Virtual photography gets easy

By which I mean that it’s technically far more achievable than previously; the ability to take good images is a whole other thing, just as DSLRs have made professional quality photography available to all without putting photogs out of business.*

I’m specifically referring to game photography here – the art of taking great screenshots, essentially. Games are inherently visual and always have been, with screenshots being part of their marketing since the earliest days. Three distinct changes have occurred which make taking in-game images suddenly more interesting.

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I lost my spaceship in No Man’s Sky

I wrote a while back that I only started enjoying Far Cry 3 when I applied my own artificial restrictions to its free-form playground (in that case, using only the bow, despite the plethora of weaponry on offer). Taking an accidentally similar approach to No Man’s Sky, I gave myself a similar limiter: not having a spaceship. In this instance, though, it was entirely accidental. Continue reading

Oculus has forgotten its reason to exist

Start with Why. Then figure out How. That leads to What. Never start with What.

Oculus kickstarted the modern, fledgling virtual reality industry – literally, on Kickstarter. VR has been around in various forms for decades. The Oculus Rift represented a major leap forwards and received massive goodwill and public support.

Fast forward to now and there are multiple players in the market. Most notably Oculus (now owned by Facebook) and the Vive from the odd pairing of Valve and HTC. But this industry isn’t like home video in the 80s – back then, home video was definitely going to happen. The format war between VHS and Betamax was daft, but it didn’t threaten the very concept itself.

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Beyond Good & Evil: First 5 Minutes

I’m attempting to make a bit more of my YouTube channel. Due to my intensive work on the HitFilm channel over the years I’ve not always found the time to focus on my own – there’s only so much YouTube you can fit into one life. Now that my HitFilm work is drawing to a close, I figured it was a good time to start doing my own stuff more regularly.

Hence, I’m now making these First 5 Minutes videos somewhat more frequently. Today I’m looking at Beyond Good & Evil, a game with such strong art direction and clarity of design that it doesn’t really seem like it’s dated in theĀ 13 years since its release. This marks the ninth First 5 Minutes video. I’m having a lot of fun with ’em.

Steam Controller is a great jog/shuttle editing device

I’ve had a Steam Controller for about six months. As a gaming device it’s excellent, especially if you’re not already an expert with another gamepad. What hadn’t occurred to me until this week is that its unusual design makes it perfectly suited to serving as a jog/shuttle device for video editing.

What makes it potentially better than a standard shuttle device is that the Steam Controller also functions as a high accuracy mouse. It becomes a hybrid mouse/keyboard/shuttle device.

Anyway, check out the first prototype in action here:

More work to be done, but it’s already a fascinating device in this context.

Dishonored: First 5 Minutes

When writing about Dishonored, should one go with the official spelling of the title, or correct it to Dishonoured? And what happens when you’ve stared at both words for far too long, with the consequence that they both look entirely made up?

An alternative is to make a video instead, where you don’t have to spell it out. Here’s me yabbering about the First 5 Minutes of Dishonored, and what it does to engage the player: