Last year, student developer Matt Stark surprised us with a look at a new experimental game that would allow you to take pictures of the world, print a polaroid and superimpose the snapshot on the world.
A year later, we saw the game again with a new name (Viewer) and a better idea of how this wild technology could play in a game with all the features. Again, it will make more sense when you see it in action.
Hi #PitchYaGame! We are Robot Turtle, a British team with global partners. 🥰Viewfinder is an amazing first-person adventure game in which you can bring images to life and enter other worlds. Use your instant camera to reshape the world and uncover its mysteries. pic.twitter.com/vW6k0Zm888June 1, 2021
Stark has been busy since we last arrived with Viewfinder, acquiring a team of collaborators under the Robot Turtle umbrella. This includes some environmental art close to Witness, which gives much more weight to the polaroid effect. It no longer moves only cubes and boxes, but changes entire buildings and streets.
When before it seemed like a pure trick, now we also have a firm idea of how the Viewer can be played as a proper puzzle game. We see the camera duplicating objects to solve puzzles, creating new maps to explore interior levels, and exploring spaces to align fragments of a new frame.
The viewfinder bears many similarities to Valve's rumored "F-Stop", a mechanic the studio was considering for a prequel to the Portal before finally doing so. F-Stop remained a strong secret until last January, when the independent studio LunchHouse Software revealed how and why of F-Stop with a YouTube series titled Exposure.
Since then, we've seen some more puzzling, perspective-based news, such as Superliminal and Maquette. The viewfinder could still be an exit with no firm launch planned, but I’m excited to incorporate its perfect puzzles someday.