The Premise. While any PC gamer worth their kill/death ratio will say that keyboard and mouse is the only way to play, many games have had to optimize their control scheme to operate with a hand on each. More complicated games or any game with text chat requires players to take a hand off the mouse and slow their game down to communicate.
The Product. The King’s Assembly from Solid Art Labs is an intimidating but smart solution to this problem that combines keyboard, mouse, and joystick into a one- or two-handed system that looks like the love child of a typewriter and an air hockey paddle. By using a rest for the palm and a downward sweeping curved keyboard, gamers have access to more keys than ever without having to move their hands around. And by using an optical laser on the bottom, the device can be moved around like a mouse without having to change hand position.
The Pitch. Engineer, gamer, and founder of Solid Art Labs Eric Charlton explains how he designed the King’s Assembly to satisfy his personal gaming needs and demos the product. Campaign graphics show off the console-inspired thumb joystick, ergonomic palm rest, and a look at the unique curved keyboard. The project is looking to raise $20,000 to create molds, develop packaging and complete testing. Multiple stretch goals are announced, starting with upgrading the parts and making the device work with as many hand shapes and sizes as possible at $50,000. $100,000 will have the King’s Assembly bundled with presets designed by pro gamers for specific games and onboard macros. At $150,000 the company will add more colors, programmable backlighting and other style options, and at $250,000 the device will become fully wireless, both in connection to the PC and to each hand of the device.
The Perks. To get one hand of choice of the King’s Assembly by September takes a $110 pledge. Both hands are available for $185. If that’s too long to wait, a $350 pledge is all it takes to get a signed pre-production set by July.
The Potential. The unique approach of the King’s Assembly means it will have a hard time competing with established or traditional gaming peripheral manufacturers like Razer and Roccat, but all it will really take is for one pro to adopt and endorse this device for it to catch on with curious gamers.