I’m so happy Articulate decided to come out with a new version of Storyline and even happier that they worked in some amazing new features.  I’m a little late to the game since Storyline 2 was released last September but I figure “better late than never” right?

I have yet to explore all of the cool new stuff but a few things I’ve found I thought I should mention.

Animations

This is one of the big new features and they don’t disappoint. I can’t wait to play around with the new motion paths but even just the new basic animation options are a huge improvement on Storyline 1. I don’t use a lot of animation in my courses but Storyline 1 was very limiting even for the small amount I need. I’m happy to say that I haven’t run into any limitations just yet.

Import

I was working with two older Storyline files that even have some old Articulate Engage interactions in them. The import into Storyline 2 went very well. I do have to say that the first couple of times I tried the import it failed but then I read this knowledge base article about not working off of a network or USB drive. Once I moved my files to my desktop everything worked flawlessly from there on.

Easy Transition 

I created a new course from scratch and found it just as straightforward as before to work in the tool. I had no trouble orienting myself to where old features are now nor did I have any trouble with the new features. However, as I worked, there were a few things I found that were just a bit cumbersome or quirky. I didn’t have time to play or research as much as I’d liked so there may be workarounds or a fix for these which you can tell me about in the comments.

 Faster Publish 

Publishing on Storyline 1 was quite fast (compared to other tools I’ve used) but now with Storyline 2 it’s even faster. I was very, very pleased when a file with multiple videos published several minutes faster than it used to. This is a great time saver especially for those like me who publish often to “see” how something’s going to work (or not work).

Import project into existing Project 

I needed to combine two Storyline projects into one for a client (read – create one big course from two smaller modules). First I imported the two Storyline 1 files into Storyline 2 and saved them as new files separately – to preserve the original modules and to prevent any conversion errors while combining them. Next I opened the first module and saved it with a new name. I used the Storyline Import option to bring in the second file and add it as a new scene. This is where I ran into some troubles. The main trouble was that all of the question bank questions from the second file imported as individual question slides instead of into their proper question bank. The question bank was created but the questions didn’t go there. I moved them there without too much trouble after I realized they were scattered throughout my project. My second, and more time consuming problem, was that the player menu for the imported file didn’t merge with the one from the existing file properly. I had to manually recreate then entire player menu (adding, removing, and renaming slides). This caused me quite a bit of extra work.

Working off of Network or USB Drives 

Right from the start this was a challenge for me with Storyline 2. Although it has never been recommended by Articulate, I was always able to work just fine from my powered USB hard drive (not flash) with Storyline 1. So I just assumed I could keep doing that with Storyline 2. Unfortunately it just wouldn’t work. I received several error messages and corrupted at least one file trying. This is going to be quite a pain for me as I don’t store anything on my computer’s hard drive and will always need to be copying back and forth to ensure I have the latest version to work from. I’m sure I’ll get used to it eventually.

Slow Saving

I want to believe that perhaps it was just the three files I was working with but every time I saved the files it took upwards of a minute to save and be able to continue working. This seemed a bit excessive to me and I hope that it improves or was just a by-product of the particular files.

I’m really excited to try my hand at “sliders” one of the big new exciting features. Everyone is raving about them and I can’t wait to see what they can do.

Overall, I think Storyline 2 is a great addition to the Articulate family and except for a few minor things my first look says it’s going to be very successful.