Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Colorize - Electronic game in an afternoon

I attended an afternoon session at my uni called Electronics Crash Course. The session started with a generic step-by-step guide on how to blink an LED with a Teensyduino followed by 4.5 hours of ten work on an electronics game using basic components. The games were then presented to and tested by other students. Our team was one of six and had three members.

During this exercise we had to utilize:
- Programming with Arduino IDE
- Soldering and developing with electronics (Teensyduino)
- Prototyping (concept, design, build, test..)
- Time management

Concept and schedule

Having done PD6 exercises I had a realistic idea of what we could be able to establish during the time we had. Luckily I came up with the initial idea in a moment and we went with it so no time was spent on brainstorming.

The goal of our game is to match an led's color to another led thats color is randomized. The matching is done by adjusting the red, green and blue channels of the led that are driven with PWM. After the color is matched an indicating sound is played and a new color generated.

We had good ideas on how to improve the game throughout the process. Score calculation and timed rounds were the most likely ones to be implemented using 7-segment displays. However we valued the idea of a finished and functioning prototype more than an unfinished cluster of electronics that was too complicated to finish in time.


We proceeded effectively step by step. First generating the code and testing it to a point where we knew it would work as one of our team members hunted for all the components we would need. We also agreed on physical size and UI layout. After this we created a simple enclosure with plywood and coated it with vinyl as we had no time to paint it. Again ideas of additional features were flying back and forth, but we stayed in our plan; only after finishing the initial working prototype would we add more functionalities.

Assembly and soldering took a good portion of time in the end and at finish we only had about ten minutes remaining, which we used to decorate the project. This was with a careful time frame and expecting little setbacks, which we luckily did not experience.


Before the exhibition we had some time to test the game further ourselves and even collect some feedback from others. People seemed to like the game and only change we done was to swap places with the less for a more intuitive experience. After the exhibition all the games were free to test and a favorite was voted. This for my surprise was our team. Other teams showed good effort and ad created fun games as well.


This was a fun project from which I think we all learned. Being already acquainted with electronics I found the most rewarding our successful use of time. Also showing other team members what can be done with an Arduino in a short period of time was fun as I took the time to go through the basics and create an easily understandable code.

Our project doesn't end here as we plan to develop it further and leave it in public for people to use. We would also like to gather feedback and ideas from users that we could learn from and apply to later projects.

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