How can a camera change the way you see the world? This is a fundamental photo issue, but the number of photo-centric games is increasing, including the long-awaited PS5 and PC road trip adventure seasons.
The season is part of a wave of recent games based on photography, not tuck-on bonus mode.Some like Umurangi GenerationPresents the past as a tool to regain space through urban art forms and documentation.Other, like the classic Japanese horror game Deadly frame, You can use the camera as a weapon to dispel the presence of the devil.
But as a member of the season The development team told us in an exclusive interview, their game is different. It’s a quieter, more meditative title that rewards careful observation. And rooted in the meditative charm of film photography, its virtual camera is designed to foster intimacy between the player and the environment.
During the season Trailer released, You can see the young protagonist cycling through the beautiful Studio Ghibli-style world. “Our grandparents lived for a thousand years, and our parents had a century in themselves,” she says wistfully. “But we have one season.”
As she knows, the world is on the verge of collapse, and to get the most out of her last days, she embarks on a bike with the goal of recording its beauty. A sketchbook with pictures of ruined monuments, a tape recorder that captures the delicate sounds of dragonfly wings, and most importantly, a glimpse of a camera aimed at bright-eyed primates.
“Everything in the game is about what the photo is,” says Kevin Sullivan, creative director and writer for the season. “The meaning of taking a picture, the words about the photographer, the fact that time can be frozen in the image, a glimpse of these imperfect pasts. It is very consistent with the theme we are trying to show to the players. “I will,” he adds.
The season, developed by Montreal-based studio scavengers, has been somehow tackled since 2016, a Sullivan idea inspired by a trip to Southeast Asia. Before anything was programmed, he created a video essay for the team and even created a functional board game to show how it actually works.
Now that game production is in full swing, its shape is a little clearer. There is a world of exploration full of people to talk to. Of course, you can also move by bicycle. At various times, you can pull out the camera to record your surroundings. Animals, certainly panoramic views, but architecture and graffiti all give the place something special before “mysterious cataclysms wash everything away.”
In fact, photography during the season It has changed a lot since the first 2020 trailer. Camera enthusiasts may find a machine similar to a retro Bolex-style camcorder (above), but this has transformed into a simpler film camera, says senior VFX artist Stephen Tucker.
He explains that what hasn’t changed is the focus on “old-style” documentation. An avid photographer, he mentions his own Polaroid camera, the pleasing artifacts that come from using vintage film in analog cameras, and the relative “lack of control” when offered. “There is no zoom range of 10mm to 300mm,” he continues. “You’ll have to stand roughly where you need to stand to get the picture you want,” he says, with the ultimate goal of creating a device that feels “texture.”
Depth of field
Tucker isn’t the only photo enthusiast on the season development team. Sullivan’s father was an aerial photographer. In short, his family’s basement was essentially a huge dark room. Later, at college, I began to take an interest in analog film processing while working on my friend’s Super 16mm and 35mm film projects.
There is also Irwin Chiu Hau, a season 3D programmer who once worked as a professional photographer at a wedding. He has his own collection of DSLRs and is currently enjoying landscape and macro photography. The latter, essentially extreme close-up photos, feed directly into the season. “There are so many small things in the world to shoot,” Chiu Hau says intriguingly.
But other than real devices, early video games helped shape the season.‘NS In-game camera.
Tucker refers to the 1980s disposable camera used in the first-person drama 2016 Firewatch.. In that game, you can snap beautiful Wyoming forests and mountains coated at different points under the shining orange sun.The other is the 2017 first person adventure What is the wreckage of Edith Finch?Provides players with an old-fashioned camera during a rainy hunting trip. “I love the feel of the camera in both of these games,” says Tucker.
What’s the wreckage of Firewatch and Edith Finch? As the in-game mechanics became really popular, they arrived before the video game photography. Recently, Sludge life The award-winning Umurangi Generation casts the player as a clear cyberpunk future photographer. And just a few months ago, the Cult Classic Pokemon Snap made a long-awaited return for players who are excited to hit their favorite crafted creatures.
There are also two titles on the horizon that promise to add their own spin to the fast-growing micro-genre. Tomb A cute adventure featuring anthropomorphic characters. Martha is dead (Above) An Italian horror story from the 1940s that takes the camera into a completely eerie territory.
While photography as a mechanic seems to be in rude health at first glance, none of these games offer the exciting and melancholic beauty of the season.
Change of focus
Still, regardless of tone or mood, each of these games offers a way to interact with the world without blasting the world and its inhabitants.
Cameras are a convenient way to structure your line of sight. You can give a player who always wants to do something the simple act of looking at the mechanical dimensions.
Perhaps most important is the intuitive action for most people, thanks to the popularity of entertainment on smartphones. In other words, everyone knows what to do. “The moment I take out the camera, I start composing,” says Chiu Hau. “I will start making frames for the subject.”
Photos are increasingly being incorporated into indie title gameplay, but for many blockbusters, photos exist as individual pieces.Photo mode‘, Apart from the game itself. All the player needs to do is pause the action and start making shots at a particularly attractive moment.
Popular eye-catching action titles such as Horizon Zero Dawn, God of War, and The Last of Us Part II include almost the entire post-production suite folded into photo mode, including lighting, focus, and field of view. I have. Often you have the option to change the environment, such as time of day, weather, and even the actual props in the shot.
These tools are new and flexible, but they are part of a tradition that is almost as old as the game itself. So-called “screenshots”, the pioneers of modern video game photography.
Throughout the pandemic, Tucker takes a picture of their story and his path through the world, as if he were on one of his adventure holidays, and plays a blockbuster video game as a means of surrogate travel. Say you are having fun.
Green vegetation and an impressive catastrophic environment Last of Us Part II He started printing in-game photos using the Instax MiniLink because he provided a valuable theme.
For Sullivan, the season As such, it has emerged in the real world during difficult times in the last 18 months. “I’ve been biking around Montreal, taking pictures and trying to learn more about Montreal,” he says. “It feels like there’s a strange relationship between what we influence the game and what we feel is influenced by the game itself, with some pursuit and attention. The season feels more integrated into real life than I expected when I started. “
Sullivan’s own experience is exactly what makes the season and its in-game photography so appealing. Players looking for all the bells and whistles in “photo mode” can be disappointed, and those who want all the control of a modern DSLR will be disappointed.
However, anyone who wants to experience the emotional nature of photography, especially the simplicity and immediacy of the analog camera format, should be well served. By providing players with tools of the past, the season can bring a whole new perspective to the world.
How the PS5 season brings in-game photos back to the future
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