Interaction Complete

posted under by Philip Howlett
I got all the photos taken today, so I thought I better get on with it in flash. I managed to get it published as an .swf and .html file and here it is for you to play around with. I think I might take a couple more pictures to add to this later today or tomorrow. If there's anything wrong in the sequences let me know please. SWF or HTML

To display how my story works I created a flow diagram of how events occur. It's modeled on the original diagram I drew when I had the idea. You can see how my idea progressed from a simple concept on paper, to the final piece.

When its displayed in this way it makes the whole process seem so simple. I really struggled to find a narrative which could fit to this framework, mainly because I've never attempted anything like this before. The resulting piece of work however I'm quite pleased with. I don't feel it's as successful as the last two projects, mainly because I don't like the media here as much. It's difficult to display the depth of your story through still images and sound alone. Giving the user control also makes things more difficult because you can't guarantee that everyone will have the same experience. I know that in all medias people draw from things what they want, but with this media in particular there are more ways the user can be influenced.

I decided to keep things as simple as possible within flash because my knowledge of it isn't brilliant. I've used it in the past a little, and the template provided made sense to me straight away. I also knew how to implement music, but getting everything to work seamlessly was a difficulty. There aren't any transitions between images so the entire sequence becomes rather jumpy. The most disappointingly thing, is that after taking time to think of a narrative, take my photos and edit them, that some of them might not get seen. Everything happens so quickly as well because the decisions are really simple to make. If anyones managed to create one of these where the user feels under pressure to make tough decisions then they've done very well.

The only sound I've implemented is on the first frame where the alarm clock goes off. I didn't feel the rest of it needed sound to make sense, as the imagery was strong enough already. The narrative is also centered around the alarm going off, and the difficulty a lot of us experience with getting out of bed so it made sense to highlight that. If I'd of used more sound I think it might have become a little overwhelming for the user, and it might have become messy with sounds overlapping.

The images are something I'm really proud of. They tell the story themselves whether it be through the editing, or the poses of the character. You might also notice subtle differences between the "good" and "bad" paths within my narrative. You can see that I added a lighting effect to my photos to make them darker, but also to draw the users eye to what I wanted them to see. The lighting effect creates a white circle which focuses attention, and also adds a darkness to the edge of the frame to indicate to those dark winter mornings. On the "good" route where the user gets up for work and gets ready, this darkness isn't present. The brightness of these shots is subtlety saying the user has done something good.

Using photoshop I also incorporated text in to some of my images quite cleverly. For example in one photo of a clock face, I edited the word "snooze?" on there. This was to create a less visually confusing piece. I didn't want to add text over the top in flash all the time, because it was starting to look messy and I wanted a seamless look. Another example of this is the text popping out from the phone when you're being informed that you've been sacked. Another small touch is adding a brighter colour to the clock face in the first photo, so the user knows exactly where their attention is supposed to be.


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