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Eigenharp as a Game Controller

I resumed PC/Mac gaming when friends suggested that I’d try out Guild Wars 2 and play with them. Since I’ve been mostly a console gamer for the past years, I didn’t feel comfortable using my keyboard to play games, it’s just not as immersive.

I tried other alternatives like the PS3 Dualshock, the SpaceNavigator 3D mouse, the Alphagrip iGrip keyboard, iPad gestures, … and a Logitech G13 keypad with a Logitech G600 MMO gaming mouse was the only thing that felt usable, but still not perfect.

That made me think, I had these awesomely sensitive Eigenharp instruments with 3D control over every key, very light pressure, natural hand positions and more than enough keys. It suddenly made sense that they would work just as well for gaming as for music. I thus created an EigenD extension agent that allows the mapping of any Eigenharp key to any keyboard key, as well as mouse movements and mouse button clicks. All of this can of course be further configured with different thresholds, sensitivity settings, multi-axis velocity-based triggering and much more. Currently this agent is only available for MacOSX, but it shouldn’t be hard to add Windows support. Those interested can find the source code on GitHub.

Here’s a short demo video of me playing Guild Wars 2 with my Eigenharp Alpha:

As you can see in this video, the Eigenharp is indeed a wonderful game controller. While I don’t expect people to buy the Eigenharp just for that, existing Eigenharpers now have one of the best game controllers available, all the time while training muscle memory for their musical instrument.

For the curious, this is the legend to the Guild Wars 2 key map I’m using with my Eigenharp Alpha.

Note this is isn’t limited to the Eigenharp Alpha, I initially built a prototype that uses the Eigenharp Pico, lying flat on the table. It works just as well though there are fewer keys and I personally prefer holding my hands in a vertical position to reduce the stress on my wrists.

Mac users can download a binary pre-release from here.

Note that I still need to document the Belcanto for talker use, in the meantime this highlighted section of the source code might give you an idea.

Posted in Controllers, Setup, Software.

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