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.