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The Week in Unbelievably Gorgeous Screenshots: Fuel and Total War: Shogun 2Since we ran a feature on Duncan Harris, the groovy "video game photographer" behind the website DeadEndThrills, I've been sharing some of his work each week here.



This week Harris was really on fire—a whole grab-bag of games, with some spectacular shots from Zeno Clash, Fuel Total War: Shogun 2s. Let's dig in.



First up, up top we have:



"The Far Side"


Hot damn, that is an awesome shot of the desert in Fuel. Wow.




Tools and tricks: 2160p rendering (windowed), antialiasing (4xMSAA, 2x transparency supersampling, injected FXAA w/ texture presharpening), restored developer menus, vignette effect disabled, no-HUD, free camera.




The Week in Unbelievably Gorgeous Screenshots: Fuel and Total War: Shogun 2



"An Unexpected Journey"


Another great wide-angle shot from Fuel. This game really does deserve the benefit of a good cameraman.




Tools and tricks: 2160p rendering (windowed), antialiasing (4xMSAA, 2x transparency supersampling, injected FXAA w/ texture presharpening), restored developer menus, vignette effect disabled, no-HUD, free camera.




The Week in Unbelievably Gorgeous Screenshots: Fuel and Total War: Shogun 2



"It Follows"


Yeah, it follows that we'd get at least one more great Bioshock shot after last week. Don't look so glad to see me, Little Sister.




Tools and tricks: antialiasing (FXAA), Post Process Injection DLL w/ pre-sharpening for texture and post-sharpening for image, high-performance ambient occlusion, 2160p rendering, no-HUD, custom FOV, noclip, timestop.




The Week in Unbelievably Gorgeous Screenshots: Fuel and Total War: Shogun 2



"The Friendly Ghost"


A great shot from Zeno Clash, a game I know unfortunately little about.




Tools and tricks: no-HUD, viewmodel removed, Valve demo recorder, custom FOV, 2160p rendering, antialiasing (8x MSAA + 2x transparency supersampling).




The Week in Unbelievably Gorgeous Screenshots: Fuel and Total War: Shogun 2



"His Honour"


The first of several epic shots from Total War: Shogun 2.




Tools and tricks: unrestricted camera, 2160p rendering, antialiasing (injected ‘ultra-quality' SMAA), HUD removed in Photoshop.




The Week in Unbelievably Gorgeous Screenshots: Fuel and Total War: Shogun 2



"Beached"


Another shot from Zeno Clash that actually reminds me of a level I just played in Resident Evil: Revelations.




Tools and tricks: no-HUD, viewmodel removed, Valve demo recorder, custom FOV, 2160p rendering, antialiasing (8x MSAA + 2x transparency supersampling).




The Week in Unbelievably Gorgeous Screenshots: Fuel and Total War: Shogun 2



"Red Arrows"


Another kickass shot from Total War: Shogun 2. As Harris puts it, "RTS rendering has reached a point where zooming out to anything remotely playable feels like a retreat."




Tools and tricks: unrestricted camera, 2160p rendering, antialiasing (injected ‘ultra-quality' SMAA), HUD removed in Photoshop.




The Week in Unbelievably Gorgeous Screenshots: Fuel and Total War: Shogun 2



"Firefall"


Here come death, in Total War: Shogun 2.




Tools and tricks: unrestricted camera, 2160p rendering, antialiasing (injected ‘ultra-quality' SMAA), HUD removed in Photoshop.




The Week in Unbelievably Gorgeous Screenshots: Fuel and Total War: Shogun 2



"Lone Star"


A nice-looking one-off shot from Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2010.




Tools and tricks: 2160p rendering, antialiasing (4xMSAA + 4xSGSSAA), Racer_S camera and HUD hack, in-game Photo Mode.



Kotaku

It's Video Game Competition, Not Violence, That Sparks AggressionDo violent video games cause aggressive behavior? According to a recent report published in the journal Psychology of Violence, the competitive aspect of gaming is more likely to generate aggro than mere violence. All this from a bunch of university students, some video games, and some hot sauce. Science is an amazing thing.



In the report The Effect of Video Game Competition and Violence on Aggressive Behavior: Which Characteristic Has the Greatest Influence?, researchers at Brock University in Canada mix a proven method for determining aggression — Lieberman's Hot Sauce Paradigm — with a different way to characterize violent and non-violent games. Rather than simply measuring the amount of violence, Paul J. C. Adachi and Teena Willoughby further separated games by the level of competition.



Here's how it worked. A series of students were told they were participating in two different studies, one to study eye tracking while playing video games, the other a food study. In the first experiment the participants were asked to play two games: bloody hack and slasher Conan and Codemasters' open world racer Fuel, both for the Xbox 360. The games were chosen during a previous study, in which they were measured similar in terms of pacing, competitiveness, and difficulty. After a brief play session, participants were then asked to create a dish using hot sauce for an imaginary test subject that had indicated distaste for hot and spicy foods.



That's the Hot Sauce Paradigm. The hotter the sauce is made, the more aggression is displayed. It's also fun at parties.



The results of the first experiment showed no difference in the level of aggressiveness, despite one game being violent and the other not.



So a second experiment was conducted, this time adding Mortal Kombat Vs. DC and Marble Blast Ultra and replacing Conan with Valve's co-op shooter Left 4 Dead. This made for two violent and two non-violent games, one competitive and one not.



Using the same Hot Sauce Paradigm, the researches noticed a strong increase in aggression from those that played the competitive games, while those that played the non-competitive games went easier on the sauce.



The researchers' conclusion?




Some researchers believe that they have already shown that violent video games are a risk factor for aggressive behavior and that this effect stems from the violent content in the games . On the contrary, results from the present study indicate that video game competitiveness, not violent content, is responsible for elevating aggressive behavior in the short-term. The present findings lead to a new direction in video game and aggression research and should encourage researchers to continue to critically examine this issue.




Now that makes a whole lot more sense, doesn't it?



Now our course of action is clear. We have to make sure no one ever plays Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe or Fuel ever again. It's a long row to hoe, but we're just the Joes to hoe it.



Video game competitiveness, not violence, spurs aggression, study suggests [The Washington Post]





You can contact Michael Fahey, the author of this post, at fahey@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.
Kotaku

How Do You Fuel a Marathon Gaming Session?Aside from making us all hungry, commenter FortWaba shares with us the supplies he needs to make it through a video game all-nighter. What food and drink fuels your power-gaming sessions? Bring enough to share in today;s Speak Up on Kotaku.



Some people use strategy guides, some use music, some go it alone...



I just need this to beat a game in one night. Deus Ex, I'm coming, honey.



About Speak Up on Kotaku: Our readers have a lot to say, and sometimes what they have to say has nothing to do with the stories we run. That's why we have a forum on Kotaku called Speak Up. That's the place to post anecdotes, photos, game tips and hints, and anything you want to share with Kotaku at large. Every weekday we'll pull one of the best Speak Up posts we can find and highlight it here.
...

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