If you’re a fan of mind-blowing puzzle games like Portal, you might want to keep an eye out for Viewfinder, a developing game that revolves around a Polaroid camera that takes reality-altering photos.
The game is the brainchild of independent game developer Matt stark and his game studio, Robot Turtle, which “makes a game on a camera”.
In Viewfinder, players find themselves in a 3D world with puzzles that they must solve using a Polaroid-style instant camera. After taking a photo of the world and printing it out, the snapshot – with all of its depth and characteristics – can be overlaid into the world to alter reality.
It might sound confusing, but here’s a short one-minute video with gameplay snippets that will give you a much better idea of this fascinating mechanic:
In one of the examples in the video, the player is standing in front of a large building.
The player lifts the camera and takes a photo that includes the side of the building, the background, and the ground.
We see the camera printing the snapshot like an instant photo.
The player then chooses where to overlay the photo in the scene, rotating the snapshot as they see fit.
Once the photo is reinserted into the scene, the 3D scene that was captured is what is actually overlaid. Walking to the side of the building reveals the depth of the photo and the fact that the ground in the photo has now become a possible ramp to the building.
PC player reports that Stark started showing off his game concept last year as a student developer.
Here are some previous demos of what the concept looked like when it first started:
Brief summary of how it works: when the player takes a photo, I duplicate the environment, I put it in grayscale and I cut out the meshes to remove everything that is outside the photo. When they place it in the world, I cut out the meshes of the environment to make a hole for the photo.
– Matt Stark (@ mattstark256) January 3, 2020
“Where it just seemed like an interesting trick, we now also have a clear idea of how the sight can play the role of a real puzzle game.” PC player writing. “We see the camera duplicating objects to solve puzzles, create new maps to explore within levels, and explore spaces to line up fragments of a new setting. “
It’s unclear when Viewfinder can launch to the public, but from what has been revealed so far, the concept definitely looks promising.