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

Arduino based Tetris uses bi-color LEDs

Tetris game is around for 30 years. It is still alive in various forms and shapes. It is simple and addictive. You can get it as portable game devices, apps for smart-phones or PCs. Or you can make one by yourself with few building blocs and a bit of code. jollifactory has shared his Tetris game project that he built by using Arduino Nano board, couple chain-able bi-color matrix matrix modules, speaker and four push buttons. It looks great when placed in custom blue acrylic enclosure. Continue reading

Tetris in Real Life

All of you must have played a very famous game know as Tetris. This review is about ‘myTetris’ which is a giant (~6ft tall) physical version of Tetris developed by National Instruments. It features a grid of 10×20 RGb leds along with myRio. For those who don’t know myRio is an embedded hardware device designed specifically to help students design real, complex engineering systems more quickly and affordably than ever before. It has a dual-core ARM® Cortex™-A9 real-time processing and Xilinx FPGA customizable I/O all in a single board. The game can be played using any browser including those of mobile and tablets. The user taps the buttons on the web-page or use the arrow keys on the keyboard to move the tetrominoes.  The web-page on your bowser also update your current score in real time. Also at the end of the game, it shows some statistics about the game performance and your final score. The LEDs are driven by a WS2801 chip using SPI which clocks in 24-bits on the data line (8 for each of red, green &… Continue reading

The Tetris Song

This project might sounds a little interesting to people who have played tetris in the past, probable when they were younger. Some people like me, still play it as I consider it to be one of a good pastime. Moving onto the project, you can say that this project is actually a DIY tetris game that we used to play on hand video games. It even features a tetris sound which is based on your gameplay. Another good thing it has been built around ATMEGA328P and atiny85. An ATtiny85 is used to store the notes matrix and it listens to the ATmega328p on two pins to either play/stop the music or just pause it. Just imagine the amount of complexity involves in the project. Even storing the tone in just 512 bytes of Ram is a challenging task. Moreover, it looks like the author has an excellent coding skills, as it’s really difficult to make something like this using LED matrix and buttons and that too without any flaws. In the future version he plans to add some LED’s to reflect… Continue reading

Wall-sized interactive Tetris game

SparkFun team have made a huge interactive Tetris game. This is really impressive piece of art made of 16 Atmega8 microcontrollers, 720 LEDs and 240 buttons. Game can be controlled by touching buttons directly on frame(similar to touch screen). The Tetris board is 10×20 cells and each cell lights up 1 of 7 different block colors. Separate button pads are 4×4 and there are 15 of them, so total array is of 12×20 buttons. There is RGB LED placed behind each button so it is possible to light any button with any color. Can imagine what processing power is needed to update all picture and read all button state. This is why whole project was break up in pieces of 4×4 button pads with separate microcontrollers accessed via SPI interface. Project is really challenging but satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. They provide all schematics and firmwares if somebody wants to give a try. Continue reading