Dead End Thrills is a veteran screen and video capture artist for videogames, with over a decade of game industry experience.
Dead End Thrills is a veteran capture artist for videogames, with over a decade of game industry experience.

I’m Duncan Harris, and I am a screen and video capture artist for videogames. Over the years, I have provided promotional assets (trade show reveals, print screenshots, trailer footage, Steam and console store pages, etc.) for studios and publishers big and small. Franchises/titles I’ve worked on include Tomb Raider, Horizon: Zero Dawn, The Elder Scrolls, Hitman, Crysis, Minecraft, EVE Online, The Evil Within, Wolfenstein, Need For Speed, Titanfall, No Man’s Sky, and Hellblade.   

Working within over a dozen game studios has given me extensive knowledge of game industry art workflows, not to mention tools and technologies such as Unreal/UDK, CryENGINE (Sandbox), idTech (id Studio), Photoshop, Premiere, Maya and 3DS Max. A background in software engineering, meanwhile, means I will often reverse-engineer games to fulfill publisher briefs without burdening studios and their staff. Years of prior experience in the games media means I can also liaise with artists, programmers, producers and PR personnel, doing my best to ensure that everyone’s needs are met, and the realities understood.

I love my job. Every new project is a unique challenge which calls upon all of my experience, teaching something new at every turn. For work enquiries:

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    I’ve been described as the ‘father and pioneer’ of ‘virtual photography’. The truth is a bit more complicated – but whatever, I’ll take it! In the Archive you’ll find some fruits of this peculiar hobby, not all of which have aged terribly. I claim no authorship of these images: you are welcome to use them for any purpose you like, in the understanding that all IP remains the property of a game’s publisher, all art the work of its developer. Updates will be few and far between, but don’t rule them out.



    I am also a published author and active UI/UX designer. My most recent book, designed and published by Read Only Memory, is The Bitmap Brothers: Universe, a 356-page history of the visionary British software house. Considered by Kotaku “one of the greatest books ever written about a game developer,” it also makes innovative use of print-oriented CRT emulation to recreate the phosphorous look and wizardry of 16-bit pixel art. A second collaboration with ROM’s Darren Wall will be announced shortly, and hopes to bring the same production values and insight to another legendary subject. A coffee-table book of newly produced Dead End Thrills imagery is also in the works.   

    In 2012 I was commissioned by CCP to produce opening images for several chapters of its official EVE Online art book, EVE Universe. The idea was to use the company’s ‘Jessica’ tools to create entirely realtime art using the game’s own assets and lighting, but with a creative free hand. Attempting to evoke the works of sci-fi masters such as John Harris proved an enormous challenge, and required dozens of layers of custom particles and prefabs to make the ships of EVE as epic as their lore demands.

    “In his exceptional screen capture work, Harris finds and superbly accentuates landscapes, fragments, moods and ephemeral moments. He makes the viewer see the source game through fresh eyes, and reappraise what they thought they understood about the game. The pictures also exist as incredibly striking images in their own right”
    – Alex Garland, author and filmmaker (Annihilation, Ex Machina, Dredd, Sunshine, 28 Days Later…)“I’ve worked with Duncan on a number of video game titles now, across a variety of genres, and simply cannot imagine working with anyone else when it comes to screenshots. I’m frankly astonished the entire industry isn’t already using him, as there really is no one better.”– Ryan Hill, senior marketing manager at CI Games (Sniper: Ghost Warrior)“I’ve long been an admirer of Duncan’s work. He’s managed to breathe new life into the art of game photography, capturing some of the most beautifully crafted imagery within the worlds of videogames. His work is an inspiration to fellow artists and developers like myself, and has set a new benchmark for the rest of us to follow.”
    – Robert Briscoe, environment artist (Half-Life: Alyx, Mirror’s Edge, Dear Esther)“Duncan showed us a sublimely beautiful version of Dunwall, our corrupt and plague-ridden city. With a gifted eye and a mastery of his craft, he elevated our efforts to connect players with the world of Dishonored.”
    – Harvey Smith, game designer (Dishonored, Deus Ex, System Shock)“Simply amazing to work with. Excellent composition skills with a great eye for details. Such a combination of skill and a nice personality to match is a rare find. If I ever get the chance to work with him again I’d do it in a heartbeat.”
    – Sami Vanhatalo, lead technical artist at Remedy Entertainment (Alan Wake, Max Payne)