To fully experience Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, you need a serious flight stick. Behold, a design based on those kiddie rides of yesteryear! If you are not aware, a “kiddie ride” is a coin-operated machine, usually located in a mall or department store, that allows a toddler to ride a small vehicle or animal. These rides aren’t as fun as they look.
This is merely a joystick with a toy plane attached. Holding the tail will allow you to tilt the plane in all directions, so the plane in-game will mimic the behavior of this flight stick plane.
Turning the rudder will… turn the rudder in-game. That takes care of all 3 axis of movement! Many joysticks can be rotated as well, so the plane could be turned in this fashion too, if the rudder is a pain to use.
The coin box can operate as the acceleration thingy planes use…looks like a big lever? It’s a bit gimmicky but that is what this controller is about. There are a few buttons on the stand as well.
This was a fun design, I enjoyed making it. When I first started my goal was to make an accessible flight stick (like this accessible steering controller) and it was pretty basic: a small plane balanced/perched on a raised stand, which can be pivoted and turned with a single finger. It couldn’t work, the user would be constantly adjusting the plane and it would be tedious and slow.
Inspired by this neat Nintendo Switch dock, I thought it would be fun to fit an entire game console into a power adapter. The idea is not so far-fetched, nowadays you can get a 4K computer to fit in a tiny box.
This wall adapter features a tiny wireless controller, about the size of the 8bitdo Zero 2. It stores in a small compartment, where it also docks and charges.
After plugging this into the wall, all that is needed is to run an HDMI cable to the TV. Only one cable to deal with! I currently have a Raspberry Pi Zero as my travel kit for gaming, and it needs an HDMI cable, the power adapter, and a wired USB SNES controller to operate. It’s often a tangled, bulky mess.
Speaking of the HDMI cable, I designed the shape of this device to act as a spool for the cable:
With the power prongs folded up, this would make for such a compact kit. I believe it would be small enough to be sold in vending machines at airports and hotels.
For this design I think a bunch of included 8-bit and 16-bit games would complete the package. An SD Card slot for adding games would be welcome too. If you want to be really fancy, this could include wi-fi and streaming apps. A variant with 2 controllers can be done as well.
Remember those Jakks Pacific plug-and-play consoles? Same deal here with the Bomberman character. Thought it would be fun if there was a button on top of the joystick, ideal for placing bombs . The side ear button serves as the secondary button used by the thumb, and is on both sides for righties and lefties.
It would be neat to have 4 or 5 of these controllers, in different colors to match each player. Such a set would be a fun game for parties. Bomberman used to be THE party game before Smash Bros. came along and stole its thunder.
What if Nintendo made a Wario-like villain for the NES R.O.B.? The Virtual Boy looks like Darth Vader, so I went with that approach. In all honesty I was making a Virtual Boy 3D model for something else, and to me the device looked like an evil robot; low and behold another weird idea was born.
Mini arcade cabinets are all the rage these days, even SEGA is getting in on the act! My hope is that a company like Basic Fun or My Arcade will issue a Last Starfighter-themed mini cabinet. Or even better, Arcade 1UP releases a bartop cabinet.
While there are fan-made video games of what was featured in the film, I think the twin flight sticks may make things difficult to execute. I would settle for a Galaga or Missile Command re-skin, or a generic shmup will do. As long as the iconic attract mode from the film is present in some form.
Even a Hallmark keepsake ornament (like this) would be neat. One can dream.
I’ve looked into building a bartop cabinet of this recently (I made the above mockup for that purpose), but I’ve hit a wall: all my email inquiries for custom side panels and vinyl prints have gone unanswered! Probably due to the recent worldwide hullabaloo.
The top of the Xbox Series X illuminates, so this idea was born. If Microsoft did make something like this, the “flame” section would need to allow airflow somehow (lots of holes?). A Minecraft Creeper deco is more likely.
Good news everyone! I was removed from Facebook because I changed my phone number last year, so I couldn’t verify my account…so yeah that is all gone. As a result I decided to close my Tumblr and Twitter accounts too, so I can further declutter my life. I recommend subscribing for email alerts if you want to stay up to date on new posts here.
EDIT: my mistake, I thought the top of the Series X had a green LED, it is actually a green plastic trim underneath the black grill on top. This idea could still be done, if the torch came with its own LED fixture.
An elevator pitch is where you try to sell an idea in as short a time as possible, and I will attempt to do that here for some shows and video games I would like to see.
- Hunger Games video game. Battle Royale games are all the rage these days, but with platforms like Twitch and YouTube Gaming, audiences could now get involved. Viewers could help players with items and weapons, or vote on ways to make their lives miserable. Should be fun.
- Mega Man Metroidvania video game. Having recently played Hollow Knight, a large world littered with powerful bosses would make for a compelling Mega Man experience. When Mega Man is killed, he would be immediately cloned and have the option of visiting his prior death location to reclaim weapons and items, much like a similar system in Hollow Knight.
- Star Trek Frontier TV show. The USS Frontier is a massive mobile shipyard, capable of building a fleet of ships on demand. Its new mission: to travel to the very edge of the universe. This is possible thanks to a breakthrough wormhole drive that can propel the ship hundreds of thousands of light years in a matter of seconds. The mission should take several years. So why use a mobile shipyard? It constructs a series of “transport relays” that will help everyone get back home in a matter of months; it’s a one-way journey for the ship, but the crew will teleport home in the end. So what will they find at the edge of the universe?
- He-Man animated TV show. I pitched this elsewhere as an animated comedy: all the characters of Eternia now use pro wrestling to solve their disputes, a sport they glimpsed on Earth (not knowing it was scripted a la Galaxy Quest). It would parody the WWE, but also poke fun at MOTU. Nearly all of the characters are heavily invested in every match and feud.
- Scooby-Doo WHEN Are You? animated TV show. The gang is mistakenly dubbed the “greatest detectives of all time”, so they are gifted a time machine from an advanced alien race. The aliens hope that the gang can solve all of the great mysteries that were lost to the passage of time. Unfortunately, the gang believe the aliens to be people wearing disguises, so they start mashing buttons on the time machine (thinking it to be another hoax). Scooby-Doo and his pals then embark on a series of adventures throughout time, because they don’t know how to use the alien time machine. It’s sort of like Quantum Leap in a way, they just want to get back home. They also keep meddling with the timeline. I didn’t say every pitch was good!
I have a few more pitches kicking around in my head, but they don’t involve a popular intellectual property so they may not interest you! But I am thinking of writing them in short story form. Maybe someday.