Fun & Games Technology
How to Make a Custom Operation Game

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Operation is a game that lets you test your hand-eye coordination by removing a variety of ailment tokens from a cartoon patient without touching the metal sides of each slot. Since its release in 1965, there have been a lot of special editions created. These feature popular characters such as Buzz Lightyear, R2D2 and Iron Man. The game’s simple design makes it very versatile and easy to adapt.

In this project, I show you how you can make your own Operation style game from scratch. This time is it’s Makey, MAKE’s familiar red robot mascot, that goes under the knife.

The complete project is here.


8 thoughts on “How to Make a Custom Operation Game

  1. That’s awesome! We recently had fun at the MaKey forums tossing around and adopting ideas where the game “Operation” was mentioned. I went a completely different direction and ended up with a cardboard robot that lights up and controls a custom video game, with a goal of closing connections to control the robot’s likeness in the game. Video: You can also play the game partially inspired by “Panic!” AKA “Switch!” for the Sega CD here: Thanks for an awesome tutorial on a more traditional interpretation of Operation using Makey the robot :)

  2. We have been trying to recreate this and keep having trouble. Initially it works really well, but after the game sits for an hour or so, it simply doesn’t work anymore. Strangest thing. I can’t figure out why. If I take it apart and put it back together, it works for a while and then stops. We have done it 3 or 4 times and it happens every time. Do I need to take the batteries out after a short period? Or do I need an on/off switch or something? Any ideas?

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My name is Jason Poel Smith. I have an undergraduate degree in Engineering that is 50% Mechanical Engineering and 50% Electrical Engineering. I have worked in a variety of industries from hydraulic aerial lifts to aircraft tooling. I currently spend most of my time chasing around my new baby. In my spare time I make the how-to series "DIY Hacks and How Tos."

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