Tag Archives: games

Music hack of the decade: Panflute Hero!

via Raspberry Pi

Jhonny Göransson was part of the team that made what’s simply the daftest and most wonderful music hack we’ve seen so far. The moment he tweeted about it last night, we knew we had to show it to you as soon as we could.

It’s called Panflute Hero.

Panflute Hero was the result of a weekend at Way Out West Hackathon 2013. It’s a very silly panpipe version of Guitar Hero, which doesn’t use a plastic guitar controller. Instead, it’s controlled by a hand-built, bamboo set of faux panpipes (which are built according to the Golden Mean), all equipped with Arduino sound sensors that detect blowing, and controlled by a Raspberry Pi sending “blow” events to a desktop over TCP. Simulated flute noises are emitted when a “blow” is sensed, and…well, see for yourself.

The game itself is built in Lua, and runs on a PC (no reason you couldn’t run a port on a Pi). There’s some considerable *cough* sophistication in there, with libspotify playing some of Spotify’s horrifyingly large library of panpipe choons, which are delicately gameified for your panpiping pleasure.

Instructions, code (Jhonny says: “In the spirit of hacking and hackathons, our code really blows (get it?). You can look at it in BitBucket and publicly shame us if you want. Please don’t.”), and some kick-ass panpipe cover versions of the greats are available on the project webpage. Let us know if you make your own; I can imagine the controllers getting mildly unhygienic after much shared use, but any party involving Panflute Hero is bound to be a blast. A gently tootling blast.

Triviabox: a DIY quiz show setup

via Raspberry Pi

Sandy Walsh thought it’d be cool to host a trivia night in his living room. Most of us would make do with paper, biros and shouting: but it’s from little ideas like this that splendidly grandiose Raspberry Pi projects are born. In this case, projects involving a shipment of Chinese bike handles and a very large amount of speaker wire.

Sandy wanted a physical, game-show setup, so he hacked together some switches and an old terminal block he had lying around (you will probably have to buy one) with speaker wire and a Pi Face interfacing board.

The Pi runs a GUI for the game on a TV, and also deals with inputs from button switches mounted on each handle, so players can buzz in with an answer. The GUI works in concert with a live Quizmaster, who asks questions and adjudicates answers. Here it is in action:

Sandy says he thinks there’s a lot of refinement that could be added: he’s keen to see people add patches to what he feels is a bit of a hack. You can check out the repository on GitHub. This isn’t a difficult build, and I’m considering getting one of our work experience students to build a similar setup for the demo table: any refinements you think we should add?

Limelight: who needs a Steam Machine when you have a Pi?

via Raspberry Pi

I don’t think there’s anyone here at Pi Towers who doesn’t use Steam for PC gaming, and we were all watching the various Steam Machines that got trotted out at this year’s CES with great interest. There was one $500 Steam Machine from iBuyPower which pleased and surprised us by appearing to have a Raspberry Pi jammed into the bottom of the case. (Word of God here is that they’re using it as a temporary measure while in development to control the LEDs around the edges of the box, but we like to imagine that they’re using if for other, super-seekrit stuff.)

The iBuyPower Steam Machine. Note rectilinear green thing.

And then, over the weekend, DaveSpice pointed me at this thread on the Raspberry Pi forums. It made me think of iBuyPower’s Steam Machine, only with all the bits that aren’t a Raspberry Pi removed.

What Dave had found was a discussion about something called Limelight, newly ported by one of irtimmer, one of our forum members. Limelight is an open-source Java client which allows you to stream games from your home PC (as long as you have an Nvidia GTX 600 or 700 Series graphics card and enough bandwidth on your home network) to the Raspberry Pi that’s attached to your television. (You do have a Raspberry Pi attached to your television, right?) And it’s not just Steam games: any content can be streamed. Right now, only mouse and keyboard are supported, but there’s work being done to support other controllers too. So now you can play PC content from the machine upstairs in the study on that great big flatscreen monolith in the corner of your living room, from the comfort of your own sofa.

In the first-impressions video below from leCauchemarXY on YouTube, the screen on the left is displaying content streamed by the Pi. You’ll notice that there is some lag: enough that I wouldn’t be totally happy playing certain FPS games against certain people (or some RTS games like Starcraft, especially if I was playing Pete S, who is terrifying in charge of Zerglings). Your network may vary.

So what you have here is (kinda sorta) a Raspberry Pi that’s acting as a $35 Steam Machine. We’re going to be experimenting with Limelight here at Pi Towers when we’re finished with January’s education conferences and workshops, seeing how it performs in Cambridge, streaming over a fast network from DaveSpice’s gaming PC back home in London. We’ll let you know how it goes.

Limelight is available to download from irtimmer’s GitHub, where you’ll also find complete instructions on installing and using it. Please tell us how you get on in the comments!

Cave Story

via Raspberry Pi

Dave “Davespice” Honess, one of our indefatigable forum mods (a crack team of men and women with darting eyes who never sleep, spending their downtime making sure our forums are a welcoming place for new users, and a really crappy place for people who want to spam or start flamewars), has been working on porting games to the Pi and bringing the community’s attention to games that others have ported. His most recent addition to the Pi Store is Cave Story, a side-scrolling freeware platformer with a distinctly retro look and feel.

I’d been chatting to Dave about why he’d chosen Cave Story to work on, and what he said was really worth sharing, so I asked him if he’d mind writing a few words for the blog about it. He said:

In my view Cave Story is one of those games that genuinely deserves to be played by everyone. Two main reasons. One is that it is, truly, a brilliant game and two is the amount of work that went into it. Daisuke Amaya (aka Pixel) made the entire game by himself. All the graphics, all the programming, he composed all the music, wrote the story and the dialogue for all the characters. The game is intentionally retro in honour of the games he played during his youth. You can easily see the influences of games like Metroid, Wonder Boy and Castlevania in there.

If you’ve never heard of this game before, you should play it. Don’t argue. Just trust me. It has some amazingly fun boss fights! The retro chiptune soundtrack is just wonderful. Personally I love how you can level up the weapons, they’re very satisfying when maxed out!

There is actually a third reason. If you’ve ever wanted to make computer games yourself then Cave Story shows what can be achieved by a single person. In my view a platform game offers a much better opportunity to think about how the code is working as opposed to these photo-realistic 3D shooters that are popular now. Everyone has to start somewhere and you won’t go far wrong if your first game is a platformer. So I hope some of you reading this will go and play Cave Story and draw some inspiration from it. Try to make a simple clone of it in Python using PyGame and you will learn a lot in the process. Amaya himself started by just writing the title screen and programming some basic character movements.

The game runs through a very light build of RetroArch that was especially compiled for Raspbian. It incorporates an improved version of Caitlin Shaw’s NXEngine as its core. The result is a smooth gaming experience with the Pi easily achieving 60 fps. We should all be grateful to Daisuke Amaya himself, Caitlin Shaw for NXEngine, Daniel De Matteis and Hans-Kristian Arntzen for RetroArch.

So there you are. Go and download it, and when you’ve spent a while playing, follow Dave’s advice and see how far you can get writing something of your own using PyGame, and tell us how you get on!

Blast off game

via Raspberry Pi

Here’s another little snippet of video from Mike Cook. This game is one of the projects you’ll be able to make with Raspberry Pi for Dummies (click the link to learn more), by Mike (hardware) and Sean McManus (everything else).

Watching this reminds me that I had a crush on Virgil Tracy when I was about six, despite the fact that he was made of balsa wood.

Abattoir! A topical Scratch game.

via Raspberry Pi

Martin O’Hanlon from Stuff About Code (you might recall Thursday’s post about his adventures in Minecraft) has written a Scratch game that made us laugh. Hard.

Wherever you are in the world, you’ve probably heard something about the recent horsemeat adulteration scandal in Europe, where cheap beef mince products like lasagna and frozen burgers turned out to be anything up to 100% horse. In Abattoir! you’ll be making sure that only delicious cow makes it into the mincer. Have a look at this video for some gameplay.

Get the code at Stuff About Code.


via Raspberry Pi

Readers of a certain age are in for a shot of delicious nostalgia today. Back in the dawn of time (i.e. the 1990s), many of us had our first taste of multiplayer gaming in text mode, playing things called MUDs, or Multi-User Dungeons. MUDs are where games like World of Warcraft and virtual worlds like Second Life have their roots – and they were enormous fun.

Duncan Jauncey wrote something called Alternate Universe MUD ten years ago, and he’s just ported it to the Pi.

If you want to relive some of the text-based fun you had back in the 90s, head over to Duncan’s website, where you’ll find some more information and installation instructions for your Pi.

OpenArena for Raspberry Pi

via Raspberry Pi

It’s really been interesting watching the Pi Store fill up with content. Today we approved OpenArena for the Raspberry Pi – if you played Quake III, OpenArena will be shockingly familiar. It’s a multiplayer first person shooter (FPS) based on Quake III, using a fork of the same game engine, and it’s free and open-source. Because there is blood and guns, we’ve marked the download with an adult content sticker.


OpenArena running on DaveSpice’s enviable Pi/Motorola Lapdock setup. Click to enlarge.

We know Quake and its derivatives are popular around here: one of the first videos we ever released of the Raspberry Pi, pre-release, in the summer of 2011, was a demo of Quake III running with all the visual settings turned up to maximum. It kind of surprised us by getting more than a million hits on YouTube.

The devs at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, the mods, and the guys at IndieCity are already talking about setting up some semiofficial tournaments – let us know if you’re interested!


Raspbian Chameleon remix

via Raspberry Pi

This is one for you retro gamers: a Raspbian remix from Carles Oriol that turns your Pi into a whole suitcase-full of emulated hardware, from the Spectrum to a MAME cabinet, via the Oric-1, Atari 2600, Apple II and lots of other stuff besides.

Carles Oriol popped up briefly on Twitter earlier in the week to post this video, then vanished before I was able to get him to point me at a disk image. Happily, I was able to track him down on our forums, and from there to the Chameleon web site. You’ll find a torrent of the image, instructions for adding more emulators to the menu, more video, some words on each of the emulators and a little readme. We absolutely love it: there’s an SD card on my desk with this remix on it, and it’s not getting overwritten any time soon. Thanks Carles!

FamiLAB Orlando and a SNES (Super Nintendo Emulated System)

via Raspberry Pi

FamiLAB is a hackspace in Orlando, Florida that Eben and I had a really great time visiting back in October. It’s hidden away in an industrial unit – it’s a big space, with its own commercial-sized CNC milling machine, 3d printers, laser cutters, an in-progress replica of the Bridge from Star Trek: TNG, some traffic lights, a cherry picker and a whole bunch of computers – broadly speaking, it’s pretty close to heaven. And it’s full of some great people, who use the space to get together, eat pizza, learn things (just this week their timetable include tutorials with the Pi, with Arduino, a microcontrollers show-and-tell session, a learn-to-solder session and an intro to Scratch), and make really, really cool stuff.

Ted from Familab has made a Raspberry Pi SNES hack with a difference. We see quite a few really nice little projects where an old console is gutted, a Pi stuffed inside, and the games run on the Pi. This is a bit different. It’s not just a casemod; it’s a Super Nintendo emulated on the original hardware; and it even reads (and stores the information from) old cartridges; it can write saves to them too!

This is not a project for beginners; its scale may be a little intimidating for those new to electronics. However, Ted’s documented what he did, from planning through research and construction, in minute detail, making this project easy to emulate once you are comfortable with a soldering iron.


Hamburg Maker Meeting 2012 and Arduino Due preview

via Arduino Blog

Hamburg Maker Meeting 2012, which took place last week and involved about 200 visitors and more than 20 exhibitors, has been a fantastic opportunity to meet and share experience regarding several topics, such as 3D printing, hacking, retro gaming and so on. At the Attraktor Makerspace, several projects have been presented and demonstrated by their inventors, among which we highlight a very nice Arduino-based floppy drive organ that has been employed to play the Tetris game theme.

Moreover, among the others events planned for the meeting, a special sneak-preview session allowed all the interested people to get some insights on the new Arduino Due board, released a couple of days ago.

A video of the event can be found here, while here you may find more pictures.

More information can be found on the homepage of the meeting.

[Via: Hamburg Maker Meeting website]