Build a Wireless Arcade game!

This fun project comes to us via Induo

Many of us have a very special relationship to the old arcade games, successors to pinball games and relics from the era when portable monitors were not invented. At that time you had to physically go to an arcade game to enjoy a game in front of a screen. We at Induo are not only fans of this old school technology, we also like combining current and future technologies, and from these values the idea to build an old-fashioned game with modern technology under the hood was born.
A thought that immediately struck us was, what if we can make the game wireless? We know communication, precise and reliable communication that again and again transmits control signals for example. Wireless in an proprietary radio network can work almost in real time, moreover, it is reliable. Of course, the game must work wirelessly.

All games need a brain and so even our retro game. We chose to base it on the minicomputer Raspberry Pi that makes it possible to select from a wide variety of 8-bit games. In just our game, we have chosen to put a version of Space Invaders in the Raspberry computer, a game that is programmed in Scratch , a programming language that makes it easy to customize the game to suit our application with other graphics and more, plus it’s fun to be able to change the programming of the game, we deleted the possibility to choose difficulty level and changed the controls that control the game, just to give some examples. And the Raspberry is perhaps the first of its kind with a DIN rail-mount for an industrial application.

The Internet is full of drawings on the cabinet for these games, we decided to produce our own construction in plywood, wood glue and screws. We ordered all the parts sawn from timber yard, which saved us a lot of construction time. The cost was about 90 USD for all wood in the cabinet which then was cut into its final design with a jigsaw. It actually went pretty quick to get a good result because and the cabinet was then painted with a few layers matte black paint and then screwed together piece by piece.

If you want to make your own game, you can put down both more money and love than we did on our materials as plywood is a slightly uneven surface.

SATEL-LP for signal transmission There coin slot was replaced by a money saving wireless link, SATEL-LP is a reliable link for wireless transmission of control signals and I/O. The radio transmits now all the wireless signals in almost real time and, as a bonus, each time a shot is fired a blue flash is seen around the radio modems. The receiving radio is mounted inside the cabinet and is normally not visible to anyone watching the game.

The construction period for this project including procurement of components and customisation is nothing that is solved in an hour or two, we recommend that you spend at least 2-3 days depending on how handy you are to solve this project and how far you want to go in your design. Much of the time we put down was to get to a game that hopefully are to be shipped around to fairs and events. If you take the chance to build something like this so we can guarantee a unique game and also new knowledge about electronics and programming.

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