by Nolan Hedstrom on April 2, 2013
The Stinky Footboard just launched their Kickstarter campaign today and they're are looking to raise $75,000 over the next 29 days to launch their product in June. It will run you $119, but if you are one of the first 400 backers you can get it for $89. I got to use the device at PAX East 2013 so I thought I’d share some of my opinions on it with you.
The device is a simple 4 button USB powered input device that you control with your foot, or feet. How it works is you install their software and then set up macro keys for each of the inputs on the board. The board also works in conjunction with your Shift, Alt and Ctrl keys so you can map up to 16 different inputs on it. You can save settings in the software so you can have different macro settings for all your games. You can also save the profile on the board so no matter the computer you plug it into your settings are saved and can be accessed when you install their software.
The great thing about the Stinky Footboard is, unlike macro keys and other input devices that use your hands, it doesn’t require you to remove your fingers from the keyboard. So you need to quickly cast a spell in WoW, or could use some extra inputs in StarCraft to up your AMP? All of this is just a tilt of your foot away.
When I used the device I was playing Battlefield 3 and the Stinky Footboard was set as follows:
Left: Primary Weapon
Now you could change those to anything you want, but those were the preset ones. The best position for your leg to be in is a 90 degree angle to the floor so you have the best response time. I played sitting in this position for about 20 minutes with no problems and I doubt there would be too many if you played for several hours. In fact the 90 degree leg position promotes good sitting posture while gaming. It was surprisingly easy to use the footboard while playing and it felt great. I am the type of person who gets into the game while playing so when I wanted to sprint I just leaned my foot forward a little and off my character went. I was playing as a sniper so when I saw an enemy in the distance it was just a quick tilt to the right and I was prone on the ground and readying my sights. Using the Stinky Footboard felt more natural than I thought it would when I first sat down. I thought I’d be almost hovering my foot over the board in fear of an accidental input, or that it would be too hard to tilt my foot to the sides or front but that was not the case. Sitting my foot in the middle of the board felt like it was on a flat surface and the tilt distance is well balanced.
Optionally you can set up the board sideways and use both feet on the board. In this set up you use the right and left inputs with your right and left feet individually and use both feet for front and back. I personally didn’t like this set up, it felt too oddly placed, but the option is there if you want to use it that way.
I think the Stinky Footboard is a great device for those who are looking to up their gaming. The device is also super durable, they drove a car over it (video here) and it still worked! They also had the board they drove the car over at PAX East and it was in good condition considering the abuse.