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The Fantasy Art of Spellforce - Cheats and Resources For Great Screenshots

Spellforce is a real-time strategy game (RTS) that also has role-playing game (RPG) elements. Three related stories are told by the original game, The Order of Dawn, and two expansions (Breath of Winter and Shadow of the Phoenix). In our Spellforce fantasy art galleries, we have combined the game art from all three games. For our screenshots, we used console cheats to release the camera from the usual in-game restrictions. On this page we summarize some of the console commands used in taking the screenshots for our Spellforce fantasy game art galleries.

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Console Commands

To get good screenshots of the great fantasy art in Spellforce, you'll need to use some console commands. Like many games, Spellforce has limited camera angles to reduce the amount of processing required to generate the 3D world. Although there is a first-person viewpoint mode based on the main character, the hero is always front and center. Add the graphical user interface (GUI) that can't be removed, and there's very little usable space for a screenshot.

You can find a list of console commands and how to use them here. Many of the available commands amount to cheat codes and some will require experimentation on your part to see if it can be useful to you. Some of the easy-to-use and very useful ones are:

  • Application:SetGodMode(1) - This is useful if you want your character to be in the middle of a hazardous situation while you take a screenshot. They will still lose health, but they will not die. This command only works for the main hero.
  • AppSession:SetPauseMode(1) - This command pauses the game while still giving you camera control. The normal way of pausing the game is to press "p", which dims the screen and pulls out a window that tells you the game is paused. You can un-pause the game by using the same command with the value "0" instead of "1", or you can use the regular "p" command to unpause the game.
  • UnExplored:Enable(0) - This reveals the entire map, lifting the "fog of war" that normally covers unexplored areas in darkness.
  • GameControl:SetCameraMode(1) - This gives you "free-look with no terrain collision". This means you can move the camera around in any direction and at any angle, and if you like, you can position the camera in or move it through any object.
    Once you have this camera mode activated, do what you normally do to move the camera around. It will probably take you a bit of time to get used to it.
    With this setting on, when you click on a location, you will likely see water. This just means you are at the bottom of the 3-D space that contains the current island map. Use the mouse wheel to scroll up until you are above the ground (or angle the camera up and move it forward and up through the ground).
    Because the using the keyboard or side-scrolling by moving the mouse to the screen border causes the camera to shift location in spurts, you will likely want to use the mouse for the final fine adjustments to position.
  • SetHour(0-24) - Enter an hour number (24-hour clock) for the value in the bracks to set the time of day. SpellForce cycles through day and night. Aside from lighting, you may also prefer buildings to have their internal lights or external torches on for your screenshot.

How SpellForce Handles Distance

If you are focussing on landscapes in your screenshots, you should be aware of how Spellforce handles distance. At a certain distance or angle from the camera, terrain has reduced detail and some features, such as buildings, are not displayed at all. This is combined with an ambient amount of "fog" assumed to be present, and which further reduces details of distant objects.

Compare the detail on the mountains in the screenshots below:

mountains blurred by distance
Mountains blurred by distance.

mountains detailed by proximity, in jpg format
Camera moved closer to mountains. Mountainside details more clear.

mountains reverse detailed
Notice the reduced detail is closer to the camera in the mountain face on the side of the screen. This is probably caused by a calculation on the camera angle, perhaps to simulate peripheral vision.

Turning Off the Invisible Fog

You know how you can faraway locations with a certain amount of clarity or sharpness, while on a less clear or very foggy day, the accumulated fog between you and the point you are observing will eventually obscure what you can see in a haze? This same effect is simulated in SpellForce, although you will not see foggy mists. By default it is on. It can be turned on and off with the Render:EnableFog (1) and Render:EnableFog (0) commands respectively.

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