FMV Games for the New Generation?

GameJolt had an article today about the resurgence of underground FMV games. You remember FMV games, right?

No. Not you. Go away.
No, not you. Go away.

Back in the late 90’s, doing FMV was a tiresome and tedious affair. Not to mention expensive. You had to get actors in front of a bluescreen, ‘cos building sets were too expensive. Which means you couldn’t move the camera, ‘cos motion control was too expensive, also.

And we’re not even taking into account all the nonsense about getting cameras, guys to do lighting, guys to hold boom mics, and guys to put blue velvet cloth over cardboard boxes to simulate stairs, or a dresser, or whatever would otherwise be superimposed in later.

Nowadays, we can forget all that bullshit, ‘cos most of us are now carrying around a portable movie studio in our pocket — which we use to shoot blurry 9 second videos of high-fiving each other at concerts and dick pics. But just imagine what the mobile camera could do for computer gaming.

Then again, some games from the 90's look like they WERE shot with a mobile camera.
Then again, some games from the 90’s look like they WERE shot with a mobile camera.

Fred and I already had this discussion on BSD, but I’ll reiterate it here: These days you could quite comfortably make an FMV game in AGS using nothing more than your smartphone and Windows Movie Maker. And I’m surprised no one has yet.

If you wanted to get truly lazy about this, you could just have the interactive part a still photo and have every dialogue, interaction, etc. be in the form of a short movie clip (kind of like Urban Runner, only less idiotic and French). Or you could, I dunno, get creative, like the guys who made Her Story were.

I’ve had this idea for the longest time about “Found Footage: The FMV Game” — owing to my love/hate relationship with the ‘found footage’ subgenre of horror movies. I’ve watched quite a lot of those, and they’re almost always uniquely terrible — from overwrought, shouty actors to epileptic-seizure-style cinematography to nothing-fucking-happens-for-two-hours to “we’re not even sure where the on-button on the camera is”.

But it’s a genre that’s ripe for satire and parody, and it would be startlingly simple to do with just a mobile camera and a copy of AGS.

All I need is a script, a couple of puzzles (dialogue puzzles will do), and couple of suckers willing to run around an abandoned location. The first two are easy enough to come by. The latter is slightly more challenging, for the sole reason that most Danes speak terrible English. But it’ll happen. Someday.

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