The Final Expansion – Players 3 and 4, New Challengers

The final expansion - build out of outer shell

Players 1 and 2 are wired up, now it’s time for the final expansion. New challengers, players 3 and 4 join the party. Controls, button mapping, and more wires!

The Final Expansion

Before adding the next player controls, I need to build out the rest of the structure. I take to purchasing more brick and build out the rest of the outer shell of the control panel.

The Final Expansion - Control panel outer shell built out
Outer shell built out.

As you can see, there are some pieces still missing, but I have those coming in soon. It’s now just a big empty shell, time to start filling it with stuff!


But first, I need to add some aesthetics to the sides.

Photo showing tiles added to the side flipper buttons
Tiles added to the sides.

Now to fill the center, enter player 3.

Which Way is Up?

Okay, so a question to everyone reading:

Should the up direction on player controls 3 and 4 always face up towards the screen, or should up be the direction the player is facing?

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Drawing demonstrating player 3 playing from the side where up is facing the screen to their left or player 3 playing from the side where up is facing in front of them
Which way would you think up should face on the joystick?

After asking friends and researching the issue online, I choose to move forward with facing up in the same direction as the player standing, at an angle. The issue now is how do I mount this hardware at a 45-degree angle?

A2 x B2 ≠ C2

I quickly found out that working in angles with LEGO® brick is a real challenge. I looked into various angle pieces available that might help me accomplish this task, such as this little part 15706 – plate special 4 stud 45° angle plate.

Rendering of 45-degree plate
Part 15706 – Plate Special 4 Stud 45° Angle Plate

But the problem I soon discovered, only after purchasing a bunch of these parts, was you can’t build this back into a straight 90-degree angle.

I tried a few other ideas after this, like building with round 1 x 1 plates and trying to stack plates on top of those, but the conclusion remained the same, I couldn’t make a anything that was a2 x b2 = c2 with LEGO® brick.

So, I reached out some local LEGO® fanatics and asked for their advice and this went very well! They introduced me to a few new techniques that I hadn’t thought of before. Such as using part 2429 – hinge plate 1 x 4 swivel base and part 2430 – hinge plate 1 x 4 swivel top. Then, the crazy part, laying them on tile below on one corner, as shown on the whiteboard sketch below on the left.

Whiteboard sketches of ideas of how to make angles using LEGO® brick
Whiteboard sketches.

I took this information back and ended up still failing to produce anything that worked solidly enough to my liking. Then I decided to just build a solid cage around the whole control stick chassis. I ended landing on this fancy part, part 14413 – wedge 4 x 4 facet.

Rendering of the wedge 4 x 4 facet
Part 14413 – wedge 4 x 4 facet
Photo of joystick mounted at an angle inside of the control panel
Tada, control faces up along with the player standing here.

Buttons Also at an Angle

Then of course the buttons must be angled as well. So, after a little bit of work and modification to how I integrated the buttons for players 1 and 2, I come up with this layout.

Photo of integrated cage for player 3 buttons
The button layout.

First, there are only four buttons because there are really no games for arcade stand ups that use more than three buttons. However, the fourth button is for aesthetics only, and console systems can ultimately just use Bluetooth controllers.

Second, adding more wires to the hellish wiring project all ready.

Photo of internal wiring now adding player 3 to the mix
Wires and sharp brick and tiny everything, oh my!
Photo showing player 3 joystick and buttons installed
We have player 3 controls!
Photo of the control panel in full view with player 3 joystick and buttons installed
The full thing with player 3 installed.

Player 4 is next and will follow the same install procedure. Then after this I will begin work on integrating the cupholders and adding player start buttons. More to come!