A shield for Adafruit Feather boards that turns them into a tiny handheld game console.
What is it?
It’s an add-on board (a “shield” or a “FeatherWing”) for the Adafruit’s Feather family of development boards, which turns it into a tiny handheld game console. It has 6 buttons and a 4-color 8×8 pixels display. It comes with a library for CircuitPython for writing the games.
You will receive the board itself, the male pin headers, and the LED matrix. You will have to solder them all together yourself. To actually use it, you will also need an Adafruit Feather board capable of running CircuitPython, with matching headers, and optionally, a LiPO battery. You can get those from adafruit.com or their distributors.
Why did you make it?
I think that Adafruit’s CircuitPython boards are currently the easiest way to start with electronics — you just plug them into your computer, and edit the Python files on the USB drive that appears. They also come with a wide variety of add-ons, but there is nothing that lets you make a game console out of it. I think that writing your own games is a great way of learning to program, so I made this.
What makes it special?
I tried to make it as simple as possible, removing anything that stands between you and your games. The Feather boards have no operating system, no SD cards that you would need to flash, no drivers to install (unless you have a really old version of Windows), and no possibility of breaking, short of physically damaging them. This board adds the 6 buttons (4 directions and 2 fire buttons) and a very simple, low-resolution, 4-color display, and that’s it. You don’t have to worry about pretty graphics, because you will basically be using single pixels for your game objects. You don’t have to worry about sound, because there is none. All you need to think about is what your game is going to be and how to make it work.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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