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Final Project Pitch: Serial Communication

For the final project I wanted to do something fun, and for me that involves playing video games. I love classic arcade games and I thought it would be a good idea to create a controller for one of those games that make the game harder or more engaging by creating a controller that requires more physical activity to operate. So I thought about my favorite games and there are a few that I would try. But the one that might be the most straight forward is Frogger. I thought about making a controller that requires you to jump across the road instead of using a 4-axis joystick, which would push you to work really hard to cross that street. I'm not sure if the game is even doable in the later stages but it could be a fun challenge.



The good thing about Frogger is there is only one 4-axis joystick and two buttons to determine 1 or 2 players. So two players can still play head to head using the same controller. I will also need to map a button or sequence to be a coin insert to start the game - but if I can run the game through emulation on a PC - than I can figure that out easily.


As I am such a fun of the art on the cabinet - I would like to create some sort of pressure pad or pressure switch that has the same art style. There are a few ways I've seen people do this, either with pressure mats or by creating large buttons using conductive foil.


I'm not entirely sure what will be the best option. I don't really need pressure readings, just large buttons, so the pressure mats themselves might be overkill.


As for the design of the controller itself, I want to encourage players to jump in order to move similar to a real frog so the design itself needs to encourage that type of play. Here's a few ideas I had.


legend:

L = left

R = right

U = up

D = down



In some of these designs (4,2,1) you need to hit both buttons in order to move forward or backward, which could make playing challenging if you don't land on the sensor with both feet at the same time. With a control scheme where 1 pad acts as the button for both feet, there won't be that issue. So I'm still unsure what my control scheme is going to be.


In terms of a BOM, after reading a few articles, it seems that the best way to create a game controller for a game that's not running in P5.js or Processing, it's best to use either an Arduino Leonardo or Arduino Micro because I can use the the Joystick Library However I'm not sure why I couldn't just use the keyboard library. I'll have to do a bit more research, but I may have to get another Arduino board.


List of Materials (so far):

- Arduino Leonardo or Arduino Micro (maybe)

- Pressure Pad, Velostat, conductive foil, conductive foam

- really long wires

- long usb cable to connect Arduino to the PC (depends on Arduino)

- housing materials (wood panel, scrap wood, clear polycarbonate)

- spray paint

- vinyl for decals

- filament for electronic housing

- resistors (10k)

- breadboard