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A portable platform for developing your own video games. Take it anywhere, impress your friends! Uno/Mega/Esplora compatible. Read more

San Jose, CA Hardware
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This project's funding goal was not reached on May 28, 2014.

A portable platform for developing your own video games. Take it anywhere, impress your friends! Uno/Mega/Esplora compatible.

San Jose, CA Hardware
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About this project

Some screenshots from DuinoCube, taken with a video capture card.
Some screenshots from DuinoCube, taken with a video capture card.

DuinoCube makes it easy to start developing your games on DuinoCube using the Arduino editor. It features a powerful video and audio engine, SD card and USB support, and open-source customization.

With DuinoCube hardware on top, your Arduino becomes a retro gaming system with the capabilities of classic game systems like the SNES and Gameboy Advance. DuinoCube is highly portable so you can show your friends the games you've made.

DuinoCube prototyping is done. Now it is time for production with the support of the Kickstarter community. To keep costs down, I need a large volume of orders.

Technical Summary

  • Works with Arduino Uno, Mega, and Esplora. Arduino Due compatibility is a stretch goal.
  • 320x240 VGA graphics. Higher resolutions coming soon.
  • 256 independent objects (sprites).
  • 4 independent tiled layers.
  • 18-bit color in four palettes, each with 256 colors.
  • Hardware scrolling.
  • Hardware collision detection.
  • Stereo audio output.
  • MicroSD card file system.
  • USB gamepad support.

Links

Table of rewards

Stretch goals

$100,000 - Battery pack shield. Allows DuinoCube to run on batteries rather than with a USB cable. Add $7.

$150,000 - NTSC/PAL video adapter. Play DuinoCube on a TV. Add $15. This has been partially prototyped.

What makes a DuinoCube?

When you combine a GFX Shield and a UI Shield with an Arduino board, you get a DuinoCube. The UI Shield goes on top of the Arduino and the GFX Shield goes on top of the UI Shield.

GFX Shield + UI Shield + Arduino = DuinoCube!

The GFX Shield contains the audio and graphics engine running on a FPGA chip. There is only one GFX Shield:

GFX Shield
GFX Shield

The UI Shield contains the file system, extra memory, USB host (Uno/Mega only), and an on-board controller chip that saves you the trouble of programming for those components. The UI Shield comes in two versions:

  • UI Shield for Uno/Mega: SD card, extra RAM, USB host, controller chip:
UI Shield for Uno/Mega
UI Shield for Uno/Mega
  • UI Shield for Esplora: SD card, extra RAM, controller chip, Uno-style headers:
UI Shield for Esplora
UI Shield for Esplora

Example configurations

Arduino Uno + GFX Shield + UI Shield + USB gamepad
Arduino Uno + GFX Shield + UI Shield + USB gamepad

Want something more handheld?

Arduino Esplora + GFX Shield + UI Shield for Esplora
Arduino Esplora + GFX Shield + UI Shield for Esplora

If you're looking for something that doesn't require a monitor or TV: it works with a Gameduino 2.

Arduino Esplora + UI Shield + Gameduino
Arduino Esplora + UI Shield + Gameduino

Check out some more DuinoCube shield combinations.

Detailed Diagrams

DuinoCube block diagram
DuinoCube block diagram
GFX Shield detail
GFX Shield detail
UI Shield for Uno/Mega detail
UI Shield for Uno/Mega detail
UI Shield for Esplora detail (please excuse the roughness, this is not the final revision).
UI Shield for Esplora detail (please excuse the roughness, this is not the final revision).

Other uses for DuinoCube shields 

  • The UI Shields can be used as a generic file system, or as a USB host controller for the Arduino Uno/Mega version.
  • The GFX Shield can be used as a generic FPGA shield. Just reprogram the FPGA with an Altera USB Blaster cable.

Risks and challenges

I have late-stage prototypes for DuinoCube. Most of the challenge will be in producing them. This is my first attempt at a mass production order of hardware. To avoid beginner's mistakes, I am following the recommendations of the creator of Gameduino 2 in planning my production.

I have contacted SeeedStudio to manufacture the production run. They are a reputable electronics company that should get the job done. But, if things fall through with Seeed, I have some backup manufacturers.

The stretch goals are either undeveloped or in the early prototype stage. They are not as far along as my main prototypes.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    $1 reward

    9 backers

    Token of Support. Receive project updates by email. If something cool comes along later, you can upgrade to a higher reward tier.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $25 reward

    0 backers Limited (2000 left of 2000)

    DuinoCube UI Shield for Arduino Esplora. Has microSD slot, coprocessor, extra RAM, controller chip for it all. Compatible with Gameduino 1 & 2. Can be used as a general adapter board for Esplora (has Uno-style headers).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $70 reward

    0 backers Limited (1000 left of 1000)

    GFX Shield + UI Shield for Arduino Esplora. Use it to assemble a DuinoCube using an Esplora (not included).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $80 reward

    3 backers Limited (997 left of 1000)

    RECOMMENDED REWARD LEVEL: GFX Shield + UI Shield for Arduino Uno/Mega. Use it to assemble a DuinoCube using Arduino Uno or Mega (not included).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $110 reward

    10 backers Limited (290 left of 300)

    GFX Shield + UI Shield + Arduino Mega + USB gamepad. A full DuinoCube system based on Arduino Mega.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $120 reward

    3 backers Limited (297 left of 300)

    GFX Shield + UI Shield + Arduino Esplora. A full DuinoCube system based on Esplora.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $140 reward

    1 backer Limited (299 left of 300)

    2 GFX Shields + UI Shield for Uno + UI Shield for Esplora. Lets you build one system for Uno/Mega/Due and one system for Esplora.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (30 days)