Where does CONTROL save shots from Photo Mode (on Windows)

Remedy and 505 Games did a good job implementing Photo Mode in CONTROL across all platforms yesterday. While they did a great job telling everyone about this feature, they did a lousy job telling us where those screenshots are actually saved. It might be more obvious on games consoles where you have limited places to investigate, but I spent half an hour exploring my Windows hard disks without joy.

Until Leuncode on Discord answered my puzzled question and said, “it’s in the Documents Folder”. Thank you so much for clearing that up!

Photo Mode can be activated from the Pause Menu (Start Button on the CONTROLler, or press ESC on the keyboard). We get several adjustment options and settings, a seriously important one is to hide the UI. The implementation isn’t great, and essentially CONTROL simply takes a screenshot of whatever is on the monitor – including the UI if it’s there.

If you want to give the game a whirl, head over to the EPIC Store and grab it. If you hack in my creator code JAY-VERSLUIS I’ll get a small commission 😉

How to pause recordings in OBS 24

A wonderful new feature in OBS 24 is the ability to pause you recordings. This can come in handy if you want to create a quick and rough recording, without taking multiple files into a video editor. It’ll speed up your workflow and increase quality for files you want to send away “as is”.

Question is: HOW do we pause recordings in OBS 24 and above?

If you’ve been looking for a pause button but can’t find it, let me give you some pointers on how to make it magically appear. First of all, OBS can’t pause live streams. Those have to be delivered continuously. By default, the encoder for recordings is the same that’s used for live streaming. It’s efficient and reduces processing overheads.

Under Settings – Output – Recording you’ll see an option that’s set to “Use Stream Encoder”. If you change that, it means OBS will open up different settings that can be configured independently of those used for streaming (for example, you could use a software encoder instead of a hardware encoder, or use a different bitrate).

As soon as we change this, and then press the big RECORD button in the main interface, we’ll see that it has a PAUSE option next to it.

Now we can either stop the recording as usual (closing the file), or pause the recording and then un-pause it so that OBS keeps recoding at the end of same file.

And there you have it! You can download OBS 24 from the official website or the GitHub Repo (past versions are available under the Releases Section).

PS: OBS 24.0.1 was the 100th release by the team 🎂 I’ve even made a video to celebrate:

How to play XIII (Classic) – PC Keyboard Layout

Back in the days when I had a physical copy of XIII, I never had that problem with the console versions of the game. There are only so many buttons to press on a controller, and there’s an in-game tutorial that tells you.

Surprisingly, the current GOG.com version comes with a manual, but it does not mention the keyboard layout. Neither did the original manual for the physical game if I remember correctly. When I wanted to map the PC kets to my controller using Xpadder, I quickly realised that aside from walking and basic shooting, I had no idea how to use the scope of the grappling hook.

I’ve compiled this handy list to remind me how it works for next time, might come in handy if you’re in the mood for some retro comic type FPS action:

  • WASD keys – walk around, rather fast
  • hold the left SHIFT key – in addition to WASD to walk slowly
  • SPACE – Jump
  • MOUSE – look around
  • Left Mouse – Fire
  • Right Mouse – Alternative Fire (like throw grenades, or stab with a knife)
  • Q – use Quick Heal, i.e. take next available med kit
  • E – Action (i.e. open doors, pick up items, etc)
  • G – Throw hand grenade
  • R – Reload Weapon
  • Right ALT – use the Sniper Scope
  • C – Crouch down (toggle between standing and crouching)
  • Page UP / Page DOWN – cycle through weapons

XIII Classic – available again on GOG.com

I got a newsletter from GOG.com today, and in it was XIII – listed as “new”. Which is weird, because some reviews on the site date back to 2012. It looks like this title was unavailable for many years. I know this because as it happens, I’ve been looking for this very PC version for several years. I’m glad we can legally own it once again! Let me explain a bit more.

I used to love XIII back in the day, both for PC and consoles. I played the Xbox version when it came out, and have consequently bought the PC version (on CD, for only 99 pence back at HMV on Oxford Street, when they had it on sale). The graphical style attracted me, as did the intriguing story line. I had always wished for a sequel, but it never materialised (not counting the ghastly iOS “hidden object” version they made in 2011).

Years went by, I moved continents, and I lost my 99p copy of XIII. But I never forgot this game. One day I picked up the GameCube version to play on my old Wii, and that version just doesn’t compare to the thrill of the PC version, which has its own kind of magic. The comic-like insets of closeups when you shoot an enemy far away, superb (yet sparse) voice acting by David Duchovny and Adam West, the dramatic and adaptive soundtrack, the variety of levels, it truly was ahead of its time.

Continue reading XIII Classic – available again on GOG.com

Xiberia V20 / Jeecoo Gaming Headset Review

I’ve recently picked up a new Xiberia headset from Jeecoo for $30 on Amazon. It’s a rather large pair of noise cancelling USB stereo headphones with a built-in microphone. I wanted to use these for streaming without disturbing my wife when she’s hard at work on the desk next to me, while avoiding any echoing that would be induced when using a desktop speaker. I’ve been using for the last week and wanted to share my thoughts on it with you here.

The exact model number is the V20, the exact same model that’s available from Walmart for nearly $120. That’s quite steep, and I’m not sure if it’s worth that much. For $30 however, this is quite a bargain. 

Continue reading Xiberia V20 / Jeecoo Gaming Headset Review

Apple Pencil Review: My Experiences with the 1st Generation

I’ve been using my Apple Pencil 1st Generation with my iPad 6 for the last couple of months on and off, and thought I’d share some thoughts on my experiences. I’ve left this review on Amazon.com and though I’d post it here for posterity. Enjoy!

This is the Apple Pencil 1st generation. It’s title doesn’t do it justice, because it suggests that it’s inferior to the 2nd generation, and that it will soon be replaced. The story is a little different as you may know. This pencil is compatible with the 6th and 7th generation of the iPad, or “The New iPad” as every “new iPad” is now called upon release, until a new “New iPad” comes out. To clarify then, this device (1st generation Apple Pencil) works with the non-Pro and Air iPads that came out between 2018 and 2019. It works with a bunch of other iPads too, like the first and second generation iPad Pro (2015-207) and some Minis (like the 2019 version). Later generations of the iPad Pro require the 2nd generation Apple Pencil, which this device is not. They’re different devices altogether, and Apple did a lousy job explaining this to us mere mortals.

The thing works great, although $90 is very expensive for what it is. I don’t deny that there’s a lot of technology going on, and this seemingly magical approach is a lot of fun if you can draw, or if anyone can decipher your handwriting. I’m one of those “creative” types and my handwriting looks a bit like back in the day when doctors wrote prescriptions out by hand. It’s difficult to read by others, sometimes even by myself. I can’t draw either, but I like to doodle sometimes. Still, even someone like me can use this Pencil for highlighting documents or occasionally putting a signature to a PDF document. I like using it, and it gives the iPad a new dimension it was previously lacking.

Continue reading Apple Pencil Review: My Experiences with the 1st Generation

Fixed: Can’t connect PlayStation to EPIC Games Account

Funny story: a few weeks ago I’ve signed up for an EPIC Games account, so that I can play with the Unreal Engine, and to play some of their games. Last week I went through my profile in more detail and came across the section that allowed me to connect various other accounts, like GitHub, Twitch, Xbox and PlayStation.

They all connected fine, except for the PlayStation account. I always got the error message that “this PlayStation account has already been connected to another EPIC account”. Being 200% sure that I did not have another EPIC account, I did some research and it turns out that the problem as actually Fortnite.

I know this sounds crazy, but some months ago, my wife as playing Fortnite on our PS4. To track progress, the game needs to store its data somewhere, and by default it does so in an EPIC account. We didn’t have one, never signed in or created one, but the game worked anyway. As it happens, under the hood a so called “nameless” EPIC account is created in such circumstances only with your PSN ID and nothing else. It doesn’t even have an email address associated with it.

What I had to do to unravel this thing was the following:

  • head over to epicgames.com and logout of your “real” account
  • login with your PlayStation credentials (using the PlayStation icon)
  • the system will find your PSN ID and prompts you to create a new EPIC account
  • go ahead and do this
  • let’s call this one the “fake” EPIC account
  • use a different email address than on your “real” EPIC account
  • verify this email address (important)
  • now head over to “connected accounts” and see that your PlayStation account is already linked
  • select “unlink account” and confirm every option in the long list

This will essentially reset whatever progress you’ve made in Fortnite on this account, but free up the PlayStation ID so that you can now connect it with your “real” EPIC account. Your email address on the “fake” EPIC account must be verified for this procedure to work.

When done, login to your “real” EPIC account and link your PlayStation account. You can now delete the “fake” EPIC account if you like.

How to remove chatters from your Twitch Stream

Every open platform attracts its trolls, and I’ve had my fair share of them. Since I stream to multiple platforms, I have to remember the “ban” commands for each one, as they work slightly differently. Perhaps that’s an idea for another article.

I’m used to dealing with Mixer’s /ban command, which immediately kicks a viewer out of the chat for good. I can reverse that decision in the web interface at a later time. Twitch also has a /ban command, but it does not remove the user in question from the chat, it merely hides their replies in my own feed.

To ban a Twitch user in the same way as we do on Mixer, we need to use the /block command. This is followed by just the user name without the @ sign, like this

To reverse this decision at a later time, we can use /unblock in the same way. So to bring SchlonzMeister back, we do this:

A less extrem option is the /ban command on Twitch. It does not remove users from the entire stream, instead it will hide their responses from your chat feed. You’ll still see an entry in that place, but it just says it’s a “hidden message”. Twitch calls such users “ignored users”. You can /unban people just the same.

Sadly though, Twitch does not currently have the ability to show a list of blocked or ignored users in one place, like Mixer or YouTube do. There is a third party open source tool that can display ignored (banned) users. I’ve not heard of such a tool for blocked users – if you know of one, please let me know.

Fixed: EPIC Games Launcher does not show games

I had signed up with EPIC a few months ago, to try out that amazing UNREAL Engine. To install it as well as the assets that came with it, I had to download the EPIC Games Launcher. It’s a central place to keep track of your own UNREAL Projects, latest updates to the engine and the latest software updates to any of its related parts.

As the name suggests, the Launcher also keeps track of your EPIC Games, so no matter if you’re an UNREAL Engine user or a gamer, we’ll all deal with the same place to install and launch our games. When I bought the Control Game from the EPIC Games Store, it too offered to install itself with the Launcher. Great I thought, let’s go and do that!

To my surprise however, my $60 purchase did not show up in the Launcher. I certainly had been billed, and the website shows I owned the game, but I was perplexed that there was seemingly no way to install it now. How rude indeed!

Turns out my configuration files for the Launcher were corrupted. Even thought I had just downloaded the latest version, and it had been applied, I had to manually clear out some cache files in the following directory:

  • C:/Users/you/AppData/Local/EpicGamesLauncher

There are two folders in there, Intermediate and Saved. Delete both of them, with the Launcher closed, then launch it again. It’s like you have to “launching the launcher”… When you do, you’ll be prompted to login again, and hack in a configuration code you’ve been sent via email (this is known as two-factor authentication).

Once I did that, the whole interface had changed, and I saw all the games I owned, alongside any UNREAL Engine assets in the same window.

UMLAUTBOARD: Easy access to Umlaut Characters from anywhere

I’ve just released UMLAUTBOARD, a super simple single-page mobile friendly website that allows anyone to copy German Umlaut characters to their clipboard. Let me tell you a little about why I made this, how it works, and how ya’ll can expand it if you want. And here’s what it looks like:

What is UMLAUTBOARD?

The idea is very simple: it’s a fixed page with umlaut characters at the bottom. Click on one, and the respective character is copied into the current device’s clipboard. Now navigate to where you need that character and paste it in. This works irrespective of your operating system, mobile/desktop device or keyboard/language settings.

All you need to remember is this short URL wpguru.tv/ub. Works on any OS, anytime and anywhere.

Continue reading UMLAUTBOARD: Easy access to Umlaut Characters from anywhere