Q: What is FMV World?
A: FMV World is a website dedicated to showcasing Full-Motion Video Games and Interactive Films.
Q: FMV games suck. What's the big deal?
A: You're right. FMV games suck.
The majority of them do anyway. Especially the older ones. Most of them had grainy, repetitive footage and awful controls. The acting and production values were pretty bad too. We admit it.
BUT there were good FMV games. Games that were innovative and creative and just plain old fun. Games that are still enjoyable to play.
As for these "awful" FMV games we keep hearing about, they should be viewed in perspective. In arcades filled with Pac-Man and Space Invaders, it is easy to see how a beautiful-looking laserdisc game like Dragon's Lair might get lots of attention...even though once you dropped your quarter in, you saw the same scenes repeat over and over again.
In an era of VHS tapes and 16-bit console games like Chuck Rock and Shaq Fu, it's easy to be seduced by a game like Night Trap that's essentially trial and error/memorization but is incredibly unique and visually spellbinding.
SO, when the most high-profile FMV game is Dragon's Lair (which is gorgeous, but can be frustrating and repetitive for the uninitiated), we can understand why FMV gets a bad rap. They're not for everyone, but we here at FMV World love FMV games. Even the so-called "bad" ones.
Q: What is the FMV Coalition?
A: Most people played FMV games in the 1990s and, though initially intrigued, realized they were limited by the aforementioned problems (grainy visuals, repetition). These are merely limitations of the CD-Rom era and not inherent to the genre of "movie games."
Imagine an FMV game that looked incredible and was never repetitive. Imagine if it had good acting and gave you infinite options for control. These games can be a reality and many good games are being released right now that are light years beyond what could have been made twenty years ago.
That's what The Coalition To Bring Back FMV is all about. We are a group of like-minded individuals who are working to bring FMV to the modern age of gaming. Our members work at your favorite game developers (shout out to Robert Paulsen) and your favorite gaming websites. We bring attention to the latest releases and are working behind the scenes to create the next generation of FMV.
Q: There are plenty of FMV games that are not on your list. Why?
A: Our list is not a comprehensive list of FMV games, but we are constantly working to add more games.
If you'd like to bring a game to our attention, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
FMV = FULL-MOTION VIDEO
This refers to any pre-recorded content that is in a video game. It can be live-action or animation but does not use an in-game engine.
Games with FMV fall into three categories:
A VIDEO GAME WITH CUTSCENES, an INTERACTIVE MOVIE, or an FMV GAME. We can identify each type based on the products "Video Interactivity."
VIDEO INTERACTIVITY or "VI" refers to the interactivity of the full-motion video as opposed to the interactivity of the game as a whole.
These are FMV scenes within a video game that help tell the story but do not necessarily impact gameplay. They are played when you reach a certain checkpoint or finish a level. You could, in theory, skip the cut scenes and still finish the game. These games are referred to as "video games with cut scenes" (also sometimes referred to as: video games with cinematics).
Video Interactivity = None
Examples: Uncharted, Command and Conquer, Street Fighter IV.
These are films/games in which you can view video and then make choices based on what you have seen. These, in general, have:
1) much more video than gameplay elements and
2) viewing the video is a necessary part of understanding the story and/or finishing the game.
An interactive movie with minimal video interactivity would be a "choose-your-path" film, or Navigational Cinema, in which you make a choice which prompts a new scene to play.
Also called Selectivity.
An interactive movie with medium interactivity would be a film/game that allows you to "choose-your-path" but also includes other factors that can affect the outcome (e.g., time of day, items equipped, or order that you make your choices.)
Video Interactivity = Minimal - Medium
Minimal (Selectivity) = I'm Your Man, Return to House on Haunted Hill, The Outbreak
Medium = Dracula Unleashed, Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, Clue
In these games viewing the FMV is an integral and necessary part of the gameplay.
Video Interactivity = Medium - Maximal
An FMV game with medium video interactivity would be a game in which less than 75% of overall gameplay is video and the video is an integral part of the gameplay.
Medium = Ripper, Burn:Cycle, Snow Job
An FMV game with maximal video interactivity would be a game in which 75% or more of overall gameplay consists of video.
Maximal = Night Trap, Dragon's Lair, Mad Dog McCree, Ground Zero Texas