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Lesson 11. Assembling the Complete Project > Creating a Divine User Experience

Creating a Divine User Experience

This lesson includes a potpourri of tasks, many of which are not directly related to one another, except to the extent that they pull together these two different interactive pieces into a single, cohesive learning application. Unlike in the last two lessons, where you previewed the SWFs before beginning the tasks, this time you'll look at the FLAs.

Open lower.fla from Lesson 11's Complete folder.

Right away, a loading screen, rather than the familiar map greets you. The map, as you can probably guess by looking at the timeline, has been moved to frame 10.

Still in frame 1, double-click the word Loading, as it appears on the stage.

As you can see, the preloader is stored in a movie clip. The advantage to this is that this preloader is entirely portable. You can add it to any Flash file that you ever make, without modifying it at all. Just drop it in frame 1, and move the main movie contents so they begin in frame 10. As you can see in the timeline, the movie clip has two layers: one for actions and one for the text. This preloader is a simple, and very useful, object that you can use again and again.

Return to the main movie, select frame 10 of the actions layer, and open the Actions panel.

This frame contains the initialization script, wrapped in a function called initMovie(), that you will create in this lesson. The initialization script sets the text of both the info box and the dragtext dynamic text field as well as the positions of each of the monsters.

Select the Reset button on the map, and look at its script in the Actions panel.

Considering that the Reset button potentially positions four monsters and two text fields, that script is awfully short. That is thanks to the power of writing custom functions. The initMovie() action you see there isn't a part of Flash—it's a function that you will create and name yourself.

Test the movie by pressing Command+Return/Ctrl+Enter.

What happened to the preloader? Since the file is already on your system, there is nothing to download. The preloader is still there, and it did its job, but it did it so quickly you never see it. Don't worry: As you'll see in this lesson, you can simulate how a movie will download, and in doing so test the functionality of the preloader.

Drag several of the monsters to their places, and click any one of the circle labels to update the info box. Click the Reset button.

As expected, the Reset button returns every object to its original state, no matter what combination of user events preceded its clicking.

When you are finished, you can close both the SWF preview and the FLA itself.



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