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Official PlayStation Podcast Episode 446: Game of the Year Holiday Cheer

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Email us at PSPodcast@sony.com!

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The end of 2022 is here, and with it comes the PS Blog Game of the Year! The team chats through the winners, and our favorite games this past year. We’ll catch y’all in the new year!

Stuff We Talked About

  • God of War Ragnarök
  • Elden Ring
  • Horizon Forbidden West
  • Stray
  • Overwatch 2
  • Cult of the Lamb
  • Inscryption
  • Callisto Protocol

The Cast

Celebrating 25 Years of Gran Turismo

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I’m very happy that we are celebrating our 25th anniversary since the first release of the Gran Turismo series.

Back in 1992, Gran Turismo was the first project plan I created out of close to 100 others I came up with when I first started my career in this industry, so it means a lot to me.

While making video games was something I started from 10 years old as a hobby, I had never thought about making it a career.

I started a movie production club when I was 14, and had been producing movies, so I first joined Sony hoping to create image products. But the department they assigned me to was not what I was expecting.

It was a department where the PlayStation console was just about to start, and was a place where Kutaragi-san was working feverishly to bring the concept of PlayStation to life.

That place was not what I had hoped for, but looking back now, you could say that I was very lucky.

I was fascinated by real time 3D graphics that many had been waiting for, and created and presented plans for all kinds of video games, not just limited to race games but RPGs, adventure games, action games, puzzle games, and more.

As a result, Gran Turismo took a more fantasy race game format in the “Motor Toon Grand Prix”, becoming one of the first 1st party titles for PlayStation, but if a plan for something other than a racing game had been the one that was approved, there is a good chance that I might have been making a title other than Gran Turismo today.

Celebrating 25 Years of Gran Turismo

Thereafter the Gran Turismo project started from gathering a team of two part time artists and three engineers.

From there, the number of comrades have continued to increase in number for over quarter of a century, and has become Polyphony Digital today, a company with over 200 staff members.

I don’t think there are many video game franchises in the world that have continued for 25 years with the same title, and with the same team.

The founding members of the company are still working on the front lines, and I am thankful and proud that all 200 of our staff are a team that have the same motivation and love that the company started with in the beginning.

In the last 25 years, the cumulative sales total of the series have reached over 90 million copies as of November 16, 2022.

And this result is something that could not be accomplished by ourselves alone.

Behind that 90 million figure, there are all the people of the media who conveyed the allure of Gran Turismo to their readers. There are the people of PlayStation who sold GT for us around the world with passio

Potion Craft is coming to PlayStation

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Have you ever wanted to start your own potion shop and take on the role of a medieval alchemist? Well, now you’ll have that opportunity when Potion Craft comes to PlayStation in 2023!

Potion Craft is coming to PlayStation

What is Potion Craft?

Potion Craft is an alchemist simulator where you play as an aspiring alchemist, physically interacting with your tools and ingredients to brew magical potions in your shop. Take orders from your shop’s visitors, explore the alchemy map to discover new recipes, and create the legendary Philosopher’s Stone to become the master alchemist! 

Your main task is to brew different concoctions using the tools like a cauldron, mortar and pestle, bellows, and ladle. Every day your fellow townsfolk will come to your shop – each looking for a solution to their problems. You need to listen to and understand their needs to prepare the most suitable potion for them.

Don’t forget to put your bartering skills to work before handing over the goods. You work hard, so haggle for every gold coin! The haggling mechanics allow you to chat on different topics with your customers to negotiate the best price. But be careful, and don’t get greedy! The more complex the subject, the more chance your conversation partner has of tipping the scales in their favor!

Think carefully about whom you sell to and what you sell them though, as every decision affects your shop’s reputation. The better your shop’s reputation, the kinder (and nobler) your customers will be. If you run a shady business, however, you will be visited more often by not-so-nice individuals… with equally unpleasant requests! It’s up to you whether you want to be a kindhearted healer and friendly wizard or whether you want to do business with outlaws and witches as a dark warlock.

Learn the art of potion making

Leaves, flowers, berries, roots, fruits, minerals, salts, crystals, and a plethora of mushrooms are at your mortar and pestle disposal! Ingredients can be found in the Enchanted Garden or bought from differ

God of War Ragnarök Photo Mode tips from community virtual photographers

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Photo Mode is now officially in God of War Ragnarök, and we’ve loved what the community has shared so far.

To help you create even more perfect in-game shots, we’ve asked two of our most active community photographers to give you the advice you need to take your photo to the next level. 

Hosts of the podcast Photomode Unplugged and prolific contributors to the God of War photographer community, we’ve asked TheFourthFocus and DotPone to give us their top tips for those of you looking to get snapping in God of War Ragnarök.

Getting Started in Video Game Photography

TheFourthFocus 

Virtual photography is a great way for players to engage more with the games they love and, with its recent photo mode update, God of War Ragnarök has joined the photography party. 

By enabling a set of in-game tools that mimic the use of a real-world camera, the photo mode can be used to capture original and creative shots of Kratos and Atreus’ journey throughout the Nine Realms.

Found via the Options menu, the photo mode will freeze the game and allow players to move around the scene with a virtual camera. As with any type of photography, mastering the composition and arranging elements within the frame is key to a compelling image, so work the camera using the analog sticks to find a good angle. Pay close attention to the lighting direction and be sure to put emphasis on the chosen subject while avoiding distractions that draw the eye away – get these right and most of the hard work has already been done.

TheFourthFocus

Go-to settings

TheFourthFocus

For me, the most important settings in the photo mode are those that affect the actual composition of the shot and change how the camera captures the scene. Start off by adjusting how wide the view within the frame is, either by directly setting the Field of View angle or by changing the Focal Length to “zoom” in or out. 

Notice that a long Focal Length creates a narrow Field of View angle and vice versa, and that each can greatly influence the style of the shot.

As a general rule, a longer Focal Length is great for getting up-close or removing clutter from the frame, while a short Focal Length creates a wide angle that adds perspective distortion and can make shots look more dynamic. 

If it’s portraits that you are interested in, the 50 – 85 mm is a real sweet spot.

TheFourthFocus

Of course, there is no point in setting up a well-framed shot if the subject is completely blurry, so switch over to the Focus Distance setting to place the point of focus on the subject so they appear nice and sharp. 

A top tip here is to aim for the eyes as they create the strongest connection to the viewer. 

Next to this setting, you’ll also find the f-stop value which can be used to control the depth of field – essentially that is how much of a scene appears in sharp focus. Increasing the f-stop value will bring more of the foreground and background into focus, while decreasing it creates a shallow depth of field that can be used to separate a subject from the background and create a soft boke

The art of the cover: Insomniac artists on drawing Spider-Man

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SPIDER-MAN! It’s no secret that our team at Insomniac Games loves the character – so we wanted to show up for the web-head’s 60th anniversary in a cool way. Cue… comics! We collaborated with Marvel to design five Beyond Amazing variant covers, featuring art inspired by the Marvel’s Spider-Man game series, our studio’s take on the character.

See our cover gallery below! Each cover is accompanied by a blurb from an Insomniac artist sharing info about their inspirations, insights, and love of Spider-Man! These issues have already begun rolling out in the U.S. with more releasing soon… check with your local U.S. retailers for availability! Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales are available now on PlayStation 5 and PC.

John Staub

What inspired this cover?

The cover was inspired by a Spider-Man cover created by the amazing John Romita.

What tools did you use to create it?

The cover was done using Photoshop.

What’s your personal history with Spider-Man?

Spider-Man was definitely a part of my childhood growing up watching the animated cartoon in the afternoon. The opening with its 3D buildings and iconic theme song stayed with me throughout my adulthood. I always thought how amazing it would feel to be able to swing around the city.  It would be many years later playing the Insomniac game that I would rediscover that feeling.

What makes a great comic book cover?

Its simplicity is what makes it great. I can imagine this cover sticking out in a comic book shop filled with hundreds if not thousands of comics all fighting for our attention with dynamic compositions.  This cover would simply stand out just by contrast.

Oliver Fetscher

What inspired this cover?

This cover is a tribute to Web of Spider-Man #1 (Art by Charles Vess) issue, so that is the main inspiration. That being said, I grew up as a Spider-Man fan in the 1990’s and 2000’s and wanted to bring in some of that artistic flavor that inspired me heavily growing up. I have a big love for detailed art-work and strong compositions that tells a story in different layers.

What tools did you use to create it?

I primarily used photoshop and some 3D for setting up a base and perspective in the scene.

What’s your personal history with Spider-Man?

I was convinced I was Spider-Man as a kid and ruined a bookshelf at home after getting ideas from reading some new comics… All jokes aside, I have always been a huge comic book fan and Spider-Man has always been at the top of that list, some of my earliest drawings are of Spider-Man and his villains. I remember looking at the art, thinking that one day maybe I can draw like that.

What makes a great comic book cover?

I think that there can be many different good concepts around what makes a good cover. Sometimes

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