Building my own arcade controls!

Building my own arcade controls!

 

For this week’s experiment, I decided to take a break from the CB radio and practice building a physical controller from scratch. Earlier this semester I made my own version of Frogger, the arcade game from the 80’s, and I’ve been meaning to build my own arcade controls since then.

 

Frogger - Version 1

Frogger – Version 1

 

I was inspired by several tutorials on instructables.com and the Adafruit website, and knowing that I wanted to implement the controls within Unity, I decided to use Arduino Leonardo.

 

It was also a good chance for me to practice soldering, especially on the joystick wires that were a little lose.

 

 

The joystick microswitches are mapped to the arrow keys on the keyboard, while the buttons are set to different characters. The beauty of Leonardo is that I can easily change the Keyboard.press values, and adapt to really any projects or games.

 

ArcadeControls

 

I chose a wooden box with a lid so I can easily access the components inside. Right now the wires are a little messy, just because I had to improvise with the material I had in hands for now. I’ll be labeling each wire for future reference, and I would like to also work with a bigger breadboard.  This actually was quite the learning experience when it comes to putting together all the elements in this one case.  I feel I have a better understanding of how important it is to make initial schematics. I had lots of fun building this though, and I’m actually looking forward to adding more elements to it in a future iteration, such as LED lights and a LCD screen. Something similar to a crazy spaceship interface maybe? With lots of blinking lights and other types of visual (and mechanical!) feedback.

 

Arcade Controls

Arcade Controls

 

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