This chapter will walk you through what you need to know to use the application created in the previous chapter in a Director movie. Before we get into that, we thought we would dress in our battle armor and briefly discuss the differences between Flash MX 2004 and Director MX and the advantages and disadvantages they offer to you, the developer.
Until the introduction of Flash MX, the Director community ruled the roost when it came to interactive media on CD or the web. Director was the only game in town, and Director developers were a rather content group. In fact, in 1995, when the Shockwave plugin for Director arrived that enabled web playback of Director presentations, clients and the Director community were simply agog at what they could do on the web.
However, there was a dark side as well. The drawbacks were the size of the Shockwave files and the fact that the user had to get the plugin. Those two issues really slowed down the mass acceptance of Shockwave, and, this may come as a profound shock to the Flash community, gave rise to the birth of "Skip Intro" pages or redirection to an HTML page.
Is it any wonder, then, when Macromedia unleashed Flash with its speed and plugin ubiquity, that it muscled Director off its perch? The rest is history. Flash sites are all over the web, and when you mention Shockwave to a Flash developer, there is this inevitable blank stare that says, "What's that?"
Still, Shockwave is a viable alternative to Flash.
For example, what if you want to produce a game requiring a joystick? What if you need to produce an interactive 3D animation (the "Holy Grail" of Flash)? What if you need to?heaven forbid?produce a CD containing a game or, in the case of one of the authors, courseware? When it comes to non-web projects such as interactive kiosks or artistic installations, Director's rich media-handling capabilities, extensibility, and features simply "blow the doors off Flash."