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Warco: "Getting The Shot" Means Something Different

Being a journalist in a war zone is no laughing matter. Those people risk their lives all the damn time.

So in order to capture that intensity, Defiant Development is attempting to create a new adventure from a different point of view: instead of toting a gun around in a first-person format, you're carrying a camera.

As revealed at ArsTechnica, the Brisbane-based studio is working with a journalist and filmmaker to create Warco, a "political game disguised as an FPS." Defiant's Morgan Jaffit explains that the idea actually came from Tony Maniaty, an Australian journalist who has worked in regions like East Timor and post-Soviet Eastern Europe. He thought up the game as a training simulator.

Then he started to work on the project with filmmaker Robert Connolly, who had directed a movie called "Balibo," which was a political thriller that dealt with the deaths of Australian journalists during the East Timor conflict in 1975. And now, the game is in the works. Said Jaffit:

"It offers a new perspective on a familiar theme, which enables us to use the tools and techniques of other FPSes to build a completely different kind of narrative and experience. From a design perspective, that's what excited me."

Here's some gameplay, which may look like it's from 1997, but clearly hasn't been optimized for any given platform and remains in the very early stages. Bear that in mind.

In Warco, you play the role of journalist Jesse DeMarco, who must go into dangerous situations and get footage. After doing so, he has to edit that footage and make a "compelling news story." Added Jaffit:

"It's also about navigating through a morally gray world and making decisions that have human impact. It's about finding the story you want to tell, as each of our environments is filled with different story elements you can film and combine in your own ways. It's both a story telling engine and an action adventure with a new perspective."

Unsurprisingly, Jaffit says it has proven difficult to sell this idea to publishers, but Defiant will keep trying. Intended platforms and a release date are still a long ways off, but we think it might prove interesting. We did already have one game that focused 'cough' on photography; Afrika, which really didn't turn out well in our opinion, but still had tremendous promise.

Tags: warco, defiant development, journalism game

9/24/2011 10:27:31 AM Ben Dutka

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Saturday, September 24, 2011 @ 11:20:41 AM

sounds interesting i'm intrigued

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Saturday, September 24, 2011 @ 11:25:36 AM

Yeah I immediately liked this idea too. I assume your pictures will be used in the news reports etc.
This idea has a lot of potential if done right!

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Saturday, September 24, 2011 @ 12:07:36 PM

Alright, put this one on the watch list. As Beam said, if they get this right, it will be a hell of an interesting title.

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Saturday, September 24, 2011 @ 12:14:18 PM

PWN News...

Interesting concept, but let's see if they can execute this one well.

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Saturday, September 24, 2011 @ 1:01:55 PM

ZOMG the graphics suuuuuck!!!


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Looking Glass
Saturday, September 24, 2011 @ 3:11:28 PM

It sounds to me like this game has you playing as a war photographer. That could actually be pretty interesting. And sure Afrika is a pretty niche game. But if you take the photography concept and throw in some political intrigue, moral choices, and crazy action here and there then that might actually broaden the appeal quite a bit. I just hope Sony see's fit to pick this one up. Sony has after all taken risks that have paid off before with Heavy Rain being a case in point.

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Lawless SXE
Saturday, September 24, 2011 @ 7:39:26 PM

That's interesting. I hope someone picks it up, because it could be really good. Then again, it could wind up being a downloadable title, which would excuse the graphical shortcomings a tad.

Oh, and Balibo was pretty decent. Please let this be released... we need another good development studio here. We're in dire straits.

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Sunday, September 25, 2011 @ 3:46:19 AM

I reckon Sony should pick this up as an exclusive and get Naughty Dog and Sucker Punch to help a little on the side, just to make it as realistic and AAA-looking as possible.

It's clearly still in it's early stages, but imagine what the final product will look like 2 years from now with photo-realistic graphics and unbelievably good physics. Have each level or stage be a mini-sandbox with scripted action around certain parts, allowing you to capture all sorts of action or conversations between officials and soldiers!!!

Imagine, the choice of getting incredible war footage to sell to the media or top secret footage of a conversation which you could use to blackmail politicians!!! OMG!!! As an older gamers, I would love to see a game like that!!!

I just hope Warco turns out like that. I know it's still a very early build, but the premise itself is incredibly promising. I really do hope it is done right. Go you Aussie developers!!

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Sunday, September 25, 2011 @ 4:09:06 AM

nice to see we can always rely on the aussies to bring some creativity into the industry!
lets just hope they dont go the way the last ones did............

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Sunday, September 25, 2011 @ 8:48:30 AM

Looks really cool. I am also reminded of Afrika, which was a great game. Ben might have enjoyed it more if he had *ahem* finished the introductory missions and entered the main portion game.

This is certainly on my radar now, as I'm always looking for new and different experiences.

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Monday, September 26, 2011 @ 7:05:32 AM

This sounds awesome. Even if it wasn't made by an Aussie dev I'd be keen. Good luck to these guys, will keep an eye for this one for sure, thanks for the news Ben :).

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Monday, September 26, 2011 @ 11:39:55 AM

Sounds really good

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