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31st May 2019
Community Spotlight: Erika Tschinkel's Striking Quantum Break Screenshots

Community Spotlight is a regular feature which highlights and celebrates amazing fan projects in the Remedy community. In 2018 we switched things up a little with each month having its own spotlighted fan and fan project. This year we're continuing the tradition, and today I'm excited to talk about Erika's utterly beautiful Quantum Break screenshots.

For the past few weeks, I've been seriously loving Erika's documented journey through Quantum Break. As she's progressed through the game, she's been taking Twitter followers with her with her high-quality screenshots. With a keen eye for a fantastic shot, Erika is a self-taught in-game photographer and naturally creative, an aspect which has continued through to her other hobbies and interests away from the screen.

Image of Beth Wilder by Erika.
The Chicago-based artist already has an absolutely staggering portfolio of brilliant in-game screenshots featuring titles such as Everybody's Gone to Rapture, Titanfall 2, Star Wars Battlefront, Mirror's Edge Catalyst, Tomb Raider, Life is Strange, Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Deus Ex, and Mass Effect. From scrolling through her collection, it's no wonder why she has over one thousand followers on her Flickr account!

Recently she concluded her playthrough of Quantum Break, and while all of her work is amazing, the photos taken from the game are really quite something!

There are fifty screenshots from the title in her Quantum Break album, each one carefully considered and framed. It features a selection of environmental shots and character portraits, all above 4K. The use of light and shadows are particularly poignant in her work, as is the use (or sometimes absence) of bright colour. But what I especially love about each of the shots is how caught-off-guard everything feels; it's reactions that we miss during our playthrough, environments we sometimes rush by in a heated fight, or an angle that we didn't consider. All the shots feel authentic to the game, but also something new and unfamiliar for fans who have replayed the title several times over the past three years.

Image by Erika.

Despite a hectic past month, Erika very kindly agreed to do an interview about her work and recent project! 

Tell us a little about yourself!
I’m a lecturer at The University of Chicago working on the history and theory of human rights and humanitarianism and teaching mostly political theory. Besides taking screenshots, I’m also really into fashion and makeup, and I make jewellery every now and then.

You’ve been capturing games for a while now, how did you get started and what about it appealed to you?
I started taking screenshots of my character in Skyrim on PC back in 2013. Gradually that extended to taking screenshots of other things in Skyrim, and soon after I was introduced to the community on Flickr, which really opened my eyes to everything that was possible. I was amazed by what I saw back then, and this inspired me to try shooting different games. I think what appealed to me then, and still does now, was that in some sense it was a way of capturing my own memories of my playthroughs of games, in a way that really exercised my creativity.

How did you develop your eye for a great shot? And were there any people who inspired you?
Honestly, it’s really just been a ton of practice and observation. This has always been a completely intuitive process for me—I don’t think consciously about rules of composition or anything like that. As for inspiration, by far my biggest inspiration has been Duncan Harris of DeadEndThrills. But back when they were more active, I was also really inspired by Midhras, Anthemios, and Nic Clapper. I definitely recommend you check them out on Flickr.

Image of Riverport University Lecture Hall by Erika.

How do you select the games you screenshot, is there specific criteria that you look for in the titles?
I’m not sure that there’s any specific criteria other than that I must love the art style. I tend to be fairly uninspired by straight up “realism” and like games with a distinct style. The Deus Ex games, specifically Human Revolution and Mankind Divided, are amazing for this. I love cyberpunk and sci-fi in general. On a more technical note, I prefer games with easy-to-use screenshot tools, as I have grown soft since Frans Bouma and Hattiwatti started making all these great cameras for games.

What made you decide to pick up Quantum Break.
I originally picked it up when it came out and I saw other people’s work on Flickr and liked the art style. But back then it was very hard to make the game go above 4K (nobody knew how, in fact) and the timestop in Hattiwatti’s tools was wonky. So I mostly just played it. Then when I got on Twitter I contacted Hattiwatti about his tools and the possibility of hotsampling the game, which is when you take high resolution screenshots by resizing the window and allowing the game to dynamically re-render at that resolution and aspect ratio. He was able to fix the timestop and make the aspect ratio alterable, as well as forcing the game to hotsample, and that was everything I needed to shoot it properly. The game really benefits from resolutions above 4K and looks beautifully sharp, so this was absolutely essential as far as I was concerned. Now it’s a dream to shoot, and I just love the art and story so much.

What would you like to see in a potential Quantum Break 2?
On a superficial note, I want it to hotsample and not be locked to a 16:9 aspect ratio. But on a deeper note, I am so intrigued by the idea of the “end of time” and the shifters. I would love to be able to experience the end of time in the game, and learn more about the shifters, especially since it appears that Jack becomes one. I’m also curious about whatever society of shifters Martin Hatch wants to create in the end of time. And of course, there’s the fact that it appears that the end of time happens regardless of Jack and William fixing the fracture because you see Jack’s vision at the end. I want to know why this happens!

Thank you for your time, Erika! 
You can follow her adventures on Twitter or Flickr


The Control Series

The Crossfire Series

The Quantum Break Series

The Alan Wake Series

The Max Payne Series




Icons by the incredible, Evil-Owl-Loki.

Beyond the shadow you settle for, there is a miracle illuminated.