With the recent announcements made by Valve about their Steam Machines and the Valve-created controller prototype, a lot of people were wondering just how the controller would interact with their regular Steam games. The Steam Controller haptic analog pads looked a little confusing to players that are used to analog sticks. Well, today Valve released a video on their Youtube channel showing off their Steam Controller used in a multitude of games.
The first game played is Portal 2, in which Valve engineer Jeff Bellinghausen demonstrates the controller’s use in Legacy Mode. That means the game has not been adapted for use with the controller, meaning that the functions are mapped accordingly to act like a standard keyboard and mouse. The left trackpad moves the player around, while the right trackpad moves around the camera view. Interesting of note is that you can move your thumb directly on the pad to where you want to go by placement, acting the opposite of an analog stick that requires you to move in a direction and stop when you don’t want to proceed (check 1:02 for more information).
The second game shown is Sid Meier’s Civilization V, showing the Steam Controller use the right trackpad to move the cursor or even be clicked on to zoom in. The left trackpad moves the overworld camera. In addition, the back buttons behind the controller are mapped to be utilized as a mouse click. Remember, the controllers are completely hackable and allow for complete mapping options made by the user.
The third game is another created by Valve; Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Perhaps it requires a sensitivity adjustment, or Jeff is not a particularly good CS: GO player, but the crosshair aiming seems imprecise, requiring slow aiming in order to hit the targets properly.
Finally Jeff showed off an indie game I reviewed earlier this year in Papers, Please. Because of the few controls needed on regular mouse+keyboard setups, we can see both trackpads being used for cursor movement, allowing the player to move across the screen much quicker. Depending on the type of game played, this could be used to the advantage of skilled players who value such movement.
Check out the video above yourself to see the Steam Controller properly in action. Also, make sure to leave them a comment telling them what types of games you’d like to see use their prototype in the future. Personally, I’d like to see a fighting game be played, but that’s just me!