Portal tile effects are one-way virtual doorways to take a user from Point A (origin) to Point B (destination), which is a tile of your choice in another Room, Space, or even just somewhere else in the current Room. Portals can be obvious, like walking through a doorway, added to our portal objects in the Object Picker, or hidden in unexpected places as easter eggs for someone to stumble across. To add a portal, you need to use the Mapmaker as an Admin or Builder.
This article covers the three primary ways to use Portal tile effects:
- Connect to another Room/Map within your Space.
- Connect separate Gather Spaces together.
- Create a shortcut to get somewhere quickly in a large Space.
Tip: Scroll down to the end of this article for a list of tips and best practices for portals, as well as a screen recording showcasing the three ways to use Portals!
Quick Review of Terms
- Room: An individual Map within a Space. Each Room/Map belongs to a Space, though some Spaces have only have one Room. Note: Some Spaces are designed as an individual Map with multiple "rooms" as indicated by walls and doors. When we refer to a Room, we are referring to a separate Map that has been connected to a Space.
- Space: A self-contained virtualized world created on Gather. Has an associated URL. Can contain one or more Rooms/Maps.
Portal to Another Room
To connect two Rooms, you'll use Portal tiles. Be careful to put the Portal tiles down in a way that imitates natural movement (see more in the Portal Best Practices). For this article, we will be connecting the main Room of the office to a new speakeasy Room via a doorway. We'll be connecting the original Room to the new Room first, then connecting the new Room back to the original Room. (Remember, Portal tiles are one-way, so you need to place tiles for both directions.)
Tip: Check out our article on how to add a Room, which also provides details on how to add a door!
Original Room to New Room
From the original Room, select Tile Effects in the Top Nav Menu of the Mapmaker. Select the Stamp tool. In the Tile Effects panel, select Portal Tiles. Place the first Portal tile in the one of the tiles of the doorway. (Portal tile effects are indicated by a translucent blue color.)
Note: More than one tile effect can be applied to a tile. For example, a Portal tile effect can share the same tile as a Spawn tile effect.
After you select the tile, the Pick portal type window opens. Select Portal to a room.
A list of Rooms in the Space displays. Choose the Room you wish to connect to (for this article, the speakeasy).
The Room you selected opens in the Mapmaker. Place the portal tile in the new Room where you wish to arrive.
Once you've placed the tile, the Mapmaker returns to the original room. Add another Portal tile following the same steps so that walking through either tile in the doorway of the original room will lead to the new room. Select Save in the Top Nav Menu.
New Room Back to Original Room
Now you need to connect the new Room back to the original Room. This will let you walk back and forth.
In the Rooms tab in the right panel of the Mapmaker, select the name of the new Room (the speakeasy). The new Room displays in the Mapmaker. Select Tile Effects in the Top Nav Menu, then select the Stamp tool in the Left Nav Menu, and then Portal in the Tile Effects panel. Place a portal tile in the doorway. Choose Portal to a room, and select the original Room.
The original Room displays. You may need to scroll to find the door to place the Portal tile down. Repeat this step so that the entire entrance from the new Room portals to the original Room. Select Save.
Return to the Space. Test the portal between the two rooms.
Was that super confusing? Here's a screen recording of the process.
Portal to Another Space
You can also create portals to connect separate Spaces. This is especially helpful when planning a large event for 500+ guests.
For this example, we are going to create a portal to a new Space using a teleporter object from the Object Picker. However, you can create a portal via a doorway or an unexpected object, like a houseplant! Do whatever makes the most sense for your Space.
Open the Mapmaker and select Objects in the Top Nav Menu. In the right panel, select More Objects. The Object Picker opens. Enter "portal" in the Search bar. Pick the portal you wish to use and then place it on the Map.
We're going to add the teleporter to our cyberpunk-themed meeting room.
From the Mapmaker, select Tile Effects in the Top Nav Menu, and select the Stamp tool. In the Tile Effects section of the right panel, select Portal. Select the tile of the teleporter object. (We are placing a Portal tile on top of a Private tile, which is a bit difficult to see.)
After you place the Portal tile on the teleporter object, select Portal to Another Space.
Enter the URL of the Gather Space you wish to connect to, then select Confirm.
Select Save in the Top Nav Menu of the Mapmaker. Return to your Space to test the portal. When you step onto the teleporter, a prompt message displays, asking you to press enter to confirm navigating to a new Space.
Note: Portals to other Spaces will lead the user to the default spawn point of that Space unless you have visited the Space before. If you have been to the Space before, you will appear where you last were.
Portal Within the Current Room
You can also use Portal tiles to create shortcuts within a Room. This is especially handy for large Maps or when you want to quickly get to a location your frequently visit, like the all-hands room.
Open the Mapmaker and select the Room you wish to add the shortcut to. Pick where you want to add the shortcut. You may want to add it to a portal object, as we did in the section above, or you may want to use an object as a symbol, like a bubble tea on your desk that takes you to the cafe.
Select Tile Effects in the Top Nav Menu of the Mapmaker. Select the Stamp tool. In the Tile Effects panel, select Portal Tiles. Place the Portal tile on the object. Select Portal to a room. Then in Pick room to portal to, select the name of the current Room.
Navigate to the spot in the Room where you want the shortcut to lead to. Place the Portal tile and select Save in the Top Nav Menu. Return to your Space to test your shortcut.
Portal Best Practices
- Place portals in both locations: Portal tiles are ONE-WAY only, so if you want the user to be able to return from Point B to Point A, you must place portal tiles to connect Point B back to Point A.
- Imitate natural movement: When placing Portal tiles, remember you want to imitate natural movement. For example, the first tile in the original room should be in the doorway on the right so your avatar can walk through the door. The connecting Portal tile in the new room should be in front of a doorway on the left to support walking through a door into the room. (In the screen recording below, the doorway from the office to the speakeasy is on the right, and the doorway from the speakeasy back to the office is on the left.)
- Remove and replace Portal tiles to edit: There is currently no way to edit the destination of a Portal. If you need to change the destination, erase the original Portal tile(s) and add a new Portal tile(s).
- Make multiple reservations for large events: If you are planning a large event and are connecting multiple Spaces, remember to create a reservation for each Space. However, you do not need multiple reservations for an event in one Space that spans several Rooms. Have questions? Contact us!
Check out this screen recording of three different Portals: the first from one Room to another Room in the same Space, the second a hidden shortcut from a desk to the cafe in the same Room and Space, and the last a Portal from one Space to another.