If you have read any of our previous posts about Flash website reviews, you will know that we are particularly blunt when it comes to voicing our opinions on the quality of the website and the need for Flash. Movie websites have a fantastic opportunity to create something very immersive, and often have bigger budgets giving the design agency a chance to create something really nice. The most recent Flash website we have seen is the for the upcoming film ‘Gamer’ starring Gerard Butler (from epic film “300″), and although I was less than impressed when I read the heard the initial synopsis I thought the website was very good.
As soon as the website loads you get some nice heavy metal music, video snippets and a well designed style to the website that I found very appealing. When the main page to the website opened it was initially quite jumpy, most likely a performance issue as lots of videos and media where being pulled into the main Flash file. I was viewing it on a high performance PC with a 16MB connection, so I would be interested in knowing how this looked on another users PC. The main website is a nice scrolling page with a lot going on, although there isn’t as much interaction as it seems there might be, using hotspots to navigate to different areas of the site. There is also a nice navigation screen which acts like a proximity map for any noobs that might have an accessibility issue with the site.
The site included some standard but key aspects, such as links to the story (static text but well presented and maintained the overall look and feel of the site), images galleries and videos. My only complaint with some of these sections is that they took a while to load, and there is no cancel button if you get bored, and there is nothing you can interact with while you wait. Now this is the clever bit. There are 3 sections which caught my attention.
Number one; there is a ‘get in the poster’ section which when you click on it, it opens a popup to the Facebook login page. On logging in you are returned to the site, and I could view my photo albums within the Flash site. This is a nice integration with a Facebook application which I was impressed with, and I could choose a photo of myself, align it with the key points and it would generate a nice Gamer poster of me which was quite cool. Having logged in, my details now came up in the main site which was a nice touch.
Second, there is a section called ‘who’s playing you’. Initially I was frustrated by this section as it opened up another popup to another site, and I had to wait a long time for page to load. I thought at first that the site might be down it took so long! When it finally opened there was some very cool interactivity. You could create your own 3D gamercard using your webcam, by printing off an icon and pointing your webcam directly at it. Flash does the rest and creates an impressive interative ‘hologram’ style card on your monitor! Very nice!
Finally, it also provided some Embed code so that you could include a Flash Gamer movie poster with a nice roll over effect which could also double up as a nice link building strategy for them to help promote the site.
Ultimately I was very impressed with the site. It definitely required Flash and they created something that was immersive and quite engaging through the use of new technology and connectivity with Facebook which was a nice touch. There were some niggles with performance, but to have a very rich website like this you need to expect some drops in frame rate! The only failure of the website is that I still don’t really want to see the film, but I think that’s more because of film producers / writers. To view the website yourself (it’s definitely worth checking out), you can view it at www.gamerthemovie.com.