Designing new Deep Rock Galactic weapons with the DualSense controller in mind

Deep Rock Galactic, a co-op game about dwarfs mining space minerals and battling bugs, has been out on PS4 and PS5 for a few months now. And it was amazing to see so many new players joining us in the Hoxxes caves. Whether you purchased the game when it was available with PlayStation Plus or recently purchased it, welcome!

The PlayStation release of DRG happened during our very first season in the game, and we will soon be releasing our second season on May 5: Season 02 – Rival Escalation. This season includes four new secondary weapons, which gave us the opportunity to design them with the DualSense wireless controller in mind from the start.

When we were working on the PlayStation version of DRG, we decided to use the features of the DualSense controller as much as possible to improve the in-game weapon experience (see our previous blog post on How the DualSense Controller Improves Exploitation Deep Rock Galactic mining and combat). Below you can read how we used the features of the DualSense controller for each of the new weapons.

The ArmsKore Spool Gun

Haptic feedback helped drive home the feeling of power in each weapon. Take the Coil Gun in this new season: Although small and compact, the gun packs a lot of power. And with haptic feedback, we could really get the message across with increasingly stronger pulses during the charging phase, communicating the unstable and high amounts of energy, which release with a huge kick.

The Nishanka Boltshark X-80

The Boltshark was the most subtle of the bunch and benefited greatly from the finest possible detail that haptic feedback provides. While it’s quieter than the others, it gave us more room to point out the small details of the crossbow parts rattling, bolts setting, and string slamming against the barrel when firing.

The splinter diffractor

The Shard Diffractor was the simplest of the bunch in terms of design, firing a persistent laser with so much power the player can barely stand. However, imparting this power for such a long time through the rumble would be too much compared to other Genie secondaries. We decided to go with a softer rumble on the beam and emphasize the power of impact. Due to the haptic feedback detail, the strong impact feels powerful.

The Colette Wave Cooker

The Wave Cooker was very different from other weapons, featuring no projectiles, but functioning more like a dangerous flashlight. Therefore, we wanted to bring out the feel of small parts moving inside the gun as it fires, without drowning out the overall vibration of the gun. Which is a level of detail that haptic feedback makes possible.

The DualSense controller really helps us make every gun feel different in-game. When designing each one, every aspect of development focuses on how we want the player to feel when shooting. Mechanics, models, animation, sound, effects, etc. We also make overclocks for each weapon that allow players to customize the effects of each weapon through compromises.

The most extreme type of overclocking, Unstable, helps us emphasize the theme of each weapon. Each of the weapons above comes with new overclocks. An example would be blistering necrosis for the Colette Wave Cooker, which has a chance to generate weak points on enemies you hit, while increasing heat generation and decreasing recharge rate.

Season 02 releases May 5 on PS4 and PS5. We can’t wait to see you try out these new weapons and see how the DualSense controller really brings each one to life.