Killzone Dev Talks Its New IP and Helping to Design the PS4's Controller

Guerrilla Games discusses providing input on the DualShock 4's design and the prospect of making a more "open" game in the future.

Longtime Killzone developer Guerrilla Games continues to support its latest game, Killzone: Shadow Fall, while working on a new IP of some sort. Both of these subjects and many more--including 1080p expectations and providing feedback on the DualShock 4--were topics covered by Guerrilla in a surprisingly frank Reddit AMA.

As the only first-party studio working on a shooter for the PlayStation 4's launch, Guerrilla Games "had a large input" on the design of the triggers on the DualShock 4, senior online producer Samrat Sharma explained. "Sony was very open to working with developers such as ourselves when they started making the PS4, and for us to be able to feed back this early on the dev cycle of new hardware meant we could gave game dev feedback and have that fruition into something amazing," he said.

Asked what advantages the studio had by developing a launch title in Shadow Fall, Sharma said, "I think the biggest advantages we had were to be able to feedback directly to the PS team on APIs or features we wanted. GG especially, as the only launch shooter had a large input on the trigger buttons for example.This helps us technically tune the game and discuss with Sony any roadblock we have, though to be sure, it means shooting for a moving target."

Another topic brought up Reddit users was the number of people playing Shadow Fall's multiplayer. Rather than avoid the question or deny the reality of the situation, as you might expect, we got a real answer. "I'll be honest, it's low, but it's enough that everyone is in a near full to full match, so we keep on supporting them," Sharma said, before talking up the effect the next multiplayer expansion's launch. "Intercept will bring in a lot of players who haven't played in a while."

As for why Shadow Fall's multiplayer community has shrunk to the degree it has, Sharma suggested, "I think there is a lot to do with launch titles having different player cycles, but also a lot of players going back to play PS3/360 games after playing their PS4 for a bit. I expect a lot of new users after Intercept drops too."

With the exception of Shellshock: Nam '67, Guerrilla has worked exclusively on Killzone games for the last decade. That's part of what makes the new IP it's working on so intriguing, though we unfortunately won't be seeing this new game at E3 next week. Nothing is known about the game at this point, but when asked about the prospect of Guerrilla making a more "open" game, Sharma didn't rule the possibility out.

"Open games are a very different beast, and an unprepared team can spend loads of people and money making content for an open game (I used to work for Ubisoft, so I know the pitfalls to avoid)," he said. "Thankfully, we have an ever curious technical team that is not resting on its laurels and investigating new frontiers that help us push our content in new and interesting directions. As for open, specifically, you'll have to wait for the next game's announcement to see what it does."

Sharma doesn't see Guerrilla leaving Killzone behind entirely, but he does say the new IP stems from it wanting to move beyond being a Killzone-only studio. "I think the [Killzone] universe has a lot of potential, between the war torn earlier Killzones, the more spy like Shadow Fall, the time jumps in Mercenary, and everything in between," he said. "I think our next IP is a reaction to us not wanting to be just the Killzone studio anymore, but I think it will always be a universe we have high regard for and can mine for interesting stories to tell."

We've rounded up some other choice tidbits from the AMA, which you can find below.

  • Sharma reiterated that the PS4 is very easy to develop for.
  • Guerrilla has a "really good relationships with most" of Sony's other studios. There is some secrecy about new games to avoid leaks, but the first-party developers do "invite each other to try out our games early and often."
  • At "last count," Guerrilla Amsterdam had upwards of 200 employees, while Guerrilla Cambridge (developer of PlayStation Vita shooter Killzone: Mercenary) had less than 70. Both locations are contributing to the new IP, as well as Shadow Fall's DLC.
  • A "lot of thought" is being put into "how to handle our digital library for the PS4" on Sony's part. You can "expect announcements to that effect at some point in the future."
  • Guerrilla has not yet decided whether it will make another game for Vita.
  • On the frustration of criticism for games that don't run in 1080p at 60 frames per second: "It is frustrating not as a developer but whilst managing community expectations as everyone has different definitions of native 1080p, and some shortcuts are accepted and some aren't. It's very odd. Example: most games have sub-1080p [effects] that they scale up for 1080p, and that is typically expected/not noticed. But as long as we make the smoothest and best looking game we can, we think we doing our job well."
  • With unlimited resources, Guerrilla would love to bring the handheld Killzone games to consoles. "But there are controls and technical issues to be solved before we can even start thinking about that, so don't know if it is in the offing in the immediate term."

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MrBlondeX

Chris Pereira

Twitter/Xbox Live/PSN/Nintendo Network: TheSmokingManX
Killzone: Shadow Fall

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42 comments
plut0nash
plut0nash

Because, 1080p makes a great game, right?

minecraftgreek
minecraftgreek

"It is frustrating not as a developer but whilst managing community expectations as everyone has different definitions of native 1080p, and some shortcuts are accepted and some aren't. It's very odd. Example: most games have sub-1080p [effects] that they scale up for 1080p, and that is typically expected/not noticed. But as long as we make the smoothest and best looking game we can, we think we doing our job well."


Sounds exactly like what MS has been saying about pixel quality vs resolution.  And they are right, it's about making a good looking game that is fun.

spartanx169x
spartanx169x

Although KZSF multiplayer might not have a lot of people playing compared to other games, I'm always in a full game. But I also always play the 12 vs 12 mode. I also love the DS4 controller. Hated the ds3 controller. The buttons seem to not have much spring in them. Also hated the triggers. They didn't feel like triggers. They have no curve to them  like a normal trigger does. But that's just my preference.  

sakaixx
sakaixx

I do hope Guerrilla Cambridge makes a new ip or sequels cause killzone mercenary is really fun to play, I'm starting to like that studio

battlefront1943
battlefront1943

It'll never happen but I'd love to see Guerilla Games do a sequel to SHELLSHOCK: NAM '67.  Rebellion's sequel was terrible.

billy19joseph
billy19joseph

While K:SF looked absolutely amazing and ran beautifully both online and offline (especially for a launch title) I found myself bored with the story mode. Would love to KZ2 re-done on the new tech, that'd be great

robbiejones
robbiejones

i'm excited for whatever they bring to the table

keeper262
keeper262

I hated the PS3's controller for shooters, liking the PS4's so far, so good job!

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

This isn't something to brag about, FYI.

grey_fox1984
grey_fox1984

They also helped design the Sharp Shooter- which I think is, to this day, PS3's most underrated peripheral. Killzone 3 is the only game that really used it right, but it had a lot of potential to make an immersive experience with the Move. It's a shame it didn't take off. I even used it in multiplayer, once you get a feel for it, it's tighter than a controller. 

hystavito
hystavito

I love how they just admitted "it's low", that's cool :).

alaannn
alaannn

the design of the dualshock 4 is horrible

_williamwallace
_williamwallace

9 minutes later. ..

Is it the New IP that looks like a destiny ripoff?

sdinh225
sdinh225

@sakaixx That was my first game for the KZ series so I'd also like to see more from them. 

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

Waiting for you 'lol, jk' reply...

grey_fox1984
grey_fox1984

@alaannn strongly disagree- I don't think there's a controller better/more versatile than the DS4

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

@alaannn It's good in terms of features, but sucks in terms of durability

Sony might as well just bundle some third-party stick covers with the PS4, the rubber on those sticks instantly wears out and peels away

Adam802
Adam802

@alaannn it's better than DS3, but not as good as XB1 controller

BigBossWato
BigBossWato

What are you talking about Guerilla games new IP is a Fantasy RPG not a Sci Fi RPG.

grey_fox1984
grey_fox1984

@Sevenizz Dead serious- those who hate on the Sharp Shooter are those who didn't get through the campaign on Elite using it. When you set the deadzones properly (10% width, 30% length was my favourite) and take the time to get a feel for it, it is an awesome way to control KZ3. 

alaannn
alaannn

@grey_fox1984 @alaannn its the size of it that i really dont like its bigger than the 360 controller also the pyramid for the light on the back should be taken out,i can understand why some people like it same way people like the xbox controllers but for me it just doesnt feel right,they should just let the dualshock 3 work on ps4

BigBossWato
BigBossWato

I wouldn't say instantly my took 6 month of use and they are only starting to ware off. But you are right that they should just bundle the stick covers with the controllers.

Marky360
Marky360

alaannn

Mine are still intact.

alaannn
alaannn

@Spartan_418 @alaannn the only new feature i like is the speaker they done a good job with that for playing ingame diaries and such the rest can go the swip pad and light to the wierd triggers and is a step back from the ds3 it would be ideal if they just let us use the ds3 on ps4

Dcyple3000
Dcyple3000

@Adam802 @alaannn yea no its not. the DS4 is way better than last gen and i started on 360 and went to ps3. i say its a little better than the x1 cause of the touch pad and the d-pad is better than any xbox controller the triggers are about even and the size is the same weight too so yea

alaannn
alaannn

@Adam802 @alaannn i think the dualshock 3 is the best one,havent got to try a working x1 controller yet

sbaradan
sbaradan

@grey_fox1984 @Sevenizz Using Sharpshooter for KZ3 and Resistance 3 was an amazing experience for me. Move technology is great for FPS when used with Sharpshooter peripheral, But unfortunately Move is perceived as a sports/dance/family game tool. So hardcore gamers ignored it completely :(


P.S. I also used it for Bioshock Infinite but it wasn't as good as DS3 for that game.

gokartmozart89
gokartmozart89

@alaannn @Spartan_418 I'm not sure which is more incorrect. Your grammar or your opinion on the triggers. Why would anyone like those squeeze balls they called R2 and L2 on the DS3?

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

@alaannn The touchpad hasn't gotten much use in PS4 games but I like having it for PC gaming, it can function as a mouse for navigating Steam and stuff.

It's good for when you're playing a PC game on the couch and don't have a real mouse or keyboard 

gokartmozart89
gokartmozart89

@alaannn @Adam802 The DS3 was a POS. The sticks had massive deadzones, the R2 and L2 "triggers" were useless, and the handles were still too short for adult hands. The DS4 is a huge improvement. 

shadow580
shadow580

@sbaradan I was seriously thinking about getting the sharpshooter for KZ3 at the time but It was an expensive package to buy only for a handful of titles.

alaannn
alaannn

@gokartmozart89 grammar not sure what that means sounds german or somthing,as for the ds3 l2 r2 they dont get in the way but are easy to use when there needed they just work

alaannn
alaannn

@Spartan_418 @alaannn that could be why they put it on there for the likes of rts that need mouse type controls but as a regular controller it just isnt good

shadow580
shadow580

@gokartmozart89 @alaannn @Adam802 Many people that dislike the DS3 controller have the same complaints about the size and the shape of the controller. I have relatively large hands and I've never had any issues with holding the controller. You're not supposed to palm grip it like you do with the enormous 360 controller. You claw grip it and hold it loosely. It's like saying short mice are too small for adult hands when in reality you're just not holding it right.


I found the 360 triggers to be too thin and uncomfortable to press compared to the DS3's triggers. It's kinda extreme to call something useless and not even give a single reason as to why. The only complaint I can think about the DS3's or DS4's triggers are accidental presses when you put the controller down. The triggers have variable pressure levels and the same can be said about the face buttons.


The deadzones are there but I don't know if massive is an accurate way to describe it. I never noticed it in any of my games but then again, the developer can adjust the sensitivity curve and deal with the deadzone that way. Input is registered even if you move the sticks ever so slightly so I don't see a reason why this couldn't be accomplished.

alaannn
alaannn

@shadow580 it is in the way i grip it but it creates to much of a strain if i try and claw i also cant get to the buttons without having to make an active effort when i try and use it the normal way,the triangle/bumb on the back creates a strain on my fingers also the tumbsticks are too short on the ds4,the ds4 isnt useless for everyone but theres more than enough that playing games for any amount of time just isnt worth it when i can just turn on my ps3 and play games on that instead,my ds4 more or less is a netflix remote control at this point,theres no reason why they cant just let us use a ds3 on ps4 instead