Picture of Touch-Device Tactile Overlay

Remember how you could play the first levels of that old-school, 8-bit platform game (which starred an Italian plumber) with your eyes closed? Have you noticed that you can't do the same thing on your touch device?

Touch devices has done much for gaming, but something's still missing: namely, the buttons. Sure, you can still see buttons, but they are only virtual, so you can't feel them anymore.

Sure, we humans have muscle memory, so it's possible to know exactly where the buttons are located, but it takes a lot of time and practice to learn the locations. But what if it would be possible to make the virtual buttons real again, so you could feel them under your finger tips?

This Instructable tries to remedy this touching matter by showing you how to add a transparent overlay to the touchscreen so in-game buttons can be both seen and felt. As usual, we'll be experimenting on our own game: Mad Skills Motocross 2.

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Step 1: Preparation

Picture of Preparation

You need the following things:

  • a touch device with your favorite game installed on it (we've used Mad Skills Motocross 2, but the first one will work too!)
  • a hole puncher (because it's hard to cut small circles using scissors)
  • the cheapest clear screen protector you can find (the model doesn't matter)
  • some patience

Step 2: Empty the hole puncher

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Empty the hole puncher, You will regret skipping this step. Trust me. (Ever heard the expression about a "needle in a haystack"? It applies here too.)

Step 3: Punch out some circular thingies

Picture of Punch out some circular thingies

If you hold the hole puncher upside down, you will easily see where to cut. Don't be too economical, though. The hole puncher may jam if you cut too close to the edge. One sheet should be enough for about five to ten devices anyway.

Punch out a pair of circles or so to use in the next step.

moein11 months ago

brilliant idea . excellent .

moein11 months ago

brilliant idea . excellent .

moein11 months ago

brilliant idea . excellent .

moein11 months ago

brilliant idea . excellent .

chaitanyak11 months ago

excellent! am totally doing this on my next device!

cfoster1711 months ago

pretty clever!

nodcah11 months ago

Awesome idea! Where was this when I was playing my gba emulator?!? XD

agoldsmith111 months ago

you do realize that technology exists for this exactly? tactus

just wait a year or two

littleguy7711 months ago

Or just buy something that's already made, with additional shapes you can't cut with a hole punch...

chrwei littleguy7711 months ago

and only 10 times the price!

Where's the fun in that?
iamdarkyoshi11 months ago
if you take the rubber domes from an old keyboard and lay them on the screen, you get real tactic feedback.
craftclarity11 months ago

This is a great idea....

tylerwhitworth11 months ago

cool idea! Instead of a screen protector, Walmart sells a clear weather proofing tape for windows that is very similar to screen protectors (This one: Alternately if you know anyone who works at an automotive tint shop, ask if they can grab you any scraps of paint protection film or window tinting stuff.

Neat idea! Seems pretty handy!