With the DIY Gamer Kit you will build your own handheld games console then learn how to program your own video games using Arduino and our custom software library.
The DIY Gamer kit is a great-looking, well-engineered object that would most importantly inspire people to learn. It has the classic gaming controls you would expect but has the bonus added features of a buzzer to allow you to add music to your projects and wireless infrared links to allow you to link up with other Gamers for multiplayer gaming. Yes that right you can battle your friends and enemies.
From a programming perspective we wanted to make is as accessible as possible so we created a custom software library to help people use the Gamer’s most common features and get people programming straight away. They can literally plug in, code and create from a very low entry level and slowly build up to higher levels of learning and exploration.
The DIY Gamer as 4 stages of learning Make / Play / Code / Invent to allow you build upon the skills learnt at each stage.
Build your now handheld games console that uses different inputs to control an 8×8 LED matrix screen. The DIY Gamer is made up of 40 separate parts that you solder together on your custom designed printed circuit board to make a complete console. Then using your included acrylic accessories, bolts, nuts and standoffs, attach the base plate to your Arduino Uno board and the front fascia around the screen to give it a bit of personality. Now add your battery and lanyard- your ready to play.
We wanted to reward your making by including 2 ready made games with the kit. So once your build is complete turn the gamer on and choose between the awesome breakout and classic snake. Now test the controls, explore how the gamer works and get playing.
The Gamer is all controlled using one of our favourite open source platforms Arduino. Arduino is a micro controller platform that has a fantastic support community and is a great way to learn how to code physical objects. The first thing you need to do is download the Arduino software – its free from their site, then take a look at our Intro to Arduino Video online(coming soon) find your extra LED included in the kit and introduce yourself to the wonderful world of Arduino.
Now that you have been introduced to the awesomeness that is Arduino you can now get to grips with the custom software library we have built for you. This will help you use the Gamer’s most common features and make it as easy as possible to get you programming straight away. Check out our how to video (coming soon) to start by creating a simple image, then add more frames to create an animation. Then using the library features, our library cheat sheet and your imagination start bringing in the different controls to create your own games. Now experiment, invent, play and share your creations.
We feel happy that we have designed a great kit aesthetically, educationally, and we think we have created a great experience for people to travel through. We hope this kit will encourage you and a whole host of people to make and create with technology.
DIY Gamer Resources to download:
DIY Gamer Manual – A step by step guide to soldering and building your DIY Gamer.
Arduino Cheat Sheet – A guide to help you understand all of the basic principles when programming with Arduino
DIY Gamer Software – A guide to help you draw your first image and create your first animation using our custom software.
DIY Gamer Library - A guide to help you understand all of the coding principles when using the DIY Gamer Arduino Library and the Pin Outs the Arduino uses.
DIY Gamer Alphabet – An A-Z Gamer alphabet for you to use in your games, images and animations. Code included.
DIY Gamer Arduino Library Download - Please make sure you regularly check for updates!!
1. Download zip file (bottom right of screen)
2. Rename folder Gamer – basically delete (-master)
3. Open documents>Arduino>Libraries and place the gamer folder into the libraries folder
4. Now open up Arduino. Go to File>Examples>Gamer. Here you will find code examples for you start playing and exploring with.
We have created 2 custom interfaces to make it as easy as possible for you to create images and animations for the DIY Gamer. Both the Image Painter and Animation Generator are written in the open source programming environment called Processing (processing.org). It works very similarly to Arduino! Please download it before trying the following 2 downloads.
Important note for OSX Mavericks users: By default OSX will not run the apps and alert you they are damaged.
You will need to enable apps downloaded from anywhere via System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General > Allow apps downloaded from: > Anywhere.
The other alternative is launch from command line (e.g. typing
in the Terminal app and hitting the Enter key)
DIY Gamer Community:
The amazing Tobi has made so many amazing games for the Gamer, check out his website to find read all about them!