Easy to build Arduino based game console

Sometimes simple games are more fun than high quality large games. Especially if you build it by yourself. Joao Vilaca has taken old good games like Tetris back to life. For this he used Arduino Pro Mini, 2.2” TFT color screen and three axis joystick. Game console is also equipped with piezo buzzer for classic sound effects. It is powered with four AA batteries that are regulated by arduino on-board voltage regulator. There is only one game so far – Tetris, which can be downloaded form GitHub. There are promises of more games to come. Continue reading

Keeping kids entertained with Arduino Mini BMO

First of all what is BMO? Simply speaking it is a living game console plus music player, camera, alarm clock and everything you can think off. Fileark wanted to build something similar to original one so he started an Arduino based BMO. Central brain if it is Arduino Pro Mini with Nokia 3310 LCD screen. He placed all components in to nice custom 3D printed box, that mimics original BMO. Currently it is equipped with WTV020-SD Audio player to play different loaded sounds (amplifier and couple speakers are also included). 2Y0A21 Sharp distance sensor and ADXL335 accelerometer gives some interactivity while playing around. There are 7 push buttons for selecting things and playing games. As you can see this is a platform which can be further expanded with sensors and functions. Eventually you may run out of memory or processing speed. So for project like this probably it is better to start with faster processor or board like Raspberry Pi. You can put lots of stuff in it and then see kids trying to explore its capabilities. Continue reading

Building a 2048 game on Arduino

2048 is a little addictive game where you need to combine numbers appearing in 4×4 matrix to get score up to 2048. more about this game can be found on wiki. Lee developed an Arduino version of this game where he controls game with four buttons and joystick while seeing action on Nokia 5110 graphical LCD . He built all PCBs from scratch leaving only Arduino bootloader on Atmega328 microcontroller. He wanted game device to bee convenient to handle but still doable with home conditions so he split it in to two PCB boards with through hole components. The top board carries LCD, buttons and joystick, bottom board hides microcontroller and power circuit. His home built PCBs look really well made. As power supply he used couple Lithium-Ion batteries and linear 7805 voltage regulator. Even if platform is built for 2048 game it can be used for any game you decide to program. Only memory and imaginations is the limit. Continue reading

DuinoCube: A Retro Game Console that Balances Performance and Simplicity

Silicon Valley engineer seeks to make game development accessible to hobbyists. DuinoCube is a retro game console that enables individual developers to create their own games. At the same time, it boasts a level of performance that matches the most advanced commercial 2D game consoles. The system is the brainchild of Simon Que, a software engineer in San Jose, CA. “DuinoCube gives you everything you want in a basic game console, without the hassle of having too much,” says Que. “It’s like programming on a simple computer. Anyone who knows C++ can do it.” Game consoles for individual developers typically fall into two categories. One group contains “micro-consoles” running Android OS, e.g. Ouya. The other group runs on 8-bit microcontrollers, often relying on overclocking and low-level assembly language to be fast enough, e.g. Uzebox. Enter DuinoCube. This platform brings a solid balance of power and simplicity, offering many advantages to the hobbyist developer. It has no operating system, making it easy to write programs to access the hardware. It features familiar device interfaces like VGA, USB, and SD card, while… Continue reading

Make Your Own Video Game

Almost everyone in their childhood have played video games that are really cheap, and features just a display, some buttons and microcontroller inside. The project is kind of a similar one and tells you how to build your own game using a very popular developing environment which is known by the name Arduino. The game developed is a 2 player shooting game along with five buttons which all act as an interrupts. The LCD- used is a normal 16×2 character LCD. The code might look a little messy but it has been divided into different sections. One section display all the characters onto the LCD. The other section detects collision from between ships, missiles or any other obstruction. There are other section to calculate position of missiles and ships at any time. All these sections have respective function. For the interrupt section for button press, the author used a ‘pinchangeint-v2.19beta’ library which will handle all interrupts call. Continue reading

Taipan game recreated on Arduino

Taipan is an epic turn-based strategy game developed for the Apple II in 1982. If you played this game and feel sentimental about it then check out an Arduino version of exact replica. Simon has taken the challenge to port it in to Arduino as he states it would be better to choose more powerful microcontroller as end design ended with two Arduino – one for game play and another for controlling displays. The game runs on a small LCD but also has option to display on bigger TV using RCA socket. Game is controlled with custom keypad designed as resistor based voltage divider connected to single microcontroller ADC input. Game also supports sounds recreated as in original game. Having two Arduino board didn’t save from using additional external I2C EEPROM where game strings are stored. The electronics is powered by 8 AA Ni-MH batteries with charger included. Game is housed inside carved original Tai-Pan book. It surely adds non arguable value. Continue reading