Today is a little tour back to the early 1980s when Mattel released the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS Computer Labyrinth Game. [Cameron Kaiser] was dealing with a few boxes of old stuff when he came across the game. Luckily for us, he decided to do a complete teardown and a comprehensive review more than 40 years after it came out.
The game itself is pretty simple. You and a friend are characters on the board, navigating an eight-by-eight maze. As you move through the labyrinth, a microcontroller emits twelve audio cues telling you what you’ve run into (walls, doors, treasure, and so on). The eight buttons on the side allow you to hear the different tones to know what they mean, as we imagine even the most well-written manual might struggle to describe that. In addition, the pieces are diecast metal, which allows the game to detect where the pieces have been placed. Continue reading “Dungeons And Dragons Board Game From The 1980s Holds A TMS1100” →
The trend in video games is toward not being able to differentiate them from live-action theatrical releases, and games studios are getting hard to tell from movie studios. But quality graphics don’t always translate into quality gameplay, and a lot can be accomplished with minimalist graphics. Turn the clock back a few decades and think about the quarters sucked up by classics like Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and even Pong if you have any doubts about that.
But even Pong had more than 64 pixels to work with, which is why this dungeon-crawler game on an 8×8 RGB matrix is so intriguing. You might think [Stolistic]’s game would be as simple as possible but think again. The video below shows it in action, and while new users will need a little help figuring out what the various colors mean, the game is remarkably engaging. The structure of the dungeon is random with multiple levels to unlock via the contents of power-up chests, and there are mobs to battle in a zoomed-in display. The game runs on an Arduino Uno and the matrix is driven by a bunch of 74HC595 shift registers.
It’s fun to see what can be accomplished with as little as possible. Looking for more low-res goodness? Check out this minimalist animated display, or a Geiger counter with a matrix display.
Continue reading “Crawling A Dungeon, 64 Pixels At A Time” →
A delightful version of a clever one-dimensional game has been made by [Critters] which he calls TWANG! because the joystick is made from a spring doorstop with an accelerometer in the tip. The game itself is played out on an RGB LED strip. As a result, the game world, the player, goal, and enemies are all represented on a single line of LEDs.
How can a dungeon crawler game be represented in 1D, and how is this unusual game played? The goal is for the player (a green dot) to reach the goal (a blue dot) to advance to the next level. Making this more difficult are enemies (red dots) which move in different ways. The joystick is moved left or right to advance the player’s blue dot left or right, and the player can attack with a “twang” motion of the joystick, which eliminates nearby enemies. By playing with brightness and color, a surprising amount of gameplay can be jammed into a one-dimensional display!
Code for TWANG! is on github and models for 3D printing the physical pieces are on Thingiverse. The video (embedded below) focuses mainly on the development process, but does have the gameplay elements explained as well and demonstrates some slick animations and sharp feedback.
Continue reading “DIY Dungeon Crawler Game Plays On Single LED Strip” →