How to Build an Arcade Obstacle Avoidance Game Using FPGA

Image result for obstacle avoidance game

Hello FPGA innovators! Remember the arcade obstacle avoidance game where blocks of pixels fall on you and you steer clear of them moving left or right? Today’s project attempts to re engineer the same game using a VGA and FPGA. Here, a pseudo random code is used to generate obstacles that fall down and buttons on the FPGA are used to move the cursor so that none of the obstacles hit it.

The only hardware required to execute this project is an FPGA board (you might need to adapt yours if different from the author’s), a computer monitor and connection cables. This is because the FPGA board has inbuilt push buttons that can be used to move the cursor of the game, and also has the necessary DACs and VGA interfaces required to run the game.

The coding done by the author is in VHDL and everything starting from a functional flowchart to running the bit file for FPGA has been described from steps 1 to 9. Since the buttons on the FPGA has a bouncing issue, a separate debouncer code needs to be run which is available on step 2. Details regarding the VGA, coding for random obstacles and checking for collisions and updating the game are given from steps 3 to 7.

Though the authors put in 50+ hours of effort and made a great attempt, the game still could be done in a lot more simpler ways. The main code is available in the introduction to spare other followers from putting in more additional effort, but starting from choosing a different FPGA board to running through basics of other games implemented using VGA and FPGA can end up delivering something better with a lot less effort.

Give it a try and have fun!

How To Make Simon Says Game With Your FPGA

Hi again FPGA people! Today I have another game for you to implement using your FPGA, Simon Says for 2 players. I know it´s a pretty old game but I promise you that it´s a very interesting project.

In this project you will have to make use of your hand skills both for coding and for connecting and playing with cables and stuff.

User input comes from a set of modified Rock Band drum kit.

WARNING: If you don´t want to play Frankenstein with your set of Rock Band drum kit, stop reading or find an alternative!

Right, so you will need a bunch of things to modify your drums: a breadboard, some resistors and caps, two dual retriggerable monostable multivibrators, wire and a ribbon cable. Everything is very well detailed in the article and they have even shared the schematics as well as all the project files. Click here to download them.

The other two major modules for this project are the output to a VGA monitor and the store & check module that compares the inputs from the two players to determine whether they match or not.

For the code the authors used Verilog HDL. I always recommend you to think and write your own code instead of just copying what is given, but this time I won´t. I would just say copy it and implement it. Then, try to develop any of their suggestions for improvements. We would love to hear what you have achieved.

Have fun!


By K. Akiko

Use You FPGA To Bring The BBC Back To Life!

BBC is the short name for the Acorn BBC Micro, which was very popular in the mid-to-late 80s. There were several versions of this computer but the one that has been revived in this project is the BBC B.

The core of this device was the famous 6502 processor.  This article thoroughly defines each part of the BBC B and its current status on the FPGA. Some of the parts have not been implemented, either for physical restrictions or not real need for them. So, another challenge for you to build a complete BBC B with you FPGA.

A PAL TV was used as the author did not try to add a scan-doubler for the video output. But don´t worry. Everything is very well explained. Plus, there is a Design Detail page that guides you step-by-step through the implementation process.

The source code has been written on VHDL (given). Also the ROMs info is provided as well as some known bugs so you can avoid them beforehand.

So now, what is stopping you from playing again “Pole Position” or “Boffin”???

It couldn´t be easier! Have fun!


By Mike Stirling

Remember Playing Cowboys With A “Hand” Gun? Now It´s a Video Game

shooter game

Thanks to the work developed by a group of students at Cornell University, all you would need to do is to paint the tip of your finger in Red. This is not to fake that you are shooting that much that your finger is burning. This is because their project is based on this color. Feel free to adapt it to you likes as it is all open source.

This article presents a thorough description of their work. Read it to learn how you can use the power of an FPGA´s parallel processing to build your own shooters game.

All you need is a video camera to capture the movement of your hand and then output the NTSC signal that is processed by the FPGA board (like a Papilio). Finally, the VGA controller will output the signal to the VGA monitor. Otherwise you wouldn´t know where to shoot!

Oh! And of course, you need to read this and thank the Cornell guys for their great work!

Sayonara baby!

By Jeff Mu and Edgar Munoz