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Sharp Shooter Origins – Part One

By now you’ve probably read a thing or two about the PlayStation Move Sharp Shooter – like the fact that it has a digital trigger, a pump-action grip, and an authentic form factor. But did you know that it originally started life as a side project for Killzone 3‘s game director? In this two-part article, we look at the origins of the Sharp Shooter and the people behind it.

It all began with a Helghast soldier using a PlayStation Move controller.

“We were at a game convention where the Move was being demonstrated,” Guerrilla Game Director Mathijs de Jonge recalls. “We had several Helghast performers walking the show floor, and one of them decided to have a go at the Move demo booth.”

For Mathijs, the image of a big, intimidating Helghast soldier waving about an innocuous game peripheral just felt off. “I could scarcely imagine him playing a game like Killzone that way,” Mathijs says. “He looked like he should be holding something resembling a weapon – something with a little oomph to it. A peripheral that not only played well, but looked cool at the same time.”

The event got Mathijs thinking about an add-on for the PlayStation Move. “We’d toyed with the idea of designing a Killzone-themed gun peripheral before,” Mathijs says, “but with the introduction of the Move, that idea suddenly seemed a lot more feasible. The timing was right as well, because development on Killzone 3 was still in its early stages.”

image01

Early mockups consisted of kitbashed gun peripherals from other platforms.

Mathijs voiced his idea at a Director’s Panel, where Sony Product Design Manager Ennin Huang was also in attendance. Having worked with the SOCOM team on the first Bluetooth headset for PlayStation 3, Ennin was heavily involved with the development of PlayStation peripherals. “After the panel, Ennin approached us and said he very much liked the idea of a solid, realistic-looking Move add-on,” Mathijs says. “He advised us to put together an official proposal and submit it to the Product Design team.”

For his proposal, Mathijs enlisted the help of Guerrilla Lead Concept Designer (and resident weapons expert) Roy Postma. “Mathijs wanted to design a gun peripheral that could represent the majority of firearms in Killzone 3,” Roy says. “We chose the Helghast StA-11 SMG as our starting point: like most weapons in the game it requires two hands to operate, but at the same time it’s quite compact.”

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The first mockup housed the navigation controller in the rear grip.

Using foam board, duct tape and pieces of gun peripherals from several different platforms, Mathijs and Roy then constructed a mockup roughly approximating the StA-11’s size and shape. The mockup housed the navigation controller in the rear grip and the Move controller in the barrel, while a trigger mechanism in the fore grip connected to the Move’s T-button. This setup, however, proved impractical.

“When you play Killzone 3 on a DualShock 3 controller, you move around with your left thumb and fire with your right index finger,” Roy explains. “Our first mockup had it the other way around, making the setup somewhat awkward for right-handed people. So I went back to the drawing board to design a clip/fore grip that could house the navigation controller. I also moved the firing trigger back to the rear grip, where it normally resides on an StA-11.”

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Guerrilla CEO Hermen Hulst tries out the revised mockup.

Instead of relying on a complicated (and possibly error-prone) physical pass-through mechanism to bridge the distance to the Move’s T-button, the trigger could simply be wired up to the Move’s extension connector digitally. This solution allowed Roy to add additional buttons to the body of the peripheral, saving players from having to reach for the Move controller in the barrel whenever they wanted to reload or swap weapons.

In the meantime, Mathijs worked on the proposal document, outlining the type of user experience he had in mind for the gun peripheral. “I wanted players to experience a sense of joy as soon as they picked up the peripheral,” Mathijs says. “It not only had to look cool and authentic, I also wanted it to feel like a weapon. It had to enhance the overall experience of playing a shooter on the PlayStation 3.”

Check back next week for the second part of Sharp Shooter Origins, in which the Guerrilla team gets help from their friends at Zipper Interactive!

39 Comments
0 Author replies
stargateheaven 27 May, 2011 @ 16:04
1

OK…
:-/

nathanmoore777 27 May, 2011 @ 16:04
2

wow this looks cool thanks for info

almighty-slayer 27 May, 2011 @ 16:09
3

That’s quite interesting :)

Pacman_Ownage 27 May, 2011 @ 16:12
4

I’m liking how they were always thinking of right handed people :D

Appease the masses and all that

nathanmoore777 27 May, 2011 @ 16:15
5

do you know when playstation network store is back

hmmm interesting killzone with a gun? im going to play killzone 3*picks up real gun*

i broke my tv now thanx alot guerrilla

8

when will Sony allow people with sub accounts to upgrade to master accounts when they are 18 or above??

its a major problem

http://www.community.eu.playstation.com/t5/PlayStation-3-General-Discussion/Petiton-For-Sub-Account-Options-Including-Turning-Int o-Master/td-p/9659947/page/20

9

Ok so when is the sharp shooter Revised mockup releasing because i’m very much interested in this gun it’s really a beauty and the design is just amazing ;) Herman Hulst is very lucky lol :P

Huono_peleis 27 May, 2011 @ 16:50
10

Can you use that to shoot PSN Store open?

11

Cool article. Out of interest, how does one pronounce Mathijs?

12

@ Huono_peleis
LOL i was gonna say that

Wow, a plastic gun…
I don´t think so.

helghast102 27 May, 2011 @ 17:22
14

So many pointless, offtopic comments..

Thanks for this, was interesting.

15

So many pointless filler, blog posts..

always fun when you can clearly see sony doing their very very best to distract you with shiny stuff.

WHEN WILL THE STORE BE BACK UP ? the less information given out the more pointless comments get made.

However;

Not keen on the sharpshooter myself but is there any plans for a handgun version that also plugs directly into the ext port ? I’d love a fully loaded, auto fire, auto reload, auto singing and auto dancing, pistol whippin, mofo of a handgun. . . .

lol nice

17

awaiting moderation ?? weird :/

what about the move drift issue ? not great when your pew pew goes all drifty and floaty.

18

Wow this makes me wanna get Move NOW! This might actually make wanna play an FPS on my PS3!

19

@5 @10

Can you stop hijacking every possible blog post (this includes every other idiot too) with ‘Store NAO. I MUST HAVE IT, MY LIFE DEPENDS ON IT’ (or anything similar / relating to the PS store)

It’ll be out when it’s out. In the meantime, go outside enjoy the fresh air.. If its raining, do the same, if its hailing.. guess what.. do the same! Oh.. whatever the weather.. go outside now.. YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT! :3

residentSteve 27 May, 2011 @ 18:05
20

Check this link out http://www.computerandvideogames.com/303514/news/house-of-the-dead-overkill-coming-to-ps3-move-confirmed/

House of the dead overkill is coming to ps3 and playstation move in october.

People stop asking about the store!!!!
He is from Guerilla games not Sony.

Great post by the way :)

that early version looks really familiar, but i can’t quite remember where from. ^_^

devil_spawn666 27 May, 2011 @ 19:02
23

I’m loving the Sharp Shooter, I got it along with SOCOM: Special Forces, and I love it. I played the beta with a DualShock 3 but I haven’t even touched the DualShock with the full game, yet. I love the weight and feel of the Sharp Shooter and will definitely be picking up Killzone 3 to try it out with.

I was feeling jaded by the FPS genre, but the Sharp Shooter really opens up a new and exciting way to play FPS’s. I hope other developers follow suit and more FPS titles embrace the Sharp Shooter peripheral.

Great blog post!

24

Cool gadget, but honestly the cost of PS3 Move is still way too high to make it an option for me.

I mean, you gotta buy the move, the navigation controller, the gun… I still only have one regular sixaxxis ‘cus controllers are so steep.

25

Your game, is nothing but trash.

Meh. The DualShock and myself are more than happy. We don’t even register on the look-like-an-idiot-o-meter :)

Interesting article though, it’s good to see this kind of stuff appearing on the blog.

27

“Using foam board, duct tape and pieces of gun peripherals from several different platforms, Mathijs and Roy then constructed a mockup”
haha they had it wrong, it’s Roel who did this, my cousin :) you see his foot on the right hehe

ShadowDoGGG 27 May, 2011 @ 21:30
28

Origins were clear the Wii Zapper. Wish Sony would be more noble for once and realise this.

29

“I wanted players to experience a sense of joy as soon as they picked up the peripheral,” Mathijs says. “It not only had to look cool and authentic, I also wanted it to feel like a weapon.”

Hmmm. Mine is bright red and has a glowing orb on the end.

I wouldn’t call that looking cool and authentic. But it is still great.

However I am too scared to use it for SOCOM online as the “turning” doesn’t feel right to me. I’ve have designed it with some kind of analogue stick or d-pad on the back (and on the Move wand) for FPS games. Did they learn nothing from PSP?

30

correction: “I’d have designed it…”

Ghost-Rhayne 27 May, 2011 @ 23:26
31

Sharpshooter was a genre changer for me. I will NEVER use a DSC again on a FPS unless I have to (Bioshock Infinite :( ). It is such an amazing way to play FPS games, I love the look, feel and function of it. AWESOME work Sony, GG and Zipper!

32

nice!!

great post. I’ve really enjoyed my sharpshooter so far, and hope more titles support it in the future (a MAG update to properly support the sharpshooter’s features would be greatly appreciated!)

My only real issue with the controller is the placement of the start button as it’s not easily reachable, though it’s not a huge deal and only really effects the occasional moments when you want to pause the action… still a fantastic product.

Looking forward to part 2!

34

@SHADOW 19 you know why people ask about the store? no ok ill tell you its because they have the damn right to do so. its free to talk on here when a law says you can not talk about store or anything elles then people will wont use it. the only problem with this planet is theres human beings on it including me. all we do destroy things. life/friendships/computers/wild life. everything we have in life. so if you dont

35

like people posting on here then sod of to another post site. no one is forcing you to be here. and as for the store u will be lucky if its open by friday does that answer the question. dont even bother about the store till friday and if it goes on then cheer till then forget the store!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

36

Hmmmm ! Blogs about everything (including,fantastic plastic,duct taped,feely realy ,homemade , killer guns )Wow !

Get the damn store up n running , stop throwing ‘doggie bones’into the Wolf Pit !
We want REAL BLOOD !

37

Store will most likely be back up soon. Just have some patience I like the idea of this gun by the way.

People still don’t get the point. The Blog isn’t tied to the store.. I doubt the writers have any control over what happens with it.

The deadline is 31st of May, so you could at least hold off complaints till then.

On topic though, nice little post. Can’t wait for part 2!

Shifty_Geezer 31 May, 2011 @ 10:08
39

Why’d they wait 6 weeks between gun iterations from China?! Surely it’d make more sense to get a local firm to create prototypes for rapid development, and then send the final design off to China for mass production?

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