Articles, Blogs, Reviews

INTERVIEW: Community Virtual Photographer ScorpionTank

We are back! This week we talk to ScorpionTank from the misty vampire infested regions of Eastern Europe who does some amazing VP work as you will see below. He took some time to answer our questions, take a look;

First can you tell us a little about yourself, where you grew up and what attracted or inspired you to get into this art form?
 Hello and thanks for having me here! I grew up in Romania and I still live here. I was never into virtual photography before, in fact I was just your average gamer that knew nothing about this form of art.
My only source of inspiration that got me into this was nexus mods. I always used to check nexus images whenever I went there to look for mods, and one day when I was bored, I just decided to try some screenshots myself.
It is thanks to a few people that encouraged me in those early weeks that convinced me to not give up on this little adventure of mine that eventually turned into a hobby.
How did you learn this form of digital art?
Through trial and error. I had no prior experience with any kind of photography or art, in real life or digital. My only goal was, and still is, to enjoy how my screenshots end up looking like. Read more...
Gothic Wizard, Monday, May 29, 2023

TechPowerUp: Cyberpunk XeSS 1.1 vs. FSR 2.1 vs. DLSS 3 Comparison Review

TPU did a technical deep dive, exploring how the various graphic FX options introduced in the Overdrive patch will affect performance quality wise, here is a snip;

Cyberpunk 2077 was recently updated to finally receive the long-awaited RT Overdrive patch, which adds long awaited support for path tracing. Along with the RT Overdrive patch, the developers also added official support for Intel's Xe Super Sampling 1.1 (XeSS 1.1), NVIDIA's Deep Learning Anti-Aliasing (DLAA) and updated the implementations of NVIDIA's DLSS Super Resolution and DLSS Frame Generation, bringing them both to the latest version (version 3.1.1), improving quality in the process. In order to run this game at maximum graphics settings and reasonable framerates at native resolution, quite a powerful GPU is required, which is why upscaling solutions are so important. But depending on the game, there are subtle differences in the implementations of NVIDIA's DLSS Super Resolution (DLSS 3.1), NVIDIA's DLSS Frame Generation (also known as DLSS 3), NVIDIA's Deep Learning Anti-Aliasing (DLAA), Intel's Xe Super Sampling 1.1 (XeSS 1.1) and AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution 2.1 (FSR 2.1), so we are keen to have a look at these temporal upscalers in this game.

Gothic Wizard, Friday, May 26, 2023

PC Gamer: Enough With The Cyberpunk Aesthetic, Bring Back Retrofuturism

PC Gamer outlines the difference between cyberpunk and retrofuturism, and feels we need more of the latter. Here is a snip;

In its recent resurgence, games like The Ascent, Ghostrunner, and Cyberpunk 2077 are still clinging to questions like "What cultural impact would widespread human augmentation have?", mostly with regards to how good it will make them go shooty shooty, bang bang. That and, um, "What if AI?"

With the Torment Nexus growing steadily around us, it's no wonder the general public is nostalgic for somewhat dystopian visions of the future, but therein lies my main issue. The questions cyberpunk focusses on are either too close to reality for comfort, or they're being debated in parliament as we speak. That means cyberpunk has turned from speculative fiction into a political yawnfest, asking the same questions over and over like a broken record.

It's all a bit mainstream, and not very punk at all.

Gothic Wizard, Monday, May 22, 2023

PC Gamer: The Best Cyberpunk Games to Play in 2023

PC Gamer does a run down of many previously released cyberpunk themed games that 2077 fans may enjoy too. Here is a snip;

Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director's Cut

Release date: 2014 | Developer: Harebrained Schemes

Like the other Shadowrun games, which are based on a tabletop RPG first released in 1989, Dragonfall is an unlikely blend of cyberpunk and high fantasy—a flavor combination that works surprisingly well. This tech-noir RPG features a rich urban setting to explore with its vision of Berlin in the year 2054 and especially the Kreuzbasar hub area, satisfyingly tactical turn-based combat, and an array of different ways to play, whether you want to be an elite ork hacker or an elven street samurai.
Gothic Wizard, Thursday, May 18, 2023

INTERVIEW: Community Virtual Photographer Nightmercisms

We go to back to the UK for this in depth interview with VP and role player Nightmercisms! We discuss his background, how he got into this craft and his take on AI art and where this hobby is going. And also why in his view Evelyn is the best NPC int he game.Take a read below;

First can you tell us a little about yourself, where you grew up and what attracted or inspired you to get into this art form?
Hey there! Just wanted to say first of all, thanks for having me here!

I guess I’ll start by saying that I’ve been heavily into fandom art since around 2010, I then found myself in a few writing/roleplay communities where it quickly turned into a much-loved hobby, before delving into the digital art side of things. Over the next few years, I taught myself to make fandom graphic banners, character posters and even HTML to keep fueling my pastime. This helped me to actually develop my skills enough so I was able to find a full-time job in web design, where I then moved from the outskirts of London, down South, to a coastal town. I’m still pretty much spending my downtime writing in various communities, but Cyberpunk is definitely my longest (best) roleplay stint so far, which has motivated me to start learning more about virtual photography. After coming across game photography and the amazing creators in this community, I’m always in awe of their work and it inspires me to throw myself into a new learning curve to help me be more creative.

How did you learn this form of digital art?
I touched on graphic design in school, but it was nothing serious, I’m mostly self-taught. Thankfully, there have been a lot of people who have pointed me in the right direction and helped me with tips and tricks. Most of what I have learnt has been through tutorials and just trying things for myself to see what works best.
Gothic Wizard, Sunday, May 14, 2023

GameSpot: Phantom Liberty - Release Date, Gameplay Changes, And Everything We Know

GameSpot complies an article of all the info about the first, and only, paid expansion for 2077 that we have. Here is a snip;

Is Keanu Reeves back?

Everyone's favorite rebel rocker cyber-ghost, Johnny Silverhand, will be back to offer his unique take on the world of Night City. Keanu Reeves will once again provide Silverhand's likeness and voice. "It's awesome to be back playing the role of Johnny and I hope you're excited to see him rocking out once more in the dark future," Reeves said during the Phantom Liberty reveal last year.

Gameplay changes and updates

CDPR has described Phantom Liberty as a spy-thriller, one that involves the protagonist V accepting a high-risk espionage mission on behalf of the New United States of America government. As for gameplay changes, a complete overhaul to the cop system and vehicle-to-vehicle combat are some of the confirmed changes coming to Cyberpunk 2077 once the expansion goes live, according to game director Gabriel Amatangelo.

Gothic Wizard, Thursday, May 11, 2023

INTERVIEW: Community 3D Render Artist Falero3D

This week we talk to Falero3D, a NSFW 2077 3D render artist. We talk about his background, his process to make his art and his interest in the spicy side of things. NOTE his images below are, obviously, NSFW.

First can you tell us a little about yourself, where you grew up and what attracted or inspired you to get into this art form?
Hi, my alias is Falero. I am a 3D render artist from France, currently living in Paris. From a young age, I have been creating digital artworks that in some way were related to my favorite music artists, films and anime. More recently, I have really been enjoying Cyberpunk 2077 and the Witcher 3. These games in turn inspired me to get into this form of 3D art.

How did you learn this form of digital art?
Earlier this year I started to look up Blender tutorials on YouTube until I eventually came across the donut tutorial series. This eventually taught me the ins and outs if the software and I kind of went from there.

What drew you to Cyberpunk 2077 or/and the cyberpunk genre as a whole?
The Witcher 3 is actually my favorite game of all time. When CDPR announced Cyberpunk 2077, I was really excited for it because the game is set in a completely different reality. In addition to the game, the cyberpunk genre in general interests me as Blade Runner 2049 is one of my favorite movies. The thing I particularly like about this genre is that it is dark, yet colorful and expressive.
Gothic Wizard, Sunday, May 7, 2023

GameRant: Cyberpunk Battle Royale Game Off the Grid Details

GameRant talks to the developers and shows new footage of the cyberpunk-esque shooter Off the Grid. Personally I think they are pushing the cyberpunk aspect a bit too hard vs the actual aesthetic but none the less make your own conclusions. Here is a snip;

Off the Grid is an upcoming, third-person Cyberpunk Battle Royale game with PVP and PVE online multiplayer gameplay. Off the Grid's dystopian setting also presents opportunities to add new or unique Cyberpunk-style weapons to the table with a strong focus on cyberlimbs. Off the Grid's SWITCHER Part 1 and 2 cinematics showcase various kinds of cyberware, from cyberlegs to cyberarms and visors. Therefore, players look to be in for a treat with seemingly a wide range of futuristic tech wear customization options for their Zero mercenaries.

The Cyberpunk genre often features some of the coolest weapons in sci-fi games and Game Rant exclusively interviewed several members of Off the Grid's development team about its weapons, customization options, and more. In addition to learning more about the importance of cyberlimbs, Game Rant also learned more about Off the Grid's unique weapon interactions, including some exclusive images of weapons and modifications.

Gothic Wizard, Wednesday, May 3, 2023

INTERVIEW: Community Artist & VP Wench

This week we are chatting with Wench, a "Artist, writer, VPer, occasional modder" who does NSFW art from time to time. Also, she's a Goro simp. ;) She has a lot to say about her art and 2077 which we were very fascinated to hear her take. So enjoy and comment below. Please note; some of her images in the gallery below are NSFW

First can you tell us a little about yourself, where you grew up and what attracted or inspired you to get into digital creations?
Sure! I grew up in the suburbs of the metro-Atlanta area, where I still currently reside with my husband and our two cats, and I'm just a creative nerd at heart. I've always loved art, writing, traditional photography, cosplay, doing random crafts, etc., especially in a fan capacity. Tomb Raider, Star Wars, and 90s-era Disney movies--These were my main muses when I was growing up. My family was late to get on board with having a home PC, but once we finally did, my getting into digital design and art was really just a natural progression combining my innate love of making stuff with my new love of technology.

Specifically, being active in the online roleplaying forums scene in the early 2000s was what really got me interested in digital art. I used to design avatars and signature images for my characters in Photoshop rip-off I can't remember the name of (no, not GIMP--It was so obscure). Although I would approach that process differently these days, because, in hindsight, there was a lot of copyright infringement there. I would just take whatever cool pictures I found online and mash them up with my celebrity "face claim" and upload them without a second thought. Definitely not a method I would recommend now, especially since there are so many free stock resources available, but that was the norm at the time, and that was how I learned my way around digital image editing programs.

How did you learn your digital creation skills?
I'm mostly self-taught when it comes to digital media. I did take art classes in high school and college that established some fundamental knowledge, like the elements and principles of design, but everything I've learned when it comes to virtual photography, graphic design, digital painting, etc. has mostly been trial and error with a few art book/magazine tutorials, YouTube videos, and helpful friends sprinkled in for good measure.

Could you tell us about your process for each both art and modding?
Modding is chaos, haha. I usually need to be in a very manic, determined mood, hyped up on coffee, and ready and willing to sit at my computer for 5 hours uninterrupted while I beat my poor CPU to death by loading and reloading the game to test out minor changes to an .archive file. I try to be somewhat organized and methodical, but it's just a really messy process for me. I've actually been putting off doing some new clothes for Goro because the stars haven't aligned yet for me to make that happen.

Art isn't really any less chaotic, but it is a lot more intuitive since I've been doing it for so long. I usually have a scene in my head, whether it's just a pretty portrait in a pretty location or a full story I want to tell, and I just kinda do it. Which is probably a kind of unsatisfying answer, but I think anyone who has that drive to create understands on some level. Sometimes I do sketches or rough drafts, especially for really big pieces or VP stories, but a lot of times, I just dive into it. Read more...
Gothic Wizard, Sunday, April 23, 2023

PC Gamer: Cyberpunk Detective Game is Like an Endless Deus Ex

Shadow of Doubt is a retro style cyberpunk detective game now in early access that PC Gamer has a preview of. Here is a snip;

Shadows of Doubt, which is out on April 24 in early access, had led me up the garden path. The murder of Matthew Parker—Qiao's unfortunate husband—was just another in a line of crimes that the game had procedurally generated as I explored its world. The victims selected and evidence scattered according to the whims of an algorithm, red herrings and all.

Although I'm meant to be a hard-bitten cyberpunk private eye, picking up word of murders on the scanner and solving them for cash, I'd made a rookie error. I'd focused on the parts that did fit over the seemingly minor details that didn't. I couldn't explain why, for example, Qiao would drop an incoherent note ranting about a promotion next to the body of her husband, but I was sure it'd all come together in the end. More fool me. Hoist by my own procgen petard.

Gothic Wizard, Friday, April 21, 2023