Announcing SteelSeries GameSense™ Beta

29 Jun 2015

by Dave Astels

You’ve been able to use your SteelSeries hardware to provide input to your games since, well, forever. That is what SteelSeries products are for, afterall. But now, with the beta release of GameSense™, you can use your SteelSeries hardware to display game state information.

Why is this interesting? Well, it’s pretty cool to start with. But it can be quite useful as well. Imagine watching an event where each player has their health level dsplayed as the color of their headset lighting. Imagine playing Minecraft and seeing your hunger level, breath, direction you are facing, and even what tool you are holding and it’s durability all displayed on your keyboard. How about getting notified when spells and abilities are available again after their cooldown expires? Now make that all user customizable.

That’s just the start of what GameSense™ can do.

GameSense™ is included in SteelSeries Engine 3.4.0 and later; there’s nothing you have to do to enable it. It’s just there, sitting unobtrusively in the background until a game talks to it.

Out of the box support

If you play CS:GO, simply upgrade to Engine 3.4, and launch CS:GO. Various bits of game state will be displayed on any supported SteelSeries devices.

If Minecraft is your game, GameSense™ has builtin support. All you need to do is download the technic launcher, add the GameSense™ mod, and play.

Whatever you play, simply open the Engine user interface and look on the GameSense™ tab to customize how the various events from supported games get displayed and on what devices:

Health in CS:GO

Even that level of customizability is just the tip of the iceberg. If you want to roll up your sleeves and write some code (in our embedded Scheme-like language, SteelSeries/GoLisp found here) you can make it do anything you want with device lighting (or pretty much anything else):

GameSense™ works on all of the RGB illuminated products supported by SteelSeries Engine 3, but really shines with our APEX M800 keyboard:

For the game developer

Adding GameSense™ support to your game is dead simple. There’s no libraries to link to (assuming you already have the ability to perform HTTP POSTs), and it works with whatever programming language(s) you are using to develop your game. It’s also platform agnostic and will work on whatever platforms are suported by SteelSeries Engine3 (currently various versions of Windows and OSX).

You simply POST some JSON data to Engine telling it who you are and what’s happening. You can use the same method to tell Engine what events (e.g. HEALTH_UPDATE, AMMO_LEVEL, etc.) to expect from the game, and what to do when it receives those events. The user is always free to take that and customize it. If you want something beyond what’s possible with this approach, you can write custom event handlers in SteelSeries/GoLisp to do pretty much whatever you want.

Once you add support to your game, it will use all supported devices a user has connected. Any future supported devices will be used without you having to do additional work.

Stay tuned for the new SteelSeries Developer site and check out the public Github repository for documentation, tutorials, and sample code covering all these topics. There will also be articles exploring GameSense™ right here on the Tech Blog.