Max, Brittany and Kathleen teamed up to make a Launchpad Gaming Pack for the 2012 Texas Instrument Intern Design Challenge. Their project features 400×300 pixel VGA out, 256 16×16 sprite images and support for two Nintendo controllers. Details are in their description below and also in depth at their webpage. If there is more interest, they are willing to give production a go. We wish them luck in the competition. This is truly impressive work.
The GamePack is designed around a Xilinx Spartan 3A 200K Gate FPGA. It implements the same sprite rendering core as the Gameduino and communicates to the LaunchPad via SPI. The FPGA bitstream configuration is stored on an external EEPROM which was programed using a FTDI FT2232Ddevelopment board and Flashrom in Linux. The FPGA 1.2V internal core voltage is provided by a TI TLV70212 low drop out regulator.
A resistor DAC provides the various voltage levels for the VGA interface and audio is achieved by passing 2 channels of digital audio through a 4KHz low pass filter. An optional SPI EEPROM can be installed to store large game data such as images and level maps. Two status LEDs indicate power and SPI data transfer to the FPGA.
2 Nintendo (NES) controller sockets are included to provide a classic gaming experience. They are ideal for this project as the interface is simple and they can be easily purchased online or simply found in a box in your closet.
They also have packaged a few games – Tetris, Brick Breaker and the ever awesome Space Invaders.