Star Stable Blog

Have You Captured Photo Mode?

July 11, 2022

Star Stable Entertainment

Lies diesen Artikel auf Deutsch!


Hello Starfam,

Rasmus Karlsson here, Senior Graphics Programmer, part of the SSO Engine team.

Part 1: History

Back in 2017, I had recently bought a Playstation 4 and was playing Uncharted 4.

I was really impressed by the graphics and gameplay in that game.

Another impressive feature was their Photo Mode, where I could pause the game and zoom in on the characters, and add different filters and camera angles.

At Star Stable Entertainment, we have “Passion Fridays” every other Friday, where all employees can work on their own ideas and projects. 

So on one Passion Friday, I started looking into adding Photo Mode to Star Stable Online. The first step was making the game pause and see if that was even possible in an online game. That was solved by having the game run as usual in the background and only pausing the visuals.

The next Passion Friday, I started adding filters, and after some more work, I decided to show it to the Game Director. She liked the prototype, and we decided to add it to the release plan. I started working 100% on the Photo Mode project and added more camera controls, filters, and stickers. Also, a designer helped improve the UI for the Photo Mode window.

Part 2: Features

Photo Mode lets a player pause the game and adjust the camera angle, field of view, and zoom. There are also different filters that can be used to adjust contrast, saturation, vignette, colors, and depth of field. When you are happy with the result, click the capture button, and the photo will be saved to your device.

Pro tip: when using the depth of field, you can click on objects in the scene to adjust the focus to that area.

So how is photo mode being used today in Star Stable? We asked our ambassadors to share their experiences capturing Jorvik’s beauty and magic, and here are some of the answers we got!

Siri Snowing

What is your favorite subject to photograph in SSO?

All the living beings within the game: our character, other players, horses and other animals, and also NPCs. Sometimes even inanimate objects I find beautiful, such as flowers or Pandoric crystals.

What do you want to convey with your photography? Any feelings, themes, or specific topics?

I often go for a feeling and show it using colors. For example, if I want a more dramatic or gloomy vibe, I change to nighttime and use cool tones, which I did in this picture of Songsorrow. The fog really set the scene, and I used one of the filters in photo mode to achieve the mysterious feeling I was going for.

Describe your process in-game. How do you choose a location, subject, etc.?

I usually first decide on a subject, such as my character. Then I choose a specific color or mood and find a fitting outfit and location. There I look for different angles and colors in the background and position the subject accordingly. I also love having things in the foreground to fill the empty space between the “camera” and the subject.

What’s your favorite photo you’ve captured? What’s the story behind it? What does it mean to you?

One of my all-time favorite pictures is this one of me and my friend. It was a night where we talked for hours about anything and everything, made matching outfits, and showed off our dance moves at the disco. I ended up editing it and was really pleased with how it turned out. To me, it tells a story of two friends enjoying each other’s company, and I think you can really feel it through the picture.

Evelina Westfall 

What is your favorite subject to photograph in SSO? 

My favorite subject to photograph in SSO is horses, but I also really enjoy capturing the beauty of the Jorvegian landscape! Landscape photography has made me aware of details I would’ve never seen otherwise. Regardless of what I capture, I always look for something that can create an immersive feeling through creating depth with lighting and the surrounding area.

What do you want to convey with your photography? Any feelings, themes, or specific topics? 

I think my photography focuses on capturing the beauty of what is, as well as pushing the boundaries of my creativity. In a way, I have always considered it a challenge to find unexpected angles and motives.

Describe your process in-game. How do you choose a location, subject, etc.? 

Most of the time, I just go with the flow of ideas that pop up in my head. I try to choose scenes that emphasize the mood I am looking for, always doing my best to ensure that things like outfits, poses, and backgrounds give the vibe I am looking for. I believe most of my photography is based on intuition, going with whatever feels right in the moment. Going with the flow, you know? Then, after the picture is taken, I edit it to emphasize the ambiance, making it as immersive as I can.

What’s your favorite photo you’ve captured? What’s the story behind it? What does it mean to you?

There are many pictures I am proud of, but this one in particular holds a special place. To me, this picture illustrates not only the extent of the creative aspect but also the meaningful friendships and memorable moments I have made in-game over the years. This is the result of just that, late-night shenanigans, spontaneous creativity, and endless laughter!

Evangeline Kingborn

What is your favorite subject to photograph in SSO?

Definitely the horses, as well as events, characters, and occasionally funny bugs.

What do you want to convey with your photography? Any feelings, themes, or specific topics?

Sometimes I just want to document how cute a horse looks or keep some photos of events and favorite quest moments.

At other times I might come up with a little story with a series of photos, e.g., my magic tree horse Jadeglimmer introducing the updated Greendale or Vega going home to Nilmer’s Highland. 😄

Describe your process in-game. How do you choose a location, subject, etc.?

Idea generation right at the beginning is a really fun step to start with! Is there an event to share? Any funny bugs? An updated area to make a little guide about? I often go for cute and funny content while considering all this.

After I find my idea, I get my horse (and pets) to the scene where the photo story is taking place, and I think of the story’s key points. Since Instagram has a 10-photo limit and I always use a cover photo, that leaves me nine more slides to work with. 

I usually take about 3-5 times more photos than what gets into the final story, so I have plenty of material to work with. Sometimes, timing is essential, waiting for the idle animations to match, especially when there are more horses/NPCs. I tend to take more photos of the same scene, from different angles and at different distances – later in the editing section, these will be helpful when I crop each photo into a square format. I usually take my pictures in chronological order, but sometimes I still need to rearrange the photos for my post.

What’s your favorite photo you’ve captured? What’s the story behind it? What does it mean to you?

Aw, this one is difficult! I chose a photo from 2019. During the Red String Trail Ride, I fell off the Firgrove mountains, and Ydris followed me. I had the time of my life bringing him all around Jorvik! From Mistfall to South Hoof, discussing magic with Avalon, checking out the Chincoteague ponies, taking on the Fort Pinta disco, and seeing the other Ydris at the Circus of Dreams. It was a super fun time that resulted in hundreds of photos and at least 2-3 posts. It would be fun taking more NPCs on a walking tour sometime!

I chose this photo of walking Ydris (from the trail) in front of the circus. I really like the off-center shot and all the purple!


Those are some great insights and wonderful stories about how to capture the magic of Jorvik. Hope you feel inspired! Why not jump in and try the Photo Mode for yourself? Maybe you’ll capture something really special!