Playing video games for a college application

As a senior in high school, [Owen] has been waiting to hear from the colleges he applied to for months now. Some of his applications wanted a mid-year report to see if he didn’t come down with senioritis. [Owen] realized these colleges allowed additional materials beyond a high school transcript, so he built a tiny video game that shows his electrical and programming skills.

The Demomite, as [Owen] calls his build, is an amazing piece of work. The entire system is based around an ATtiny2313 with a measly 2kB of program memory. Aside from a graphic LCD from Sparkfun and a repurposed NES controller, there isn’t much else to the build. As a study in minimalism and simplicity, [Owen] gets a big congrats from us.

The entire game fits in the 2kB of flash on the ATtiny, mostly due to coding the entire thing in assembly. You can check out [Owen]’s time-lapse construction video, software demo, and the video he sent to colleges after the break.

25 thoughts on “Playing video games for a college application

  1. This is awesome! But, let’s be honest. In my opinion some of his other projects are better. Like connecting a hard drive to a micro controller. Although, from a hackers perspective, this isn’t his coolest project but from a non-hackers perspective it is. So, good move. :)

  2. Welp, congrats man. You have a better understanding of a breadth of EE concepts then a lot of the undergrads I was in senior design with. Some club (go robotics man, the AUVSI events are a blast) is going to be under the impression you’re the second coming of Christ when you show up.

    1. “Saying Java is good because it works on all operating systems is like saying anal sex is good because it works on all genders.”

  3. Out of curiosity, which universities did [Owen] apply to that want mid-term application updates? That’s something I’ve never heard of before…

  4. I really wanted to do a project like this for my college applications, but none of the ones I applied to will even accept it. I’m extremely afraid I won’t stand out.

  5. I’m under the impression you don’t even need to go to college.

    But then again, a piece of paper means a whole lot in our world..

  6. I can understand why he needs this, 20seconds into his video his monotone voice has put me to sleep! interviews are not your friend my man!

    1. Yeah, I have great trouble presenting stuff in videos and to audiences. However, if I’m actually face-to-face with another person like in an interview I easily lose the monotone. Interviews have been my greatest asset in applying to college. They offer a precious chance to personally claw your way into the minds of the application folks.

  7. Screw this guy. When I was finishing high school I was writing simple qbasic games or making text-based prompts in C.

    I wish I got started a lot earlier.

  8. Look up the creator of Spotify. sounds like college will be boring/pointless. it looks like you can learn what you need on your own

  9. Yeah but to get the money you need to start said endeavors is either come by luck or having a good “main job” to supply the funds to play about. Hell everyone says an Arduio is “cheap” and yet still outta my price range. College is a good thing.

    1. Really? Arduino is pretty cheap compared to college unless you get a really good scholarship or have taken enough AP classes so that it only takes 2 years or less. IIT has all their engineering lectures online for free. If you are clever enough you don’t need to go to college and it will just be a waste of time; most of us need to go to college…

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