Many of you have probably experimented with alternative gaming interfaces. Here’s a well done little hack where they created a gun with a display mounted on it, for video gaming. At a glance you can probably figure out exactly what they’ve done. They’ve attached a gyration mouse to the gun for tracking and gutted a keyboard for the buttons. We have to give them some credit, they seem to have packaged it all nicely. Since it’s a standard mouse and keyboard, it just plugs in and works with any game. As you can see in their version, the screen works very well in this configuration, almost seeming like a giant scope. You can see the wireless version and hear their aspirations for projector based models after the break.
[Scott] runs gamesbyemail.com. One of his biggest hurdles was producing real random numbers for the games. He had tried various methods like math.random and random.org, but kept getting complaints about the quality of the random numbers. His solution was to build an automatic dice roller. His initial attempts were made from Legos and were never quite reliable enough to be put into the system. The Dice-O-Matic however has proven to be a random number generating monster. It is 7 feet tall and capable of 1.3 million dice rolls per day. Wow.
m8ta fun did an extensive teardown of OCZ’s Neural Impulse Actuator (NIA). OCZ’s computer/mind interface is actually a fairly straight forward design. An analog front-end cleans and amplifies the ‘neural’ signal with a few op-amps before feeding it to a 24 bit analog to digital converter (ADC). A USB enabled PIC microcontroller reads the 24bit parallel ADC output through a common 7400 series parallel to serial adapter IC. The device has an ICSP programing header (top right), though it’s not yet clear if the PIC can be read or written.
Back in May we mentioned AcidMods’ spitfire mod that enabled rapid fire (amongst other things) and was undetectable by Xbox Live. The parts list was quite low, needing just a PIC16F84A and a few other components, which led to third parties selling controller mod kits on eBay. The AcidMods team has figured out a new way to enable rapid fire using just a momentary switch and the necessary wire to hook it up. All you need to do is wire in the switch between the ground on the controller LED and the middle pin on the trigger. The only caveat is that because it’s hardwired to the LED, you can only use the mod on the particular port you’re using the controller on.
The reason it’s so simple is because the Xbox 360 controller uses pulse width modulation to “dim” the LED on the controller, creating a rapid high/low signal. When the momentary button is depressed, it routes this rapid high/low signal to the trigger input on the controller, which is then input to the Xbox 360. Hit the read link for a couple more videos explaining this hack.
While this modification is undetectable by Xbox Live, it does create an unfair advantage in multiplayer gaming and could result in your account being banned.
[Nuri] sent in his rather interesting gaming feedback device. The TrakonyaMutatorUSB is a USB based armband that’s designed to shock you when you get shot or killed in your game. I can’t comment on the safety of this thing, but I guess it could be a good gift for your enemy gamer.
Update: Just to clarify a bit, This is built by [Nuri]. He offers them for sale (via paypal I see), but it is his work. It would be nice to see the design, but I can see some reasons why he might not want to release it to the public.
This is a bit reminiscent of the missing DC entry, so consider it a bonus hack. [Eric] sent in his latest project, an AVR game console. It uses a pair of ATMega168v micro-controllers, a nokia 3110 LCD, and an eeprom to store a selection of games. The interface above the console is the serial loader/charger. No word on the game source, but judging from his site, maybe he’s writing them all on his own.