An INTERACTIVE MOVIE, also known as a MOVIE GAME, is a video game that presents the gameplay in a cinematic, scripted manner, often through the use of full-motion video of either animated or live-action footage. In modern times, the term also refers to games that have a larger emphasis on story/presentation than on gameplay.
* 1 Design * 2 History
* 3 Specialized hardware formats
* 4 Reception * 5 Other uses * 6 See also * 7 References * 8 External links
This genre came about with the invention of laserdiscs and laserdisc
players, the first nonlinear or random access video play devices. The
fact that a laserdisc player could jump to and play any chapter
instantaneously (rather than proceed in a linear path from start to
finish like videotape ) meant that games with branching plotlines
could be constructed from out-of-order video chapters in much the same
Choose Your Own Adventure
Thus, interactive movies were animated or filmed with real actors
like movies (or in some later cases, rendered with 3D models), and
followed a main storyline. Alternative scenes were filmed to be
triggered after wrong (or alternate allowable) actions of the player
(such as '
A popular example of a commercial interactive movie was the 1983 arcade game Dragon\'s Lair , featuring a full motion video (FMV) cartoon by ex-Disney animator Don Bluth , where the player controlled some of the moves of the main character. When in danger, the player was to decide which move or action, or combination to choose. If they chose the wrong move, they would see a 'lose a life' scene, until they found the correct one which would allow them to see the rest of the story. There was only one possible successful storyline in Dragon's Lair; the only activity the user had was to choose or guess the move the designers intended them to make. Despite the lack of interactivity, Dragon's Lair was very popular.
The hardware for these games consisted of a laserdisc player linked
to a processor configured with interface software that assigned a
jump-to-chapter function to each of the controller buttons at each
decision point. Much as a
Choose Your Own Adventure
Later advances in technology allowed interactive movies to overlay multiple fields of FMV, called "vites", in much the same way as polygonal models and sprites are overlayed on top of backgrounds in traditional video game graphics.
The first example of interactive cinema was
The first interactive movie game was
An early attempt to combine random access video with computer games
was Rollercoaster, written in BASIC for the Apple II by David Lubar
David H. Ahl , editor of
The first arcade laserdisc video game was
Several laserdisc games added their own innovations to the genre.
Bega's Battle, released by
Because Dragon's Lair and Space Ace were immensely popular, they spawned a deluge of sequels and similar laserdisc games, despite the astronomical cost of the animation. To cut costs, several companies simply hacked together scenes from anime that were obscure to American audiences of the day. One such early example was Stern 's Cliff Hanger , a 1983 game released around the same time which used footage from the Lupin III movies Castle of Cagliostro (directed by Hayao Miyazaki ) and Mystery of Mamo . Another example released around that time was Bega's Battle, which used footage from Harmagedon , though it used a different approach, introducing a new form of video game storytelling: using brief full-motion video cutscenes to develop a story between the game's shooting stages. Years later, this would become the standard approach to video game storytelling. Bega's Battle also featured a branching storyline. Time Gal (1985) added a time-stopping feature, where specific moments in the game involve Reika stopping time; during these moments, players are presented with a list of three options and have seven seconds to choose the one which will save the character.
In 1987, the game
Night Trap , featuring full-motion video, was
Control-Vision video game system (originally
codenamed "NEMO"), which used
Due to the limitation of memory and disk space, as well as the lengthy timeframes and high costs required for the production, not many variations and alternative scenes for possible player moves were filmed, so the games tended not to allow much freedom and variety of gameplay. Thus, interactive movie games were not usually very replayable after being completed once.
From the time of its original introduction, the DVD format specification has included the ability to use an ordinary DVD player to play interactive games, such as Dragon's Lair (which was reissued on DVD), the Scene It? and other series of DVD games, or games that are included as bonus material on movie DVDs. Aftermath Media (founded by Rob Landeros of Trilobyte ) released the interactive movies Tender Loving Care and Point of View (P.O.V) for the DVD platform. Such games have appeared on DVDs aimed at younger target audiences, such as the special features discs of the Harry Potter film series.
Later video games used this approach using fully animated computer
generated scenes, including various adventure games such as the Sound
Novel series by
Interactive movies were popular during the early 1990s as CD-ROMs and
Laserdiscs made their way into the living rooms, providing an
alternative to the low-capacity cartridges of most consoles . As the
first CD-based consoles capable of displaying smooth and textured 3D
graphics appeared, the full-FMV game had vanished from the mainstream
circles around 1995, although it remained an option for PC adventure
games for a couple more years. One of the last titles released was the
1998 PC and PlayStation adventure The X-Files: The Game , packed in 7
CDs. That same year, Tex Murphy: Overseer became the first game
developed specifically for
SPECIALIZED HARDWARE FORMATS
A laserdisc video game is a video game that uses pre-recorded video
(either live-action or animation) played from a laserdisc , either as
the entirety of the graphics, or as part of the graphics. The first
arcade laserdisc game was
The first laserdisc game to gain popularity in the United States was Dragon's Lair in 1983. It contained animated scenes, much like a cartoon . The scenes would be played back and at certain points during playback the player would have to press a specific direction on the joystick or the button to advance the game to the next scene, like a quick time event . For instance, a scene begins with the hero falling through a hole in a drawbridge and being attacked by tentacles. If the player presses the button at this point, the hero fends off the tentacles with his sword, and pulls himself back up out of the hole. If the player fails to press the sword button at the right time, or instead presses a direction on the joystick, the hero is attacked by the tentacles and crushed. Each move of the joystick, however, would produce a few moments of black screen, when the laserdisks switched between either a successful outcome or the death of the character, which interrupted the continuous flow of gameplay found in other videogame graphic systems of the time; this was a common criticism of some players and critics.
Despite the high cost of the animation, a deluge of similar laserdisc
video games followed Dragon's Lair because of its immense popularity.
To cut costs, several companies simply hacked together scenes from
several Japanese anime movies that were obscure in America at the
time, creating games like Cliff Hanger (from
Other laserdisc video games followed the lead of
Astron Belt by
integrating more and more computer graphics with the pre-recorded
video. For example,
Funai 's Inter Stellar in 1983 was a
forward-scrolling third-person rail shooter that used computer
graphics for the ships and full-motion video for the backgrounds.
M.A.C.H. 3 and
Cube Quest were vertical scrolling shooters
that used the laserdisc video for the background and computer graphics
for the ships. The Firefox arcade game included a Philips Laserdisc
player to combine live action video and sound from the Firefox film
with computer generated graphics and sound. The game used a special
Bega's Battle, released by
A DVD game (sometimes called DVDI, "DVD interactive") is a standalone
game that can be played on a set-top
LIVE INTERACTIVE MOVIES
The world's first live interactive movie was My One Demand filmed and premiered on 25 June 2015 Created by Blast Theory, the film was streamed live to the TIFF Lightbox on three successive nights. The cast of eight included Julian Richings and Clare Coulter. Audiences in the cinema used mobile phones to answer questions from the narrator, played by Maggie Huculak and their answers were included in the voiceover as well as in the closing credits.
Although interactive movies had a filmic quality that sprite-based games could not duplicate at the time, they were a niche market— the limited amount of direct interactivity put off many gamers. The popularity of FMV games declined during 1995, as real-time 3D graphics gained increasing attention. The negative response to FMV-based games was so common that it was even acknowledged in game marketing; a print advertisement for the interactive movie Psychic Detective stated, "Yeah, we know full-motion video games in the past sucked."
Cost was also an issue, as these games were often very expensive to
produce: Ground Zero: Texas cost
Though not as crucial an issue as the limited interactivity, another issue that drew criticism was the quality of the video itself. While the video was often relatively smooth, it was not actually full-motion as it was not of 24 frames per second or higher. In addition to this, the hardware it was displayed on, particularly in the case of the Sega CD , had a limited color palette (of which a maximum of 64 colors were displayable simultaneously), resulting in notably inferior image quality due to the requirement of dithering . Game designer Chris Crawford disparages the concept of interactive movies, except those aimed at elementary-school-age children, in his book Chris Crawford on Game Design . He writes that since the player must process what is known and explore the options, choosing a path at a branch-point is every bit as demanding as making a decision in a conventional game, but with much less reward since the result can only be one of a small number of branches.
Defenders of the genre have argued that, by allowing the player to interact with real people rather than animated characters, interactive full-motion video can produce emotional and visceral reactions that are not possible with either movies or traditional video games.
Some studios hybridized ordinary computer game play with interactive movie play; the earliest examples of this were the entries in the Origin Systems Wing Commander series starting with Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger. Between combat missions, Wing Commander III featured cut-scenes with live actors; the game offered limited storyline branching based on whether missions were won or lost and on choices made at decision points during the cut-scenes.
Other games like BioForge would, perhaps erroneously, use the term for a game that has rich action and plot of cinematic proportions—but, in terms of gameplay, has no relation to FMV movies.
The term is an ambiguous one since many video games follow a storyline similar to the way movies would.
List of interactive movies
* ^ "The Next Generation 1996 Lexicon A to Z: Vite". Next
Generation . No. 15.
* ^ A B "Is This the End of FMV as We Know It?". Next Generation .
* The Interactive Movies Archive *