Play-Doh controller

Last Christmas, my sister gave me a MakeyMakey as a Christmas present. I honestly had no idea what it was, but their site features a very good introduction movie.

MakeyMakey board

In short: You can build your own game controller, using all kinds of conducting materials.

Project 1: Play-Doh Sonic

Let’s start simple, by making a Play-Doh controller for a Sonic game.

I have lot’s of Sonic games, but none of them on PC. So I chose to use the Sonic 2 HD remake for this project.

Sonic 2 HD remake

I took 4 pieces of Play-Doh for the D-pad, and then another one for the jump button. All of them have to be connected via alligator clips to the MakeyMakey board. Next to that, you also need to connect some Play-Doh to your arm, in order to make the electrical circuit complete when you press a button.

All of this just takes a couple of minutes. After that, the fun can begin!

Project 2: Mega Drive controller

I wanted to extend the first project with some cosmetic changes. I tried to mimic the croissant-shaped controller of my first console: the Sega Mega Drive (aka Sega Genesis).

So I printed a huge Mega Drive controller, and glued it to a piece of cardboard. After that I added the pieces of Play-Doh on top of the controller.

When I tried it, the MakeyMakey went nuts. If you pressed a button, then Sonic started to do all kinds of actions, except for the ones you want.

It took me a little while to realize that my printer inkt was the culprit! Printer inkt is a fluid, and so it’s a conducting material.

So this project failed completely, but hey, at least I learned something!

Project 3: Crazy controls

Time to go a step further!

We’ve already tried the basic controls. Let’s see now whether you can control Sonic with your feet & your head.

I put a piece of Play-Doh on the table for the foot controls

MakeyMakey foot controls

For the head controls, I made a cardboard box with 3 pieces of Play-Doh, for left, right and down.

MakeyMakey cardboard head controls

And you need an aluminium foil headpiece to control it

MakeyMakey aluminium foil head controls

Here you can see the full setup:

MakeyMakey crazy controls full setup

This took a bit longer to set up as compared to the first project. But even this way, it is perfectly possible to play Sonic!

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