Exercising to space invaders


[Matt] sent in this cool final project he did for his Computer Engineering course. They built a space invaders clone, where the player has to physically move back and forth to move the ship, and jump to fire. The game is projected on the wall, with a camera mounted below it, facing the player. The player, wearing an orange vest, is tracked for the movement and the firing. They also included a blue tooth heart rate sensor with the ultimate goal of using this data to vary the game difficult, but didn’t end up getting the code in. You can see a video of them testing it out at the end of his post.


  1. Matthias says:

    Wow… just wow, that’s one hell of a junior project.

  2. tulcod says:

    s/difficult/difficulty/ kthxbye

  3. iann0036 says:

    Physical games are the upcoming “thing”. Let’s see…Space Invaders(1978) & Space Invaders 3D(2009). Halo(2001) … Halo 3D(2032).

    Heh, not long till games get good!

  4. Jack says:

    @iann0036: I hope you’re right about them becoming the ‘thing’. Maybe that’ll do something to fix our morbid obesity problems.

  5. Matt Krass says:

    This was a proof of concept for an actual exercise centric video game. Our thoughts were that things like the Wii really just move you from the couch pushing buttons, to standing up pushing buttons. And things like the EyeToo weren’t designed to go mainstream, and frankly, don’t work that well. We’re considering moving forward with this project on our own to see what we can do with it.

  6. Oh so thats what a Altera DE2 board can do.

    Huh. All we ever did was just make it flash this really cool led pattern and try to figure out what the heck was going on.

    Major question here: WHY are they using an FPGA? Must have been for a class where they had to do something with the board and not software.

  7. Alva says:

    While it was required that we use an FPGA, there are other reasons to use one. the most important being that we were able to run the game engine, the game, and the VGA controller all of one chip. we didn’t really need an entire system.

  8. jimslippper says:

    Here we go again…. Why don’t you post this crap on Make.com and stop wasting our time wit this sh!t….

  9. therian says:

    FPGA, NXT, laptop, breadboard , Really ? cross extra ones

  10. Ash says:

    They do this in some form at video Games live concerts-with a guy wearing a space invaders shirt moving back /forth and a physical button

  11. anonononymous says:

    I go to the same University as these guys, and I got a chance to use this project. It was wicked neato.

    Maybe I should have been a CompE instead of EE…

  12. Richard says:

    @ jimslippper, they just engaged their brains and did something cool, unlike yourself – if you don’t like it here there’s always the other option.

    @matt, I can see you’re going to be good at this – 3d ‘physical’ games are a good direction to be going in, help us get off our fat lardy asses. :-)

  13. looks similar to my FPS of a year ago… Except in my game jump meant jump and you used a laser to fire

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