hexacadeHero

For more on microcontrollers and wearables, check out Make: Volume 43.  Don't have this issue? Get it in the Maker Shed.

For more on microcontrollers and wearables, check out Make: Volume 43.
Don’t have this issue? Get it in the Maker Shed.

Everybody gather round the Hexacade, a six-person, custom gaming table created by Brent Bushnell and Eric Gradman, founders of Two Bit Circus, an “entertainment engineering” company.

The console was designed as a way for people at parties to meet each other. “Most people come to events in groups of two’s and four’s,” says Bushnell. “Six was a special number because six guarantees meeting someone new.”

The outer frame was originally made of wood, but was later updated by repurposing an aluminum equipment case to hold the circuitry inside. An Intel NUC mini computer runs the programs, which are coded in Python. The games include ping-pong, marble racing, and a light-cycle experience (similar to Tron). The black vinyl decal around the controls was etched with a laser cutter, and the outside body was made with a CNC router. Clear acrylic sits on top as a protective layer, and the whole setup comes is on wheels — Two Bit Circus made several units, which they keep in a warehouse and roll out to events.