Giant Space Invaders with road barriers and no moving parts

This is space invaders on the large-scale. To give you an idea of just how big this is, that’s a street lamp to the left. It’s being played on the side of a building, but it’s not really done the easy way. We’ve seen gaming on the sides of buildings by using projectors, but this one is more like a classic LCD handheld game… just really really big.

Each of the game pieces is hung in place on a black backdrop. The invaders themselves are molded-plastic road construction barricades. The shield area on the bottom is made op of center-lane dividers. All of the pieces are wired with lights that can be addressed by a central controller. As you can see after the break, just one button gets the action under way.

This is along the same line as the Christmas Light game we saw several years back. If you’ve got some extra strings of lights and don’t mind building a controller we think you should add a little fun to the neighborhood with your own giant installation. Just don’t forget to send in some pictures.

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Two player Space Invaders via FPGAs

Last semester, [Peter], [Jared], and [Jeremy] took a course on embedded systems. They managed to turn out a very accurate copy of the classic Space Invaders in their class. Not wanting good code to go to waste, they decided to develop two player Space Invaders, and we wouldn’t mind testing it out.

The guys built their Space Invaders clone on a Virtex II dev board. Wanting a little more hardware development, they picked up a pair of RF trancievers so the two boards could communicate with each other. The rules of two-player Space Invaders is fairly simple; if you destroy an alien, there’s a 30% chance it will appear on your opponent’s screen. Hit the space ship that flies along the top of the screen, and 1 to 7 aliens will appear on the opponent’s screen. It’s a bit like two player Tetris where your victories bring about your friend’s downfall.

The guys put a really neat spin on an old game, and we’d love to try it out. Check out the guy on the left losing a game of Space Invaders to his lab partner after the break.

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Hackvision is build-your-own retro game

If you wanted to try your hand at programming some retro games Hackvision can jump-start the process. It is an Arduino-based game console in a controller format. You get four directional buttons and one function button. It has two RCA jacks for mono audio, and black and white video.

We’re happy to find that there’s information about game development that will help you follow along with the Space Invaders and Pong examples. The system uses the Arduino TVout library for video, which is robust and fairly easy to interact with. But once you see the game play in the video after the break it’ll be hard to resist building one of these. Don’t forget, this is Arduino based. If you already have an Arduino that uses an ATmega328 you just need to build the audio, video, and button circuits. Continue reading “Hackvision is build-your-own retro game”

Space Invaders clock 6 years ahead of Pong Clock

Space Invaders came out in 1978, six years after Pong. That means this Space Invaders clock uses newer technology, right? Nope, it’s the same hardware as the Adafruit Pong Clock with some updated firmware. Still, as you can see after the break, the effect is pretty nice. Pong was cool, but having a clock that scrolls through several classic games would be cooler.

[Dataman], the guy responsible for this firmware hack shared his code. It should be easy enough to alter it for any clock using a KS0108 graphic LCD screen. So what’s next? Can someone pull off a black and white Ms. Pac-Man that looks decent on the 128×64 display?

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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.

Exercising to space invaders


[Matt] sent in this cool final project he did for his Computer Engineering course. They built a space invaders clone, where the player has to physically move back and forth to move the ship, and jump to fire. The game is projected on the wall, with a camera mounted below it, facing the player. The player, wearing an orange vest, is tracked for the movement and the firing. They also included a blue tooth heart rate sensor with the ultimate goal of using this data to vary the game difficult, but didn’t end up getting the code in. You can see a video of them testing it out at the end of his post.