“Only the knife knows what goes on in the heart of a pumpkin.” –Simone Schwarz-Bart
With Halloween just behind us, the only things that pumpkins may mean to you now are pie, soups, or — as John Prine would sing you — a condescending term of affection, as in,
But I recently came across the most amazing Jack-O-Lantern I’ve ever seen, where someone turned a pumpkin into a working, playable game of tetris!
This idea — and the design — is nothing short of brilliant. The pumpkin itself was an intricately carved-to-specification operation, with a 16×8 rows-by-columns format, fitted exactly for small LED lights.
To get the lights in there, a tremendous amount of soldiering, and planning needed to happen, including the construction of a mock LED matrix and soldiering to a circuit board. Actually, two circuit boards, because they were only meant to handle 8×8 matrices apiece!
Then there was the logic/coding that needed to happen, in order to create the pieces and appropriate gameplay, and hook it up to the visual LED interface.
Also, because you need a way to control it, an ingenious setup using the pumpkin’s stem as a joystick controller for the game, capable of rotating, dropping, and sliding pieces horizontally.
And finally, the entire system was assembled and installed, and hooked up to an external power supply, provided by 8 AA batteries.
If you want to see the detailed step-by-step instructions, they’re available here, and it all led up to a spectacular, working game of tetris, playable all inside a pumpkin. The greatest pumpkin I’ve ever seen!