Patrick Curry’s Thoughts on Game Design

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October 24th, 2006

Game Idea #43: Snapshot Shootout

Holy cow we’re nearing the end of the year already. Just 10 game ideas left to go…

High Concept:

Snapshot Shootout is a fun, social game all about taking snapshots. The catch is that you’re using your console’s digital videocamera to take pictures of real-world stuff! Compete with friends and the entire world to take the coolest, cutest pics around!


Home Console

Why it needs to be made:

Webcams have been around forever… they’ve been used with mix results as a controller for console games… and now they’re being used as a means of communication in online games. Snapshot Shootout is the game that uses the camera for actual gameplay in an online context.


Snapshot Shootout works as a world-wide digital-photo scavenger hunt. Each week the official list of bounties are sent out, and each week everyone playing the game uploads their best shots of the items on the list… be it a can of tomato soup, a purple baseball cap, or a cat in a silly outfit. Your photos are then judged by all of the players for accuracy, beauty, and creativity. And of course you can browse, rank, and comment on all of the other players’ photos, contributing to their overall scores.

On top of the weekly all-hands contest, you can issue side challenges to your friends, racing each other to capture images of obscure items that fit your tastes. Maybe you want to see who can upload an image of John Lennon first, or perhaps see who has the most impressive stack of videogames in their home. It’s up to you and your crazy friends to set (and play by) the rules.

Kids can also play in a safe offline mode. Snapshot Shootout gives them a list of scavenger hunt items that they have to run around the house to find and show-off to the camera, which parents can come back and verify. And if the weather’s nice, they can find scavenger items from the yard and the neighborhood.

Why it will be fun:

People are already having fun pranking each other with their console cameras… we might as well make a game out of it! The mechanics are so simple there’s practically nothing to learn to be able to play, so anyone with a console and webcam can play. Plus it would be super rewarding to see a snapshot you took end up in the hall of fame gallery because everyone voted for your “most silly face”.

Final Thoughts:

I thought up Snapshot Shootout a couple months ago… But it wasn’t until a friend told me about how his cat was “playing” Uno online the other day that I knew it had to be posted.

6 Responses to “Game Idea #43: Snapshot Shootout”

  1. Erin commented:
    posted October 27th, 2006 at 2:26 pm

    Wow! We’ve talked about the possibility of a virtual/photo scavenger hunt so much, I was suprised to find it hadn’t made it on the site yet. I can say, without a doubt, that this is the game my girlfriends and I would play more than any other, real or imagined. Bring it on! (And I may have a photo of tomoato soup around here somewhere already. Heh.)

  2. Oldtimer commented:
    posted November 17th, 2006 at 3:14 pm

    I know this is late, but only because I have been off taking so many snapshots. I especially like the idea of letting players challenge each other. It might even be possible to get a photo editing program to co-package, e.g.,

    Simple version of Snapshot Shootout packaged with Photoshop, and discount on Snapshot Shootout.
    Also vice versa.

  3. Patrick commented:
    posted November 18th, 2006 at 12:47 am

    Yes, the idea of player-defined-challenges really appeals to me. A father could challenge his kids. A teacher could challenge her students. Letting the “players” define the rules for how they play the game within their social circle has endless opportunities (if I do say so myself).

  4. Mex commented:
    posted November 27th, 2006 at 5:13 pm

    I don’t think this is a game.. it’s a webpage with a “snapshot of the week” competition.

  5. Patrick commented:
    posted November 27th, 2006 at 9:26 pm

    In your mind what’s the difference between a “competition” and a “game”? It’s a really fine line…

  6. Alexis commented:
    posted March 21st, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    this sounds really fun and great but i would be worried about safety. Because this would be a race, pics must be uploaded quickly, but in order for them to be effectively safe, they would have to be filtered which could take a while. If you figure that part out, i’d be totally happy with the game!

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