Swordfight is a two player physical game played using strap on Atari 2600 controllers. The goal of the game is to press your opponent's button with your joystick before they press yours. Kurt Bieg and Ramsey Nasser are to blame.
~ Sunday, August 19 ~

Swordfight Mk II

The new controllers used at Come Out and Play make use of the same timer circuit, but remove the stock Atari PCB to make room a larger speaker and a more sensitive trigger button.

Here’s how to build a Swordfight Mk II Controller:

  1. Follow steps 1-3 from the original Mk I controller instructions, building the circuit described. Note that the timer you use CANNOT be the low-power TLC555 chip you find at RadioShack. It cannot handle the current and will cook itself eventually. Use the regular 555 timer RadioShack provides.
  2. Buy this super loud 9v buzzer and use a screwdriver and mallet to carefully liberate its internal components (the buzzer and its driving circuit), which makes it easier to fit into the controller.
  3. Buy this sensitive lever switch (this one may work too). Its sensitivity can be adjusted by filing the Atari button down, which we’ll get to later on
  4. Solder the red and black wires to where SPKR is on the schematic (red to pin 3 of the timer, black to pin 1)
  5. Wire lever switch’s Normally Open circuit (NO as opposed to NC) to where SWATARI is on the schematic (NO to pin 2 of the timer, GND to pin 1)
  6. Remove the PCs from the controller
  7. Glue the circuit you built near the wire port and run the 9v battery clippers out through the port
  8. Glue the piezo driver circuit to the wall of the controller in the corner to the left of the wire port (diagonally across from where the button will be). Make sure it’s low enough so the lid can fit! It has a really big capacitor!
  9. Glue the piezo buzzer to the floor of the corner upwards from the driver circuit (diagonally across from the wire port)
  10. This is where it gets tricky. You have to glue the lever switch under where the button will fall, but your placement has to be spot on for it to work well. There is a plastic support column at that spot you should glue the switch to. You want the high end of the lever facing the wall. Tape it in place, close the lid without the button installed, and look through the button hole to see how centered the switch is. Move the switch around so that its pins fall between the plastic ridges on the floor of the controller to keep it as low as possible. Try pressing it through the hole with the lid closed to make sure it can still click, and isn’t getting stuck. Once you have it, glue it in place.
  11. File the button down so that it can fit. You want to file the button down diagonally to fit the profile of the lever switch. DO THIS SLOWLY, taking time to install the button and see if it fits, if the button clicks, and how sensitive it is. The sensitivity of the game is determined by the placement of the lever switch and the shape you file the atari button into.
  12. Close the lid. You may have to break some plastic tabs or support structures with pliers at this point or earlier to make things fit. Thats’s ok. As long as the main screw columns are in place you should be fine.
  13. ???
  14. Profit

That’s it! The button installation is more involved now, but it makes for a much better game. Totally worth it in our opinion. We’ll be building more controllers for the laboratory party and we plan on filming the process. It makes more sense when you can see it infront of you.

Good luck!

— ramseynasser

Tags: strapon atari game diy hardware open source geek instructions
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