story element to your story setting.

The Story Setting Elements Page

When you first create a Story Setting, there are (of course) no Story Elements. ARCHIVOS makes it easy to add a new Story Element by clicking the grey square in the middle of the page. That will load the Story Element Configuration page and you’re on your way!

Once you’ve created a few Story Elements in a setting, there will always be an “+ Add Element” button on the Elements page of your Story Setting Dashboard.





The Storyteller Bar

If you’re an ARCHIVOS Subscriber, the Storyteller Bar will quickly become your best friend. Among the other easy-access features it provides is the ability to create a Story Element for any story setting from anywhere in the app!

Just click the ‘+’ button and select “Element” and you’ll be able to create and configure a new story setting.




This Quick Add feature lets you quickly create new Story Elements for any of your ARCHIVOS Story Settings.

In the interests of speed, the Quick Add dialog only asks you for the essential information for a Story Element. Once created, you can access it through the Story Setting Dashboard and fill out the rest of the information.

How do I access a Story Element to edit it?

To access a Story Element, go to the Dashboard for the element’s Setting by clicking the avatar in the Storyteller Bar or clicking the Setting Card in the Storyteller Dashboard.

The “default view” for any Story Setting is the ELEMENTS tab. This is a listing of all the Story Elements currently defined in the setting, regardless of Published Status or Visibility. You can view these elements as cards…

…or as a List…

In either view, clicking the element will load the element’s configuration page where you can view/edit the details and relationships for that element.

How do I edit a Story Element?

From the Story Setting Dashboard, click the element you’d like to edit. This will load the Story Element Configuration page.

1. Element Avatar – This allows you to define the avatar image that will appear for the element in the ARCHIVOS Display Modes (Story Web, Living Map, and Timeline).

2. Element Name – The text that will be displayed for the element

3. Private Notes – Add any deep backstory, spoilers, or other content for your eyes only. Never displayed in any of the ARCHIVOS display modes

4. Element Type – This is perhaps the most important aspect of your Story Elements. Element Type determines the additional options and features of the element (like adding maps to Regions or Gender for Characters). It also defines the types of in which Relationships it can participate (qv).

The available Element Types are:

  • Character
  • Location
  • Region
  • Organization
  • Item
  • Event
  • Race
  • Discipline

Each Element Type will be explored in greater detail in a separate FAQ

5. Status – Determines the Visibility of the Story Element. A Private element will not be visible in ANY Display Mode. Note that the Status of the Story Setting determines whether the setting is visible to the public. A public Story Element in a private Story Setting is still only visible in the preview Display Modes

6. Short Description – This text is displayed when the element’s avatar is moused over in the ARCHIVOS displays and is included in the Element Summary display when the element is clicked.

7. Image – This is the image displayed in the Element Summary when the element’s avatar is clicked in one of the display modes.

8. Long Description – This text can be formatted and appears in the element’s Full Profile in the ARCHIVOS displays. Allows 10,000 characters (though that includes any HTML tags needed to render the formatting).

9. Related Links – This allows you to embed links to other websites in the Element Summary. It could be a blog post or wiki page relevant to the element, or a link to Amazon, YouTube or some other media. Content is loaded in a new tab or window, preserving the ARCHIVOS display.

What's the difference between "Save" and "Publish"?

In order to give subscribers more control over how and when elements are released into shared Story Settings, we added a status between “editing” and “visible to the world”.

Think of “Saving” as “saving a draft” and “Publishing” as “approving the draft”. When you make changes to a Story Element or Story Setting, saving those changes preserves them, but doesn’t introduce them into the display modes. In order to see those changes in the Story Web, Living Map, or Timeline, you need to publish those changes to the ARCHIVOS system.

This way, subscribers can make lengthy changes to multiple Story Elements over time and then release (i.e. publish) them into the system for inclusion in the ARCHIVOS display modes.

NOTE: Publishing does NOT effect Visibility
Setting or Element visibility is unaffected by its publishing status. Publishing releases the element to the display modes, but if the element or setting is set to “Private” then it is only visible to the subscriber (and their collaborators in the case of a group Story Setting).