and this program makes me nostalgic

10

it was just like a movie
it was just like a song
my God, this reminds me
of when we were young

anonymous asked:

You've taken countless screenshots from a wide variety of games over the years. Some (like BioShock) you revisit consistently, others you explore for only a short while. What would you say are some qualities of the games you love returning to (besides the obvious answer of "rich graphics and atmospheric settings")? Are there certain elements (visual, narrative, or otherwise) that you really love seeing in games or actively look for in games? -Unownshipper

Like i mentioned in an earlier ask, the hurricane put me out of commission for a while, so apologies for the long delay in answering this Unown!

This is an interesting question since i can easily spend hundreds of hours on one game and only ten minutes on another, even though both have great qualities and both look very good. This is going to be a really long answer, so bear with me!

First and foremost, the initial decision begins with asking what kind of screenshotting tools are available for the title. Games that are easy to pick up and take shots of (Bioshocks, Dishonored, We happy few, Soma) are much more appealing than something with funky tools you have to fight with (Abzu, Tomb raider, Narcosis, Halos). There’s almost like this pre-production phase for me when it comes to screenshotting a game, where i have to find the right tools and experiment with how they work, mess with the graphic settings in the ini/cfg files, see what the highest resolution is i can push in addition to those settings, choose and configure mods, and then see if any console commands work and if so, which ones will benefit me. Finally, i usually play through the game once not only to just enjoy the gaming experience, but also to scout places/things that might be good for screenshots. This is a lot of time before i even take one shot, so when i have to fight with tools (sometimes multiple ones at once) after all that (which can often crash a game that’s already close to being unstable due the graphic/resolution settings i use) i tend to veer more towards the more approachable games first. 

After that, usually the first thing that pulls me towards a game is iconic architecture/visuals. Whether it’s the older Art deco/Neoclassical/Colonial look of the Bioshock games or the futuristic Renaissance look of Deus Ex, both keep me glued to the screen for hundreds of hours trying to capture it all in a screenshot.

From there, another one of the first things i look for is a game that’s filled with interesting stuff to look at in every corner, like clutter, foliage, or lots of environmental set dressing/storytelling. The Arkham series and games like Observer are great for this.

Because if you’re going to be taking environmental screenshots (which i love to do), you’re going to need lots of details to keep the images interesting (especially if you don’t have strong/famous architecture like Rapture or Columbia).

Next on my list are titles that are third person. Here you don’t need a game with the most iconic or cluttered visuals, just one with a great looking and/or interesting character in them. Preferably one you can pose or that has a few different animations. Adding a character to screenshot can bring drama, excitement, (or any kind of emotion really) and it’s always a ton of fun to compose a shot around them. Putting Lara in this image turns a pretty view into a dramatic and adventurous one and placing Boba Fett in this Battlefront shot puts a new spin on a classic movie moment.

However, the game doesn’t always have to be in third person, as long as you have another unique character with decent animations, like Hello Neighbor or Alien Isolation. The right character in the right place can turn a normally boring area into a funny or cinematic one.

I also like games that i can change visually to a decent degree, to give a somewhat fresh take on them, like Skyrim or Fallout (with mods), or Wind Waker, where i added Hypatia’s texture mod (plus switched costumes and hid the shield) along with some slight bloom, and ambient occlusion (this gave a flat cartoon looking game into an almost 3-d Paper Mario look, especially in the flames and the way Link’s hair and sword stand out from his body). 

But lets say a game doesn’t have tons of cluttered objects, or an easily accessible character to pose. Then i look for something with striking art direction like Dishonored or Mirror’s Edge (i seem to like plant and chair combos too).

Or one that has that, combined with immaculate attention to detail, like The Witness. Look at how perfect this thing looks even from way up in the sky. It feels like every blade of grass and pebble was specifically placed, which makes it a joy to screenshot.

There are also games i just click with that aren’t the most visually different/spectacular or filled to the brim with unique assets or characters, but have still managed to grab my attention completely. Usually this has to do with the setting or story (i will almost always love a game that’s set underwater, for instance). An example of this is the fantasy/dreamy feeling and enjoyable level design of The Old City Leviathan.

And the somber, crushing mood of Soma. Most people didn’t even try to take screenshots of this one, since it probably wasn’t that visually stimulating or exciting to them. For me though, i loved the game so much, i found stuff everywhere i wanted to take screenshots of, even if it was just a simple but imposing door (i moved the sign on the left there for a little added flair).

I also look for games that have great lighting. With the right lighting you can make even simple objects or places exciting to look at. The Outlast games do this perfectly, but they also add in high quality textures and wonderful level design. On top of that, i can use the headless protagonist to get even more unique images, making the game a fun and challenging one to screenshot.

Two other things i look for are games that have huge nostalgic value to me and titles that people don’t screenshot often (or at all). Halo has a few of the things i listed above in this reply (iconic visuals/architecture, neat looking characters, i really connected with it), plus these last two. I needed 4 different programs running to take shots of this one, but it was worth it since it’s so special to me.