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Designing for the DualSense controller – the UI of Disciples: Liberation – PlayStation.Blog


After we began improvement on Disciples: Liberation, we knew one of many largest hurdles we’d face could be bringing a style not that extensively out there on consoles to a wholly new viewers of gamers. Taking one thing like a dark-fantasy-strategy RPG, a style that had predominantly lived on the PC platform, and transferring it throughout to the PlayStation 5 and DualSense wi-fi controller was a difficult however satisfying journey, particularly for a small however passionate group. 

From the get-go, we knew we might solely have the time and assets to deal with a single UI (person interface) philosophy and as a result of sport’s availability on PC, this would want to serve two utterly totally different enter strategies: each the DualSense controller and a keyboard and mouse. In bringing Disciples: Liberation to the PS5, our goal was two-fold: 

  • Guarantee veterans of the franchise didn’t really feel like something was simplified or sacrificed in making a fancy dark-fantasy-strategy RPG for consoles 
  • Creating intuitive menus and button mapping that felt natural to the DualSense controller 

Because the lead UI/UX designer for the mission, it was my duty to marry these two worlds, making certain the sport’s interface was deep and intuitive while completely in sync with the DualSense controller. As a result of ongoing again points (by spending each work and free time sitting at a desk) I’ve been utilizing the DualSense controller full time when gaming on PC and PS5. I used to be thrilled with how properly the controller labored throughout each platforms, a lot in order that I even transposed my complete UI structure from a few of my favorite MMOs (no small feat!). With this distinctive background, I knew I used to be as much as the duty of constructing Disciples: Liberation as the proper DualSense controller coupling. If I might give extra accessibility to gamers, permitting any sort of individual to decide on whichever enter they want to play our sport, I might contemplate my job successful. 

It was pretty early in improvement that we began to lean in the direction of a digital cursor for the in-game menus. For those who don’t know, a digital cursor is one which gamers are capable of freely transfer across the display utilizing the left or proper analogue stick. From my expertise enjoying different video games utilizing this identical system, I knew we might give you one thing actually particular if we spent the time contemplating how greatest we might create menus that felt at dwelling on the PS5.   

To start, we put a while into researching a handful of earlier titles that had applied a digital cursor of their interface and rapidly seen {that a} pretty fast-moving cursor that slows over buttons and interactive parts, to offer gamers time to react and cease over them, was excellent. We additionally used Fitt’s Regulation for the menus and on-screen button interactions, a legislation that states that any goal is tougher to hit the smaller and additional away it’s. 

Retaining this in thoughts, we determined one of the best ways to nearly enhance the scale of a button (make a small button really feel bigger to the participant) could be to decelerate the velocity of the cursor when gamers handed over it. For instance, if the cursor moved at 100 pixels per second and the button was 200 pixels vast, it will take the participant two seconds to cross it, whereas if the cursor slowed to 50 pixels per second when moved over a button, we might have simply doubled the time gamers should hit that button when making their choice. 

As soon as the design was full, I mentioned it with our lead programmer, and we went to work. Two days later, we had a really convincing prototype and spent the subsequent couple of weeks including options to fine-tune the expertise for gamers. This included small however important modifications comparable to setting a particular cursor slow-down price on a ‘per ingredient’ foundation (so we might alter the velocity of the cursor interactions with particular person buttons) background counter-scrolling (making the display transfer in the wrong way to the cursor for a digital enhance in velocity), and including a platform-specific filter to any ingredient on the display, permitting us to tailor the UI expertise particularly to PS5 gamers. The filter labored very similar to these outdated crimson/blue “3D” glasses – the knowledge for all platforms would at all times be there however for those who enabled our filter, simply the DualSense controller prompts would present to the participant. 

Having a digital cursor additionally meant we might simply create layouts that felt natural and have been aesthetically pleasing throughout all platforms. In designing the menus, we even used Fitt’s Regulation to tweak tiny interactions, comparable to having a list merchandise populate from the left or the appropriate facet of the display relying on a component’s on-screen location. This meant much less journey time between a class and the primary objects in a participant’s stock checklist, and resulted in a extremely satisfying, buttery-smooth person expertise. 

By way of gameplay, we utilized an analogous philosophy, making certain that core actions have been simply accessible by way of the buttons on the DualSense controller. In sport, transferring and zooming the digital camera throughout fight and assigning actions to your items all feels very pure and we additionally added button shortcuts to actions that could possibly be repetitive or which will have the participant transfer their cursor backwards and forwards throughout giant swathes of the display. As an alternative, gamers would have the selection to both choose the button utilizing the digital cursor or use one of many DualSense controller’s face buttons to improve an merchandise or skip a outcomes display. Our QA was fairly pleased with that one.  

Designing Disciples: Liberation for the DualSense was a singular problem however I’m extraordinarily pleased with the sport and might’t wait to listen to what PlayStation gamers assume when it launches on October 21. 

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