From RealWorld and Interplay
Xplora is different. It is a combination of music videos, interviews, music clips and some other things. Like a walk through the RealWorld studio in England, where you can mix your own version of Digging in the Dirt and try to find the 33 singles/combinations of musicians to play together. I've only ever managed 32 of the 33. At least twice the damn computer crashed at that point.
I admire the interface. Once you get into the package, you find icons along the top that represent the sections you may enter. You will also see your cursor change as you move along the top from left to right. The farther left you click, the farther back up the menu (to give it a standard name) you will go. In the section US (from an album of the same name), you will also find that the colour bar along the lower left side has some pictures. These pictures lead to short interviews.
There are also surprises. You have to find passes to get to certain 'events' on the CD. Pick up the right set of items, and the love bomb will detonate. Pick up more items and Peter will declare you brilliant and give you some free gifts. They are a couple of wave files and icons for the PC. There is a hidden tick-tack-toe game. Xplora encourages you to explore. If you don't click for a while (and no videos are playing) Peter will come along to talk to you.
There are four basic sections to Xplora.
The personal section. This one is much too small. There is a photo album (who are these people?), a bit about Amnesty International, Witness, and a way to see all the album covers for Peter with the titles from those albums. There is a brief bit of music from each album, but it's one clip per album.
The World of Music (WOMAD) You can play instruments, listen to a number of artists, explore the various titles created by Real World studios and go to a WOMAD festival.
US Artwork, videos, lyrics, and interviews about the album US. This section has a lot of depth, and you may have to return several times to find everything. Two hints, some of the 'special' events that occur in the upper left hand of the screen should be clicked on. The other is that some of the pictures need to be explored in depth.
A section with a variety of things. From here you can go to several rehearsals (if you can find the passes). Or you can explore the Real World studio. Or you can read about The Box. Also the complete credit list can be found here with a soft version of Steam playing in the background. The four videos from US can be played from this area (along with being in the US section) and four videos about the making of the videos.
Once I broke Xplora by updating QuickTime to 2.0 The video of Peter coming along to help you always tried to start at the same point instead of whatever was correct for the situation. An update to an even newer version of QuickTime fixed this problem.
When I bought this package, I had a fast 386. The box does say you need at least a 486. This had three effects that I noticed. Frames would noticeably drop out of the QuickTime movies. There is a thing called the Love Bomb which locked the 386. It does not do this when you have a better processor. The third was the mixer sequence really didn't work and you had to wait until it painfully went through the music before you could get out of the beast. Still, for a processor that wasn't supposed to work, three problems isn't a bad average.
Well, it probably helps that I like Peter's music. Some of the other things RealWorld music is putting out are very good and worth at least a brief listen to. I am quite looking forward to any other project they put out that is similar. The Peter Gabriel newsgroup has had rumours that a CD called Eve will be coming out.
I particularly recommend this to fans of Peter, and those studying interface design. I'd love to work on a project like this.
Mine is actually the 4 Worlds Limited Edition. It contains the CD-ROM, a double CD of Peter Gabriel Secret World Live, the video of Secret World Live and a book. It's a great package, but at an equally great (dear) price of $135 Australian. On the other hand, there is another copy of this locally, if anyone wanted but missed getting the Limited Edition. Guilt money is a good thing.