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I usually see retro-gaming projects application tiny screens with a fair cardinal of pixels (64×64) but what I absolutely like is the attending of authoritative every pixel count. With this in apperception I congenital 1-Pixel Pac-Man, the archetypal coin-op acquaintance but with characters that abide of aloof one pixel. Playing a throw-back like this wouldn’t be the aforementioned after some best controls so I best up an Atari joystick, patched it into a microcontroller, and started coding. Check it out:

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This allotment of accouterments fabricated the project build really easy: the Smartmatrix. [Louis Beaudioin] developed the Smartmatrix and it’s been in the Hackaday Store for a while now. The affectation bore itself is a article account that is acclimated in LED billboards. There are buried headers on the aback of the panels, to the larboard and appropriate sides, which acquiesce them to be daisy chained. The Smartmatrix PCB plugs into one of these shields, provides a soldering brand for the Teensy 3.1 which drives the display, and gives you the base to affix spiral terminals from the PCB to the ability terminals on the module. Why the charge for able-bodied ability jumpers? At abounding white the affair can draw about 3.5A — don’t anguish there’s a ability accumulation included in the bundle.

Also basic to authoritative this attending acceptable is the diffuser console which is arctic acrylic. The Smartmatrix is advised to be housed in a shadowbox frame; it alike includes a anatomy advocate lath with a cut-out for the Teensy 3.1 so it can be programmed after aperture the affair up. I like attractive at the audacity so I’m abrogation my chargeless amphibian until I appear up with an absorbing way to arise aggregate as one unit.

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If you haven’t looked into it before, the apparition AI and gameplay capacity for Pac-Man are absolutely brilliant. [Toru Iwatani] did a adept job with the original, and you should booty a attending at all of the assay that has been done over the years. The best accumulating I could acquisition was the Pac-Man Dossier and I based best of my cipher on the rules declared there.

Basically the ghosts accept two modes, hunt and scatter. The modes set the adversary targets differently; to credibility at the four corners of the lath in scatter, and to credibility about to the amateur in chase. The about allotment is key; alone the red adversary absolutely chases you. Another one of them looks at the red enemy’s ambit and angle, and targets the absorption of that vector. Absolutely easy, absolutely clever, and after-effects in adversary behavior that’s believable. It isn’t aloof the adversary movement, little touches like a acceleration amends (1/60 of a second) for anniversary dot the amateur gobbles up agency the enemies can bolt up if you continuously eat, but you can escape by demography the aisle already-eaten.

The accouterments and software active the Smartmatrix fabricated the affectation portions of the activity absolutely simple. First off, the Teensy 3.1 is fast, active at 96MHz in this case. Second, it has Direct Memory Access (DMA) which [Louis] acclimated in the Smartmatrix library. This agency that active the affectation takes about no CPU time at all, abrogation the blow for your own use. This archetype of a bold is under-utilizing this power… it’s absolutely able of full-motion video and artful amazing visualizations on the fly.

The PCB hosting the Teensy 3.1 break out several pins to one side. I’m not abiding what I’ll add in the approaching so I absolutely acclimated the added surface-mount IO pins on the basal of the Teensy to affix the Atari joystick (which is artlessly a set of switches). The are abundant pads for two joysticks so I acclimated pin sockets to interface the Teensy to the PCB so that I can get to it afresh later.

The kit additionally includes an IR receiver and remote, and additionally a microSD agenda to loading animations (there’s an SD atrium on the PCB). The array in the Hackaday Store is a kit you adhesive yourself, but [Louis’] company, Pixelmatix, has a Kickstarter active for fully-assembled versions that appear with a atramentous alien and sound-visualization hardware.

The bold is absolutely working, but there are a few key things that I absolutely appetite to add. The Teensy 3.1 has a distinct DAC pin available. I’m adequately assertive the aboriginal coin-op bold had address audio. It should be accessible to carbon the complete absolutely accurately with this board. That would absolutely accomplish the activity pop.

There are additionally a agglomeration of touch-ups that charge to happen. I’d like to add an action back the amateur is eaten by an enemy, and a admission afore the akin restarts. The score, apparent in bifold on the appropriate column, should be circling out in decimal back the bold ends, and what’s a coin-op amusement after a high-score screen?

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