The computer interaction experts at Ideum have developed a number of impressive multi-touch smart tables in the past, such as the Platform 46 and the Pano Touch Table, many of which were built around their proprietary GestureWorks software. Now the company is gearing up to release its GestureWorks Gameplay program, which is built around the same engine and allows any video game running on a Windows 8 device to be played with an on-screen touch controller.

With GestureWorks Gameplay installed, players will be able to create their own virtual controllers for any game, which will show up as an overlay on the action. Using a simple tool, gamers can add an assortment of buttons, joysticks, D-pads, switches, and scroll wheels right onto the screen and build a full set of controls from scratch. From there, each item can be moved anywhere on the display and altered in terms of size, color, opacity and labeling to form a unique controller that's tailor-made for a specific title.

Once these controllers have been put together, users will be able to share them with other players through an online community and download any existing ones for a wide range of games. The touch control software even allows for two players to share the same screen and use their individual controllers on co-op games.

Besides adding digital buttons onto the screen, players can also program over 200 different gesture commands, swiping in front of a character to make them attack or tapping above them to trigger a jump, for instance.

Many PC gamers might balk at the idea of replacing a mouse and keyboard with an on-screen controller, but the addition of touch controls could make gaming on the go much easier, especially for people with a large backlog of titles to play. Some games that are less action-focused, like Trine, may actually benefit from them.

Currently, Ideum is allowing people to sign up for a beta of GestureWorks Gameplay through an official website. The beta will be released in October, with the full version of the software slated for November of this year.

In the meantime, you can watch the video below to see how GestureWorks Gameplay's touch controls perform on a number of modern games.

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