We built a TV Minesweeper game that
is played with a mouse and displayed on the TV screen. The game itself runs very
smoothly, and the mouse works well when there is no interference from other
groups that emit electromagnetic wave. However, we used two microcontrollers
rather than one in our final design, because of the difficulty in fitting
the mouse interface code into the TV code. The difficulty is due to timing
consideration that transmission of data between microcontroller and mouse is too
slow. However, by using two microcontrollers, we also have more memory that make
the programming easier. With the extra memory, we implemented a recursive
function that open up a series of blanks cells, which is a standard feature in
the original Minesweeper games.
What might we do differently
Given our experience, if we were to
design anything using the mouse again, we would use the oscilloscope more
efficiently to debug the program.
Other than that, if we were to improve on our design, we can probably try doing TV codes on a color TV instead of black-and-white TV. There was a group from previous year that did a TV Snake game on a color TV, and we believe that we can use their experience as our reference. We are aware of the fact that a sync pulse generator might be necessary to make this improvement because it is too slow for the Mega32 to generate color signal.
Intellectual Properties Considerations
Although we did refer to
Chapweske’s PS/2 mouse protocols, we did not reuse any other people’s codes
for the mouse. The TV codes were based on the ones that we had for Lab 4, of
course, but minor changes have been made to it. We did not use any code in the
public domain, and did not reverse-engineering any design, nor did we have to
sign any non-disclosure contracts to get a sample part.
Although we are proud of our design, we believe neither the hardware nor the game itself can be patented.