Hellforge

, by
Patrick Schmalzried

The last Zaunkoenig M1K batch sold out in February of 2021. After having made five hundred M1Ks (the highest serial number out there is 516, by the way) we decided to stop M1K production. So – what is next for Zaunkoenig?

Well, to not drag things out: the M2K. But before I get to that I have to talk about demons for a little bit.

Demons

The M1K was a very hard mouse to make. So hard in fact, that we spent one year in production hell, trying to make five hundred of it. And although going through hell sucks, it also has advantages: if you get to know the demons that are causing your production hell, you can get to know their weaknesses as well. Demon number one for example likes showing up when baking carbon fiber parts in an oven. Demon number two is specialized in 3D printing. And of course there are demons for the cable, the PCB and even the mouse feet.

Over time you start noticing patterns in the behaviour of your demons. Demon number one for example only seems to be showing up when the temperature of the carbon fiber oven is slightly above target while at the same time your vacuum seal has a tiny leak, just enough for a small demon to get into your carbon fiber part. Once you have made that connection you can now slay the demon. (Yes, I may have played a little too much Diablo.)

Forging ahead

You would not be able to notice those little things in small production runs. And while 500 is not exactly a huge production run when it comes to gaming mice, it is a decently sized production run for a carbon fiber part.

I will not spill all the beans about the M2K just yet, but here are a few: the M2K will have the same size and shape as the M1K. However the carbon fiber shell, the bottom shell as well as the PCB were redesigned from scratch.

You could say they were forged in hell.