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Steam Greenlight:



You Tube:


In development (pre-alpha)

Release date:
Second half of 2016 (TBA)

PC, Mac, Linux, Web (iPad & Android Tablet TBC)



Experimental / Indie / Playable Poster / Platformer


Engine/ Language:
Construct 2, Scirra/ HTML5

Age Rating:
16/18 (TBC!)

Strobe effects, nudity, possible sexual themes and content, bohemianism

Single-player, Experimental, Indie, Playable Poster, Platformer, Photography, Pre-cinema, Animation, Video-Games, GIF’s, Historical


Optikammer – an orifice of antique optical innovations!

Optikammer is a playable poster concerning the strange forerunners of Cinema, Animation, Video Games & Cat GIFs…


Optikammer tells a story about how disparate research & weird toys from the nineteenth century came to be regarded as the antecedents of modern Visual Media.

The story is presented for the general public’s amusement and edification by making original materials interestingly interactive.

Contemporary forms can be recognised in there earliest incarnations: Cartoons and Rotoscoped Images; VR Photography like Google Streetview ; Motion Capture and “Matrix Bullet-Time”; Stop-Motion Animation to GIFs.

  • Play with ground-breaking experiments and philosophical toys
  • Interact with the chronophotography of Muybridge and Marey
  • See where the ideas for cinema, animation, and digital media sprang from

Philosophical Toy

Optikammer’s story begins in the early 1800’s when “Philosophical Toys” were a bridge between emerging sciences and popular culture. Often derived from experiments, they were commercialised as novel and enlightening amusements for adults and children.

Optikammer is a kind of philosophical toy that echoes the spirit of its own subjects. It aims to disseminate ideas to a wider audience by re-forging known technologies as storytelling tools.

Playable Poster

Optikammer works like a side-scrolling platform game, an interactive trope well established since Super Mario.

Optikammer looks something like a collection of nineteenth century playbills – a typographic environment that acts as a visual scaffolding for the core content – working optical artefacts.

Interactive Infographic

Infographics tell stories with data. Deeper meaning, and joy, can be gleaned through interaction and dynamism.

Optikammer is a progression of the idea of an infographic. It integrates dynamic data readouts and player interaction with compelling content to tell its stories more effectively than would ever be possible in a video or printed poster.


Optikammer was born from a will to tell stories by playing with original artefacts. Working digital objects tell their own tales in a dynamically different way to linear media. To be really enjoyed and understood they should be played (with).

Optikammer’s narrative begins in the early 1800’s when “Philosophical Toys” were a bridge between emerging sciences and popular culture. Mark “Thesaurus” Roget and the bold Michael Faraday were key players in describing optical phenomena, yet were involved somewhat accidentally outside their usual areas of expertise. The subsequent toys’ continued phantasmagorical depictions established by magic lantern slides in the century before, but also incorporated humorous and sometimes subversive subjects of the day. As devices developed and diverged, the emergent media called for new techniques to create hand-drawn images in motion. This intersection of art, science and culture is evident in each toy – from Thaumatrope to Anorthoscope, Phenakistoscope to Zoetrope.

In the latter half of the nineteenth century scientists and showmen continued their pursuit of motion through photography. In the work of bohemian Nadar and optical scientist Purkyně, early forms of the techniques behind The Matrix’s bullet-time and Google Street View are evident. Muybridge perfected the “arresting of motion” on the behest of a railroad tycoon cum racehorse owner, but struggled to play them back successfully as moving pictures. Nonetheless, his photographs are seminal in the history of stop-motion animation and film (also influencing established art forms as evident in paintings by Marcel Duchamp and Francis Bacon). Étienne-Jules Marey began his professional studies designing blood pressure monitors, later finding himself involved in chronophotography by developing a high-speed camera gun to analyse bird flight. Though his initial intentions were to study animal and human physiology, his innovations led toward much of what we now call cinema and motion capture, as well as medical imaging and aerodynamics.

These original materials exhibit humorous and fascinatingly surreal nineteenth century notions of cinematicity and phantasmagoria still extant in today’s visual media. Optikammer attempts to echo the spirit of its subjects – disseminating ideas to a wider audience by re-forging technologies as storytelling tools.

Gameplay & Interactivity

Optikammer is a side-scrolling platformer with over a hundred distinct gameplay elements.

It is a kind of playable poster or interactive infographic. Rather than being a gimmick, interactivity is key to discovering the exquisite ingenuity of these incredible items that led to today’s cinema, animation, motion capture, video games and much more…

  • A platform style game format that works like a playable poster
  • 8 levels, each covering a distinct phase of optical innovation
  • Over two dozen interactive parts with more than fourscore playable artefacts
  • Mechanics range from physics simulations to multi-state triggers to fully controllable photo-realistic avatars
  • Available in a web browser, or download as an app


“ALL THIS IS A DREAM. Still examine it by a few experiments. Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature; and in such things as these experiment is the best test of such consistency”

Michael Faraday

“There is no such a thing as artistic photography. In photography, like in all things, there are people who can see and others who cannot even look”

Gaspard-Félix Tournachon A.K.A. Nadar

“Living beings have frequently been compared to machines, but it is only in the present day that the  justice of this comparison is fully comprehensible”

Étienne-Jules Marey


Optikammer will let you play with the 19th century’s weirdest toys

Written by Amanda Hudgins in Killscreen

April 7th 2016 { link }

Optikammer reproduce la ‘magia’ del zoótropo y el quinetoscopio en el PC

Written by Sergio Agudo in Malavida  (Spanish)

April 8th 2016 { link }

Anteprimera Optikammer

Written by Gabriele Raimondi in Everyeye  (Italian)

April 9th 2016 { link }

Play an early version?



{ run-through of the Roget/ Plateau level }


{ first look }


{ Download all GIFs – 23mb }