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Mod A Nerf Gun To Play House Of The Dead [Instructables How-To]

Use a Kinect sensor to play rail shooter games on your computer.
December 13, 2011, 11:36pm

In light of the gorgeous (is it tasteless to call guns gorgeous?) Gravity and Portal Gun replicas by Australian artist Harrison Krix, and in spirt of Team Dis-Kinect who hacked a Kinect to make a motion-controlled puppet for this year’s New York event, we bring you a How-To that combines the popularity of shooter games with the creative brains of a hacker.

In order to modify your Nerf gun to play rail shooter games on your computer you will need a Nerf Finder EX-10 foam dart gun (you’ll need the battery pack to power the wireless trigger), a five-button wireless mouse (to dismantle for parts) and a PC enabled Kinect sensor.

First you need to connect the Kinect sensor to your PC and install a collection of tools that will enable you to control the Windows mouse pointer by moving your hand in front of the sensor. Find instructions on how to install Windows Kinect drivers, middleware and the FAAST mouse control toolkit here.

Configure the tracking software by using the FAAST bindings found in Step 2. This will allow the Nerf gun to move the mouse pointer. Do note that the settings are designed for the Nerf gun to be tracked at shoulder height about 5-6 feet away from the Kinect. FAAST will activate the tracking when you press Connect, Start Emulation and wave the Nerf gun in front of the Kinect until a white focus dot appears on the tracking image.

Now that your Nerf gun is able to control the mouse, add a mechanism to enable your gun to shoot in the game. Unscrew the Nerf gun case and remove the spring loaded bolt. Then take the circuit board from your dismantled mouse and fit it into the cavity in the Nerf gun that use to hold the spring bolt. Then wire the circuit to the Nerf’s battery pack and wire the side button’s jumper wires to the Nerf’s trigger operated switch. After that, black out the mouse laser and side vents with insulation tape, since we are only using the circuit for the trigger button. Make sure your PC USB mouse and the Nerf’s USB wireless receiver are connected to the same external USB hub.

Map the Nerf gun trigger to the left mouse button using X-Mouse software, and set mouse button 4 and 5 to activate.

With FAAST and X-Mouse running in the background, download a demo of House Of The Dead 3 and start it in windowed mode (FAAST won’t operate if the game’s running in full-screen mode. Now you’re all ready to make your gameplay that more real.

Visit the Instructables How-To for further instruction, more detailed photographs and tips on where to buy materials.