Logo design and branding by Jisu
About Stephen "Greg Turbo" Kasmir and the origins of the Frame1
I've gone by many tags in my >5 year Super Smash Bros. Melee career. Most of you, if you know me at all, will know me by Streamlord. I chose that name back when I did a lot of production work for Melee events, but clearly my focus has shifted.
My history with box-type controllers started in 2017, the year I graduated high school. I was a solo Falco main up until that year, when I decided Fox would be the best fit for me. I had struggled with RSI before, but I managed and overcame it by building better habits. The switch to Fox was not as kind to me. I started developing De Quervain's in my right thumb, and I was getting wrist pain. I saw a physical therapist. I took a break from the game. I tried only playing once a week, only at tournaments, but it got worse still. With commercial solutions being at least a year out, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Using an arduino board, buttons, some code I found online, and a cardboard box, I managed to get a (barely) working box controller for melee. I practiced on it nearly every day, and 3 weeks later I woke up without pain in my hands for the first time in months. A week after that I got 4th at a local behind some notable ranked players going 5-2, still using cardboard.
It was at this point I knew that box-style controllers were my future with the game. I reached out to see what it would take to get a prototype B0XX. Eventually I became the person in charge of hardware, PCB design, production, and management for the whole project. Early this year, I left the team.
In May, I decided to use my newly found freedom to make the controller I had wanted to make for over a year. I knew better things were possible, and I set out to create my ideal controller. I wanted the best controller for Melee, and one that I could also use for traditional fighters. That controller became the Frame1 Heavy. Better form factor, better build quality, hotswappable optical switches, great multi-console support, and the lowest latency of any controller in its class. You can't get any faster than Frame 1, hence the name I chose.
One of my priorities was affordability. This type of controller is an absolute necessity for players like me, and it's been out of many people's reach for years. While the Frame1 Heavy costs significantly less than the equivalent MX-type solution in a box controller, I knew an affordable version was possible. That's how the Frame1 Light came about. Same form factor, fast processor, and steel plate for rigidity, but with a plastic frame and hotswappable mechanical switches.
This isn't the endgame for Frame1, either. There are other projects in the works, and I hope you'll be as excited for them as I am.