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Hand-held modern gaming for Arduino

In 2011, Gameduino brought vintage gaming to the Arduino.

This time it's personal. The Gameduino 2 turns your Arduino into a hand-held modern gaming system.  Touch control, a 3-axis accelerometer, microSD storage for game assets, headphone audio output, and all-new eye-popping graphics on its bright 4.3 inch screen.

Gameduino 2 is designed, tested, documented and the prototype is built. The videos were all taken from the real hardware - everything you see is running on an Arduino with the prototype. What needs to happen next is a manufacturing run. Your pledge gets you a Gameduino 2 from this first run.

The Gameduino 2's FT800 graphics engine is vastly more capable, and its OpenGL-style command set makes programming much easier. It can load JPEGs, supports alpha transparency, and has a full 32-bit color pipeline. There are examples and code on the project page at http://excamera.com/sphinx/gameduino2/.

The Gameduino 2 hardware and software is open-source (BSD license).

Music by Subdream.

PCB shown detached from the LCD
PCB shown detached from the LCD

The Graphics

The open-source GD library drives the onboard FT800 GPU. The GPU is a brand-new embedded video engine, with

  • 32-bit internal color precision
  • OpenGL-style command set
  • up to 2000 sprites - sprites can be any size
  • 256 KBytes of video RAM
  • smooth sprite rotate and zoom with bilinear filtering
  • smooth circle and line drawing in hardware - 16x antialiased
  • JPEG loading in hardware
  • built-in rendering of gradients, text, dials and buttons

The GPU runs the 4.3 inch 480x272 TFT touch panel screen at 60 Hz - for smooth animation and gameplay.

Genesis

Gameduino 2 is much more powerful than the original Gameduino. Besides the huge increase in graphics capability due to the new FT800 chip, it has

  • a much simpler OpenGL-like graphics system
  • built-in 3-axis accelerometer for tilt games and a resistive touch screen
  • amplified audio output through the headphone jack
  • a microSD slot on board for storage of game graphics, sound and maps
  • a level-shifter so it can work with both 3.3v and 5v Arduinos

Once I finished the design, I hand-built the prototype units. Here is the first one, wired up to an Arduino running the very first program:

Production

The same manufacturer who handled the original Gameduino is ready to make Gameduino 2.  We have a final design in place and they are all set to start the run as soon as we reach the target.  The manufacturer sources the components, fabricates and assembles the PCB, attaches the screen and tests the finished unit.  This process typically takes 5-6 weeks.

The Gameduino 2 book is a three-part introduction, reference and cookbook. The examples from the video are all featured in the book. It will be printed by Amazon CreateSpace.

Fulfillment

For international backers, we will airmail finished units direct from the manufacturer.  For US backers we will save a few days by using a courier to bring the bulk units into California, and then USPS Priority Mail, just as we did for the original Gameduino. Our local postmistress will be delighted again!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

This is a manufactured electronic product, and so there may be mishaps along the way. As with Gameduino, I will keep the manufacturing run on schedule and keep backers informed about the current status.

FAQ

  • Yes, it is included! The complete Gameduino 2unit -- the one I am holding -- in the video is the shield attached to the 4.3" TFT screen.

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  • Yes, it hooks up directly to SPI port on C13 on the Pi. And Raspberry Pi software support is done, so the GD library and samples/demos/games all run fine on the Pi.

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  • Yes, all backers get the book as a PDF download.

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  • Pledge $3 or more
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    33 backers

    Download all the project's digital media, and early access to the Gameduino 2 book

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $59 or more
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    372 backers

    Gameduino 2 from the production run - assembled, tested and shipped. Plug into your Arduino and it's game on

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    Add $14 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $91 or more
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    107 backers

    Gameduino 2, printed reference book, and an Arduino preloaded with the NightStrike game. Hand-held gaming in one neat package

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $401 or more
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    1 backer Limited (3 left of 4)

    All the above, plus your game idea in your hands. Supply the assets, describe gameplay, and I'll have a weekend hackathon to put it on your Gameduino 2

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  • Pledge $947 or more
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    1 backer All gone!

    SDcards for all. You get all of the above - and every Gameduino 2 gets a 4 GB microSD preloaded with open-source game goodness. Plus a message of your choice on everyone's microSD!

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (30 days)