Posts with «games» label

Don’t Panic: a Cooperative Bomb Defusing Game

[Heath Paddock] wanted to confound his friends with a game that mimics an escape room in a box. About six months after starting, he had this glorious thing completed. It’s a hardware version of a game called Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes where players have five minutes to defuse a suitcase bomb. This implementation requires at least two players, one with the box-bomb itself, and one who holds all the knowledge but can’t see the box-bomb to defuse it.

The wiring of the Mastermind module.

[Heath]’s version has twice as many modules as the original game, each hand-wired one driven by an Arduino. One of the modules is an LED maze. There are two green anchor LEDs in one of six configurations, and and blue and a red LED.

The object is to move the blue LED next to the red one without touching any walls. Of course, the box-holder can’t see the walls and must describe the configuration of the anchor LEDs to their partner in order to get started.

All of the modules are quite different, which likely makes for an extremely fun and challenging five minutes. [Heath] reports that getting inter-module communication down was a long road. Eventually, [Heath] settled on a mesh network configuration and connected everything in a big loop. Be sure to check out the walk-through video after the break.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a hardware implementation of this game. Here’s one that uses a Raspberry Pi.

1D LED PONG, Arduino-Style

Maybe it’s just us, but isn’t it kind of amazing that in a world of pretty darn realistic games, PONG is still thrilling to play? This 1D implementation by [newsonator] is about as exciting as it gets.

It works like you’d probably expect — the light moves back and forth between the two players. Keep it in the green and you have a nice, gentle volley going. Let it hit your red LED and you’ve lost a point. But if you can push your button while your yellow LED is lit, the light speeds up tremendously until the next button press in the green.

Our only wish is that subsequent yellow-light button presses would make it speed up even more. But there are really just the two speeds with the current programming.

Inside the cool laser-cut box is an Arduino Uno and a 9V battery, plus a current-limiting resistor and the all-important buzzer. We like how [newsonator] wired up the LEDs to the Arduino by soldering them to a row of header pins and sticking that into the Arduino so it can be used in other projects down the line. We also like how [newsonator] shoved a couple of dowels through the box to ultimately support the two buttons.

Check out the intro video after the break for the overall details. The build is done over a few different short videos which follow.

Although this is pretty small, it isn’t quite the minimum viable.


Hack a Day 16 Dec 00:00

Real NES Plays Frame-Perfect For You On Twitch

Have you ever wanted to be the best Super Mario Brothers speedrunner, but you just couldn’t do the frame-perfect inputs? Fear not, because [Gregory Strike] is here to save the day with his automatic NES controller!

In his previous video, [Greg] already made an automatic controller that plays a sequence of inputs at the perfect time, but it still failed some of the frame-perfect tricks. So what gives? Deviation in the timing of the NES itself gives, as he shows how the NES doesn’t sample inputs at exactly the same time every frame. To account for this, he used the latch signal, which starts the controller reading process as a time reference, and replaced his digital “mixtape” with a more time-flexible Arduino. After the modification, he shows it pulling off frame-perfect inputs every time he plays Super Mario Brothers.

But if you have a controller that can do frame-perfect inputs and it can be connected to a computer, you can connect the controller to the internet! That’s right, [Greg] created a Twitch bot that tells the Arduino exactly what inputs to send, which then relays it to the NES. It accepts simple sequences of inputs via chat, and you can try it out right now on [Greg]’s Twitch stream.

This project shows promising results, and we think it’s possible to do much more with its internet connection. We’re certainly looking forward to what [Greg] decides to make next.

Video after the break.

Latency Meter For Accurate Gaming

The gaming world experienced a bit of a resurgence in 2020 that is still seen in the present day. Even putting aside the effects from the pandemic, the affordability and accessibility has arguably never been better. Building a gaming PC can have its downsides, though, and a challenging issue to troubleshoot is input lag or input latency. This is something that’s best measured with standalone hardware, and if this is an issue on your setup you may want to take a look at this latency meter.

Unlike other measurement devices that use the time between a mouse button input and the monitor’s display of a bullet or shooting event, this one looks at mouse movement and the change in the scene instead. This makes it much more versatile than other methods since it’s independent of specific actions, and can be used in any game without any specific events needed to perform the measurement. A camera is placed on the monitor’s top edge and the Arduino-based device sends mouse commands to the computer while measuring the time between those commands and the shift in the image on the monitor.

The project is open source, so with the right hardware it’s possible to build one to troubleshoot latency issues or just to learn more about a particular hardware configuration’s behavior. Arduinos and other microcontrollers have been doing all kinds of things by pretending to be human interface devices like this for a while now. One of our favorites of late was this effects pedal that replicates musical effects on mice and keyboards.

Electronic Connect 4 Console Doesn’t Use LCD

You might think that making your own electronic games would require some kind of LCD, but lately, [Mirko Pavleski] has been making his using inexpensive 8X8 WS2812B LED panels. This lets even a modest microcontroller easily control a 64-pixel “screen.” In this case, [Mirko] uses an Arduino Nano, 3 switches, and a buzzer along with some 3D printed components to make a good-looking game. You can see it in action in the video below.

The WS2812B panels are easy to use since the devices have a simple protocol where you only talk to the first LED. You send pulses to determine each LED’s color. The first LED changes color and then starts repeating what you send to the next LED, which, of course, does the same thing. When you pause a bit, the array decides you are done, and the next train of pulses will start back at the first LED.

It looks like the project is based on a German project from [Bernd Albrecht], but our German isn’t up to snuff, and machine translation always leaves something to be desired. Another developer added a play against the computer mode. This is a simple program and would be easy to port to the microcontroller of your choice. [Mirko]’s execution of it looks like it could be a commercial product. If you made one as a gift, we bet no one would guess you built it yourself.

Of course, you could play a real robot. You could probably repurpose this hardware for many different games, too.

Hack a Day 29 May 03:00

Odd Inputs and Peculiar Peripherals: The GameBug Turns Your Breadboard Into a Game Console

What’s more fun than playing video games? Designing your own video game hardware, of course! If you’ve followed these pages long enough you’ll have seen dozens of great examples of homebrew hardware, and perhaps been inspired to try such a project yourself. This often starts with assembling the basic bits onto a solderless breadboard, which is fine for programming but not so great for testing: squeezing pushbuttons into your breadboard works for basic debugging, but is not very user-friendly or reliable. A better solution can be found in [Dimitar]’s GameBug: a set of breadboard-compatible joypad-like controllers.

The GameBug’s design excels in its simplicity: a miniature analog joystick, four buttons arranged in a diamond pattern, a shoulder button and two sliding switches are sitting on a neat purple PCB. On the bottom are two rows of pin headers to ensure a snug fit on your solderless breadboard. There’s even a little vibrating motor for haptic feedback.

Interfacing with the GameBug is simplified by the integrated readout electronics. A Schmitt trigger-based debounce circuit ensures clean signals from all the pushbuttons, while a motor driver chip provides stable current to the haptic feedback system. An RGB LED can be used as yet another user feedback device, or simply for decorative lighting.

All design files are available on [Dimitar]’s GitHub page, along with an Arduino sketch to help you try out the GameBug’s functionality. Having a proper gamepad might come in handy with breadboard-based game systems like Tiny Duck Hunt or this impressive mess of wires that makes up a Colecovision.

Going Around in Circles With Homemade Arcade Classic Cyclone

The classic arcade game Cyclone has attracted many players, along with their coins, thanks to its simple yet addictive gameplay. In its most basic form it consists of a light racing around a circular track, which the player then has to stop at exactly the right place. Arduino enthusiast [mircemk] made a home version of this game, which allows addicts to keep playing forever without running out of quarters.

Instead of an arcade cabinet, this smaller version has an upright 3D-printed ring that holds 60 WS2812 LEDs. A further six in the center of the ring act as a score counter. An Arduino in the base drives the LEDs and runs the game, which is based on an earlier iteration built by [oKeeg]. An interesting addition is a large homemade “arcade button”, which is large and sturdy enough to withstand any abuse inflicted on it by a frustrated player.

Retro-style sound effects and flashing light sequences give the game a bit of an arcade vibe, even without a big cabinet and piles of coins. Simple LED games like this are always great eye-catchers in any home or office; if you like this one, be sure to check out other LED games like the handheld LEDBOY, the one-dimensional dungeon crawler TWANG, and this LED racing game.

Hack a Day 20 Mar 15:00
arduino  cyclone  games  led game  

Automated Chess Board Plays You

If you’ve ever played chess or even checkers, you’ve probably thought about making a board that lets a computer play you without having to enter your moves and look at the board on a screen. [Greg06] not only thought about it, but he built it.

The board looks great and uses foamboard which makes it easy to reproduce. Each piece has a small magnet within and an electromagnet on an XY motion system can selectively pick up and move pieces. In addition, a reed switch under each square can tell if a square is occupied or not.

This system is pretty simple, but it is effective. After all, you know the position of the pieces at the start. So if a bishop leaves a square and a new square gets a piece, you can assume it is the bishop. There is no need to actually distinguish the pieces.

An LCD and some buttons act as a chess clock, and note if a move is illegal. The Arduino has a pretty basic chess algorithm known as Micro Max that runs on the Arduino, but we wondered if you couldn’t connect to a remote computer to get more sophisticated gameplay or even interface to the Internet to play remote humans, something we’ve seen before. You could even adapt it for other input methods.

Hack a Day 05 Mar 00:00

'LEGO Star Wars: Castaways' arrives November 19th on Apple Arcade

Another LEGO Star Wars game is heading to Apple Arcade, and it's the first social, action-adventure title in the franchise. The upcoming game, entitled LEGO Star Wars: Castaways, will have you building and customizing your own in-game LEGO minifigure character. Once you're done designing your own blocky hero, you'll head to a new planet where you can team up with friends to battle enemies and solve puzzles. Along the way, you can unlock collectibles to solve a mystery and save your merry band of LEGO minifigures.

When you're not out on adventures — of if you really just want to hang out in a virtual world with friends — you can stay in the game's Social Hub or race Microfighters. LEGO Star Wars: Castaways is an Apple Arcade exclusive, just like LEGO Star Wars Battles. The latter is a real-time strategy game that will let you collect upgradable characters, troops and vehicles and then pit you against other players in one-on-one showdowns. In Star Wars Battles, you'll also have to build and defend your own LEGO towers, as well as attack your opponent's.

LEGO Star Wars: Castaways will be playable across iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV, so long as you have an Arcade subscription. You can now sign up to be notified when the game becomes available for download from the Mac Store and the iOS App Store, but the game won't be available to play until November 19th. 

Laser Pointer and Arduino Make a Minimalistic Shooting Game

Video games are great and all, but sometimes you just want the thrill of manipulating actual objects in addition to watching action on a screen. This must have been the reason why Nintendo’s Duck Hunt became so popular despite the simplicity of its gameplay. Prolific hacker [mircemk] similarly made a computer-plus-physical game called “Laser Shooter“, which somehow reminds us of the good old NES game.

The game is based on an Arduino Nano, to which five LEDs as well as five photoresistors (LDRs) are connected. When the game is started, the LEDs light up at random and the player has a limited time to “shoot” the corresponding LDR with a laser pointer. This time limit is decreased as the game progresses, and the game is over once the player fails to hit the target on time. The “Game Over” message is accompanied by a sad tune, but luckily no giggling dog.

Complete schematics and code are available for anyone willing to try their hand at replicating or improving this game. And no, you can’t simply sweep your laser across the five LDRs all the time, because you lose if you shoot at the wrong target. For more laser pointer-based games, try this Laser Command clone or this laser tag badge system.