Monday, November 10, 2008

SM. Non-linear narrative.

In this project we were supposed to create an interactive peace that would have a non-linear narrative, using sound, images and videos. The interactive part was executed in Flash Action Script 3.

Below is the first frame of the narrative. It shows how I would organize the objects in the stage. The little arrows show what can "do something". I made them very small so that they serve as a suggestion, rather than an order to act. The viewer will start interacting with the objects by dragging the objects around. As soon as they figure out that one thing moves, it's only logical to try every other object on the stage.

When you click on the dog's scarf, a thought bubble comes out of its head and an animation from earlier in the semester plays. I added a new shape to the animation to make it more interesting visually and avoid the square shape.

The picture frame zooms in to give a close-up of a still image. I chose an image that was a part of the documentation of a project to add something unexpected. People who know that this is an image documenting another image will probably wonder "Why's that?". I tried to do that in the boom box too. I included my sound effects and sound mark in the buttons to make the viewer wonder "Why would somebody want to play the splat sound in a boom box?" All the buttons in the boom box start and stop the music and can play simultaneously. I used a voice recording where I repeat the same words "boring, quiet, time passes" over and over again to make the viewer wonder. My music choices were a happy melody with some voices that reminds people of fast-painting commercials. I also gave the viewer an option of playing a calm jazz music, in case they get annoyed with the happy one.

This is another animation that comes out of the roller. It's the kinetic type animation that shows the process of painting by using words and colors. I thought it would be logical to put it somewhere near the painting tools.

This last frame is a possible way you can arrange everything. As you can see, the viewer can create unexpected combinations and completely change the set environment. Every viewer has his or her idea of how things should interact with each other and there will be as many different combinations as there will be viewers. The viewer can just PLAY.

Working on this project, I thought about the role of sounds in this interaction. The sounds add an additional layer of information and set a mood for your interaction. Every viewer will have their own understanding of the sounds in the context of the interaction and will act accordingly. I gave the viewer a lot of freedom. I gave him the tools to play with and a "sand box" he can play in, but the rest is up to the person interacting with the piece. I am controlling the setting for the narrative (man painting his room), but I'm letting the book write itself.
The biggest challenge in this project for me was the restrictions of flash. In the begging it was so the intimidating that I kept putting of the coding part and when I started working with action script, it felt like speaking a foreign language knowing three words. Now that we're done with it, action script does not seem as scary as it did two weeks ago. I think this indicates learning, right?

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