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Product Idea Mouse + keyboard combo


Dr. Man
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I recently made the switch from Console to PC gaming, and I am struggling with using the keyboard. I am using a standard keyboard and the strain it puts on my fingers is too much. So I have been looking at WASD alternatives and was surprised to find out that Corsair doesn't have one. There are gaming keypads, but in my opinion they sooth the problem, not fix it. My thought is similar to a gaming keypad but with a few key (pun fully intended) differences.

 

First, shape it like an ergonomic mouse. With your wrist rotated and put a thumb stick at/near the top to use for WASD movement. It should be coded for analog movement if possible to give the advantage that is found with a gaming controller. There should also be between 8-12 buttons. These could be spaced out as 3 rows of 4 buttons or 2 rows of 4 with some stretch (index controls 4 buttons while the rest of the fingers only have 2 each or something). I understand that having 8-12 keys might not be enough for all the key bindings, which brings me to the second half of my idea.

 

The second part of this are some changes to the mouse. I am currently using the M65 mouse, and I LOVE it. It basically has all the components needed already. As a console player I relied heavily on my thumb, but the right thumb isn't really used in PC gaming. I bought the M65 and changed a lot of the mapping in my MOBA games so I can continue to utilize my thumb. The M65 only has 3 buttons, so I had to map a key command to my mouse wheel (far from ideal but it gets the job done sufficiently). I am aware that there are different mice with more buttons, but personally I think any more than 4-6 buttons is too much for such a small area on the mouse. you could add 2 more buttons on the far side of the mouse if more key bindings are needed. If it is too awkward for a player to press a button on the far side of the mouse, then it could possibly use something like azeron has where pushing away from the mouse counts as "pressing". Maybe these could have the option of being removed if not in use kind of like xbox pro controller paddles?

 

The goal of this idea is to give a player the accuracy of a mouse, comfort of an analog stick, but flexibility of a keyboard. I believe that this idea can only work (at least initially) as a set of 2. Selling just the keyboard/analog stick part by itself doesn't have enough key bindings for the flexibility to use with every game. The mouse might be a different story on its own, but if you develop one, you should also develop the other.

 

Feel free to contact me if you want more details

Edited by Dr. Man
Changed left thumb --> right thumb for correctness
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Well, the thing is, everybody is used to WASD, so, such controller would only appeal to a handful of people in your situation. Niche market.

Logitech used to make gaming keypads with analog stick like the G13. I still have mine and it was a fun experiment, but in the end, it didn't sell that well and they never replaced it with a new version.

 

Also replacing the WASD keys with an analog stick would slow response time a lot. The whole point of using WASD is that you have a finger on each direction and you can react instantly. with a stick you are basically introducing the console handicap of using a controller. And some moves in certain games like double taps are almost impossible to do.

 

Now the real problem seems that you have a bad position for your keyboard hand ^^' maybe a chair too high, or leaning over the desk.. I can't play 5 minutes like that. carpal tunnel nightmare.

It's a bit like playing guitar fast.. relaxed position and economy of movement does make it easier.

 

I have the same problem with controllers. leave me 10 minutes with a playstation pad and i have to stop and do stretches because i cramp everywhere.. not used to it..

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I think its interesting that you say the analog stick is a handicap, while I view it as an advantage. While you gain a slight ability to react with WASD over stick, because of you hand placement, I think that would also hinder you for the same reason. If I am moving WASD, then I can't utilize the finger(s) I am using to move to do something else. If your movement is controlled by your thumb, that would allow for a greater flexibility in your finger movements. I imagine this is the idea with gaming key pads that have the analog stick.

I have no argument against the double tapping other than using one of the key bindings almost as a shift (pressing the key then moving in said direction counts as double pressing in said direction instead of moving the stick twice rapidly in the same direction).

I also agree that it is a niche market, at least for now. If marketed properly, I think it could be sold to both console and PC gamers who use controllers. There is no denying that the biggest disadvantage between PC and console is the mouse aspect, this would remove that. I genuinely think that if players who are used to WASD gave a system like this a real shot, it would be the primary way to play; at least for certain game types like MOBAs, FPS, and potentially even RPGs, but maybe not so much for platformers that require precise movement that can only be afforded with WASD.

Thanks for the lifestyle adjustment tips, I am slowly gaining the proper equipment to play with proper posture which I know will help.

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regarding the stick yea it depends what game you play basically.

 

It's funny how you classify the type of games that would benefit from sticks or keyboard because i would state the exact opposite :p again, every player is different ^^

for FPS, RPG and the like, keyboard and mouse have always been the easier and fastest way to play. But for platformers, that's the only type of games where the pad is better, for me :)

Maybe because old school, from the sega/nintendo era..

 

The way i see things is.. pads gained popularity with the advent of sidescroller platformers, and have only been adapted for more complex games.

To me they will always be 2D games controllers ^^' i love them for platformers, but can't bear them for anything 3D.

 

Now, someone who grew up in the playstation/xbox era would probably totally disagree because they are used to play 3D games with pads.

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I grew up GameCube and beyond, so I've been a joystick since the start in full disclosure. I was able to come up with a better argument:

 

Imagine an ergonomic thumbstick with ~10 buttons and a mouse with a Y,X,A,B on its thumb.

You get full 360 movements at all times without having to sacrifice mouse movement - better aiming, and adding YXAB reduces the amount of "stuff" the left hand has to do.

 

Keyboards were not designed to gammed on, and there is no reason that a controller used for gaming needs to have type on it. "but that makes it hard to map" and that's where I disagree. The tutorial of a game could be where the actions are mapped to the buttons. That way the player can choose whichever mapping setting comes to them naturally, without having to delve into the settings.

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well if a new type of controller comes along, ideally, game devs would make a profile for it so you don't have to set anything up (EA, i'm looking at you with SW squadrons..)

 

I wonder what Corsair thinks of the idea, they deal with all types ^^

Personally, i loved the G13.., and i have Azeron in my bookmarks for when i'll get back to Elite Dangerous.

I love the off-desk options.. armrest mounted to use the keyboard only for text input.

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