Pixel Portal: Having some fun in excel

Pixel portal

Back in april I wanted to create something simple, yet original.

The result: a 2D platform version of portal, the popular puzzle video game from 2007 by valve.

Level 3 of pixel portal

 

How?

The game works using VBA (visual basic for applications) in microsoft excel. A small window allows to monitor a user’s input, and passes the information along to a script that acts on it.

The whole game is rendered in a worksheet where every cell is evenly sized.  the code in the script will check if the adjecent cells of the player are walls, ladders, open,… and allow you to move or not.

Shooting portals can be done using the numpad keys (8, 6, 4 and 2), moving is done by either a, s, w,d or z,q,s,d (for azerty layouts).

You can pick up companion cubes by walking over them, and you can drop them in place by pressing ‘e’.

If you want to take a look at the code, you are free to do so (you can find it under the developer tab in excel). why not even try to modify it a bit?

 

Video demo

If you don’t fancy downloading an excel file with macro’s attached, I made a demonstration video of the tutorial level.

 

Download

Want to play the game? cool, you can download it here: Pixel Portal

 

Bottle rocket (+launch platform)

What?

A bottle rocket launch platform with gardena connection for quick and safe release of the bottle.

Pressure is added to a bottle with some water by a bicycle pump. when the bottle is released from the platform, the pressure expels the water in the bottle, generating lift.

Why?

Same as usual… got bored.

How?

Requirements are:

* A bottle (coke bottle preferred as they are sturdy).
* A bottle cap that connects to the gardena connector (I 3D printed this one)
* A Gardena connector, connected to a bicycle pump (I made a small platform with the connector, a one-way valve, and some longer hose to connect to the pump).
* A bicycle pump (or other pump capable of delivering around 2-7 BAR).

You fill the bottle with some water, connect it to the hose, and pump in as much air as possible (be careful not to pop the bottle).

Then release the bottle and watch it fly.

 

Video

can be seen here

Minion Bristlebots

What?

My own take on the classic bristlebot, with a 3D printed battery holder.

These little buggers move around thanks to the vibrations from the motor.

Why?

To give a workshop.

How?

The vibrations from the motor make the bot move around, by bending the hairs of the toothbrush backwards, the bot moves forward (kind of :D).

Requirements are:

1 toothbrush
1 vibration motor
1 CR2032 battery
1 3D printed battery holder (found here)
hotglue
(googly eyes)

Instructions on how to put them together:

step 1: cut the head of a toothbrush
step 2: print the battery holder
step 3: attach the vibration motor to the battery holder and put the 2 leads into the holder block so the battery can touch it.
step 4: hotglue the holder to the toothbrush head
step 5: cut (if needed) the toothbrush hairs to length and bend them backwards so the bristlebot will go forward instead of in circles.
step 6: decorate and race!

 

Current status:

Finished, thinking about making a racetrack for them.

Pictures:

front
front
side
side
Back
Back
Bristlebots having a meeting
Bristlebots having a meeting

 

WIP: Arcaduino

This article is about a work in progress.

What?

Arcaduino is an open-source (code available on completion of the project) device to bring the arcade feeling to your home. Powered by an arduino leonardo, the arcaduino features a joystick, 6 top buttons, 2 side buttons (for pinball), and 2 front buttons (start/select/credit/…?). The arcaduino features up to 4 profiles, so you can play against friends if you have a second arcaduino, or setup 4 presets for games you like to play alone.

All keys can be programmed to be any keystroke you want it to be, and the joystick can be toggled to be a mouse controller, so you can play mouse-driven games as well.

The main idea is to package it, so you can order the complete partslist and build it yourself. You also can download the code (when the project is finished), and alter it any way you see fit.

Why?

The complete history is on the project’s website. but in short: It evolved from a custom game, to a storage container mod, to a standalone device.

How?

The buttons and joystick connect to an arduino leonardo, which will pass the input on to the computer as a HID device (keyboard/mouse).

The arduino holds up to 4 presets, which can have different key bindings (for multiplayer support/presets for games).

The toggle switch switches the function of the joystick from keyboard output to mouse control, so you can play those mouse driven games as well.

 

Current status:

prototype finished and working.

Next step: make lasercut design for the housing, lasercut it, and if testing is successfull: start making packages.

 

Pictures:

the joystick is an old version, in the finished project there will be another one.
the joystick is an old version, in the finished project there will be another one.
testing of the prototype to play counterstrike source using the joystick as a mouse.
testing of the prototype to play counterstrike source using the joystick as a mouse.
early breadboard testing of the prototype, the arduino nano was not used.
early breadboard testing of the prototype, the arduino nano was not used.

 

 

bomb defuse game

What is it?

It’s a game for children, you get a bundle with 5 tasks/puzzles, each of them gives you 1 digit, when you collected the 5 digits, you can defuse the bomb. If you did something wrong, the bomb will ‘explode’.

Why?

The design was made to be used by speelplein zowiezo. a youth working organisation. The request was made by  hackerspace Brixel in Hasselt to create something fun and tech’ish for kids.

How?

The bomb itself consists of an arduino, LCD display, piezo buzzer and a keypad. The participant first enters his/her bundle number they got assigned, and then enter the code, if the code is correct, music will play and the display will show ‘bomb defused’. If not the correct code, the buzzer will play another tune, and the display will say ‘bomb exploded’.

The code can be obtained from solving the puzzles in the bundles, for now, these consist of morse code, vinegere table ciphers, and other kids friendly puzzles that teach crypto.

 

Pictures:

the bottom blue cable is the USB, it provides power.
the bottom blue cable is the USB, it provides power.
enter code please?
enter code please?

 

Nothing says 'ACME' more then cheezy curled wired.
Nothing says ‘ACME’ more then cheezy curled wired.

3D printed chess set

The 3D printed chess set: custom design, complete with printed board.

What is it?

a free to download design of a chess set that you can 3D print, complete with all parts, including the board.

Why?

When I got my 3D printer I wanted to create something that could stand on my table, and be a conversation starter. I designed the chessboard and started printing. It works really well as a decorative piece.

How?

The design was made using tinkercad, and it was printed on a PP3DP UP! mini printer. The files can be downloaded from thingiverse but be warned: the complete set takes around 45 hours of printing on a good quality, and you will need at least 2 colors of filament, 3 if you want the border to be in a different colour.

Pictures:

the finished product
the finished product
download @ thingiverse
download @ thingiverse

 

Things I do, things I make…