Welcome to ARCHIVOS,
the story development and presentation tool
for today’s storytellers!
Let’s walk you through the basic features and functions of the program so you can start exploring story worlds and building your own story settings.
Please note: ARCHIVOS will be launching its Open Beta on September 1, 2017. During the Open Beta, only subscribers will be able to access the ARCHIVOS features detailed below. ARCHIVOS will open to the public on January 1, 2018.
The information below is for ARCHIVOS Users with Patron or Storyteller Subscriptions.
The Story Catalog
The Story Catalog is where visitors to ARCHIVOS can view the story settings shared by Storyteller account subscribers.
The listing of all available public story settings is alphabetical. In order to help narrow down the list of Story Settings, users can filter the list or search for specific titles or authors.
Filter by Genre
Above the catalog listing is a “Filter by Genre or Sub-Genre” drop down. Selecting a genre from the list will filter the catalog to display only the settings the ascribed to that genre. Selecting “All” will restore the full unfiltered catalog listing.
If you’re looking for a particular title or author, enter the first few characters of either into the “search” field. The catalog will display only the story settings that match the search criteria you enter. Deleting the search parameters from the field will restore the full catalog listing.
The Story Summary
When you select a story setting from the catalog, you will be taken to the setting’s Story Summary. In addition to a brief description of the setting, the Story Summary includes:
- A listing of Featured Story Elements
- A summary of all the Story Elements documented in the setting
- Links to the Story Web, Living Map, and Timeline displays for that setting
- An index listing of each Story Element separated by Type
Clicking any Story Element will load that element in the Story Web display.
Clicking the Story Web, Living Map, or Timeline links will load that display with the “default” Story Element as the focus.
The Story Displays
Details about each Story Setting are viewed through one of three ARCHIVOS Display Modes: The Story Web, The Living Map, or The Timeline
Details of each display are featured below but all Display Modes have similar features:
Each Display Mode will showcase Story Elements relevant to that display. Clicking on an element in the display will load its Summary Profile on the right side of the window. The Summary Profile includes an image of the Story Element, a brief description, and relevant links.
You can also view the Story Element’s Full Profile which can include a more detailed description as well as a listing of all Story Elements to which the displayed element is related.
Links at the top of the profile allow users to collapse the view again or close it all together.
Each display will have a Story Element on which the display will be based. This is considered the Focus Element. You can change the focus element by clicking on it to display its Profile View and then selecting the icon for the ARCHIVOS Display Mode in which you’d like it displayed.
If you’re looking for a particular element, you can search for it by entering the first few characters of the Element’s name in the “search” field. I list of Story Elements matching the entered criteria will appear below the search field. Selecting one of the listed Story Elements will render the display based on the chosen Element.
Access Other Display Modes
All display modes are accessible from the bottom of the screen. Click the link to the desired Display Mode to load it. Note that, if the current setting has no elements appropriate to the display, the link will not function. So if a setting has no events, the Timeline link will not work (this will be changing in future releases to instead display a message in the target display mode).
The Story Web
The Story Web illuminates the relationships between Story Elements.
The display is built around the primary or “Focus Element”, which will appear towards the center of the display as the largest avatar. Connected to it will be related Story Elements, appearing as slightly smaller avatars. Connected to those related Story Elements will be their constellation of related elements.
You can click and drag the Avatars to different positions on the screen to help organize the display to suit your needs.
Clicking on any element in the Story Web will display its Summary Profile on the right side of the window. Each Profile includes an image of the Story Element, a brief description, and relevant links. In addition, the Story Element’s Full Profile can be displayed which can include a more detailed description as well as a listing of all related Story Elements.
Changing the Focus Element
There are two ways to change the Focus Element in the Story Web.
Find the element you want to be the Focus Element and…
…click its Avatar to view its Summary Profile. Then, click the Story Web icon below the element’s name in the Profile.
…double-click the Avatar in the Story Web Display (you may need to move your mouse slightly after double-clicking to trigger the redraw. This is a known bug and will be resolved in future releases).
You can also click the Avatar of any element in an element’s Full Profile “Related Elements” Display.
Either way, the Story Web will redraw with the new element as the Focus Element.
Filtering by Story Element Type
Each story element in ARCHIVOS is assigned a Story Element Type: Character, Region, Location, Event, Organization, Item, Race, or Discipline.
You can filter the Story Web Display to show a specific Story Element Type by clicking the “Filter Display By:” drop down list and selecting the desired Story Element Type. Only elements of the selected type will be displayed.
You can restore the display to show all Story Elements by selecting the “All” option in the drop down.
Filtering by Relationship
Every Story Element displayed in the Story Web has a relationship to its adjacent elements. To limit the display for on certain types of relationship, select the “Filter Relationship:” drop down list and select the relationship description by which to filter the display. Only Story Elements with the selected relationship will be displayed in the Story Web.
You can restore the display to show all Story Elements by selecting the “All” option in the drop down.
The Living Map
Using maps and floorplans, The Living Map illuminates the connection between Story elements and the geography and layout of a Story Setting. Any Region or Location with an associated map will be listed in the left-side menu of the display. Beneath each map will be a listing of the Story Elements encompassed by the map.
Clicking a map element in the list will load the map in the display. Each Event, Region, or Location related to the selected map will appear as an Avatar Marker on the map image.
If you move your mouse over the name of an element in the left-side menu, the corresponding marker will be highlighted on the map.
Clicking the Avatar Marker on the map will load the Summary Profile for the selected element on the right side of the display. Each Profile includes an image of the Story Element, a brief description, and relevant links. In addition, the Story Element’s Full Profile can be displayed which can include a more detailed description as well as a listing of all related Story Elements.
Whether they are legendary deeds of a setting’s ancient past or the latest developments in the story world, the Timeline will illuminate the chronology of all documented events. Any Event with a Date Assigned to it will appear in the Timeline display with past events appearing to the left and future events showcased on the right.
The Timeline is scrollable. Simply click and drag in the Timeline Display to slide the view to the desired date range. Using the navigation links to the left of the Timeline, you can zoom in the focus on a narrow window of time or zoom out to view entire eras. The arrow button will take you back to the very beginning of the Timeline sequence.
Each documented event is listed as a tab on the Timeline. Clicking an Event Tab will load the Summary Profile of the event. Each Profile includes an image of the Event Element, a brief description, and a listing of some of the related Story Elements. The Full Profile displays a more detailed description and a full listing of all related story elements.
You can also navigate the previous or next event by clicking the arrow links to the left or right of the Event’s Summary Display.
For Storytellers Only…
If you have a Storyteller Subscription, you have unlocked a suite of features and functions
that will allow you to create an unlimited number of Story Settings and populate those settings with all the Story Elements you desire.
The Storyteller Menu
Only accessible to ARCHIVOS subscribers with a “Storyteller” account, the Storyteller Menu gives you access to all the story development and display features of ARCHIVOS.
The Storyteller Menu appears as three stacked horizontal lines under the ARCHIVOS logo in the upper left corner of your screen. Clicking it will give you access to:
- The Storyteller Dashboard – a listing of all your story settings (public and private) with access to setting configuration and the story elements for each one.
- Your Story Settings – a listing of your story settings, as well as convenient links to the Storyteller Dashboard or to Create a New Story Setting. Clicking an existing Story Setting here will “activate” the setting. Once a setting is active the Storyteller Menu expands, giving you access to the configuration page for the setting as well as…
- Story Elements – a listing of the most recently edited Story Elements in the active setting and links to Create a New Story Element or the View All Story Elements page
- Display Previews – quick access to the Story Web, Living Map, and Timeline displays for the active setting in the Storyteller Menu (regardless of the Story Setting’s Visibility property).
Creating a New Story Setting
In ARCHIVOS, a “Story Setting” is the frame 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.
You can create unlimited settings in ARCHIVOS, so let your imagination run wild!
Once your Story Setting is configured, you can start populating it with characters, places, events, and more.
To Create a Story Setting:
There are two ways to initiate the creation of a new Story Setting from the Storyteller Menu:
- Select “Story Settings”, then click the “+ New Story Setting” link
- Click the “Storyteller Dashboard” link. When the dashboard page loads, click the “Add New Story Setting” link
Both options will take you to the Story Setting Configuration page.
Configuring a Story Setting
The following are the configuration options for your Story Setting. All of them are required except for the Cover Image.
NOTE: You must click the “Save” button for your setting to be loaded into the ARCHIVOS system. Unfortunately, the button is only visible in a navigation bar that doesn’t display until you scroll down the page a bit. We apologize for this quirk of programming… it will be rectified in the next product release.
This is how your setting will appear in your dashboard and in the story catalog.
Type of Story
Select the general type of setting you plan to develop.
At this time, this property has no impact on the development of your setting. We’re still developing the framework for different types of Story Setting. As more in-depth story development and presentation features are developed, this property will determine your Story Setting’s placement in the Story Catalog as well as unlock functions relevant to the setting type (like custom calendars for fictional settings or default content for Public Domain settings).
This affirms that you own the rights to the content you present in your story setting.
Note: This does not mean you claim to own the content upon which your setting is BASED. This statement of ownership applies the words you type into the descriptions. You are permitted to write ABOUT the Lord of the Rings… just don’t paste the content of “The Two Towers” into your descriptions (THAT is copy right infringement).
Please read the ARCHIVOS Terms of Service for more information.
This graphic will be used to represent your Story Setting in the Story Catalog and Story Summary pages. Images must be in JPG or PNG format and can be no larger than 5MB.
We’re still developing image controls to allow you to crop and scale uploaded images. For now, to ensure your images look good in all areas of the site, use images that look good in both square and wide ratios.
Status (Story Visibility)
This property determines whether your setting will be available for public viewing through the Story Catalog or exclusively for your own private use. Note the “In Development” option currently has no effect on Story Setting visibility and is effectively the same as the “Private” option.
Storytellers can still view private Story Settings in the three ARCHIVOS Display Modes through the Storyteller Menu.
Defining the genre(s) of your setting will help visitors find your setting more easily.
You can select up to three genres or sub-genres to apply to your setting. Genres are divided into Top-Level Genres (Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, Thriller, and Mystery) with sub-genres for each listed underneath. Selecting a sub-genre automatically includes the setting in the Top-Level Genre selection. So designating a setting as “Space Opera” will allow the setting to show up in any “Science Fiction” filters.
There are also genres listed under “Other Types”.
If the Story Setting you’re developing requires a more unique identification than the choices provided, you can select the “Other” option and enter the genre label of your choice. Your entry will be added to the genre filter on the Story Catalog page.
Before a Storyteller goes ballistic about why their favorite genre is listed under “Other”, please keep in mind that ARCHIVOS was originally being developed exclusively for Speculative Fiction stories. Later in development, the decision was made to include all genres, but other development priorities prevented us from fully developing those genres.
The ARCHIVOS application team supports ALL stories! You can rest assured the application will reflect the respect and appreciation for the genres of those stories.
This description will be listed on the Story Setting Summary page. While there are currently no limits on the length of your description, we recommend you limit yourself 80-100 words or less (500 characters).
Deleting a Story Setting
It’s inevitable that you’ll create a Story Setting that, for whatever reason, just isn’t working. It needs to go… so how do you delete it?
There are two ways to delete a Story Setting. In the Storyteller Menu…
- Find the Story Setting you want to delete under the “Story Settings” list and click it to load the Story Setting Configuration page. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the “Delete This Story” button.
- Click the “Storyteller Dashboard” link. When the Dashboard page loads, find the Story Setting you want to delete in the listing and click the trash can icon in the upper right corner.
Either way, you will be presented with a confirmation dialog box asking if you wish to proceed with the deletion or to cancel it.
Adding Story Elements
Once your Story Setting is created, it’s time to start building the Story Elements.
There are several ways to add a New Story Element to an existing Story Setting:
From the Storyteller Menu:
- First, make sure the correct Story Setting is active.
- Click the “Story Elements” menu option to expand the menu display
- Then Click “+New Story Element”.
From the View Story Elements page (Storyteller Menu > Story Elements > View All Elements): Click the “Add New Element” button.
From the Configuration Page for a Single Element: Click the “Create New Element” button.
You can also add new Story Elements on the fly when defining Relationships. See the section on Creating Relationships to learn more.
Configuring Story Elements
Defining the properties of your Story Elements will determine how they appear in the various ARCHIVOS display modes.
NOTE that when you create a new Story Element, you must click the “Save” button to store the new element. Unfortunately, the “Save” button is only visible in a navigation bar that doesn’t display until you scroll down the page a bit. We apologize for this quirk of programming… it will be rectified in the next product release.
Also NOTE when editing an existing Story Element, the page auto saves all properties as you set them except for short and long descriptions. Any edits to these fields will require you to click the “Save” button.
Element Name (required)
This will be the label assigned to the element in all the places that showcase Story Elements, including the Story Summary page, the View Story Elements listing, and all the ARCHIVOS display modes and Profiles.
NOTE: While you CAN use special characters in this field, it can make it difficult to find the element in searches. “Éomer” may be the correct spelling, but a search for “Eomer” will come up empty.
This graphic will be used to represent your Story Element in the Story Setting Summary page and in all the ARCHIVOS display modes and Profiles. Images must be in JPG or PNG format and can be no larger than 5MB.
We’re still developing image controls to allow you to crop and scale uploaded images. For now, use images that look good in both square and wide ratios to ensure your images look good in all areas of the site.
Element Type (required)
You can choose from the following list to define the Type of Story Element you’re creating:
- Character* – from protagonists to the smallest walk-on role
- Region* – worlds, continents, countries, counties, mountain ranges, forests, etc.
- Location* – towns, buildings, landmarks, ruins, etc.
- Organization – governments, guilds, religions, cabals, corporations, etc.
- Item – relics, artifacts, unique tools, cars, ships, etc.
- Event* – battles, treaties, plagues, births, deaths, graduations, etc.
- Race – elves, dwarves, giants, aliens, etc.
- Discipline – magic, kung-fu, cloak fighting, psionics, etc.
*These Story Elements have additional unique properties:
- Characters allow the Storyteller to assign an optional gender (Male, Female, Other)
- Regions and Locations allow Storytellers to assign map graphics to the Element and configure it for display in the Living Map (qv)
- Events allow Storytellers to assign a date, date range, and/or time to the Event Element
Note that, once you save a Story Element, you cannot change the Type designation. This is due to the dependency between the Story Element Type and the Relationships it can have. If you create a Story Element and realize you’ve assigned the wrong Type designation, your only recourse is to delete it and create it again with the correct Type.
Like Story Settings, Story Elements can be set to public or private, allowing you to have a public Story Setting but having some of the story elements that don’t display on the Summary Page and Display Modes. Note the “In Development” option currently has no effect on Story Setting visibility and is effectively the same as the “Private” option.
When a visitor clicks the Story Web link from Story Summary page, there is no Focus Element around which it can build. In that case, the Default Element becomes the Focus Element.
This is shown in the Summary Profile sidebar and is limited to 500 Characters.
This is displayed in the “Full Profile” for the Story Element and is limited to 10,000 characters. Long Descriptions have basic rich-text formatting options, including paragraph styles, bold/italic/underline, and bulleted or numbered lists.
If you have content on another website that’s relevant to the Story Element, you can include links to that content that will appear on the element’s Summary Profile. This could be a link to your website, a relevant blog post, you a book on Amazon.com. You can include as many Related Links as you want.
Enter the text you want the link to be displayed with, the URL, and a Tooltip (the text that appears when a visitor hovers over the link with their mouse).
One of the features that distinguishes ARCHIVOS from other story development programs is the ability to define Relationships between Story Elements. Every Display Mode in the program is built upon these Relationships.
The Relationships possible for a Story Element are determined by its Type. Once that property has been defined, you’ll be able to add new Relationships and edit existing ones.
To create a new relationship linked to the current Story Element, click “+ add relationship” link. This will load the Relationship Dialog Box. Note that – at this time – only Characters, Organizations, Regions, and Locations can initiate Relationships (see Understanding ARCHIVOS the Relationship Model).
First, define the Story Element to which the current Element is being linked by typing the first few characters of a Story Element’s name in the “Relationship Element” field. This will produce a list of all defined Story Elements that contain the letter sequence you entered. Click the desired element to assign it.
If the desired element doesn’t exist, the Storyteller can click the “+Create New Element” link. A pop up dialog will allow them to enter the Name, Type, and visibility Status of the new element. Click “Save Element” and then enter the name in the “Relationship Element” field. Click the new Element when it appears in the list. You can fill out the rest of new Story Element’s properties later.
Next, select the Relationship Type appropriate for the relationship being defined. The Relationship Types available are determined by the Story Element Type definition for both the initiating and linked elements, as defined by the table below:
Once the Type is set, the Storyteller can select the specific relationship. The wording of these relationships is in sentence-form with the Relation Element as the focus in this format:
[Initiating Element] is [Relationship] to [Linked Element]
EXAMPLE: If we are in Arthur’s Story Element Configuration page and we’re establishing his relationship to Mordred, the Relationship is “is the Parent of”, as in “Arthur is the parent of Mordred”. The linked Story Element always ends the sentence.
Editing Existing Relationships
Existing relationships are displayed at the bottom of the screen. Storytellers can click the “pencil” icon to edit the relationship or the “trash can” icon to delete the relationship.