Student Entrant 2013
University of California, Irvine
Camera Obscura is a 2D puzzle platformer whose main goal was to marry level design and game mechanics as closely as possible. By making it so that the player's main ability takes shape directly from their environment, we made it so that every level is its own solution, the level design is the lock and the key, the question and the answer, all at the same time. The player has everything they need to solve every puzzle at all times, relying solely on their ability to think about how the spaces they're in, on, and around can be used to form different things.
We believe that game design is a constant cycle of teaching and testing, and much like skateboards and bicycles don't themselves become more complex as one gains skill, merely the things one does with them, the "Afterimage" ability in Camera Obscura behaves the same way through the entire game. The main challenge and change is how the player is forced to work with that ability and how they deal with increasingly strict demands of accuracy and timing with them. IT is our hope that gamers will find in Camera Obscura a mechanic that is simple to grasp, difficult to master, and rewarding in its execution in skilled hands.