Beating Simon

Virtually everyone has played Simon, that electronic memory game from the 70s, but who among us has actually beaten it? That was the goal of [Ben] and his 7-year-old daughter, and after a year of work, an Arduino, some servos, and a few Lego bricks, they’ve finally done it.

Instead of the large original Simon, [Ben] is using a key chain version of the game: much smaller, and much easier to build a device to sense the lights and push the buttons. The arms are made from Lego bricks, held up with rubber bands and actuated with two servos mounted on a cutting board.

To detect Simon’s lights, [Ben] connected four phototransistors to an Arduino. The Arduino records the pattern of lights on the Simon, and activates the Lego arms in response to that pattern. [Ben]‘s version of Simon has only a maximum of 32 steps in the final sequence, but that still means each game takes 528 button presses – and a lot of annoying beeps – to complete.

Videos below.

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Fubarino Contest: Simon Says Hackaday

simon_anim

When [Scott] saw our announcement of a contest to win a Fubarino, he had the remarkable insight that designing new hardware wasn’t required. Instead, he took a Simon soldering kit and added a Hackaday easter egg that beeps our favorite URL in Morse code.

[Scott]‘s entry began with a Sparkfun Simon Says Soldering Kit. It’s a great kit featuring an ATMega328, four buttons and LEDs, and a speaker. Stock, this board comes programmed with a run-of-the-mill Simon game, but it also includes a serial bootloader and a set of serial pins for reprogramming.

The new firmware for [Scott]‘s Simon uses Morse code for ‘hackaday.com’ to determine the time in between the button flashes for each round. Compared to the old-school Simon toy from the 70s, [Scott's] version seems just slightly more difficult; the game is basically the same, but trying to remember the pattern when the buttons don’t light up in a regular pattern is more challenging than usual.

Because [Scott] isn’t the greatest at Simon, he added another method to generate the full Morse for ‘hackaday.com’. While pressing one button starts a new game, holding down two buttons simultaneously will write out the full Morse of ‘hackaday.com’ on the upper left-hand button: a great easter egg that also adds some difficulty to a classic game.


This is an entry in the Fubarino Contest. Submit your entry before 12/19/13 for a chance at one of the 20 Fubarino SD boards which Microchip has put up as prizes!

Hacked farm toy plays simon

 

My kids have a plastic farm toy. It moos, it oinks, it neighs, it
baas, and frankly, it grates. But since I tricked it out with an
attiny2313, at least it can play “Simon Says”.

This is what [Tom] said in his email to us. We love that when the toy annoyed [Tom], he improved it.

He started by inserting his own electronics. Using an ATTiny2313 for the brains, he proceeded to make it into an interesting game of “simon says”.  Each stall is a button and has a nice bright LED in it to help you follow along. Interestingly, he preserved the original electronics as well and added a switch so he could change modes. Great job [Tom]!

Catch the video after the break.

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The most surprising game of Simon you’ve every played

How does one take a game of Simon and make it extremely awesome? The folks at the North Street Labs — a Hackerspace in Portsmouth, Virginia — have found the secret and it’s all in the execution. They turned this chair-desk into a coin-operated Simon game that hides a huge surprise.

We suppose you should be able to guess the secret. Most coin-operated sidewalk attractions are rides, and so is this. As their Red Bull Creation entry the team built a base for the desk around a 2000 Watt floor buffer. These are the kind of things that you’d see a janitor in the 1980′s using to polish the tiles of your middle-school.  This one just happens to shake the bejesus out of a player who makes a mistake. To help suck you into the game this won’t happen right away. You have to make it past at least four rounds before making the mistake.

The rest of the game is as expected. The playing area is nicely milled from a piece of wood with acrylic windows serving as the buttons. Apparently the biggest problem with that part of the build is finding a way to hold everything together despite the intense vibrations. See for yourself in the clip after the break.

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[Alex] shows us what happens when Dance Dance Revolution meets Simon

ddr-simon

[Alex] was digging through his closet and came upon an old PS2 game pad for Dance Dance Revolution. He hated the idea of throwing it out just slightly more than the idea of playing DDR again, so he decided to find a way to reuse it.

He was a big fan of the game Simon (aka Genius) as a kid and thought that the DDR pad would make a novel interface for the classic game. Using the PS2XLib by [Bill Porter], which allows an Arduino to easily communicate with a PS2 controller, [Alex] put his Simon replica together in no time flat.

He painted an empty ice cream container with the classic Simon colors, installing a small LED under each quadrant, then wrote the game’s code.

As you can see in the video below, his version of the game works nicely, and forces you to actually get up and move a bit, which we like.

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A Little Simon Clone Named [Nomis]

[Chris] has been hard at work building his own version of Simon called [Nomis]. Although [HAD] has featured an ATiny Simon clone before, the article does an excellent job explaining how the system works.

The ATTiny85 is used to control this game, which, for now is laid out on a simple breadboard. A PCB version of this game has been ordered from [Seeed], so be sure to check back to see the results of this forthcoming upgrade. It’s really cool that this kind of small scale manufacturing is available to the masses.

A parts list is provided as well as a code overview and schematic. To see it in action, check out the video after the break. There’s an explanation at the beginning, but skip to 1:55 if you’d rather just see the machine in action. The game can reportedly run until a 100 “move” limit is reached. This was arbitrary, but it should be enough for most people! Continue reading “A Little Simon Clone Named [Nomis]“

Karate Chop is Simon without all the touching

[Alan Parekh] and his daughter [Alexis] just premiered their entry in the Avnet Dog Days of Summer contest. It’s a game called Karate Chop that is basically an electronic Simon Says. The video after the break shows a demonstration of the device. When switched on it’ll play a little tune and start cycling the LEDs on the front of the case. Players interact by breaking the infrared beams in the two cutouts on either side of the case. You need to keep your hand flat to do this, which is where the name comes from. There are four different game modes which are selected at the start of the game. There are two difficulty levels of a Simon Says game which shows the player a pattern in light and sound, then watches for the user to repeat that pattern back. The other mode that [Alexis] demonstrates is a reflex game which requires the player to quickly react to randomly illuminated LEDs.

The circuit is built on a breadboard hiding behind the front bezel and uses a PIC 16F1827 microcontroller to drive the game. The case itself is made from laser cut MDF and plywood. We’re not sure how much time [Alan] spent on the case, but we think it looks wonderful. If you’re planning to participate in the contest you better get rolling, the entry deadline is tomorrow.

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