Have an alpha masked Xbox 360 Controller, on me.

I’m busy writing the documentation booklet that I’m going to give to people wanting to play SpyParty at PAX1, and I needed an Xbox 360 Controller image to put in there so I can point to the buttons and say what they each do, just like real games do.  Well, it turns out there isn’t any nice picture of a controller that’s usable for this online, so I made one by taking a picture of one of my controllers, and then painting the alpha transparency mask.  Painting masks is a giant pain in the butt, so I figured I’d upload it here in case some other developer needs one.  It’s not exactly professional print quality, but it’s 3.2k by 2k, so it’s high enough resolution for most things.   Here’s a preview 1600 by 1000 png:

It wants a little contrast adjustment and whatnot, but I figure the raw file is most useful.  Here’s the photoshop PSD:  xbox_360_controller.zip (24mb)


  1. Yes, it’s basically insane to expect people to read documentation before playing a game demo at a convention, but the game is currently so inaccessible to newbs that I really have no choice.  I’ll upload the draft document here tomorrow so people can give feedback. []

25 Comments

  1. Stacy Smith says:

    Have you considered getting the controls on a sheet by the monitor in your display so that people can refer to it mid game?

    Like you said, no one reads them beforehand, but mid game they’d probably find them suddenly useful. There’s nothing worse than a player not knowing what to do at a vital moment, even if it’s their own fault for not reading the instructions they’ll blame the game.

    • checker says:

      Yeah, the handout is going to function as that, and I’ll probably tape one up as well, like you say. The problem is the controls are relatively simple in the sense that there are only a couple buttons that do anything, it’s the concepts that are quite different than what people are used to in games, so that’s where most of the explaining time goes. It’s a very stateful world, so for example, if you’re holding a drink in your left hand, you can’t pick up a book or a statue, and you can only bug the ambassador if he or she is on the right side, etc. It all makes a certain kind of sense, but it’s a lot of stuff to think about on a convention expo floor. It’s not like it’s a brawler where you pick up the controller, push right, start mashing A, and exciting things happen. I think that’s a good thing in most ways, but it certainly does harm accessibility and pick-up-and-play-ness! We shall see how it works out in a few days! :)

  2. TomSmizzle says:

    This is another aspect of making a game that I wouldn’t have even thought of as being a problem until reading about it here.
    I really love these blogs, so many devblogs are far less in-depth, only tackling adjusting the release date or whatever.

  3. Bjartr says:

    Have you tried contacting Microsoft and asking for some stock photography? I’d imagine they have some for just this purpose that developers who are supporting the 360 controller can use.

  4. the Jack says:

    Thank you for this!  It’s funny that even on Microsoft’s XBOX support site their .png is a low-res mess.

  5. Ron says:

    Do you want me to create a vector xbox controller / ps3 controller ? (put my graphic design degree to use)

    • checker says:

      That was my original plan, but I ran out of time.  It’s too late now for PAX, but if you want to, that’d be great and I’ll be happy to host is right here on this post.  It will be the one-stop-shop for indie 360 controller images!

      Andy Schatz pointed me to the XNA controller images (http://creators.xna.com/en-US/contentpack/controller) but they’re all at weird angles and either ortho or superdeformed, and are only 512×512, which is useless for print.  But, still good to know they’re there.

    • Ron says:

      I’ll probably just start at the basics, and sketch it from both of them. And I’ll license it under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Basically boiling down to use it however you want.

    • Ron says:

      I just ftp’d the file to my server.
      Here’s the file. I included the original as a .ai (Illustrator), because I saw the Photoshop, so I assume you have the suite. Also in the zip is a high res .png

      Note: this is just the 360 controller. I’ll let you know once I’ve done the PS3.
      And it’s cool if any other indy devs want to use this as well. This took me very little time, and if I can help the smaller companies focus on better things, all power.

    • Ron says:

      Quick other note: If you want to change anything with it. Have at. This is more just a helpful file. I tried to focus some attention to the buttons, rather than take an exact interpretation of the controller.

    • Ron says:

      Actually, basically, I’m saying it’s WTFPL.

    • Bram says:

      Thanks Ron!
      Great stuff.

      Will use it in here:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RZJLZmtbbA

      Also, I was pleasantly surprised that inkscape reads .ai files.
      So if other indie devs need it in SVG, just run it through inkscape.

        Bram

  6. Sinkissed says:

    This was exactly what I needed for a diagram. I wanted to take my own photo just like this but my controller is showing too much wear. I’m using yours for this: http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info17017-Soulbound360-xbox360controlleraddoncataclysm.html , hope thats OK with you. 

  7. Jen Zee says:

    Hey, thanks! I’m the art person for Bastion, and am in the midst of creating our controls screen… So excellent that I find a savior in Spyparty :). I’m going to do some editing and hand-painting to stylize this bad boy, but I am SO glad for this resource!

  8. Diego Perez says:

    Thanks for the PSD file, very very useful. :D

  9. Liam Jones says:

    “Painting masks is a giant pain in the butt, so I figured I’d upload it here in case some other developer needs one.” I love you. You make the internet work.

  10. Thanks, this is exactly what I needed for my game documentation!

  11. Nick says:

    Thank you very much! I’m borrowing this image to document the controls for a robot that I and a few fellow students are building.

  12. Adam Jimenez says:

    Thanks, this is just what I needed. I created an SVG for easy labelling:
    https://github.com/adamjimenez/Xbox2Mouse/blob/master/source/contoller%20template.svg?short_path=67b8763

  13. cymrix says:

    Just what I was looking for. Thank you!

  14. Chip Flory says:

    You are awesome. Thank you for posting this.

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