Ultra Tiny PC Plays Snake

[Steve Martin] used to do a comedy act about “Let’s get small!” You have to wonder if [Paul Klinger] is a fan of that routine, as he recently completed a very small 3D printed PC that plays snake. Ok, it isn’t really a PC and it isn’t terribly practical, but it is really well executed and would make a great desk conversation piece. You can see the thing in all its diminutive glory in the video below.

The 3D printer turned out a tiny PC case, a monitor, and a joystick. The PC contains an ATtiny1614, an RGB LED, and some fiber optic to look like case lighting. The monitor is really a little OLED screen. A 5-way switch turns into the joystick.

We were really impressed by some of the less obvious details. For example, the PC case has an actual window printed in transparent PLA that is polished so you can see through it. A small hole in the other side allows you to get into the device with some POGO pins for reporgramming. There are even threaded theroset inserts to let the screws thread into their mating holes, although [Paul] admits you could make the holes smaller and just let the threads bite into the plastic.

If you are looking for a development environment for ATtiny, we just covered that. There’s something we like about classic games on tiny hardware.

9 thoughts on “Ultra Tiny PC Plays Snake

  1. These are fun! There’s a lot you can do with 128×64 monochrome pixels and those SSD1306 displays are almost as cheap as the microcontrollers.

    I once did something like this with Pong, but it was sized to fit on the side of a 9V battery and it used one one of those TSSOP STM32 chips with two rotary encoders for ‘controllers’.

    Tetris is another fun one.

  2. PSA: If you’re wanting to replicate this project with an ATtiny1614, the ATtiny1614 is part of the new AVR “1 series” that doesn’t use the ISPs we know an love nor the new TPI interface but a 1-wire interface called UPDI. Currently there’s only a few things that can program it, like the Pickit4 (which the author of this project used) or the MPLab SNAP. Super cool uC though so it’s worth it.

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