Introduction: Huge Retro Games Dancefloor Style Controller

About: Dale, 30, Downhill Skateboarder and Gamer.

For our Wedding in March this year we wanted a Retro game themed reception party, as we're just big kids at heart and I'm sure a lot of other people are too!

So after a bit of research into MakeyMakey's I thought it'd be an awesome idea to make a huge Dancefloor style D-Pad Controller for Pacman (which is then projected up onto the wall).

To make this, you will need:

1x Wooden Pallet (I used a euro pallet) Free usually

1x MakeyMakey £20 off eBay

1x Raspberry Pi 3 (2 or 4 will work too) £35 Pimoroni/RScomponents

1x USB Controller (I use a NES one, £5 off eBay)

1x 1000mm x 300mm Aluminium Checker Plate Sheet £23 Homebase/Wickes

Powerful Circular saw (if you need to cut the Aluminium sheet yourself, any good metal works can do this for you otherwise)

Corded drill (battery powered isn't powerful enough to cut metal)

1x Plastic Takeaway tub/Lunchbox

M5 25mm Nuts & Bolts

Small Wood Screws

Acrylic Paints & Black Gesso

ESD Wrist Strap

Step 1: Cut & Drill Metal Plates & Pallet

Cut your Aluminium plates into four even sized plates with a circular saw, Remember to measure twice, cut once. Sand the sharp edges if need be.

Drill two or four small M5 sized holes in the corners of each metal plate so that you can put the wood screws in, to secure them in place on the pallet. Then drill another hole in the plate where you want the makey makey crocodile clip to connect to on the underside, usually in the middle.

Drill a large 30-40mm in the pallet that lines up with the hole in the middle of the respective plate. See pictures.

Step 2: Paint Your Retro Gaming Design

Make sure you do this outside or in a well ventilated space, especially if you get headaches from solvents (like I do, but my Fiance doesn't). We used acrylic paints for the design and black gesso for the base layer.

Step 3: Wire Up MakeyMakey

Makey Makey kits come with crocodile clips for connecting the main board to the metallic surfaces. Once you've wired it up (see pictures), we decided to put it inside an old takeaway box to give it some waterproofing/split alcohol proof! We used a ESD (Electro Static Discharge) wrist strap for the grounding. This is for the user to wear whilst using the Dancefloor controller.

Step 4: Test & Play!

Plug the USB from the Makey Makey into a Raspberry Pi with RetroPie on. Details on how to build this can be found on other instructables such as this one.

On first boot you will be asked to configure your controller (the dancefloor) or if you use another controller/keyboard after first boot, just press 'Start' and go to 'Configure Input'. After this is done, you will be able to use the Dancefloor controller for whichever game you wish! We built it for Pacman, as it only requires the four direction controls to play!

See below video, admittedly we were using our TV to test the output, but the Pi will output to any HDMI device, such as a Projector. Also we discovered after making this video that you can actually wear socks and it'll still work, just make sure the user is wearing the ESD wrist strap.

Makey Makey Contest

First Prize in the
Makey Makey Contest