Introduction: Whack-A-Politician 2016

Whack-A-Politician is a spin on the classic Whack-A-Mole game. Whack-A-Politician features four candidates in the 2016 presidential race, in which the players pick their favorite candidate and whack the rest of the politicians out of the race. Each candidate drops out of the race after being whacked 30 times.

This instructable for the board used as the game controller.

Step 1: Supplies

  • Makey Makey
  • Wood Board (Large enough to cut down to 20"X17")
  • Wood Post (2"x1/2"x40")
  • Wood Block (1"x10"x3")
  • Dowel (I used one with a diameter of 7/8")
  • Metal Sheet (I used a piece that was 18"X8")
  • 22 Screws (any size, just no longer than 1")
  • 2 Screw Eyes
  • Insulated Wire (several yards; varying colors makes it easier to distinguish, but it isn't necessary)
  • Wood Glue
  • Access to a woodshop with hand drill, drill press, drop saw, metal drill press, metal shearing machine, staple gun, and a panel saw.

Step 2: Preparing Materials

Use a panel saw to cut the large wood board to 20"X17". (If you want to really add a personal touch, paint this board with a Whack-A-Politician themed design!)

Use the drop saw to cut the wood post in half (2 posts of 2"x1/2"x20").

Use the drop saw to cut the wood block in half (2 blocks of 1"x10"x3").

Use the drop saw to cut the dowel into two pieces 10" long.

Use the metal shearing machine to cut the metal sheet. Cut the sheet down the middle of the 8" side, making two sheets that are 18"x4". Then mark the 18" side every three inches, cutting each half into five pieces that are 4"x3" (total of 10 pieces). Take one piece and cut it into two pieces of 3"x1" (for the hammers).
Take the metal sheets to the metal drill press and put holes in it large enough to fit the width of the screws. Press holes .5" in from the 3" sides. (See image to understand what the metal pieces should look like).

Step 3: Creating the Board

Lay the 20"x17" board out and place the nine plates on the board. Each should be surrounded with a 2" boarder. One you have them placed on the board, mark with a pencil through the holes. When you've marked all the holes, use the hand drill and a small drill bit to drill holes.

Once you've drilled the holes, place the two posts under the board and staple gun them on the 20" sides of the board.

Place the metal plates back on the board and use the hand drill to screw each plate into place. The screws will be exposed on the bottom, but shouldn't be longer than the posts.

Step 4: Makey Makey

Once you've made the board, find a place on the back to attach it (I used tape... I'd recommend using something more durable, but it's all that I had).

Follow this link to program your Makey Makey to the number keypad.

Once it's been programmed to match with the keypad, make the connections from the Makey Makey to the corresponding screws. I labeled the screws beforehand to prevent me from mixing them up. I cut the wires to avoid having slack; I wanted my connections to be very tight.

Step 5: Making the Hammers

If you'd like to make the game two players, you'll want to make two hammers.

Take the blocks you cut earlier and cut a hole in them that matches the diameter of your dowels. Mine was 7/8", so I used a 7/8" drill bit. I cut the holes about half way through the block and then used wood glue to connect the dowels to the wood.

Take the small metal plates you cut and screw them to the block. I only used one hole and screw, but it wasn't as sturdy, so I'd recommend adding two holes.

I added an eye screw between the dowel and the metal end of the hammer. This was used to make the connection from the tip of the hammer to the Makey Makey. As you can see in the picture, I used small pieces of the insulated wire to connect from the plate to the eye screw and again with a really long piece of wire to the Makey Makey.

Step 6: Final Product!

Enjoy playing! Once you've created the board, you can remix the Whack-A-Politician game to other forms of Whack-A-Mole.