Time Crisis 4: Creating the Guncon 3, Part 2

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Hi everyone, Time Crisis 4 director Takashi Satsukawa here again. Before we get down to business, I’d like to address some of the questions and comments you had on my last post.

A lot of people were wondering how the game will work for left-handed players, or if it will even work at all. I’d like to put these concerns to rest by saying that we went through a lot of prototypes and testing with left-handed players, and the setup we have now works equally well no matter your preference. We understand that there are a lot of left-handed players, so you can take my word for it that we took this issue to heart when designing the Guncon 3.

There were also a lot of questions asking about the color of the Guncon 3 in the US (bright orange) as opposed to the black version being released in Japan. In the US and certain parts of Europe, the government dictates that all input devices and toys modeled after guns look significantly different than real guns. I’m sure you’ll see these same garish colors in a lot of toys and other gun-type peripherals, so we really don’t have any control over the matter in this regard.

Finally, I noticed a lot of questions about the shooting accuracy with our new setup, which uses two sensors and allows users to play on any type of television. The Guncon 3 is extremely accurate as a function of both our hardware and software. On the hardware side, the lens of the gun was designed by a company that makes precision lenses used in cameras and scanners that can minimize distortion at the 90mm level. In the Guncon 3 itself, there are chips dedicated to computing the location of the sensors, which can detect their position within 1/60th of a second and transmit the data to the PS3. These chips also contain the functionality to detect movement and tilt, just like a standard SIXAXIS controller.

On the software side, we offer two types of calibration to make sure the Guncon 3 is interfacing with the game in the best way possible. The first is a standard Time Crisis two-point calibration, but the other introduces five points, and ensures even greater accuracy.

OK! Now that I’ve answered some of your questions, I’d like to show you a few of the prototypes we went through before arriving at the final design for the peripheral.

Time Crisis 4: Creating the Guncon 3, Part 2

Here’s our first attempt at what would become the final design – the grip for the left hand was added, as well as another analog stick and more buttons. I actually made this prototype myself with paper mache, the first time I had used the stuff in 30 years since elementary school!

Time Crisis 4: Creating the Guncon 3, Part 2

Once we had approval on this basic design, we took it one step further with a Guncon 2 and actually did the work to wire in the modifications.

Time Crisis 4: Creating the Guncon 3, Part 2

As we were working on the arcade version of the game at this point, we were able to actually use this prototype when playing the game. We found the basic functionality to be good, but the placement of the left analog stick was quite uncomfortable. As you can see in the above image, the location and angle are awkward for the player to hold the grip and use the stick. Hoping to further refine our concept, we created several more prototypes.

Time Crisis 4: Creating the Guncon 3, Part 2

These were all variations on our initial concept, with varying degrees of success. The model on the lower right side of the image proved to be best in terms of functionality, use and comfort, so we launched full development of this prototype.

Time Crisis 4: Creating the Guncon 3, Part 2

In addition to finalizing the look of the device, we also had to examine more technical items such as wave tests, safety tests, environmental standard tests and durability tests. As we completed each of these tests, it became clear that this would be the final design of the Guncon3.

Time Crisis 4: Creating the Guncon 3, Part 2

Finally, after months of hard work, our design of the mass production Guncon 3 was completed. It was quite a special moment for us all!

Time Crisis 4: Creating the Guncon 3, Part 2

We’ve completed our discussion of the creation of the Guncon 3, so now we can talk about the game itself. I’ll be back soon to give you an insider’s look at our development process!

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