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Topic: Space Command: Asteroids, a retro, handheld video game (Read 471 times) previous topic - next topic


When I was 15, some nearly 20 years ago, I made a circuit board that was a "video game". It was a bunch of 4017 decade counters and some logic chips. It produced a fixed falling pattern of "asteroids" on a 5x5 grid of LEDs. The goal was to dodge the incoming asteroids. Granted, the pattern was extremely repetitive (it repeated every 3 seconds!) and the ship could only move right. The soldering was shoddy, parts were messy and unaligned, and a general mess, but it worked. A miracle at the time!

I have been dabbling in Arduino since last march. I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do, whether I would just recreate what I did when I was 15 out of nostalgia or what. I just knew I wanted to recreate something in the spirit of my original game. I actually designed the custom case first in Illustrator and had ponoko.com laser cut it.

I went through some design iterations and came upon the final "one board" design with an arduino in an IC socket. All of the buttons, switches, LEDs, etc connect via JST connectors. My LED matrix is now 8x8 (what an upgrade!) I learned a lot about multiplexing and working with arduino in the process. It was a pain, however, to drill all those hundreds of holes.

There are some upgrades over the original "1997 high school freshmen" version:
  • An actual enclosure!
  • Ship can move left OR RIGHT! GASP!
  • 250% More LEDs!
  • Collision Detector and Ship Strength Indicator
  • Speed Control via potentiometer
  • Way cooler sound affects
  • Ship "blinks" and beeps when hit
  • Final score is displayed in binary
  • Speed level is displayed as number of "red ships" on end screen
  • Much more varied asteroid falling patterns
  • And more!

YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3XyU4MshiQ
Imgur Photos: http://imgur.com/a/R0lGO

Right now the "Fire" button doesn't do anything despite being electrically connected to pin 14 of arduino. I will be programming some effect for the button, hopefully. I am open to suggestions.

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