Game Mechanics Ideas on camera behaviour?

I'm making a top down game that the concept for is essentially just "breakout with a story mode", silly, over the top, but I think has the potential to be a lot of fun so long as I get it right. Now, I'm still in the early stages and before I start thinking about enemies, hazards on other stuff like that. I want to make sure I've got the basics of movement and control down. Right now, I'm working on the camera, and I'm just not sure how to go with it. My current attempt is to lock the camera to a different position based on the balls angle. But I don't really like that because the camera moves too much and if you're in a tight space where the ball bounces like crazy it's nauseating to be honest. I tried easing the camera to a desired position based on the ball's angle and position, but that doesn't feel too good either for reasons I can't put into words tbh haha.

So I'm here asking for any thoughts on the matter. I'm going to have a mixture of open spaces with a lot of room and fairly cramped spaces too that are about manoeuvrability. You'll be able to control your speed to some extent with a boost or a dash feature of some kind (I'm going to experiment with the particulars when I get there) as well as a brake, you'll be able to adjust your angle either through a charged boost enabling up to a 90 degree turn in one go, or fine tuning your angle over time by holding the buttons (not sure which yet either, maybe both). Both anti-clockwise and clockwise buttons at the same time will allow a 180 turn. So there will be control over where you go, it's not just relying on paddles. I want the camera to show as much as possible, but I don't want it to move or change direction unless it has to so you can easily make micro-adjustments without getting motion sickness. My attempt with locking the desired camera position based on player angle (although atm the camera is locked to 8 angles only, whereas the ball can move in all 360 degrees which may be part of the problem) was to achieve that, but I think it moves too much and at the same time doesn't feel responsive or dynamic enough either. I know that sounds like a contradiction, but it's just so rigid the way it is right now. I just realised that it would probably be very helpful for me to upload a demo tbh, it's just a test room essentially right now, so I'll make a small level to demonstrate it and edit this post later with a link.

Anyway, a free moving camera for a top down game that follows a continuously moving ball that can travel in any direction with player control to manipulate speed and angle, the level sections can either be open and spacious to explore a bit or corridors with obstacles in them to challenge your skill. How would you go about designing the camera behaviour? I can't think of any similar games to compare to, I looked at ALTTP's camera, didn't fit right, my game has way more motion involved. I tried Enter the Gungeon, that's based on crosshair position relative to player position, my breakout clone with a story mode doesn't have a crosshair. Although it did make me think about having the camera be player controlled, but I think that'll likely restrict button presses on a controller and just be annoying.

I'm really at a loss here, I've been scratching my head about it all day and I can't think of a good answer. I was hoping new perspectives might be helpful or at the very least get me thinking in a different way somehow.
 
I ended up coming up with an idea for this and implementing it, I made a thread about it in programming here: https://forum.yoyogames.com/index.php?threads/camera-code-not-working-as-id-like.86555/

My first idea didn't really work out once I managed to figure out how to implement it, so I put the code in that thread and tried something else. I went for a circular version of platformer cameras. Like in Super Mario World, there is a line at which the camera will follow Mario, but only in one direction, if the player switches direction there is an exterior border that when mario touches it will align the opposite border to him instead and follow in the other direction. That allows wiggle room for micro-adjustments when platforming. Here is a picture from google to demonstrate (although it's actually a picture mid adjustment, he should be behind the other solid white line, but you can still see the idea):



I want something similar, I want it so the bouncing isn't so jarring. So I did the same thing but circular instead, here's a video of it working:


And here's a video of it not working so well:


I suppose a solution to this could be just: "don't have tight spaces", and there are other reasons for that being a good idea in general with this game, such as how they're incredibly hard to get into (story of my life), and how they're incredibly hard to get out of too (also the story of my life once, but that's for another time). But that reason shouldn't be because the camera freaks out in that situation in my opinion. So I've made a "level" kind of, as you can see in the video. It was made to test collisions, but it's worked pretty well as like a rigorous test for the camera too. I also learned why you shouldn't make tight spaces, because they're incredibly frustrating to navigate. However, no matter how unenjoyable the gameplay for that might be, I think that if the camera works well there, then it'll work well anywhere. I've compiled an EXE with this level here. The controls are A and D to manipulate angle, R to flip your angle, and P to pause. It's not a proper pause, it just brings your speed down to 0. Close enough for the time being.

If anyone could tell me what they think of my current camera implementation and what I could do to improve it, that would be extremely helpful. Once I've got this down, I can really get into the meat of the game, enemies, traps, hazards, paddles, stuff like that. I've never really gotten this far in the process of making a game before. I've never dealt with cameras or anything like that. I've made some single screen stuff before where I didnt have to worry about camera, but camera stuff is all new to me. I like working stuff out for myself but I'm not sure what else I can try anymore.
 
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