Menu button giving varied result each time it is pressed?

skier-hughes
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Menu button giving varied result each time it is pressed?

Post by skier-hughes »

My son has a project on the go where he'd like a menu button which gives a different video output each time it is selected.
I know it can be done, look at the game dvds where when you select a question in say Millionaire you get a different question each time.
I'm thinking I need to delve deep down into VM (?) code to do it, as I'm sure WS can't.
I was wondering if anyone had done this sort of thing already and could point me in the right direction for an app to do it.

Graham
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Post by MrA »

From what I know, WS, can't. You would need a random number function in a programming environment built into the DVD authoring system.

In fact, you would have to incorporate a "mini" language into the authoring aspect as well, not just random numbering, but,assignment variables, test functions like less than, greater than, equal to, increment, decrement and error trapping conditions, case statements, if - then statements, loop statements like for x = do something.

Encapsulating menu choices as objects would be cool too. (write all the code as methods for that menu choice and allow that to be inherited to a child object, then morph that object by adding to it.

Ok, now, I am dreaming, but, with playlists you could sort of simulate it.

You can create, what is called "menu transitions" between menu links. On the ULEAD web site there is a tutorial on this. http://www.ulead.com/learning/dws/dws2_02_1.htm

Use the menu as the question and use the buttons as answer links, returning to a deeper menu level, etc..

It should work, but, I like my original dream language as a better option, (hint hint Corel)..
:wink:
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Post by sjj1805 »

I have a few of these interactive DVD game discs and some are playable and others are downright frustrating. Top of my list of frustrating ones is Deal or No Deal. - Get the Board game version it is much more playable.

It is easy to see that with most of these what you have is a DVD with loads and loads of DVD Menus with perhaps 4 links per menu. The menu itself takes the form of a question and the 4 links are the 4 multiple choice answers. Get the correct one and you move onto the "You got it right" Menu.
Get one of the 3 wrong answers and you move on to the "You got it wrong" screen.

Both screens then behave in the same way, a bit of computer code taking the form of a random number generator picks another question. Some of these interactive games have been programmed to make sure that you don't get a repeat of a question already asked, others end up repeating things because the programmers were so tied up getting it all to work they overlooked that item!

Throw in a few variables that keep track of the score and how many questions have been asked - and now you can start to see that although it is using a DVD Menu not unlike that on a Video DVD - in fact it is a computer program complete with a program flow chart, random number generators, look up tables - the same sort of thing that would make a piece of C++, Visual Basic, Pascal and other computer languages proud.

It is not what your average DVD authoring program is designed to do and requires specialist purpose built software.

Try checking out the Sonic EDGe Program

Code: Select all

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=+Sonic's+EDGe
Paste the whole of the above line into your browser
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Post by Helge »

You could patch the commands of the dvd using pgcedit, but for this you need very good understanding of the commands and the dvd structure. You could get this from tutorials for pgcedit and from linked pages (maybe you need to pay for some information on some websides).

As an alternativ you could use dvdlab pro, which is very powerful, but also not easy use.
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Post by GeorgeW »

Helge wrote:As an alternativ you could use dvdlab pro, which is very powerful, but also not easy use.
Agreed -- this would be a great choice to create the type of disc being described.

Regards,
George
skier-hughes
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Post by skier-hughes »

As an update.
The project went to the committee who have commisioned the idea.

Whoopee....

and

AAAaaaaarrrrrgghhhhhhhh

Now I have to create a proper working model.

As we didn't know if the idea would be taken up I prepared a semi working model in that I had.

Using WS2.

Main menu - with button to press.

This sent you to video 1 and at the end returned you to menu 2.

Menu 2 was identical to main menu but when you pressed the button you went to video 2. Returning to menu 3

So on for the 7 different videos preapred so far.

At the end of video 7 it returned to the main menu.

This gave the look of an apparently random access. So long as the same person doesn't go through it twice :)

It bought me time to try to work out how to do a properly random version, which I haven't been able to do yet, due to Xmas work committments.

I have though downloaded a trial for DVDLAb Pro, it looks......... well.......... complicated. Down to work on it on Thursday.

Anybody point me to DVDLab pro tutorials?
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Post by sjj1805 »

skier-hughes
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Post by skier-hughes »

I found those, GeorgeW also sent me a PM.

Great reading.

Luckily I think they are happy with the dvd I've already produced. It's aimed at Children attending a Grotto, so they won't be watching it more than once and will be young......

I'll endeavour to get a truly random disc done though and report back.
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Post by sjj1805 »

I haven't tried making one but if I did I would copy an existing "Who wants to be a millionaire" type of DVD to a hard drive folder then sort of break into it peering at all the internal logic using tools like PgcEdit, Menu Edit, IFO Edit and so on to find out what makes it 'tick'

I guess I am just one of those who would buy a car and then dismantle the engine to find out how it works.
:shock: :shock: :shock:
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Post by DB83 »

sjj1805 wrote:I haven't tried making one but if I did I would copy an existing "Who wants to be a millionaire" type of DVD to a hard drive folder then sort of break into it peering at all the internal logic using tools like PgcEdit, Menu Edit, IFO Edit and so on to find out what makes it 'tick'

I guess I am just one of those who would buy a car and then dismantle the engine to find out how it works.
:shock: :shock: :shock:
I would do the same. A project I have in mind is a music video disk which will allow you to select tracks into a virtual play-list (change it every time you run the disk). I could never author one of these direct but by looking at a commercial offering and seeing how it was done would provide the neccessary inspiration (or should I say perspiration :) )
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Post by GeorgeW »

DB83 wrote:I would do the same. A project I have in mind is a music video disk which will allow you to select tracks into a virtual play-list (change it every time you run the disk). I could never author one of these direct but by looking at a commercial offering and seeing how it was done would provide the neccessary inspiration (or should I say perspiration :) )
Because you are limited in the number of "variables" (16 GPRM's -- some taken by the software Abstraction Layer, and the rest for your own programming), you can run out of "storage" real quickly to store the user selections. Fortunately, DLP provides "bitshifting" functionality -- where a single register can hold multiple variables. If you do attempt the "jukebox" type of DVD, look into using "Sub Registers" within DLP...

Regards,
George
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Post by MrA »

GeorgeW wrote: Because you are limited in the number of "variables" (16 GPRM's -- some taken by the software Abstraction Layer, and the rest for your own programming), you can run out of "storage" real quickly to store the user selections. Fortunately, DLP provides "bitshifting" functionality -- where a single register can hold multiple variables. If you do attempt the "jukebox" type of DVD, look into using "Sub Registers" within DLP...

Regards,
George
And we take that from a rep, from a company that thought originally 640k memory was enough. ahem. hehe
skier-hughes
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Post by skier-hughes »

To follow up on my post.

I ended up making a new menu for each different answer and each answer takes you on a menu, so it does appear to be random, whilst actually not being.

As each person will effectively only use it once it doesn't really matter, but if a family of 2/3 chilfdren use it all at the same time a different answer will be displayed each time, as there are 19 variables on the one dvd, with 50 menus, so after the first 19 have been shown the next 31 will be the same end result but in a different order. The second dvd has fewer options but again follows the same principle.

For anyone in the UK who is visiting Lancaster on 21st December, why not go take a peak, here is some info

http://www.lancasterukonline.net/whatso ... #thismonth

Fri 21 Alternative Christmas Grottoes in Market Sq. For one day only, in Lancaster¡¦s Market Square, shoppers and children alike will be given the opportunity to experience a different sort of Christmas Grotto. There will be a choice of two in the square, both offering atypical and distinctive experiences which question our modern perceptions of Christmas. A visit to either Grotto will still maintain the magic of the festive period, just in a different way. These Grottoes are for children of all ages from 1 to 100, in fact they may be particularly appealing to adults. The Grottoes, which will be free and open to all, have been created by two groups of students from the Interactive Arts course at Manchester Metropolitan University.



Thanks for all the input.

The discs are also being sent to a variety of local "to me", "Manchester" and "Lancaster" Childrens Hospices, in the hope that it brightens their Xmas this year.
skier-hughes
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Post by skier-hughes »

Well the day went brilliantly.

They have had between 50 and 100 visitors to the alternative grotto's in the past few years.

They had well over 200 this year going into both.

Both discs went very well, the children and adults loved it.

Merry Xmas everyone.

Graham
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Post by sjj1805 »

Well done Graham.
:D