Back in late 1997, Gabo Mendoza single handedly changed the course of interactive communication forever when he unleashed Gabocorp.com (archive removed!) upon an unsuspecting design world. Flash had been around for a short time, but nobody had ever built an entire site with it. In fact, I’m not sure anyone had even thought to…except for Gabo Mendoza.
If you were designing back then, I’m sure you remember Gabocorp. TechRadar lists it as one of the 20 websites that changed the world – right up there with Wikipedia and YouTube. My team and I were working with Authorware, Director, and After Effects in those days, so Gabocorp’s super-smooth vector goodness blew our minds. I mean, it blew everyone’s mind. We wanted Flash. Badly.
By January of 1998, we finally convinced our manager to order a copy of Flash 2. When it arrived, my dear friend Tim Sisco and I huddled around my PC and began to play. We naturally tried to build something similar to Gabocorp, and spent about 30 minutes making what was basically a Flash doodle (turn your speakers on and see below). Don’t get me wrong, it’s horrible – but this new platform had set us free. Tweening from color to color, mixing multiple audio tracks on the fly, and running things full screen felt like magic. It was crazy. The world would soon grow tired of Flash sites, but you gotta give Gabocorp credit for propelling the Internet several giant steps forward.
Here it is, my first Flash movie from 1998 (sorry about the auto-play):
Also, here are some bonus screen shots from Flash 2. If you’ve worked in the platform, you’ll be blown away that there are only eight commands in ActionScript. And I just love that Macromedia icon – I miss that company. In fact, I still have the Flash 2 user guide and original CD – it meant that much to me!