Sparcade: Dark Node Game Server

Sparcade running

May 19, 2016

Nick Poole created an Internet-Controlled Flamethrower, and in the process, showed that serving web paged from microcontrollers was relatively easy. Based on Nick’s work and the LibraryBox project, I turned an Intel® Edison into a simple browser-based game server. The catch was that the Edison was not connected to the Internet at all.  By serving games only to a local WiFi, we could host an interactive element at conference booths without relying on (often unreliable) Internet access.

Sparcade was built using a Node.js server, and it served a sprite-based Tempest clone, called Vortex, made with Phaser. Players would connect to the server (the Edison) using their smartphones and open a web page to begin playing. Whenever a player got a game over, their score was sent to the server (using, which was compared to the top 10 list. If the player ranked, the game would capture their initials and send them to the server. The server would then update the top 10 list and display it on a connected character LCD.

Click here to view the full tutorial

Playing Vortex on a smartphone

Playing Vortex on a smartphone

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