The Game

SPACEBALLS: The Arcade Game is a first person simulator of the popular 1980's arcade game, Asteroids, set in the vibrant universe of Mel Brooks' Star Wars parody Spaceballs

The Video


The mechanical system of the game is comprised of three main parts. There is the "baller", the system that shoots and cycles balls; the gun, which is the main user interface part; and the cabinet, which holds everything together.


The software subsystem coordinates the electo-mechanical components of our game. It boasts a modular and nestable component state machine architecture


The electrical subsystem is made up of a PIC, Raspberry Pi with camera module, coin acceptor, motor drivers, displays, NeoPixels, and various sensors.



  • Chose the proper project for the skillset of your team: Our team had three members, two of whom were software/electrical engineers and one of whom was a mechanical engineer. However, we elected to do a project that was very heavily mechanical. This lead to delays and over-work for the team in general.
  • Think more about user experience before starting a game. Our game has potential, but since we didn't spend a huge amount of time thinking about the feasibility of making our concept the way that we envisioned it, the game leaves some things to be desired. The balls would need to both fire faster and hang in the air longer, to make them easier to shoot in order for the game to be more fun. There is also a problem where it is hard to tell if you have hit a ball or not when you actually shoot, making it a less rewarding experience.
  • Leave adequate time to test code before presentation.
  • Don't rely on people outside of your team to do fabrication work because it will probably be delayed.
  • Systems with high forces and accelerations are hard to make work. If a system has those problems, make sure to do an in-depth mechanical design for it from the beginning instead of trying to do the quickest,easiest thing and then continually realizing that it doesn't work.
  • It's important to make good decisions about building something for yourself or buying it. We originally got discrete 7-segment displays and a driver chip with the intent of having a custom PCB manufactured, but we were unable to get these working properly and ended up buying a fully integrated system that was both cheaper in the long run and worked better.