How Community Creators Helped Reinvent Fortnite’s Gyroscope Aiming Controls

“Shooting” is a phrase you hear a lot, and doing so can be pretty scary.Nonetheless, for Julian “Gibb” Smart, an expert in video game input, who helped him realize the project of a lifetime: developing a brand new gyroscopic aiming control system for Fortnite, one of the biggest games in the world. Simply put, Smart “got it.” He emailed Epic Games and basically said, “Your gyro systems are great, but they could be better, and I know how.”

This is a bold statement. You see, Epic Games has created the most famous battle royale game in recent memory and enhanced it further with a very successful online storefront. Additionally, the company develops Unreal Engine, one of the most used video game engines in the world. But when you know something like the back of your hand and can support it, it’s worth the effort, and perhaps to Smart’s surprise, Epic responded positively: “Let’s do it.”

Flick Stick creator and typing expert Julian “Jibb” Smart

So Smart set out to implement a new and improved gyroscopic aiming system for Fortnite on PlayStation consoles, Switch, PC, and Android, and added officially recognized controls to his creation, the Flick Stick—features that are now available in the game . We spoke with Smart about how the development is going, what he’s been like seeing his passion project in Fortnite, and why additional options like Gyro Aim and Flick Stick are a win not only for advanced Fortnite players, but also for the accessibility program .

“It’s very exciting,” Smart said. “It feels like this four-year journey and it’s just the biggest step of it all. One of the things we talk about in the gyro community… is ‘how do you get these things to take hold [across video games] Will there be an impact? It’s going to be a huge game; it’s going to be a game where controls are very important to the player. ”

That game needs to be as big as Fortnite — it doesn’t hurt that Fortnite is where Smart’s gyro goals land, and now the single-player developer is super excited to see if a gyro like this takes off in other big games. Introducing extra controls and options into a game is never a bad idea, as it makes the game easier for everyone to play.

Smart’s interest in gyroscopic input arose with the release of Nintendo’s Splatoon in 2015, a third-person shooter whose primary aiming mechanism used gyroscopic controls. At the time, Smart was desperate to get Splatoon, because for a developer as illustrious as Nintendo, the default to aim with a gyroscope was unique. He has always known that adding a gyroscope to a player’s toolset improves precision and accuracy. Splatoon is a perfect proof of concept.

After the release of Splatoon, Smart will start developing new input controls and options as a side hustle/hobby. He eventually fell in love with the gyro community.

“I was going to learn how to control the gyroscope well,” recalls Smart. “Then I can create resources. I can tell other authoritative developers and players, ‘This is easy; this is what you need to do. Let’s do it. So I made an open source input called JoyShockMapper. “

From there, Smart creates a YouTube channel Show people how to do what he’s doing.He also created a website called Gyro Wiki, a treasure trove of resources on how to implement good gyro control. Things took off from there, and soon Smart became a well-known figure in the gyro input world.

Fast forward a few years, and today, things are finally official: Smart’s gyro input system is currently available in Fortnite. Smart recognizes that many developers are doing their best to include gyroscopic controls in their games, but as with most things, you may end up with a half-baked version without expert help.

“They’re doing everything they can to give other people the control they want, but they’re not [as good as they could be],” Smart said. “Almost every game has a few different things, and one of those things that’s really important to me is the ability for the player to turn off the gyro controls at any time. “

Last week, that wasn’t possible in Fortnite. Today, it is.Take a quick look at the latest blog post About Fortnite’s new gyroscope options reveal just how many customizable gyroscope controls are in Battle Royale.

“What I really appreciate about Fortnite is that if these controls are good for people, we should make sure people know about it, and if people don’t already know they’re going to benefit from our controls, we should make sure they know to do it,” Smart said. Say. “Before this update was released, I saw that Epic did support this and moved on, ‘How do we make sure as many people as possible experience this feature? How do we make sure people see the potential and try it out? If it doesn’t work for them, then Not for them either. I won’t speak for everyone, but I think most players will benefit from gyro control.”

Smart says it may take some getting used to it — after all, it’s a whole new way to handle aiming in a fast-paced battle royale. But he also said that some players pick up quickly, and once you get used to it, going back will feel like your playstyle has lost a lot of precision. This extra precision is why gyro aiming is such a boon for pro gamers or even those who just want to take their gameplay to the next level.

“Experienced players will obviously benefit from this [precise] Immediateness of control,” Smart said. “There are better players than me who can do things where people are watching, ‘That must be a mouse and keyboard player,’ but that’s not the case [thanks to gyro, control precision mimics the same high level of precision seen on mouse and keyboard]. However, to increase the skill cap to achieve accuracy, this means that we do away with aim assist. ”

Aim assist will remain if you disable gyro control. Aim assist is disabled if you have the gyroscope enabled, which Smart says makes things fair. Gyroscope aiming plus aiming assist is not fair, especially for highly skilled players.

In addition to providing additional options for pro-level players, Smart’s new gyroscope option greatly benefits Fortnite’s accessibility.

“It’s really cool to work with players who can’t play games with a standard controller, whether it’s due to injury or temporary disability, or a more long-term disability,” Smart said. “[These gyro options] Might let them play. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on this, and getting into accessibility is really encouraging. It’s not ‘one size fits all’, so the only way to meet everyone’s needs is to provide options that meet everyone’s needs. ”

Smart believes that new options like this are a step in that direction. The push for gaming accessibility, especially over the past few years, has been encouraging, motivating him to continue advocating for gyroscopic input in games. He’ll also continue to support the Flick Stick, which also allows players to move and turn quickly, as it both helps pro-level players and enriches Fortnite’s overall accessibility.

“It’s awesome,” Smart said when asked what it was like to have his Flick Stick as the official Fortnite option. “It’s so cool. I wanted to share this information with the world from the beginning and see that the game can go with it. Now, I’m getting paid to do these things in one of the biggest games in the world and see me That feature that came up, even if it’s just a name…it’s not real. It’s lame because it’s a pun [Epic develops Unreal Engine], but it’s completely correct. It’s really been a fantastic experience seeing my features come to the world in this way. “

Now that these features are live in Fortnite, Smart would like to give a shout out to the entire spinning top gaming community:

“They’ve been incredibly helpful along the way, providing feedback, contributing code to JoyShockMapper and other open source projects, helping people, and motivating me to keep pushing to change the way the game is played.”

He also wanted to give a shout out to Epic Games for the opportunity and help in developing these new options with him.

For more information on these new gyro options in Fortnite, be sure to read game whistleblower Full breakdown of all new gyro settings.