The winner, a talented video game photographer, received a very special bundle from the Federal Bureau of Control.
Photo modes have become a popular addition to games. They’re not always in at release – developers have to prioritise bug fixing and polish in the run-in to release – but they tend to get patched in fairly quickly.
Why? Because people absolutely love them.
It makes sense for developers, too. Giving your fans an easy way to not only share your game, but make it look brilliant? It’s a marketing no-brainer. And there are some very talented virtual photographers out there, making games look very pretty indeed. (They’re certainly far better at capturing the beauty of video games than a reviewer trying to hit a deadline, that’s for sure.)
Remedy, developer of the brilliant Control, added a photo mode soon after release (after performance and bug fixing). It was the first piece of post-release content for the game. And why wouldn’t you when your game is as visually striking as Control?
Remedy also ran a photo mode contest, with prizes on offer for the top three, including t-shirts, posters, and other cool contraband from the Federal Bureau of Control. The overall winner, Stefanie McMaken, has now received her prize. It’s a bit special.
Words fail me. So carefully packaged, put together with such loving detail & one seriously strong frame – Thank you! 🙏🏻🔻 @ControlRemedy #Control #ControlRemedy Never known a more caring and down to earth gaming company! This is an honor! pic.twitter.com/IjGnPCmi9m
— Steffi Syndrome 🏳️🌈 (@StefanieMcMaken) January 25, 2020
(That’s a framed print of her winning entry, signed on the back by over 50 of the crew at Remedy, plus a letter from the Federal Bureau of Control. Suitably redacted, naturally.)
This might be Steffi’s first competition win, but she’s no stranger to virtual photography.
“I’ve always liked to take screenshots before – to me, it’s like taking pictures on your journey through a video game,” Stefanie told Thumbsticks via direct message. “I like to look at them later, remembering a certain mission perhaps, a really emotional moment or an epic boss fight. But Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was the first game I’ve played that had an actual Photo Mode. That’s what also made me go back to check out Twitter, and, to my pleasant surprise, there really was such a thing as virtual photography! I was delighted to see people sharing what amazing moments they managed to capture!”
“Strictly speaking, I am just temporarily hosting it,” she said. Stefanie is minding the store while the hashtag’s originator, Twitter user @PhotoModeAddict, is out of action through illness. “I promised I would keep it alive until he returns.”
“With Control, what fascinated me immediately was the different genre. As wonderful as it is, we’ve all ridden horses through beautiful landscapes by now, we’ve raced cars through numerous cities and travelled through space (not that any of that ever gets old) but being in a… basically, possessed house? Where all kinds of crazy sh*t can happen? Now that sounded intriguing! Plus – big bonus – it came with a photo mode!”
“So, when Remedy held that #CaptureControl contest, it was a no brainer,” Steffi said. “The photo mode they put in is also so nice and simple to navigate and manoeuvre! It also comes with some really sweet filters – that’s how I got my shot to look like that.”
“I am still psyched over it, they certainly put in an effort to frame it so nicely, too,” she continued. “I am utterly impressed with Remedy!”
We always had our suspicions that Remedy was one of the good guys. Talking to Steffi about how much this very personal package means to her, we couldn’t be surer of our instincts.
Follow Thumbsticks on Twitter for the best video game stories. Got something you’d like to share with us? Our DMs are open.
Enjoyed this article?
We hope you found it useful, or informative, or thought provoking, or maybe even a little entertaining. Perhaps it was a guide that helped you through a tight spot, or we even saved you some money? Lovely stuff! If you'd like to say "thanks" you could always buy the team a cup of coffee.
Recommended for you
Latest from Thumbsticks
PlayStation Plus gets three games in August 2021
Sony reveals the free video games available to PlayStation Plus subscribers in August 2021.
The Xbox Games with Gold for August 2021 are pretty good
The Xbox Games with Gold lineup for August 2021 includes an underrated sequel and a flawed but fun homage to...
Krispy Kreme developing Nexus Level Doughnut in partnership with Xbox
This Krispy Kreme / Xbox mashup doughnut looks delicious, sure, but why is it called the "Nexus Level" doughnut?
Is Valve’s Steam Deck the perfect gateway to PC gaming?
With a simple and approachable device like the Steam Deck, will PC gaming finally get its hooks into console gamers?
The next Monster Hunter Rise event adds Okami’s Amaterasu
Capcom has announced that the next collaboration event for Monster Hunter Rise will feature Amaterasu from Okami.
This tech demo from Gears of War developer The Coalition is unreal
Unreal Engine 5 running on the Xbox Series X, that is.
Xbox Ultimate Game Sale and Deals with Gold Highlights
This week's Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S digital sales features a new Deals with Gold lineup and the Ultimate...
Mortal Kombat franchise sells 73 million units on console
Warner Bros. Games reveals some impressive sales numbers for Mortal Kombat 11 and the franchise as a whole.