American Hero CD
Developer: Atari
Publisher: Atari
State of completion: Movie was filmed but never turned into a Jaguar GameFilm.
Genre: Interactive Movie.
Also planned or released for: American Hero was filmed for lots of money but never turned into a Jaguar GameFilm. A release of American Hero for PC may be possible.
Notes: Game is not listed in the Atari Dealer Price List Q3/1995.

American Hero was planned as a GameFilm interactive movie for the Jaguar (CD). GameFilm was invented by David Schwartz while working for Atari. David and Atari hold patent #5,607,356 for this invention, the title is "Interactive game film" and the abstract reads:

An interactive game film includes, on a video disk, data arranged in clips representing video film segments, each clip having a lead-in segment, a body segment, a loop segment, and a lead-out segment. Each clip matches at least one other, so that when the clips are played in series, the splice is seamless. The clips are displayed by a driver in response to instructions from a game control program unique to a particular game. The game control program provides an interface, in the form of visible or audible subtitles containing keywords, between a player and the driver, whereby the player can, at decision points in the game, control which film clip is displayed next.

Check out the full length description at the US Patent & Trademark Office (search for number 5,607,356).

Up until the Jaguar came out, all movie based games used a standard two path possible concept. You either picked the correct sequence and continued or you died and had to start over (i.e. - Dragon's Lair, Night Trap, Sewer Shark). Plus there were very noticeable pauses between scenes or decision points. GameFilm expanded on this by giving more decision possibilities (more interactive) and using memory buffering techniques to eliminate pauses and make the game more streamlined. There is also a subliminal voice (low talking male voice in the background) that queues to various decisions you can make along with text messages appearing at the bottom of the screen of what Jack is thinking of doing. The decisions available have various score weight in the game and will later determine your final score and rating.

Today David Schwartz, the creator of Jaguar GameFilm, is the CEO of Imaginon (www.imaginon.com) and their Internet TV service (www.imon.com). David Brandes was the writer/director for the film American Hero (that was filmed but never made into a Jaguar GameFilm; possibility may exist for a PC release if enough interest). Scott Walters helped with the necessary CD boot program (developer system required) to make this game and technology discovery possible.

(from email conversation with Glenn Bruner)

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