Future of Gaming in the Palm of your…Foot?

Posted: March 27, 2013 by Ian Gaudreau in Gamenomics - Video Games
Tags: , , , , , ,
Photograph by Andrew Rossi at PAX East 2013

Stinky Footboard PC Controller
Photograph by Andrew Rossi at PAX East 2013

For those that attended PAX East 2013, you probably saw the new foot controller being showcased.  Game&Comic reserved an interview spot to get first-hand experience on the Stinky Footboard PC Controller.  We sat down with Co-Founder and President of Stelulu Technologies, Stéphane Rivard, who explained to us why this controller is the future of gaming.

Why did you decide to develop a foot controller?

Well, we wanted to improve the execution in gaming.  The Footpad was originally designed to make gaming easier for beginners.  When you look at a mass multiplayer online (MMO) games, such as World of Warcraft, there are dozens of button combinations on the keyboard.  We thought that if we could isolate some of those key functions and put them on the Footpad, then it would be a lot easier and more enjoyable to play these games.  This controller also adds a new dimension in playing video games, moving towards a step in full-immersion gaming where you don’t just use your hands.

How does it work?

The concept of the controller is very simple.  There are four cardinal directions on the Footpad: forward, backward, left, and right.  Using a special computer software program, you can designate each direction to have the same effect as a function on the keyboard.  For example, forward can be the ‘W’ key, backward can be ‘Shift’, left can be ‘A’ and right can be ‘D’.  You could even designate a direction to access ‘click to chat’.  These functions still work on the keyboard when using the Footpad, but since you can essentially put your foot in control of these functions, this will free up some of your keyboard.

Here is a video to learn more about the Footpad and a link to their website:

How much will the Footpad cost?

The Stinky Footpad will retail for $119 starting on July 11th.  However, there is an ‘early bird’ special on Kickstarter and we will be selling the first batch for $89 each.

(We were told the Kickstarter would start the week after PAX, but it does not appear to have started yet  Keep an eye out to snag an early bird special) Update: link to Kickstarter

Do you plan to stay solely on PC?

No, we hope to make it to onto consoles within the year.  We are still in the midst of a lot of development, which is why we are only on PC for the time being.  We are currently also available for Mac, but the computer software that formats the Footpad is PC-only, so you will have to format the Footpad on a PC before using it on a Mac.  The calibrations that you set will save on the board, so you will only need to do this when you initially set up the board or want to make any changes.

How did the controller get its name?

We have had both positive and negative feedback regarding the controller’s name.  During development, we kept envisioning gamers in their socks sitting and playing their game.  We began referring to it as the ‘Stinky Footpad’ and the name began to stick.  After a while, we felt that we had chosen the right name for our product.

Using your feet is a bit rougher than hands, is it sturdy?

The Footpad is incredibly sturdy.  For our promotional video, we ran over it with a car six times in order to get the best shot.  The Footpad we ran over works perfectly fine and you cannot even tell we ran over it.

In the future, what games do you see it being used for?

The beautiful thing about the Footpad is that it can literally be used for anything.  This isn’t just a gaming controller, it is can be used as practical as a mouse.  As long as you are using a program that can designate a keyboard function to the board, you can use the Footpad.  Use it for gaming, Photoshop, or anything else you desire.  However, it appears that the Footpad is most ideal for MMOs and first-person shooter games.

Here are some more photos from our experience with the Footpad at PAX East 2013, as well as some general photos of the controller:

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