Time Crisis 4: Creating the Guncon 3

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Hello, everyone, this is Takashi Satsukawa, the director of Time Crisis 4.

Today, I would like to discuss our development process in creating Time Crisis 4 and the Guncon 3 controller. Four years have passed since I first came up with the framework of Time Crisis 4. In the autumn of 2003, after the completion of the PS2 version of Time Crisis 3, our development team started to examine what our next big step for the series should be. After kicking around some ideas, we decided to work on a new concept in which the player has full control over their on-screen actions, moving independently through the stage and shooting at enemies with an entirely new Guncon.

In most traditional arcade shooting games such as the previous installments of Time Crisis, players don’t have full control over their movement. Instead, the camera movements are directed precisely by the developer, while enemies show up quickly on the screen. This allows the player to focus on one specific action – shooting. As the basic premise for this type of game has broad appeal and is instantly engaging, we’ll continue to make these games in the future, but wanted to investigate a new path for Time Crisis 4.

The Time Crisis team has been eager to implement a solution for moving and shooting to the series for years now – our development tools allow us to do this in early builds of games – but it was too difficult to implement this feature into a full game using only the Guncon 2 controller. With our next title planned for the PLAYSTATION 3 system, we began work on our next iteration of the Guncon hardware to bring new functionality to the series and allow us to implement our goals for a free-roaming Time Crisis experience. We asked our designer to come up with a few illustrations showing a Guncon with one analog stick. After getting the results, we realized that this was going to be a more intimidating project than we had planned!

Time Crisis 4: Creating the New Guncon #1

Putting our hardware demands on the back-burner for a while, we turned to the software side to try and put together a compelling demonstration for our concept. We worked for a month to create a prototype based on the Time Crisis 3 engine in which two players can move freely around a small square environment and try to shoot each other. We decided to go with a Vs. type game because we didn’t have an appropriate AI solution in place and needed to test it out as quickly as possible. Even though this early prototype only allowed for horizontal aiming, we felt confident enough in the design to move forward with the full game.

Time Crisis 4: Creating the New Guncon #1

As we understood that we would have to implement vertical aiming in our game, we decided to revise our Guncon hardware designs to meet this goal. That was the real jumping-off point for Time Crisis 4, which I will cover in-depth soon in my next entry!

Time Crisis 4: Creating the New Guncon #1

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  • Its nice to see this stuff, I wish more devs would do this.

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  • If you guys had the balls to come here and say it. I believe you. So bring it on.

  • we want fw v2.00

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    […] all the details here […]

  • This is a great idea letting gamers design what their controller will look like, but I’m not going to buy a Guncon unless it has at least these 4 specific things:
    • At least 4 different trigger buttons to let you fire each weapon type without having to shoot off-screen to switch between them
    • force kickback that the arcade guns have
    • wireless
    • looks and feels like a high quality device, not a crappy plastic toy

    If you give me that, I’ll pay $150 for one by itself.

  • “Two handed gun controllers make me sad….”

    They make me very happy. I can only hold a Guncon2 for about 30 minutes, and a Wii-mote for about 15 before my wrists hurt too much. A two handed gun will not only increase accuracy, but the length of time I can use it. (medical condition)

    “Oh, and I hope the LED lights required for the gun to work won’t interfere with my Wii. It’d get annoying to have to redo my setup each time I want to play one or the other”

    You can’t use both this and your Wii on the same TV at the same time, unless you have 4 arms. So even if the LEDs do interfere, they won’t be on at the same time as your Wii

    “should’ve been wireless.”

    And rumble, and sixaxis.

    Also, dino stalkers for PS2 used the dpad on the guncon2 to let you walk around. You could also use a dualshock and a guncon at the same time. Resident Evil Survivor does as well.

    “Is this guncon backwards compatible with PS2 and PSX guncon featured games?”

    God I hope so, I’ll no longer have a reason to keep my PS2 plugged in.
    I can see it working for PS2 ones since it’s USB but not PS1.

    “My only complaint is that it relies on the insanely inaccurate and quirky(read: not good) Wii-style detection with the sensor things”

    This one uses 2 sensor bars, it should be more accurate than Wii’s horrible sensing.

    And quit complaining about FW2.0, stay on topic guys. One comment was enough.

  • quick thing on colour. Black gun controllers have not been an accepted format since the 1980’s when a child was shot by a police officer in the states and killed because the officer thought it was a real gun. before that the original guncons were black. orange was chosen for a similar reason as to hunters in the woods. it’s bright and obvious and wouldn’t be confused with a real gun. although i wouldn’t mind coloured choices. it just seems that corporations think only Japan likes diversity, yet that’s an entirly different subject all together. and to clarify the controller can only be held in the right hand not the left. there is no handle on the left side. i know it is confusing by the photos and the prototype isn’t complete, but rest assured a left handed person holding the gun by it’s handle with thier left hand would have to swing thier right arm under the gun and around to the far left just to use the additional controls. therefore thier arms would have to hold the gun in an X position. a little cumbersome if you ask me. otherwise it’s just another device intended for righty’s only. being left handed is not a dissease people, at fair percentage of the population is left handed remember. everyone here has great points when they stay on topic. you FW 2.0 guys… it’ll happen when it happens. XMB in game guys, who cares? i really don’t see the purpose!? my setting are set, my music is not playable in a game where the music is payed for an do i really want to view photos while i am in a game? all i really want is access to my buddies list in every game. that’s it and in game XMB will help, but it is not the answer. the game developers themselves need to add these options in themselves and it is not up to Sony to dictate that. XMB in game is overkill. a detailed buddies list is good enough.

  • while i’m sure that making it so this new gun would allow backwards compatibility with the older gun games would be pretty much impossible. can we have some of the original games on the timecrisis 4 disc? i love all the series, but i can’t readily play them as my main gaming station is now a rear projection tv. i’m glad to see this new gun fixes the tv issues, but i want to play my old games. make a collectors edition with the entire series on it and it will be a definite buy for me.

  • jerrt: hmm, I wonder why it wouldn’t be possible to just make it compatible like you mentioned. It seems like it would be a pretty simple thing to have the gun sending info the same way it had sent it for the previous games… I hope they do that — I haven’t touched my old guns since I got the ps3 and my new hdtv for the same reasons.

  • this is going to be a great game when it comes out

  • @NeoTechni

    As far as arm tiredness, perhaps a good compromise is a gun that allows two hands but only requires a single hand to play?

    And I know I won’t be playing both at the same time, but the LED lights are always on so long as the system is plugged in to my knowledge, so I’d have to remove the Wii sensor bar, put up the Guncon one whenever I want to use it… then switch back whenever doing the opposite. It’s a minor annoyance, to be sure, but it does seem like a larger hassle then I’d care for.

  • Ok

    1st the color Orange looks ugly on the gun
    “Make it look like a real Magnun

    2nd it have to work good like the Wii mote, just like it plays on Metroid 3 or no one is going to buy the thing .

  • Give us fw 2.0 with in-game XMB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I’ve enjoyed the Time Crisis games in the past and look forward to this one. Thanks for the info.

  • BTW, how do you change your avatar? I set up the thing on Gravatar, but it is not working!

  • Thank you for telling us how the GunCon 3 was created. I’ve enjoyed the Time Crisis Series, but I have one question if anyone could answer please, will the Guncon 2 work with Time Crisis 4?

  • @ 8 Too bad I am working on the real life Groovitron in labs its in the Prototype stage atm and only works on drunk chicks.

  • This is a genuine idea, and the game will definitely rule. Damn, too many games, too little time!

  • At first I was skeptical about the Guncon 3 design using a two-handed approach. After letting it percolate for a bit however, I realized that Guncon 3 is super fresh. Wonderful design, really. Is it confirmed to be wired though? Kind of a buzzkill if true, but I will still buy, since it will probably be a fun party game. Nothing as easy as picking up a gun and blasting away at the tv…

  • When are we gonna see some proper games for the ps3?

  • “When are we gonna see some proper games for the ps3?”
    I agree with you, Sony must do something or will lose all its fans.

  • @ 74 Proper games? Im guessing R&C, Folklore, Uncharted, Resistance, Warhawk, just to name a few exclusives must not be proper enough for you. What is it you want all of those titles are pretty diverse I would say and are awesome games at that maybe you want a Olympic game with Ratchet and Jak, or guess what this may seem like a surprise maybe you’d like a FPS omg how did I know?
    On my note keep up the good work Sony, you guys have given us some nice new innovative and fun games in the last 2-3 months keep it up.

  • Looking foward to the game, but that is one fugly gun.

  • sorry to burst everyones bubble who want in-game XMB it looks like sony cant get the whole XMB in-game just parts of it i think it will either be Music while in -game or access to friends list i only hope they go for the access to friends list rather than music in-game but time will tell

  • No in-game XMB.


    Be prepared to cry.

  • No in-game XMB = lose. Get your [DELETED] together Sony, quick.


  • firedots » Time Crisis 4: Creating the Guncon 3

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  • Time Crisis 4 looks great. I was talking to the store manager at my local GameStop and found out about online co-op with guncons. Cant wait. This game is going to look and play very nice on my Sony XBR 5.

  • Can they be separate the gun and the pad with a button so people who want 1 handed gun and the 1 that take the guncom 2 hand on the cross ca be happy too. i’m not sure i can handheld the 2 hands on the guncom as it show but i never tried so i cross my finger hoping it will be as good as the guncom 1 loved so much with Time Crisis 1 and Point Blank serie

  • quick note on previous guncon games. they register the gun completely differently and require a screen capturing tech. (in essence it takes a photo of the screen when the button is pressed) the new guncon uses light sensetivity and doesn’t even have the screen capture function at all. just be prepared for the gun to not be backward compatible. BTW FW2.0 guys… way to stay on topic again. give it up. i can’t even imagne why you would even need in game XMB?! game desingers do need to add in game buddies lists however and that is about it. the mythical FW 2.0 with XMB isn’t going to happen. deal with it and start looking at companies like konami, capcom and EA to add the features you want, not sony directly. what about asking EA for in game MP3’s how about asking konami to include buddies lists in thier future titles. all in all we all know the PS3 can do it, it’s just up to the game designers to do it. the funniest part of it all is that Sony gives us the privilage to blog here and all some people can think to do is bash sony about stupid things you are obviously too ignorant to understand. in the future maybe if you clarify your requests programmers might get a little more insight into your desires and might actually have the desire to follow through.

  • Why isn’t it wireless, especially in this day in age??

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