Hello! I’m just tying up the loose ends for launch and seeing if you are getting these blogs on Facebook. Are you? Brilliant! What projects are you guys working on at the moment? Art! Design! Electronics! Music! Record Store Day seemed to pass by without a peep. Talk to me you lovely people. Either in the Facebook comments below, or back on our Facebook page. If you liked us yesterday, thangyeverymuch. We’re super pleased about the sort of things we have coming up.
OK, so I’m lying. It really isn’t. We’re talking about housing a Pi in a Gameboy. While it’s already been done, I’m looking to create a controllable game of Minecraft with the Gameboy in the left hand, and a wireless mouse in the other. The Pi can be utilised with an emulator so that traditional DMG/GBC/NES games can be played also with the front panel, (as well as a little bit of LSDJ/nanoloop fun)
So I’ve been hankering after a Raspberry Pi for a while and I just couldn’t justify buying one for the hell of it. My initial desire was the interest in some basic coding skills in linux because I work as a Cross-Platform analyst and the truimvirate of Mac and Windows and Linux is desirable to me. Mainly because I’m such a fussy completionist.
So when I saw that such a thing as Minecraft Pi exists, I immediately splashed cash on a Pi for next day delivery, convincing myself that I’ll have my own Pi-Pirate broadcast network in my neighbourhood and build an intelligent thermometer to control the water boiler in the flat.
But fuck all that, because making something simple that works is a lot more rewarding that an experiment that fails right? Probably not. But that’s my ballsy arrogant mantra for the project and if it gets the job done, then let’s do ‘er.
So it’s not Minecraft on a Gameboy. It’s Minecraft Pi, on a Raspberry Pi in a Gameboy shell, with a working set of buttons on the front. The D-pad will control Steve’s footwork and a wireless mouse will help him look.
What is Minecraft Pi then?
Let’s talk about what this thing isn’t going to do first. It isn’t the guts of the Gameboy anymore. We’re putting a computer into it and emulating the Gameboy part. Minecraft Pi is also not even the full Minecraft experience. It’s a very stripped down version of the full fat release. It doesn’t have sound. It isn’t online. It’s essentially free and offline. It works smoothly and it’s still the building-block part of Minecraft. It also has a Python API for real time hacking and coding, which is the exciting bit.
I’m trying to make a fun machine that sits alongside your other older Gameboys. Essentially, the iconography of the classic shell, mixed with the inner workings of the most modern micro computer available. Not only this, I’m going to show you the easiest way to do it and lay out your options as I go.
I recently received a parcel through the post with a California post stamp on it. I was super-pumped, because Scott was sending me one of his CMOYs: a tiny, symetrical board, mini-jack in and out, potentiometer and LEDs that amplifies anything you plug into it to the max. It was mounted, fairly neatly in a Tazo tin. Sadly, the California customs decided that even though it was leaving the country, it needed its face smashed in, even if it didn’t have one. It arrived broken with a few leads snapped. It must have been used as a football.
Brilliantly though, its a kit that you put together yourself, so I just fixed it under his instructions with a couple of solder spots and it was up and running.
Because I wanted to paint the Tazo tin, I got viciously annoyed with the amount of adhesive on the tin and set up a tiny replacement box instead while I wait to get some paint thiner. The replacement box originally came with a foam insert for the mouse. I ditched that. The beauty of this tin is that you can see inside the board and LED.
The sound that you get out of this thing is MASSIVE. Why would you need such a thing? It’s a fun piece of kit to have around. It’s small. It’s fun and simple to make and it can amplify a hell of a lot in such a tiny box. Perfect for amping up Gameboys, Toy pianos, Speak and Spells. There’s a revision coming shortly and we’ll make these available. With the kit placed at about ten dollars, it’s hella cheap and hella fun.