Find the perp before time runs out in Photobomb

Photobomb 2

I'm still working my way through the many experiments to come out of ProcJam 2014—a gamejam that invites designers to experiment with procedural generation techniques. This one jumped out.

It's called Photobomb. You have to identify a bomber in a 3D recreation of a scene moments prior to detonation. You scrub through Twitter-style social media posts to move the scene back and forth through time, matching your view to social media snaps to track suspects. After a short countdown, you have to judge someone, ready or not.

The short experimental build is free to download here. It reflects on how social media mobs can form snap judgements and quickly assign guilt, a phenomenon that occured most recently in the case of the Boston marathon bombings. That story in particular had direct influence on the prototype.

Photobomb 3

"We see people making up their minds about events based on what they see and read on social media, well before any kind of actual investigation or trial has taken place," the creators wrote on the Milkbag games blog.

"So we thought to ourselves: can we make a game about that?"

Issues surrounding crime and modern surveillance should be fertile ground for experimental designers. I hope to see more of this sort of thing in future. There's a little bit of social commentary, but it's a neat little puzzle game, too.

For more of this sort of thing, check out the ProcJam submissions page.

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.