Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Fly Guy

What is the heck is fly guy? That was the very first thing I asked myself when I say the title of the page that Bryan sent me to. After looking through it, I believe that part of the beauty of this site is not knowing what it's all about so I will trace through some of my thoughts as I went through. You'll have to read more of this blog to find out. All I will say for now is that it is an interactive, purely flash made site.

The page itself is very non-descriptive. The title at the top says "Fly guy" and besides that, the only thing on the page is the flash presentation that says "click anywhere to start." Soon, you will be led through what appears to be a game where you move the arrow keys to move your character and interact with other moving objects and people. Not all objects interact so you have to move close to them to see if they do anything to you. You could find yourself, dancing, having a cup of tea, listening to a wise man or getting burped at. To add to the mystery, not all objects do good things to you. Some bouncer will punch you back to your starting point, you could get electrocuted etc. Clearly, this part of the Flash presentation has the makings of a game. But what's the objective? My personal conclusion is that the objective of the game is to find one.

Once you fly up past the clouds, space and the ocean, you get to an Island where some dancing Islanders welcome you in in song and dance as the screen gives you the words "Seasons Greeting" -yes, that's what its really about! The sliding credits forming a top strip on the screen bear testament to your accomplishment of reaching the end of the mystery.

Obviously, the narrative given here has been told in a rather unique style. First, there is a combination of two seemingly different forms of media -electronic greetings cards and online flash games. The motion graphics are simple but sufficient to allowing on to move in all 4 directions and get close to objects & people. The background sound is typical of video game - a repeated loop mixed with the specific sounds of interacting objects -e.g. the flying crow. The use of interactive sound gives a sense of orientation to immediate surrounding. Unfortunately and probably intentionally, there is effort to orient the 'player' with the greater enviroment. One of the big themes here is mystery and giving the user and a sense of ignorance is beneficial.

This form of narrative is smart and artistic to the users who get to the end of it. However, the very idea of not letting users know what they're supposed to do carries with it a potential for having impatient users abandon the quest out of ignorance & frustration. Overall, I think it is a nice form of narrative that we could all draw ideas from.

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