Hack Hack Revolution


Once upon time a young certain djpiper28 was in the pub with his mate Stewart where they discussed a funny idea of game controlled by a DDR pad. So £100 later, and soldering a ESP32 later... we got here.

What it does

The newly IOT DDR pad™ communicates with the game microservice™, which then communicates with the highscore microservice™.

How we built it

Tears, pain, lead fumes, and more tears. (and more lead poisoning.)

Challenges we ran into

Chapter 1: The hard wiring era

Danny tried for a collective of 1 minute to write code to communicate with the PS1 controller input, but then he decided his method of hard wiring to the DDR pad's logic board to the ESP32. Surprisingly, it didn't work.

Chapter 2: The tin-foil meta™

About 6 hours have passed now, and Danny decided to go to the pub in the midst of what looked like defeat, he in fact came back with a possible solution! A whole roll of tinfoil and some ducktape (he got off another group.)

Somehow a roll of tinfoil proved too difficult and ended up in ruins within minutes of proposing the idea. This brought the end of the tinfoil meta as much as Danny tried to hack away at the tube.

Chapter 3: Return of the hard wiring

After countless precious hours of debugging to get any logical readings out of the mat, we found out that we were blasting the poor existing microcontroller with 5V for hours, which made it go about 200 degrees - enough to burn Danny's finger!

With this revelation and after the websocket, and WiFi logic was written, we decided to rewire the mess that was the inside of the DDR pad. Whilst Song for Denise, Dragostea din tei and Stayin' Alive played in the background, we made some of the most vile soldering jobs known to man.

We swiftly put it back together with Caramelldansen in the background.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  1. That we get any readings at all from the DDR mat
  2. A nice looking frontend
  3. A somewhat competent firmware package for the ESP32
  4. That we have a degree that has nothing to do with hardware

What we learned

Don't rely on 22 year old technology and a group of people who are primarily software developers.

What's next for Hack Hack Revolution

A massive bonfire with the codebase and the mat in there with it.


"State 4 and State 7, that's 3 apart." - Danny P.

"I didn't think I needed to ground it." - Danny P.

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