You're in the Movies
|You're in the Movies|
European box art
|Distributor(s)||Microsoft Game Studios|
You're in the Movies (あなたがビデオでね Anata ga bideode ne?) is a party game for the Xbox 360 that is bundled with the Xbox Live Vision Camera, developed by Zoë Mode. It was released by Codemasters in the United States and the United Kingdom in 2008, and in Australia and Japan in 2009. The game is a process of filming a movie on one of the 30 scenarios that can involve up to four people. Actions include the application of make-up, jogging in place, driving a car and playing volleyball. Previous video can be stored on the console, as well as to send to friends via e-mail. The game was first previewed at Microsoft's Press Conference at E3 2008 in July 2008. It was later shown at the Games Convention one month later. The game has met with mixed reviews, receiving criticism for the Xbox Live Vision Camera bundled with the game.
You're in the Movies uses the bundled Xbox Live Vision Camera where players are required to play mini-games by mimicking actions that will appear in a movie trailer, which are in a context of various sci-fi, thriller, and adventure stories. Scores are awarded based on how closely each player manages to mimic the action required. Afterwards, players have to do a series of pick-up shots by assuming various facial expressions for the camera, such as an evil grin or a look of intense concentration. Videos can be shared to people in different households via links sent by Xbox through email.
Zoë Mode, who had previously experienced with camera games before, conceived the idea of the game from their V-screen technology they had used in their previous games. They were thinking how this technology could have its best use, and they thought a movie game would be a perfect fit. Andy Trowers, the lead designer of the game, stated the following:
"This is obviously something that hasn't been done before, so there are a lot of challenges getting the technology working and in terms of the game design as well. You've got to make games that are fun. At the same time, you've always got to have one eye keeping an eye on the movie side as well, ensuring that you have fun games that give you the actions that you need for the movies. So that was really challenging, but a really enjoyable aspect of the development. There were two main things: the segmentation technology and the creative aspect of it--coming out with things that are fun, coming up with enough variety. We've got loads of genres in there, from horror movies to sci-fi movies. Coming up with all of those different things and coming up with the games as well, making the two things kind of intermix, so keeping an eye on that, the management of that, and making sure everything worked was a challenge."
The developers first had to prove that the game all worked. They made what's called a "vertical slide" of the game, where they made one movie and they thought about all the games that would make the actions. Trowers said that they "wanted people to be able to share movies" and "give people the freedom to do what they wanted."
All of the movie themes and mini-games were conceived by the creative-design team, which they decided the movie themes would have an old B-movie feel. Trowers notes the making of the mini-games to be "quite an organic process": "Sometimes we'd have a movie and we'd say OK, we want the player to do this in the scene, which is the action we want, so try to think of a game idea for this. But other times we'd be thinking, "Oh, you know what, we got this great idea for a game and these are the essential actions we can get out of it, how are we going to use it in movies?" So it was really a three-way process, trying to figure out what we could get people to do, what would be fun, how it would fit in the movie--it wasn't just one process of doing it, it had to go both ways." There had also been a few more movie ideas, but they were left out of the game.
Release and promotion
The developers originally thought the game's target audience would be fairly adult-age. Towers notes: "We started out with an idea that the users are going to be fairly old, but then as we sort of made the game we focused it. We realized that lots of different people get fun out of the game in lots of different ways. We tested on young kids, we tested on adults, we tested on a mix of the two, and we came to the conclusion that anyone can play this game. We very much wanted the game to be accessible from the start so that you can play alongside your granny or with your kids. We saw people enjoying it from all ages."
At Microsoft's Press Conference at the E3 2008 conference in July, Shane Kim announced the game, along with Scene it: Box Office Smash. The feature in the game that allows players to star in trailers for fake movies was shown in the conference. The movie shows was entitled "Cold Blooded" and was about a giant, radioactive salamander. Other Gameplay Footage was also shown during the conference as well. It was later shown at the Games Convention one month later.
On October 23, 2008, Hollywood star Burt Reynolds fronted a series of TV and magazine advertising spots for the game. The commercials featured Reynolds using his long and illustrious career as a part of the tinsel town A-list, starring in more than 90 feature films to date, to show would be leading men and women how to become stars by transforming their living rooms into Hollywood studios, capturing the attention and participation of family and friends. Reynolds said it was "great to be able to share some of my experience with everyone about what it takes to be a movie star. You're in the Movies on Xbox 360 allows everyone to have a piece of the action and have a fun time with their friends and family, starring in their own features, from the comfort of their own homes." The ads first premiered in North America on VH1 on November 18, 2008, and aired in major European markets from November 28.
You're in the Movies received generally mixed to negative reviews from critics. It currently holds a score of 55.92% on the aggregate gaming review site Gamerankings. It also received, out of 100, a 55 from Metacritic based on 19 reviews.
Video game reviewers from gaming websites and magazines mainly criticized the game for the Xbox Live Vision Camera bundled with the game. Even before the game's release, EyeToy's Sandy Spangler thought there would be some technical difficulties with players; he stated, "They're using some technical elements that are not reliable, at least not according to our experience. They're using background subtraction to put you in the movie, and it's not very robust, that's why we haven't done it in any of our games."
Nate Ahearn from IGN, who gave the game a 4.2/10, referred to the Vision Camera as "an annoyance" that "handcuffs the entire experience." Nate also criticized the pacing and the activities, which he called them "boring", stating "You’re in the Movies is bad, no matter how many beers you’ve consumed throughout the night." Don Francis from Gamespot called it "a box-office bust, despite featuring your own recognizable stars." and also criticized the voice acting which he called "annoying". He concluded "Despite the pack-in camera, the problems of You're in the Movies drag this would-be game down, making the $60 price tag much too high to justify. There are better party games on the Xbox 360, and less expensive ways to get a Vision Camera." 1UP.com's Tyler Barber, who gave the game C+, called it more of "a video game, not an acting studio."
Eurogamer's Dan Whitehead was the harshest on the game, which he gave the game 2/10, stating "People don't live in movie studios. They live in houses and flats that are lit for comfort, not to fulfil the technical requirements of an ageing webcam. If you really want to put yourself and your friends on the TV, leave this failed experiment on the shelf, and put the money towards a digital camcorder instead."
- You're in the Movies - Xbox 360. IGN
- You're in the Movies - Xbox 360. IGN UK.
- You're in the Movies - Xbox 360. IGN AU.
- "Games that test your knowledge and acting ability heading for the 360.". IGN. Retrieved 2011-07-10.
- "Xbox 360 takes center stage with Lips, Rock Band, Guitar Hero World Tour, Scene It? Box Office Smash and You're in the Movies.". IGN. Retrieved 2011-07-10.
- "You're in the Movies lead designer, Andy Trowers, tells us about how it all began.". Gamespot. p. 1. Retrieved 2011-07-11.
- "You're in the Movies lead designer, Andy Trowers, tells us about how it all began.". p. 2. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
- "Microsoft showcases groundbreaking approach to game shows; Final Fantasy XIII will be available on Xbox 360 at launch.". IGN. Retrieved 2011-07-10.
- "Live Your Very Own Movie Premiere Every Night. Plus, coming soon to a screen near you, Hollywood star Burt Reynolds advises players on the latest Xbox 360 blockbuster You're in the Movies.". IGN. Retrieved 2011-07-10.
- Ashcraft, Brian. (October 23, 2008). "Burt Reynolds Doing You’re in the Movies TV Ads". Kotaku. Accessed from February 21, 2013.
- "You're In The Movies - Review". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2011-07-10.
- "You're in the Movies is a box-office bust, despite featuring your own recognizable stars.". Gamespot. Retrieved 2011-07-10.
- Ahearn, Nate. "Six beers and three tequila shots later and this game still isn't fun.". IGN. Retrieved 2011-07-10.
- Edge Magazine. (Jan 2009, p.90])
- Barber, Tyler. "Lights! Camera! Embarrass yourself!". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2011-07-11.
- You're in the Movies for Xbox 360. Gamerankings
- You're in the Movies for Xbox 360. Metacritic
- Welsh, Oliver. Eyeing the future. gamesindustry.biz. November 25, 2008. Accessed from November 20, 2012.