Superkeen was inspired by a passion to share good times with friends, without restriction whether by platform or by network. At the start, collectively we all had vastly different skillsets ranging from hardware enthusiasts to hardcore java developers. We realized we didn't have the skillsets amoung our members codewise to compete with any of the other teams working on the civic projects so we also created Superkeen as a way to integrate our skillsets on an award-winning hack with a bit of a twist.
What it does
Superkeen is a portable device kinda like a Nintendo Switch that can be used to play retro games as well as almost any game on from any platform on the go, it can also dock to your TV just like a Switch and the best part of it is you are not limited by what platform you want to play on or what controller you want to use. You can literally play a PS1 game with a Nintendo Switch Controller vs someone who uses a Xbox controller. Superkeen has the cool ability to make any local multiplayer game network enabled, including single player games; it's kinda like a two-way Twitch stream. Imagine this: have you ever wanted to play a really fun game such as Super Smash Brawl with your best friend but your wasn't around so you couldn't play that game? Do you remember the feeling of disappointment that you couldn't relive the fond memories you had with your friend? Don't you miss the feeling of a game being fun because you and your friend enjoyed it so much in the past? With our project this doesn't have to a distant memory that fades, its something tangible that allows you play any game weather it be single-player or local multiplayer only across the internet. It's kinda like a two way twitch stream in that regard. If you want to have this experience and allows us to bring it to more people please vote for our project.
However, Superkeen does not just include normal games. Also showcased is a simple game with a unique twist, a 1v1 Snake game that uses machine learning, genetic algorithms and neural networks to improve your computer opponent.
How we built it
Superkeen's hardware was a complex project. The majority of the time was spent configuring the Retroarch Raspberry Pi stack into the perfect gaming machine. The Snake game was built in two days by using a simple Java 2D engine couple with custom-made neural network libraries with custom genetic algorithm code. And it all runs right on the Raspberry Pi computing system. Normally when you think of machine learning algorithms you think it requires high end hardware, however this is not true. We were able to build an evolving intelligence that you can watch become smarter in realtime and battle against it.
Challenges we ran into
The largest problems we ran into was configuration. Configuration of a portable gaming machine can take a long time. By doing this once, we eventually hope that we can save other people from having to configure it in the future, should Superkeen be commercialized.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're proud of being able to have a small form factor tablet that is capable of emulating many, many old videogame systems as well as being able to remotely stream PC games. Additionally, we're also proud of seeing just how good the snakes got at their game. We were quite surprised when we watched the AI start off knowing nothing about the game, and seeing it turn into a competitive slithering Snake master.
What we learned
We learned that it is possible to make a portable gaming machine that is not only affordable, but practical and extremely useful.
What's next for Superkeen
Possible future milestones for Superkeen could include:
- More emulators
- More machine-learning inspired games
- A more powerful battery
- A better case to support swapping out SD cards for more variety such as penetration testing testing tablet.
- Overclocking the GPU and CPU to safe limits to improve the amount of games supported.
- Improve the circuitry to accommodate swapping out battery packs for longer game-play
- Custom controllers on the side