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Makeathon 0.0 – Commander Keen Paddle Wars!

Team FamiLAB has been hard at work planning, shopping, and prototyping their interactive game for the Maker Effect Foundation’s Makeathon 0.0. The event is a charity ‘makeathon’ much like a walkathon but with making, caffeine, and friendly competition. We’ve already raised the minimum to compete, but if you’d like to help support the foundation’s efforts in the maker community please donate to our team at:

We made a video introducing the team, and posted our plan — granted, the plan was a thumb dancing to the Commander Keen theme. It was then, quite a bit after midnight, that Brian mentioned there was a pong style minigame in Commander Keen 4. We decided on the spot that was what we were going to build.

This morning Dan and Willa participated in a Skycraft shopping spree (thanks Skycraft for sponsoring!) and picked up a few parts for the build. We grabbed some 12v solenoids to act as the paddles for our pong game, some microswitches for scoring, some arcade buttons to trigger the paddles and a millivolt analog gauge for showing the score. You can watch our shopping trip on Facebook here.

Thank you Skycraft for sponsoring the event. Your parts are the only way we’re getting this done!

The planning and prototyping is continuing, but we’ll post more when we have something to show off. Right now Dan is working on the 12 volt circuit, Brian/Willa/Blackhart are working on the 5 volt and scoring, and Michelle is working on the structure. It’s deceptively simple, but we’re hoping we can get it done and start decorating early.