Tag Archives: games

Improving Tabletop Pong

Tabletop Pong-- Updated - 04

This weekend we brought our updated Tabletop Pong game to Maker Faire, where it survived two hard days of play by hundreds and hundreds of attendees. We were amazed by the reactions to it– particularly that such young and old people alike enjoyed playing it so much.

Of course, our first version back in January was a bit more iffy, and might not have survived a couple of hours at the fair. Here, we discuss the upgrades in some detail, complete with video and– now that it is working well –design files.
Continue reading Improving Tabletop Pong

DIY Fever: Heading to Maker Faire

It’s a busy week at the labs here. We’re getting ready for Maker Faire this weekend in San Mateo, CA– the biggest, baddest, and most awesomest DIY festival of the year.

We’ll be showcasing an updated version of our mechanical Pong game. We’ve added a curved playing field, new user-friendly knobs, and a host of other improvements that we’ll plan to write about at a later date. We hope you’ll come by and try it out–we’ll be on the west side of the Expo hall.

Tabletop Pong - 92
Some of the other projects that we’ve taken to Maker Faire in the last few years include our Interactive LED Dining Table, CandyFab, Bristlebots, Interactive LED Coffee Table, Peggy 2, and Meggy Jr RGB.

We’re also participating in the Open Source Hardware Panel, on Saturday at 1 pm at the Innovation Stage at the south end of the Expo Hall.

Eggbot kit - preview 1

We’ll have much more to say about this later, but we’re thrilled to announce our new collaboration with Bruce Shapiro, Ben Trombley, and Brian Schmalz. While we’re demonstrating the Tabletop-Pong game, Bruce and friends will be giving a sneak peek at the results of our collaboration: a fantastic new version of the Eggbot kit, which we are preparing for release as an open source kit sometime this summer.

Eggbot kit - preview 2

You can sign up here for more info about the kit, and you can try out the Eggbots– or just see them in action –in the center of the Expo Hall.

Lastly, to help get everyone else in the DIY mood, we’re having a DIY Fever sale over at the store, with 20% off of Evil Mad Science open-source kit favorites such as the Larson Scanner, Meggy Jr RGB and the Bulbdial Clock, and 10% off of everything else!

Happy hacking, and we’ll hope to see you all at the Faire!

Revenge of the Cherry Tomatoes


Revenge of the Cherry Tomatoes is a new game for the Meggy Jr RGB, our open-source 64-pixel video game kit.

“Revenge” is a written-from-scratch sequel to Attack of the Cherry Tomatoes, the built-in game on Meggy Jr. It was written by Chris Brookfield, who discusses the game and shows off its features in our video:

Revenge is available as one of the example programs in version 1.4 of the Meggy Jr RGB library for the Arduino development environment. You can download it at the Google code site for Meggy Jr.

Upcoming events: RoboGames and Maker Faire

Hey Guys!

Neat-o stuff to do in the San Francisco bay area:

Next weekend, go to RoboGames, Fri-Sun, Apr 23-25, 2010 at the San Mateo Fairgrounds. It’s the worlds largest robot competition, featuring combat robots, humanoid robots, art bots, soccer bots, sumo bots, and more. We’ll be there as exhibitors, with kits from our web store and other goodies like pager motors for making BristleBots!

In May, we’ll be heading back to the San Mateo Fairgrounds for the Bay Area Maker Faire 2010— our favorite event of the year. It’s the world’s biggest DIY festival, and well, there’s just too much to describe. You have to see it for yourself. We’ll be there showing off one of this year’s Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories blog projects, the Playable game of Tabletop Pong— you can come by and try it out.

Hope to see you there!

A playable game of Tabletop Pong

Tabletop Pong - 92
Question: What the heck is PONG supposed to be?

When you’re playing it, it feels like the video game representation of some real-life sport. You’re bouncing a ball back and forth with another player, which at first glance sounds a lot like like table tennis, AKA ping pong– and that would seem to explain the name. And yet, PONG is two-dimensional and free of gravity. The ball goes in a straight line, at a fairly constant rate of travel. And you don’t play ping pong by rotating a wheel. Come to think of it, it’s not a darned thing like ping pong. So what the heck is it?

To answer this important question, we built this real-life Tabletop Pong game.
Continue reading A playable game of Tabletop Pong

More Tennis for Two

Tennis for Two-Romain1

Romain saw our post on our Tennis for Two project and decided he wanted to make his own. He ordered a preprogrammed microcontroller from us and got to work. Once he was done, he was kind enough to share build photos and circuit diagrams with us.

Tennis for Two-Romain2

Since he was starting with a bare CRT rather than a full scope, he built a wood and plexiglass enclosure which shows off the electronics very nicely.

Time exposure

We’re glad to see really retro gaming getting the attention it deserves!

Continue reading More Tennis for Two

RoboGames Awards

RoboGames Awards (on)

We’ve been helping out RoboGames with getting the award designs ready for next weekend. We just got the final prototypes done and handed over for production and we’re loving how they turned out! The awesome official artwork by Doctor Popular (below) features prominently on the medals, lit by throwie-style LEDs hidden between layers of acrylic. You want one of these around your neck, don’t you?

The event runs Friday-Sunday, June 12-14 at Fort Mason in San Francisco. Get your tickets now!

We’ll be bringing CandyFab to show off and lots of kits and pretty LEDs for sale. We hope to see lots of you there next weekend!

Maker Faire Austin Pictures

lovely sign for the show barn

We had a wonderful time at Maker Faire Austin. I’ve put some pictures and videos up in this flickr set for your enjoyment.

Electrified Monopoly   Maker Faire Austin

Our neighbors at Maker Faire were Kris and Carly who were doing very fun things with LEDs, like making Monopoly more fun by lighting up when you land on certain squares. The no-solder wiring system was very clever, and the flashing blue and red lights in jail were perfect.

Maker Faire Austin   It's the gnomes that make it perfect

This cute little robotics platform stopped by for a visit, but in order to see most of the rest of the faire we had to pry ourselves away from our table, which was tough. There was a nice collection of art cars, including this Chia Car. Maker Faire is wonderfully overwhelming, and we didn’t take very many pictures. Luckily, many other people took pictures too, and you can check lots of them out on flickr.