A look at gun mechanics in single-player and multiplayer
 November 2, 2011

A look at gun mechanics in single-player and multiplayer

We've been noticing a decent amount of discussion regarding the gun combat mechanics for both the single-player and multiplayer experiences to Uncharted 3 and wanted to give you some more detail into how our guns work.

Judging from a few threads we've seen popping up on various forums, including our own fourms on NaughtyDog.com, there's a good debate brewing on what's different or changed with our gun combat mechanics in both single-player and multiplayer. Since we've got access to all the underlying bits for those mechanics, we wanted to share some of those details for you.

Justin Richmond, our Game Director, came over to discuss the debate about our single-player guns, which centers mostly around aiming and accuracy. We want explain exactly what changed with the aiming/shooting between Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3.

Guns fire in a completely different way in Uncharted 2 compared to what you're experiencing now in Uncharted 3.

First off, the guns fire in a completely different way in Uncharted 2 compared to what you're experiencing now in Uncharted 3. Keep that in mind, as it affects your perception of gun combat as a whole since it's very easy to want to compare the two sets of mechanics between the two games. In Uncharted 2 the bullets would leave the barrel at a pre-set deviation when you were aimed in. What this means is that the bullets would not fire straight out of the barrel all the time -- they could come out at an angle. Therefore, you could have a target clearly in the reticle and still miss it by a wide margin. This was frustrating, because it was difficult to tell why you were missing a target.

As a result, we wanted to be sure you had a better grasp of whether you were hitting or missing a target. In Uncharted 3 the bullets now fire straight out of the barrel 100% of the time. However, we have recoil -- where the reticle moves/bounces as you fire. Therefore, it is easier to tell if you are missing or hitting a target. Now it is much more obvious when you are hitting or missing based on the reticle itself.

Aiming is identical to Uncharted 2 - we took a look at the values side by side. We did adjust the sensitivity to be MUCH higher in Uncharted 3 to give you a more precise feel. With Uncharted 2 it was pretty much guaranteed you would aim in one of the 8 directions and it was hard to deviate from that (imagine it being almost like a traditional 8-way arcade stick). With Uncharted 3, you can deviate from the straight path from each of the 8 directions much easier and more precisely.

We also changed how the enemies move in Uncharted 3. Your foes can run faster to their desired position than in Uncharted 2, which changes the flow of gun combat as well, from what you were used to if you're coming off fresh from Uncharted 2.

Perhaps one of the more significant changes revolves around the accuracy to the AK rifles. In Uncharted 2, you could fire the AK across the map with extreme accuracy, and thus players would tend to stick with the AK all the time. In Uncharted 3, we changed the AK to be used at closer ranges to encourage players to use other guns rather than just keeping the AK the entire game. Fact is, the AK in Uncharted 3 isn’t great at long range intentionally. The GMAL or the M9 are much better choices for long range combat. Don't forget that the AK also works much better and with better accuracy if you burst fire it rather than just holding the trigger down.

In addition, Robert Ryan, a Game Designer working on multiplayer, wrote me an e-mail recently to talk about the discussion regarding multiplayer gun combat, and wanted to shed some more, much detailed, light on some of the changes we made during the Subway / PlayStation Plus Multiplayer Experience.

We had updated stopping power and now it is exactly the same as the July beta for all rifles.

The recoil on the G-MAL was updated and it is currently 18% lower than the July beta. We also fixed a bug that caused the G-MAL to have 0 recoil occasionally when moving side-to-side, which is no good.

We didn't change anything on the base recoil for the AK rifles from the July Beta, the only change was that the recoil would no longer go downwards past the original point of fire. The Rate of Fire Weapon Mod was removed for the AK rifiles. In addition, we set base rate of fire to the same value as if you had the Weapon Mod equipped. This was the direct cause as to why AK rifles felt like recoil was behaving differently - recoil wasn't, just the rate of fire was better/faster. Currently, the rate of fire for the AK rifles is about 8% faster than the July Beta, and recoil has been tuned to make the weapon feel less erratic - recoil is now at a lower value than during the July Beta.

We didn't change anything during the Multipayer Experience with a player's base movement speed, but if you're comparing to the July Beta, we did make you about 3% faster. Sprint duration is lower than it was during the July Beta too - you have 2 seconds less of Sprint time.

We also brought in the auto-acquire zone for blindfire by a significant margin. It’s currently at about 25% the effectiveness it was during of the July beta for the majority of guns! That's 75% less effective than the July Beta.