“Dear game devs

You’re probably not going to like how I play your game.”

When I asked Gametographer SpiffSnaps to write something that he felt summed up his Horizon Zero Dawn shots, this is how it started.

Horizon Zero Dawn

Lost World

“My screenshot posts should come with that disclaimer. I know you, the game dev, have spent years of your life toiling away and pouring your passion into this project. You hired writers or sought to tell a personal story yourself. You’ve spent countless sleepless nights fine-tuning the game mechanics, fixing bugs and balancing combat systems.”

Horizon Zero Dawn

“But I like how the light glinting off this rock creates an abstraction when I zoom in on it and I now need to spend an hour photographing it from various angles and through numerous filters. This microcosm is my world right now.”

Horizon Zero DawnEvery Shot a Story

SpiffSnaps says that his “interest in gametography originates from a desire to over-scrutinize still images and a habit of taking regular digressions from the game’s intended story path.” Reading his words, I was reminded what sandboxes are all about – creating our own stories with the tools provided. We play linear adventures, but we play in open worlds. SpiffSnaps mission to “capture the pretties” in these digital spaces made me appreciate Guerilla‘s creation all over again. It also showed me exactly how much I missed on Aloy’s journey. The instances of visual poetry that someone who takes the time to truly explore the vast wilds notices.

Horizon Zero Dawn

(Still)Life Finds A Way

“as my style for each game develops I tend to stray from what is objectively beautiful and find myself drawn to subjects and themes that are more technically challenging to capture. If I can inspire Aloy’s “Uneven” facial expression in my audience then I’m satisfied. Really, it’s enough for me to just have something to show for the hours I spent not playing the game I bought.”

Horizon Zero Dawn“Someday I hope a dev will tell me that they’ve made a game that is meant to be played my way.”


You can find more of SpiffSnaps work here, or find him on twitter.


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Nic Reuben

Nic Reuben likes to pause games every five minutes to ponder the thematic implications of explosive barrel placement. When he's not having an existential crisis over CAPTCHA verifications that ask him to prove he's not a robot, he's reading sci-fi and fantasy short stories, watching cartoons, and mourning the writing standards in Game of Thrones.