We looked at what we had and we got inspired.
What it does
Plays tetris on an LED screen.
How we built it
Initially, we followed another project on GitHub (https://github.com/hzeller/rpi-rgb-led-matrix) to learn how to do the wirings and to test the demos. We also researched on a simple tetris program written in C so that it can be used on the LED screen, which runs on C++ programs. We spent most of our time adapting the game to the LED screen interface and adding additional features such as colours and a scoreboard.
Challenges we ran into
The first challenge we faced was trying to use the Raspberry Pi on our laptops. We eventually managed to set up the Raspberry Pi as a VNC server and use our laptops as a VNC client to view the Raspberry Pi interface. It turns out that that was just the preamble on what was about to come. We faced great difficulty in trying to display the tetris game on the LED screen. This was further complicated by the faulty LED screen that was purchased from a shady vendor. In the end, we had to compromise and build our game on only half the screen. We even experimented with an Arduino UNO and came to the conclusion that it performed worse than the Raspberry Pi. Finally, we faced a great challenge in getting the program to read input, but through these experiences, we learned a lot about C++ programming and had fun playing with the hardware.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Successfully displaying a working tetris game on the LED screen, having different colours for each block, having a nice looking scoreboard.
What we learned
- Always buy hardware from trusted suppliers
- Try to play around with hardware before bringing them to a hackathon
- A lot of C++
- A lot of debugging techniques
What's next for Illuminatetris
Using a working LED screen, more colours, chaining multiple LED displays to possibly create a wall of tetris.