September 17th, 2003, 03:54 AM
GG how could you?? Don't get me started on another How Flash 0wnz rant :P
Personally, I've grown tired of flash. There was a time that I was into it heavily, and it's great for certain elements, but so many people use it to bog down loading times that when it does load, you're thinking "I just waited for this?"
personaly my sites I always try to make them functional and laid out - a simple to navigate style with a constant nav menu so user can be in any part of site and go to where they want in 2 clicks (3 tops) with very few graphics cept Flash which i tend to overuse tho am getting away from that now!
Tho project that is cooking my head atm will throw that al out window oO
Am toying with idea of truely random site - i don't mean that content is just unlinked stuff thrown together but that everytime visitor visits site will be different from last.
Ok this is how would work ::::
Visitor loads up main page - flash picks number at random this is then used to decide what page layout to use....layout created and each area assigned number for refrence. Flash then picks content from the corresponding array to that area and displays it. So not only is page layout different everytime but so is content displayed. With very few different layouts and differnt content elements it would form alot of different possible combinations.
Once main page is displayed user will then be able to choose what section to explore like
now these areas are purposefully very broad so say user choose interaction this could mean many different things - games, Guestbook, Interactive Cartoons etc
Once user has choosen area Flash then goes through the whole process of choosing layout content again only this time is restricted to those storred in the specific areas array - so if they choose Pictures (could be of me, friends, art work etc) and flash picked Friends at random then all content loaded would be from [Pictures/Friends]-Array
Once that area has loaded they will be presented with option of delving deeper - like say was friends could click through to more information about a certain person pictured or video files etc - all of which would be loaded in same way - so even if user choose same area next time round would be displayed in completly dif way and may see info that they didn't last time round.
This would continue on until user has come to end of current sub-catagories like say was Pictures again they had clicked through Pictures>Friends>[choose one person to view more]Bio>video and that was end of catergories for that section would then loop back into Pictres>friends the topmost level which of course would look different from last time they saw it - and so on
In order to form some kind of stability tho Main area links will be present throughout - tho displayed differently as display type will be loaded in at random with everything else - so if at any time user wnats to visit a dif section they can go straight from where they are to it.
Now to include this all in one flash file would be impossible almost as no-one would sit around and wait to download what would amount to be like 50 dif sites but to place each page on seperate html document would defeat purpose as then by typing url of specific page could go straight to it and would be same (yes i hear u cry but not if done with php - well i aint that great at it for a start plus prefer flash ) So to overcome this only the bare bones will be stored in main flash file - this will be the code for loading in content and selecting each element at random as well as the dif layout designs. Now many will think that this will still create huge files as all dif pages will be saved in each one - but as layouts will be made of empty movieclips as all content will only be loaded in as needed flash file should be very small!!
So when user chooses area or whatever flash will assign it say a number at random so say template4 had an area marked as Area3 then flash would look in Area3's array which would contain entries from 0 to whatever max number is - so say it flash picked at random the number 6 for Area3 of template4 then it would look at the corresponding array entry which could be something like
and would then load that into Area3 durring runtime - now as array entry is also an .swf (flash file) it could have preloader, movie controls built in - in essence could be a whole seperate site which could be governed by same principal as main container file - so in essence could increase the number of different random combinations by a huge amount!!!
Is a massive undertaking but is something I have never seen done before - a site that is different everytime you visit - that even if you view same section time and time again may see new bits everytime - plus as all content is loaded in on the fly then wouldn be very easy to replace exterior files with new ones completly changing the site (except default layout templetes but these could easily be altered by repostioning container movieclips while keeping coding the same) It also opens up way for having completly random pages where flash choose not only what content to load but also draws template itself - postions container movieclips and generates them itself - eg user enters site flash decides to display N number of differnet sections with each sections width height & postion being randomly choosen as well - with only restriction that Ech container is more than X pixels but less than Y pixels from those around it.
But I still want to show some of my own design in it so dont think will be doing that - but would be quite funky to have a site that si completly designed and built by flash every time you view it.
Obviously atm is all in my head but have thought of how can be done - coding element etc and to be truthful shouldn't be too difficult once get main areas done........so may start work on it soon
what does everyone think of idea???
September 24th, 2003, 11:40 AM
Heh, Val, you use flash well. (And, I guess I should have been more specific in my statement. I hate unoptimized flash, and it's rare to see good use of it. It's there either to mask lack of content, takes forever to load, and is generally pointless...or it contains all the content and seemingly never loads or lags.) You don't bog loading times down, in fact, this project that you have in question, it's one of your main concerns.
I really like the idea here, it's definitely nothing that I've seen done before, and makes flash actually more useful than just for design. I'd be interested to see some of it, if you decide to take it on...It does sound like a lot.