Control The Winds Of Venus With A Repurposed Radio

Actually Venus seems sunnier

Updated to add Petri as a co-creator

You know what’s cooler than being cool? Being absolutely freezing. Also custom controllers which augment the experience of playing a game in interesting ways. Long story short? We need to talk about The Winds Of Venus.

I’ve been tinkering with the free keyboard-controlled version (you can do that too if you fancy). In it you are piloting a Space Dirigible on an expedition from Helsinki to an alternate universe version of Venus in 1927. You must contend with strong storms while seeking the harvesters you need in order to escape the hellish environment. And then there’s the controller.

Obviously mine was the keyboard. Stupid lovely keyboard with its stupid lovely keys. THEIRS is a repurposed portable radio box which used to be an alarm clock and that now has all these gorgeous switches and dials. There’s also force feedback to give it a good rumble and lighting to rival my local disco. Or nightclub. Whatever young people call those things now.

You can see it in action in the video below:

The Winds of Venus controller was created by Robin Baumgarten and Petri Autio. It’s the sort of interface I love because it lets me twiddle space knobs and switches without having to anything so complicated as learn how rocket control systems work. It’s the haptic equivalent of shouting authoritatively in Artemis: Spaceship Bridge Simulator.


  1. Jakkar says:

    I only wish I could be so silly.

  2. Ansob says:

    If the new Alien game (and subsequent rewatching of Alien) have taught me anything, it’s that we need more special-purpose controllers with twiddly space knobs and switches, especially for sims. I want a realistic mech simulator that uses the Steel Battalion controller. I want Elite: Dangerous to come with a keyboard-sized space dashboard controller. I want the next Ace Combat to come out on PC and let you play with a full-sized jet VR training cockpit.

    Let’s hope Winds of Venus and its controller end up at a Wild Rumpus at some point.

    • Ross Angus says:

      I believe the early-adopters of Rust were mailed a rock.

    • Harlander says:

      Funny thing about Elite: Dangerous, actually – if you get a X52 Pro HOTAS you’re halfway to having a representation of the cockpit as shown in-game, since it was the model for their joystick.. uh.. model.

      Hasn’t stopped some from going even further, of course.

  3. Shade399 says:

    That’s awesome. I’m one of those odd folk who love nothing more than tinkering with microcontrollers, and I’ve built a MIDI controller before. I should look into building something like this, although I’m not sure what game I’d target.

  4. jpm224 says:

    Somebody needs to lock her out of MS paint.


      I imagine Vieja Dolores, the RPS janitor who was once responsible for banning the word ‘diablo’ in comments, sighs and picks up her rag every time a Pip screenshot comes through, rubs it vigorously for a few seconds, then sighs again and gives up.


    I hope they are very successful and hire Scott Bradlee to record a roaring 20’s rendition of The Final Contdown.