Zaunkoenig is two brothers with one goal: to make the lightest gaming mouse possible. These Blog articles are about what we learned along the way.
No marketing speak.
The first time I glanced through the printed out Kickstarter shipping labels and came accross «Åland Islands» as well as «Bouvet Island» I thought to myself: «Awesome, even people on islands want the M1K.»
I still remember the day when I decided to play StarCraft competitively. The year was 2001 and I attended my first big LAN party called «Dimensions». Competing for the first prize in the StarCraft tournament were three legendary players: [pG]Korn from Germany, NTT from the Netherlands and ElkY from France.
Back in February I boldly posted an update on Kickstarter stating that Corona could not affect M1K production. Back then I thought that Corona was limited to China. And because at Zaunkoenig we do not produce in China, but in Germany, Corona could not affect M1K production. Right?
The word «design» is among the most misused words in the English language. Most use it to describe how something looks. Design is about more than just looks however: it is about the substance of things. The Tesla Cybertruck drives this point home very clearly.
Ever since Tt eSPORTS first released a gaming mouse with speed holes all the way back in 2014 (who do you think pioneered speed holes in gaming mice?), followed by Mad Catz in 2015, many other copy catz have followed suit. Why though?
Long before we designed and produced our own printed circuit boards (PCBs), we were 3D printing custom designed mouse shells. Back in the day, we ripped apart existing gaming mice, discarded the plastic shell but put the PCBs into our own shells. That is an easier and cheaper way to mod a mouse as compared to starting off by manufacturing a custom designed PCB. In the past seven years I have printed hundreds upon hundreds of mouse shells. This article is the distillation of what I learned along the way.
You do not need to install any software for the M1K. Even though the M1K has only two buttons, you can conveniently configure your CPI (same as DPI, by the way) with them. The firmware, the software that is running in the microcontroller unit (MCU) of the M1K, is open-source and is optimized for extremely low latency.
Back in 1998 I was fifteen years old and obsessed with two things: StarCraft and mice. StarCraft is an insanely demanding game when it comes to mechanics. Just moving your army across the map is harder than most eSports, as Artosis likes to say. I quickly realized: the mouse was the most important piece of equipment for StarCraft. This realization pretty quickly developed into my second obsession: mice. And it ultimately resulted in the founding of Zaunkoenig, together with my brother Dominik, over a decade later.
A good gaming mouse cable has to be good at a couple of things. The four most important areas in my opinion are: flexibility, slickness, low weight and durability. Spoiler alert: a gaming mouse cable should not be braided.
In our blog post about the optimal weight of a gaming mouse we formulated the hypothesis that the ideal weight of a gaming mouse is «zero grams». Actually engineering a zero gram mouse though is heavy going for anyone not named Tony Stark or Elon Musk. However we can get pretty close to zero by using a material some might consider overkill for a gaming mouse: carbon fiber.
The majority of current gaming mice are made for Palm Grip first, Claw Grip second and sometimes Fingertip Grip third. It is unsurprising that these mice are not optimal for Fingertip Grip. The optimal Fingertip Grip mouse needs to be developed only for Fingertip Grip. The following are our thoughts on such a dedicated Fingertip Grip design.
As of 2019 Palm Grip and Claw Grip are the two most commonly utilized gripping techniques for gaming mice. Hence the following hypothesis will step on a lot of toes: Fingertip Grip is far superior to Palm Grip and Claw Grip. What follows is a bunch of arguments supporting this claim.
When it comes to selecting a gaming mouse too many just look at the sensor or the number of buttons. One of the most important aspects of a gaming mouse however is frequently ignored: its weight. But what is the optimal weight of a gaming mouse?