When developing Director projects you almost always run into some sort of problem or difficulty no matter your level of experience or expertise. This is the case because you're constantly trying out new ideas in order to create interesting movies and this always involves some sort of experimentation. I think one of the reasons for this is that Director is such a creative tool and its really not hard to use and to get started doing quite remarkable projects that you're always trying to create new ideas and so your experimenting a lot and that experimentation brings problems and errors. However, by testing your movies according to some simple guidelines that I outline here you can prevent problems from becoming real obstacles. My first tip is to text early in the development cycle to help ensure that you discover any problems while they are still minor. Waiting to test will allow your small problems to become larger ones as you add features to your movie that depend on problematic functionality that was implemented earlier. So you want to find those early problems, early in the process. Test often during development and test everything as soon as you add. Test the functionality for example of small parts of your movie as you add them in rather then waiting until the movie's whole feature set is implemented. This way you know that the most recently implemented feature is the one that's causing the problems and then you can focus in on just that feature. If you wait until you added 10 or 20 features and then test you don't know which of those 10 or 20 is really causing the problem. I must tell you that the emails and phone calls that I hate the most from my students and clients are those last minute desperate pleas to help them fix a problem with the Director file late in the game when the sheer complexity of the project means that they can't answer my first question which is inevitably, ÒWhere's it broken or what's broken, what was the last thing you did when it did break.Ó At this point with my poor students I usually get a blank stare or a quick email reply that says I have no idea. This makes my job of troubleshooting for them all the much more difficult, rather then if they could answer when I added that last behavior to my button Sprite is when the whole thing went kablooey. And finally my last tip is to test on all target platforms, decide what the minimum system requirements are for the computers used by your audience, verify the performance of your movie on the slowest processor that is acceptable and also determine the range of configurations you have to support. For example are you supporting Windows 2000, XP, Vista only and then test enough of these machines to ensure that you're going to get success in the majority of cases. One of the most problematic things to test for that students often do not test for is browser software and screen resolution as well as available memory in your testing systems. This approach will help you find problems that are specific to an operating system or configuration. Or you may find out that really this project doesn't look good unless the screen resolution is above 1240 by 1050 or something like that. I often tell my students to target a screen resolution such as 1024 by 768 or 800 by 600 and then ensure that everything looks good on those minimum system configurations.
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