Sure modern video games are impressive, but you certainly don’t need a 4K display or high speed Internet connection to have a good time. For a perfect example, take a look at this unique one-dimensional racing game put together by [mircemk]. This variation of [Gerardo Barbarov Rostan]’s Open LED Race project has been scaled down so it can be transported easily, though at least for now, you’ll still need to plug it into an external power supply.
The game is pretty straightforward. By rapidly pressing their respective buttons, players race their virtual vehicles on a linear “track” made of 60 WS2812 RGB LEDs. In the most basic of terms, the faster they press their button, the faster the red or green illuminated LED that represents their car moves.
But in practice, things are made a bit more interesting with the addition of simulated gravity for the “hills” the racers will encounter. The cars also have a bit of inertia, and will coast along even when you aren’t mashing the button. There are even optional engine sounds, though as with the visual representation of the cars, a certain degree of imagination is required for the desired effect.
The hardware requirements for this game are minimal, and can easily be adapted to what you have in the parts bin. Beyond the strip of WS2812 LEDs, all you really need is a microcontroller and two buttons. Here [mircemk] is using an Arduino Nano, but you could press pretty much any MCU into service. To make this version as portable as possible, the buttons are built right into the PVC sheet enclosure, but putting them in some wired remotes would make for a bit more comfortable gameplay.
We’ve covered several projects that have aimed to turn the humble string of RGB LEDs into an interactive electronic game over the years. As long as you’ve got an open mind, you can find a whole world hidden inside some blinking lights.
Continue reading “Virtual Racers Battle It Out On Portable WS2812 Track” →
What makes a game a game? Like, how do we know that we’re looking at a variation of PONG when confronted with one? And how do we know how to play it? [Bertho] sought to answer this question as he designed what is probably the smallest-ever 1-D PONG game. His answer involves charlieplexing LEDs, using a voltage divider to save I/O pins, and a couple of AAAs that should last for a long, long time.
[Bertho]’s Minimum 1-D PONG, or m1dp for short, puts an ATTiny85 through its paces as gameplay quickly progresses from ‘I got this’ to ‘no one could possibly keep this up’. This state machine sleeps until one of the two buttons is pressed, at which time a wait animation starts. The action begins with the next button press.
Game play across only five LEDs makes for some pretty intense action, too. Fortunately, the buzzer is a big part of the experience. It sounds one tone for each LED when the ball is in play, and a different tone to confirm button presses. [Bertho] saved so many I/O pins with charlieplexing that he added a green LED that lights up when it’s OK to return the ball. If we were playing, we’d keep our eye on this LED instead of trying to watch the ball. We’re serving the demo after the break point, so don’t let it get past you.
For a study in minimalism, there sure is a lot going on here with all the different tones and animations. If you’d prefer maximalist 1-D PONG, there’s always LED strips. If dungeon crawlers with satisfying hardware are more your thing, you really need to check out Twang.
Continue reading “Minimum Viable 1-D PONG” →
Designing and 3D-printing parts for a robot with a specific purpose is generally more efficient than producing one with a general functionality — and even then it can still take some time. What if you cut out two of those cumbersome dimensions and still produce a limited-yet-functional robot?
[Sebastian Risi] and his research team at the IT University of Copenhagen’s Robotics, Evolution, and Art Lab, have invented a means to produce wire-based robots. The process is not far removed from how industrial wire-bending machines churn out product, and the specialized nozzle is also able to affix the motors to the robot as it’s being produced so it’s immediately ready for testing.
A computer algorithm — once fed test requirements — continuously refines the robot’s design and is able to produce the next version in a quarter of an hour. There is also far less waste, as the wire can simply be straightened out and recycled for the next attempt. In the three presented tests, a pair of motors shimmy the robot on it’s way — be it along a pipe, wobbling around, or rolling about. Look at that wire go!
Continue reading “Wire-bots, Roll Out!” →
First there were text games, then came 2D dungeons. When Wolfenstein 3D broke out on the gaming scene, it created quite a fuss. But if all you’ve got is a strip of WS2812 LEDs, those are a few dimensions too many.
[treibair] has started up a project on Hackaday.io to start working on 1D video games to be played on a single LED strip. While the end application is something with a cool physical interface, probably driven by a microcontroller, prototyping is a lot easier on the big computer. He’s writing it in Processing, though, so that the transition to the Arduino is easier in the end.
Check out the video below.
There are a couple of other games out there in 1D, including Line Wobbler (YouTube) and, naturally, Wolfenstein 1D. We even saw a one-dimensional “snake” clone at Make Munich a few months back. (Would the author please stand up?)
We think the idea is a good one, and lining up everyone’s 1D gaming experience in one place would be a great help. So link up code and reviews in the comments!
Continue reading “Video Games In As Few Dimensions As Possible” →