How are flash sites like Virtual Bartender and Subservient Chicken implemented?
November 12, 2004 12:33 PM   Subscribe

I am curious, blue. Or rather, I'm curious about something on the Blue, Virtual Bartender. How are toys like that and Subservient Chicken implemented?
posted by tommasz to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
there's a bunch of pre-recorded actions, each associated with a particular set of words. each shot starts and ends with the woman in the same place and there are several for "waiting" that are played at random. when an expression is typed into the command area, it is checked to see if it contains a word associated with a particular clip. if so, the clip is shown.
i guess.
posted by andrew cooke at 12:46 PM on November 12, 2004

Response by poster: I'm impressed with the lack of obvious seams between the clips. I'm guessing all of the possible video segments are loaded at once, which would also account for the fairly low quality. Is the text recognition engine resident on the client or on the server?
posted by tommasz at 12:53 PM on November 12, 2004

i think it's all on the client, but the text is encoded (compressed i suppose) - running "strings" on the swf doesn't give you the words. it may load the "waiting" scenes first to start more quickly. the poor quality makes the joins less noticeable too.
posted by andrew cooke at 12:56 PM on November 12, 2004 - from the blue thread
posted by andrew cooke at 1:29 PM on November 12, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks! Of course, that takes all the fun out of the experiments, but that's science.
posted by tommasz at 1:47 PM on November 12, 2004

Best answer: The flash movie itself is just a simple little shell of a subservience engine. On startup, it just loads the dictionary of associations from an XML file, and probably the three or four little waiting .fmv clips. When you type in a phrase, the client does a dead simple pattern match on it, and grabs and plays the corresponding video clip from the server.

The flash part is really easy. The hard part is picking entertaining stuff to do, and filming the chick[en].
posted by majcher at 2:58 PM on November 12, 2004

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