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Neal Stephenson wants to revolutionize sword fighting video games.
Neal Stephenson wants to revolutionize sword fighting video games.
9,023 backers pledged $526,125 to help bring this project to life.

Razer Hydra and CLANG

Our prototype code is built around the Sixense technology as embodied in the Razer Hydra controller. This high-resolution, low-latency controller allows us to track both position and rotation of the player's hands at a fine level of detail that is critical to a satisfying sword-fighting game. It doesn't require line of sight to track your movements. Thumbsticks and other controls are built into the device. These work pretty much the way you would expect them to, so you don't have to re-learn how to move and look in the game world.

The Hydra supports an enormous list of popular games. Over this last week, we've been talking with the team at Razer. Their enthusiasm for our project is awesome, and we're looking forward to working with them as we develop CLANG. Razer would like to share their enthusiasm with you too, so please check out their site.

Link to Razer Facebook page
Link to Razer site

Also, Sixense had a page that talks of the technology in some detail: link.


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    1. ray bans
      on June 30, 2012

      Yes but it would be nice if Razor sent an email out to their mailing list letting people know about this kickstarter

    2. Derek on June 20, 2012

      Great find John! I'll jump on that.
      @James - Didn't occur that the hydra was that distinct from the controller boards and motors going out with robot kickstarters, but I suppose you can always just sell them on your web site or Razer could send out coupons to backers or some such. Thanks for the info.

    3. Missing avatar

      John Watts on June 20, 2012

      If you buy from Newegg the Hydra with Portal 2 is $99 plus shipping. They also have a 48hr Razer promo code EMCYTZT1781 for 15% off select Razer products. $90 ($85+$5s&h) later you have the Hydra and a Portal code at your doorstep within a couple of days. You will need to create an account to enter the code. Love Newegg and pumped for CLANG!

    4. James McKendrew on June 20, 2012

      @Derek: It's against Kickstarter rules to do so. It's a third party item, and there's a subtle line-crossing difference between swag like T-shirts and things that are inheirent to the project itself apparently (got a wonderful e-mail explaining the difference).

    5. Derek on June 19, 2012

      Hey - if Hyrda is the way to go how about bundling one in a new tier? Presumably you could get a save backers five or ten bucks and keep a nice resale slice yourselves...

    6. Subutai Corporation Creator on June 19, 2012

      It's useful to keep in mind that the user interface we're building is based on gesture recognition. A capable character will have a large inventory of possible moves that they know how to do. What's needed is an interface that enables the user to select the right move at the right time. In a game like Warcraft you might map moves to keys on the keyboard. In CLANG we map moves to gestures performed in 3D space with the controller. Those gestures will be similar to/reminiscent of the actual moves that a swordfighter would make. Another analogy might be made to Guitar Hero, where the player is making guitar-player-like gestures that are recognized by the controller and used to trigger events in the game. The point being that when you are playing CLANG you are making swordfighter-like gestures but you aren't moving with the full amplitude and violence of a real swordfighter. In the future maybe we'll have something like that, but for now we think that it's best to aim for a middle ground that gives us an intuitive UI combined with a practically playable game that ordinary people can do in front of their computers without knocking over furniture, etc. The Hydra should be able to do this. --Neal

    7. Subutai Corporation Creator on June 19, 2012

      @Brook -We will certainly code in such a way that other controllers can be used in the future. We have to assume there will always be a better one coming out, right? But for now, the Hydra solves our problems better than others. Please don't garrote yourself! -Karen

    8. Missing avatar

      Brook on June 18, 2012

      Sorry, I love the idea of the game and can understand trying to use the most precise controller possible, but a wired remote? I'm either going to yank the wire out at some point or garrote myself. And I'm try not to think about two people in the same area if the game supports multiple users on the same PC... Isn't there anything wireless? Or will the game at least support changing out the controller if something better comes along?

    9. Missing avatar

      Kevin on June 18, 2012

      nm, i found the drop support option. gl to you.

    10. William Goff on June 18, 2012

      I can see why you choose the hydra, Razor is a great group and they make awesome peripherals but I gotta be honest, $132 is quite a lot to drop on a single game. I mean I realize I could use it for many other titles like Portal 2 and TF. I realize you are trying to emulate the most realistic experience...but this seems like a pricey solution. I mean, I already use a hacked Wii mote to play HL2...

    11. Missing avatar

      Kevin on June 18, 2012

      is the hydra the only input device thats going to be supported? i had a problem with my mamba mouse causing reboots 5-15 every time i turned on my computer. if thats the case, is it possible to drop my support?

    12. Missing avatar

      Mario Panagiotopoulos on June 18, 2012

      I haven't used the Hydra but I've got two problems with it. The first problem, which kind of leads to the second is the cables. I struggle to figure out how controlling a sword with any kind of dynamic range of movement will be possible if you've got a cable dangling around. The second problem which is again probably a symptom of the first is that the Hydra looks a lot like a game pad when I see people play with it. It just replaces thumb movements with minute wrist movements. So if we're still holding two pieces of plastic out in front of us and making minor wrist movements we're kinda back to the whole plastic trigger thing aren't we?

      Somebody please tell me that I'm wrong and that Subutai will think of a genius way of solving this issue and allow you to actually use the Hydra like, um kinda like a real sword?

    13. Missing avatar

      Bart Richards on June 18, 2012

      "has an optimum detection range of a 2-3 foot radius around the base station."

    14. Missing avatar

      Mike on June 18, 2012

      I read a blurb on the site as follows:

      "Wide Range - A 12' diameter use zone provides ample room for full-bodied gaming (wireless dev-kit)"

      That should give a 6' radius from the base. Where is the 2-3 foot figure coming from?

    15. Sean Bradshaw on June 18, 2012

      What Waggler said, Razer's site lists the range of the Hydra as 2 to 3 feet from the base station, that seems a little short, I'd expect something in the meters range to be required.

    16. Waggler on June 18, 2012

      I love the Sixense guys and their tech, but I'm curious about how you are going to deal with cables and (as far as I understand) the limited range of the magnetic field.

    17. Jason Broadley
      on June 18, 2012

      I like Adam Wendt's idea, I'll second that.

    18. Subutai Corporation Creator on June 18, 2012

      Coupons are against the rules of Kickstarter, so we wouldn't be able to announce such a thing during the campaign.

    19. Adam Wendt on June 18, 2012

      This may be asking too much, but I would love to see Razer offer one-use discount codes to CLANG backers that gives a steep discount on the Hydra, hopefully close to at-cost for them.

    20. Brian Pearson on June 18, 2012

      Of course Razer is excited, this game likely represents 10000 controller sales. They should be pledging, to guarantee this game is funded.