Spectrum: Interactive Media & Online Developer News 13 October 1997

Reported, written and edited by David Duberman for editorial/ subscription inquiries, send mailto:duberman@dnai.com

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Today's Headlines (details below)

--mBED Software Ships Interactor 1.1 with Cross-browser DHTML Support

--RealNetworks Introduces RealSystem 5.0 Streaming Media System

--Marimba Announces Castanet 2.0

--MCI Distributes Free Anti-hacking Tool

--NetMetrics Updates Web Previewer for IE4

--Microsoft, Netscape Browsers Get Glommed

--Wizzard Debuts Voice Recognition Email Client

--Intracept Product Blocks Downloadable Tech

--Topsoft Launches Web-Based Index of Downloadable Software Products

--Book: Photoshop 4 f/x

--Book: the interactive book

--O'Reilly Book Teaches Java by Example

--Report: New Sites Impact Ad Rates

--Houston Company Offers Secure Internet Ordering Tutorial

--GT Interactive Acquires MicroProse

--Dual Review: PSX Car Racing Games from Activision, Psygnosis

--GT Interactive Unleashes PC Mageslayer

--Ubi Soft Announces Rayman Gold

--Hahn Replaces Andreessen as Netscape CTO

--TEN Hires Internet Advertising Vet Russell

--Free SF Panel: Writing for Interactive Content

--About Spectrum



mBED Software Ships Interactor 1.1 with Cross-browser DHTML Support

We saw a brief demo of this product at a recent Last Saturdays, and it looked quite nifty. Newly available from San Francisco-based mBED Software is the $249 mBED Interactor 1.1, a new version of the company's Web-centric multimedia authoring tool that delivers cross-browser support for Dynamic HTML, an open standards-based technology for transforming static Web pages into animated, interactive content.

Developed specifically for Web designers creating multimedia Web sites, mBED Interactor 1.1 supports both Netscape Communicator's and Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0's implementations of Dynamic HTML. In addition, mBED Interactor 1.1 introduces mBED Java, expanding the potential audience of mBED multimedia to millions of Java-compatible browsers.

Other features include:

· reusable drag-and-drop multimedia building blocks, called mBED Players, that enable authoring Web multimedia that includes animation, sounds, interactive buttons, and even RealAudio streaming audio

· real-time scaling of graphics, anti-aliased text, visual effects, time-based scoring, edge masking, bezier curve path animations and synchronized RealAudio

· support for high-end browser interoperability features such as ActiveX, LiveConnect, JavaScript, VB Script and RealAudio.

To purchase the product directly from mBED Software, call (888) 778-MBED toll free or visit the company's Web site (http://www.mbed.com). A 30-day "try-and-buy" version is also available via download from the site. mBED Interactor 1.0 users can receive a free upgrade to mBED Interactor 1.1 by sending mailto:sales@mbed.com



RealNetworks Introduces RealSystem 5.0 Streaming Media System

RealNetworks, formerly Progressive Networks, last week released RealSystem 5.0, a client-server streaming media solution. New features include streaming animation using Macromedia's Flash technology, as well as improvements in audio and video quality. RealSystem 5.0 also provides a new set of commerce-oriented features, such as pay-per-view and advertising insertion and rotation. The beta version of RealSystem 5.0 is available immediately for download at http://www.real.com

RealSystem 5.0 Beta new features include:

· streaming Macromedia Flash animation synchronized with RealAudio

· full-screen streaming video at 100Kbps to 300Kbps

· near-CD quality voice at 28.8kbps

· RealPublisher tool which automatically creates and publishes streaming media to Web servers and RealServers

· commerce-enabled streaming media server for pay-per-view and subscription-based programming

· in-stream audio and video advertising insertion and rotation

· streaming audio and video optimized for new 56kbps dial-up modems

· basic streaming media server support for Windows 95

RealPublisher includes a Web page wizard which automatically generates RealAudio or RealVideo Web pages, creating links to the RealPlayer application and embedding the image window and controls directly into the Web page. RealPublisher also allows RealAudio or RealVideo clips to auto-start when someone visits the site. Finally, RealPublisher allows one-click publishing of RealAudio and RealVideo files directly to Web servers and RealServers.



Marimba Announces Castanet 2.0

The parent of push, Palo Alto, Calif.-based Marimba, Inc., announces a new release of its Castanet suite of application distribution and management products with additions to its security and administrative control features. This latest release, Castanet 2.0, further addresses both the security and administrative needs associated with electronic software distribution over networks.

New security and administrative features include server authentication, encryption, access control and code signing. Along with a list of administrative features that ensure secure transmissions over any network, the Castanet suite of products supports both centralized and decentralized IT administrative control in both Netscape and Microsoft client environments.

Castanet 2.0 is an upgrade of the entire Castanet product family and also includes the newest addition to the Castanet suite of products, the Tuner Client Administrator, said to provide flexibility in client-side control.

Castanet 2.0's new security features incorporate existing security standards licensed from RSA and take advantage of VeriSign's Digital ID technology. Directory information imported from a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) server ensures secure administrative controls.

Available in the fourth quarter of 1997, list pricing for Castanet 2.0 starts at US$995. Its upgrade requires that the customer own the Castanet Transmitter Server.



MCI Distributes Free Anti-hacking Tool

MCI announces the development of the networkMCI DoS (Denial of Service) Tracker, a security software program that provides an additional layer of network security for Internet service providers and companies seeking protection from hacker attacks.

MCI says it created the tool in response to customer demand for tools that combat the rising number of increasingly sophisticated computer hackers who seek to create havoc on the Internet. Developed by internetMCI Security, the application is available at no cost via the Internet. It can be downloaded from the company's Web site at http://www.security.mci.net/dostracker

The application is said to work both proactively and reactively, by constantly monitoring a network and then, once detecting a denial of service attack, automatically tracing it back to the source. The DoS Tracker works against SYN, ICMP Flood, Bandwidth Saturation, and Concentrated Source, and is currently being modified to detect other DoS-based attacks, including a new attack called the Smurf. Manually tracing a hacker could take a highly trained network engineer hours to complete. The networkMCI DoS Tracker automates the process and makes it possible for someone with relatively little technical knowledge to perform the same function in just a few minutes.

internetMCI Security also offers free security information on its Web site, including "Security Considerations Within MCI's Internet Network," "How to Hacker-Proof Your Computer Systems" and the "Web Security Checklist." These documents can be downloaded from http://www.security.mci.net




NetMetrics Updates Web Previewer for IE4

San Francisco-based NetMetrics Corporation announces its Web previewer, WebTurbo 2.0 for Internet Explorer. Available for free at http://www.Webturbo.com , the Windows 95/NT tool is designed to let users find and organize information on the Web faster by combining its previewing technology with a search tool.

New features include:

· ease of use by integrating seamlessly with Internet Explorer

· increased performance, up to 30 percent faster

· instant on/off

Other features:

· query multiple search engines simultaneously

· preview Web content: When the user clicks on an individual search result, enters a URL, or selects a bookmark, WebTurbo delivers a preview in an outline format, said to be a meaningful summary of the page

· search and browse at the same time

· search multiple topics simultaneously

· organize and save search results and previews by topic

NetMetrics generates revenue by selling targeted ads that appear in a small window in WebTurbo.



Microsoft, Netscape Browsers Get Glommed

Olympia, Wash.-based Tenax Software Engineering has just released the $80 Vortex New Vision for Windows, which implements "universal glom," reportedly enabling users of both Microsoft and Netscape Web browsers to read Web pages at speeds of up to 2,000 words per minute. The product also features newly designed controls for low vision access.

Vortex New Vision is being released to distributors on October 15, and until that time is available direct from Tenax at 360-866-1686.

Details of machine-assisted reading technology, the Vortex line of products and the study of reading biomechanics is available at http://www.halcyon.com/chigh/vortex.html



Wizzard Debuts Voice Recognition Email Client

VoicE-mail, an email application with voice recognition, has just been released by Wizzard Software Corporation. Users can navigate through the program by using voice commands and can create email by speaking. The $50 Windows package comes with a microphone headset.

The software is based on IBM's VoiceType speech recognition technology, said to be usable on "slower" machines, such as a 90-MHz Pentium with 16 MB of RAM.

Other features include checking multiple accounts, junk email filtering, a hold feature and a Boolean search function," adds Spencer. The junk filter enables filtering out email from domain names that have a history of spamming. This list, obtainable from Wizzard's Website via mouse click, is updated frequently as new offenders are discovered. The hold feature allows scheduling emails to be sent at any time and date in the future.

For more information, send mailto:wiz@wizzardsoftware.com ; or visit http://www.wizzardsoftware.com



Intracept Product Blocks Downloadable Tech

Atlanta-based Intracept, Inc. last week announced X-RAY VISION, a product, based on a method said to provide security and privacy while surfing the Net by scanning data from a Web site before it enters the user's Internet browser. The product is available immediately as free trialware through November 30 by downloading from Intracept's Web site at http://www.intracept.com/info

X-RAY VISION uses a proprietary method of actually putting active controls into a Web page before it is received into the computer's browser. It is the Internet equivalent of the popular telephony technologies known as "caller id and caller block." The software reportedly identifies and prevents the execution of potentially dangerous technologies that industry experts refer to as "downloadable technologies," including Java, JavaScript, ActiveX controls, plug-ins, push and pull technologies and cookies.

It shows users when a Web site sends data or cookies from another Web site.

These downloadable technologies enable Internet users to interact with Web sites for an enriched surfing experience. However, these same downloadable technologies enable Web sites to track information about the user and potentially alter, damage or even steal information on the user's computer.

While the software's preset permissions allow maximum protection from downloadable technologies, users can customize the product to "give permission" to transmit certain downloadable technologies, particularly from Web sites they trust. For instance, users may want to allow downloadable technologies from sites they depend on for customized news, sports scores, or stock quotes. In those cases, the user decides the risk of intrusion is worth the enhanced experience of getting customized information.

X-RAY VISION is designed to work on Windows 95-based computer platforms using Netscape Navigator 2.2, 3.x or Internet Explorer 3.x. At this time, it does not support Internet connections provided through CompuServe or Prodigy.





Topsoft Launches Web-Based Index of Downloadable Software Products

Topsoft ( http://www.topsoft.com ) last week launched its Web-based index of downloadable software products. The Website's archive features shareware, freeware, as well as demo and beta versions of commercial software for the PC, Macintosh and UNIX platforms. Software titles are listed under browsable categories such as business applications, games and multimedia tools. Visitors can also perform keyword searches on the site's content.

According to Topsoft, the currency of the site's information is maintained by giving software publishers the reins. Registered listers have round-the-clock password-protected access to their listings via the Web. In essence each publisher is provided with a giant maintenance-free Web-based mailing list, through which it can announce new releases and updates to an interested audience at any time.

The site's development team is working on several new features, including: * An intelligent agent that automatically delivers updates in specified product categories

* A navigation "wizard" that allows visitors to customize the site's display according to their preferences. A user could choose, for instance, only to view and perform searches on listings in pre-selected categories.

Topsoft is free to both end-users and publishers. Its operations are supported by advertisers and revenue-sharing agreements.




Book: Photoshop 4 f/x

Bay Area resident Ken Milburn is a prolific artist and writer. His latest tome, Photoshop 4 f/x (Ventana, $49.99, ISBN 1-56604-489-8), is described as a professional guide to creating advanced special effects. The book starts out with a look at the new features in the latest version of Photoshop, including the productive actions, adjustment layers, guides and grids, multicolor gradients, and digital watermarking. Subsequent chapters cover specific topics, such as darkroom effects (e.g., colorization, removing backgrounds); lens and film effects (motion blur, etc.); textures and patterns; painterly effects; and Web-worthy effects.

Appendix B, a quick reference, is very handy, but it should've been provided on a foldout card, like the one that comes with Photoshop. The companion CD provides figures for use with the book's tutorial exercises, plus a wealth of plug-in demo versions, including the "revolutionary" Intellihance and Alien Skin's ultra-groovy Eye Candy 3.0. If you use Photoshop a lot, you can save a lot of time and trouble by taking advantage of Milburn's extensive experience with the program, as offered in this book.



Book: the interactive book

Celia Pearce, who made her name as a designer of location-based entertainment, has thought long and hard about the nature of interactivity.

The result is "the interactive book: a guide to the interactive revolution" (Macmillan Technical Publishing, $39.99, ISBN 1-57870-028-0). Pearce focuses on people, not technology, writing about history, theory, practice and anecdotes about this infant medium, providing insight and practical guidance. For a brief taste of Pearce's writing style, as well as her approach to the topic, here's an excerpt from the introduction:

"The title of this book can be read in three ways. If read as The _Interactive_ Book, it is a book about interactivity. If read as The Interactive _Book_, the book itself is interactive. The third reading, _The_ Interactive Book, would suggest that this is the definitive book on interactivity. All three interpretations are correct ..."

Pearce is a lifelong avid reader, and her erudition shows in the chapter titles, of which a brief sampling herewith: Gratuitous Interactivity: Media Dispensers and the ATM Model; Heisenberg's Uncertainty; Cyberspace Cadets: Virtual Communities and Avatar Worlds; Social Capitalism; Virtual Reality as a Dramatic Art. And on; there are around 100 chapters in all.

Varied content aside, the book's organization is most intriguing. Because chapters were written in no particular order, they are arranged alphabetically. Each chapter contains links to other chapters, indicated by Go To icons. And there are also Loop icons, indicating color versions of images at the end of the book.

This book has been in preparation for over two years; Pearce has put a lot of thought and work into it, and it shows. If you work in the interactive medium, you owe it to yourself to check out the interactive book.



O'Reilly Book Teaches Java by Example

"Java in a Nutshell," O'Reilly & Associates' Java quick reference, now has a companion volume in "Java Examples in a Nutshell" (414 pages, ISBN: 1-56592-371-5, $19.95 ). David Flanagan, author of both titles, has created a book of practical, real-world Java programming examples to help you quickly learn Java's ins and outs.

The example programs are said to be useful for novice Java programmers and experts alike. According to O'Reilly, the book doesn't hold your hand or supply detailed explanations of Java syntax or method calls--it simply delivers well-commented, working examples that help you explore the wide range of what is possible with Java. Each chapter concludes with programming exercises that suggest further avenues for building on what is learned.

"Java in a Nutshell" includes an accelerated introduction to Java programming, and "Java Examples in a Nutshell" picks up where that book leaves off. It contains all of the example programs from the first edition of "Java in a Nutshell," updated for Java 1.1. In addition, the I/O, networking, and GUI chapters have been augmented to include even more practical examples. And "Java Examples in a Nutshell" also expands on the examples from the second edition of "Java in a Nutshell" that demonstrate the new features in Java 1.1, including the new AWT event handling model, the JavaBeans API, internationalization, object serialization, and reflection.

In addition, it provides programming examples for remote method invocation, database connectivity, and security-important elements of the Java Enterprise APIs. Finally, the book offers a glimpse of the features of "Swing," the set of new components that are part of the forthcoming Java Foundation Classes (JFC).



Report: New Sites Impact Ad Rates

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Focalink Communications, Inc., a provider of independent Web advertising management solutions, last week released new statistics for the month of September that suggest the addition of new Web sites in key site categories are causing average CPM (or cost per thousand impressions) rates to decrease in those categories. In the case of weather sites, which showed a 29 percent increase in the number of sites, the average CPM dropped 16 percent from $38.29 in August to $32.27 in September. Games sites, which showed a 5 percent increase in the number of sites, saw their average CPM drop 14 percent from $44.86 to $38.41.

Similarly, entertainment sites, which showed a 10 percent increase in the number of sites, saw their average CPM drop 7 percent from $37.12 to $34.58.

Focalink releases excerpts from its Online Advertising Report on a monthly basis. The Report is a compilation of Web advertising statistics gathered from MarketMatch, Focalink's independent Web media planning and research tool.

For more information, call 1 (800) 286-6778 or visit http://www.marketmatch.com



Houston Company Offers Secure Internet Ordering Tutorial

A security-minded Web development company has launched a new Web site geared toward helping companies reduce the risk of conducting business over the Internet.

Web consultant James Sablatura, owner of Simply Secure, said his company's new Web site offers business owners a tutorial highlighting Internet technology that enables even the smallest of businesses to handle online credit card transactions safely.

"The Internet has the reputation of being a dark and dangerous place, especially when credit card numbers are involved," Sablatura said. "The result has been that many small business owners have been scared away from expanding their sales operations online. But with recent security technology, the Internet is no longer the dark wasteland it used to be. It s now bright and business-friendly."

The tutorial explains in simple terms the basics of setting up and maintaining a Web site utilizing Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology, the Internet standard for encrypting sensitive credit card information as it travels across the net. The tutorial also includes a working example of a secure Internet ordering system utilizing the SSL technology. It can be viewed by visiting http://www.simplysecure.com/tutorial




GT Interactive Acquires MicroProse

New York City-based GT Interactive Software Corp., a global interactive entertainment company, and MicroProse, Inc., formerly Spectrum HoloByte, a developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software for personal computers, recently executed a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which GT Interactive will acquire MicroProse.

Ron Chaimowitz, president and CEO of GT Interactive, said , "This acquisition strengthens our growing internal development capabilities by increasing to about 500 the number of people in the organization dedicated to development. In addition, our development organizations complement each other. MicroProse has focused on PC product, and we expect to be able to use our strengths in console development to bring several of their key PC titles to console. In addition, MicroProse's strong, established brands in the simulation and strategy game genres complement our action, adventure and edutainment lineup, giving us one of the strongest and most well-balanced product portfolios in the industry."

Following the acquisition, the combined company would have total 1997 revenues in excess of $500 million. It is expected that more than 75 percent of GT Interactive's total revenues will come from its higher-margin publishing business, with the remainder derived from its mass merchant distribution operation. It is expected that the transaction will be non-dilutive to GT Interactive's earnings in 1998.

Under the merger agreement, MicroProse chairman (and Spectrum HoloByte founder) Gilman Louie will join the GT Interactive board of directors, and MicroProse will have the right to approve the nomination of a second independent director. In addition, GT Interactive intends to change its corporate name to better reflect its global strategic position and increased focus on its publishing business.

GT Interactive is located on the World Wide Web at http://www.gtinteractive.com

MicroProse is located at http://www.microprose.com on the World Wide Web.




Dual Review: PSX Car Racing Games from Activision, Psygnosis

Just out from Activision, not known primarily as a purveyor of auto racing titles, is a great new fast-car game for PlayStation called Grand Tour Racing '98. We booted up the title, intending only to take a quick look, and ended up spending a good half-hour with it; probably a new record for us with a pure racing game. The graphics certainly are pretty, with six locations, including Egypt, Easter Island and Scotland. But what's most compelling about this game is the control; you can actually stay on the road at full speed, most of the time.

Each race is a two-parter; the first is relatively easy, but if you win that, you go on to the second on a different track in the same locale. This involves tougher (and darker) driving conditions (e.g., weather), nastier competition (you get cut off a lot), and obstacles in the road. We also liked the display of the closest drivers ahead of and behind you, with distances. The developer, Eutechnyx, threw in some other nice touches, like the ability to take shortcuts, including "unlockable" ones, and accurate physics with cars flipping over in particularly violent collisions. Two players can compete on one machine in split-screen mode, and four can vie on two linked PlayStations.

Find more at http://www.activision.com

We're not racing purists, so we didn't find Psygnosis' new Formula 1 Championship Edition nearly as much fun as the Activision title. But we've no doubt that fans of high-octane F1 competition would enjoy this game more. The tracks are more realistic and there are more options, including the ability to play in arcade or Grand Prix mode. New features include vertical and horizontal split-screen capability with higher-resolution graphics, more "intelligent" computer-controlled cars, an advanced physical model with spectacular crashes and advanced damage, and dynamic weather.

There are also 12 new tracks, three different commentators, pit crew feedback, and a dynamic draw 3D engine for the ultimate in speed. Chances are, if you liked Psygnosis' original Formula 1 title, you'll love this one.

See Psygnosis online at http://www.psygnosis.com



GT Interactive Unleashes PC Mageslayer

Let's see: Here's a new game, called Mageslayer, published by GT Interactive, and developed by Raven Software, creators of Hexen I & II and Heretic. Must be a Quake clone, right? Wrong--it's actually a Gauntlet clone! The $45 Win95 game is set in an ancient past profoundly divided by good and evil where players must choose from four characters to battle the undead Lore Thane in both single and multi-player combat. Featuring a fast game engine, Direct3D and 3Dfx Voodoo support, over 30 levels of lethal action across five regions, and loads of multiplayer options, Mageslayer is a fun but challenging game.

Multiplayer options and game modes include 'slayfest' and 'capture the relic' for up to 16 players in both team and single player deathmatches, along with cooperative mode for up to four players. Mageslayer also contains six dedicated 'slayfest' levels and two 'capture the relic' levels in addition to allowing players to choose from each of the 25 diabolical single player levels.

As either an Earthlord, Warlock, Inquisitor or Arch-Demon, players progress their character's attributes through combat with dozens of creatures in the quest to obtain five lost relics. Mageslayer delivers its action from a classic top-down perspective throughout beautifully rendered, multi-tiered environments, using an arsenal of powerful magical spells and weapons.

Additional highlights:

· over 40 magical spells and objects including hellfire, hammer quake and chaos bolt

· dynamic camera with 'on-the-fly' movement tracking

· vast true 3D, multi-tiered environments such as sewers, tombs, temples, stronghold and keep

· bloodthirsty enemies ranging from wererats, snow witches and barbarian toads, to genies, scorpions and sludge worms

We didn't think we were going to like this one, but we ended up loving it; it's highly playable, with lots of great visual effects.

GT Interactive is located on the Web at http://www.gtinteractive.com



Ubi Soft Announces Rayman Gold

With nearly 1 million copies of the original adventure sold, the bug-eyed cartoon hero Rayman is returning to PC CD-ROM in a new edition. Rayman Gold includes the complete original adventure, plus 24 new levels, doubling the size of the original game. The title also features tools that let Rayman fans to create and add new levels, allowing gamers to extend gameplay.

The 24 new maps contain extra challenges and obstacles that build on the original adventure. For example, now in Rayman Gold, exit signs won't be revealed until Rayman finds 100 hidden blue things. The things Rayman needs to collect now come in several different colors. Each can activate different features of the game such as leading the way to the next level or giving Rayman an extra life.

Set for release on PC CD-ROM in early November, Rayman Gold will carry an MSRP of $29.95 and be available at retailers nationwide.

For more information, call 415/547-4000 or visit http://www.ubisoft.com




Hahn Replaces Andreessen as Netscape CTO

Netscape Communications Corporation last week named Eric Hahn as chief technology officer and executive vice president reporting to Jim Barksdale, president and chief executive officer. Hahn joins Netscape's new executive committee, consisting of four executive vice presidents and Barksdale.

The CTO position was formerly held by Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen who has taken a new role as EVP of Products, running the company's product divisions. As CTO, Hahn continues his two-year collaboration with Andreessen setting technology strategy and product direction for Netscape's line of software for intranets, Extranets and the Internet. Hahn joined Netscape in November 1995 with Netscape's acquisition of Collabra Software, Inc., where he was founder and CEO. Most recently, Hahn served as senior vice president and general manager of Netscape's Server Products Division.

Additional information is available at http://home.netscape.com, or by sending mailto:moreinfo@netscape.com



TEN Hires Internet Advertising Vet Russell

San Francisco-based Total Entertainment Network (TEN), a subscription-based provider of online multiplayer gaming, last week announced that it has secured more than $1 million in advertising and sponsorship sales in the first three quarters of 1997. The company also announced that it has hired Dan Russell as national accounts manager, to pursue broad consumer products manufacturers and marketers, as well as computer game and technology providers. Russell comes to TEN from Softbank Interactive Marketing, where he sold advertising and sponsorships on online properties including Yahoo!, CompuServe, Netscape, and ZDNet.

"TEN is recognized as an industry leader in subscription revenue, and we're now leading the way in advertising and sponsorship sales, with considerably more than $1 million secured this year," exulted Jack Heistand, president and CEO of TEN.

Technology, game, and consumer entertainment companies advertising on TEN to date include Columbia House, Red Orb Entertainment (a division of Broderbund), Quantum Axcess, Acclaim Entertainment, GT Interactive Software, and other leading marketers. All of these sponsors have contracted with TEN either for banner advertising, beyond-the-banner sponsorships, or both.

Sponsor messages run on the subscription-based TEN multiplayer gaming service and/or the company's free Web sites, including "ten.net," "FileFactory," and "News@TEN."

TEN claims banner click-through rates averaging six percent, which it says is more than double the Internet industry average.




Free SF Panel: Writing for Interactive Content

On Monday, October 20, the IICS' Digital Technologies SIG presents a free panel on Writing for Interactive Content, 7-9 p.m. at the Cyberworld Cafe, 528 Folsom Street (near the corner of 1st street), lower level, in San Francisco.

The panel will offer a general overview of interactive writing techniques, how it differs from traditional writing projects, how to create storyboards, pitch writing projects, and write content for the Web.

Panelists include:

Larry Kay, writer/game designer

Debbie Notkin, multimedia content producer/book editor

Larry Kay specializes in creating animated comedy entertainment and family edutainment. His writing and game design credits include Freddi Fish and the Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds for Humongous Entertainment, Muppet Treasure Island for Activision Studios, and 9 for Tribeca/GT Interactive.

Debbie Notkin divides her time between multimedia content production and book editing (mostly science fiction and fantasy). In her role as a multimedia content manager, she has managed teams of writers on two major interactive political projects: President '96 ( http://www.pres96.com ) and Reinventing America (http://www.pathfinder.com/reinventing). Both required weekly journalistic updates with internal logic to respond to player voting patterns, as well as contributing content to a variety of other CD-ROM and Web products.




About Spectrum

Spectrum is an independent news service published every Monday for the interactive media professional community by Motion Blur Media. Spectrum covers the tools and technologies used to create interactive multimedia applications and infrastructure for business, education, and entertainment; and the interactive media industry scene. We love to receive interactive media and online development tools and CD-ROMs for review.

Send your interactive multimedia business, product, people, event, or technology news to: duberman@dnai.com. We prefer to receive news by email but if you must, telephone breaking news to 510-549-2894. Send review product and press kits by mail to David Duberman, 1609 Addison St. #6, Berkeley, CA 94703.

If you contact companies or organizations mentioned here, please tell them you saw the news in Spectrum. Thanks.


(c)Copyright 1997 Motion Blur Media. All rights reserved. No reproduction in any for-profit or revenue-generating venue in any form without written permission from the publisher.