DIY Gamer Kit
- Build your own portable gamer from scratch
- Snake and Flappy Bird already built in
- Become a coding pro and create games and animations
- Online building tutorials
- Requires 1 9V battery, 1 soldering iron and wire cutters
More product info
If you have ever looked at your game console and thought ‘how does anyone make these things’ then you need look no further. The DIY Gamer Kit will take you on a tour of the inner makings of portable gamers and have you building your own in no time.
Everything you need is included in the set, all you need to bring along is a 9V battery, soldering iron and some wire cutters. Now you can learn about coding, electronics and building components whilst having fun and building your own portable gamer. Just follow the easy peasy instructions or watch the YouTube tutorials to construct your set from scratch and there you have it.
Once you have built the DIY Gamer, you can enjoy playing the classic games that are already built in (Snake and Flappy Bird) or dive into the world of coding to edit the existing games and design your own! Not only can you create your own games, but you can also make some awesome animations in a retro 8-bit design to share with your friends and family.
- Limitations can be good for your imagination! -Arduino boards are fantastic tools for demonstrating how coding can make things happen in the real world, but knowing where to start with one can be difficult. Having a kit that gives you a leg-up is a big help, especially one like the DIY Gamer that comes with excellent examples and support. You can check those out at the following link, along with the construction guide and example code: https://www.techwillsaveus.com/resources/diy-gamer-kit/ The DIY Gamer kit contains a fully functional Arduino board that you can use for anything you like, but also comes with the parts needed to turn it into a simple hand-held console. By simple, I mean 'dawn of gaming' simple - you have five buttons, a couple of sensors and an 8x8 pixel screen to play with. You won't be creating the next Pokemon Go with it, but you can learn all the fundamentals of game programming. The limitations actually remove a lot of pressure because you're always aware of what's possible. Building this kit is rewarding in itself, even before you get to coding; you may want to do that before passing it on to a younger coder who may not be ready for soldering, so you both get something out of it :) The manual guides you through building a 'shield' which is a plug in board that sits on top of the Arduino. This contains the screen, buttons, battery etc and can be lifted off at any time. You'll be soldering a lot of components on so you'll need a decent iron and solder plus an awareness of how to do it safely. Fortunately the company that make this kit have a great tutorial page and will sell you a brilliant soldering starter pack: https://www.techwillsaveus.com/resources/learn-to-solder/ Even if you've never soldered before, you'll be fine after the first few joints. You're taught a useful 3-3-2 rule (3 seconds heating the components, 3 seconds feeding in solder, 2 seconds for it to cool) and the quality of the circuit board means the solder will go exactly where you want it to with little effort. Don't be put off by how fiddly it looks. You may find the battery clips take a LOT of heating in order for the solder to melt, but stick with it. After a couple of hours of work your DIY Gamer will hopefully fire up. You'll need to download and install the Arduino software (latest version is here - https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software) but this is explained on the resource page link I gave you at the start. Once you've done this you can connect the DIY Gamer via USB to allow you to upload code to its memory. You'll also need to follow the simple instructions to install the DIY Gamer library, which will give you all of the commands needed to make the screen work, read the buttons, play beeps etc. From then on it's just a matter of loading the example code and fiddling with it to see what happens. You need to be aware that having such a simple screen means that you'll have to stretch your imagination to figure out what sort of games will work well. The examples include a basic Flappy Bird clone and a copy of the 'snakes' game that you may remember playing on early mobile phones. If you start thinking in terms of old puzzle games, simple board games and the like, you'll come up with plenty of ideas - it's just a matter of making them happen! If you ever feel you've exhausted the possibilities you can buy electronic components and use the included Arduino board to make all sorts of different things. For ideas, look at Sparkfun's excellent guide: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/what-is-an-arduino This is a brilliantly designed and packaged kit from a company that seems genuinely enthusiastic about promoting the joy of fiddling with technology to children and young adults.