Are you ready to fly? In this project, we’ll build a wearable game controller for a one-button game. What can you do with one button? Play Flappy Bird, of course! Our game controller is built into a hoodie. Flap your wings (arms) like a bird to make your in-game bird soar!
While the original game is no longer available as a mobile app, you can find several Flappy Bird emulators built by fans with the free online programming language, Scratch. The game is played by tapping a button, the SPACE bar, to keep your bird in the air. Each tap gives your bird a boost, like a flap of its wings. The goal is to tap at the right time to guide your bird through as many gates as possible. But why tap when you can flap?
We can turn our flaps into taps by using the HID capability of an Adafruit Circuit Playground Express (CPX). HID stands for Human Interface Device, and it means that the CPX can act like a keyboard or mouse for your computer. We’ll program the Circuit Playground Express to send a SPACE bar press to the computer every time it detects an arm flap.
The project in this tutorial is programmed in Microsoft MakeCode – the easy to use block-based language (although if you’re comfortable with CircuitPython, that is an alternative not reviewed in the tutorial).
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, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, 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.