Make Your Own "Among Us" Game Entirely out of Cardboard
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If you've been enjoying our game-based DIY projects, like that amazing "Metro Exodus" wristwatch and dosimeter, you might be hungering for some more ideas. How about, for example, your own tabletop "Among Us" game made entirely from cardboard?
If that grabbed your attention, follow this guide to find out how.
As you can imagine, you'll need some tools and materials before you get started like any project of this nature.
Materials and gear needed
- Aluminum foil and cans
- Speed controller
- Fishing line
- Dual shaft motor
- Wooden skewer
- DC motor
- Rubber bands
- Fidget spinner
- 9V battery
- Ribbon wire
- Soldering kit
- Electrical wires, resistors, and soldering gear
- Hot glue gun
With all the parts and gear in hand, it is now time to get on with the build.
Step 1: Design your game
Just like any other project of this nature, the first step is to plan out the basic design. In this case, the game is basically a modification of the classic rolling driving games of old.
So, the first step is to design the main scrolling game design. You can do this by hand, or design it on a computer. The choice is completely up to you.
Once you are happy, print the design out using your own printer or a commercial printing company. Obviously, you'll need to split the design up into chunks in order to do this.
With the design printed out, stick the sheets together to make a single continuous design. Next, backlight the design and mark out the position of any characters and large obstacles (like lava pools) on the reverse of the paper.
With that complete, apply a layer of glue to each of the blobs you've marked out and along one edge of the paper. Next, cut lengths of wire to stretch from the middle of the blobs to the edge of the paper you applied glue to and stick them into place.
With that complete, cut small strips of aluminum foil, and affix them in place over the blobs and one end of the wire.
With that done, cut another strip of foil and glue it along the same edge of the paper you previously applied glue to.
Next, cover the wires with strips of masking tape.
Fold the paper over to make a cylinder, match up the designs, and glue the pieces together.
Step 2: Begin to build the cardboard parts
With the main game scroll now more or less complete, we can move on to making cardboard gubbins of the game.
Grab your cardboard, and cut out a rectangle and two discs of cardboard. With the sheet of cardboard, ensure that the central ribbing is exposed on one side. Pierce some small holes in the center of each disc too.
Next, take your hot glue gun, and glue the discs vertically into place on two of the corners of the rectangle.
Then, begin to roll the discs over the rectangle to form a hollow cylinder of cardboard.
Next, thread a metal rod between the central holes of the discs. It should now look like a sort of toothed rolling pin at this point.
Now, wrap three rubber bands at equal intervals along the length of the roller.
Rinse and repeat to make a second roller too.
With that complete, make a shorter and wider toothed wheel for the steering wheel. Also, make a smaller wheel of the same height. See step 5 for more details.
Step 3: Make the main scroller for the game
Take a large rectangle of cardboard to the dimensions you want for the entire main boxing for the game. Next, make two short cardboard lengths and pierce a hole through one end.
With that complete, take your level scroll and roller you made in the last step install them as shown below. Then build a second support for the roller and thread the roller rod through the top mounting hole of the support.
With that complete, take the second roller and install it to the other end of the game scroll. Install another pair of cardboard roller supports as before.
Pull the scroll tight, and then stick the mounts into place on the base.
Next, grab your used aluminum soda can, cut off the top and bottom, and open the main body into a flat rectangle. Using a pair of scissors, cut a rounded-ended rectangle of aluminum.
Then, rub off any branding and coloring from the decorated side of the aluminum using sandpaper.
With that complete, grab another rod of metal, and solder the aluminum can piece to it. Then reinforce the weld using your hot glue gun.
Rinse and repeat to make a second equally sized piece.
Next, bend the piece over the rod. With that complete, cut out another length of cardboard to the same height as the scroll of paper from the cardboard base. Cut a small nitch into the middle of the top of it. Glue it into place to one side of the scroll.
Rinse and repeat to make a second piece and glue it directly opposite the first on the cardboard base. With that complete, take the metal rod with aluminum can strip, and rest the rod between the two notches of the cardboard supports.
Step 4: Install the electronics
Next, take your 9V battery and place it onto the cardboard base where you want it installed. It will need to be close to the central rod you just installed.
With that complete, cut a small length of the rod and glue it into place above the rod on the cardboard support. Next, solder the negative wire from the battery holder into place on the small rod section.
With that complete, take the second piece of an aluminum can and make a small horizontal support piece of cardboard. Glue the cardboard to the support and then glue the aluminum strip to connect to the support so that the rounded end brushes the foil strip on the game scroll.
With that done, add a length of black wire to the metal strip, and sellotape it into place.
Next, take your DC motor and place it near one of the cardboard rollers. Glue it into place and then solder the positive wire from the battery holder and the black wire from the black strip to the motor.
With that complete, superglue a length of cotton to the plastic pulley of the DC motor.
With that complete, you can now test one of the features of the game. As you move the paper scroll and the mid rod strip touches some of the aluminum foil, it should complete the circuit and activate the motor. This will cause the thread to spin and make a buzzing noise.
Step 5: Create the mechanism for moving your character
With that complete, bend the end of the central rod to make two right parallel right angles. Next, grab your fishing line, and tie it to one end of the central rod of the game.
With that complete, run the fishing wire to the other end of the rod, above the paper scroll, pull it tight and tie it to the other arm of the rod. The fishing wire should now brush the top of the paper.
With that complete, cut out your character, and glue it to the fishing wire so that it sits directly above the metal contact below the paper.
This should mean that the character and the metal strip move together as you pull the character to the left or right of the scroll.
With that complete, take an old fidget spinner, remove the center cap to one side, and glue the spinner to the bottom end of the game base.
Next, take a wood skewer, and glue it vertically into the center of the fidget spinner.
Next, take the steering wheel toothed wheel you made earlier, and slide it over the wooden skewer.
Next, add the smaller gear on top of the first cardboard gear. Glue the two gears together so that they can move in unison. With that complete, make some more cardboard supports and add them to either side of the twin gears.
These will need to be fairly sturdy so make them double thickness.
With that done, take another piece of thread and tie it to one end of the central rod. Cut off any excess and then glue the thread in place.
Take the other end of the thread and wrap it around one of the study supports and then thread it around the main drive wheel several times. With that complete, feed the thread around the other study support and tie it to the other end of the central rod.
This will form a cable that will enable you to move the central rod when you turn the steering gear clockwise or counterclockwise.
Cut off any excess thread once and fix it into place with superglue once as before.
Step 6: Add the roller motor mechanism
Next, take your dual shaftDC motor and glue it into place on one end of the rod of the top roller. Then take two lengths of wire and solder them into place on the positive and negative connectors of the motor.
With that done, glue the motor into place on the cardboard base to leave the motor at an angle.
Next, add the microswitch into place on the cardboard base and take a second 9V battery with a holder. Wire up and solder the positive terminal of the battery to the switch and then run another red wire from the other terminal of the switch,
Next, grab your speed controller and wire up the loose battery and motor wires to the controller.
With that complete, stick the controller to another cardboard support approximately in the middle of one side of the base. You want the controller's dial to be pointing upwards.
With that complete, it is time to test the electronics. Flick on the switch and play with the controller's dial. The entire rolling mechanism should now move freely.
Step 7: Complete the game's main boxing
With the main game elements now complete, we can move on to hiding the gubbins. The first step here is to cut out strips of cardboard to box in and hide the gubbins of the game.
Add the top and bottom pieces first, and then cut out and add the top plate of the game. This will need holes for the steering wheel knob and have a void to expose the central scroll.
Next, cut out and glue into place the side that encloses the switch side of the game. You will need holes for the switch, the central bar, and other sticky-out bits. Feed through the blue wiring from the motor through the faceplate and snip it in two.
Be sure to also add an access panel for changing the battery with ease. Do the same for the other side of the game. Be sure to feed the thread from the first motor through the top plate as shown below.
With that complete, it is time to make the "Game Over" flap for the top. Cut out a piece of cardboard to act as the flap, and then create two smaller hinge pieces of cardboard.
Glue these into place, and then run another wooden skewer through the hinges and bottom of the flap.
Add a piece of aluminum foil to one side of the bottom of the flap, and then stick one of the blue wires to it.
With that complete, create another little square of cardboard and coat it with foil too. Mount it just behind the foil on the flap, and attach the other blue wire you previously feed through the front plate to it.
This will act as a circuit breaker for the main drive mechanism when the game is over. Next, take the black thread from the DC motor, and glue it into place on the other side of the flap.
This will create a mechanism for pulling down the flap when your character "dies" thereby triggering the "Game Over" function of the game.
Step 8: Make the steering wheel
With the main features of the game now complete, we can move on to adding some decorative features. Let's start with the steering wheel, shall we?
Design your wheel, and then glue it to another piece of cardboard. Cut out the cardboard as needed.
Depending on your design, you can build up its profile to make it more 3D. Once happy, add any other decorative finishes to it that you want.
Glue it to the main steering gears as needed. Next, add other decorative features like decals and pictures to the main game box as desired like "Game Over" details on the backside of the flap.
With that, your DIY cardboard "Among Us" game is finally complete. Now all you need to do is take it for a spin.
The best of luck to you, and watch out for the "Imposter".
If you enjoyed this cardboard-themed DIY project, you might enjoy making your own working gun from cardboard too? Just a thought.
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