Sony's DualShock 4 has a light bar that developers can use to prompt players, and we've already heard some interesting gameplay applications for Thief and Killzone. The upcoming Transistor, the follow-up from Bastion studio Supergiant, is taking a different tack by having it accent a storytelling device.
The story centers around the titular Transistor, a weapon that talks to the protagonist Red. Without a face, Supergiant needed a way to communicate that the weapon was talking, so it had it flash in sync with the voiceover. So naturally, it only made sense to bring that element to the controller as well.
Creative director Greg Kasavin explained on the PlayStation Blog that it matched the turquoise color of the weapon's glow, and synched the flashing effect to the one in-game. He said it only took "maybe a couple of hours of engineering time" but the feedback has been strong. He also noted that the controller has a speaker, so they're looking into the possibility of using that too.
"[Development is] a much more fluid and intuitive process, a feedback loop of listening to the game and responding to what we think it needs over a long period of time, where a hundred thousand micro decisions eventually form the finished work," he said. "I love that we found opportunities to apply our process even to things like a light bar on a controller."
Steve Watts posted a new article, How Transistor uses the PlayStation 4 light bar to form a connection.
Transistor uses the DualShock 4's light bare to emulate the way the titular weapon talks to the protagonist.
Loved Bastion, and I've been anticipating Transistor. Since I'm going the PS4 route, this is a simple little touch that I really appreciate!