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Raspberry Pi For Dummies by Mike Cook, Sean McManus

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Getting Started with the Blastoff Project

For your first project, we show you how to make a Blastoff game. This is a marble maze game where you have to visit six locations in the correct order to blast off the rocket. Each location is one stage in the countdown, and the Raspberry Pi shouts out the countdown number as you progress. If you do not visit the locations in the correct order or if you hit the end stops, the countdown aborts and you have to start again.

The game is played with a metallic marble or ball bearing in a sealed box, and you move the marble about by tilting the box. At various locations or traps in the box, the marble electrically connects two contacts together. This allows the Raspberry Pi to sense the location of the marble through the GPIO pins we looked at in the last chapter. It is a game of dexterity and manual skill with the Raspberry Pi keeping track of the countdown progress.

It is a blend of the old and the new with youngsters, oldsters, and game-savvy kids all having an equal chance of success.

You need to connect this game to the P1 connector of the Raspberry Pi. For this first project, we’ve devised a way to do this (and in fact build the whole game) without a soldering iron. Typical workshop hand tools are required to build the game and you have plenty of scope for making your own unique variations, which allows you to produce a one-of-a-kind product.

If you want to flip ahead and see our take on the game, look at Figure 15-26 later in this chapter. ...

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