It’s been just under a year since Y Combinator-backed Kamcord officially launched, and the young team has spent its time raising funding and quietly fleshing out its SDK for iOS games.
The team had seen its in-game screen recording tech implemented in over 100 games, and gamers have recorded 500 million videos since those very early days, but now the team has been working on a pair of new features they hope will get even more mobile gamers sharing videos of their exploits. Starting today, Kamcord has provided tools to let players trim down their videos on the fly and add their own vocal tracks into the mix… if game developers enable them, anyway.
The ability to edit game recordings is straightforward enough — the meaty bits of your video may come out to a total of 30 or 40 seconds, so why share the whole multi-minute clip? It’s the voice overlay feature that seems the more compelling of the two, since it demonstrates a pretty solid understanding of the kinds of game videos that get spread around most often.
Here’s the idea: once the feature has been enabled, your device fires up its microphone when the gaming session begins and records your fevered mutterings as you furiously paw at your touchscreen. It seems like a problematic way to go at first — I would’ve though the game’s sounds would drown out any input from microphone — but Kamcord CEO Matt Zitzmann noted that there’s a distinct lack of echoing or audio issues (though he still thinks users should use a separate microphone anyway).
But why even go this route in the first place? A quick look at the gameplay videos that populate YouTube and Twitch reveal that many of them lean on narration — after all, there’s only so much entertainment to be had while watching straight, untampered game recordings. There’s something very compelling about listening to someone as they submit themselves to the experience of a game, which perhaps explains the phenomenal popularity of the Let’s Play video genre.
“They’re just a lot more watchable,” Zitzmann noted in a phone conversation. The sort of human quality that adding voice tracks to a game recording is exactly what Kamcord needs if it wants developers to take the SDK seriously as a potential marketing tool. What better way is there for a would-be player to make up their mind about a game they haven’t taken the plunge on than by watching (and hearing) someone have a blast with it. In the end it’s up to developers to decide whether or not they want either of features enabled, but the team has already been in talks with a handful of interested parties and is slowly staffing up to tackle more challenges.