2024 Tiny Games Contest: Coming At Ya With Zero-Dimensional PONG

A decade is a long time to carry around a project idea in your head. Fortunately, the Tiny Games Contest happens to coincide with [Senile Data Systems]’s getting back into ATMega programming, so they can finally make their zero-dimensional PONG dreams come true (and have the chance at great prizes, too, of course).

If you don’t already get what’s going on here, zero-dimensional PONG takes 1D PONG and turns it on the short side. Imagine the light coming toward you, then moving away toward your opponent, and you have the basic idea. So, how is this done? Pulse-width modulation controls the brightness of the LED, and, well, you have to be pretty fast, although there is a small margin for the inevitable error.

In the video after the break, you can watch [SDS] play themselves using a red/green LED. Player one must press the button when red is fully lit and green is off, and player two goes when green is fully lit and red is off. The cool thing is that this game uses sockets, so it can use any LED. There are nine difficulty levels to control the PWM speed,  so one can really test one’s reaction time.

If you want to build one of these, you’ll need an ATtiny2313 or something similar, a couple of buttons, a display, and the optional but fun buzzer. The well-commented code is available through [Senile Data Systems]’s site.

5 thoughts on “2024 Tiny Games Contest: Coming At Ya With Zero-Dimensional PONG”

1. David says:

Does luminosity count as a dimension?

1. Shays says:

No, it’s alike to a shadow, if you take the analogy, it’s like the shadow of 1 dimensional pong, If we assume your shadow is 2D (this is true if you are 3D mathematically), which it is, than it’s pretty much the same thing happening here.

2. It’s [Senile Data Systems]. What’s next, call me Captain Keen? :-D
(Commander Keen being called Captain is a running gag in the series for those who don’t know)
(and yes, this dates me rather well – although I got CK at the end of the 90s – when CK came out, I was playing Crystal Caves from the same company instead. Ah – and Blockout 3D Tetris.)

Btw. that small margin for the inevitable error is also controlled by the difficulty setting. Think of it as the paddle size.

Btw² I actually found a red button matching the model of the blue button, so if you see the device in action at the next retrocomputing festival, it’ll have symmetrical buttons.

1. Thanks!
I’m pretty happy with the article. But I’m aiming for honorable mention, I don’t care about the prizes. Unless the prize was a life-long license for dumpster diving that grants me access to any e-waste site :-D

Some of the most enjoyable hacks on this site come from junk bin builds.

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