Monday, May 8

SimWord of the Day: Full Motion Video

Full Motion Video (FMV) is a series of pictures shown in rapid succession to simulate coherent movement. It can also include an audio track. FMV can be live video, animated, or a combination. They can also have text superimposed.

Full Motion Video can stand-alone, such as in a movie or television, or can be included as a cut scene in a computer game or educational simulation.

FMVs, when used in a computer game or educational simulation, are pre-scripted and often pre-rendered, represent a situation where the player looses all control except to possibly skip the scene, and are usually triggered to:

  • introduce the entire program,
  • introduce a scene or mission,
  • give the player key information regarding the story or their mission,
  • introduce a sub mission in the middle of a larger mission,
  • show the resolution of a sub mission in a larger mission, or
  • show the end of a mission (where there may be multiple cut scenes, with the one chosen depending on the success or failure of the player).
Full Motion Videos are judged by their production and artistic quality, sim, game, or pedagogical success, their frames per second, and their resolution. Usually, the FMV is of higher quality than the fully interactive portions. If the same game engine is used to render the cut-scene as the full game, and the cut-scene happens in the middle of a mission, black bars conventionally appear at the top and bottom of the screen to give a letterbox, wide-screen appearence, to differentiate it.

Where there is interactivity in full motion video, it is primarily limited around multiple choice decisions, although sometimes in finding a hot spot on the screen, such as which of multiple people to choose or buttons to push. This interactivity can either launch more FMV, or change a condition in the mission.

Some genres, such as interactive stories, are almost completely FMV.

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