How Evolution Studios helped design DualShock 4

 

Drive Club developer Evolution Studios has been helping Sony build the new DualShock 4 pad since 2011. It helped choose the gyros, prototype the analogue sticks and define the feel of the triggers – in collaboration with fellow firstparty studio Guerilla – on PS4′s pad, the studio has told us.

Evolution’s technical director Scott Kirkland and game director Matt Southern revealed that the racing specialist has been involved in next-gen discussions for years in an interview to be published in E253, which goes on sale on Thursday.

“The control side of things has always been a really important thing for racing games, so we made sure that we got involved in the controller discussion very early on,” said Scott Kirkland. “I think this goes back to Christmas 2010. We started working with the guys in Japan on what became the DualShock 4. We were instrumental in securing the specific gyro components that [will] go in the DualShock 4; we had prototypes that demonstrated that the really high frequency gyros were the ones that allowed us to chuck the controller around like a steering wheel, and the ones that they were considering [meant] you could get a fair degree of lag and have to rely on accelerometers to compensate for that. So we put a very compelling case forward to the guys in Japan, they listened and they’re the components that are in the DualShock 4.”

“We did a lot of work with the analogue sticks on the controller, too,” continued Kirkland. “We did a prototype using MotorStorm RC that allows you to exploit the reduced deadzone size on the controller and the more accurate sticks. It’s scary how long we’ve been involved in this – we’ve been secretive about it for so long.”

Kirkland also revealed that the DualShock 4’s triggers were developed in collaboration with Killzone developer Guerilla – though this was an issue on which the UK studio had to compromise.

“The triggers is another area where there’s been a huge amount of development,” added Kirkland. “There’s been a great back-and-forth between the likes of ourselves and some of the firstperson shooter guys at Guerrilla. They wanted specific things out of the triggers and, from a racing game perspective, we wanted lots of subtlety of control and to have really analogue brakes and acceleration, and so in some cases we had to reach a little bit of a compromise on that. But the controller sits on the desk beautifully, it doesn’t accidentally press the triggers, [and] they’ve got really nice resistance to them.”

You can read more from Evolution Studios on how it shaped Sony’s next console in the new issue of Edge magazine, on sale Thursday. You can buy or subscribe to Edge magazine in print, on iPad, on Google Play and through Zinio.

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