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View Full Version : SWF CD-ROM - advice much needed!!


caffrey75
08-06-2001, 12:54 PM
Hi all,

Sorry about the length of this message but I really need the full benefit of your advice and knowledge here. (a quick thank you to Jessie for his help a few months back with the 'pub promotions' project - the advice was sound as a pound, unfortunately the bloody pub didn't want to spend any pounds in employing the idea. Their loss, but a big thank you anyway mate!)
I've been working on a larger project for the last year or so, but certain issues are driving me up the wall and I feel like I am constantly backing myself into a corner with it! It's basically a CD-ROM product detailing a comprehensive directory of all the Golf Courses in Devon, England - we have poured heart and soul into making it the most detailed guide of its kind, and are deep into doing Somerset and Cornwall. The big 'BUT' here is that it has been completely designed in Flash because I love Flash and consider it the best tool in the world!! We have already had the Devon version out on sale (until we were sued for something ridiculous!!) - it ran through a haphazard combination of a Visual Basic front end menu which, in turn, called up 4 large Flash/FlashJester Projector executables disguised as *.dat files. I was always very unhappy with this method of delivery, largely because the Visual Basic menu could not compare to the rest of the CD in quality, among other things. Anyway, I've decided that I would like to re-issue the CD-ROM using a different methodology.
I've sent my thought process down so many different avenues regarding what method to use, but it is driving me gradually crazy. I have received better advice and guidance from this site than I have from a lot of the apparent 'professionals' in my area, and I'm really begging for it here.
My current train of thought is this:

* Although previous versions have installed themselves onto the hard drive via Visual Basic, there is no real reason why it shouldn't simply run from the CD only: I've dispensed with an updates idea. And rather than use a bunch of *.executables, I thought about using one main *.exe file which, in turn, will call up each golf course via 'loadmovie' (all other files will remain as swfs). Is this wise? Obviously the chief worry is people copying a golf course swf from the CD and sending it to their mates. However, I noted with interest a comment made by Mortimor Jazz in a previous thread where you can rename a *.swf to a *.css and still call it from a movie. This is the same kind of simple deception we used on the last version where the *.exes were renamed to *.dats and, at the moment, I am tempted to use this again.

* One of the other problems I can foresee here is that users will need the Flash 5 plug-in to use the CD. Does anyone know Macromedia's policy concerning this? Although it's free for download I'm not sure about them taking kindly to people including it on commercial CD-ROMs.

This is basically the long and short of it at the moment. It all sounds a bit unprofessional, I know, but our main problem lies in the fact that there is only me working on the computer side of this and, after initial costs, being sued, overheads etc etc we have no capital left to employ a firm to process the whole lot in something like Director (although there seems to be nobody in this backward part of the world skilled enough to use that particular tool!). My expertise is principally graphics and I am pretty much out of my depth here. Any advice, tips, tricks etc that anybody has to offer on this would be just fantastic. Sorry to witter on!!
Cheers,
Alex Mann (caffrey75)

http://www.golfexpodevonuk.co.uk

poab
08-06-2001, 07:23 PM
Hi,

Full information on Macromedia licensing policies for C.D. ROMs is available at the support section of Macromedia .com . It appears to be free, because they want their products to be as usable as possible (the more users the more designers buying the product) But I haven't gone into it in depth.

Cheers

caffrey75
08-07-2001, 12:08 AM
Thanks Poab,

Much appreciated - you're right it is free!
Any other advice you or anyone else can give is always appreciated....

Cheers
Alex

Jesse
08-07-2001, 03:34 AM
Everything I spend more than 5 hours on is published in EXE only until MM allow code encryption. Even BETAs of projects I do for companies and presentations. EXE = Safeest method to stop thieves, and we all know how little respect I have for thieves :)

caffrey75
08-07-2001, 11:45 PM
Hi Jesse,

Problem with using just exe file is that I will end up with one about 100mb big. It's a pretty massive project and has taken us the better part of a year just compiling all the information. The initial plan was to make use of Flashjester's plug-ins, where you can personalize and modify your flash projector files, but I ended up with about 50 of these all running off each other. It was pandemonium and not very stable. Flash swfs are so much more reliable. And if you use it in conjunction with Flashjester plug-ins it's nigh on impossible (unless you start renaming the *.css, *.dat files to their original *.swf format) to tell you are using pure Flash (even the right-click 'About Macromedia Flash'label goes). True, the option to install the Flash 5 player is a bit of a give away, but hell!
I certainly have no time for thieves, especially if they have the nerve to nick your stuff and then pretend that it is all their work. However, provided it doesn't affect me financially, I can't pretend to be really hacked off about them taking stuff off the CD (if they can be bothered). It's mostly pictures and I am guilty of nicking graphics/photos from commercial picture sites all the time, considering half their stuff is simply scanned in from someone else's book and 'watermarked'! If anyone tried to release their own directory of Golf Courses using our stuff, it wouldn't be difficult to sue their arses off - it very nearly happened to us.
Anyway, I'm drivelling again. Any signs of MM providing some sort of protection for swfs? I'd sooner have it than not.

ArtImage
08-19-2001, 01:35 AM
I know this thread is a bit old but maybe my response will help.

I am currently investigating the purchase of a program to create custom projectors. FlashJester or SWF Studio

http://www.northcode.com/
http://www.flashjester.com/index.htm

In my opinion SWF Studio is by far the best choice.
Check out this feature/price comparison chart (SWF Studio site but its accurate)

http://www.northcode.com/studio/features/flashjester.html

Quick price comparison (since money is defiantly an issue for you):

FlashJester Pro $595 USD (file type scr)
Jugglor $99 USD (file exe) (of course this is all you really need, plus some JTools)
JTools you may need ($40-$100 USD each)

SWF Studio $139 USD (exe & scr file type)

Do not forget to check out the FREE plugins on SWF Studio's main page.

(I have no affiliation with SWF Studio just like their software)


Good luck!

Justin

Jesse
08-19-2001, 02:02 AM
Well I came accross two piece of software yesterday wich rip an SWF out of a Flash EXE so I'm now convinced that macromedia are going to have to add code encryption if they want to keep on high end developers. shocking really.