First impressions and a question

The Arduboy FX came ok. Shipped 7 of June. For Greece i had to pay also 15euros for tarrifs.
I tested it a little. Seems robust and elegant (like my Tetris microcard (1) and my first feeling playing Hopper was … a powerfull hardware under a small screen !
My first question navingating the installed library is how do i get back to the main menu without having to power off.?
Also the card builder looks really helprfull to create a selection for my kid.

(1)That microcard was my first step i guess to the arduboy world. It was elegant, simple and robust.


Holding up+down at the same time will take you back to the FX menu normally.


Looks like @vampirics was able to help. Check out the instructions on the packaging and also there is a welcome app loaded by default that explains the functions of all of the buttons. You can get back to it under Tools > Welcome.

The hardware isn’t very powerful, but the game creators are clever people.


Oh wow thanks for that tip! Ive been closing and opening it using that dip switch for like 4 days now lol.

So far I gotta say i quite enjoy the lil thing. Ive been slowly trimming the “full enchilada” cart down to only the good stuff and removing any repetitions. Its a shame im just a designer/artist and not a programmer, i’d really like making games on this thing but I cant do this kind of stuff alone. I just cant think in math.


Fortunately you are no longer alone, you are now on a forum with a decent supply of programmers who would very likely be willing to help you out.

For programming, problem-solving ability, logic and (most importantly) determination are all more important skills than maths. The computer does the number crunching, you just need to be able to figure out which numbers it needs to crunch. (Even if that means a lot of trial and error, or asking for help from someone who is better equipped.)

More complex stuff will inevitably require some maths, but most of the time someone has already done the hard part for you, you just need to know how to translate it into source code (and have a vague idea of how it works).

Also, as a programmer who has never really liked maths, I can attest that most of the time the problem with maths isn’t maths - it’s the way maths is taught (e.g. too much emphasis on doing manual calculations, too many contrived maths problems*…), and the way mathematicians talk about maths (i.e. there’s a kind of implicit pretentiousness and obscurity in the way maths is typically presented and spoken about as a result of historical circumstances).

* (I really don’t care how many sweets Alice and Bashir have! Unless Alice and Bashir are NPCs in a game I’m writing, it’s not my problem how they divide their sweets!)

With the right resources it becomes a lot easier, and with the assitance of computers there’s no more need for manual calculations. Computers also provide the ability to get decent visual feedback, which helps to demonstrate the applications and/or meaning of the maths, which in turn aids understanding.

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Thats fair. I mean, ive dabbled in programming before but mainly in basic since that makes sense to me (it just goes down and does what you ask, if you want it to do something again you make it go back up) and even then only the more basic if then else stuff. Once you use stuff more complex than if, then or else, im lost. I also tried lua when pico-8 came out but that was incredibly confusing and nonsensical to me. What defitniviely dosent help is that i dont enjoy it much at all. When i make board games or tabletop RPG stuff, its immediate and obvious how things are. I just write things and they kind of come to life using plain human text and numbers. When it comes to video games im more comfortable in spreadsheets and design documents and art programs. Its more immediate and direct to me.

Dont worry if you want it you will do it. I myself am mainly a Graphic Designer. And still managed to do a few games myself on this on other devices. And people here will help you out.

And if you team up with the right people its great too. It’s how Press Play on Tape was created :slight_smile:

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Uh i didnt know PPoT was a team effort.

I suspect you just haven’t found an explanation that makes sense to you, and that with the right explanation it would make sense.

I’ve never done anything with PICO-8, but I’ve done quite a bit of work with Lua, so I’m inclined to think that the PICO-8 side of things might have been complicating matters for you.

'Plain' Lua can actually be quite similar to BASIC...


10 LET MAX = 5000
20 LET X = 1
30 LET Y = 1
40 IF (X > MAX) GOTO 110
60 X = X + Y
70 IF (Y > MAX) GOTO 110
90 Y = X + Y
100 GOTO 40
110 END


local max = 5000
local x = 1
local y = 1
if x > max then goto ::exit:: end
x = x + y
if y > max then goto ::exit:: end
y = x + y
goto ::begin::

Ultimately there are certain things that more or less all (general purpose) programming languages have. E.g. arithmetic, decision making (if, else), text printing, looping (goto, while, for)…

Writing code is never particularly fun to be honest. The problem solving aspects are fun if you’re the kind of person that likes puzzles. Otherwise it’s the results that make it worthwhile.

I don’t deny that pencil and paper are more immediate.
I still design software on pencil and paper before writing it.

(Trying to write code before working out the solution to the problem at hand is a common pitfall among less experienced programmers.)

Though I suspect creating a detailed, full-colour board and testing the balancing of game rules are just as time consuming as writing and testing software code.

At any rate, if you ever decide to brave another attempt at programming I’m happy to try to help. (Or if not me specifically, feel free to make a post over in the Help & Information section.)

Or if you’ve got a game idea and you’re looking to partner up with someone then you can seek assistance at the Help Wanted section.

Also, as a programmer who has never really liked maths, I can attest that most of the time the problem with maths isn’t maths - it’s the way maths is taught (e.g. too much emphasis on doing manual calculations, too many contrived maths problems*…), and the way mathematicians talk about maths (i.e. there’s a kind of implicit pretentiousness and obscurity in the way maths is typically presented and spoken about as a result of historical circumstances).

I share that feeling. Our short life span and the cultural-socioeconomical urge to produce math results has created something strange and fragmented.

Well … i got a difficult question from my daughter, and i pass it here.
Why not ardugirl ?

Why was the Gameboy not Gamegirl?


As @MLXXXp crypically hints at, the Arduboy was named after the Game Boy because the Game Boy is the console that it was inspired by/most resembles.

As for why the Game Boy was called ‘Game Boy’, supposedly Shigesato Itoi (the creator of the Mother/Earthbound series) was the one who came up with the name, but as far as I’m aware nobody has ever explained what it was supposed to mean or why it was chosen. (Personally I suspect the answer is just that it sounded cool/nice to a Japanese ear, and they didn’t think too much about its meaning. Being an English word might have made it sound ‘cooler’ too.)


I’ve considered doing an Ardugirl console for a long time in fact secretly launched it as what would become the Arduboy FX but it never built any of it’s own traction.

I’ve thought about doing a special edition where everything is the same just a different name and some new colors. But just generally concerned that it could create some negative feedback or draw attention to the gendered name and cause all sorts of I guess they call it “ratio” now on the interwebs.

Basically I’ve thought about doing it as an individual but as a business it falls into the category of “don’t rock the boat”.

I guess more than anything it’s been a real pain in the ass to work with Seeed Studio lately they aren’t interested in trying to help me play with new ideas or prototype new consoles. Even getting them to produce enough Arduboys to meet demand has been an absolute struggle. Their business model has changed and they no longer care to help out the small person like me and only promote their own brands.

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There is a french clone called Ardugirl. You can google it.

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@jaguile6 although my french is basic i took a look. An arduboy clone kit as it says in a small english paragraph but i think aesthetics dont support stronlgy the ‘girl’ part of the name. But personally l like the kit concept.

My view is that the same hardware can be used for both sexes.
At least judging by daughter that has fun (*) playing it.
The factors that can change is i guess the case color , the name and the default games.

(*) there are currently no other gaming devices in any form in the house

OMG no other gaming devices!
Why so serious? ;D

In my house (2 daughters) there are in the vicinity of 30 gaming devices. Even the amazon tv dongle has a retroarch installed and linked to a bt controller.

It’s healthy and fun!

Note: we dont play much.

Well i hope that it’s just me in overprotective mode :slightly_smiling_face:

I think it’s cool that there are compatible devices out there. Especially if it gives other people some ability to follow their passion!

Arduboy is going to be 8 years and so I think that in time it’s great if it grows to be more of a “platform” or "standard’ than just a specific console.

I think Arduboy can be a way of thinking about open source game systems. It’s really just a set of defined pinouts and a library to go along with it.