Public Arduboy (Location Wanted)

What if something like a public transit ticket machine was actually a free to play public Arduboy?

Does anyone know or have any access to a space where I could set something like this up? Or know anyone?

Ideally it would actually be outside and exposed to the elements even. I think on the exterior of a building would be amazing like an ATM or something like that, but I also think it would be cool to put in a public park or something like that.

It would be incredibly cool if I could actually get a municipality, a city somewhere to actually want to put one of these up somewhere. Any thoughts ideas or contacts?

I’m not sure about the appeal of this. What I like about Arduboy is that it is tiny and you can make your own games for it. This probably wouldn’t be tiny, and it would probably be hard to get your own games on it.

In a public park, who would use it? Most people have mobile phones anyway.

I really love the idea though, like a community Arduboy. It would be cool if there was a multiplayer game and you could use the little hub or whatever to play a game together with your friends.

Me either, it’s an expirement! It’s art, I’m really curious what would happen. Would people play it? Would they ignore it? Would they try to break it?

I think if you did a good job you could put it in a place and people would really enjoy it.

You bring a good point it probably does need more thought on the actual ergonomics. If I really intend people to play it are they going to stand there and press buttons… what is the motivation?

I also like the idea of interactive with other friends, it’s like a reason to bring your friends there as a thing to do. Hey check out this cool gaming system we can play together. I like it.

Strong influence: PICO PARK

Played this for free in pico8 cafe in Japan. But you had to buy a drink. Could you do the same thing but totally free in a completely public place?

There have been some that do this where the display was behind a shop window and the controllers were outside on pedestals I think? Or you connected via wifi maybe and your phone was a controller? If you can find examples or have other inspiration let me know!

Nowadays, people wouldn’t touch a device like that for fear of COVID. However, its an interesting experiment …

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*bring gloves

But yeah, stupid microscopic parasitic information carriers

I have no concrete support to offer, but yay - great idea. Hope you can make it happen!

@Mr.Blinky This might be a great use of the VFD display behind some bullet proof glass? :smiley:

Hmm but this is very likely going to need to be battery powered so probably not that although, interesting to think about. I guess the large OLED but I like the VFD since it is so bright that would really make it interesting I think. Would be good for a option if I can line power it.

Solar recharging is probably a very good idea and so need to think about the area on the top of the box how much it would need and where it could be placed. I’ve also thought about just the ability to charge or swap out batteries but this is really going to be best if it doesn’t need service (lol).

I’m real curious if it would get vandalized to the point of inoperability. I mean parking meters and what not survive, but I’m sure they are also occasionally destroyed and replaced.

I am really liking the idea of multiplayer and having these be installed in totally different cities or places around the world even. Something involving some kind of passive high score potentially so if nobody is “online” but something very dynamic happens if two people happen to be at the machines at the same time. Some kind of co-op mode.

I also think that it would be free to play but I also like the idea of having a coin slot and building that into either the gameplay or just make it purely for donations.

Feedback appreciated!


If there is coins in it you add chance that some will break it to take coins…


Believe it or not, it depends on where it ends up being located! Different cities experience wildly different zeitgeist, especially in the US. I think it would do best in big cities that are already somewhat tech-savvy or big on art. I know Houston pretty well and I feel like this could be a hit in the right place, like the museum district. Lots of foot traffic of people ready to experience art, especially if it’s interactive. Which brings up arguably the hardest part of the sell: making people want to walk up to it when they see it. You’ll need a visually appealing shape as well as a nice paint job. While I think a parking meter/ATM form factor would be a neat in-home project, I don’t think many people will investigate when they see it.

If someone has to use a coin to operate it, I think that may violate some games licenses if they include a not-for-profit type clause. But a coin slot for donations is a neat idea, I think people will be into it. Maybe when the coin slot is activated it could upload some sort of “thank you” sketch to display.

Oh and don’t forget to paint flames on the side, it’ll make the processor run faster :wink:


Yeah I agree I think that if it looks “inviting”, I want it to have a strong industrial feel to it. But also make it friendly. I like the idea of incorporating the paint scheme into the design.

Coins as optional donations that have some impact on gameplay I think is the way to go. How can we implement some multiplayer feature that involves dynamic interaction of the payments perhaps?

We encourage people at the different location to compete in some way? I don’t want to make it so simple as whoever puts the most quarters in wins, that is dumb. There should be some kind of interaction between the play and the donation I think, that multiplies the effect perhaps.

Perhaps that is one way to handle it, after you complete some skill or trivia based game element you have an “input round” that allows you to put in money for like 5 seconds and any money that goes in will multiply your score or something like that? The mechanic could actually be totally different than this, this is just an example of the kind of dynamic nature I’m wondering about.

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Yeah now I’m really thinking this needs to be a specifically coded arduboy game with multiplayer that involves some kind of perhaps like, trivia or knowledge, inside joke, I don’t know. I am thinking about the exchange of cultural and location based information.

I also like the idea of it being something that is relatively passive like the random multiplayer in journey. Something that enhances the experience but doesn’t necessarily directly effect you.

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I could imagine the VFD at/near a pedestrian traffic light. One on each side so you could play with someone across the road while waiting for green lights

For an a bigger display you could go for those LED matrices built up from MAX7219 panels :grin: ( Still can’t get them outta my head. But I can’t click that $150 order button either :sweat_smile: )

Instead of a coin slot a QR code to a donation page could be an option too. It’s more vandal proof for sure.

That’s true and you have to empty out the coins at some interval as well. I just like the idea of a coin slot since those are kind of going away.

True, and might be a good idea to use QR or NFC instead just because of the current coin shortage, not many people will have change on them now.

Coin shortage is that really a thing?

I mean I know it’s a problem for businesses giving change but is it felt at the individual level?

Although I remember having to consistently go to the bank or store to turn in my loose change and I haven’t had to do that in a very long time.

QR is a good idea but maybe no money at all focus on being free. Need to think about this multiplayer competitive game though.

Maybe it could just be one game with high scores but I really like the idea of really amping things up if there are people at both consoles at the same time. That’s why I mentioned Pico Park because you can play it 1player but the gameplay scales to adapt to as many players as you have.

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From what I remember it’s not a shortage in the sense that there aren’t as many coins being made, but rather people just aren’t using them, so we don’t see many in circulation. Seems like lots of people are just sitting on change and forgetting about it, maybe saving it in a jar, or maybe there’s a dragon out there hoarding all the coins :thinking:

Either way it seems to be an effect of how easy it is to pay small amounts digitally now. There was a concern for this when credit cards first started becoming popular but I don’t think much happened because it was only one alternative, not everyone has a bank account, etc. But nowadays, most people have phones even if they don’t have homes or jobs, and can make accounts to pay and receive money without banking, and the phone itself can do lots of monetary interactions, from QR to NFC to URL to Barcode if you really wanted.

Maybe a more competitive oriented version of Networked of the Damned? currently it’s a cooperative dungeon crawler, but I think taking inspiration from it, an arena spell-casting type game might be pretty fun multiplayer. And if you do end up wanting donations to affect gameplay, maybe they could change the types of spell you’re using. Not in a “upgrade weapon” type way, but in style. You could have the starting attack spell be randomized and then if a player really doesn’t want to use that type, donation is made and the type changes. Lightning, fireball, ice shards, wind swords, etc.

The other two things that come to mind are racing and streetfighter type games. They could be pretty good for remote multiplayer like that, but I don’t know that there’s many out there for arduboy yet.

While the damned games are super good they are kind of a different type of gameplay that I would want to push on the device. There are plenty of FPS out there.

It’s probably either a platformer or a top down action game, with puzzle type elements. Or maybe a kind of dungeon crawler, was also thinking about incorporating quizzes/trivia potentially too.

Maybe that could be it, kind of like an RPG where you have to go around completing different challenges.

Oh wow I just thought about this, you can have it so that the locations themselves are competing against each other. But also maybe individual users can physically go to the other systems kind of like invading the dojo in pokemon go.

Like if you visit another city with one of these there might be a way for you to kind of “log in” or something…

Wow I just realized it would be extra cool if you had an Arduboy with you it could some how influence the game somehow. Hmmmm…

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I don’t know much about Pokemon GO but it would be cool if there was something like a Pokémon GO station for Arduboy. Like you could upload games to a thing and other people could download them and you could play together by connecting your Arduboy to the station.

While the multiplayer aspect would be cool I also think it might be rad to have a small set of curated games and one of the buttons just randomly loads a new game. (Waits for someone to mention the flash wear)