Strangely inspired by a Luke Plunkett tweet:
"Trying it imagine the boardroom meeting where "let's make an unboxing video of our own game" sounds like a good idea to a publisher"
I conjure another…Game Idea of the Day!
Format: First person action stealth
You play a minor Youtube celebrity renowned for unboxing new tech products and giving monotone commentary on them.
The game begins when a product you receive in the mail turns out to be a ticking bomb from a crazed fan.
~ A tutorial level where you unbox genuine tech products that will be released soon after the release of the game itself. A perfect tie-in opportunity with big corporations looking for buzz. As you unbox a virtual version of the latest Kindle Fire, you learn the control scheme of the game, and are lulled into a false sense of security…
~ There's two ways you can play the game, with a mic or without. If you go without, you let the game character do his scripted dialogue. But if you choose to play with a mic, you get to give the monotone commentary when you unbox products. You'll have the option to livestream to Twitch or Youtube as well.
~ Once the crazed fan sees you unbox their bomb in real-time via online stream, you will have to be careful how you react as the fan can see you at all times. Any strange actions you take will be deemed suspicious. There are two ways to proceed, either you get through this scenario by yourself, or you switch to two other playable characters: the detective assigned to the case, or another Youtube fan.
~ If you choose to play the game as the Youtube celebrity, you have to figure out how to survive the day by doing the crazed fan's bidding and not getting blown up. We're so used to playing games where we avoid being seen, so this is a unique experience where every action you take is seen, yet you must somehow get away from the bomb without alerting the crazed fan. The fan will make various demands of you throughout the game, all for his/her own pleasure, and they will always have eyes-on, thanks to pervasive surveillance, media, etc. If you manage to get rid of the bomb, the crazy guy eventually appears as a Terminator type nemesis who relentlessly chases you around the city, causing devastation. You have to figure out how to stop him.
~ If you choose to play as the detective, you obviously have to figure out how to save the main character. This will be procedural LA Noire type stuff, lots of time-sensitive tasks, as you get closer to finding the crazed fan's location via IP trace and whatnot. But you're dealing with a genius so no doubt you'll end up infiltrating an apartment with a SWAT team only to discover a waiting creepy doll laughing at you.
~ If you choose to play as another Youtube fan watching this unfold, you will do some Watch Dogs style hacking stuff to find the crazed fan yourself, while also remotely helping the protagonist of the story survive his Die Hard With A Vengeance type day.
Offbeat stuff will include:
~ The game will escalate from the main character being tormented in his living room to being instructed to leave the house, evade the police and media, and do various tasks for the antagonist around the city. The genius is not only crazy, but seems to have an ulterior motive as well. Like every typical Die Hard villain, all this tomfoolery is really a distraction from another crime he's committing…
~ GTA5 style insta-switching between the three characters to get through tricky situations. At one point the main character will be forced to hijack a school bus while wearing a bomb. Meanwhile the detective has to convince the SWAT team not to take a headshot, because if the guy dies the bomb will sense a lack of heartbeat and explode anyway. While this is occurring the Youtube hacker fan is trying desperately to hack the city's traffic grid to ensure the bus can get to its destination in time, because if it doesn't the crazed bad guy's gonna detonate it anyway. (John Powell is scoring this game by the way)
~ There will be a section where the crazed fan demands the main character record, edit and release a Hitler Downfall meme video on Youtube. At that point an in-game Youtube editing software will appear and you can actually do it for real.
~ There's a Kotaku cameo in the game where you're required to enter the 'shop contest. Again, a photo editor will pop up and you can make something funny and upload to the virtual version of Kotaku.
~ The game culminates in a raging street battle leading to an airport climax, somewhat akin to Max Payne 3. Don't ask me why. (ok, it involves a cargo plane, lots of gold and terrorists wearing beanies)
~ DLC: You play a character in an alternate universe who is unboxing Half-Life 3 when an alien invasion disrupts you. Enraged you join a resistance group to destroy the alien menace. Midway through the game you fall into a black hole and are reborn as a child in the reality of the original Unboxer game. The game ends when you tragically die in the school bus scenario described previously above.
~ Extra DLC: Enables you to survive the school bus scenario, and find your way back to your own reality and finish unboxing Half-Life 3. (unfortunately once your character puts the game disc in their console, the DLC ends. Sorry.)
Each character has several different endings depending on moral choices you make throughout the game. The super secret rare ending is the one where it's revealed the entire game was just a blog post on Kotaku TAY Classic written by Cihan. Nothing but a screenshot of this page appears.
Much like the Bear simulator game, Unboxer deals with post-modern fallout. Concerned with exploring the immediacy of life and the consequences of fame in an attention-seeking society, the game makes you question reality and at what cost you're willing to sacrifice your values to make yet another Hitler Downfall meme. What is this game actually saying about the act of unboxing videos on Youtube? How many meta moments can you endure before you realise how short life is and just switch the console off?