Team Memory Game - Design
Over the next few weeks, we are showing you how we made our Team Memory game that debuted at the Maker Faire UK 2015 and featured in our previous blog post: Inside: Maker Faire UK 2015. This week, we are taking you through the design phase, a crucial stage of any design technology project. This is an essential stage for any project as it covers what functions the project will achieve or solve. In this case, the idea was to have a large scale interactive game for people of all ages to enjoy at the Maker Faire UK in Newcastle.

IMG_20150426_112630825_HDR 560

The completed game with a very competitive player!

The game is based on testing your memory using our Game Project Kit. Our own Game Project Kit was perfect as it tested one person’s memory following colour patterns, adding one colour every time the player completed a round. A larger, scaled-up version was thought up by the team and a design was produced. The design would be made of two parts; a main base with interactive buttons and a scoreboard showing the progress of the current team. The main base was designed to house the electronic circuits with a surrounding wooden frame. The circuitry was designed and the game was programmed by Geoff from scratch with a PICAXE 18M2 chip programming in C with additional shift registers converting serial data into parallel data.


Geoff programming the circuitry from his laptop.

This base would take a lot of pounding from enthusiastic players and might fall over due to being top-heavy. 15 kg ballast in the form of a large water container was perfect to prevent the base from toppling over.


The scoreboard would be made from a wooden frame with a Frosted Perspex face. A number of Green LED strips would illuminate parts of the scoreboard to tell the player how high they have achieved. LEDs at the top of the scoreboard count down the remaining time left to repeat the last sequence (10 seconds). They are mirrored with RGB LED strips on the main base to show the player how much time is left on that sequence.


Because custom programming and circuit diagrams were used, a hardware block diagram (below) was drawn up to show the processes showing the interactions between all of the pieces of hardware, including all feedback mechanisms.


First, the main controller with the embedded custom code makes up a random colour sequence including a sequence involving all four coloured lights (red, green, yellow and blue), so each player has at least one button to press in the first round.

Whist the correct sequence is being entered, the system will feedback the current progress in real time, adding on one level every time on the scoreboard. A hardware block diagram of the main base unit was also drawn up (below) as most of the players' attention would be concentrated around the top of the main base unit.


Geoff also drew a 3D sketch on the whiteboard highlighting the joints and attachment points (below). The game is designed to be taken down and put up for shows and events. Assembly and disassembly was designed to take a couple of hours from the boot of a car to the fully functioning game.


Geoff drawing a scoreboard diagram.

Once the hardware designs were drawn up and decided upon, a cardboard mock-up of the base unit was made (below). This was to see if the concept could be put into reality and if any adjustments were required before production could begin and so begins the manufacture of our Team Memory Game.


Geoff testing out the cardboard mock-up.

We will be covering the manufacture, technical design specifications and testing phases in the upcoming weeks. You can stay tuned by signing up to our newsletter here to keep up to date with the progress of the Team Memory Game project.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published