Core S2 Software Solutions

Gameduino Demo Scene – ASCII art with an Arduino

Two months ago I used to live off-campus near Penn State’s main University Park campus. My apartment was full of art students, with myself being the only non-art student. I decided to combine my knowledge with my roommate’s experience to create a real-time demo project using an Arduino and Gameduino. In essence my goal was to make something similar to a demo (read more via Wikipedia) fulfilling the requirements of: a unique graphics output, all computed at real-time, using only the Arduino processor and the Gameduino VGA output of 400×300 pixels. This project was quite a challenge as I was using an Arduino Uno which comes with one ATmega328: 16Mhz embedded processor with 2KB ram and 32KB programming memory!

Here is my result, recorded via camera (sorry, I had no in-line recording system for a VGA cable) and uploaded to YouTube. The demo lasts just short of two minutes. The final code compiles to about 27218 Bytes (~26KB) and includes a dozen effects: plasma, nyan cats, fun spirals, 3D cubes, pseudo cellular automaton, and a Portal 2 reference.

Just to make things clear: this entire video was generated by an Arduino and Gameduino connected via VGA to a standard TV screen; nothing was precomputed or loaded upon run-time, everything you see is done real time. 

Here is the Arduino code as a zip; make sure you are using at least an Arduino UNO as any other older device might not have enough ram to execute the code (and will have odd timing effects).

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One Response to Gameduino Demo Scene – ASCII art with an Arduino

  1. Andy Piper says:

    Nice work… I wonder whether the Gameduino would work on the ChipKit boards (32-bit and faster than Arduino, but sorta compatible). I might have to check that out.

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