Weird West is a game built on giving the player as much control as possible, and a lot of that is thanks to its innovative aiming system. An aiming system that also derailed the game’s development.
Weird West is a game about giving the player full control over how they tackle any situation so they can craft their own story. That also means giving the player the freedom to shoot absolutely everything. For the game’s director Raphaël Colantonio (co-director of Dishonored and director of Prey), freedom and control are the core principles of designing an immersive sim. However, one year into the game’s development, developer WolfEye Studios realized that the aiming system they had intended for the game contradicted Raphaël’s design philosophy. What was meant to be a few weeks of development, turned into a six-month nightmare.
This is the story of the aiming system that broke Weird West, and how it eventually led to a shift in 3D twin-stick-shooters.