|Posted by scott on January 5, 2015 at 11:35 PM|
The motivation for this side project was simply - something to get me through the Long Island winter. Remembering how brutal last winter was around the Northeast, I knew that whatever I came up with had to have enough substance to last more than a few weekends out in the shop. As I thought more about it - I wanted this new project to incorporate many of the diciplines that have always interested me; art, design, model making, electronics, embedded systems programming, and amusement parks! I was inspired by some on-line videos of homemade, single target, laser games and thought that if I built upon that and took inspiration from some of my favorite full-size galleries (Frontierland Shootin' Arcade; etc.) I could come up with something fun to build.
As I did more research I came across some great examples of homemade versions and full size versions, but a noticable lack of anything both substantial and portable got me thinking. How much game could be packed into a box small enough to be put in the back of a pickup truck and brought to a child's birthday party or summer BBQ? Something compact, yet interesting enough for repeat play?
So here's what I came up with. The "Step Right Up!" shooting gallery is a multi-target, laser-style arcade game themed around a classic amusement park setting. Follow me over the next month or so as I bring the project from concept to completion.
I started about a month ago. This is what my initial concept looked like:
And here's my refined 3D model from which I produced the working drawings:
The concept is that the whole game fits in a box that's about 3.5' high, 6' wide, and 16" deep. It folds in half down the middle to make its own case that can be put in the back of any truck or SUV. It will have it's own power supply for the various DC voltages required. Everything will be programmed using an Arduino Mega32 micro-controller. I chose the Mega32 for the huge amounts of I/O ports and its ease of programming - which I imagine will be changed many times as I write the code to run all the lights, servos, sound FX, and scoring.
Thanks for your interest in this very exciting project. Please check back for frequent updates as things progress. My next post will follow the construction of the various "rides and games", and I'll go into some technical detail on the design of each system.