Everybody has their own personal preferences when it comes to gaming controllers. Some prefer certain button layouts while others prefer different contours, and some shun them all together in favor of a mouse and keyboard. Suffice it to say, trying to find the ‘perfect’ controller can be a pain, unless you have the skills to build your own like maker ‘Strange Meadowlark’. His “Lego/Arduino Game Controller” name pretty much describes exactly what went into the design.
It uses Lego boat hulls for the grips and smooth pieces as a foundation for breadboard platform (stuck to the Legos using sticky-tack). He found that the Arduino Uno R3 slides perfectly between 1 X 2 grate-plates, so no special mock-up was needed. For the top buttons, Strange used simple tactile switches and harvested buttons from an old Microsoft mouse. The buttons were connected to the Arduino and breadboard using old floppy drive ribbon cables held in place with more sticky-tack for a neater look.
Strange used specialized firmware and a short script he wrote to trick the computer into thinking it’s a keyboard and the keys can be mapped as such (i.e. WSAD for movement). It may not look pretty, but it is one of the more customizable controllers out there. Those who want to create their own can head over to Strange’s project blog. Where all the source code sits… worth a look just for that.
Plus you can attach any of you Lego Mini-fig friends to game with you… that won me over!