SM Sound: Process

The final product has come along way from the initial sketches. Help from my colleagues and advice from Tyler has shed light on what a nonlinear interaction could look and be like, and with the help of Garrett I could understand the capabilities of Flash without being restricted by them.

1) Diorama
The main page would be a collage element within a box, representing the elements of a kitchen of dining room, with images of tables, doors, counter tops, people, etc, each holding an animation and/or link to video or sound. By exploring the images through clicks or mouse overs, enlarged videos would appear and/or visual elements of the diorama would animate (door open, mouths moving). Few elements seemed to lend themselves to dragging.

2) Dining Room:
Your point of view is first person, at a seemingly large/long dining table. By dragging the screen itself you would navigate around the room to explore, your environment (down the row to greet other guests, up to the chandelier, under the table). Mouse overs would signify clickable elements holding animations or just sounds appropriate to the image (cutlery images holding cutting sounds, guest images holding voice sounds). This is would be a space to explore, little left to rearrange (possibilities are limited, but discovery is nonlinear).

3) Table Setting:
Originally the main screen would be empty and you must "ask" for table to be set by clicking on shape cut outs of the spoon, fork, plate, etc. Within the new existing objects, would exist sounds and other media. The objects were only clickable three times though, once to appear, again to view media, and once more to disappear. Table setting would clear after each 3rd click, and screen would need to be refreshed to be able to view anything ever again.

The final direction chosen was the table setting one, obviously. I started out photographing new material: a delicious home-like meal, with a glass of milk and-well-seemingly unnecessary utensils (which is beside the point). Each of the digestible things were photographed in 3 stages (full, half, and empty). These were then cut out of their background and I started to explore the extent of Flash and my capabilities writing its script. I new that I wanted to create some significations of "clickability" and started with mouse overs on the utensils (tackle the hardest things first). When you roll over them, they ease of the napkin and back in as you roll off. When clicked they will expose to you a video of some sort, one for each (all self-authored). To push the "play" aspect I started to script what could be done with the 3 stages of the plates and cups. Click to eat, essentially, was the name of the game: one click to get half full, click again to empty it, and unless you ring the dinner bell for more, you will not receive another helping. Here is an example of multiple helpings (all draggable), and the utensil's video pop-up.
The theme behind all of it is eating, and eating lots, with no show of self control (can't stop clicking the dinner button!!) in a home setting. The video loops suggest this (especially the xerox one) and all the tracks from the radio sing about similar things ("Can't Be Satisfied", "Keep On Eatin' ", radio DJ sends a shout-out apology for accidentally & impulsively eating someone else's plums). You can end up cluttering up the whole screen, there's no turning back, I didn't program for someone to clean up the mess!

There's more I could add, more clickable things, more noise, and I think that's the beauty of Flash and the practice of play (I could script my heart out for hours if I never got discouraged). Although simple buttons are enjoyable, if someone put me in a room they designed I'd be all over it, touching and moving things until I realized its limits. Flash and its websites could be infinitely fun (Sarah Palin site -awesome) so long as the ambition is always there. So with that said, similarly to the way I treated this projects process, the limits of Flash or any media are only as limiting as we make them.