Arduino Projects

In 2018, I got the idea to start tinkering with electronics after seeing a demo of accelerometer-powered LED wings that a friend had made his wife for a concert. I’d always felt a little intimidated by the hobbyist electronics market, but after getting introduced to Adafruit: https://learn.adafruit.com/ and seeing how accessible everything was now, I decided to take the plunge and build an audio-reactive hoodie

One of the biggest challenges I ended up running into was trying to debug the code in conjunction to the hardware, including:

  1. Realizing that the 5 volt power coming from my USB cable wasn’t enough to power the LEDs I had chosen
  2. Working with the smaller boards meant I had to now work within the limitation on onboard RAM, so I had to pick and choose the debug statements that were most important

After several days of debugging the prototype, I had finally assembled the full thing, where I took it to a concert and it became a hit among my friends!

Full video of the final product can be found here:

I’ve since completed several other projects, including:

A custom-built keyboard

A Ragnaros-themed LED hat that I wore for Blizzcon

A Christmas-themed Ork Great Hall with a flashing red and green LED strip that also plays “Jingle Bells” off the onboard speaker. I’ve since used this project as a piece of terrain in my Warhammer: 40,000 games!

Links to the code for all of which can be found here:

https://github.com/kanekirsten07/KirstenArduino

Side Projects After VGDC

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I like to spend my spare time making video games and learning new tech. After I accepted a job at Blizzard this didn’t change, but I now had even more incredibly awesome and talented people to help me build them. Enter Hackathon.

In 2017, I enrolled in that year’s Hackathon as a Test Analyst to help get some additional engineering expoure and further my knowledge of C# and the Unity Engine. I spent that week working on core gameplay mechanics and VR support for the game, which was named Zealot Defense. The core loop of the game involved you, the player, serving as a Zealot at a protoss base. Your goal is simple: protect your 3 pylons from the never-ending wave of zerg and see how long you can last. Getting the VR working was a huge plus, as it allowed us to run a demo during that year’s holiday party. It was a huge hit, with players taking over one of the conference room’s whiteboards to compete for highest score.

In 2018 I was prepared for a new challenge, and set out with my friends to build my first networked multiplayer game. This was called Space League. Space League was a spaceship shooter that had multiple game modes: from a simple free-for-all to a huge control map complete with towers/keeps and payload objectives (ala Heroes of the Storm). Here, I was again responsible for implementing core gameplay loops, but also got my first experience with network code for the multiplayer synchronization which turned out to be a much bigger challenge than I anticipated, but a real fun challenge.

Please reach out to me if you would like to see the source code for these titles!