Robbery: Before, During and After is a Macromedia’s People’s Choice Award winning program. The main restrictions the client imposed on this program was that it could not contain any violence, blood or situations which might promote anxiety because some users (bank employees) may have been victims of a robbery previously. The purpose of the program was to instruct bank employees on the different policy, procedures and areas that are involved before, during and after a robbery.
As we were looking for ideas on how best to treat the content, during lunch we were playing a game called Tex Murphy: Overseer and it was by this I proposed we put the user in the shoes of an investigative agent tasked to take down a criminal organization that was on a robbery spree throughout the city by learning and applying the content in the program. This allowed the user to be in a position of authority while providing a sense of empowerment by taking down the bad guys. And so Agent Anderson was created.
The client liked the idea and I was tasked to develop the rest of the treatment. I would like to take a moment and indicate that I made it a point to get other disciplines involved, that is, programmers, writers and other designers. As they would soon be involved in the production of the program, I wanted to make sure the creative treatment made sense from a practical and productive standpoint. Plus, this allowed us all to be on the same page and know what everyone else was thinking and working on. From there I went on to produce character data sheets, storyboards as well as an edited form of our scripting process.
Because the content from the client came in piece by piece, I made it clear to everyone that when we received more content, everything was to stop as we applied our treatment to make sure it fit with the entirety of what we had in mind. The program was designed to be non-linear, that is, nothing in each section could refer to content in another section as the user may not have gone through it. To tie in the story line of Agent Anderson stopping the crime spree, we made sure to put in clues at the end of each section that would then be taken to the crime lab where the clues were analyzed and the robbers secret hideout was located. Agent Anderson would then go to the location, break into their lair and download all their information before she escaped. This provided the user a sense of accomplishment and reinforced their confidence.
This program allowed me to touch a lot of areas of production, from brainstorming and story boarding to assistant directing voice over and video shoots in Canada. I was to manage the production schedule making sure to keep a weekly update to alert us if there were areas we needed to focus on or revisit to adjust the treatment. I am very proud of this program and learned a lot from it. I certainly look forward to be a part of such a team as I was with when creating this program.