One of the things that made showing The Church in the Darkness at this year’s PAX unique from previous ones was the persona of “Chip” James; the idea that given the era the game is set in and all the seemingly outrageous things happening at the time, it might be fun to demo in character.
The game’s creative director, Richard Rouse III, was cool with it, so I committed — full costume, fake press pass… hell, I even shaved my beard into a horseshoe moustache.
But the part I was looking forward to the most was taking photographs around the booth. People playing, chatting, observing, whatever. I used to be an avid black-and-white shooter, and this was an awesome (and period-appropriate) excuse to get back into it. So I dug out my Nikon and a couple prime lenses, loaded up a few rolls of Tri-X 400, and went to work.
Film photography is very different than digitally or with a phone, but it all came flowing back:
You still want to be quick to capture the moment, but you can’t machine-gun your frames because you only have thirty-six.
You have to pre- or re-set settings quickly for different lighting — and, despite the pomp and pageantry of the expo hall, it was actually rather dark inside.
There is no auto-focus, so you do your best to line everything up before pressing the shutter. You fall into a stance, a breathing pattern, and it becomes almost a focused, meditative experience.
When all was said and done, I took the rolls to be developed by one of the few places that still does it (thanks Luster Photo) and can now share the results, which I’m quite happy with.
Here’s hoping the opportunity to do this again comes along in the future. Enjoy!
P.S. If you want to follow the game’s coverage of PAX and future events, head over to the official development blog.