Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Tetris on a building

Around a year ago, a bunch of blinkenlights were installed in the HCI-Building of ETH Zürich. These LED spots weren’t interactive and only showed hardcoded patterns. Of course a bunch of LEDs demand interactivity, so for the first-semester party this year a giant game of Tetris was built on the side of a building.

There’s no official build log, but from what we’ve learned, the LEDs are connected to a DMX controller that is in turn plugged into a computer and the University’s ethernet. For the command and control of the Tetris game, a USB joystick was connected to an old Dell that was pulled out of the junk pile.

The software for the project, LED side of the project was written in Visual C++ reusing old Tetris routines and example code from the DMX controller. For the controller portion, everything was written in C. The controller simply dumps chars into a TCP port on the second computer. While the Tetris board was only 3 pixels wide, there was a fairly massive queue of people wanting to play.


  1. Holy crap, that's insane.

  2. Too bad the "screen" wasn't bigger, that was awesome!

  3. I gave up Tetris as I kept seeing shapes even when I wasn't playing.

  4. I building-sized tetris game that plays sideways? That's one crazy idea!

    Nice blog by the way. +followed

  5. I got the crappy gameboy version instead...