7Framed Is A Multi-Perspective Triple-Indie Murder Mystery

Well, at least they were kind enough to tastefully censor the man after they brutally murdered him

7Framed might sound like a name for the world’s most uncomfortable pair of glasses, but least it’s not called 7ramed. I will forever be thankful for that, as I have no idea how you rame something, let alone do it seven times. Silly name aside, there is a game here, and it actually looks rather impressive – well, from a “here is what is obviously a target render Kickstarter video” standpoint, anyway. Blending the first-person physicality of Mirror’s Edge and the multi-perspective murder mystery drama of some game I don’t know about that probably did those exact things, 7Framed has potential in spades. But of course, it wants your money. A lot of your money. To persuade you, developer VIE Games is offering an extremely attractive video, but not much else.

Here’s the basic premise, per developer (and animation/mo-cap studio) VIE Games:

“7FRAMED puts you in the role of not one but seven citizens targeted by the groups that would control them. Set up for crimes you did not commit, 7FRAMED allows you to play from not only the perspective of all of the victims but other characters in the world. Every shift in point of view brings new insights into the agenda of the enemy and brings you steps closer to solving the mysteries of why you? Why were you targeted? And every character you play brings you closer to the realization that your characters must be pivotal players on the global stage even if they do not know it yet.”

“Released in seven episodes, 7FRAMED is set just five years in the future, eerily touching on the modern issues facing us all – issues such as privacy, terrorism, and the inability to make a difference when opposing entities much larger and powerful than ourselves.  And the game immerses you in this terrifying, plausible world in the most believable ways possible.”

Interesting, yes, but also rather vague. That’s kinda the story of the rest of the Kickstarter, unfortunately. Features like “single-player campaign,” “all shooter ingredients plus many challenging puzzles,” and – my personal favorite – “hiding from the other character system” aren’t elaborated on at all. At this point, the whole thing kinda reeks of, “Look at this pretty video! OK now insert some coins to continue yeah yeah do it yeah we’ll figure out the rest later.”

The Kickstarter also touts top-tier Montreal game development talent (which isn’t a particularly far-fetched notion, given that Montreal is made up of more game developers than it is atoms), but it offers nothing in the way of specifics. I can’t even really find any info on VIE’s previous work in animation and mo-cap beyond a shooter called H-Hour: World’s Elite, and the company itself seems relatively young having apparently been founded late in 2012. With a little more digging, however, I did discover that it employs talent formerly of powerhouses like Ubisoft Montreal, so that’s something, at least.

Still though, it’s one thing to be able to make a sneaky, snazzy video like this. It’s something else entirely to turn it into a full-fledged seven-episode game. Given that VIE is asking for $300,000 CAD, we’re gonna need more than just a heaping plate of eye candy and a bullet list of vague promises. Don’t get me wrong: I’d love to see this concept realized, but Kickstarter’s main currency isn’t cold hard cash. It’s trust. Here’s hoping we find out more soon.


  1. Paul says:

    Kind of bizzare that anybody would upload such an incredibly weak pitch, especially after they were just shown how it is supposed to be done by Warhorse.
    The pitch is really incredibly weak. No developer names, no concrete info.. If this is genuine, they should fix that quickly. First impressions and all that. Although I suspect it is already too late.

    • Raztaman says:

      You call it weak and yet I’m itching to throw my money at this game.

      • Paul says:

        Pray tell, how does that not seem weak? I am talking about the pitch iself, not actual game.

      • fucrate says:

        For one, none of this video is in-engine, it’s all just Maya animated mockup bullshit. Every time a group of artists gets together to do a kickstarter pitch and just puts up some obviously fake CG animation, most people see straight through it.

  2. Viroso says:

    Wow waiter dude, just scream OMG DUDE’S DEAD. Wait for the police. Nobody’s gonna think you killed the guy, there wasn’t even enough time, you didn’t look like you had just been in a fight and that guy seemed to be dead for a little while. But no, you just go around all Jason Bourne because the phone told you and then developed super shooting skills and committed double murder.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      Agreed. I want a promise there will be less money spent on pretty graphics, more on a plot that makes the slightest bit of sense before I’m Kickstarting this.

      There was two Swedish games just called “Polis” 1 & 2 released many years ago. They relied a bit too heavily on FMV, but it did actually contain some fairly realistic police work to solve crimes rather than a hodgepodge of cliches from crime shows. You had to assemble a team of officers with different skills – forensic technicians, and what is known as “in” and “out” specialists in Sweden, “in” being detectives who do interviews and search through archives, “out” being more in the field cops. It was a very tense race against the clock to solve it before the real murderer managed to get rid of the evidence. Failure to follow correct police procedure often meant you failed to solve the case, even though you were fairly sure you knew who the murderer was. Couldn’t someone Kickstart a modern remake of those instead?

      • Paul says:

        It really did not make sense at all, did it?
        At least I hoped there would be a developer speaking about the game after the trailer, but…no. Worst pitch ever.

        • tomimt says:

          Yeah, on before that point I was thinking that this look nice, but then the”frame” happened in such a ham fisted way. I kept thinking, okay, the mayor is dead, run to the door and infrom the bodyguards.

          • waltC says:

            The first thing that jumped out for me was the fact that the security guy *did not lift the cover on the plate* to check there, and he did not lift up the table cloth to check underneath the cart. OK, so what was the point of frisking the waiter? None, right? Yea, except there was a cell phone underneath the cover that would ring at precisely the right moment…;) Oh, gee…I was already picturing a bomb or something else lethal hidden on the cart–but this was ridiculous…! No way would that cart not have been checked by the governor’s security if they were being that thorough with hotel staff (or people dressed like hotel staff.) It would have been a classic moment had it been handled correctly…had the cart been overlooked by the guard and yet the phone *was not on the cart* but rather just hidden somewhere else in the room…! Great bit of misdirection that could have been, instead of the tip off given that “There’s something nasty on that cart” when the guard “overlooked” the cart. Ergo, the old phone-on-dinner-plate ploy…;) Big mistake in that scene, imo.

          • tomimt says:

            The writing definetly is the weakest element on the trailer. The graphics look nice, as do the animations, but it all is drawn down by the terrible script. That waiter frisking scene jumped at me as well, when the bodyguards didn’t even bother to check the cargo.

            Their first objective should be to hire someone who can actually write. Or create one, as that seems to be their can do additude.

    • Smashbox says:

      Oh shit a dead guy. Must kill.

  3. tumbleworld says:

    Mmm, QTEs in the actual pitch video. How refreshi… No, wait. Cretinous. How cretinous. Almost as stupid as — like Viroso says, above — just not shrieking the instant you see the corpse.

    • Wurstwaffel says:

      It’s a proof of concept. I guess in the actual game you will be walking around yourself, which will also break the immersion somewhat. There’s no way players will just stand in the server room and wait for the phone to ring for instance. Still, better than a cutscene with QTEs.

  4. Freud says:

    SPOILER: Colonel Mustard with a knife in the bathroom

  5. DrollRemark says:

    Why have they bothered to put key prompts into what is clearly a pre-rendered video?

    • DrollRemark says:

      Although I am tempted to chuck in $5 to get my very own “paper craft figurine of the dev team.”

    • MkMax says:

      its a proof of concept/pilot/tech demo, its common to add UI elements, im more interested in know wtf they added that “escape artist” achievement that contrasts so badly with whats going on that makes me wonder if they were high while they story boarded this, they are trying to sell immersion and they intentionally break it in the worst way, why ?

  6. Atrocious says:

    Sorry to say, but there is so much wrong with the video:
    – Waiter in a fancy hotel doesn’t know how to serve properly.
    – Waiter is checked for weapons, but they don’t bother to look under the serving cover or the cart.
    – Murderer placed a towel over the victims genitalia (because it’s not wrapped around the victim), how nice of him.
    – Waiter does not just walk to the door and tell the bodyguards he found a dead guy.
    – QTEs
    – Waiter now has a gun and shoots people with cold bloodedness
    – There is a huge server room in the hotel
    – Murderer took the time to hack the servers and write a program that tells the waiter to start running (again) over multiple screens.

    It all doesn’t add up.

    • Teovald says:

      -The shooting in particular broke the ambiance, one second we see a poor guy trapped, the instant afterwards he kills two people in what appears as cold blood.. not to mention his sharpshooter level skills.
      -The premise is just absolutely ridiculous. From start to end. Video games are not renowned for their storytelling, but this is terribad even considering the low average of this medium.

    • SillyWizard says:

      – To be fair, if I stabbed a nekkid dude, I’d probably cover his junk, too.

    • Wisq says:

      Waiter does not just walk to the door and tell the bodyguards he found a dead guy.

      This one I don’t have as much of a problem with. People can stop thinking clearly in these situations, and having someone who orchestrated it telling you you’re going to be blamed would just make it worse.

      On the other hand, I would also expect more freaking out and screaming and doing nothing particularly productive, less hanging from ledges and firing guns at people.

      • SillyWizard says:

        Also, the thing is: we don’t know the situation. Presumably the se7en people being targeted are being singled out for a reason. Perhaps this waiter is an ex-member of Seal Team 6 or whatever who knows too much or something, and he’s being framed for this murder because if his background comes out, it would totally be believable. (That would also explain his leet sharpshooting skills.)

        That would then make one wonder why he sounds like such a pussybaby the whole time.

  7. Raztaman says:

    This is exactly why no interesting games come to light these days, because morons complain about anything that’s different. How about opening your minds first and giving it a chance before you get SO critical over a three and a half minute video? Personally I think it looks rather immersive and exciting compared to most games as of late…

    • DrollRemark says:

      There are tons of games more interesting than this, coming out on a regular basis. Where are you looking?

    • Atrocious says:

      Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight are full with interesting ideas and games that think outside the box. I personally backed 7 kickstarter games and look forward to seeing them released.

      They are working on a murder story game that tries to create an interesting story and to immerse players into it. They should really try to make the whole thing more convincing. I hope they can live with some criticism and take it as an inspiration to go forward.

      About QTEs: Very few people like them and find them exciting. They are also very “mainstream”.

      And finally, thanks for calling us morons.

      • DrManhatten says:

        I agree to disagree. Kickstarter has been very lacklustre since the beginning of this year. Not anything really worth backing mostly the same shit over and over again (Only exception I have been seeing is Darkest Dungeon). On the other hand I am happy to see that some high profile pitches failed this month. And don’t get me even started on Greenlight first most of them are kickstarter project and 95% of the rest is just pure crap! I wish Valve would introduce some minimum qualty control before they accept any more projects on it.

    • Viroso says:

      Dude, please don’t call people morons. Besides, liking different things doesn’t mean overriding all critical sense. I love weird stuff, but I also don’t love them unconditonally.

  8. AngusPrune says:

    So there are people who play David Cage games and think “hrm, if only EVERY game were like this!”

    I’d be far more interested if the game were about actually investigating the crime, not running away from a crime scene like a moron and shooting at people.

  9. DodgyG33za says:

    Bring = action towards
    Take = action away from

    I was no expert in English in school, but this Irish-ism that seems to have taken over the world really grates. Am I the only one? Or is my beer addled brain getting it wrong?

    • Matt_W says:

      We Americans do this too. I think it’s just a more expansive use of “bring”. Not only is it when something is moved to my current location (“Please bring me the remote”), but it’s also when I will arrive at a future location with something I procured between now and then (“I’ll bring beer to the party”). “I’ll take beer to the party” to me implies that I already have the beer and I’ll be moving from my current location to the party. And it’s particularly appropriate to say “bring” when referring to people: “I’m bringing him along.” or “These drugs bring me to whole new level of consciousness.” “Bring” conveys a subtle sense of inclusion. If I bring someone, I’m coming with them. If I take someone, I’m dropping them off. I know that Spanish and other languages use similar words (llevar and traer), that have definite reference to the location of the speaker, but “bring” and “take” are not direct translations and are not used in quite the same way.

    • Shazbut says:

      Was going to say this myself. You’re not the only one

  10. spacedyemeerkat says:

    Virgin Interactive Entertainment. Guess I am showing my age.

  11. Winged Nazgul says:

    “Released in seven episodes, 7FRAMED is set just five years in the future” They really should set this seven years in the future. Just because.

    • SillyWizard says:

      Or 14 years, because shit takes for-fucking-ever to actually come out.

  12. Dugular says:

    “…but least it’s not called 7ramed. I will forever be thankful for that, as I have no idea how you rame something, let alone do it seven times.”

    I have an idea of how you would RAM something. Although 7 times seems excessive.

    • SillyWizard says:

      My first thought when seeing the titles also, “Whew, I’m really glad that isn’t ‘7ramed.'”

  13. jarowdowsky says:

    Was really interested at the idea of a multi-perspective murder mystery then lost all interest when bullets started to fly and the developer on kickstarter stated –

    “Its a first person shooter, and like every first person shooter you will experience scripted moments, moments where you need to think and moment that you need to shoot/hide to acheive.”

    Yeah, not rushing at this one with an open wallet…

    • AngusPrune says:

      Worse than that. It’s an EPISODIC first person shooter. Enjoy your 2 hours of bang-bang-shoot-shoot, then wait 3 months for the next episode. Or more realistically, never get the next episode because the budget they’re working from is ridiculous.

      • Paul says:

        Let’s be honest here, this game will never come out anyway.

      • jarowdowsky says:

        Well, wait three months after the first episode then get a one hour DLC then pay again for any other episodes.

        Yep, it’s an episodic game where backing the kickstarter only gets you one episode…

        Who the fuck adds DLC to the first part of an episodic game? Clutching at the money there.

      • Nim says:

        Hey anyone played Sin Episodes around here?

    • Lars Westergren says:

      If you look at the game modes, it sounds like they are promising two big different games – one multiplayer thing perhaps somewhat like The Ship, and one action filled single player game with deep reactivity plus great graphics. All this for 300K? Reduce your scope, people…

      From Kickstarters “risk and challenges” section:
      “We are capable of creating competitive AAA at a lower cost because of our r&d road map and r&d mentality. When something doesn’ exist, we create it.”

      All will be made cheaply because magic?

      • NiftyHat says:

        Now that’s a Risks and Challenges thing I would like to see:-

        We will overcome any risks and challenges by becoming Sorcerers or hiring cheap wizard labor to magic problems away.

  14. KevinLew says:

    I’m not denying that this demo video features a lot of bizarre plot devices, but I need to point out that Outlast had just an equal number of poorly written plot devices. A journalist goes into a mental hospital on a “hot tip”, and within five minutes he sees a horribly murdered guard. Does he do anything a normal person would do, like maybe call for help on his cell phone? Find the police or an ambulance? No, he decides to go all Scooby Doo and solve the murder mystery himself. Because that’s what all photo-journalists do. And at some point, he gets his fingers cut off and he doesn’t even bother looking for any kind of medical help or even a bandage. And Outlast is considered one of the greatest horror games of our generation, if you believe the reviews and hype.

  15. jarowdowsky says:

    You know what this game does make me hanker for, a really good version of the best bits of Condemned.

    Maybe not all the magic fairy, apocalypse hobo stuff but a tight, fearful game based around criminal investigation must have a market out there.

    Guess I’m still hoping for that Homicide:Life on the Streets/Millennium video game mash-up I dreamt about in 1999…

  16. jarowdowsky says:

    You know, this trailer might be a work of genius –

    What is he setting the table for, a knife fight to the death?

    How the hell does a trolley open a hotel room door?

    • MkMax says:

      there are a lot of details like that that make little sense, the quality of the cgi quite good, i doubt its something they put together in an hour, its weird nobody went through it and pointed out weird things like these

      if i had to guess i’d say this is the work of a team with just artists and “visionaries” without any technical consulting, which does not bode well for the final product

  17. MkMax says:

    I like the premise, its sort of trying to do what Indigo Prophecy did (but then went completely off rails)

    but they need to be more careful in the details, get someone to find out how to actually serve a meal, have the guards actually act like guards, have your regular character dude act like a regular dude, etc, worst of all was the Hollywood magical hacking and the achievement pop up (jeez, you are making a cgi pilot focusing in how immersive your game is and you add a goddamn “escape artist” pop up)

    i dont know why ppl are saying he killed those guys, i went back to look at the video and its pretty clear to me that he didnt hit anything, i dont even think the gun worked, it didnt gunshot sounds, maybe he didnt even take off the safety (which would make a lot of sense, although its more likely they gave him a Hollywood silencer) edit : completely forgot about the second shooting part lol

    its not like its that hard to do it right, lets say you start going out of the elevator with the meal instead of at the restaurant, you get to the door, you are checked (properly, including the trays, there is meat and a set of cutlery in there), you go inside and serve the perfectly healthy governor his meal (properly) then while you are about to leave someone comes out from a blind spot in the room, takes the meat knife and kills the governor, before you can do anything he tazes you, while you are in the ground with your vision going on and off you see the killer plant evidence, smear you with blood, putting the knife in your hands and sticking it again into the body, finally he puts the cellphone in your hand and gives you a creepy smile barely seen under the mask, you nod off for a sec and he is gone, while you go up still confused and numb you notice the guards are trying to break the door and you get the call “you should probably start running now” … “oh crap” .. and so on

    the episodic nature is a deal breaker for me tho, ive learn my lesson with wolf among us, never again

  18. Shooop says:

    This requires so much suspension of belief you’d question whether or not the laws gravity still apply in that universe.

  19. liquidsoap89 says:

    What happened to that man’s hip?

  20. twl_corinthian says:

    It’s a shaky pitch, but it’s a bit premature to pick apart specific details of the plot and label the whole thing as ‘implausible’. It’s hard to be sure of what level of realism is intended, and there are plenty of stock plot devices that could justify the Bourne Identity-type nonsense in the video… perhaps something specifically like the Bourne Identity or the Manchurian Candidate, so it turns out the player IS an assassin but doesn’t remember actually killing the guy? Yeah everyone is sick of these amnesia/brainwashing plots, but they wouldn’t necessarily spoil the whole game in themselves.

    Of much more concern: the general QTE / ‘cinematic’ focus of the gameplay. Reminiscent of ‘Heavy Rain’, i.e. “press button to continue playing cutscene”.