Analog Space Invaders with human controller


[fidepus] put together a pretty nifty version of the game Space Invaders. This is an analog version that involves an ink and paper based display system.

He printed out one piece of paper for each different enemy, mother ship, laser beam, and player vehicle. The human-based controller is used to move the pieces in all directions. When it comes time for a row to move downward, the pieces are removed from the game grid and relocated to their new position using a scotch-tape-actuator.

We think the most successful part of this hack was [fidepus'] ability to integrate sound effects into the controller system. The human-based controller puts out mono sound with a “pew-pew” for laser blasts and a “dirnk-dirnk… dirnk-dirnk” for the enemy movements.

Although there is no code nor a schematic provided, we think this system shouldn’t be too hard to reverse engineer.


  1. fluid says:

    90% of what i read on here is whining about the fact that the posts are not what the whiner would consider a “hack”.

    here are two tips for you:

    go run your own web site with nothing but the hacks you want to see and/or stop coming here

  2. Kevin says:

    it’s a funny one

  3. XD says:

    U guys… made my day.
    amishx64 Again…

    And Now im installing my Pandora switch for my psp.

  4. Tof says:

    I think this is them saying fuck you to all of the people who complain about every article they put up.

    So suck it.

  5. Noobius says:

    This post rocks. I’m starting to think that the toy car switch was in the same vein, but it was written too subtly.

  6. zero says:

    You know what, when I saw this post I was like :|
    And when I read the reviews, I lol’d.

    Good work, Mike, but real hacks next time, please?

  7. Remarknl says:

    Ive hacked my pictureframe just about the same way..
    It also uses paper to interface with us humans. I am working on video but currently it asks to much cycles from the controller so it overheats. I’ve mounted a heatsink and a fan but that wouldnt help either. Now I will try overclocking with performance-enhancing drugs and watercooling…

  8. atanok says:

    One step closer to removing hackaday from my feed reader.

  9. bobob says:

    it’s almost as if hackaday’s staff WANTS everyone to stop visiting the site…

  10. 277480 says:

    Yeah, how about a hack that extricates sticks from peoples’ asses?

    /lighten up

  11. tjhooker says:

    This is neat. Lets get the ‘owners must’ noobs off the site with email bans. Send them back to makezine to learn to put moist sleeves in cabbage patch dolls..with a LED hack.

  12. xteraco says:

    What is this crap!? Hackaday is going down hill. =[

  13. aztraph says:

    when you think about it, all the raving mad posts, along with all the “this is not a hack” post, mean something completely different to hack a day, people are visiting and re-visiting the website to see what’s gonna be said next, good job hack a day.

  14. psser_by says:

    just rofl! sod what some others may say thats my giggle for the day (u know what they say about small minds)

  15. Jimbo says:

    If I can find a heavy enough ball, I might try my hand at ‘coding’ breakout onto my wall. To avoid slow wall reset between levels, I can move to different rooms. Hope I get three lives…

  16. Michael says:

    Jeez, I doubt hackaday cares if you don’t read it.

    It’s a very well-written and funny post, if you disagree just keep your comments to yourself and quietly stop reading it.

  17. nave.notnilc says:

    it uses an arduino, right? :)

  18. moo says:

    It would be funny… but it’s actually sad I can’t tell if this is a joke post or an actual hack according to hackaday.

  19. Calis says:

    This has potential to make for a pretty awesome stop motion video.

  20. jan says:

    man thats a funny one if its a funny one

    and a sad one if not.

    anyway cool style

    good n8

  21. tehgringe says:

    Classic post…
    This reminds me, I need to get the Super Mario Power Flower pattern to the mother in law…one retro jumper for my 4 month old daughter coming up…But now I am thinking BIGGER.

    Each invaders sprite on a jumper, the whole office gets one, and we can play human space invaders in the car park…

  22. bobob says:

    every time i think this site has hit the lowest point it possibly can,it somehow manages to become even more irrelevant.

  23. Funky Gibbon says:

    Where’s the Duino Plug in?

  24. IhaveNoIdeaWhatIamTalkingAbout says:

    Everybody who complains about people complaining just has a screwed up sense of self-righteousness.

  25. ElementalGodz says:

    I did manage to compile this for my monochrome non textile wall. Only Problem was a fuse was blown in the houses main powerboard and I lost all data shown on wall resulting in game loss.

    In my next build I plan to use an external PSU with battery and led matrix in case of power loss again.

  26. 0x808080 says:

    Question about cross platform compatability: I want to install this on my ceramic wall, I notice that the environment you’re operating in is drywall with a quasi-stucco appearance. let me know, thanks

  27. Mike Szczys says:

    @0x808080: You might run into some real compatibility issues with the scotch-tape-actuator. Perhaps you could try mount a drywall virtual box in order to run this in its native environment?

  28. blankthemuffin says:

    Oh man I want to see a play-through in stop motion.

    I also second the graph paper Tetris idea. Would be an interesting project.

  29. Nintendo Guy says:

    I wonder how this works?

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