Maker Faire Bay Area 2018: Spaceteam & #BadgeLife

David Scheltema article author avatarDavid ScheltemaMay 24, 2018
Maker Faire Bay Area 2018: Spaceteam & #BadgeLife

Particle has discontinued development of Particle Mesh, our OpenThread-based mesh networking solution, and will no longer be manufacturing the associated Xenon development board. Particle will continue investing in its other “Gen 3” products, the flagship cellular (Boron) and Wi-Fi (Argon) product lines. Read more about the deprecation here.

Last weekend the Particle team headed to Maker Faire Bay Area to show our take on Spaceteam (a popular mobile game), sport our Electron-powered PartiBadges, and talk Particle Mesh with attendees. Here’s a quick look back at the weekend and a bit behind the scenes of Spaceteam and the PartiBadge.


Spaceteam is a self-described “cooperative shouting game for phones and tablets,” and it’s a favorite of ours to play in the office.

Created by Henry Smith and crew, the game puts you and a group of your friends in the hull of a failing spaceship with little more than your voice and teamwork to save your ship. We love the game so much that with Henry’s permission, we set out to create our version of the game using Particle hardware.

Particle Spaceteam makes it physical

Spaceteam suitcase ready for orbit

Our take on Spaceteam, the brainchild of David Middlecamp, uses six fancy suitcases outfit with seven Photons, custom FeatherWing adapters, and a lot of FeatherWings.

Each Photon is connected to a FeatherWing adapter and Wing, and function as the game’s controllers. Players read instructions from the OLED Wing and calmly share yell them to the rest of their team to take action. The catch here is that instructions are always for another teammate to execute. Good communication is essential to triage the spaceship.

Spaceteam controls:

  • Ultrasonic range
  • Joystick
  • Rotary encoder
  • Slider
  • 4 button controller
  • Dot-star (for realistic warp speed visualization)

Cases communicate player-states with each other using Wi-Fi and keep the game chaotically fun. (For the faire’s radio-hostile environment we used USB cables to connect the cases.)

While the project plans and design files for our version of Spaceteam are not public, expect to see both soon. There’s also a plan to move from the Photon hardware to Particle Mesh.

Particle #BadgeLife turns it to eleven

What’s an event these days without a badge?

Exactly. Just an event. That’s why a month before Maker Faire Bay Area, Brandon Satrom set out to build eleven Particle badges.

PartiBadge as it’s come to be known, took about a month of work. (Good thing too, since that’s all the time we had.) Hardware design and polish took around two weeks, and hand-assembly and programming took the remaining weeks of the month.

Brandon showing off the PartiBadge to the Make: Livestream

The badge features a demo mode that loops a slideshow of images from the TFT LCD’s SD card, a game of Simon, temperature and humidity readings, and a Rickrolling-orange button (press it at your peril).

PartiBadge features

  • 1.8” TFT LCD
  • Temperature and humidity combination sensor
  • 4 tactile LED buttons
  • 4-way directional joystick
  • Mode select switch
  • #BadgeLife interconnect bus

PartiBadges ready for more hand assembly

Each of the eleven badges was hand-assembled in the San Francisco office the week before Maker Faire.

In future versions of the PartiBadge Brandon is planning to swap the Electron for one of the new Particle Mesh boards and continue to add software features. Keep an eye out for more on PartiBadge in the months to come.

Have a feature you think we should add to Spaceteam or the PartiBadge? Start a thread and tell us what you’d like to see in the forum.

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