Breaboard games 2022

Breadboard Games 2022 is approaching. This year we will have 16 students assemble the game console shown above. The console consists of a Raspberry Pi Pico linked to an ST7735, some buttons and a piezo speaker. The schematic is shown below

Two simple games are featured: A version of break out and a simple Santa Clause game. These games are written in Micropython with an emphasis on ease of understanding rather than game play. Nevertheless, the graphics module is reasonably optimized with an inline assembler module that executes very quickly and which is used by API functions as much as possible. Furthermore, the sound module makes use of the second core in the Pico which allows sound to be be played at the same time as the game.

The game sprites are edited in a bitmap editor such as Windows Paint or KolourPaint etc. The sprites are created as 24 bit bitmap (bmp) files. A python script converts these bitmaps to python arrays on the host computer. These arrays are coded as 16 bit RGB (5-6-5) colour values which are compatible with the ST7735. These arrays are then included in a sprite module in the game.

Programs were edited using Thonny which is a nice cross-platform editor that works with a number of operating systems. It can be installed without administrator permissions on Windows and Linux systems.

Code is over here on github.

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