Multimedia Program Assignment

I reviewed From Alice to Ocean, Alone Across the Outback, a documentary about the journey of Robyn Davidson. Robyn is an Australian woman who decided she wanted to cross the desert (1700 miles worth) alone, only with the supplies she could keep on the backs of a few camels.

The CD was broken into 8 parts: an introduction, an epilogue, and 6 part of the actual journey. In addition there were two features that would pop up at appropriate scenes along the way. First was the "Side Bar", signified by an icon of a coffee cup. When the icon popped up, you could click on it an get additional text information on the subject that was just being talked about. Second were the "Photo Tips", signified by a camera icon. If this icon popped up it meant you could see a QuickTime movie of the photographer, who would explain the details of how he took the shot you were looking at. The CD told the story of Robyn's adventure through still pictures with voice narration. In essence, it was like a slide show; with new pictures coming on the screen about 5 seconds through a dissolve fade. The main part of the CD was this slide show, which was rather passive. Other than when a "Photo Tip" of "Side Bar" showed up, the program was not truly interactive. The only other interactive property the CD had was that for each section of the journey you could skip ahead sub-sections. Also, at any time during the program if you held down the shift key, you would get a graphic of her journey on a map and you could navigate from there to any other part where you wanted to go; it was on this screen that you could also get "help" information.

The CD was created with Macromind Director and overall I do not think it was a particularly innovative by today's standards. Especially due to the passive nature of the program, I would hesitate to call it a truly interactive CD. However, the journey was interesting and I particularly enjoyed the "Photo Tips".