THE X-FILES: UNRESTRICTED ACCESS
The truth is out there, but now, you could be closer to finding it than Mulder and Scully have ever been. The X-Files: Unrestricted Access CD-ROM gives you, for the very first time, the opportunity to freely explore the mysteries of The X-Files. Produced by Fox Interactive, in close cooperation with Chris Carter and Ten Thirteen Productions, a completely interactive reference product will soon be available that utilized the people, places and events from every memorable case of the worldwide hit Fox television series.
In The X-Files, the journey of Mulder and Scully is itself often more important and revealing than the destination. So, too, the primary goal of The X-Files: Unrestricted Access is to evoke the experience of the television series - not only the major narrative themes (such as paranormal phenomenon, alien existence, and illicit government activity), but also, and perhaps above all, mood and atmosphere - while not compromising functionality. All information in the product takes place within the X-Files *universe.* Rather than rehashing already-available large amounts of behind-the-scenes trivia, this product immerses the user in the conspiracy itself.
This leads to the basic design concept of the *X-Browser.* By presenting content both locally from the CD-ROM and remotely via the World Wide Web, within a familiar browser environment which is robust yet transparent, the user will perceive the product almost solely as an ultra-high bandwidth Web experience. Accessing the product content through the X Browser will reinforce the effect of the television series - always feeling on the outside of the truth, no matter how deeply one has probed, while at the same time being absorbing. Simultaneously, a wealth of X-Files content will be easily and immediately accessible through powerful database functionally and an intuitive user interface.
The X Browser has customized functionality and a specialized user interface. All of the elements of the browser interface - the File menu bar, the tool bar, the location bar, the directory buttons, the logo graphic, and the URL display across the bottom of the page - are replaced by custom elements to maintain a unique look and feel.
The X Browser's user controls, though customized in design, function similarly to familiar Web browser controls. These controls allow the user to navigate quickly and intuitively anywhere within the product, as well as to control the product's general functionality parameters. The design is that of a functional home page, though, rather than a list-form main menu. It contains the following main features: Search surveillance communication Bookmarks Go Help Quit A clock A display area for e-mails/instant messages
Except for Search and Surveillance, all functionality is contained in frames on the main page. Distinct from these controls is a status bar which indicates the active/open/closed status of each type of Media window (see below).
The search engine for The X-Files: Unrestricted Access consists of a single, easy-to-use screen containing both queries and results. Query functionality consists of a sequence of hierarchical categories and sub-categories from which the user can select via standard buttons and pull-down menus. The user can sort by case files, individual dossiers, or evidence, and then cross-reference selections by category of case (extraterrestrial, human enigma, government conspiracy, etc.).
The search engine also applies an alphabetical, geographical, or chronological sort order function to whichever of the above categories is selected. In addition to select/sort query capabilities, this area of the product contains a full keyword search facility.
The search engine enable the user to comb through top secret information contained in case files and assorted dossiers. Each case file provides links to other documents and evidence, and can also be cross-referenced to other related cases. You will be able to analyze, interpret and draw your own conclusions about every X-Files case that exists.
Complete case files and dossiers on every event or individual that has ever appeared in The X-Files are in this product. Photographs, documents, and audio/visual evidence are also available to inspect at will. Advanced FBI electronic tools such as Fingerprint Analysis, Voice Analysis, and Image Enhancement are included in a wide range of investigative assets. Physical evidence from each case is shown in three dimensional Quicktime VR, allowing you to rotate, zoom in, and examine them from every angle.
Surveillance functionality accesses a vast store of classified records kept on each person. Through the network capabilities of the X Browser, the user can access files which would ordinarily be off-limits. Assets are sorted according to a concept of file residence - different classes of assets are found in different places.
The "security clearance level" of users of this network is far above that of Mulder and Scully. It is beyond Deep Throat, X, or even the Cigarette Smoking Man. Not only Mulder and Scully, but many important people in the world of The X-Files fall under surveillance by the user ( and, it is implied, perhaps simultaneously by other unknown powers).
Surveillance exists in two forms - live and archived. Live consists of ongoing remote video stakeout (shown as navigable three dimensional Quicktime VR images) of certain places, including Mulder and Scully's homes and office, A.D. Skinner's office.
Archived material (clips and original assets derived from the show) includes video, stills, audio wiretaps and a chronological log that details the movements of each "target."
The X-Files : Unrestricted Access features a much tighter link between its local and online content. Though "true" Web functionality will be immediately accessible from within the product, the user is not required nor expected to remain online whenever he or she uses the CD-ROM.
Therefore, online content falls into two main areas: (1) content to be integrated seamlessly into the local content by periodic downloads, and (2) supplementary content which is not designed to be integrated into the product. Both of these types of content will be maintained and updated after product launch from the dedicated host site, thereby reducing the problem of obsolescence i nherent in the CD-ROM medium.
Located on the X Browser home page is the Communication option. Clicking on this option will launch a dialog box asking the user if he or she wants (1) to go online or (2) to view the directions for installing a download, if the user has accessed the online site previously. Once on the "true" Web site, the X Browser remains fully functional as the user's active browser. Back/forward is available on all online pages, as it has been removed from the X Browser functionality bar. All online content will reside on the server, and will be maintained and updated by Fox Interactive on a regular basis during Season Five of the show.
This area of the product will feature the following sections:
Check back bi-weekly for more details leading up to it's release this January!
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