This week I have spend a lot of time thinking about and prototyping the controller for my midterm game.
Since my game is about the food system and more specifically about farming, I want to create a controller that looks like you are holding a piece of soil.
The way I want to do it is by layering many pieces of cardboard to create a box and covering it with a top layer of artificial grass.
I drew a design for the controller in Vectorworks with the 4 different layers. The idea is that, when stacking up the layers, a box will be shaped. Some considerations about it:
- The dimensions of the each layer will be 11″ by 5.5″. I want the controller to be reasonably portable and I found this to be the ideal size to have a solid structure made of cardboard that will fit all the components I need without wasting/missing a lot of space.
- I made a holes on each corner of every layer to attach machine screws. I don’t want to glue anything because I want the box to be modular and demountable.
- The top layer will be made out of wood because of the higher resistance of this material when compared to cardboard.
Top layer, with holes for the joystick and button:
Middle layer 1:
Middle layer 2 (with USB hole):
BUILDING THE CONTROLLER
Once I had the design ready, and all the parts of my controller, it was time to prototype:
- 1 arcade button
- 1 joystick
- artificial grass
- 4 big machine screws + bolts
- 4 small machine screws + bolts
- a lot of cardboard
I used the laser cutter to cut the layers of cardboard and wood. First, I prototyped the top layer in cardboard to see if my components would fit and once I moved to the wood, things got a little more complicated. The wood was too thick and it took me a long time to cut it. Besides that, my components did not fit the holes. Instead of cutting another piece of wood, the solution was sanding the inside of the button hole and using the drill press to increase the size of the machine screw holes:
I also mounted a prototype of the box, completely made out of cardboard: