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Desktop Sized Tamagotchi Is Even Harder to Ignore

desktop tamagotchi

[Vadim] was feeling a bit bored at work one day and dreamed up this rather odd project. He had a spare LED matrix handy, and thought, “I should build a giant Tamagotchi…” and so he did.

In case you’re not aware, Tamagotchi’s were digital pets introduced in the late 90’s. You had to feed them, play with them and even train them — attempting to teach the responsibility of having a real pet. It was a bit of a fad, and to be honest, they were really quite annoying — but that didn’t stop [Vadim] wanting to make his own!

He’s using an ATmega328P with the Arduino boot loader at the heart of this project. The LED matrix is made of a group of four 8×8 LED modules with four shift registers (74HC595) and two Darlington transistor arrays to take the current — This is because the 256 LEDs need to be multiplexed down to 32 IO’s (16 rows + 16 columns).

Once the hardware was all done, he started coding — he’s actually coded the entire game from scratch, and while it’s not that complex it’s still an impressive amount of effort that went into this desktop sized Tamagotchi!

To see it in action, stick around after the break.

To learn more about hacking a Tamagotchi, there’s an excellent talk about how to reverse engineer it that we covered a few years ago.

Comments

  1. supershwa says:

    Brings back memories! My brother and I used to torture and overfeed my sister’s Tamagotchi and GigaPets. We were good brothers. ;P

  2. Hirudinea says:

    Hope he doesn’t get bored with it in five minutes and toss it in a drawer and forget about it, like happened to 99.99% of real tamagotchis.

    • Greenaum says:

      I, after MUCH shopping around, managed to get 2 of the first-gen British Tamagotchis, one for me and my sister. The fun, such as it is, wears off pretty quick. Tho we were both in our 20s. Even so, the media were full of Japanese offices setting up Tama-nurseries to look after their executive’s pets while they were busy earning their millions.

      It’s a very repetitive “game” that involves paying endless attention to a little beeping doodah with a face on it, and whenever it beeps you’d better figure out what’s wrong with it, or it’ll die. This is easy though, since the little row of icons tells you exactly what’s needed.

      I dunno why obsessively serving a tiny electronic overlord appealed to anyone to start with. I think it’s a Japanese thing.

      • Hirudinea says:

        “I dunno why obsessively serving a tiny electronic overlord appealed to anyone to start with. I think it’s a Japanese thing.” Guess when the machines take over they’re going to keep the Japanese as pets.

  3. Greenaum says:

    BTW I don’t recall that graphic on my original Tama, and I THINK the screen on it was 32×24. It’d be a shame to go to all the trouble of making it, and cloning one of the inferior Chinese ripoffs instead. The ripoffs didn’t even have the gameplay of the actual ones, and that’s really saying something. Mostly the Chinese ones just played a few animations in response to the buttons, but didn’t have the complex states internally that ‘Gotchi seemed to.

    Ahhh, Tamagotchi, reminds me of old-fashioned web pages in 1995. Moaning on newsgroups about what a pain in the arse all this “frame” nonsense was. Of course they were a pain. Now it’s all been swallowed into whatever the web became, so doesn’t stick out as obnoxiously as it used to, same for many of the features.

    And even for the time, Geocities sucked.

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