The MMORPG RuneScape holds a special place in the hearts of those who played it in the early 2000s. Sure it might seem exceptionally quaint by modern standards, but at the time it was groundbreaking stuff. Plus you could play it for free, which certainly helped get people onboard. While there’s a more modern build available, many who played the game from the early days prefer to stick with what they know, and continue to run a version of the game that has now become known as Old School RuneScape.
[Austin Blake] is one of those early adopters, and the work he put into this LED health indicator should tell you all you need to know about how dedicated he is to the classic game. The 3D printed heart holds an incredible 312 NeoPixel LEDs, which are controlled by a 5 volt compatible Arduino Nano Every located on the back side. Both the color and “fill level” of the heart will change in real-time to correspond to the health of the player character.
Building the light itself was pretty straightforward, but getting the health value from the game was another story. As [Austin] explains in the video, his first attempt involved using Python and some image recognition routines to literally read the indicator off of the screen. The idea worked, and is frankly a fascinating hack worth keeping in mind on its own, but unfortunately it was too slow to provide the real-time feedback he was looking for.
Eventually he turned his attention to RuneLite, which is an open source client for Old School RuneScape. Thanks to its open source nature he could have hacked a routine to read the current health value and send it off to the Arduino, but thanks to a mature plug-in system, he didn’t have to.
The game’s API let him create a simple and reliable way of getting the data out of the game, similar to what we see in the flight simulator community for driving physical gauges and displays. RuneLite features a repository of community-developed plugins, and [Austin] says that he’d be happy to submit his for inclusion if others are interested in building similar indicators — a perfect match for this motion-sensing RuneScape axe.
Continue reading “LED Heart Keeps Tabs On Your RuneScape Character” →
Runescape is pushing nearly 21 years old, and while that’s quite a long time for a game to stay active with an engaged userbase, it’s also a long time for people to modify the game in all kinds of colorful ways. For some older games like Team Fortress 2 this means spinning up a bot to ruin servers, but for Runescape the hacks are a little more lighthearted and fun. Like this axe which allows [BigFancyBen] to play Runescape in real life.
This is more of an augmented reality hack which upgrades his normal human interface device from a simple keyboard and mouse to also include this axe. When the axe is manipulated in real life, the in-game axe can be used at the same time. There are a lot of layers to this one but essentially a Switch joycon is connected to the axe to sense motion, which relays the information on axe swings to an API via a Python script. A bot in the game then chops the virtual tree, which is reported back to the API which then reports it back to [BigFancyBen]’s viewscreen which is additionally streamed on Twitch.
While this started off as frustration with the game’s insistence on grinding in order to reach certain objectives, it seems that there are some fun ways of manipulating that game mechanic for the greater good. [BigFancyBen] originally said he would rather go to the gym than “click anymore rooftops” this is quite the start on the full IRLScape world. Don’t forget that it’s equally possible to take this type of build in the opposite direction and control real-world things from inside a video game.
Continue reading “Play Runescape IRL” →
For gamers, the early 2000s certainly stand out as a memorable era. The dawn of the 21st century ushered in the sixth generation of home video game consoles, with Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft all releasing their systems within a few years of each other. Nintendo also released their Game Boy Advance at around the same time, representing a minor revolution for mobile gaming. On the PC front, a free-to-play MMORPG called RuneScape was redefining people’s expectations of browser-based software.
Now, thanks to modern technology and the expert guidance of [TiKevin83], these varied bits of video game history can be used in conjunction for maximum rose-tinting effect. Using homebrew software on the GameCube and a healthy collection of wires and adapters, the GBA can be used as a controller for your adventures through the realm of Gielinor. After nearly two decades, the dreams of gamers everywhere have come true.
Well, that might be a stretch. In fact, we’d wager that nobody in human history has ever looked at the GBA and thought it would be a particularly good controller for an MMORPG. Watching the video after the break, it’s not hard to see why. Using the handheld system’s digital pad to control the mouse in RuneScape looks to be precisely as clunky as you’d imagine. But of course, that’s hardly the point.
So how is it accomplished? A homebrew tool for the GameCube’s “Game Boy Player” accessory allows the GBA, when connected to the console via the appropriate adapter cable, to mimic a standard controller. Once the GBA is running in this mode, it can then be connected to the computer using a Wii U to USB adapter. Finally, the program JoyToKey is used to map the GBA’s buttons to mouse and keyboard input for “Old School” RuneScape.
If you’d like to do something similar but aren’t quite committed enough to collect up all the Nintendo-branded ephemera this method requires, you may be interested in this DIY adapter that allows the venerable GBA to be used as a standard Bluetooth controller.
Continue reading “RuneScape GBA Controller Is A Nostalgic Mash-Up” →