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Fortnite gets revamped by Perth specialist

Picture of Desiree Durrani
Desiree Durrani
// // The popular game's controls just got a major overhaul by Perth's Julian "Jibb" Smart

Perth-based input specialist Julian “Jibb” Smart may have just solved every gamer’s love-hate relationship with the gaming controller when his creation went live on one of the biggest games in the world, Fortnite.

His collaboration with Epic Games (creator of Fortnite) saw him spearhead the implementation of a new and improved gyroscope (“gyro”) aiming system for the game on all major consoles.

He also added officially-sanctioned controls for his creation, the “Flick Stick” – an input on analog sticks that allow for quick 180-degree turnarounds which are critical in first-person games like Fortnite – quick turns can greatly enhance your ability to survive. Add in the extra precision that gyro aiming provides and you’ve got some Victory Royales in your future. 

The news comes as video game creations have become a hot topic across the startup scene, thanks to incentives such as the Digital Games Tax Offset. After all, they can be exports. Local Perth startup SpaceDraft is also targeting the industry.

On top of this, the video game market is expected to be worth some $300 billion by the middle of the decade.

Speaking of the collaboration to Game Informer, Jibb says it has been a “super exciting” project.

It feels like it’s been this four-year journey, and this is just the biggest step in it. One thing we talk about in the gyro community…is ‘what’s it going to take for this stuff to take hold [across video games] for there to be an impact?’ and it’s going to be a huge game; it’s going to be a game where controls really matter to players.

Julian Smart

Jibb, who is well-known within the gyro community, pinpoints the 2015 release of Nintendo’s Splatoon, a third-person shooter whose primary aim mechanic uses gyro controls was where his interest began to grow. After the release, he began developing new input controls and options as a hobby.

Fortnite gets revamped by Perth specialist
Active Mode: Choose When Gyro’s Active. Image supplied.

He has since gone on to create a YouTube channel and GyroWiki – a trove of resources on how to implement good gyro controls.

“With Fortnite, what I’ve really appreciated is the understanding that if these controls benefit people, we should make sure people know about it, and if people don’t know yet that they’ll benefit from our controls, we should make sure they know about doing it,” he said.

“I believe that if you know what kind of impact gyro controls can have for accessibility, for brand new players, and for the most competitive pro gamers, that’ll be reflected in the options you provide the player and how you highlight them.”

“I won’t speak on behalf of everyone, but I think most players will benefit from gyro controls.”

Jibb has also mentioned that he will continue to support the Flick Stick as it helps both pro-level players and enriches the overall accessibility of Fortnite. 

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Picture of Desiree Durrani

Desiree Durrani

When not working on a creative project or typing away behind a screen, Desiree can be found watching the football (the round one!), volunteering at motorsport events in Western Australia or listening to "Rock DJ" on repeat.
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