I got excited when I found a camera and could take photos of critters, but (as far as I know) there isn’t really anything you can do with the results - you can look at them, but you just seem to get the description of the critter’s appearance. I was thinking that it could be fun to flesh this system out a bit as a way to research your foes for combat advantages, somewhat like the research system from Bioshock.
Since it would cause power creep to give the player a source of advantage for free, I imagine that it could be implemented as a positive Trait, cost to be determined based on the significance of the benefits. Having this trait would allow you to spend time and batteries (less of each on a larger, more efficient E-Ink Tablet screen than the small screen on your camera) examining pictures you’d taken to get insights into that particular enemy’s weaknesses, and thus permanent, minor buffs against that enemy. I believe it could also be coded to start the player with a camera, like how the negative Sight traits start them with glasses.
For example, one ‘step’ of research against a given enemy could give you a higher chance to crit or a bonus to armor penetration by identifying their weak points, or a bonus to dodge their attacks by examining how they move in an action shot. Certain enemies could also have unique bonuses available, hooked into their json files, but that would be more involved.
The quality of the photo would influence the likelihood of adding a bonus for that monster when you review it, and only one photo per enemy could be taken, though if you got a low-quality one you could try again to override it with a better one. There could also be a chance to get a benefit against the entire monster group the critter is part of instead, higher the more research into that group’s members you’d done so far. These benefits would be smaller, but let your research contribute to fighting new things similar to what you’ve seen before. Note that I haven’t delved into the source to see how monster groups actually work - this part may or may not be viable.
As for displaying what benefits you’d accumulated, I was thinking it might be best to just list them in the description of the Trait on the character screen, but that might get very crowded on a late-game character with the number of enemy types that exist - if anyone has a better idea I’d be open to suggestion.
I think this could be fun, because I really like character options like Robust Genetics or Stylish that don’t give you much out the gate, but afford you the opportunity to develop in different ways as play progresses. I’d love to hear what people think of this idea, especially regarding balance specifics and ways to make it more interesting!