OSU! is a fast-paced gaming experience that very few others can match.
This rapid-moving rhythm game has made waves ever since it was released in 2007. Today, it has a cult following of die-hard fans who enjoy its exhilarating gameplay both as players and as viewers. OSU! streamers like BTMC and jongie on Twitch, and content creators like WubWoofWolf and Bubbleman on Youtube, draw in thousands of pairs of eyeballs, all there to watch them demonstrate their high BPM skills. If that’s not enough, OSU! also has a pro scene of its own where some of the greatest players ever, like Cookiezi and Angelsim, compete for fame and fortune in high BPM tournaments.
As a game, OSU! tests your hand-eye coordination and takes it beyond its limits. Such a game can benefit significantly from the unique tech that is eye tracking to enhance the experience for both players and spectators.
What is OSU!?
OSU! is a free-to-play rhythm game and was initially developed for Windows PCs when it launched in 2007. It was later ported to iOS and Android devices, as well as the Linux operating system. While inspired by other commercial games of the same genre, such as Elite Beat Agents and O2 Jam, what primarily sets OSU! apart is that it’s a community-driven game. Its beatmaps – the songs you can play in the game – are built mainly by players and fans through its in-game song creator.
OSU! can be played in various setups, each of which changes the way the game is played. The most popular configuration is the mouse and keyboard combination because of its balance of accuracy and speed. The game can be played with a mouse only, but this setup becomes significantly harder at higher speeds. Naturally, on mobile devices, players use their touchscreens.
What is Eye Tracking?
In technical terms, eye tracking is a process that measures what is called our “point of gaze.” In layman’s terms, this means where we look. This is accomplished through the use of near-infrared lights aimed at our head and eyes. To gamers, eye tracking is the use of a piece of tech to show on a screen where our eyes are looking, either through a head-mounted tracker or a remote tracker.
While both methods will get the job done, remote trackers have a distinct advantage over head-mounted ones. Remote eye trackers use cameras and software to track our gaze and produce the result. Thanks to camera innovations, such as the iPhone’s TrueDepth camera, it’s possible even for a mobile device to act as your tracker. This effectively eliminates the need for a bulky or uncomfortable piece of head equipment, which can look downright ugly when you’re streaming and distracting while playing games like OSU!.
How is Eye Tracking Used in OSU!?
Eye tracking tech can be used in OSU! by both players and content creators.
Take Your Content to the Next Level
Streamers and content creators are constantly pressed to come up with new ways to stand out from the crowd. Using tech like eye tracking adds that distinct layer of polish and attention to detail that can genuinely elevate your show. It shows you’re in tune with the latest innovations. More importantly, it’s far from an overdone gimmick.
Share Your Attention with Your Audience for Engaging Content
As we mentioned earlier, OSU! is all about hand-eye coordination. Where your eyes are looking is vital for precision, and that means your viewers will be eager to see where you place your attention the most during high BPM songs. Having an eye tracker, therefore, can give them that crucial information.
Help Viewers Learn from Your Techniques
Stream viewers are always eager to pick the brains of their favorite gaming broadcasters. It helps them learn and develop their own skills. Having an eye tracker in an intense game like OSU! can help you contextualize your responses to them. By showcasing replays, you can explain why you focus on specific areas and provide them with accurate tips to help your fans improve.
Improve Your Own Skills and Gameplay
You don’t just need eye trackers for OSU! streaming as it can also be a valuable tool for improving your own skills in the game. Recording your gameplay while your eye tracker is on can help you analyze your shortcomings better. The tracking bubble will accurately pinpoint where your gaze falls so you can easily identify when you lose focus. The highest-ranked players out there have unshakeable focus, and through this tech, you can train yourself to reach those heights as well.
If you’d like to see eye tracking used in OSU! streams, you can check out DomenCherry on YouTube, demonstrating just how crucial your focus is to get those high percentages.
Eye Tracking with Your iPhone & iPad for Your OSU! Stream
If we’ve managed to convince you to give eye tracking a shot for your OSU! streams, then we’ve got good news. You don’t need any expensive headgear that can run you over $200. The Eyeware Beam iPhone and iPad app by Eyeware is a remote tracking app that anyone can use to add flair and innovation to their content. All you need is your iOS device to act as your tracker, and you are off to the races. On top of that, the app is temporarily free to use, which makes it the most accessible method of getting an eye tracking bubble on your OSU! broadcast that enhances your viewers’ experience. You can download the beta app from the AppStore here.
Is Eye Tracking Worth It?
On the surface, eye tracking sounds like a complicated and expensive layer to add to your already sophisticated setup. The reality is that now it’s easier than ever for any streamer and content creator to add eye tracking software into the mix. Apps like Beam make it dead simple to set up, and because it’s currently free of charge, you can try it out for yourself. Because OSU! is incredibly fast-paced at high BPMs, your viewers merely get half the picture of the skill that you’re showcasing. Eye tracking provides them with the other half of the equation, which is your focus. With this tech, your fans can appreciate the full depth of your skill and learn more effectively so they can develop as players as well.