The ampersand (&) can be used in place of the at-sign (@) to allow directing commands to occur simultaneously with other actions, animations, or dialogue.
The function of the ampersand (&) can also be explained with this Donacode analogy…
“@” is to “&” as “is” is to “starts”
(@:& :: is:starts)
Let’s contextualize this with two examples...
In the app, open the story “Advanced Directing Guide” and click button “0.1 Using The Ampersand”
*To follow along in the script, open:
Then jump to “label zeroone”
Example A: A character enters a conversation with “@CHARACTER enters.”
Donacode : @JOHN enters from right to screen right
Here, ALISON and MARIE stop talking while JOHN completes his “enter” action. This is because @commands take place as their own discrete actions.
Example B: A character enters a conversation with “&CHARACTER enters.”
Donacode : &JOHN enters from right to screen right
Here, ALISON and MARIE continue talking while JOHN completes his “enter” action. This is because &commands occur simultaneously with other actions and animations.
&commands can be tricky to use. If a character has not completed an action when they are asked to do another one, behaviors can become unpredictable. They may slide characters into place, end offscreen or zoom to strange and unexpected locations. Always test an &command both tapping slowly and quickly, to make sure it functions well.