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WOLFKING’s Bob Costlow talks about the ideas behind the PC keyboard-based gamepad
By Michael Lafferty

“Gamers have the final word on whether any device enhances game play”

It is what fans of PC first-person shooters are looking for – an addendum to the keyboard set up with the most commonly used keys in a configuration that is easy to navigate. The company is WOLFKING, and the product is the WOLFKING Warrior - WOLFKING Warrior Review on GameZone. What would make someone decide to redesign the keyboard and come up with this particular layout, all in a USB-connected pad that acts in concert with a keyboard? Only one way to find out – go to the source. GameZone did and had the chance to talk to Bob Costlow, the marketing manager at WOLFKING, about this product.

Question: The WOLFKING design appears to come in two models, the full keyboard and the side add-on that adds the 'FPS' configuration. In regards to the later, how easy is it to integrate with an existing keyboard without the two conflicting?

Bob: It's a straight forward USB plug n play connection. No driver required. Just plug into an available USB port and the WARRIOR is ready to go and will work without conflicting with your standard keyboard.

Q: Tell us what inspired the idea for this type of product?

Bob: The phrase "For gamers by gamers" gets thrown around a lot in gaming marketing. Well, in our case it's actually true! The inventor (and patent holder) is a hardcore FPS gamer that was frustrated by playing 21st-century PC games on a 134-year old interface, the QWERTY keyboard, which was designed in 1872!  The standard keyboard today is primarily a word processing data entry tool that game players have had to adapt to. WOLFKING boards are a breakthrough design that has gaming not typing as the inspiration.

Q: While the keyboard seems to be initially designed for shooters, I couldn't help but notice that the key configuration is such that it would be ideal for standard MMO gaming as well. When designing the actual layout of the product, did you look at what you decided would be a cross-genre 'classic' design, or did you focus on one specific genre?

Bob: The primary focus was First-person Shooter, especially Counter Strike. However, as you observe it is also a perfect fit for MMO games that use similar keys for controlling game play.

Q: Gamers can be awfully hard on a keyboard. How did you prepare this for durability test that the devices are bound to get?

Bob: First of all, the factory selected as our contract manufacturer, produces keyboards for some of the world's most recognized brands. So you will see that all WOLFKING boards are built to the highest Quality Assurance standards. In addition to the inventor’s relentless gameplay, all our prototype designs are given to several FPS gaming teams for their input and "torture testing," before we go into final production.

Q: Ergonomics is a hot phrase when talking hardware and peripherals. Tell us about the ergonomics of the WOLFKING products? 

Bob: Ergonomics is the science of using a knowledge of human abilities and limitations to design and build for comfort, efficiency and safety. The natural proportional relationship of the circle to the human body has been noted since Leonardo Da Vinci – check out his famous "Vitruvian Man" drawing. The hand, when the fingers are extended fit naturally within the circumference of a circle. Applying that observation to the keypad layout and you have the basic ergonomic idea to make keys accessible with minimum effort. The sizing of the keys and the vertical spacebar are two other breakthrough design elements that combine to make WOLFKING unique.

Q: The WOLFKING Warrior and Timber Wolf are exciting products. Where does WOLFKING go next in terms of development and expanding the product line?

Bob: Now that we have our boards in use worldwide, we are getting additional ideas from gamers on what features they would like to have incorporated into future products. We appreciate the feedback. Some ideas are more on the cosmetic side, lighted keys, colors, etc., which we have already responded to by the release of four more colors on the Warrior. We have several new controller designs that are in being tested now that you'll see in the near future. We are also discussing several Limited Edition bundles which will include some leading game titles.

Q: What do you see as the core demands players have from a keyboard and how does the WOLFKING products supply that?

Bob:
Gamers have the final word on whether any device enhances game play. Speed, accuracy and comfort are benefits that gamers have told us they have experienced with WOLFKING, plus they just look cool!

 

For More Product Information
Wolfking Warrior (PC)

 

 
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