Hidden Space - an Audio Game Controller

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In this tutorial, we will be making a game controller for an audio game. The game is developed with Unity. It is trying to create a game interface that is off the screen, with limited visual and mostly sonic information. The player will be wearing an earphone and touching this soft-circuit map to traverse in another space.

Materials:

Fabric

Velostat

Conductive fabric tape

Yarn

Button snap kit

Conductive thread

Arduino Mega

Metal pins

Embroidery threads

Embroidery hoop

Scissor

Needles


Step 1: Make a Pressure Sensor Matrix

Start with estimating the size of the matrix you would like to make. We made an 8 by 8 matrix with a wide touching area. Cut the fabric into two identical pieces and make the Velostat the same size. Stick the conductive fabric tape to the fabric. Make sure to leave space between strips.

Once both pieces of fabric have been covered by the conductive fabric tape, put the Velostat in between the two layers. Rotate the second piece of fabric so that the pattern crosses with the first one.

Use the alligator clips to test the connection.

Step 2: Test the Connection

Connect the pressure sensor matrix with Arduino Uno/Mega depending on the number of inputs you will need.

Sample code can be found in https://github.com/youozhan/game-play-design/blob/...

Since we are using the serial communication, the serial monitor should print out the row and column of the matrix being pressed.

Step 3: Make the Connectors

Count the number of alligator clips you used in the previous steps. We will use conductive thread, snap buttons and metal pins to re-make the connection.

Fix the snap button to the end of conductive fabric tape. Sew the conductive thread through the button, and use yawn to wrap and insulate the thread.

Measure the length you need. At the other end of the connector, wrap the thread around the metal pin. Finish the yarn and wrap it around the metal pin too.

Use the multimeter to test the connection.

Step 4: The Embroidery Map

Cut another piece of fabric and draw the map on top of it. Fix the fabric with an embroidery hoop.

You can use the 6-strand embroidery thread. Choose the color palette. Start with the satin stitch to cover the shape of trees and houses.

Use the stem stitch for the road.

Step 5: Finish the Controller

Sew all four layers together and test the connection again.

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