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Hardware Hacking Displays Open Source Games Build

Mario Reduced To 8x8 With Open Source and Arduino 94

Posted by timothy
from the demand-2-by-2 dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "The open-source Arduino electronics platform has received a ton of attention from the hardware enthusiast community. And one more follower is joining the fray — Mario himself. The mustachioed plumber of console video game fame has been converted into an eight-by-eight LED matrix by Carnegie Mellon University student Chloe Fan. However, the game isn't quite the Mario you know from your legacy Nintendo Entertainment System. For starters, it's just lights. While one often sees the game's LED-backed grid used in devices like the open-source Monome, where it can function as a push-button toggle for music beats and effects, Fan's version of Mario uses the grid as a display only. Mario — or rather, a one-light representation of the game's hero — is controlled NES-style through the use of two buttons. One button makes Mario move forward; the other makes him leap into the air."
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Mario Reduced To 8x8 With Open Source and Arduino

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  • by Nefarious Wheel (628136) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @11:16PM (#31477682) Journal
    There's a company called HACEDuino [littlegreenmartian.net] that makes Arduino kits if you're interested. Cheap, they sell them on Ebay out of Australia. Neat little kits, I have one myself.

    Disclosure: company belongs to a friend of mine, but I have no financial interest.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 14, 2010 @11:17PM (#31477686)
    His main site is down, all I can find is an article from Hack A Day. http://hackaday.com/2009/12/08/ledboy-super-pixel-brothers/ [hackaday.com] The last version I saw even had working Goomba and Bullet Bill style enemies.
  • by ircmaxell (1117387) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @11:43PM (#31477856) Homepage
    Don't forget, the Arduino is significantly more powerful than the original NES.

    Nes: 1.66 mhz, 2kb ram
    Arduino (ATMega 328): 16mhz, 32kb ram

    Not to mention that the Arduino contains a boot-loader...

    Sure, the DIY part is cool, but to say that this was a difficult feat isn't very accurate...

  • by kobaz (107760) on Monday March 15, 2010 @09:27AM (#31481046)

    From my pov, it went from "did not know it existed" to "why is everyone so excited" pretty much over night. I don't get it and would appreciate it if anyone told me why this particular bit of hardware hit home so hardly.

    Because when I was in EE classes in college it took weeks (probably faster for someone who knows what they were doing) to build up projects using ICs and little microcontrollers. The microcontrollers also had to be programmed with a UV eraser and reprogrammer, which required having a printout of the machine code in hex, and typing it all by hand into an eeprom programmer.

    Now with the Adruino, you get a USB interface to a very cool little chip that you can upload C code on to. There's also bunches of modules (shields) that you can link together to create your project. Ethernet modules, wireless modules, input device modules, output device modules (led/lcd screens). All these boards can work together in harmony... versus building all this stuff from scratch with the basic components. They are also quite cheap compared to what it would cost to build from scratch.

  • by bitrex (859228) on Monday March 15, 2010 @09:56AM (#31481368)
    The ATMega328 only has 2KB of RAM - the 32KB is its Flash storage which holds program data since the microcontroller is Harvard architecture. The NES had 2KB plus 2KB of video RAM, plus RAM for the sprites. Even with the ATMega's higher clock rate I think replicating the performance of the 6502 in a video game system with it would be a challenge.

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