Well, here is the finished product, and I have to say I am very pleased with the outcome! There was a bit of trial and error in Flash but for the most part it went pretty smooth. The screen captures below feature some of the interactivity that is a part of my interface, it will give you a basic idea of what is going on but actually interacting with it would be much more satisfying.
Music, voice, and sound effects bring an entirely different dimension to a narrative; they bring a perspective that is unable to be portrayed by any other means, the idea of sound and hearing. It creates yet another sense that can interact with this communication method and therefore adds more depth to the piece. I see it clearly in this way, for example, a photograph can capture beautiful light and fine detail that perhaps a painting of drawing can not. That is what sound brings to a narrative, that one extra, fine, polishing piece. But ultimately it is about the audiences interaction and the fact that it brings another one of the senses in to play.
There are several similar as well as contrasting qualities between music, voice, and sound effects. For one, as I said before, they appeal to the sense of hearing and add that additional dimension to the work. Music and voice-overs are similar in the fact that they both are narratives in themselves, they can tell a story and capture the listener. Sound effects on the other hand can add a negative or positive quality to a narrative; they can be cheesy and over the top, or they can be subtle and add that fine detail to a piece. Sound effects and voice-overs can pertain directly to a narrative and be very self-explanatory, but music, as I found out while doing my own research, is more difficult to find a style, genre, melody, chorus that pertains to your narrative and can relate and have a positive effect on it as a whole.
The differences between simultaneous and sequential communication are the ideas that one is at random and sporadic, whereas the other is developed on a more linear, progressive path. Simultaneous is the idea of multiple things going on at the same time, overlapping, stopping and starting at random. This idea is fairly relevant in my interface design, the movie clips, music, and sound effects can be accessed at any time during the interaction and can also be played one over another. Although it does not prove to be very functional and pleasing to have everything playing at once, it does give the user freedom to explore multiple possibilities. Sequential communication is that of building, continuous progression towards a possible end product. Much like a narrative itself, it builds on a linear path that may not have as much freedom as simultaneous communication but could prove to be more effective.
As I stated before, my goal was to give the user freedom to explore my interface and create a narrative of their own and sort of put together the pieces. I wanted it to feel less restrained and more interactive with the user versus having everything already put together so that it is there to simply watch and have no control over.
One of the biggest things I strove for in this project was the idea of discovery and how the user would uncover relationships through interaction with my interface. Subtle hints of change are what drive my interface; I wanted the user to see a very simplistic, stagnant page that they would have to explore to even find out what it is about. From the beginning there are no clues as to anything going one, until it is revealed by my roll-overs that are again, subtle changes in the landscape that give the user that sense of discovery. As the user hears the sound effects, then the music and voice-over, they should begin to get an idea for what this is about now, and with the movie clips is where it all comes together. It sums up the relationship of the entire interface; the appearance, sound effects, music, voice-over, and the movie clips.