Concept for a Custom Gamepad to Build

I’m actually not the biggest fighting game or joystick enthusiast, but I’ve heard the community here knows a lot about building custom joysticks and gamepads. I’ve gone through countless gamepads, but I’ve never found one that’s perfect for my needs and just the right size for my hands. The Logitech Dual Action’s thumbsticks have square gates instead of round or octagonal, the USB Sega Saturn controller I got has extremely stiff shoulder buttons and unresponsive X and Y buttons, my 360 Fightpad’s d-pad sometimes gets unresponsive, and every other controller I’ve tried has one little problem or another. That’s why I wanted to build my own, but it’s definitely not as simple as just unscrewing a gamepad, soldering a few doodads in, and closing it back up. I have a design for it in mind, which you should be able to see here if I inserted the image correctly:

It’s pretty clear the basis for it would be a Wii Classic Controller, and visually it’s themed after Megaman X, but I also wanted to make it an amalgam of my favorite parts from several other controllers. I’ll break it down in a list like so:
[]Body: Shell of a Wii Classic Controller, unless something else would suit it better. Grips shaped like a 360 controller, maybe less pronounced.
]D-pad: Either a d-pad from a Saturn controller, or something resembling it. Same size, shape, amount of travel and sensitivity.
[]Analog sticks: As close to 360 ones as possible- clickable, concave tops, round housings.
]Face buttons: Six Fightpad-like buttons (smaller, maybe the size of Saturn’s A, B and C), but with A, B, X and Y arranged in a diamond so that C and Z form a slight curve (I know that’s not how it looks in the picture, but it was a last-minute change).
[]Option buttons: Same three as the Classic Controller’s Minus, Home and Plus. Also, the red “crystal” would be a button, and have an LED inside to light up when it’s plugged in.
]Shoulder buttons: Two pairs, shaped like SNES shoulder buttons, sensitive as 360’s bumpers.
[]Triggers: As close to 360 triggers as possible.
]System: PC primarily, 360/PS3 if possible. Maybe just a 360/PS3 dual-mode and a PC would still interpret it?
I’m aware that having six shoulder buttons in total is kind of excessive, but I did see this one Thrustmaster gamepad which had them like that too, with four buttons and two triggers. Now, I don’t know the first thing about building such a delicate piece of machinery, since the closest thing I’ve ever put together was a desktop PC. All I’m sure of is that it’d require a PCB (possibly even multiple PCBs), the necessary controller parts, lots of wires, an LED, clear red plastic molded to the shapes of the triggers and center crystal, soldering equipment, and probably a bunch of other tools.

If anyone’s interested in helping me out with a project like this, I’d be more than happy to pay you. I understand this sort of stuff can get expensive, but I feel in the long run it’d save me from buying more crappy USB gamepads. Not that I’m saying the Fightpad and Saturn USB pad are crappy, of course.

Carve it out of clay, then make a mold.

Put your favortie PCB inside with the right parts.


Actually thought of doing this but I’ve never found the parts.

I’d try to make it out of Fimo spread over a glazed clay mold and then route the holes. Think of all of the patterns you could make, the colors, the effects, the textures…

This might save you a few thousand dollars in fabrication costs.

Yeah, but what’s the fun it…

Oh, man… it’s amazing…

I’d still like to see gamepad parts but that’s just sick.

This is defiantly possible. But VERY complicated. Have a look at this guys youtube page:

He made a controller with interchangeable backs (sort of like project box backs) with each back being for each console. Could be something to look into.

That is a very cool set of things he’s built, but I’m not looking to make something that works with a whole bunch of consoles. My top priority is for it to work with a PC, so I don’t NEED it to be compatible with the 360 or PS3. I do like the idea of sculpting the shape I want for the body out of clay and making a mold, though. I have to be honest, I’ve never really learned how to build anything small and electronic, so it’s almost completely foreign to me. That’s why I need someone to build the thing, or at least help.

There’s also a couple of new fightpad-type controllers that caught my interest. The upcoming PS3 Fighting Commander 3 Pro apparently has a d-pad that you can adjust, both rotating it as much as 20 degrees and adjusting the stroke (stiffness, I’m assuming?) to one of three settings. And that new Versus Controller has a d-pad built with micro-switches so it feels like an 8-way joystick, or the Neo Geo Pocket Color’s d-pad.

Gummowned sells a pcb small enough for a controller project and it works on pc…