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What should April's Together Retro theme be?

Poll ended at Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:14 pm

90s RTS
16
27%
Army Men Anthology
4
7%
All Hail Neo Geo
17
28%
FMV Frenzy
17
28%
LET'S NEP 'EM ALL UP
6
10%
 
Total votes : 60
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Re: April's Together Retro Theme: Elkin's Eccentric Extravag

by Ack Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:19 am

It's also a good excuse to get more folks to play 7th Guest.
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Re: April's Together Retro Theme: Elkin's Eccentric Extravag

by Exhuminator Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:27 am

I can see where Sload Soap is coming from, and I agree. When I think of an "FMV game", I think of a game which utilizes video clips constantly, as in 95% of the time you're watching clips. Interactions (menu choices or QTE inputs) are minimal and serve only to dictate the playback of the clip sequencing. (That's why these games can be released on DVD or Blu-ray.) These kind of FMV games are like "Choose Your Own Adventure", but instead of reading pages out of order, you're watching videos out of order. This sort of design started in the early '80s, and is still used today with modern FMV releases. That's the core genre in a nutshell.

However, when we consider any video game that just so happens to use video clips periodically to portray its plot, I can't think of said game as being an "FMV game". I think of it as being whatever core genre the vast majority of its gameplay actually is. Calling a game where you spend 95% of the time flying a space ship, or shooting monsters, or solving puzzles an "FMV game" solely because it has FMV cutscenes once in a while, is stretching things IMO. That'd be like calling any game that occasionally has a text filled page on screen (many old JRPGs for instance) a "text adventure" like somehow it fits in the same genre as Colossal Cave Adventure or Zork. I just can't agree with a definition so broad.

Anyway I'm not trying to say anyone who disagrees with me is "wrong", I'm just explaining how I personally see this genre distinction. Elkin is the curator, it's his show. If FMV wins, it wins. We'll all do the best we can.
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Re: April's Together Retro Theme: Elkin's Eccentric Extravag

by BogusMeatFactory Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:36 am

Exhuminator wrote:I can see where Sload Soap is coming from, and I agree. When I think of an "FMV game", I think of a game which utilizes video clips constantly, as in 95% of the time you're watching clips. Interactions (menu choices or QTE inputs) are minimal and serve only to dictate the playback of the clip sequencing. (That's why these games can be released on DVD or Blu-ray.) These kind of FMV games are like "Choose Your Own Adventure", but instead of reading pages out of order, you're watching videos out of order. This sort of design started in the early '80s, and is still used today with modern FMV releases. That's the core genre in a nutshell.

However, when we consider any video game that just so happens to use video clips periodically to portray its plot, I can't think of said game as being an "FMV game". I think of it as being whatever core genre the vast majority of its gameplay actually is. Calling a game where you spend 95% of the time flying a space ship, or shooting monsters, or solving puzzles an "FMV game" solely because it has FMV cutscenes once in a while, is stretching things IMO. That'd be like calling any game that occasionally has a text filled page on screen (many old JRPGs for instance) a "text adventure" like somehow it fits in the same genre as Colossal Cave Adventure or Zork. I just can't agree with a definition so broad.

Anyway I'm not trying to say anyone who disagrees with me is "wrong", I'm just explaining how I personally see this genre distinction. Elkin is the curator, it's his show. If FMV wins, it wins. We'll all do the best we can.


FMV is not nor ever has been a genre. Calling something an FMV game was a label to notate that it uses fmv cutscene, usually live action in them. If you want to get into the nitty gritty of it, games like night trap and double switch and time gal etc are quick timer event games that use fmv. Crime Patrol is a shooting gallery game... that uses fmv. It has and always will be a stylistic descriptor, not a genre descriptor.
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Re: April's Together Retro Theme: Elkin's Eccentric Extravag

by noiseredux Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:37 am

I get what you're saying Exhum. I think maybe Elkin wasn't looking at this as a month of "FMV Games," but rather a month where we explore the "FMV Fad," so to speak. Full motion video was shoe-horned in to so many games of a certain era because it was the next big thing or whatever. So I think that's where he's coming from. Maybe?
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Re: April's Together Retro Theme: Elkin's Eccentric Extravag

by marurun Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:37 am

Again, FMV is not being used to designate a genre or style of game. It is being used to represent a particular aesthetic in storytelling and a particular period in games. There was a run of about 7 years or so in which there was a lot of live-action FMV content, either as the bulk of the game or as the cut-scene portion of the game. Some involved recognizable actors, most of it was campy acting, but the point is, the category is about the stylistic choices of the folks making the game. I agree with Bogus. This kind of category is VERY similar to 80s Ladies' Night. The only unifying elements in that category were 80s and women main characters. Otherwise the games had nothing else in common. They could be completely different genres, play styles, art styles. Live actor FMV scenes is the exact same kind of category.

But I think there's a lot of interesting discussion that could come out of the FMV category, like discussions about acting and directing, budgets, what kinds of actors were being signed and what roles they were really playing, the role of the story in the game, etc... Remember, this was also pretty simultaneous with the rise in pre-rendered 3D, and sometimes you saw them mixed. There's some interesting historical discussion here.
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Re: April's Together Retro Theme: Elkin's Eccentric Extravag

by BogusMeatFactory Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:53 am

marurun wrote:Again, FMV is not being used to designate a genre or style of game. It is being used to represent a particular aesthetic in storytelling and a particular period in games. There was a run of about 7 years or so in which there was a lot of live-action FMV content, either as the bulk of the game or as the cut-scene portion of the game. Some involved recognizable actors, most of it was campy acting, but the point is, the category is about the stylistic choices of the folks making the game. I agree with Bogus. This kind of category is VERY similar to 80s Ladies' Night. The only unifying elements in that category were 80s and women main characters. Otherwise the games had nothing else in common. They could be completely different genres, play styles, art styles. Live actor FMV scenes is the exact same kind of category.

But I think there's a lot of interesting discussion that could come out of the FMV category, like discussions about acting and directing, budgets, what kinds of actors were being signed and what roles they were really playing, the role of the story in the game, etc... Remember, this was also pretty simultaneous with the rise in pre-rendered 3D, and sometimes you saw them mixed. There's some interesting historical discussion here.


Oh there is so much that can be discussed and a lot that can be shared. Behind the scenes photos of FMV games are fascinating and talk about the process are a great start. You can talk about the rise, what about them can be considered effective as a storytelling tool. Lots of ways to go in the discussion and I have so many resources to share about a huge swathe of games that could be selected. I will definitely be talking more about everyone else's choices than my own, because I've played so many!!
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Re: April's Together Retro Theme: Elkin's Eccentric Extravag

by Exhuminator Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:56 am

BogusMeatFactory wrote:FMV is not nor ever has been a genre.


I disagree with you. But since you don't value my opinion, here's some third party sources:

"A full motion video (FMV) is a video game narration technique that relies upon pre-recorded video files (rather than sprites, vectors, or 3D models) to display action in the game. While many games feature FMVs as a way to present information during cutscenes, games that are primarily presented through FMVs are referred to as full-motion video games or interactive movies." ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_motion_video )

"Games in which most of the game is presented as full motion video (FMV) or other forms of animations as well as live action. Many of these games are interactive movies where the player can from time to time choose a path to take with minimal or timed input. It also covers games where most of the game content is shown through full motion video. This art style refers to the gameplay content, not the cut-scenes." ( https://www.mobygames.com/genre/sheet/fmv/ )

"A "full motion video"note ("FMV" for short) is a video game term, used back in The '90s for Cutscenes which use pre-rendered or live-action video, as opposed to playing in-engine. Today, however, the term is mainly remembered as lending its name to a particular type of video games (also called "interactive movies") which are entirely based around video clips. Gameplay consisted mostly of pressing buttons at the right time, choosing correct sequences of clips, or playing other games that just used the video as a backdrop." ( http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/M ... otionVideo )

http://store.steampowered.com/tags/en/FMV/

There plenty of other sources to back up "FMV games" as their own actual genre.

Marurun wrote:This kind of category is VERY similar to 80s Ladies' Night. The only unifying elements in that category were 80s and women main characters. Otherwise the games had nothing else in common. They could be completely different genres, play styles, art styles. Live actor FMV scenes is the exact same kind of category.


I don't have a problem with FMV games being a voting poll choice. I'm not making any issue of that. I was explaining that I understood where Sload Soap was coming from, and why he saw FMV games as something more exclusive than Elkin had described. That's it, that's all there was to it.
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Re: April's Together Retro Theme: Elkin's Eccentric Extravag

by Ack Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:57 am

So how about we ask Elkin for a clarification. Does he mean games with FMVs like Resident Evil, Interactive Movies like Phantasmagoria, or both?
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Re: April's Together Retro Theme: Elkin's Eccentric Extravag

by dsheinem Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:00 pm

Ohhh, can we have a rousing discussion on the meaning of "genre" and how the concept has been applied to video games instead?
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Re: April's Together Retro Theme: Elkin's Eccentric Extravag

by noiseredux Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:01 pm

Ack wrote:So how about we ask Elkin for a clarification. Does he mean games with FMVs like Resident Evil, Interactive Movies like Phantasmagoria, or both?


Or we could just look at his very post in this thread!

It could be games like Corpse Killer that are almost entirely FMV or games like Resident Evil that only have a few. As long as it was released in the 1990s and has live action FMV scenes, it's fair game.
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