Wednesday, 9 September 2020

VP Interview: Ghostly Fog Crawler


The world of virtual photography is as diverse as any art form. People take to it for different reasons and also have various ways of approaching the hobby. Today we have an interview with Ghostly Fog Crawler who was featured for both her Fallout 76 work here and her Red Dead Redemption Online shots here. 

Below we get a greater insight into the person behind the shots and discover what drives that creativity!

All shots on this page were taken by Ghostly Fog Crawler for more of her wonderful work check out her page here.

Fallout 76

What got you into Virtual Photography and why does it mean so much to you?

I was not into virtual photography as my page was starting off as a story platform. Later on I took more photos rather than wrote. I was told the Fallout 76 is an ugly game so I decided to prove them wrong. Now I have found an amazing amount of stunning scenes in other games too, which has got me to expand my page into other games too.

Most of your shots come from online games with a lack of photo mode. How do you get past that obstacle and embrace the medium of virtual photography?

I take screenshots with no visible hud if no photo mode, or if there is a cinematic mode. They usually provide nice angles for shots. I end up using these sometimes even there would be a photo mode! Again it requires me to explore the world with friends or alone, and the situation I feel would be great for a photo happens along the way.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Online

Out of all the games you have played and shot. Which mean the most to you and why?

Fallout 76 most likely on this account means most, as my page was built around the characters in it. The game is really much fun with friends and the community amazes me daily with stunning shots.

Later came other more aesthetic games like Red Dead Redemption 2 (the Online version), and then also the Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint with amazing photo mode and scenery, which I do adore a lot.

Ghost Recon: Breakpoint

It is clear that you have a love for Fallout 76, How has the journey as a photographer and a gamer treated you in the post-apocalyptic world?

Very nicely. I get all my ideas for my photos as we quest or mess around with friends. Luckily I am also surrounded with people with similar interests, and they allow me to just suddenly 'hop' off from the main event and go taking photos.

Currently the actual virtual photography has become more and more stressful, so I'll be going back to my story telling. It was fun while it lasted, but I need to enjoy this hobby rather than start feeling anxiety over every post I make.

What draws you into creating your own characters and narratives within the worlds you play in and out of all of your original characters, who is your favourite?

I love writing stories, starting the Fallout 76 story page was something I had never done, as previous stories I had written were not in English, but in Finnish as the MMORPG I played contained a massive amount of my countrymen. (1200 people in the guild I was in). So also this 'new' way of finding a way to play with words in this foreign language, has been a challenge, and a joy to do. 

I fail often, and am grateful to some of the people in the community to point them out, allowing my grammar to grow in the right direction, and motivating me to write more. I enjoy bringing my characters to life and getting many messages of inspiring people to start writing their own stories also warms my heart tremendously.

My all time favourite character is - who else - than Aster. I also had worked the longest with my Enclavist Julia, and fell for my Communist sisters Lilith and Svetlana. But still Aster holds a special place in my heart and therefore she is the most commonly written character of my stories. In the PDF book I am working on, all my characters will be working together/against each other, around Aster's story, who is starring it. We'll see how that works out.

Are there any other games that you would like to explore or any that you are looking forward to the release of?

I am currently playing Borderlands 3, continuing my Forza Horizon enthusiasm in the 4th game, Ghost Recon, and soon diving into Sea of Thieves too as some of my friends are playing it. 

The only release date I have been keeping my eye out is for Diablo IV. I will have to actually most likely take a time off from Instagram as it comes out, and just feast on the new chapter of the legendary tales.

Being an avid virtual photographer who doesn't use a photo mode often, do you have any advice for those who are reluctant to explore without that kind of setting?

Many games nowadays have the actual photo mode, of some sort, but the ones that have not, usually the HUD is hideable, which allows you to take clean screenshots of even action moments, views, sunsets, starry skies only the sky's the limit!

Playing on consoles sometimes the HUD is not completely hidden, so skills in cropping and having high quality photos is sometimes needed in games where photo mode is not a thing. Also patience and exploring the possibilities of the game is always good for the skills on virtual photography, even when using the photo mode.

I play through all platforms Fallout 76 and Red Dead Redemption 2. So what I have learned is that on PC (as my PC is getting old) and I have no 4k screen on it yet.The photos taken on PC require a lot eye for lighting and backgrounds to make the character or item to pop out even remotely clear. As I do not mod any other than Minecraft from my games on PC, I have to really work for the photos. Sometimes I might get lost for hours on trying to get exactly the photo I want even on my PS4 and XBox One, which requires my friends to have a lot of patience when it comes to taking photos with me, and I am blessed to have such friends. I just can not take a pose and snap a photo. I mean I can, but it usually ends up something I don't feel good about. 

So whatever platforms you're playing I am sure the photos you come up with are amazing! The Fallout Community has phenomenal, actual virtual photographers, who most likely could give tips on editing and apps to use, as I don't use anything else than my phone's photo gallery edits to mainly crop if ever needed.

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Xbox Series S


What is it?

Why is it here? 

Apparently we shall find out soon. It looks like the digital only next gen Xbox effort. original the PS5 Digital only was estimated at $400

The estimated retail price for the Xbox Series S is at a mere $299

Saturday, 5 September 2020

Assassin's Creed: Odyssey - Atom X


I featured Atom X some time ago in a showcase for his comic-book Fallout 76 shots. You'll be pleased to know now he has made a return to the blog. Recently featured on Ubisoft Quebec's Fan of the Month today I feature his photography from Assassin's Creed: Odyssey.

Each holds a dream-like quality, a soft focus giving it them mystical, distant and heroic feel. Not only does this portray the epic nature of the game, but also the nice costume change of Alexios old, blindfolded and grey haired, gives the impression of the hero long after his quest has ended. 

Perhaps giving us an impression on what could have become of the hero had the fates been different. 

For more of his stunning work check out his Instagram page here.

Friday, 4 September 2020

Witcher 3 Remastered Comes to Next Gen

CD Projekt Red has announced "a visually and technically enhanced version" of The Witcher 3: Wild HuntThe new version has been "developed to take advantage of the most powerful gaming hardware." The game "will feature a range of visual and technical improvements," including ray tracing and faster load times across the entire game along with all of the DLC.

The remaster will be free in the form of an upgrade for those who already own the game.

Nintendo Reveal Mario Remasters

Along with a huge host of games remasters coming out, Nintendo is no different. They have announced the release of Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy which will all be coming to the Nintendo Switch. The compilation is called Super Mario 3D All-Stars and will be sold from September 18 until March 31, 2021

This does mean that after the end of March the game will no longer be able to be purchased. 

With this compilation we also see the return of Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario Bros. 3 in a re-release of the classic Super Mario All-Stars for the Switch.

And lastly for this series of Nintendo releases in February we shall see the release the Wii U game Super Mario 3D World which will have online and local co-op multiplayer, new levels new Cat Mario and Cat Peach amiibos. .

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Fall Guys Auction for Charity hits 1 Million


Fall Guys developer Mediatonic launched a charity auction last month to determine the sponsor of a new in-game cosmetic. After a rather long winded battle of bidders, four front runners came together to place a winning bid of $1 million (£745,000).

Ninja famous for his Halo 3 esports participation and in more recent years Fortnite, announced that he had "decided to team up" with YouTuber Mr Beast, esports organisation G2 Esports and in-game analytics provider Aim Lab, who had temporarily held high bids in the auction, for "a combined donation".

Mediatonic also confirmed that the four parties will each receive their own skin, stating that "we'll now sort out the donations while out artists start to collab with the winners on their skins". 

All four parts of the bidding team will continue to stream and raise money for the UK based charity Special Effect who help people with disabilities access games. 

"Our work is transformational and unique. Our team of therapists and technologists are determined that everyone, whatever their physical disability, should be able to share the fun, laughter and inclusion that video games can bring.

From controller mods to voice and switch controls, all our customised gaming setups are designed to suit the very specific individual needs of each person we help."

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Sony is Set to Release More Games for PC

Sony’s full year corporate report was published over the weekend. Due to the global pandemic Sony estimates a ¥68.2 billion loss (£484 million) in revenue. Despite this Sony's gaming sales have done well. The PlayStation business now generates more sales and operating income than any other part of Sony:

Sony has announced that they want to gain a growth in active users and this means expanding more into other territories: 

"Targeted outcomes include growth in active users, stronger retention and a shorter cash conversion cycle, from which expanded cash flow can be expected. We will explore expanding our 1st party titles to the PC platform, in order to promote further growth in our profitability."

The company also stated that it's largest competition is the PC gaming market.

"Competition from online PC games and players from other industries is expected to continue to intensify. The fundamental growth strategy will be to innovate and evolve the PlayStation Platform. To this end, SIE intends to make proactive investments to reinforce content IP, and work to raise brand value, foster communities and user engagement, while enhancing DTC services that get closer to users." 

Exclusives are still at the heart of Sony's interest but it is possible that we will see titles like Spider-Man and God of War probably hitting the PC to gain a further revenue boost from non PSN gamers.

Monday, 31 August 2020

Marvel's Avengers: The Undead Pixel


When the Marvel's Avengers teaser came out to those that had pre-ordered it, I was eager to see virtual photographer's shots. The game looked lacking graphically and judging from peoples work, in comparison to their normal shots, it seemed the game really was not up to standard when compared with most modern games.

I downloaded the demo when it was free to play for everyone on seeing the work of The Undead Pixel. He made the game look amazing, proving how photo mode is a brilliant marketing platform for any company (I'm looking at you Capcom). 

As you can see from his selection of portraiture selected here that he took from the game, it looks astounding. The colours, the light and shadow even the ambience is strong. Each shot is coated in an atmosphere of emotion. 

Having now played the demo I can say with the up most confidence that this is down to the skills of the photographer. The game doesn't look great, the photo mode was very poor and there were large sections where photos could not be taken. 

With this in mind I implore you to check out the work and gallery of The Undead Pixel. He puts as much effort into the rest of his photography as he does these. You will not be disappointed. Check out his gallery here.

Normally I would only use four photos on the showcase, but due to how awkward the game is and the lack of amazing photography out there of the game, I felt it only just to upload a few extra. These are a stunning example of what happens when you push yourself beyond taking a shot in a game and go that step further to attaining your vision. 

Sunday, 30 August 2020

PS5 Games at 60fps

Both Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and Spider-Man: Miles Morales will have two different modes, one running in 4k at 30 frames per second and the other mode running in “lower resolution” at 60 frames per second at 4k instead of 8k.

In game customisation is huge now. Tailoring the games to the players desires. Game play over graphics, best modes to stream and even a whole host of options for those with additional barriers when it comes to gaming. The Last of Us Part 2, had a colossal amount of options. Some of which I found incredibly useful when collectable hunting with my shoddy eyesight. 

Hopefully it is something we will see even more of in the future. 

Saturday, 29 August 2020

Monster Hunter World's Final Update


Fatalis brings into the foreground the main antagonist of Monster Hunter that came out in 2004. Not only is he a huge dragon but is always lurking around in the monster hunter games. Often a secret boss that has to be found instead of stumbled upon Fatalis hates humans with a passion.

The update is set to launch on the 1st of October. Good luck Hunters!

Murder Mystery 12 Minutes Trailer


Murder Mystery 12 Minutes re-emerged at Gamescom 2020 with voice actors including Daisy Ridley, James McAvoy, and Willem Dafoe.

The game, an interactive thriller about a man trapped in a 12-minute time loop. It was first revealed back in 2015 but has been in the works since and still has no concrete release date. 

Friday, 28 August 2020

Resident Evil Series will be on Netflix


Having been brought into gaming in my mid teens and shown the wealth that was the Resident Evil back catalogue, I was converted pretty early on. No games does B-Movie horror quite as well as Capcom and their Resident Evil franchise. 

With the split between director George Romero and Capcom, they were forced to go another route with the box office movies than originally intended. Love them or hate them there is no denying how far from the cannon lore they actually are. 

We had small CGI films that had straight to DVD release that were alright, but nothing has done the series justice. 

Recently we have seen the news about the Splinter Cell anime and the Beyond Good and Evil series. Now we have news of a new take on Resident Evil, that focuses on the Wesker children. 

An official description from Netflix reads: “When the Wesker kids move to New Raccoon City, the secrets they uncover might just be the end of everything.”

The plot of the series will be spread across two distinct timelines, the first introducing 14-year-old sisters Jade and Billie Wesker as they move in to their new home. They soon discover that their seemingly innocent town is more than it seems and their father is concealing dark secrets that put life on Earth in grave danger.

The second timeline follows in a no so distant future. Jade as a 30-year-old, struggling to survive in a world where only 15 million people are left alive. The rest of humanity has become flesh eating horrors transformed by the T-virus, which Jade must struggle against along with her own past.

The only confirmed details are that the show will run for 8 episodes and each episode will be an hour long each. 

Andrew Dabb who is producing the first two episodes alongside Walking Dead's Bronwen Hughes said: 

Resident Evil is my favorite game of all time. I’m incredibly excited to tell a new chapter in this amazing story and bring the first ever Resident Evil series to Netflix members around the world.

“For every type of Resident Evil fan, including those joining us for the first time, the series will be complete with a lot of old friends, and some things (bloodthirsty, insane things) people have never seen before.”

Thursday, 27 August 2020

Resident Evil 3 x Fall Guys

PC gaming is great and every now and then a game spawns a modding community that really goes above and beyond. The best example of this is Resident Evil 3, that had mods and a free camera on the demos release. It shows a level of dedication I had not seen before. 

A few days ago modder XxCRAZYPOTATOxX released his Jilly Bean Mod Pack. Which puts fall guys style bean costumes on Jill, Carlos and Nemesis

As you can see by the mods page it has 147 unique downloads but only 3 endorsements, which shows you what a thankless task being a modder is. If you download it show some love and endorse it at least.