Friday, 14 October 2016

Ikea Arcade Stick - Mini Edition Teaser!

I've had a few requests to compile a proper step-by-step build of one of my sticks, as the previous posts have all been iterative updates. Here's a quick rundown of what's gone on so far...


Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Ikea Arcade Stick V2 - Shiny Shiny!

Continued from Part Two.

When it comes to art, I am the most indecisive human alive. This is why I've never had a tattoo, despite spending the best part of a decade drunk.


So the styrene sheet goes down over the naked plywood for now. It will protect the surface while I decide what to do, and it still looks nice enough.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Ikea Arcade Stick V2 - Part Two

Continued from Part One.

Much has happened since last we spoke! My new hardware order from Arcade Shock took a little longer than anticipated, but work was swiftly resumed on the other side!


Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Pebble Pay - Passive, waterproof, NFC banking.

Several years ago my bank started rolling out a NFC payment system, which included a great phone app for Android phones. If you had an iPhone however, you were out of luck as they didn't carry the requisite hardware at the time.

So the bank released these two dollar, tokenised NFC "Pay tags" to stick to the back of the phone. I had a compatible android device, but these tags were just the best thing ever. I immediately put one on my watch!

Monday, 29 August 2016

New 3DS C-Stick Mod - The only way to play Monster Hunter!

Back in the PSP days i wasn't much of a fan of the Monster Hunter series. A friend showed it to me, projecting that almost overpoweringly emphatic gusto any seasoned player does to potential new teammates, but i couldn't get my head around the contorted control scheme required (affectionately referred to as "the claw" by people who actually LIKED it!).

Now that i finally "get it", having spent well over a thousand hours on the series since the release of Tri, it's almost serendipitous that the solution to the New 3DS's slippery control scheme comes straight off of the front of that stalwart PSP.


Saturday, 6 August 2016

Ikea Arcade Stick V2 - The Stromby Twins

The Ribba stick is finished, and it's been getting loads of play time, but I've already had some new ideas kicking around my head.


Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Fighting Frame - Finale!

Continued from part two.

My new donor PCB's arrived care of eBay, and they're exactly as cheaply made as you'd expect of knockoffs. In comparison, the official CCP is a thing of beauty.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Fighting Frame - Part Two

Since the previous entry i've decided to optimise the build slightly, shedding the two separate wiimote bulkheads by integrating them into the front and back "wall" sections. Two fewer pieces, much improved!


Thursday, 14 July 2016

Fighting Frame - Part One

With the Lucario Fight Stick finished, it's time to move on to my "Player 2" build (for lots of Virtual Console co-op fun!). I was considering going with another intensive Pokken character build, but i wanted more time to think about the next case style for that.

But, as a gift to "the people", i've decided to try my hand at a cheap, easy to build stick which uses Ikea parts to present a high quality finish without the usual skill requirement. It features replaceable art, has no visible screws, requires only the most basic of tools, and all it takes is a sheet of 7mm plywood and a picture frame! Total cost of materials was about $15.


Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Wii U Fight Stick - Part 6

Continued from Part 5

Yesterday I blew my nose and the result looked like an electric blue Rorschach test. The lesson here is to always wear a mask when using spray paint!

I didn't make the same mistake with the black.



Friday, 20 May 2016

Wii U Fight Stick - Part 5

Continued from Part 4

Sorry for the lack of progress here, i've just returned from my brother's overseas wedding in Bali! It took a couple of weeks out of my build time to reorganise things at work to accommodate, but now we're back on track.

While i worked on some techniques for laying down the paint layers, i took time to create the slot for the wiimote and fit the newly required extra three buttons (+, -, and home).

The 24mm buttons are on the right side, out of harms way. The holes are cut and the wiring is finished, but my order of Seimitsu PS-14-DN-K's is still en route from the UK (faster, cheaper than from the US). They'll be great.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Time Less - Alba Riki Watanabe AAAA101

This watch is a strange blend of Japanese and Bauhaus design, wrapped tightly around the venerable 7s26 Seiko movement. It's tiny, but wears large. It mixes minimalist industrial design with the zen of a raked gravel garden. It has cantilevered, diving board hour markers!

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Wii U Fight Stick - Part 4

Continued from Part 3

After a solid day of curing, it was finally time to take the wraps off the case.


Sunday, 24 April 2016

Wii U Fight Stick - Part 3

Continued from Part 2

The very literal "make or break" part of this project was always going to be in curving the plywood skin over the skeleton. A 50mm curve is pretty tight for 3mm ply, and the risk of splitting is very real. But after an overnight soak in the bath tub, and fifteen minutes of slowly forming the bend, i managed to get it tight against the ribs and clamped down.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Wii U Fight Stick - Part 2

Continued from Part 1

I've been getting home late from work this week, and all of my neighbours seemingly have newborns. This has seriously dented my ability to run my table saw without feeling like a massive jerk. So i went oldschool, wasted a huge amount of time, and did things quietly with hand saws... and so many clamps!

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Wii U Fight Stick - Part 1

Since picking up Pokken Tournament, i've been meaning to get a fight stick.  But since the Wii/Wii U specific ones are impossible to find locally, generally small, and a bit cheaply built, i've decided to take matters into my own hands. Compared to things like my MK8 Pro Controller this is tame, but ultimately more practical!


Wednesday, 20 April 2016

The Artist's Headboard - Rental friendly, real velour

When i moved out of my last apartment after several years of tenancy (i don't. do. moving.), the wall behind my bed was looking worse for wear. While repainting the entire apartment more than addressed the problem, i vowed to class it up at the next place.

But when you're renting, and your bed frame is a two-piece ensemble, how do you make a headboard work without damaging the wall? Like most renters, i just went crazy with Velcro command strips!


Saturday, 16 April 2016

Amiibo-rama - Star Fox and Kirby

When Amiibo launched i was given one as a present. That gateway figurine started a fairly horrible obsession, but unlike most lost souls i relished removing mine from the packaging. Then i decided put those two units of product design photography i took in university to use, while also testing the critically panned camera of my HTC One M8. This is what came of that:

Amiibo-rama - Bowser and Captain Falcon

The Bowser Amiibo is really, really good! It has good detailing, the modelling is spot on, and it weighs a tonne! He's a boss.


Amiibo-rama - Pikachu

The themed photos continue! This time i wanted to capture my entire play-style with Pikachu, which is spamming thunder relentlessly until i'm knocked out.


Prototyping - Wii U Zapper

This is an archived repost of an article i wrote for Nintendo Enthusiast in May 2013. Since then, we've seen the New 3DS adopt the head-tracking mentioned, and Splatoon proved that gyro aiming is indeed fantastic!

The Wiimote was a revolutionary controller. It broke gaming free from dual analogue control, provided a gateway for “non-gamers” to enjoy the pastime, and managed to advance the gameplay of many genres. With the introduction of the Wii U, the lack of a pack-in Wiimote means potential support is diminished, but could the gamepad possibly fill some of that void?

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Time Less - Seiko SKX009 "Planet Seiko"

As a child i was crazy about cars, and i would pore over every car magazine my dad would buy. I would re-read decade old issues, and ended up with a collection of a few hundred issues of CAR and Evo.

I also relished the fancy watches, advertised alongside all of that hot metal. One of the few really sunk its hooks into me was the orange-bezzled Omega Planet Ocean. It screamed sporty, overt masculinity; to me it was the Lamborghini of watches. I would later go on to incorporate this theme of orange and steel blue alongside metallic neutrals into my industrial design degree theory as "man colours".

Of "man colours" and men's shampoo

In the olden days of industrial design, before everything was drawn digitally, you had to use coloured markers to draw concepts. Expensive coloured markers. And as most design students have no money, you had to very slowly, very carefully add to your box of tools.


Friday, 8 April 2016

Time Less - Seiko SNZH57 "Fifty Five Fathoms"

"Time Less" is about the reasonably priced, incredibly well built and designed watches i've collected and modified over the years. While i do fawn over things like a good Omega or Panerai, there's just something more personal about these cheaper offerings.

The Guillotined Expedit - Sound system hide'n'seek

This was the first stick of Ikea furniture i bought for the new house, and a fitting swansong for the almost extinct Expedit. Off with it's head!

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Pokken Tournament is my fighting game gateway drug!

When it comes to racing simulations or shooty games, i'm right up there at the pointy end of things. But my misspent youth barely grazed the surface of fighting games, leaving me languishing as a dirty, button mashing casual.

Ah what, he READ me?!

Friday, 11 March 2016

Pebble Time Round - Gallery of Bezel mods

Consider this the "look book" for the PTR. I've collected all of the available Seiko bezel inserts which fit the watch, and modelled them for your convenience. While i still can't justify a black PTR to my wife, a couple of pebble community members have helpfully embezelled their watches:

Pebble Time Round - Adhering Bezels

If you want to spice up your PTR with one of those fancy Seiko bezel inserts, you'll need a way to stick it on as they don't come pre-applied with adhesive. There are quite a few options available, and a couple which aren't. Let me steer you in the right direction here.


Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Ikea Vainfraim - Hanging Vanity Light

The house we're renting at the moment has a very poorly lit en suite. It's served by two tiny energy saving bulbs which take far too long to warm up, and they're set so far back from the mirror that the only thing you can ever see is your silhouette.

Ikea hack to the rescue!


Friday, 26 February 2016

Prototyping - Nintendo Virtual Boy 2

This is an archived repost of an article i wrote for The Nintendo Enthusiast in June 2014, but the vast majority of the theory is still surprisingly relevant to VR design:

Ever since the Oculus Rift and the 3DS came along, I’ve been wondering what Nintendo would do if they tried their hand at the Virtual Reality game (again). They pioneered motion control, made wireless video streaming lagless, and pushed Augmented Reality further than anyone else. However, their drive for inclusive gameplay is at odds with the very insular world of modern VR systems. But what if there was a way to make VR more social? Could the Virtual Boy rise again, and redefine VR in an iconically Nintendo way?


Thursday, 25 February 2016

Pebble Time Bond

One of the most famous Bond watches is the Rolex Submariner from Goldfinger. It's renowned for a couple of reasons: 1) Rolex is the brand Broccoli had Bond wear in the novels. 2) It's on a ridiculously narrow perlon strap.


A derivative of this strap, in NATO form, is now one of the most ubiquitous straps to grace watches around the world. I thought it would be fitting to have a crack at this with my Pebble Time Round. A smart gadget watch? Q would be so proud!

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

OaKallax: Swedish particle board meets sexy hardwood

My study was a shambles, boxes everywhere, and a pile of disused red Expedit inserts working as free-standing storage after the shelves were filled with books instead.

I needed a shelf unit to display my precious things, i needed to do something with these damned inserts, and i needed to exercise my design muscles.

Pebble Time Round, with a touch of Seiko

Early press shots of the Pebble Time Round (hereafter referred to as PTR) received a drubbing from the internet-folk for its large bezels, despite having a more favourable face/bezel ratio than the majority of dumbwatches. Society, having shunned watches in favour of checking the time on a bezel-less slab of glass they pull out of their pocket, doesn't actually seem to want a watch-like smartwatch.