This month, we turned our clocks back one hour. Traditionally, people have often said this is a great way to get an extra hour of sleep. In this modern, fast-paced world we live in, this is now a great way to catch up on an extra hour of work. For those of us whose evenings are drawing in, I believe this is one of the most exciting times online. In the summer months, evenings are often spent outside, making the most of the daylight and getting that much-needed vitamin D. However, as darkness falls early every evening now for several months to come, we can enjoy the wonders of the Internet. This also seems to be the time of year when most brands launch their most exciting projects of the year.
Since my last column, the eagerly awaited Adobe Flash Player 11 has gone live, so this is a great time to check out some amazing sites.
Site by Les Chinois
As one of the first Flash Player 11 sites to launch, this immersive 3D experience uses a combination of Flash and Away 3D to showcase the progressive minds at this French interactive agency. The dragon-like creature that adorns this site effortlessly shows the power of 3D at the fingertips of creatives. This exciting development will ensure that 2012 brings us a huge amount of progressive 3D experiences.
To see the video reel demonstration of this site, visit http://www.thefwa.com/shortlist/les-chinois-m1l and click REEL.
Site by Digitas (France)
Here we have another impressive and eye-opening Flash Player 11 3D experience. This promotional site for Nissan’s JUKE car enables you to customize your car (color, wheels, and so forth) and then drive the car by using your keyboard arrow keys. The drive is unbelievably smooth and responsive, and you can use your mouse to look around. This site will surely open many doors for multiplayer driving games and anything that needs this type of movement. The possibilities are boundless.
To see the video reel demonstration of this site, visit http://www.thefwa.com/shortlist/nissan-stage-juk3d-experience and click REEL.
Site by StrawberryFrog
This is a hard-hitting campaign for the Mahindra Foundation in India. As the site points out, every day Indian girls are being sold into marriage or sex slavery. This clever site encourages you to help by simply purchasing items that a girl needs to get an education, which is the most effective way to break the cycle of exploitation. Across the site are videos of young girls alongside the items they need. You can purchase those items to help these girls achieve a better life.
To see the video reel demonstration of this site, visit http://www.thefwa.com/site/the-girl-store and click REEL.
With storytelling at its best, this interactive film places you in full control of the decisions the main character, Henry, will make. Based on choices at every twist and turn in the story, you can chose how things move forward. Using simple yet intuitive drag navigation, this site is not only easy to navigate but it’s also fascinating. The outcome will be decided by the choices you make.
To see the video reel demonstration of this site, visit http://www.thefwa.com/site/being-henry and click REEL.
As a kid, I always dreamed of being a treasure hunter. X definitely marks the spot for this clever project. It’s a story-based game that works with Google Earth. Don your treasure hunter’s hat and select a mission. There’s sunken treasure (Sony VAIOs) hidden around the globe, and you have the chance to fly the skies and plunge into the oceans of the world to find them.
To see the video reel demonstration of this site, visit http://www.thefwa.com/site/sony-project-shiphunt and click REEL.
Facebook Connect is giving developers a way to raise the bar for personalized experiences. This is one of the best personalized experiences I have seen from a Facebook app so far. Simply connect via Facebook and customize your Mini. Then you can race around any location in the world — even your own street. This app goes even further with a multiplayer experience as well. So you can race the streets of Monaco against friends or family.
To see the video reel demonstration of this site, visit http://www.thefwa.com/site/mini-maps and click REEL.
Site by Firstborn
We’ve seen a lot of car customizers, and this latest one for Ford Mustang takes the customizer to a whole new level. The quality has been enhanced with extra perspectives and high-resolution images of real Mustangs. The introduction of Battle Mode brings in the all-important social mode and enables users to challenge their friends to see who has the best creation skills. You can also pit your designs against other users across the web, all via Facebook Connect. You can even browse the whole database of customized Mustangs using filters (such as most voted for, most wins, and so forth).
To see the video reel demonstration of this site, visit http://www.thefwa.com/shortlist/2011-2012-ford-mustang and click REEL.
2011 was a year many interactive agencies feared due to the lack of apparent direction for the web and mobile. However, we have seen increased creativity in many areas. One thing’s for sure: Flash technology still managed to gain ground in the creativity stakes in 2011 as it continues to reposition itself and maintain a very powerful role in the toolbox of individual developers as well as agencies around the world. The crucial element when working on any project is the technology, and you must match your technology choice to your target audience. If you educate yourself and your clients and work toward the common goal of doing what’s best for the audience, you’ll always have the perfect building blocks for your projects.
2012 is the year of the London Olympics. I guess this means we will see plenty of sports-related projects. On your mark, get set, go!
Rob Ford founded The FWA Network in May 2000. Since then, the network has received more than 150 million visits. The FWA Network showcases projects that use cutting-edge technology for desktop, mobile, and offline experiences, together with showcases for photography as well as video. Rob is also the author of three best-selling books on web and mobile. Check out The FWA Network.