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Video Game» Forums » VGG Related » VGG Suggestions

Subject: Should Full Motion Video have its own genre? rss

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Drew McClain
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Currently a lot of FMV games essentially fall under the Interactive Movie genre, and probably under Adventure and Light Gun Shooter too. (And now that I've done a little digging, a lot are under Text Adventure? )

I posit that FMV games are a category in and of themselves. Despite spanning across a few different decades, they're largely representative of a similar era of games. While they may also belong to other genres (Corpse Killer is a light gun game), I think representing the gameplay with full-motion video is a unique identifier that is often a focal point of people looking for info about such games.

For point of clarification, the main gameplay should be based on FMV, not merely the cutscenes. Eg. Chrono Trigger on PS1 (and later releases) has FMV animation added, but the primary gameplay remains the same 2D sprites as used in the SNES version. On the other hand, in Night Trap, while the controller to change cameras and spring traps is not FMV, the gameplay is based around watching FMV footage to get clues and figure out the correct timing.

PS. Text Adventure has a lot of games which are graphical adventure games. Should I address that as well?
 
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Simon Lundström
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krux wrote:
I posit that FMV games are a category in and of themselves.


Spontaneously, I'd say they are a subset of interactive movies, but it's very possible that a lot of games have been sorted incorrectly.

What "interactive movie" games are, in your eyes, NOT FMV games? (I haven't played much of them, but I assume that an interactive movie must have some sort of motion video aspect that you can affect. Maybe the scope is broader than I assume?)

(Also is "Black Mirror: Bandersnatch" an FMV game?)

krux wrote:
PS. Text Adventure has a lot of games which are graphical adventure games. Should I address that as well?


Probably. However, text adventure and graphical adventure games are, from my perspective, about the same type of game…
 
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Drew McClain
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Forgot to check on this, sorry!

I don't necessarily have an issue with Dragon's Lair being shelved under interactive movie, but my problem is that there's no easy thread to find other FMV games under the current system.

I'd define FMV games as games that allow the player to manipulate footage. To give some examples of FMV games in different genres but which each share the common thread of manipulating footage:

- In Night Trap you change cameras in order to figure out the timing to trap various vampire and receive clues to some RNG elements. The manipulation of footage is very transparent - the changing of cameras.

- In Voyeur (I'll add this to the database when I unpack it), you are looking for scenes by peaking through windows and finding scenes if viewing them at the right time, ultimately in order to garner clues to solve a mystery. It's functionally similar to Night Trap, but in Night Trap FMV is always on-going, where you have to find it in Voyeur. Well, and there's no trapping vampires.

- In Mad Dog McCree, a light gun game, actors react to getting shot, assuming you hit your target.

- In Dragon's Lair or Wirehead, it mimics a choose your-own-adventure book, in that you choose a direction or button to press at the right time and either your choice determines the next footage shown.

- In Battle Heat (I'll add this one too), a FMV fighting game, you choose fighting moves and the footage reacts to your choices.

Even though those games represent several different genres, I think the common thread of manipulated FMV footage in all those games is undeniable and inseverable. In some cases I'd even argue that the genre is a bit of an illusion and they boil down to a similar game. (Eg. How are my descriptions of Battle Heat and Dragon's Lair any different, outside of scope?)

It also just speaks to how people look for games. If I look for a list of FMV games on search engine, I'll find a lot of the games I mentioned above, despite them definitely belonging in different genres. There's no way for me to do that here.

Similarly, if I'm looking for text adventure games, I'm probably looking for Zork, but I'm definitely not looking for Night Trap or Broken Sword: The Serpent's Curse. I like the idea of larger categories and subcategories for more specificity; eg. Adventure would incorporate both Text Adventure and Point-and-Click.
 
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Drew McClain
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Oh, and yes, Bandersnatch is a FMV game.
 
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Simon Lundström
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(Before we continue, I do assume you realize that nothing will happen, as adding a new genre hasn't happened in the history of BGG, let alone VGG)

Hm. Interesting. I like sorting stuff, and I like sorting stuff after having peeled off the surface, so this is an interesting discussion. And you really have a point. Sorting and categorizing video games is a continuous thought I always toy with, so I'm always on the lookout of other viewpoints.

I do think that after peeling off the surface, Mad Dog McCree (thanks for reminding me of the title, I played that one in the arcades some 20 years ago! "Howdy there, stranger!") technically shares more with House of the Dead than it does with, say, Bandersnatch. However, of course, there is nothing that prevents games from being in several types at once.

What I wonder is what you exactly mean with "manipulating footage"? Should the game be playing a video, and then you can branch it? In your examples, you give examples of games in which you are watching several videos and gathering clues. Is this "manipulating" the footage? Should there be a difference if the footage is filmed, drawn, or computer generated?

Where would Five Nights at Freddie's sort? I have heard that is also just watching some surveillance cameras and setting traps, but maybe that doesn't sort? If not, why not?
 
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Zimeon wrote:
(Before we continue, I do assume you realize that nothing will happen, as adding a new genre hasn't happened in the history of BGG, let alone VGG)
Not sure where this comes from. Yes, we are extremely careful with adding genres, since we want to avoid a huge cluttered list with lots of overlap.

But since VGG's first year (2010), there are a number of genres added.
Hidden Object in 2012,
Visual Novel, Endless Runner and Augmented Reality in 2013,
Point-and-Click, Survival and MOBA / A-RTS in 2015
Walking Simulator and Clicker / Incremental in 2016
Dungeon Crawler and Interactive Movie in 2017
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_Kael_ wrote:
Zimeon wrote:
(Before we continue, I do assume you realize that nothing will happen, as adding a new genre hasn't happened in the history of BGG, let alone VGG)
Not sure where this comes from. Yes, we are extremely careful with adding genres, since we want to avoid a huge cluttered list with lots of overlap.

But since VGG's first year (2010), there are a number of genres added.
Hidden Object in 2012,
Visual Novel, Endless Runner and Augmented Reality in 2013,
Point-and-Click, Survival and MOBA / A-RTS in 2015
Walking Simulator and Clicker / Incremental in 2016
Dungeon Crawler and Interactive Movie in 2017


Then I know where this is coming from: My un-educated brain who had failed to recognize this. I thought genres were almost a no-go zone. Thanks for correcting.
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Drew McClain
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I don't know much about Five Nights at Freddy's. I watched a gameplay video and I'm not really sure what the objective was even after watching, but the security cameras were definitely similar to Night Trap (albeit less campy).

By manipulating footage, I mean that as the player you have influence over what's being shown. While that's true of all video games, what's distinguishing about FMV games and why I made the topic is that FMV relies on a stubborn format. I can't make a character go anywhere I want in a FMV game - I can only choose among the options in order to dictate what footage comes next. So this is why I'd consider Mad Dog McCree both a light gun game and a FMV game, because either a player shoots the cowboy and triggers the footage of the cowboy dying or misses and triggers the footage of the cowboy shooting at the screen. The controls are different, which is what makes it a light gun game, but functionally it's no different than pressing a button and triggering the footage of Space Ace (1984) shooting a robot with his laser. You might say that the distinguishing hallmark of FMV games is that there's less interaction than is typical in interactive movies. It's also more literally a movie than most interactive movies.

I think peeling off the layers of gameplay to see the essence of a game is a difficult task. Break down the gameplay of Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! and distill it and it may look no different from a rhythm game. But playing the game you know that it isn't. It's no different with FMV. A visual novel is essentially a interactive movie too, but the difference is in presentation. It's less movie and more novel.

As for Kael's comment on overlap, I'd be curious to see a further discussion behind that logic. Are we avoiding any overlap, and if not, what constitutes "a lot"? Broad genres would inherently overlap with more specific genres, but I don't see that as an issue. Are there any topics where this has been discussed?
 
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Simon Lundström
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krux wrote:
I think peeling off the layers of gameplay to see the essence of a game is a difficult task. Break down the gameplay of Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! and distill it and it may look no different from a rhythm game.


The difficulty of the task is precisely what makes it fun. And you're right. Punch Out and rhythm games are quite similar – both require you to push a button at the exact right moment. But one is "react on a visual queue" (similar to QTE) and the other is "learn a pattern based on a pre-recorded song".

But in the end, they're both games relying much on a twitch reaction, yes.
 
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