Introduction: MAKEYMAKEY+Lego's+DOOM= Countless_Productivity_Hours_Lost | GEEKY ADULT FUN, MAKERBAR HACKERSPACE

Hello all,

You read that title right, I'm going to walk you through how to setup a MakeyMakey, and using some Lego's to build a controller that we'll wire up to play the first person shooter classic video game DOOM. Roll up your sleeves, gather your Lego's, MakeyMakey, laptop and let's get started....

"In the fight for existence and life....There is no law... And in the presence of eternal death....There is no law...And as the struggle for power and domination prevails....In the arising slaughter....It shall be every man for himself....As in battle there is no law." ~~Karl Willets~~

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Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Gather Supplies Needed:

  1. (1) - MakeyMakey
  2. Arduino IDE ({Latest Version 1.6 as of 3/10/2015}
  3. (7) - Lego's ...[(6) 2x2, (1) 10x6] (color choice determined by user)

    NOTE: This is a basic outline for a controller, make what every outline you like
    just remember to have at least 6 buttons to cover basic movements and actions. (Up,
    Down, Left, Right, Fire, Action)

  4. (7) Alligator Clips
  5. Copper tape or Aluminum 'Foil' Tape or some type of conductive tape
  6. Electrical Tape (Optional, insulator which does help to minimize shorts on your connections.)
  7. (7) Solid core wire cut to preferred length. I cut mine to about 1ft. [Vary as needed.]
  8. Ruler (Optional)

Once you've gathered everything, lets move on to step two.

Body Armor will help you kill more alien scum.

"In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable." --Dwight D. Eisenhower--

Step 2: Build Your Lego Controller

In this step we're making our lego controller, I won't add to much text here as the pictures outline the steps.

We need six buttons.......Up, Down, Left, Right, Fire, Action!

Double Tap that trigger to kill those alien scum.

"The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand." --Sun Tzu--

Step 3: Tape It (Pt. I)

Using small strips of foil tape(3.5cm length x 1cm width), cover the buttons on the lego controller as pictured.

NOTE: Be careful when applying the foil tape, any tears or holes will result in poor connectivity during game play. Take your time, double check your buttons to ensure they are covered completely. Last thing you want to do when playing a first player shooter game is have your firing button malfunction due to a tear or short in the foil tape. We want to kill as many aliens as possible, and achieve our victory over the alien scum!

"No battle plan survives contact with the enemy." ~~Colin Powell~~

Step 4: WIRE IT (Pt. I)

Now we need to connect our solid core wire to our foil tape covering our buttons with extra foil tape to make a good electrical connection.

First if you haven't already, strip back 5 to 6 cm of insulation exposing the solid wire inside.

Next loop the end of the wire in a circle pattern. We do this to maximize the surface area the wire is making contact with the foil tape.

NOTE: Lego's are great for prototyping, but the dimples on top of the buttons sometimes can be a bit troublesome if your wire falls in between the dimples during gameplay. Best to keep it on top of the dimples as outlined in the pictures.

Alien scum make my trigger finger itch.....

"Next to a battle lost, the greatest misery is a battle gained." ~~Duke of Wellington~~

Step 5: Tape It (Pt. II) Adding an Insulator...Electrical Tape (Optional)

Now we're going to add electrical tape to help decease our risk of electrical shorts during game play and add a extra layer to help hold down our foil tape to the lego board. Again this is an optional step, but I think it warrants the time.

Must kill all alien scum.....

"Courage in danger is half the battle." ~~Plautus~~

Step 6: Adding Ground

Of course we have to add a ground connection to complete our circuit, and we're going to do this by adding some electrical tape to the back of our lego controller. Next we'll add our strip of foil tape 7cm or so will be good enough for our purposes on top of the electrical tape.

Now strip back about 5 or 6cm of insulation from our last solid core wire and add it to the foil tape on the back of the lego controller. Try to keep the wire straight, we want to have good coverage on the foil tape with the solid core wire.

NOTE: Make sure when covering the wire you don't cover all of the foil tape. Notice in the picture I cut the foil tape in half width wise before i covered the wire. If you cover the foil tape completely you wont be able to make contact with the foil tape under the wire, and that's wear our electrical signal resides, so we need to make sure we can touch it to complete the electrical circuit.

Only Good Alien Scum are Dead Alien Scum.

"There’s something just intrinsically rewarding about turning around a corner and shooting at something.” ~~ John Carmack~~

Step 7: Wire It (Pt. II)

At this point we need to wire up our Lego controller to our Makey Makey board. So lets grab those banana clips, and we'll start wiring up our controller. Remember to check that our connections are not touching one another, this would cause a short, and we won't be killing any aliens if that happens.

Also a good extra step to take, if you familiar with testing connectivity on a multimeter, is to double check those connections and make sure there good to go.

If your not familiar with testing connectivity, or using a multimeter or for that matter what the h3ll I'm blabbling about don't worry, the makeymakey has builtin LED's on the board that indicate when a button is pressed. You can use those lights by touch the ground and each connection one at a time to see the indicator light is lit when the key is pressed.

Here's a link to instructable on using a multimeter:

Get your ammo in a can take it while you can.

“Doesn't matter how good your bullets are if you don't aim carefully.” ~~Annonymous~~

Step 8: Load Our Code

So in order for us to use our MakeyMakey to kill aliens, we'll first have to define the keys we need and communicate that to our makeymakey board... We'll do this by using the arduino software to flash(program) our makeymakey with the keystrokes we need.

How to use the arduino software: or

How to re-program your makeymakey check out these great instructable:

I won't cover actually programming the MakeyMakey, but I'll provide my updating key mappings for download.

Forward, Back, Left, Right, Fire, Action are the keystrokes we need to tell the MakeyMakey about.

In our version of Doom we will use the 'Crtl' key for Fire and the 'Spacebar' for Action.

Directional Keys will refer to our arrow keys on the MakeyMakey board.

Download the Script here



Make sure your lego controller is connected to MakeyMakey and Computer. Press space button to start the game. Enjoy!

NOTE: Press F1 for a list of Commands

“There is no value in anything until it is finished.” ~~Genghis Khan~~

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    5 years ago

    Awesome write up!!!!
    Can't wait to get this going!!!