Friday, March 10, 2017

Video Game Proposal: The Camera Person

Picture any game that mixes archaeology (er . . . looting) with vast quantities of gunfire.

Incredible finds, wonderful views, lost civilization, bad guys with Kalashnikovs, explosions, epic set pieces, the stuff good Indiana Jones movies are made of except a more modern setting so if the bad guys are Nazis they're neo-Nazis, so on, so forth.

Now imagine that the character the player controls isn't the action hero but a sidekick with a hand held (presumably flip out) video camera.

The game is about not dying, sure, but most of the killing is done by player character's friend/girlfriend/associate/whatever.  I wasn't initially thinking of the possibility of romantic involvement, but such a game would work great if you were controlling a slightly more violence-capable Sam traveling with her girlfriend Lara Croft as Lara uncovered, and Sam recorded, secrets that had long been hidden from the world.

Anyway, with the action hero doing most of the work on the violence side, your job in the game is to:
  1. Not get dead
  2. Record everything.  Did the bad guys just blow up an ancient tomb?  Get that.  Did they shoot your plane from the sky?  Get the shot.  Did action hero just set up a clever ambush with traps and stuff: make sure you're filming.
  3. Manage the amount of battery and storage space so you don't miss something important because you filmed three hours of filler. (Probably have an option to turn this off in the difficulty settings.)
Running jumping climbing trees, taking a Pulitzer worthy photo while your up there.  (It doesn't all need to be on a video camera, there can be a still camera as well.)

For those who like puns, it would still be a shooter, just not shooting with guns.

I'm not entirely sure why the idea interests me, but it does.  You don't need to beat the bad guys, someone else will do that for you, you just need to get in a position to get the perfect shot of them doing it.


  1. This isn't quite what you're describing, but you might want to look into an old PS2 game called "Michigan: Report From Hell", where you play as a cameraman and interact primarily by calling NPCs' attention to things.

    There's a handful of games where you play the "support" or "mission control" for the nominal "hero" in different ways, which is sort of related too. I've got a soft spot for that kind of game, but I'm not aware of any that's considered unambigiously "good" - the ones that come immediately to mind are all... sort of the exact opposite of good.

    "You are the person at the switchboard of a bunch of CCTV cameras and your job is to be watching the right screen at the right time during the story to keep the plot from derailing" was basically one of the dominant genres during the very short reign of FMV-based games. Another thing I have an irrational love of but which are widely accepted as terrible.

  2. Like, in general I love things where you get to have adventures and/or fight for great justice without having to fit a particular hero mold. And especially using beaurocracy or nerd powers or cultural competence or whatever...

    Anyway this seems like a really well -thought-out version of that kind of thing.

    I want to try to think of other examples...

  3. This sounds pretty friggin amazing! Did you hear about the game where you play as a cat in kowloon walled city?

    1. outlast had a recording feature for cams. And there was that camera Pokemon game too.