Introduction: Giant Snake Game Controller

The Milwaukee Makerspace was selected for May 2015 Build Night with Raspberry Pi and Adafruit. The Raspberry Pi 2 Model B is faster than the 1st generation. With the increased speed and the Adafruit Perma-Proto HAT for Pi Mini Kit, I had to build an arcade game controller! So, I decided to build a giant game of snake for Maker Faire Milwaukee. Yes - the game famously played on Nokia phones.

In this game, the individual pixels will be made of milk bottles. A projector controlled via the Raspberry Pi will light up the pixels to display the game.

Step 1: Bill of Materials

The bill of materials:

Step 2: Controller

Game control is done via a joystick connected to a Raspberry Pi's GPIO.

Initially, I soldered female headers to the Perma-Proto HAT so they could be secured to the Raspberry Pi's GPIO. Then, I soldered on screw terminals for the joystick wires. The screw terminals connect the joystick to the Pi's "Digital Inputs".

I used the following script from Adafruit to convert the high signals from the switches to keyboard commands. I simulated arrow keys to coincide with joystick directions.

Step 3: Enclosure

I used a transparent enclosure so players could see the "guts" of the system. I drilled (4) holes on the top of the enclosure and screwed the joystick on. The Pi was placed in the enclosure with double-sided tape.

Step 4: Software

The game software was a modification of Gareth Halfacree's code from the Raspberry Pi User Guide. It is written using Python and Pygame library. Code can be found here.

I still have to build the physical "pixels." They will be ready by September for Maker Faire Milwaukee.

A preview of the game is attached.