Free DIY projects for open minded people
We are two makers from Germany who have always enjoyed video games, making electronic music, and all things computer. One day we came in touch with electronics parts and started to play around with them. Although we have a solid background in computer science, our knowledge in electronics is fairly basic. From then on, we built circuits with LEDs, buttons, switches, diodes, and transistors. It was instructive and good old fashioned fun, but we felt something was missing. This was when we learned about the Arduino micro controller, and a whole new world with new possibilities has opened.
While there are other micro controllers which are cheaper or certainly more professional, we like the Arduino for its ease of use, its accessibility and the many inspiring projects that are on the internet. The ecosystem around Arduino is large, and the community invites to participate. We spent countless hours watching YouTube videos featuring Arduino, among them cool musical applications, stunning persistence-of-vision projects, spatial cube-like LED installations, and simple games on 8 * 8 matrices of individually wired LEDs multiplexed by shift registers.
This and our interest in classic arcade games led us to think about our own video game system based on the Arduino. Can we build video games on the Arduino that are as much fun as the classic arcade games? We thought, yes. But we needed more pixels than what an 8 * 8 LED matrix would give us. We wanted multi-color and at least a 32 * 32 resolution. Designing a game that uses a measly 1024 dots is surely challenging. Wiring all necessary components would be a hell-of-a-job, definitely take us months. Not to mention the low level communication routines in software. Finally, we found a tailor-made 32 * 32 RGB LED matrix and a description of how to get it to work with Arduino. This matrix became the foundation for our main project, LEDmePlay. Besides this, you can find some additional projects on this page. Have fun!
Michael & Thomas