Tag Archives: gaming

Rewind: 30 projects from 2015 that gamers will love

A look at some gaming-inspired projects that caught our attention over the last 12 months. 


A credit card-sized device that allows you to play, program and share 8-bit games.


A shrunken-down cabinet that lets you relive the golden age of arcade games.

8-Person NES

A system that transforms 8-bit side-scrolling games into a totally immersive multi-player experience.

Tetris MicroCard


An ATmega32U4-powered gadget that puts Tetris right in your wallet.



A hardware anti-cheat solution for online gaming.

MAME Game Machine

A game machine driven by a Cosino Mega 2560 (running the AdvanceMAME) with a 7″ LCD display and an Xbox-compatible joystick.

Grand Theft Auto iPhone App

An Arduino Leonardo, an Ethernet shield and a PC enables your iPhone to be used as a GTA controller.

Auto-Leveling Destiny Robot

A robotic mechanism comprised of a servo motor, an Xbox controller and an Arduino Uno that allows you to level up in Destiny without even lifting a finger.


A creative way to play classic video games on your TV from an overclocked Arduino Pro Mini.


A glove that lets you sense and interact with virtual objects onscreen and in your VR headset.

KADE miniConsole+

An open source gadget that allows you to play all old-school games with their original controllers.


An Arduino-driven band designed to make it feel as though you’re hitting and being struck in VR games.

Bedroom Cockpit

A full-scale Cessna 172 cockpit simulator, complete with everything from pedals that control actual airplane rudders and brakes, to a steering yoke, to an Oculus Rift running Lockheed Martin’s Prepar3D software.

Scrapyard Simulator

An actual dashboard for a truck simulator.

Dashboard Simulator

A real dashboard for your car simulator.

Arduino Game Boy

A super-sized Arduboy.

Tetris on an ARM Cortex-M4 MCU


A game of Tetris on an Atmel | SMART SAM4S MCU.


An Arduino-programmable keychain game.

Super Hexagon

An Arduino Nano attached to a fan blade displays Super Hexagon in a more “circular” format.

Claw Machine

A DIY claw machine that’s faster, fairer and more controllable than anything found in yesterday’s arcades.

Storefront Pong

An interactive storefront game played on a giant 6 x 8 pixel grid display comprised of 18.5” bulbs illuminated by ultra-bright NeoPixel rings.


A fully-interactive bike trainer specifically designed to deliver engaging fitness sessions through VR headsets and external screens.

Doorstop Game

A one-dimensional dungeon crawler game that uses a doorstop spring as its controller and an LED strip as its display.


A motion control ring that enables you to play games and control apps with simple gestures.

Pico Cassettes

An old-school gaming cartridge for your smartphone.

TeleBall BreakOut

A retro-style handheld gaming device.

DIY Game Boy

A portable, 3D-printed console embedded with a Raspberry Pi and Teensy 2.0.

Barebones Console

An extremely low-cost, minimalist gaming console that will take you back to a much blockier 8-bit era.

Arcade-Style Puzzle Box

A vintage, arcade-style puzzle box that resembles the ubiquitous wooden audio equipment of the ‘70s.

UFO Escape Keychain Game

A game of UFO Escape on your keychain? Sure, why not?


An 8-bit instant photo camera masquerading as a toy gun, which consists of an old Game Boy, a camera, a thermal printer and an Arduino.

Modder creates an iPhone app that controls his GTA V in-game phone

The combination of an Arduino Leonardo, an Ethernet shield and a PC lets Maker use his iPhone as a game controller.

Throughout the years, Grand Theft Auto has captured the hearts of numerous fans, and as technology evolves just as fast as the cars within the games, the possibilities are truly endless — as one Reddit user by the name of “planetleak” has demonstrated with his recent mod.


In its latest version of the action-packed, crime-ridden game, developer Rockstar Games has provided a truly immersive world for players to explore, along with a couple of companion mobile apps that range from custom rides to interactive maps. However, one Maker wasn’t entirely satisfied and decided to rig one of his own by recreating GTA V’s in-game app on an iPhone using Xcode. This enabled him to view and scroll trough character’s cellphone messages, glance at game objectives and even change camera modes.

Planetleak’s video description, though brief, explains how he was able to accomplish this feat. Simply stated, an Arduino Leonardo (ATmega32U4) and an Ethernet shield are connected to a computer running the PC version of the game. The inputs on the iPhone send a URL to an Arduino webserver, which relays the inputs into the game via keybinding macros. As the modder notes, the Arduino needs to be synced up to the PC in order to emulate a keyboard and work in unison with the in-game mobile phone.

“Later I can share the Xcode and Android code, but without a dev account (or a friend with dev account), I cannot upload to your phone,” Planetleak writes. “This way what I’m using, based on an Ethernet shield, and you can see, little slow the communication. Maybe better if i change to BLE from Ethernet.”

As impressive as the project may be, whipping out a smartphone and using it to control a characters phone isn’t that practical while playing. After all, It’s much easier to just use a keyboard or controller. Nevertheless, you’ll want to check out the Maker’s incredibly cool DIY app in action below!

Destiny player builds an auto-leveling robot with Arduino

Games like Destiny can take up a lot of time if you want to level multiple characters. Or, you can let a robot do it for you.

Like with a number of video games, playing Destiny can be time consuming, particularly for those looking to level up multiple characters. And though we’ve seen several projects out there that encourage a healthier lifestyle while gaming, one Maker has done the complete opposite: designing a contraption that doesn’t require physically playing the game at all. In an attempt to create the “slowest, laziest way to level up to 20 without having to lift a finger,” Yavin Four has developed an automated mechanism using a servo motor, an Xbox controller and an Arduino Uno (ATmega328).


The project, which first appeared on Reddit, may not be the most complex robot, but does allow Four to open up an early Ocean of Storms level on the moon and let the game run while headed out for class, work or to grab a bite to eat. As Kotaku notes, the robot will rush enemies all by itself, reload the checkpoints and enable the character do it all over again. The Maker can then come back whenever he pleased, regain control and reap the experience rewards.

“Woke up this morning to a brand new 20,” Four wrote on Reddit. “Had about 3,600 kills, and 900 deaths, and like 50 green engrams. I started at level 16.5 yesterday afternoon, and reached 20 sometime while I was asleep. With the armor I had waiting for him he is now a 26.”

Intrigued by this ATmega328 based, auto-leveling bot? You can find the Maker’s entire build here.

LyteShot wants to take mobile games out into the real world 

Finally, a new mobile gaming system that requires more than just your thumb. 

When it comes to gaming, Mark Ladd and Tom Ketola envisioned something entirely different than just sitting on a couch or inside a dorm room. The Maker duo, who together lead the team behind LyteShot, have developed a reality gaming alternative that converges modern-day technology with old-school outdoor fun.


The ATmega328P based platform is comprised of a wireless device and sensor that essentially acts in laser tag-like fashion. Both the Lyter and LytePuck, respectively, are equipped with IR transmitters/receivers, Bluetooth Low Energy, accelerometer, HUD navigation controls, along with vibration motors and LEDs to show in-game data. The handheld gadget is customizable with a series of peripherals that enable a player to transform it into a gun, wand, staff, sword, bow or just about anything else through 3D printing, making it ideal for a wide-range of role-playing and first-person shooter games, interactive capture the flag, scavenger hunts, and adventures with complex story-lines.

“Asking if LyteShot is different than laser tag is a lot like asking if Xbox is different than Halo. LyteShot is a platform, first and foremost, and one that supports a wide range of games. The LyteShot platform can not only support a game of laser tag (easy!) but also provide for the creation of an entire library of live-action games from thrilling spy games to tower-defense games, and from Alternate Reality Games (ARG) games to fantasy RPGs,” Ladd writes.

How it works is relatively simple. The Lyter and LytePuck sensor connect with your mobile device to transmit game data to other players via the cloud. Point the device at another player/object and click the trigger. For instance, if the person wearing one of the sensors is “hit,” the blow will be registered in the point system for whatever game is being played. Once the LytePuck receives a command, it reacts by lighting up or vibrating, alerting the player who is sporting the LytePuck to the in-game response. This command is then sent instantaneously through the cloud to all the participants’ mobile devices, alerting everyone with up-to-date, real-time information and messages.


“For gamers of all kinds, LyteShot provides cloud-based wireless technology that enables instant shared data. Players can use real-time tracking of game logistics, leaderboards, hit detection, geo-tracking, quest completion, in-game communication, and more to provide an immersive and socially driven experience. Gamers will no longer need a referee or gamemaster to play. LyteShot digitally tracks all game stats, enforces all boundaries, guides the storyline and more – instantaneously.”

LyteShot is in the process of making a number of games available on its open platform. Among them are Assassin (a live-action game where participants aim to eliminate each other), Besieged (a medieval fantasy digital territory capture game), and Invasion (a game played against the computer in which players “battle a swarm of viruses taking over the planet”).

Using its open-source SDK, Makers and developers alike have the unique ability to create the next generation of augmented reality gaming, including a heads-up display app. In fact, LyteShot is already working with Epson to integrate the system with its Moverio BT-200 smart glasses. Through LyteShot’s Arduino (ATmega328P) powered hardware platform, there are endless possibilities of what can be created, ranging from virtual grenades to claymores to the use of drones. In the near future, the team even plans to launch a marketplace where users can share their gadgets and code.


Are you ready to put those thumbs to rest and take mobile gaming outside? If so, hurry on over to the team’s Kickstarter page, where they are currently seeking $168,534.

Paying homage to the “Father of Video Games” Maker style

Sadly, the “Father of Video Games” has passed away at the age of 92. Ralph Baer was a prolific inventor who earned more than 150 patents in his lifetime, in addition to having created the precursor to both Pong and the electronic memory game Simon. The true pioneer went on to develop the Magnavox Odyssey in 1972. Credited as the the first home gaming console, the Odyssey was battery powered, and featured a controller with two knobs to move horizontally and vertically.


A Maker in every sense of the word, the Father of Video Games’ legacy has surely inspired countless others to pursue their ideas. In fact, we have decided to pay tribute to Baer by compiling some of our favorite video game-inspired DIY projects…

Turning a storefront into a arcade game


Competing in the world’s largest online Mastermind game


Saying goodbye to thumb cramps on 3DS


Playing Tetris on your t-shirt


Modding a speech-controlled Game Boy Advance


Retro gaming with the Magpi


Configuring an 8x8x8 LED cube as a Space Invaders game


Recreating the retro game of Pong


Playing Tekken on a piano


Devising a dead-icated Splatterhouse arcade game


Gaming it up on Gameduino 2


Drawing actual blood every time your character bleeds


Hacking 8-bit chiptunes with this DIY instrument


Playing Doom on a hacked printer


Turning your Moto 360 into a classic 007 smartwatch


Reliving the days of 8-bit gaming with Uzebox


Wearing Tetris on your wrist


Making your own credit-card sized gaming console


Ralph, you will certainly be missed!


A Deep Dive Into the Unique Challenge Authentication Model

By: Nelson Lunsford

Let’s take a closer look at the unique challenge authentication model, using an Atmel CryptoAuthentication IC, for protecting your design’s intellectual property (IP). At its most basic, the Atmel ATSHA204 CryptoAuthentication IC receives a challenge from a host system and a response is sent back to that host system. That challenge is combined with a secret key stored in the secure memory of the ATSHA204 using the MAC command. Then, the result or response is sent back to the host system. If the response is correct as determined by the host system, then the operation can proceed. What if a malicious entity (a hacker) had been monitoring the bus where the host and the client are exchanging the challenge and the subsequent response? If the challenge was the same value, then the response would be the same every time and the hacker would know that response without ever knowing the embedded secret in the ATSHA204 device. This would enable the use of a knock off product even when a company took steps to prevent it.

One simple solution to this specific problem would be to prevent the hacker from having prior knowledge of what the response is. If the challenge was different every time it is sent to the ATSHA204 IC, then the response would be different every time. A unique challenge does exactly that. Even if the hacker has a list of challenges and associated responses, they will not have the correct response or it will take too long to find it in a pre-compiled list.  A unique challenge is a perfect method for defending a system against replay-style attacks. If you are using a hardware security device on the host side, you would use the random number generator (RNG) within the hardware to generate the challenge, thus making the response completely random. However, many embedded systems do not have a high-quality RNG. An alternative to an RNG would be simply to use the date and the time of day combined. If a time of day is not available in the system, then a counter could be used. A counter with the combination of the serial number of the client device can be used. A counter does not have to increment by ‘1’; some multiplier function could be used instead.

Random Challenge / Response Authentication in Plain English

By: Gunter Fuchs

Working deep down in the guts (bits and bytes) of a computer, it becomes hard to explain concepts, once the electronic world has taken them over. I wondered about a simple way to explain authentication without referring to the world of computers, so that someone who isn’t savvy with technology can readily understand it.  Well, there is an authentication scenario in one’s modern day-to-day affairs that does not involve any computer (except if you consider the human brain to be one). This scenario is plain and simple: putting a signature on a piece of paper.

How can we describe a signing process in system security terms for authentication? Specifically, what has putting one’s signature on a contract or bill to do with “challenge / response authentication”? The analogy is quite simple. The challenge is the request by – say – the cashier to sign the bill. The response is your signature. That way, you prove that you are the person who owns the credit card. The cashier authenticates your signature by comparing it with the one on your credit card. In computer security terms, that means that the host (cashier) compares a stored response (your signature on the credit card) with the actual response (your signature on the bill). If the host (cashier) comes to the conclusion that both signatures are equal, it accepts the generator of the response as being authentic.

This scenario is quite insecure because someone can easily forge a signature. The reason in cryptographic terms is because this system can generate only one challenge / response pair. An adversary knows what the challenge will be, and if she has seen / copied the response (signature) only once, she can, after some practice, reproduce it relatively fast and easily. A way to improve the security in such a system is to increase the number of possible challenge / response pairs. An example in the online world is a list of question / answer pairs. Sometimes when you log in, a question pops up asking the name of your favorite pet, teacher, or band. Only you and the online host know the correct answer. Such a list increases the security of a system, but since this list is usually short, finding out the few answers by eaves-dropping is not a huge obstacle for an adversary. The advantage of such a short list of challenge / response pairs is that a human brain can manage it. But in a system where only computers play with each other, we can introduce much bigger lists. They are nowadays pairs  as big as 2^32. In such a system, with a huge number of challenge / response pairs, the host chooses one randomly. An adversary would now have to replicate this huge table, and once it has done that, search through this table for the challenge to find the correct response. Well, you could argue, why not? And how can an authentic client find the correct response in a feasible time? This issue is solved by introducing a cryptographic algorithm and a key into the system. By using a key and an algorithm, tables of challenge / response pairs don’t have to be generated and stored, but a host only has to generate a random number to “choose” a challenge. When the client receives this random number as a challenge, it combines it with a key using a cryptographic algorithm and sends the result back to the host (response). (The cryptographic algorithm “hides” the key so that an adversary cannot extract it from the response.) The host now performs the same calculation using the same key and compares the received response with its calculated one. If the two match—voila!—the host finds the client to be authentic.

With a system that incorporates the process of random challenge / response authentication, an adversary would have to monitor many, many (depending on the biggest number – “number space” – used in this system) authentication sequences between host and client and store them in a table. And after that, it would have to find the challenge in this table to come up with the correct response if it wants to pretend to be the authentic client. Finding it would practically take eternities, “would be infeasible” in cryptographic terms. The quality of the randomness of the random number is important, because the better the quality of the random number generator the less an adversary can predict the next challenge. If an adversary could predict the next challenge, he could search his table in advance.

random challenge response, cryptographic algorithm

random challenge response, cryptographic algorithm