mkarlsson

Gameduino on Pipistrello

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Just like Jack I have been playing with Gameduino, a really cool project by James Bowman.

Originally it was a add-on shield for an Arduino board that implemented a sprite engine and much more, while the Arduino board did all the computing and sending commands to the Gameduino shield via a SPI interface.

For more info see this link to the Gameduino page: http://excamera.com/sphinx/gameduino/ with cool pictures and a complete description of the system

To port this to Pipistrello I expanded the code by adding two more blocks so it's basically now made up of three blocks:
* Original Gameduino block (no functional changes, just some code cleanup)
* VGA-to-DVI converter to send out the display via HDMI to a DVI monitor instead of VGA
* Microblaze_mcs system running at 100 MHz with added hardware I/O modules (SPI, timer, DIO, UARTs etc.)

The Microblaze_mcs I/O system is designed to simplify the porting of the core Arduino code to this new platform.

The result is a completely self-contained system that can run most of the example sketches for Gameduino without any extra hardware, using the familiar Arduino GUI.

Links to a few bit files to show off what it can do (just download the bit file to the fpga, i.e. fpgaprog -v -f <bitfile.bit>)

256 sprites: http://www.saanlima.com/download/pipistrello-v2.0/sprites256.bit
collision: http://www.saanlima.com/download/pipistrello-v2.0/collision.bit
asteroids game: http://www.saanlima.com/download/pipistrello-v2.0/asteroids.bit (pins A3 - A6 controls the game)

Link to my version of the Arduino GUI (windows) with Microblaze support that can be used to compile and download the demo sketches (included as examples)
http://www.saanlima.com/download/pipistrello-v2.0/arduino-1.5.2-gameduino.zip

Instructions:
* Download the Arduino zip file (it's about 160 MB) to your computer (sorry, windows-only at the moment)
* Unzip to any directory
* Go to this directory and launch the Arduino GUI by clicking on the Arduino icon
* In Tools -> Board select "Microblaze_mcs with Gameduino"
* Connect the Pipistrello board to the computer, a DVI monitor and optionally a sound system
* Load one of the Gameduino examples by going to File -> Examples -> Gameduino
* Click on the Upload button. The sketch will be compiled, then merged with the base bit file and then downloaded to the Pipistrello board

Enjoy!

Magnus

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