RGB LEDs Serving an Actual Purpose: CSGO Game States & NZXT CAM

By Published September 25, 2016 at 6:40 pm

NZXT's presence at the recent UCI eSports arena opening made for a silent unveil of new CAM software functionality, when coupled with the company's HUE+ RGB lighting controller. The software update ties Valve's official game state API to NZXT's CAM software, theoretically circumventing any potential anti-cheat concerns by nature of plugging straight into an official Valve programming interface.

At least a dozen game states are made accessible to developers, and NZXT may pick-and-choose which game states cue a visual reaction through attached HUE+ devices. For now, NZXT supports player health, grenade interactions (flashed, in smoke, on fire), and the C4 count-down. Users may customize individual colors of these events, but the demo offered a standard green/red for health, then used a white-ish LED illumination for flash bangs and a similar white-blue for smoke effects. Standing atop ground hit with incendiary grenades offered an orange hue from the HUE, and C4 instated a binary LED pulse – on and off – that matched the count-down timer.

Because CSGO is a game where multiple game states can simultaneously exist, a prioritization system ranks which state takes control over the attached HUE+ hardware. NZXT has health prioritized minimally – green if relatively healthy, red if lit – with grenades stacking above health, then C4 stacking above everything. The demonstration was limited for its silent unveil, but the CAM team led by NZXT's Fan Ding has additional game states and effects available to plug into the CAM + HUE+ lighting system.

Ideally, game state API events would also forward the LED effects to attached peripherals, like what Logitech's been trying to do with LGS, but that's not presently possible. We'd think some level of collaboration would be required from vendors to make something like that work, and with seemingly every peripheral maker now developing its own software and LED suite, that seems potentially unlikely.

Still, this is a good start to providing some level of underlying, functional purpose to the world's current LED fervor. Minimally, this gets used at home to impress friends. At best, we see a reactive LED system like this being deployed for eSports events, where the LEDs can help spectators identify downed, lit, and flashed players more quickly. Theoretically, this same system could be applied to Dota2 for DoTs or buffs on heroes, alongside the usual health polling.

This CAM update isn't live just yet, but NZXT is working on it.

Host: Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke
Video: Andrew "ColossalCake" Coleman

Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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