Video game summer camp: 6 studios share their ideas
For all its impact on movies, TV, and books, American slumber camp has made an extremely tiny dent in the digital worlds of video games.
the original Psychonauts placed its government training facility at Whispering Rock Psychic Summer Camp, and 2017’s Friday the 13th the game took us back to the iconic Camp Crystal Lake. Supermassive Games has also just released its latest version, The career, which pits nine camp counselors against each other in a fight for their lives against supernatural forces. But these games are anomalies in the grand scheme of things. movies like Meatballs, Heavyweight, Addams Family Valuesand hot and humid american summer established summer camp movies as a force in pop culture and TV shows like Camp Lazlo and American Horror Story: 1984 followed suit. Video games have yet to treat summer camps like the mainstream genre that they are.
But that won’t stop us from dreaming. That obviously didn’t stop the developers from doing the same, either. We reached out to six studios to ask what their ideal summer camp game would look like, regardless of budget or timeline, and their responses were as varied as the games they actually made.
Now our conscience is clear, and it falls squarely on the publishers to give these guaranteed classics the time of day.
Last summer at Camp Gloom
Being British, our idea of an American-style summer camp mostly comes from the movies, and the one that sticks in our minds is Camp Chippewa from Addams Family Values! We also thoroughly enjoyed the “going out into the wild with a map” vibe and gameplay of fire watch, and I’d love to create an outdoor game in a similar style, but with a little more weighting towards the puzzle/detective elements. And U.S too I love the vibe, humor and mystery of the TV show Gravity Falls.
So, to sum up: our ideal summer camp-themed game would combine the energy and detective mystery of Gravity Falls with the visuals and gameplay elements of fire watch and have a dark but wholesome story inspired by the Addams Family! let’s call it Last summer at Camp Gloom. —Bad Viking, developer of strange horticulture
Bloodborne x Summer Camp Island
what if transmitted by blood meet summer camp island? Thousands of children will descend on an isolated summer camp, with a colorful cast of “camp counsellors”, “forest friends” and “bad bullies”. You play as an anonymous, silent protagonist whose only special ability is to nod or shake his head. With your powers of communication, you must unite the summer camp against the evil that lurks in the heart of “Wicked Woods”.
This is an always-online game as much of the game will not make sense and you will have to rely on “Fellow Campers” from “Other Timelines” to leave messages and items etc. There is “The Lizard” in the game which will go “Buh”. I’d love to see a significant chunk of the budget dedicated to rendering “The Lizard.” If you connect a second controller, you can control “The Lizard”. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. PLEASE DO NOT STEAL. —William Pugh, Founder of Crows Crows Crows, Developer of Stanley’s Parable: Ultra Deluxe
Evolution of graffiti
It’s very Jackbox-y, but I really like the summer camp graffiti. Sharpened on cabin walls, under bunks, dug into trees or in rough latrine cabins. I imagine a game where everyone is 10 years old and you draw and write graffiti about your fictional summer together. Five years later, you are all 15 years old. The drawing wall has also aged. Some lines are still clear while others have faded or disappeared. You draw and write again about your teenage summer, reusing the remaining lines. So you’re a 20-year-old camp counselor. Again you draw on the partially faded wall. Maybe over the years, “Brad likes hot dogs” becomes “Brad likes Jenny” which later becomes “Stacy likes Jenny.” Or you just draw stupid stuff and over time one drawing’s nose later becomes another drawing’s ass.
Later turns might include drawing from the perspective of a wedding party who rented the campground, middle-aged employees at a corporate retreat, woodland creatures, or a group of killers in series during the off season, to name a few. —Arnie Niekamp, Studio Editorial Director at Jackbox Games, developer of Jackbox Party Pack 8
EARTH CAMP uses a next-generation mixed reality headset. You only put it on to see a summer camp bus/spacecraft land in front of your house. Impatient aliens from across the galaxy are here because your house is going to be their summer camp headquarters. The game takes place in real time as the aliens spend the next six weeks exploring your home while you guide them through whatever activities you choose. Craftsmanship, space s’mores, and interstellar romance abound. Help the aliens make friends and not completely destroy your home by learning their surprising secrets, and maybe something about yourself. —Jesse Schell, CEO of Schell Games, developer of I expect you to die 2
Tyrannosaurus Teeth Camp
From Frontier’s point of view, it would be particularly interesting (although a bit dangerous!) to see what might unfold at a Jurassic World Evolution 2 summer camp! Last year we even introduced a Camp Cretaceous Dinosaur pack, so the Jurassic franchise has already explored some camp-related hijinks.
While the sites for a dinosaur-themed summer camp would be amazing, with awesome dinosaurs, flying and sea reptiles, and beautiful scenic landscapes, there’s always that added risk factor – who knows what might. turned bad ! From dino escapes to weather calamities like hurricanes and even blizzards, campers would have a lot to talk about during their visits. It would be worth approaching a Triceratops while traveling in a Gyrosphere, or to see the powerful Mosasaur launch out of the lagoon waters during feeding time. We advise all campers to avoid the tyrannosaurus rex pregnant, of course… —Rich Newbold, game director at Frontier Developments, developer of Jurassic World Evolution 2
It’s summer and all your friends are going to different summer camps. Everyone except you. You stay at home with your grandmother, and you have nothing to do but take care of all your friends’ houses: water the plants, feed the cats and dogs, sort the mail, etc By doing this, you discover little things you didn’t know about them, and their relationship with you… and you can prepare something for each of them that will surprise them when they return (crafting mini-game) . Eventually, they come back and feel very touched. The game ends with a big party that all your friends throw at you for being such a good friend. —Emeric Thoa, Creative Director at The Game Bakers, developer of Haven