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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  • Time Crisis 4: Creating the Guncon 3, Part 2 | Play Video Games

    […] post by Takashi Satsukawa […]

  • Thanks for taking into consideration us lefties :)

    I’m still not too sure how it works for us, do we just use the analogue nub at the back of the gun?

    Either way, glad I’ll be able to play TC4 comfortably.

    Not too fussed about the colour, but maybe people can get creative with it and put black strips on it or something.

    Will you guys be looking into doing a wireless gun or would the technology needed to make that a reality make the gun itself too heavy/big?

  • i wish we get bluetooth guns :-/ i dont want any wire ughhh plzzzz make it bluetooth

  • Playstation » Time Crisis 4: Creating the Guncon 3, Part 2

    […] Jem Alexander wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptHi 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 … […]

  • Agree with #2…

    Will there be a wireless Guncon3?

    Why did you guys use the “cheap plastic orange look” instead of a better white or red like in the arcades?

  • I think they used orange to make it not seem like an actual weapon so someone doesn’t take it out to the street and try to mug someone.

  • They have generally used some sort of odd neon coloring on the guns to ensure they’re not mistaken for a lethal weapon.

    You know all those lethal weapons with an analog stick nub in the corner. ;)

    Lethal weapons…from the future!!!

  • They made it orange so that us who played Time Crisis on arcade version will feel just at home.

  • Yo Takashi Satsukawa why didn’t you make the Guncon3 wireless Gun also the color of the Guncon3 is not good for Gun.

  • Considerably different doesn’t mean bright orange… there’s gotta be some middle ground here. Maybe Brown? Non-lime Green?

    Anyway, color doesn’t bother me too much. You still didn’t really cover the sensor issue. How different is it from the Wii? Will the Wii LEDs be compatible/identical to Guncon LEDs? Will they fight with each other if both are setup?

    Like I’ve said before, these are just considerations I have to take due to owning two systems… I hope you guys can understand my concerns. Even if they do conflict, that’d be good information for me to have.


  • This game costs a $100 dollars :-|

  • Is it backward compatible with Guncon 1 & 2 games???!!!!

  • I just wish the thing were blue (like the Guncon 2), or even that pink-with-white on the picture above. Anything but orange. It hurts the eyes!

  • Thanks for the info Takashi!

    I own all the Time Crisis games for the PS2! as a lefty, I have never had any problem with any of them…Im looking forward for Time Crisis 4.

  • Thank you for the answers Takashi. I am especially glad to hear about the accuracy.

    I understand that the law may be in the way but, the Guncon and Guncon 2 were much more appropriately coloured.

  • Thanks for the comments about left handed players. I’m still a bit unclear about how I am supposed to hold the Gun Con with the “pistol grip” in my left hand and access the analog side with my right hand…

    Can we see a picture of a lefty holding it?

    Thank you!

  • Really wish there was force feedback like the arcade.. but I guess I’m just picky!

  • If i buy this game i’m going to buy the Gun from Japan sorry no Ugly Orange Gun for me.

  • I just wish the gun with another colour(yes, I know about the regulations). That orange is pretty abrasive to me. :lol:

  • why is the controller orange?

  • Thanks! Having Bluetooth would be nice, and indeed the color could be something less sore on the eyes. Surely there’s a middle ground somewhere in there…

  • Every orange gun I have own sucks. Make it blue.

  • I would like to know if you can use this gun with Psone and PS2 time crisis titles on the ps3?

  • blog » Time Crisis 4: Creating the Guncon 3, Part 2

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  • I hate the orange colour. The concept picture, with the off white and sliver and orange looks sweet. Make it that and you will surely sell more.

    Is it orange to take away the realness of a real gun?


    This question has been asked by many people in various forums, yet there hasn’t been any “official” response regarding this. I’ve purchased quite a few of Namco’s lightgun titles over the years, but have been completely unable to play ANY of them since I purchased my (then) new Sony WEGA 40XBR800 HDTV approx. three years ago.

    I’ve was even desperate enough to test out several different lightguns from European manufacturers who insisted their units were “absolutely compatible” with Sony WEGA HDTVs. Needless to say, I didn’t have much success in this endeavor.

    To any Namco representative(s) who hopefully might be reading this, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I yearn to be able to play my copies of POINT BLANK and the earlier TIME CRISIS games once again, not to mention ELEMENTAL GEARBOLT (and even AREA 51).

    Please please PLEASE provide your long-time gamers with the ability to play our GunCon 1+2 games on our modern HDTV display devices. Should it be too late to incorporate this into the actual GunCon 3 hardware itself, please consider releasing a PS3 “intercept” utility that would enable this backward compatibility — either as a PSN downloadable, or possibly incorporated into a future system update.

    Consdering the enormous computing power the PS3 hardware is capable of, it should be able to handle any coding thrown at it that would enable transparent bidirectional conversion of signals between GunCon 1+2 games and the GunCon 3 unit. Basically, a truly “plug and plug” GunCon 1/2/3 solution…

    Alternatively, I certainly wouldn’t object to a GunCon 3 “loader” utility that I would have to manually select from the XMB to enable such a conversion; I doubt that other longtime GunCon fans would mind this either.

    I’m extremely grateful to Namco for bringing out a new lightgun game to play on our next-gen PS3s. But again, many of us also have a fairly extensive collection of PS1/PS2 lightgun games sitting unused on our shelves, since our original GunCon 1+2 units are no longer compatible with the modern day HDTVs, LCDs, and Plasma screens many of us have purchased (or are considering).

    Thank you for taking the time to consider this request… it’s very much appreciated.

  • wireless.. :/

  • Great update regarding Time Crisis 4, can’t wait to get it.

  • My only question is why did you have to make it so bloody ugly?!

  • If the calibration allows me to aim at each of the four corners of my screen and “tag” them then awesome. Otherwise I am going to remain skeptical about the accuracy, as the wiimote is absolutely horrible in the aiming sense, as it just makes wild guesses as to where you’re aiming.

  • – Ya, being able to play older version would be a huge ++
    – As far as the gun color, it is a bit abrasive but that won’t stop me from painting it whatever colors I want.

    – Lastly, I am a right handed player so it concerns me not personally. But looking at that picture I don’t see how this gun works the same way for both right handed and left handed people.

  • Good to see that you’ve taken the left handed people into account aswell.

  • It seems to be a two handed gun which seems inherently awkward. I thought movement was via the thumb stick and aiming was via the gun… so what is the other stick (on the left side) for?

    I guess I’ll have to wait for part 3 to see the gun actually being used….

  • im really excited for this. I remember, it was only one or two years after the PS1 launch that I got Time Crisis for the Playstation and I used to have SOOO much fun playing that game. I loved the original cast of the game….what happened to them?

    But i guess we still get Wild Dog.

    But count me in with this game and an extra gun

  • PS3 Game Geek » The creation of the Guncon 3, part two

    […] tilt” like a Sixaxis — might be handy for reloading? Anyway, check out the post on the PlayStation Blog to see all the prototypes and the final […]

  • The creation of the Guncon 3, part two » PS3 Game Players

    […] tilt” like a Sixaxis — might be handy for reloading? Anyway, check out the post on the PlayStation Blog to see all the prototypes and the final […]

  • Wouldn’t two analogue sticks and six buttons utterly destroy the fun of the simple point and shoot concept? It feels utterly flawed. It won’t be an intuitive gun experience, it’ll be an orgy in orange and buttons. Bring back the people who designed the original Guncons – or get them off the drugs. Takashi-san, close your eyes while handling the prototype – does that really feel like you’re holding a gun towards the TV? I can’t say for sure from only looking at a picture, but I’m seriously worried this’ll be a belly flop death for the Guncon series. You haven’t even figured out what to USE the sixaxis for. Stop sweating the tech and start from a usage point of view. Keep the gun a gun.

  • I like the concept, but the color……it makes me feel sick…Come on the whole gun doesnt have to be orange, the law says the tip has to be orange not the whole gun….Seriously this does not match my beautiful ps3, it looks like an even worse than the nintendo gun used for duck hunt. Hopefully they change the color. Then I might buy. Also if it is wireless as well.

  • To everyone complaining about the color….3 words= Spray paint can :D lOL

  • Will there be a separate Guncon sold? If not, you’d have to buy…2 copies of the game.

  • VGBlogger.com - » New Time Crisis 4 Trailer and Screens

    […] scenes discussion on the development of the game and the new Guncon 3. Part 1 went up last week and part 2 just went up yesterday, check ‘em […]

  • My girlfriend and i would love to play this together, how much will a guncon sell for separately?

    Or is there going to be a package with 2 guns?

  • There should be colors more than just orange. The pink and white looked pretty cool. I don’t understand why you would have to change the color. It donsent look like a real gun at all with the cord and the analog stick.

  • I’ve a video projector with 3x2m (thats like 9×6 foot) of screen. Does the Guncon 3 sensors support such big screens?

  • Hi everyone, Takashi Satsukawa here. I’d like to take a moment to answer some of the questions I seen on this most recent post.

    Some people were asking about the potential for interference from other sensor devices, such as a Wii. We anticipated that a lot of users might have a Wii set up on the same TV, so we made adjustments in our software to ensure that the two do not interfere with one another, so this should not be an issue.

    I had responded earlier about left-handed users, but it seems there are more questions, so I’ll do my best to address them. The left handed user should hold the Guncon3 in the same way as a right-handed user – right hand on the right side with the trigger and left-hand on the left side. In arcade mode, you aren’t using the left half of the Guncon3 that much, so you’d essentially be using it in the same way as you did in Time Crisis 2 or 3. In FPS mode, we allow for a pretty significant modification of our basic control scheme. We have a “lefty swap” that lets players reverse the uses two analog sticks – similar to what you see in other FPS games. Beyond the fact that the controller is designed to look and feel like a gun, if you are able to play other FPS games as a left-handed player, you shouldn’t have any problems playing Time Crisis 4.

    We also had some questions about the Guncon3 – specifically why the device isn’t wireless. The Time Crisis series has always had a really broad following with all types of players. We investigated different types of technology and the costs associated with each, and found that a wired Guncon3 made the most sense for us. Time Crisis 4 sells for $89.99, and includes the game itself, the Guncon3 and our sensor system. We want to stick with the Guncon3 for a good while, so you are getting a good value for any future games that use it. Unfortunately the wireless solutions we looked into would have made the total cost of the bundle prohibitively high, so we decided not to take this route.

    Finally, there have been a lot of people asking about whether the Guncon3 will work with the PS2 Time Crisis games. Unfortunately, you can’t. The Guncon3 uses a different system to detect the pointer location using sensors, while the previous Guncons were using the actual TV scan lines. Since the old games were programmed to function with this old technology, they can’t be used with the Guncon3. It’s like trying to play a VHS tape with a DVD player – they are two different generations of technology.

    Hopefully this clears up some of the questions you all had. I believe our next post will be going up any day now, so I hope to see you all again soon.

  • ok, so if it doesn’t work for the previous titles, then how are we going to use the old games and remotes on our HDTV’s? there has to be some solution, otherwise you guys aren’t trying to take full advantage of the hardware with backwards compatibility. how can we use y-video when we use hdmi for the input. you guys need to figure it out!

  • @ jimm: the simple answer is, you’re *not* going to get the old light gun games to work on an HDTV. Maybe if they released an Anthology for PS3 that has the old games reprogrammed to work with the GunCon3 (which is actually a great idea), but other than that, you’re never going to get an old-style light gun and game to work on an HDTV.

  • I just had a quick question, Will the Guncon3 work on a Front Projector, my screen is 110 inch’s with this front project and it would be sweet if I can play it on my TV. Hope what you say is true and it will work on any TV.

  • hello, im a lefthanded player, and if i clearly understand what mister TAKASHi said, every lefthanded must hold the gun with their RIGHThand (which is really unpleasant for lefty) and with their left hand hold the left part of the guncon 3 when playing on fps story mode. that mean that this game is some how exclusively for righthanded, am i right? ( lol). so almost nothing have been done( i mean beeing able to hold the gun with your left hand on fps mode.)!!! a simple gun with no sidejoysticks would have been more clever,
    having the sensation of holding a gun than a joystick (you are right ” Broken Haiku” )and that there is no handicap for left or right handed. So sad….

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