Space Invaders on the Ceiling, and the Rise of Arcade Games

As soon as Geva, Timo, and Douglas came to Cloudhouse from MFS for a week, the spirit of making cool stuff was activated and a flurry of creation begun. The place was buzzing with activity and that made it seem so alive and happy that it got everyone making. Douglas started on his elaborate Rube Goldberg Machine, Timo coded games in BASIC, and Geva and I poured our  hours into an almost-bottomless pit of a project. We intended to cover the ceiling in a grid of RGB LEDs (LEDs that can light up almost any color).

3 days, 240 soldering joints, 320 wires stripped, 40 wires cut, 170 staples, 2 trips to the hardware store, 1 taken-apart PC, and 282 lines of code later, we had this:

This is a game of Space Invaders, played on a 4×10 pixel, 8×24 foot, full color screen, on the ceiling. More programs are to come, in the making is one that fades between different colors and shades, creating an ambient glow in the whole space.

Another interesting thing about the screen is how each pixel is really 3 LEDs in a row, so that the pixel your ship is in is actually 2 different colors.

On the topic of old video games, I recently enlisted Geva’s help to get MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) running on my computer, started dabbling in some classic games that my dad played when he was a kid like Marble Madness and Qix. Here’s a video of me playing Defender:

Post Script: I will now be posting a post every Thursday, starting after Christmas Break (I hope).

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