Picture of Interactive virtual games for kids' birthday parties
Ever looked at a Wii or Xbox game and thought 'I wish I could make a game that my kids would want to play'.  Well, this instructable will show you how.  We'll begin with the game concept before moving on to game design, hardware and firmware development.  Then we'll cover the software development and finally a clip of the final product.  So jump in and make something fun!

Step 1: Step 1. What's our Concept? Part A

My son Ben was about to turn 5 years old, and interested in anything space.  He REALLY wanted to be an astronaut.  So my wife and I decided that we'd have an astronaut birthday party.  We modified fed-ex boxes to become astronaut backpacks, complete with 2 liter bottle air tanks and utility belts, built a rocketship tent and decorated the backyard with stars and planets overhead.  I even strung a cable zipline up for their very own space ride.

But we wanted something more.

As a result, I decided to create a virtual space pilot game for Ben.  The only guiding principles I wanted to stand by are:
1.  It had to be a cooperative game- meaning 2 players had to play together.
2.  It had to be fun and interesting
3.  It had to be geared towards 5 year olds
4.  It had to play quick, so we could rotate through kids pretty rapidly at a birthday party.
carterbacon2 years ago
too many words!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
piles.of.spam (author)  carterbacon2 years ago
Yes, but I WAS short a whole bunch of exclamation points, so thanks for supplying those.
ecsaul233 years ago
that is AWESOME!!! And I thought I planned cool parties! Great stuff!!!!
piles.of.spam (author) 3 years ago
One more thing- I had promised a version that still compiled in windows. This is no sound, and no serial data just to experiment with the solar system (and laser beams). Here is the program executable, including the source that can be compiled under the free MSVC++

so AWESOME!!!!!
tinker2343 years ago
wow amazing i bet this will be talked about when the kids are teenagers amazing job
piles.of.spam (author)  tinker2343 years ago
Thanks! It was a lot of fun. My hope is that the kids will be making things like this on their own when they get to be teenagers.
Kiteman3 years ago
Nice job!