14 Apr 2020

Vicky’s First Maker Project

Banner header for Vicky's Maker Project blog post

This week was meant to be my first time attending a Makerfaire, it was going to be in Berlin. Unfortunately it was cancelled due to COVID-19. 😢

I had a small project to demo and it was inspired by The Choosatron at Berlin Game Science Center, I had so much fun visiting it last year.

I had the Adafruit mini thermal receipt printer, a Raspberry Pi, arcade buttons and wanting to play more with CircuitPython to interact with these electronic components. As a newbie and from software background, I was more comfortable with coding, as you can imagine.

Have been working on this on and off since February this year, and I decided to why not get it all working properly even if Makerfaire Berlin is cancelled. 💪

I had a Pi-Top [3] which has the Raspberry Pi 3 in it (thanks to Coding Grace), and used it prototyped the idea on it initially.

Ok, that was cool.

How this will work is, I have 3 buttons, a YELLOW (left option), a BLUE (right option) and a BLACK button (resets the game).

  • When you start the game, it welcomes the player and asks the player to select YELLOW or BLUE button to begin.
  • If a player selects a YELLOW/BLUE button, they are presented with the start of the story, and asks to press YELLOW/BLUE button again to continue with the story, or BLACK button to reset the game.
  • If the player selects the YELLOW/BLUE button again, the next part of the story appears dependant on the button chosen. The player gets asked one more time to choose which button to press.
  • Result of that choice is printed followed by end of the story.

I put in some sample silly dummy stories so I can see how the game runs, it’s pretty short as I don’t want to waste too much paper. 🌲

I moved on to 3D print a stand for the 3 arcade buttons and a case for the thermal printer using the Prusa 3D printer (had fun building this last Christmas with my husband). Plus I decided to try out the Pi-Top [4] which has the Raspberry Pi 4 in it.

So it’s all coming together.

After a bit of code wrangling as I wanted to add stories into a spreadsheet where I can pull the stories from and feed it to the thermal printer, it was all done. Here’s the final demo result. 🙌 😊

If you are curious, I have a longer write-up on the process and issues I came across via https://www.codinggrace.com/news/my-maker-project-print-your-own-adventure-game-2020-4-9/.

🤔 Anything else I would like to do now that it’s working? Well, what I would like to do is use just a Raspberry Pi (even a zero) and make a nice simple case for it, probably use cardboard or something as 3D printing a whole case uses a lot of material.


🌈 You have a work-in-progress project, or planning one? Please share your #MakerAtHome projects (even ongoing ones) with #DublinMaker via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and even on LinkedIn. 🤖🛠✂️🗜🖌

Wishing everyone well and safe. #StayAtHome #WashYourHands

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